Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post #16 : Final Reflection

The End

Reading over my first blog post, If I Built a School, there are a few things that I would definitely change. The course EDM 310 has introduced me to an amount of resources and technologies that I now plan to use in my future classroom. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned from this one course over the semester and the way my views on teaching have enhanced. My passion is to become an educator for younger children and I think that EDM 310 has done its job on me to be just that. Although I have a lot more to learn about becoming an educator, EDM 310 has informed me on things I would have never thought to use with my students.

In response to my first blog post, in my future classroom I would like to teach Kindergarten or Third grade. As a teacher I will encourage my students to express their creativity and never steer them from their interests. Individuality will be encouraged and expressed throughout all activities. I want all of my students to know that their opinion matters. I will always express the quote, “There is no such thing as a dumb question”. I will teach my students to respect one another properly and the value of it. All of my activities will be hands on using the method of project based learning. Thanks to EDM 310, I will use tools such as Icurio and Discovery Ed. These sites will be great resources for retrieving information during activities with my students.

The Smartboard will be a tool that will be used frequently in my classroom. It can be used for bell ringers or simply engaging my students in an activity. Students will be able to interact with me as well as their peers using this tool. Instead of mainly using textbooks, I would like to use IPad. The IPad has a wide range of applications that I think will be very helpful with learning. Also, I will develop a class blog to show off my class’s progress. This blog will be accessible by other classes across the world and parents.

My classroom will be filled with creativity and color. There will be a wall in the classroom designated just for the students art work. I will have a center made just for “carpet discussions”. In this center we will sit around in a circle to discuss anything that is going on in the community or on campus. Next, I will have a center made just for the IPads and computers. The students will have the ability to interact with these tools on their own during a “free” period.

In my first blog post, I did not really include technology. But after completing this course, I think that it plays a significant role in education today in the 21st Century. In EDM 310 this semester I have been introduced to Blogger, Skype, Symbaloo, Icurio, Discovery Ed, the Smartboard, Prezi, and the IBook. Without this course, I don’t think I would have ever thought to use these tools in my classroom. All in all, I cannot wait to use these tools and resources with my students. Thanks EDM 310!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

By. Chastity Westry
Go Talk

This video provided several ideas for a teacher to think about when using assistive technologies for vision and hearing impaired students. As a teacher or parent, we should enhance learning, remove barriers, push boundaries, give hope, and challenge the way we think. It also showed different tools and programs to use with a vision and hearing impaired student. One tool that I thought was interesting was the Go Talk device. The Go Talk device are battery powered augmentative communication devices. They are used by people who can not communicate well by speaking. For example, a classmate, teacher, friend, sibling, etc. can record any message the user will normally need in any accent or language. Next, an overlay of pictures will be constructed. The pictures are to help the users remember where each message is located. The user can use this device to communicate with people by just pressing whatever message/picture they want to deliver. According to Spectronics, typical messages on a Go Talk device would be as simple as: “Hello, it’s nice to see you?”, “I need help.”, “I am all done.”, and “I need to use the bathroom.”. Go Talks are used by people all around the world. Children with down syndrome, autism, or any condition that limits speech uses the Go Talk device as an assistive technology for hearing. These devices are not only used by children. Adolescents and adults who have head injuries or stroke. It was said in this video that one in 2500 Australian children have a vision impairment and on average, one Australian child is identified with impaired hearing everyday. As teachers/educators we need to learn more about assistive technologies for children with disabilities in the classroom. I feel as if the Go Talk device would be a tool that could be very helpful to students and to the class as a whole. Lets give all students with sensory impairments the ability to identify, explore, investigate, question, discover, engage, observe, and interact.

Ipad Usage for the Blind
By: Victoria Williams

In this assignment I was assigned to watch a video where Wasley Majerus is demonstrating the use of the ipad for the visually impaired. The voice over is a wonderful asset to the ipad. This is a screen access package and  allows the ipad to talk to the person that is using it. It will call out everything that is on the screen. A useful application for the ipad is the ibook. The ibook is a mainstream ereader. In this application the visually impaired may access the library and then choose the book they are wanting to be read to them. After choosing the book, the chapter may be read to them aloud. Another unique thing about this application is that  the illustration will be described. In the application itunesU, it is also made very easy to navigate through the music. All of these applications are made possible through the ipads voice over. ipad

