Friday, April 30, 2010

Using Technology to Teach Project 8

If I had students who had internet access at home I could use this technique to show simple math steps among other things!

April 25th Assignment Two Questions/7th Grader

On the first video-A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment, I was extremely impressed. That student could definitely teach me a few things, OK, probably alot of things. Her ease at moving around the Internet was great. I believe this student was very comfortable and confident in using blogs and doing research. Hopefully, if these tools were not available she would still be as at ease completing assignments. I am sure that her writing skills only improved with the research she was doing and her motivation. I think that the independence and the amount of responsibility was a great confidence booster. I believe she could definitely maintain her A if she were in EDM310.

I do often ask myself the question "Was I better today than yesterday?" I will see what works in my classroom and make note to use these strategies again. It not only helps me motivate the students but gives them consistency in their daily academic life. Changes are hard for them but exciting activities bring out their best, as well as mine. Now for the hard part, what's my sentence? I read Dr Strange's sentence and immediately thought of "mission statement". So I have been thinking about it in that direction. So here it is:

I strive daily to give my students stability and motivation to better themselves in positive ways through academics, teaching/reinforcing appropriate behavior, and consideration of others.
Written 4/30/2010.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Click on the following link and see my wonderful WORDLE! THANK You!

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My PLN Post #2

My PLN will continue to grow as I learn new techniques and applications. Since my last post I have Skyped, completed numerous Blog entries and used Google Earth, which was a challenge. Timetoast was a great application that I can really see using in my classroom. My network will include teachers and contacts that meet during conferences and workshops. I recently toured Hope Academy which is located in Talledega, AL. It is a school/residential facility very similar to where I work. The main difference being they have a private school license. Their website is

I know now that there are sites available to me for new ideas in the area of technology. I can access these sites to keepmy students engaged and challenged. This is going to help all of my students when they do transistion back to the public school setting and attend the schools that are equipped with the latest technology and applictions.

Goodbye to ALL

I would like to say goodbye to my classmates and instructors in EDM 310. It has been an experience to take this class and I enjoyed getting to know my classmates and working with them. I wish you all the best luck in finding a position in the school of your choice. Teaching has its rewards and it is worth all you go through to get there. Thank you Jennifer for your help in class.

PS--LOOK! I added a picture! Yeehaw!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Final Blog Assignment

Question #1. Of all of the things we have covered in class, I feel that this would be the order, from most useful to not so useful, and the pros/cons I see in each:

1. Skype-I think I will utilize this in both my professional and everyday life. My students can hopefully talk to others and learn how other similar students perform academically.
1A. Timetoast-I really think my students would like to use timetoast and would benefit from using this site.
2. Picasa-I actually used Picasa before taking the EDM310 class. I think it is very easy to use and my students have created small projects with Picasa. It is very user friendly.
3. Google Docs/Forms/Presentations-Using Google is very useful and user friendly. I think it would be very useful for most communications between administrators, teachers, and students if they did not a mailing system in place. I think if properly used, Google is great.
4. YouTube-This is a great way to get speeches out around any given community. I feel that I can show quite a bit of knowledge to my students about any given subject. They can do searches with the proper supervision. For students that are absent, a well planned lesson could be recorded and made available to students. As long as it is not too long.
5. Podcasts-if the quality of the recording is good, then I think Podcasts would be beneficial. I believe the listener would have to have an interest in listening to a Podcast. I know that some we listened to were go very boring and were hard to follow.
6. PLN's-I believe that a properly built and maintained PLN is important to any teacher who is willing to build and search out new and exciting ways to teach. The information would have to concise and easy to ready but filled with information. I hope to work on mine after completion of class.
7. BLOGS-Blogs are varied in their uses and values. I can see a blog as being both personally and professionally useful, if maintained properly. Keeping in touch with family and friends, ex classmates, coworkers, building businesses, and many other areas could be utilized. I have mixed feelings about using blogs but I do know my way around them now.
8. Comments for Classmates, Kids, and Teachers-I think the most useful of the three would be the comments for teachers. You can get new ideas and thoughts on how to do many different web assignments and be even more creative as time goes by. Comments for Kids gave me some ideas on how to start kids out with technology or utilize what you have already in place. I don't believe having the Comments for Classmates was very helpful unless I wanted to see how someone else did an assignment but I did know theirs was in place if I needed to look. But I feel bad for whoever was assigned my blog because I did them on Sundays usually.
9. iTunes/iTunes U-I went through downloading and using these sites very few times. And I use the plural because each time I tried to use iTunes U, I had to reload everything. It was very frustrating and if I had more troubleshooting knowledge I may have been more successful. These are not sites I will use in the future if I can help it.
10. ALEX/ACCESS-I am still researching these sites for my current job. We will most likely utilize ALEX the most and my research will be continuing during my Professional Development days.
11. On that note I will address accessibility issues and the future of schools in regards of technology. in my opinion, as long as there are funding issues in our schools, technology will suffer. Teachers will be left on their own to get training and and at best have outdated devices to use. I know in the area of special education, we were always the last to receive new technology. And since inclusion is how things are being handled, you are lucky to have your own space in a school setting. Now with my situation being different, I am lucky that I have my own computer and access to five student computers. We have one that has not worked since I began in my current position and four others that are sketchy at best. Our programs are loaded, STAR Reading and Orchard Math, but for some unknown reason one will work one day but not the next. We have a tech company that supports our computers. The reason these computers are messing up is because the kids play games on them. Games such as,,, and other "fun" games. But the students take what they can get, so Scrabble it is. I can't take away an incentive such as computer use. They do love to research and create on the computer and we do that, but they as well as I, get very frustrated when the computer shuts down in the middle of an assignment. Whoosh! All gone. So, unless schools can fund technology and the accessibility of technology, the future is looking dim. On a more positive note, you do have schools that have teachers who will seek out that extra training or have great systems at home and know the ins and outs of technology and are lucky to have a computer teacher/IT person at their school. I was fortunate enough to have taught for a short interim in one such as that. Smart Boards were used and used well.
12. Presentations-how to create the presentations were beneficial but for me personally, presenting in front of our class seemed to be a waste of time and boring. If we spent so much time on the presentations and loaded them to our blogs, why not assign the viewing of those for out of class. But that is just my honest appraisal.
13. Who I am as a professional-I am fortunate to work in a casual classroom/school setting. I have to conduct meetings with Department of Human Resource workers, foster parent's, counselors, therapists, and other behavior/health related individuals. I create my documents on the various websites we use and are required to use. Professionally, I want to engage my students more and think technology is a way reach those who will not open up in class and those who I may overlook "as long as they are being good".
14. I learned a great quantity of material in this class. Will I be able to recreate some of the activities in the future, I doubt it. For me personally, it takes more than a video and/or a podcast to learn something. Again, personally I require a more hands on approach. That may be because of my learning style or it could be because I was just overwhelmed by the fact that I was not a technologically literate person. If I see someone do it, great, if I can follow along and do it with them, even better. But watching a video then trying to duplicate is not very helpful for me personally.