As an education major, this video has brought to my attention the importance of technology and special programs for the visually impaired. I did some research for some online resources for the visually impaired and I was able to find useful information on: This website took me to a website that gave special quest games to reinforce learning through math, science, and technology. This website is known as These websites could be bookmarked onto an ipad for easy access or bookmarked onto a classroom computed for easy access. This way even if resources such as ipads are not supplied at your school these links could also be useful for helping teach children of the blind.

by: Shanda Thornton

In this video, a mother of a blind child is learning how to use the iPad like her visually impaired child. These iPads are using voice over so that a blind child can hear what he or she is looking at. I think this is an amazing invention for these children, it gives them the opportunity to do normal things that other students are doing. The mother was listening to the directions of the teacher and went step by step to learn to navigate around the iPad apps. The teacher would direct the mother to go to the top left hand side of the iPad and then move her finger along the top until she found what she was looking for. They even demonstrated writing a note. There are two modes to type using the notes part. You could use either standard typing where you touch any letter and double tap it to choose that letter  or  touch typing mode which means that you could hold it down and tap it and choose that letter. These inventions are very helpful for visually impaired people. They showed how to move your hands and fingers to access the apps that you were looking for. It is very important to know how many fingers and which way to slide to be able to properly use this voice over app.  The picture shows one way that you have to move your fingers to choose a menu option.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blog Post #14

The Purpose of this assignment is to inform EDM310 students on the importance of icebreakers in the classroom and how they can be used. It can be performed in any area of specialty, not just elementary education.


Visit the link, 10 Techy Icebreakers for the 21st Century Teacher. Discuss what you have learned about developing icebreakers and how you will use them in your classroom. Next, develop an icebreaker.

Here is a Icebreaker Pdf file that might also be helpful: Icebreakers

I have learned that Icebreakers are discussion questions or activities used to help participants relax and ease into a group meeting or learning situation. They are very important in the learning-teaching process in the classroom. Icebreakers can create a healthy and successful learning environment. Also they are used for warm-ups to get students engaged in learning. When developing icebreakers, as a teacher, I have to consider what icebreaker is appropriate for that age group and number of people. Also, it is important to know that all students will not want to participate in the icebreakers, but keep in mind that some will, do not get discouraged. Another important fact to consider is that icebreakers are more effective when they are well thought out and practiced. If the icebreaker is not going as planned, the teacher has the ability to adjust the activity or move towards a different approach.


My Icebreaker:

The class is to sit and form a circle. This activity would best take place outside with great weather. Performing this activity outside can provide excitement and engage the students to want to participate. Once the class has formed a circle, a decorated baton will be passed around from student to student. Whichever student is holding the baton has the privilege to pick a student out of the circle and ask them a question about themselves. This activity will help the class get to know one another and to see what everyone has in common. Also, it will make some students comfortable with their classmates and develop a bond.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Project #2: Final Report on PLN

Since my last Personal Learning Network report, I have added a few more educational resources. First tile I have added is the Scholastic website. This website will provide me with many interesting lesson plans and activities for my students. Next, I added a project based learning lesson plan made by yours truly. This lesson plan is based on the first Thanksgiving feast. It will introduce the pilgrim’s journey to the new world on the mayflower and the tools and skills they adopted from the Indians. I also added two very interesting C4T’s that I was assigned to this semester. The first C4T is Mr. Will Deyamport. He has a blog called "peoplegogy" that discusses ways to improve personal and professional lives. The next C4T I added is Mr. Michael Kaechele. Michael’s blog consists of numerous posts about experiences with his students. My favorite two posts so far are “The Dark Side of MLK” and “The New Rule”. I will hope to use some of Michael’s concepts in my classroom someday. The last tile I added to my PLN is PBS Teachers. This website provides me with different topics to discuss with my students weekly with related resources and facts.
My Personal Learning Network

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

C4T #4

C4T #4, comment 1:

For my C4T#4, I was assigned to a teacher’s blog called “Concrete Classroom”. The author of this blog is Mike Kaechele from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mike is a concrete artist turned teacher and a certified new tech trainer for Project Based Learning. The post I decided to comment on was his “New Rule”.

The Rules
When Mike developed this new rule him and the students were still getting to know one another, but he felt something needed to be done immediately. He had a problem with his students constantly asking him for permission to the restrooms or to get a drink. He informed his students that he did not like this at all and that if they have to go to the restroom or need a drink, to go ahead and do so. Mike believes in trust, respect, and responsibility with his high school students.