Question #2 There is not anything in particular that I know of that I would have liked to have learned that was not mentioned in class. Possible some hands on assistance while in lab or some more lab instruction.

Question #3 I don't think that Twittering will be something that I ever want to do again. I believe there are several other applications to use and I in my opinion I would not utilize this at all.

Question #4 No, nothing excited me about this class.

Question #5 No, I did not find anything particularly "intellectually challenging". I found several thing to be interesting to reply to. Such as the Shift Happens video. I found out some interesting facts. I was much more "technically challenged" in this course this anything else. If I could get my laptop and Internet connections to cooperate then I would not have as many stressful, technically challenged moments.

Question #6 I was never bored in the class. I found some of the assignments to be "busy work". While I enjoyed the comments for classmates the first few times, I thought my time could be better spent working on the more difficult assignments.

Question #7 I would change this course by not having assignments so hard to find and by not changing them so much. The spreadsheets are nice and all but the "go down 5 spaces and to the right so many" directions are hard to follow. Perhaps in lab that could have been reviewed. Also, I believe we should have grades on our assignments as we go. I don't want to have to guess if I have kept my A. Feedback with points or grades would have been helpful. And I won't try to make an argument about the workload, but I will say it was too much to have to do outside of lab. If you want my HONEST opinion. I believe if an honest opinion is asked for, I should feel comfortable giving it. I mean that only in reference to the last part of question seven.

Question #8 At this time I think my technical level is medium. I have learned quite a bit and can get around to where I need to be eventually, it just may take me longer than others. I do feel that I am more literate than I was before.

Question #9 I will maintain my technological literacy by attending professional development classes whenever possible that deal with technology. I will continue with my PLN and talk with other teachers about new technology trends.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shift Happens Podcasts Project 13

This is our podcast about Shift Happens Video Version 3.0-A Discussion by Pam Overstreet, Chris Ellis, and Allison Rogers. Please sit back and enjoy.

Listen here

to the class podcast

Substantive Presentation

We, Pam Overstreet, Heather Ludwig, adn Lauren Reeves, have worked together and created a collaborative project entitled "To Blog or Not to Blog" Please enjoy.

Project 12 To Blog or Not to Blog!

I feel that I have gotten the hang of blogging and do at times enjoy it. Though it is time consuming and seems like busy work. I have been quite overwhelmed with everything that has been required this quarter. I did enjoy working with the other students on this project. They were very helpful in the class and would not have gotten as much done without their assistance.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vocaroo Post

I used Vocaroo today. It was easy to install and easy to use. It should be a tool I can use in my classroom since all teenagers love to hear themselves talk. It will be a great adventure to use this. I believe the students would don't like to speak in front of others or who don't write very well will also utilize this tool.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Experience with Skype

A few weeks ago I set up my Skype account. I have gotten to talk to my sister in California. We haven't seen each other in a few years so that was nice. I think now I would utilize this with mostly family and friends until I can get enough experience and equipment to teach the children how to use the program. I think it is a great tool and will be used in all aspects of my life, both personally and professionaly.

Comments 4 Teachers Weeks 13 and 14

I was assigned Paul McMahon for my Comments for Teachers, Weeks 13-14. McMahon is an employee for Mathletics. He mentions in his blog that mathmatic teachers use technology quite a bit and can find online support easily. How math teachers can enhance classroom experiences and engage students with technology. He talks about challenging students on appropriate levels and enjoying when students have "aha" moments when something just clicks.

In a 2009 blog entry, Mr. McMahon gives several Internet sites for getting students involved and engaged. Where to set up a class blog,, this is a site I would use for my current students. I did like the site where he suggests creating Christmas word clouds. Wordle is an interesting way to create a cluster of words for any given subject.