Comment 1:

To begin with, I really enjoyed reading this blog post. I think the new rule for Mike’s classroom will be helpful in many ways. It will help develop better trust and respect with his students. When I was a grade school student, my teachers never had a rule like this. I really wish they did. Asking to go to the restroom or to get a drink actually took up time from teaching and learning. I agree that it would save a lot of trouble by letting the students go to the restroom by themselves. I am considering adopting this rule for my future classroom. I thanked Mike for sharing.

C4T #4, comment 2:

 Martin Luther King Jr.
The next blog post of Michael Kaechele that I commented on was the “Dark side of MLK”. Michael discussed how he was assigned to a group during orientation. He likes to introduce himself and the class with some research. Michael had the students to look at the site . Next, he had them answer questions on a google form. Some students took it seriously and some just answered quickly. Some groups questioned the validity of the information.

These groups were asked to find evidence that this information was “fake”. Students began to evaluate the sources and soon found out that the site was created by StormFront, a white supremacist group. They also looked up one of the experts and discovered he was a former Grand Wizard of the KKK. This new found information led to a class discussion about bias. Students thought this site of information was legit and were very surprised. Michael left his students with the thought that they should doubt and test everything. He told them, “If your mother says she loves you, ask for her sources.” At the beginning of the year, Michael likes to set a tone of critical thinking and questioning in his classroom.

Comment 2: I really enjoyed reading Michael’s post. It teaches a valuable lesson to not believe everything you read or see on the internet. I will be sure to share this concept with my students in the future. Validity is really important when it comes to information. It is always a good idea to research anything you find online before using it. I liked Michaels what he left his students with: “If your mother says she loves you, ask for her sources.” I thought it was very humorous. To conclude my response, I thanked Michael for sharing this post.

Project#12B: Smartboard Activity Lesson Plan

Blog Post #13

Kakenya Ntaiya: A girl who demanded school
by: Chastity Westry

Kakenya Ntaiya starts off her talk telling us about a group of people in Kenya that people travel the world to go see. These people, she says, are tall, can jump high, wear red, and kill lions. These people are Maasais and she says that she is a part of them. In this culture, the boys are brought up to be boys and girls are brought up to be mothers. When she was 5, she found out that she was engaged to be married as soon as she hit puberty. Everything she did from the moment she found out was to prepare her to be a perfect wife by age 12.

She went to school, because her mother was denied an education, her mother didn’t want Kakenya and her siblings to live the life she was living. Kakenya’s father worked as a police in the city, sometimes they didn’t see him for up to two years. Whenever he came home, he would sell the cows and products they had on the farm, that her mother had worked hard to use to take care of her children, just so he could go drink with his friends. Women were not allowed to own land, so her father had “the right” to do that because he owned it. The women of the village never questioned the men’s actions or choices.

When Kakenya went to school she had a dream, she wanted to become a teacher, She said it looked as if the teacher’s were just writing on the board and that wasn’t hard work, compared to what she was doing on the farm. So she worked hard to finish school, but when she was in 8th grade, she was forced to be a part of a ceremony for girls that signyfied their becoming a woman. At this point she hit a crossroad, once she went through this tradition, she would become a wife so her dream of being a teacher wouldn’t come through. She talked to her father, she told him that she would only go through this ceremony if he let her go back to school. He agreed. On the day of the ceremony they experienced an unlikely tradition of their culture, the girls had a piece of themselves mutilated. Kakenya’s mother took care of her and 3 weeks later she was back in high school. While in school, she met a gentlemen from their village that had been to The University of Oregon, She told him she wanted to go where he went because he looked happy.

She applied to school and was accepted, and she had to have the support of the village to be able to afford it. When the men of her village heard she had the opportunity to go to school they felt it was a lost of opportunity that should have been given to a boy. She went back to the village, they have a chief that if he says yes everyone will follow him. She asked for help and for him to support her to go to America, he said he couldn’t do it alone and gave her a list of 15 other men to help her. That worked. She arrived in America and was shocked at her findings of the land of plenty.

While in America, she learned that the ceremony that she and the others girls went through was against the law in Kenya, and that she had a right to get an education. She learned her mother had a right to own property and to not be abused. These things made her angry. She got her graduate degree, but had a constant pain for the girls in Kenya, so she went back to help. She wanted the backing of the village to support a school for the girls, they wanted a school for boys, so they did both. The sign of commitment to this project was the gift of land where they built the school for girls. In only 5 months everyone could see the change in the girls. They are making big differences in the girls. 125 girls will never be mutilated or married when they are 12 because of this school. They are instead creating and achieving their dreams. Its a new dawn ,a new beginning, happening in this school. They are giving opportunities so that they can rise and this is the tradition she brought to her community. She ended the speech with a challenge, she asked everyone to be the first leader because people will follow. Be bold, stand up, be fearless, be confident, as you change your world . If everyone does that what kind of world will we be able to leave our children?

Shane Koyczan: To This Day ... for the bullied and beautiful
by: Shanda Thornton

I chose this video strictly because of the title, and when I was listening to it, I was so glad that I did. It is really hard to summarize this video because everything he said would mean a lot to a student who is going through this struggle. When Shane was a kid he hid his heart under his bed because his mother told him if he wasn’t careful someone would break it. We are told to stand up for ourselves but how can we if we don’t know who we are? We have to define ourselves at an early age, if we don’t someone else does it for us... Geek, fatty, slut, fag, etc. At the same time, we were being told who we were, we are being asked what do you want to be when you grow up. Shane says he always thought that was an unfair question. It makes us assume that we can’t be what we already are- we were kids! When Shane was a kid, he wanted to be a man, he wanted to retire with enough savings that would keep him in candy long enough to make old age sweet. When he was 8, he wanted to be a marine biologist until he saw the movie Jaws. At age 10, he was told his parents left because they didn’t want him. At age 11, he wanted to be left alone. At age 12, he wanted to die. At age 13, he wanted to kill a kid. At age 14, he was asked to seriously consider a career path. He said he’d like to be a writer, and they told him to choose something realistic, so he said a professional wrestler and they responded with, Don’t be stupid. They asked what they wanted to be and then told them what they couldn’t be . He wasn’t the only one. They were being told that they must become what we are not sacrificing what we were to inherit the masquerade of what we will be. He was being told to accept the identity that others would give him. What made my dreams so easy to dismiss? He added that granted his dreams were shy, self conscious, and overly apologetic, standing alone at the high school dance, and never being kissed they were still his dreams. He goes on to say that not only did he get called silly but his dreams got called names also, silly, foolish, impossible. He had it all figured out, he was going to be a wrestler, called the garbage man, his finishing move was going to be called the trash compactor, his phrase was going to be, “I’m taking out the trash!” A guy called the Dumpster Drusky, stole his plot. He was crushed, so he turned to poetry. This was what he loved.

The first lines of poetry he remembers writing was in response to a world that demanded that he hates himself, from 15-18 he hated himself for becoming a bully, which he loathed. He was 19 when he wrote- “I will love myself despite the ease in which I lean towards the opposite standing up for yourself, doesn’t have to mean embracing violence.” When he was 9 he traded homework assignments for friendship, he gave himself a hall pass to get through every broken promise, he gave everyone a pass for showing up late or not at all. He remembers a plan born out of frustration from a kid that called him Yogi, and would point at his stomach and say “too many picnic baskets”. One day before school he gave this kid the answers from the homework, but he wrote wrong answers down for him the night before, when the boy got his homework back he was confused to see that he didn’t do well, and he looked at Shane questioning him? Shane showed him his paper which was nearly perfect and thought to himself, “smarter than the average bear mother ******!”

He explains what his life was like and the problems he dealt with for being overweight and how letting children use their own words can cause problems. There is a very funny story but I didn’t want to extend this blog post any longer than it already is, so I encourage you to actually watch this one! The story is how he gained his first nickname, Porkchop, but through this process he was removed from his grandmother’s home by protective services because of a miscommunication dealing with in his words a bruise from his moment of realization that fat kids weren’t designed to climb trees.

He goes on and says he knows he isn’t the only kid surrounded by people who used to say the rhyme: “Sticks and stones as if broken bones hurt more than the names we got called and we got called them all. So we grew up believing no one would ever fall in love with us. That we would be lonely forever. That we would never meet someone that would make us feel like the sun is something they built for us in their tool shed so broken heart strings bled the blues and we tried to empty ourselves so we felt nothing don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone.” He says that the school halls are battlegrounds, they found themselves outnumbered day after day we used to stand inside for recess because outside was worse.