In an August 4, 2009 entry, Paul McMahon talks about his technological journey to support 21st Century Learning in Hong Kong. He says it was "immensely rewarding but often frustrating". It must have been very exciting for him to have a career where he could share his excitement and bring something new and fresh to a region that was "predominantly textbook and examination driven".

Comments for Kids Week 14

I read the blog by Carson for the Comments4Kids assignment. He was too cute talking about his hospital visit. If other kids read it they may not be scared to go to the doctor. Great post and very, very cute. I think it will help others have ideas about writing and blogging.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 18th Topic Entry

One of my favorite topics for EDM 310 was actually the blogging. At first I did not enjoy it and thought it would be a bother each week. And while I don't particularly enjoy all of the comments for kids and classmates, I do enjoy the one for teachers. I find that I can learn alot by going to the different websites and viewing the various styles and ways of other teachers. I hate to keep going back to this, but, with my current students I can't do alot of web activities. I believe I can use blogging this summer. I plan on setting up the students and controlling their passwords and letting them post that way. With close supervision they will be able to create blogs and be successful in writing.

I have learned several things in the class and have met some wonderful future teachers. I believe everyone has to become technologically literate or they won't even be able to bank in the future. Or work new cell phone. So this class has helped prepare me to be a better teacher and survive in a technologically advanced world.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Timetoast Assignment-New Orleans Saints Through the Decades

I did my Timetoast on the New Orleans Saints:Through the Decades. I listed on the timeline the various records of the Saints and how showed how they improved through the years. This time line tool could be used in my class and probably will be something I could use. I believe the students would enjoy doing this and stay interested. I didn't realize it would be so user friendly.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Google Forms

I had seven responses to my survey and the charts reflect the results. I may have gotten this survey out a bit late and that resulted in fewer responses. Thank you to all that responded.

Dr Seuss Rocks

I believe it is important for students to post their blogs so that they can get extra exposure to technology and get comfortable with communicatiing with others online. They can get an early start with technololgy and all that it includes. I think that to reach more people throughout the world you have to be technologically literate. If you aren't you will be left out in work and play. You won't know what anyone is talking about. As shown in Dear Kaia,, start early and learn as much as you can. It helps when you have parents that help and become involved in a students academic life.

As for a teacher being literate in technology, I thought that the Dr Seuss video was great. And so correct.
(Wrote this a week ago and forgot I had it in draft, so here it is. Sorry it's late. Thank you Heather for the notice.)

Comments for Kids Wk 13

I was assigned Do the Right Thing by Room 14 at the PT England School. Site is http://pesking.blogspot. The video was 37 seconds long. It has music and is very clearly filmed. It was a short but clear video that they should be proud of. A very good post for students to see if they are just starting out.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dear Kaia

The story of Kaia and her father is just another example of how technology can connect people and teach each other something new. The story of Kaia and her father show that you can't start too early with technology and education. She is a lucky child to have a parent that is involved with her and helps her understand things. She will have a head start and only benefit from his help. By reading the comments and responses I see that the Internet can connect so many people and put new ideas and insights on things you may not of thought of yourself. Doing a picture essay with a three year old is a wonderful way to introduce technology. And then sharing it with so many others is another way to get ideas out and get technology expanded. The Intrepid Teacher: Singing Hearts was insightful and inspiring. It was great to see Mr. C's class Voicethread This is a great idea and I will use it in my classroom. The whole experience has been interesting and thought provoking.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Comments 4 Teachers Week 12

I was assigned Paula White/Reflections of the TZSTeacher for my Comments 4 Teacher Blog. In her March 27th Blog, Passionate Learning, she discusses one of her students in the 5th grade who had some technology questions. Instead of just finding the answer or even blowing the student off, she TOOK him to the answer. Her 5th grader is an atypical student in that he doesn't want to just "play school", he wants to learn his way. She arranged a field trip for the student to meet up with a former student who was very similar. The former student attended a school known as the Murray High School, a school for students to learn what they wanted to learn without repetitive worksheets. He could be successful and still get the knowledge he craved.
The former student, who had become the Systems Manager for the school system, gave the 5th grader a tour of the facility. He answered questions and explained the workings of the system. The 5th grader, who already is a whiz at gaming, Wiki, and other applications was thrilled. This was a learning experience that could not have been taught in the classroom. It was an alternative way to get to a student and show them how his knowledge would be useful in real life. Paula White did a great job doing this and reaching her student.

In Paula's March 19th Blog, she talk about one of her educational heroes, Carol Tomilnson. Paula says that Mrs. Tomlinson is an advocate of differentiating in the classroom. They agree in this area and so do I. Students all learn differently and at different paces. You have to know how to reach them to teach them. You have to prepare your lessons in advance and bring new things to the classroom to get to them all. One lesson may work for one group but not the other. So find that other and teach them all. Paula White uses suggestions from her educational hero and does so in the classroom.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Comments for Kids Week 12

Ariana Likes to Swim

I was assigned post #18 from Room 8 at PT England School. The post is titled Ariana Likes to Swim and it has a drawing by the student of kids swimming. And after that a couple of sentences. It was a nice post and very colorful. I commented to the student and left positive feedback.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dan Brown on Education

Dan Brown states that education is essential. He starts with the history of education and who had and who didn't. That the upper class has always had it and the poor do not. Which to me is similar to days society. The upper class and middle class have access to everything educational and at times, the poor do not. He says that education is now free, that textbooks are not as needed as in previous times and that the old way of learning is obsolete, so to speak.

I do agree that education is essential and that information is free. I also believe that along the line of a persons education there has to be someone to lead a student into the education process. That is where a teacher will come in and stay in. We can always find information on our own but once we have it, will we know the proper way to deal with it. If there is even a proper way. Teachers, in my opinion, are also essential and always will be.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Comments4Kids Week 10

I was assigned a blog by a little girl named Hannah. Her blog was a poem about feeling good about yourself. It was short but well written. I could probably get my high school students to write at least that much. It was good entry for a younger student.

Friday, March 12, 2010



ALEX is the Alabama Learning Exchange. This is a great site for teachers. I have actually used it to find ways to extend my lessons. I have so many different learning styles in my classroom and I need as many ways as possible to reach them. Creating lesson plans is another part I have used in the past. I find the site easy to understand and maneuver.

For new teachers the site offers many new ideas and additional ways to teach their specific subject. By accessing this site teachers can share with others and see what others are doing. I would recommend this site as a very useful tool and a needed part to a teachers PLN.


This assignment actually hits close to home for me. My school is thinking about using ACCESS in our classrooms. ACCESS uses E teachers instead of the actually teacher. Podcasts and Skypeing could be used. I think this would allow students to get many different views and perspectives on various subjects.

The problem I can see my particular school having would be that our computers are outdated and often out of service. This is not a problem that I see being resolved in the near future. We have an off site computer company that comes when we call. But we are charged by the hour and sometimes have to wait for the service. It gets very frustrating for the students and myself. If I actually have more students then it would be near impossible to utilize ACCESS. I see ACCESS being beneficial to my school but only if the funding comes through and new computers are purchased.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Comments4Kids Week 9

I was assigned for my Comments4Kids Week 9 post. Ms. English posted a short video advertising International Women's Day, which was
March 8th. The video was short but very eye catching. It has great music, good colors and easy to understand audio. I enjoyed watching it and now know the date for International Women's Day.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

The video by Randy Pausch was truly uplifting and inspiring. His message was interesting and so well presented that I could watch it without realizing I was watching a lecture. His way of incorporating childhood dreams into reality was awesome. I would have loved a college professor that would have inspired me in such a way.

By reaching into all of the departments of the university, he brought in more talent and ideas that could have been reached before. That takes some faith in your teaching and even more faith in your students. It seems that he had ideas early on that are still working today when it comes to gaming and technology today.

Making the class fun and interactive, how else would you do virtual reality, really seems to have worked . He tried new things and put great minds together to get great results. His masters program at ETC created an atmosphere that enhanced creativity. The company had jobs set up for their graduates. That has a strong belief in your students and in your university. And by giving the students the power to rate each other, gives the students feedback. And quickly.

I think the part I like best about his teaching strategies would be the part about the "head fake". Teaching the students something hard but making them think they are learning something else is a great strategy. It keeps the students engaged and active in their learning journey. I can only hope to help my students on this journey with as much enthusiasm as Randy Pausch. What an inspiring story he had to tell.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


This was just a wonderful post by my assigned student. She was to write about why Arkansas was 48th in the area of happiness. She repeated her criteria as set by the teacher and went on to explain it in detailed paragraphs. She seemed very informed on each part and was very detailed. She had a good grasp of her subject and you could tell by her writing that she was a good writer. And what was kinda cute was a comment she made in a previous comment on her own blog, she stated, "I can comment on my own blog! yeeahhh!" It was just cute.

Saturday, February 27, 2010



My personal PLN is being developed slowly but surely. I use several educational sites now that are not interactive but very valuable to in the classroom. I currently use,,,,,,,,, and These sites are for those dreaded worksheets which I use when my class has four grade levels and four subjects being taught all in the same two hour time span. I felt pretty savvy there for a while while using them.

Since beginning EDM310, I have began blogging and have had some response from those I have commented on in various posts. These I am viewing and noting strategies on technology, in my spare time. I have been searching for some other schools that are set up like mine but apparently they are not using PLN's as of yet. Nor have I found any schools that are like mine that have blogs. I will keep searching and hopefully find somewhere that has classes that are set up in a similar way. I can't believe we are that unique of a situation. I do know that Mobile does not have any quite like ours.

For my PLN I have gone to The Educator's PLN and believe that will be helpful to me. I believe my journey is really just starting even though we are two months into classwork. I have much to learn and am getting there.

Michael Wesch: Toward A New Future of Whatever

While watching the video by Dr. Wesch, I felt myself agreeing with the students in the clips. It feels weird to be recorded and invasive to me. When I am recorded I am going to go to one extreme or the other. I will shut myself up totally or go all out. There is really no in between. I am not shy by any means but am deathly afraid of public humiliation. At times I wonder how I can teach teenagers. When they find a crack they open it up with all their might and don't care who they hurt. As a matter of fact, I see them acting in a similar why. With most of my students it is either they never shut up or they never talk. We all have our comfort zones and and "whatever" that might be is totally unique to each individual. Technology has enabled people who would never share their thoughts and feelings with other to writers who are gifted and well read. Information is shared to the world that otherwise would go unpublished.

As for me personally, I have written more in the past two months than ever before. I do not like to write and don't think I convey messages or ideas very well with the written word. I hope that through this course I have come out of that a bit and am able to communicate with my students better. And just for the record. I HATE it when anyone says "WHATEVER" to me.