We weren’t the only kids who grew up this way and still to this day kids are still being called names, causing bearded ladies, depression, and loneliness playing solitaire, spin the bottle, trying to kiss the wounded parts of ourselves and heal but at night while the others sleep. He wants to tell them that all of this is debris left over then we finally decide to smash all the things we thought we used to be an if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself you need to buy a new mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there is something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit. He goes on and explains the struggles that these kids go through throughout the school years . Shane says you have to believe that they were wrong, why else would we still be here? We grew up to cheer on the underdog because we see ourselves in them. We stem from a root planted in the belief we are not what we were called.In closing, he says our lives is just balancing acts that have less to do with pain and more to do with beauty.

Alison Gopnik: What do babies think?
By: Victoria Williams

What do babies think? Babies can understand and reflect. One thing the baby probably is thinking, what in the world are those people thinking? Psychologist and Doctors think that babies can’t think and talk like we do. There was a study done on two groups of babies, they were showed a bowl of broccoli and a bowl of goldfish. The doctor would say ummm… broccoli and put it to her mouth and then say eww...goldfish. When she asked for some the 15 month babies gave her goldfish. When she repeated the same process with the 18 months they would give her the one she wanted. That is just a three month difference. That shows us that babies know more and learn more than we thought. Why do children learn so much? We have always thought that babies are full of useless knowledge, There is a relationship between how long the period of childhood experience is to having bigger brains. Long childhoods mean a child is acquiring a lot of knowledge and learning.

Baby Knowledge
Unconsciously kids are using statistics to find out about the world. Scientist do experiments as do kids, in the video it shows an experiment with a little boy who has two sets of two different colored shapes and a box with a light in it, if both sets are stacked correctly the lights in the boxes will come on, the child sat there and tried many scenarios to try and get both sets stacked properly to get both lights to shine. This, she says, is quite typical. Children usually do a series of experiments to find an answer. She says, “What is it like to be a creature that can test 5 hypothesis in just a few minutes?”

Most psychologist thought that babies were barely conscious, if even conscious at all. Allison thinks the opposite. Adults think if something is important we should pay attention, they are more flexibly focused and purpose driven. Babies and young children are a lantern of consciousness. They are very good at taking in more, they are bad at not paying attention. To be like that as adults, when we are put into situations we haven’t been in before, we act like kids.

What’s it like to be a baby? It’s like being in love in Paris for the first time after three double espresso’s. It’s good to be an adult, and makes sense that we put efforts into actually making babies. Think like adults do but if what we want is to be like these babies, to have open learning, imagination, open mindedness, creativity, and innovation. Maybe at least some of the time we should spend time getting more adults to think like more children!

We apologize for our long blog post, but these are some of the most meaningful videos that we have watched this semester! We encourage you to watch each of these if not the other seven also!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

C4K Summary for November

C4K #9

Jordan blogging
For my ninth C4K, I was assigned to Jordan in Mr. Marks sixth grade class. Jordan’s blog post was a story called, “I Heard a Whisper, But No One was There”. He had four main characters that were farmers and one was a fox. The farmers were Healy, Kealy, and Calvin. In the story, the three farmers were working on the farm and heard a whisper. They looked around to see where this whisper was coming from, but all they saw was a fox. The next day as the famers were working in the same spot, the same exact whisper was heard again. Immediately the farmers searched for wherever the whisper was coming from. Again, there was the fox. To conclude Jordan’s story, the whispering was coming from the fox. He wanted the farmers to have a party with him on the farm and to sing sing-a-longs.

My Response:

In my response to Jordan’s story, I first introduced myself as an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading his story. I thought that he was very creative with his characters and plot. My favorite part of the story was when the fox asked the farmers to join him in a party on the farm. All in all, Jordan did a great job on his post and I encouraged him to keep blogging.

C4K #10

Chumash shelter
For my tenth C4K, I was assigned to Chloe in Mrs. Yollis’s third grade class. Chloe’s recent post, “Awesome ‘AP”, discussed her trip to Ojai. In Ojai, she learned about the Chumash Native American tribe. One thing Chloe was most interested in was the Chumash shelter, which was known as an ‘ap. These huts were made out of hay and straw. Chloe said that the ‘aps reminded her of the three little pigs, except the big bad wolf won’t be able to blow this particular ‘ap down.
CHumash shelter
The huts were usually made to 20-30 feet tall with an opening on the roof. Also, they were built in a dome like manner for rain to trickle down during bad weather. During this bad weather, the Chumash people would cover the opening on the roof and entrance with animal skin. Inside the ‘ap was a fireplace surrounded by stones and stumps for seating.