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

Each time I go into a blog assignment I see where technology is going and understand a bit more as to why we have to go in that direction. While watching and listening to The Networked Student, I was thinking just more confusing places to go and try to manage. For me personally, I can't seem to get organized and know where I have been on the web and where else I can go. I don't know what to ask about because I don't know what all is available. I don't know who to talk to outside of classmates and teachers, actually I do know that one a bit more. And I don't know how to distinguish between good and bogus information I find. But that is changing weekly if not daily.

When asked the question, "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?" , it is answered with the following: for guidance, for organization, for lessons on how to communicate in a complete and proper way, and how to distinguish between good and not so good information. As you can see that covers all of my personal problems with technology and overall usage of the web. I felt better after getting to that part and understanding a bit more that people don't want teachers replaced, just teaching a different way. When I watched the iSchool video, I felt that one of its' goals was to get rid of teachers and just have technology take over, almost on its own. Now I see it a bit differently.

The question is asked, "Am I ready?". Well, not yet. Are my students ready? Not yet. But with more learning on my part and passing it on to them through multi medias, I can see where we all will be changing. This video was great and I am glad to have seen it.

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

I found that Richard Miller provided wonderful graphics that caught my eye. His choice of examples were interesting and varied. He began with the how we previously learned, by way of books, and how we as a society have slowly, in increments, changed over the years to the use of multimedia. Richard Miller has shown us that the ways to reach students has changed over the years and will continue to change.

Dr. Miller mentions how we have to become teachers or information suppliers that use audio to get to our audience. Use of music and actual audio of speeches or readings would reach audiences in a way that just reading would not. An example is how he used Dr Martin Luther King's voice, my students have read Dr. King's words but they may not have actually heard him speak. I believe this alone would enhance learning in the classroom for middle and high school students especially.

Publication from the past could take years to get published whereas publishing by way of the web would get information to audiences virtually immediately. And would become interactive in some situations. Other point of views would be included and commented on. An interactive education would reach so many more students and share ideas throughout the world. Different ideologies and cultures could be shared. There really is no end to the information and new ideas that could be made available with the multimedia approach.

As to whether my students could or would benefit from this, I don't know. I go back and forth on the possibilities that multimedia provides and the probability of actually using the multimedia. I think students need the exposure to each and every media available but with the knowledge or where I am now in that area and where they are, we will be taking "baby steps".

Comments4Teachers-post 1 Week 2/27

I read and commented on Jenny's Learning Journal. Jenny spoke about her 2009 successes in the area of technology. She was a presenter at the ULearn-an-e-Learning Conference in New Zealand. She stated that she overheard many people talking about how hard it was to get into her session. She feels this was because of the exposure she has on Twitter. She had people from thorough out the country trying to see her because they had "met" her through Twitter. She also talks about how her self esteem was built up through the success of her presentations.

She discussed her success and "obsession" with Web 2.0 tools and the use of them in her classroom. She discussed how her class movie, Merry Christmas from Room 5, was a project she was very proud of. It is a wonderful presentation.


I was assigned to comment on a post in Mr. Crosby's class by a student named Itari. She gave information on what we get from plants. She stated many facts and gave them in straight forward way without a lot of elaboration. It was a good post for a student, not too wordy. I enjoy seeing kids do the various research and posting. Mr. Crosby's students seem to understand what they are suppose to do when posting in a blog.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I joined Wikispaces today and read the comments and thoughts on many subjects. I see where we all eventually have to become Technologically Literate teachers. And I use the word eventually because I know it is not an overnight process. I will have taken this EDM class and will still not be where I need to be. I have many more sites to visit, videos to watch, blogs to create and read, and podcasts to present. Haven't actually done that one yet but soon, very soon. I can see that there are many applications I am not utilizing on my laptop and sites that I have yet to visit that will help me with the applications. But I am trying and I think that is a great thing. Many teachers I know would not even try. They are older and set in their ways and will continue to use pencil/paper till the day they retire. These teachers need their coworkers and IT people to prod them along and show them the way. It CAN be done. I see what progress I have made and am shocked I knew so little.

As I commented in the Wikispaces, I see funding as another obstacle in the way of technology. In my particular situation, state/federally funded school for students with behavior problems, I have very limited funds. I can go out and beg for donations and will at times get them. But what we usually get are what others are discarding. So the equipment is older and sometimes useless. But we try. We request as much as we can and try to keep up as much as possbile.

Between funding and changing outdated views, the road to change is gonna be hard. But it can be done and TL teachers can be created. I know I am changing and didn't think I could. So there is hope for all.

iTunes U

I believe that iTunes U has been very beneficial and helpful so far in this technological journey of mine. I have been exposed to posts that I may not have found in other searches. I have gotten lost, but in a good way, in various searches and think that I have benefited from that. I would recommend using the iTunes to all students.

I would use the site also as a teacher. I can see where the information available would be easier to access with iTunes U. Very often the tools made available are not used and in this case it would be detrimental to teachers to not let students benefit in this area. The audiobooks, videos, and podcasts are wonderful tools and should be utilized.

Classroom iPods-Friend or Foe

I can see in a conventional classroom setting that an iPod would be a useful tool. As mentioned in the post from CampusGrotto-iPods in the Classroom, iPods can be utilized in many positive ways. They can be used as a study tool when on the go, lectures can be recorded with them, and notes can be taken with them. Another positive would be "going green" through the use of the iPod. Less paper would be consumed in the academic setting. I found on the website: iPod software that could help with classroom tasks.