My Response:

In my comment to Chloe, I first introduced myself as an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading her post. Before Chloe’s post, I was unaware of the Chumash Native American tribes. She provided a great amount of information about their shelter with pictures. All in all her post was very well put together and thought out. I thanked Chloe for sharing her post and encouraged her to keep blogging!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blog Post #12

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?
By:Shanda Thornton

Sir Ken Robinson starts the video by talking about two reasons that most countries are reforming public education. The first reason he talks about is economics. His driving question was, “How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century given that we can’t anticipate what the economy will be like at the end of next week? His second question was concerning culture. He asked, “How do we educate our children so they have a sense of cultural identity, while being a part of the process of globalization, so we can pass on cultural genes of our community ?” Sir Ken Robinson then goes on to explain problems with the reforming of public education. He says that they are trying to meet the future by doing what they did in the past. The current system of education was designed and conceived and structured for a different age in time. It was conceived in the days of the enlightenment and in the economic circumstances of the industrial revolution. Before the revolution, there were no public school systems, you could get educated if you had money to pay the Jesuits to educate you. With this new system, Public education would be paid for by taxation, and it would be available to everyone free at the point of delivery. People objected to this revolutionary idea saying it wasn’t possible for street kids to benefit from it, they’re incapable of learning to read and write so why are we spending time on this. This also causes alienation of many kids that do not see the purpose in going to school. He told us that when he went to school, they kept them there with a story. Something along the lines of Do good in school, work hard, do well in college, get a college degree and you will get a job. Our children don’t believe that, and they have a right to because there is no longer a guarantee. In today’s world you can graduate high school and get a good paying job without a college degree. It may not be a dream job, but it is good paying and that is what most people are looking for in these days. Education does not guarantee a job anymore.
I really enjoyed when Sir Ken Robinson started talking about ADHD in schools. When he first gets to the subject of ADHD, he shows a map of the prescriptions for ADHD medications. This has turned into a modern epidemic. He isn’t trying to say there is no such thing as ADHD, he is saying it is not an epidemic. Our children are living in the most intensely stimulation period in the history of earth. They are over powered with information. Students are given computers, iPhones, other electronic devices, and even shown advertising and then they are penalized for being distracted from other boring things, like the teacher. Robinson says that he thinks for the most part the emphasis on ADHD has risen with the growing of standardized test. The medication these children are routinely given puts these kids to sleep. He addresses aesthetic experience which is when senses are operating at their peak anesthetic shuts your senses off and deadens the body to what is happening. We are getting our kids through education by anaesthetizing them. This is what these “drugs” called ADHD medication is doing to our kids. Sir Ken Robinson thinks we should be doing the opposite! We should be waking them up to what is inside of them! He believes the system of education is modeled on the interest of industrialization. Schools are organized on factory lines, ringing bells, separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects. We still educate students in batches. We put them in the system by age.  He asks, “What is important about the assumption that the only important thing these kids have in common is their age?” Is this the most important thing? He states that if you are interested in the model of education, you don’t start from the production line mentality. It is essentially about conforming and about standardization. We have to go the opposite way. We need to use Divergent thinking. This is not the same thing as creativity. It is an essential capacity to creativity. It is the ability to think of a lot of possible answers to one single question. We all have this capacity but as we get older it mostly deteriorates. In the gene pool of education we have to think about human capacity and get over the old conception. We should recognize that much greater learning happens in groups. Collaboration is the “stuffing” of growth, if we separate them and judge them separately and form a disjunction of them and their natural learning environment. Crucially he says, it is about culture of our institution habits of institutions and the habitats that they occupy

By: Victoria Williams
Wow! That is the word that comes to my mind when I heard Sir Ken Robinson’s speech on education. What an amazing thought he has on No Thought Left behind and on what education is really about. When I was in grade school I always felt as if I was going through the motions. I would memorize information for test and then forget the information as soon as the test was over. I have had a hard time adjusting in the college setting because I have had never had to think outside of memorizing information. I think that we can learn from Sir Ken Robinson that to be a great teacher the teacher has to do more than just deliver information to the class. As teachers we should educate students on things that can be used outside the classroom instead of the essential facts. If educators stop treating education as if it is a mechanical system and more like it is a human system then maybe we wouldn’t need alternative education.There are three types of people in this world, there are people that are movable, people who are unmovable  and people who move. The people who move are the people who make things happen and if we have more people who move than we will have an educational revolution. If educators can understand this than education will stop being dormant and  bloom like Death Valley.


By. Chastity Westry

Sir Ken Robinson believes that creativity in education, today, is more important than literacy. One important idea that I learned from Mr. Robinson is that if you’re never prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original. By the time children become adults, most of them have lost this capacity because they are frightened of being wrong. Today, in the 21st Century, we are running educations systems where mistakes are the worst thing a person can make. Therefore, we are educating students out of their creativity capacities. Mr. Robinson also believes that we do not grow into creativity, that we grow out of it. The education system is predicated on academic ability. The hierarchy of education is based on two ideas. The first one is the most useful subjects are at the top, this probably steered you away from subject areas in school that you actually liked and found interesting. The second idea is academic ability, which is dominating our view of intelligence. We need to change our view of intelligence. Highly educated and talented individuals do not believe they are these things because their interests weren’t valued in school. We know three things about intelligence. First, intelligence is diverse.We think visually, in movement, and abstract terms. Second, intelligence is dynamic. The third thing about intelligence is that it is distinct. Sir Ken Robinson believes that our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology. One in which we enrich our perception on human capacity. The way education systems are set up today will not serve us in the future.We need to rethink the fundamental principles in which we are educating our children. To conclude, we need to change our views of education and not steer students away from their interests but encourage them.

Project 15: PBL Plan #3

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Blog Post #11

Kathy Cassidy got involved with technology about ten years ago, when her classroom was given five sunray computers. Her set of five computers in the classroom was considered a station because there wasn’t one for every student. Cassidy then began to develop webpages, blogs and videos in the classroom. She used these different technologies on her own with the support from an internet coordinator in her school. Technology in the classroom wasn’t something every teacher included in their lessons. Cassidy believes every teacher should be technology literate because it is changing and developing every day. Even though the use of technology in the classrooms may not be enforced by administers or teachers at her school, she still includes it in her classroom weekly. One technique of Cassidy’s that I might use in the classroom is blogging.
Lets Blog!
She uses the blogs as an online portfolio of the students work. Since most of it is written, it particularly reflects each students writing progress. Whenever a student blogs online an audience can be found, which can be very exciting for the blogger. To keep the students identity secure she will only post first names and photos that does not match with the student’s name. The sever Cassidy uses records the number of page reads each students post receives and the option to comment on that post. She also developed a buddy system with students from across the world that are required to comment on her students blogs with encouraging and improving advice on their work. This system allows students to develop relationships with other students from around the world. Parents will also have the ability to use these blogs to check up on their child’s progress in school and to see what is going on in the classroom. One obstacle I might encounter using this technique is cheating or the expression “piggy backing”. But, I wouldn’t think of it as actually cheating, I would think of it as collaborating. To avoid this obstacle I would be more creative and collaborative with my activities. I would require my students to present it in a different way to make it theirs. Using technology in the classroom can make learning more interesting and exciting for the students. Also, using certain technology can better time management in the classroom.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

C4T #3

C4T #3

 Dr. Will chatting online

For my Third C4T comment 1, I was assigned to Dr. Will Deyamport. Dr. Will established this blog, “Peoplegogy” in 2009 to assist adults in improving both their professional and personal lives. Since then the blog has evolved to focus on the educational applications of digital media. He states that his mission is to use Peoplegogy to empower, educate, and lead discussions about how educators of all types are using digital media in their classrooms. Dr. Will’s most recent most discussed flipping professional development. It also included a video of an online global education conference he presented and an about me section. The video provided me with ideas on how I can use different technologies to individualize my professional developments. I also learned that Dr. Will Deyamport is an innovative thought leader in connected education. His research challenges the adoption of new learning environments and technologies, as well as how such technologies can be used by educators to individualize their professional development.

Comment 1:

In my response to Dr. Will’s post I first introduced myself as a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I stated that he provided me with a lot of information that will help me use technology to individualize my professional developments. I will be sure to visit his blog frequently when I begin working with my students. I believe his ideas will help me become a great educator with lots of knowledge. Not only will his blog benefit me professionally, it can benefit me personally as well.