On the foe side, I can see the iPod as a major distraction. Those students would would not be listening to the lecture but instead jamming out to their favorite group. Or there could even be the problem of theft with the small, desirable gadgets. I know for my current work setting, they wouldn't last long. We have to monitor books closely because the students know we have a limited number of resources available. As a state funded school we rely heavily on donations and federal funding. I would have a hard time convincing our board that an iPod is a needed, academic tool. But the times are changing and hopefully so are the students. They have to see that with technology comes responsibility.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dr. Scott McLeod

I have read the comments of Dr. McLeod and have some mixed feelings. I can see where he is coming from about early intervention and prevention for students to get them on the right academic track. I agree that too much filtering of the Internet will not benefit students and only curtails free speech. When students have the option to explore and search on the Internet, they will often find interesting facts and information. But there will always be those few who don't do what is right and get into sites that are inappropriate. I have seen it in my classroom and we have some many filters in place that even I am limited. I worry too about not addressing the needs of the students who missed out on the interventions that Dr. McLeod mentioned. Those who have already slipped through the system. I have those students and hope that we are balancing the freedoms they need to explore technology and the boundaries they have to have to stay safe. I haven't really thought about how limited schools and students are with the current fears of the Internet so prevalent these days. So the comments of Dr. McLeod have given me something to think about beyond the everyday monitoring of computer time in my classroom.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How I Would Benefit From Dr. Christie's Site

I investigated the area of digital photography from Dr. Christie's site. Dr. Christie suggests numerous ways to engage students through the use of digital photography. Areas such as science, math, and writing can be addressed with digital photography. I believe that the use of this media in the classroom would benefit my students. I have some who would be much more interested and active in the assignments and activities. Some are more visual learners and would "blossom" while using this technology.
My students would become more involved and eager to start new projects if they could use digital photography in the classroom. By giving them the opportunity to learn a new gadget and become invested in the projects, I believe they would retain more information and be able to process what they have learned in a more meaningful way. Where before they see a chore, they may now see a treat and become more excited about subjects they otherwise could care less about. I especially liked the idea of photographing geometric shapes in the area of real world math. I think this site would be an excellent resource for future activities in my classroom.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My thoughts on "Creating Digital Video Reflections"

I just watched "Creating Digital Video Reflections". This is something I can really use in my classroom. My students are not the best writers in the world but sure can talk. They are also some of the biggest showoffs I have ever taught. They would love to post in any form or fashion. I can see limitless ways for them to let me know what they understand or don't in any given subject. They are very verbal and would much rather do a video than a writing assignment. What a great way to let the students think through an assignment and give me feedback on what they know.

"What I've Learned This Year"

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. McClung and his thoughts about teaching. It is true you have to know your students. In my situation, teaching at a residential school, I know far more about my students than your average teacher will ever know. At first I did not wish to know their backgrounds except in relation to academics. Then I meet them and I want to know why they are acting out the way they do. I know form their backgrounds what subjects to not dwell on and what areas to review each semester. For example, in health, I may not teach or even address sex education because they are already getting this from the therapist, their group leaders, and nurse. With some of their backgrounds it would be difficult to approach the subject from an academic standpoint when the need is from a therapeutic area.

When it comes to flexibility in the classroom I was always pretty set in my ways. BUT, now I go with the flow much more so that the students are all accommodated. Mr. McClung states, "No lesson is ever perfect. The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different." I agree with this so much. I can plan for days on one subject only to have it fall flat when presented. The direction of the lesson may go in a totally different direction and if I don't go with it, I may lose the students' interest.
I do listen to the students more than I use to and this works in the classroom. I can be more flexible with the students in the class than say, the therapist who has to stick to a therapeutic plan. The kids may have ideas on what they want to do in class and I do listen and try to give them choices.

I really liked the post from Mr. McClung and will be reading more of his posts in the future. I feel I can relate to some of the situations he talks about and can gather ideas from his experiences.

NPR blog on Wikipedia

I have used Wikipedia for years and never realized it was not "facts". I have my students use it. Grnated, we use it in class for research on celebrities and singers mostly. But still, I have thought it to be fact in the past. It bothers me that just anyone can go in and edit these entries. I was surprised at the companies that edited the entries. In this day and age companies have to know that online information is easily obtained and traced.

I do not fault Wikipedia in that people can change entries. I am sure there is a disclaimer somewhere that states the information available is not checked or confirmed 100%. I, like many others, just would not read that to know how the information can be manipulated. I won't from this point on trust Wikipedia as much as before. I may still use the site for simple searches but will always use others sources when academic information is being sought.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Creating Podcasts

There are various benefits to utilizing podcasts. And from the collection information on podcasts I have learned that my classroom can benefit from creating informative podcasts. Judy Scharf Podcast Collection at is where I gathered valuable information on how to do podcasts. Some benefits of podcasting are that students will become more interested and involved in creating than in just listening and watching the teacher. Auditory learners will be more successful in the classroom. Students can make up missed assignments and remain up to date in their work, and their parents can also be more involved in what is going on with their child.

The tips and explanations in Ms. Scharf's podcast information was very easy to follow, which helps me out quite a bit. The suggestions were varied and accessible. From what I have read, the, instructions are similar to any other assignment, give them enough time, give students choices of topics, list criteria, and give examples, are just a few. Also, by breaking the lessons down to teach parts of how to create a podcast would be very helpful to those students who would get overwhelmed when given too much information.

I look forward to creating podcasts and teaching my students in this area. The more involved they become the more successful they become.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


I listened to the various podcasts today from an elementary level to a higher education/college level. They were all vastly different with numerous topics and presenters. The podcasts I listened to were: SmartBoard Lessons Podcasts, KidCast, ConnectLearning, EdTechtalk, and This Week in Photography. They were all interesting in their own way, but of course, I preferred some over others.

I really enjoyed the format of the ConnectLeraning podcast, Episode 91: Conversation about Podcasting with Media Coordinators. I liked it because of the question and answer format. The librarians asked questions I could relate to and were relevant to me. One question addressed legality of names and pictures on pod/vod casts. Also, participants would ask questions and not only would the presenter answer but also the other audience members. Another podcast I enjoyed was the Teachers Teaching Teachers #181 from EdTechtalk. The presenters seemed to enjoy their subject, which was about using gaming in schools. This made the podcast flow and seem more interesting than one with just one or two speakers.

I thought the KidCast podcasts were great. They would be excellent for a younger audience and would give them examples of how to present ideas and how to do so in an appropriate setting. I would definitely use this if I were teaching to a younger group. The podcast from This Week in Photography was okay but not something I would go back to. This may be because of the subjects they were discussing or all the ads at the beginning.

I am getting an idea of how to present a podcast and look forward to trying. I think that music would be good if it isn't played over presenters. I believe getting right to the point would help keep listeners attention. By listening to more podcasts and viewing some digital casts I would have an even better idea of how to approach doing one of my own.

iPhone Baby

That is cool that the baby can maneuver around the iPhone that way. I don't get around my phone quite as well. His vocabulary will improve each time he uses it and the parents interact with him. He should be way ahead in technology than the kid whose parents won't let him touch their phone. This was a cute and interesting way of showing that anyone can learn no matter the age or experience.

Media Literacy

In Media Literacy, the three areas touched on were evaluating, creating, and responding. I think all three are valuable areas of education. The students explained everything clearly and seemed very comfortable with their presentations. I enjoyed the explanations and think I could follow that lesson and be successful.

The possibilities of what can be created in the classroom with technology are wide open. I have been thinking about how I can set up and use blogging with my students. As long as I can keep close tabs on them, I believe it would be a very successful project. They would love the opportunity to create something and be able to show it to others.

Little Kids...Big Potential

This video was great because it shows just how much younger students can do. If they can learn this much technology then I should not be afraid to do it or set any limits to what I can learn. The video was inspiring to me because I know that once I learn the technology I know I will pass it on. So many different aspects of technology can be utilized that I never even knew existed, much less thought of as an education tool.

I liked that the one student mentioned safety. He said that he could only use his first name. I believe safety is one of the most important aspects of putting students and computers together. They have to know what is safe and what is not. My students have severe behavior problems. We are very cautious in our school because of the emotional problems they have and the sites that can adversely affect them. The games are strictly educational and are monitored closely.
I agree with the problem solving part of using the Nitendo DS. They had to figure out how to share and take care of a virtual pet. Overall, I think it was a very educational video.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gary Hayes' Social Media Count

WOW! The Social Media Count shows me that technology is not just changing over the years but changing as the seconds pass. And keeping up with technology is getting harder every day. If teachers don't move forward with the new advances of technology then you may as well find a new occupation. We know we are an ever changing society and that the history facts you teach today may be the same you were taught ten years ago, you also have to know new ways to catch and keep students attention. When they would rather play a game and fight a war than read or hear about one, you have to go with it to some degree. Find ways to adapt to your students and not the other way around.

We can change and grow just like the numbers on the Social Media Count, but only if willing. Teachers, myself included, will have to get out of their comfort zones and actively get the training needed. It may be in the form of college, professional development, or conferences. If teachers truly want to teach, they will first have to become learners.

Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

I agree with Mr. Fisch about the need for teachers to be technologically proficient. It is necessary into today's society to be able to not only master the technology but to also teach our students to master it as well. I do not have one student that does not like to search the Internet for whatever personal reason they may have. Unfortunately, my students aren't allowed to do so because of their particular behavior issues. I would need one on one supervision to do this. And if that happened I could then see them not want to search any longer. So all activities are teacher planned, as they should be, and closely monitored.

I also agree with the comments by Terry Freedman that principals and headmasters should make sure that there staff has the appropriate training in technology. I know funding is always a major issue in getting this funding so our districts and states should possibly be held more accountable for training. Our school is purchasing new school attendance/documentation software. The training will be done by webex. Personally, I know that a 2 hour webex will not teach me the program. I will only learn by using it. I believe we need much more hands on training once you leave college and begin teaching. Mobile County had just begun using computers for classroom attendance and writing student IEP's(individualized education plan). I quit teaching for a while at that time, so when I came back it was totally foreign to me. I was sent to a 3 hour class for training. By the time I figured out the terminology, the class was over. I feel that more basic instruction was needed. You can't just assume your students know what you do.

It's Not About Technology by Kelly Hines

I am one of the teachers that has not had the opportunity through professional development to learn new technologies. I have never "had" to have the latest gadgets so I haven't actively pursued new technology on my own. I totally agree with Mrs. Hines that "the lack of comprehensive and curriculum-related professional development for teachers is why schools have thousands of computers that are being used as game systems and word processors". I agree that the "old" approach of lecturing students and then testing them on material is not the way to reach all students. That the use of up to date technology will only enhance learning and build creativity in students. From personal experience in the school systems and especially in my current state funded job, there are minimal amounts of the latest technology available. This is an area that needs improvement.

I see that I must be a learner as well as a teacher. I have had to ask my students for assistance with my cell phone and with uploading pictures. They are quite capable of learning the new technologies and teaching me a thing or two. I hope to pursue more training and development in all technology areas. Even initiate some collaboration with some of the local public schools to see what they are doing in technology and how I can improve my classroom.

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

I am an avid reader. Give me a mystery, a romance, a sports story, or an adventure novel and I will read until my eyes are gritty. I read at red lights. I can read while the world is churning around me. But hand me a textbook and I will do chores around the house to get out of reading it. The students in this video state that they completed 49% of their assigned readings, and only 26% were relevant to their lives. Yet they pay $100 for this unopened text. In my first go around of college, I was too afraid to NOT purchase the texts, though the odds were that I would not open them. I was a P.E. major at first and the books that contained the sports and the activities I still have because I teach and can at times find something new for my students to do. These texts are from around 1994. The other texts were sold back as soon as possible. So I have experienced some of the examples that were shown in the video.

I would add to the video a comparison of statistics of younger, more traditional students to those of students who are older, returning students. I can guarantee that if I buy a textbook now, I will read it. If I pay for a class now, I will attend it. I believe the stats would differ in those areas and probably in the areas of where hours are spent. I thought the statistics were interesting as they were given and really did not surprise me at all.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

I believe that the video shows the ways that technology can be utilized in a specified computer class. The comment that the student was proud of her project where she collaborated with students from other countries was great. To give the students a chance to teach each other and even their teacher, would build confidence that may not have been there before. Having the students have to search for definitions and not just spoon feeding them all of the terminology is a great way to empower them also.

When I see videos are read about classes like the one in the video, I wonder if I will ever actually have access to one. I know when I taught in the public school setting you may have ten to fifteen computers available and on any given day half of them would be broken. The connections were often unreliable or just not available. At my present setting we have five computers and again, half are usually down. It gets very frustrating in that I may plan for an Internet activity and when we get ready to start, the connections are unavailable. I have brought my old laptop in for a backup with the knowledge that if they break it, oh well. Hopefully I will be able to use our resources and create a creative outlet for my students with what we have and prepare them for their next setting.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

I was blown away by the thoughts that Sir Ken Robinson provoked. His entertaining and humorous look at the world kept me focused on what he was saying. Sir Ken mentions that "education is meant to take us into this future we can't grasp" and I totally agree. I don't know what the future holds but I would like to prepare my students to be successful there. There are so many academic areas that my students need to be taught and only two teachers to cover it all. My students are in grades 6 through 11. We teach all subject areas and the arts are just not addressed. I see that we are doing these students a great disservice by not going that extra step to get to their creativity in more areas than writing.

Sir Ken Robinson stated that being "not prepared to be wrong you won't come up with something original". With the younger students I see that they are less afraid of being wrong in front of their peers. Once they are middle to high school the fear takes over and they would rather keep quiet than be mocked. I try to address this by either mocking myself when I don't know something or allowing them to pick on me a bit when they catch me in a mistake. Even to the point of purposely messing up so they can catch it. I want my students to be OK with making a mistake and not letting it stop them from trying.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mr. Winkle Wakes by Matthew Needleman

I really enjoyed Mr. Winkle Wakes in that it reminds me of how I felt walking into the first night of EDM310. I picked a computer that first night and watched other students coming in and tried to pick up on what I could be doing to get started. I wasn't sure if Mrs. Averitt was who she was so I sat back and listened to the others. It almost felt like I was hearing a foreign language. I considered myself fairly competent on the regular computer things, such as, word, creating lessons on various sites and doing searches for whatever information I needed. I felt just like Mr. Winkle when Dr. Strange began talking to those of us who arrived to class for the first time. I was a little scared and ready to run to something more familar! I believe that a good mixture of the "old" and the "new" would benefit all students because of the varying learning styles I have encountered. I may be frightened of the newer technology that surrounds us but I am willing to use whatever will benefit my students. And my students would love to utilize the latest technologies to keep from hearing me talk. I recall the bored looks from the video and have seen that vacant stare a few times.

Did You Know? 3.0

The first thing I noticed about the video was the music. It was energetic and lively and drew me into the given information. Once I was hooked, the statistics themselves kept my attention. The statement “The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs by the age of 38” hit me close to home. I have had over 15 jobs in my 43 years. Personally, I enjoy the changes of employment locations and new coworkers. I wonder if for others, it may be that the jobs have become too challenging with the ever changing world of technology. Or could it be that the recent generations of gamers have become bored with the employment opportunities available to them? I can also relate to the statement “1 in 2 has been there less than 5 years”, referring to how long a person has been employed at their current position. I have been at my current teaching position for three years and with my previous employer for just two. At my previous position I was employed as an ancillary installment instructor at a local software company. I trained for three months and never grasped the daily technical side of the job. I was ill prepared for the technology and could not get past that aspect of the position. Given the information in the video, I plan not to become one of the statistics.