For this week’s C4T, I chose a previous post from Mr. Deyamport blog of Peoplegogy. The post I was interested in was “Peoplegogy: My Sentence”. In this post, he included a video discussion with guest speakers Jerry Blumengton and Jaime Vandergrift. This video was the first episode of Peoplegogy Tv and discussed how educators can become their best selves. They provided their listeners with suggestions on connecting with others via Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc. Also, a “my sentence” video was discussed. A “my sentence” video will consist of an educator defining themselves with a sentence of choice.

Comment 2: I commented on this video to be very interesting. I believe as an educator, you should be able to define yourself. I am always up for new ways to better myself as an educator. Finding a sentence to define myself and passion was an assignment this semester in EDM 310.I found this very interesting and actually a bit time consuming. Before that assignment, I had never really described myself or even thought about it. It helped me gain confidence in myself and passion. Also, the assignment made me aware of who I was and what I wanted to become. To conclude my comment, I thanked Mr. Deyamport for sharing.

C4K Summary for October


Time Travel clock
For my fourth C4K assignment, I was assigned to Nisa in Mrs. Ripp’s class located in Madison, Wisconsin. Nisa didn’t have a post for the blogging challenge #3, so I chose one of her previous posts named “The past and future”. In this post, Nisa discussed how the past and the future are equally important. If she was able to go anywhere in the world, it would be to visit the past and the future. Nisa asked the question, “if you see something you don’t like in your future, would you try to change it?” . After asking that question, Nisa provided us with an example from a story she read that demonstrated the idea of changing something that will happen in the future. She stated without the past we wouldn’t have the present and without the present we wouldn’t have a future. Nisa concluded that she would like to go to the past and the future, ending with the quote, “ You never know what the future holds” .

My response:

In my response to Nisa’s post, I started off by applauding her on making valid statements. Next, I mentioned that her example on changing something that will happen in the future was very interesting and i liked the idea. I also agreed with Nisa on the past and the future being equally important. To conclude my response, I told Nisa that she did a great job overall and to keep blogging! Also, I included a link for my blog. Last, I closed my comment off with a question, asking, “If you could visit your past, would there be anything that you would change?”.

C4K #5

For my fifth C4K assignment, I was assigned to Cameron Pickle in Ms. Eppele ‘s class located in Canada. Ms. Eppele’s class is currently reading a story. Following each chapter they are to answer a question in a blog post. Chapters eight and nine blog assignment was to answer, “What themes or big ideas do you think that Sharon Draper is trying to get us to think about as we read these chapters?” . Cameron’s answer was that he thinks Sharon is trying to tell us in Melody, that disabled people are smart too.

My Response:

In my response to Cameron’s post, I first introduced myself as a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Next, I applauded him on what he thought Sharon Draper was trying to tell us in Melody. I shared with him that I thought he did a great job describing it. Last, I agreed with him that we do need to see and understand people with disabilities.

C4K #6

For my sixth C4K, I was assigned to Delaney in Mrs. Schroeder fourth grade class. Delaney’s post discussed her big week at school, including all of the exciting things that went on. First, Delaney talked about her classroom skype session. Her and her peers hold skype conversations with another classroom from across the world. When holding these sessions each student is usually given a job to obtain. This particular week Delaney was in charge to type the different questions and answers that the other class asked her and her classmates. It was a little hard to keep up, but she got the job done. Another exciting event that went on this week was homecoming. She thought seeing everyone dressed in the same theme of clothing was AWESOME! Next, Delaney discussed “Read and Feed” in her class. Read and Feed is where the students get to bring their favorite food and a drink while reading their books. She chose to bring sprite for her drink this week. Last, she informed us that she has a T.N.T. project to work on with a classmate named Meghan. Delaney explained to her readers that T.N.T. stands for “Today not tomorrow”.

My Response:

In my comment to Delaney’s post I first introduced myself as a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. First, I applauded her on getting her duty done for the classroom skype session. I also made the comment about using “Feed and Read” in my classroom one day, I thought it was a great idea. Next, I told her how I enjoyed all of my homecomings and how excited she must be. Also, I asked Delaney what was her class’s theme for homecoming. Last, I wished Delaney and Meghan good luck on their T.N.T. project.

C4K #7

For my seventh C4K, I chose Aidan from Christchurch, New Zealand in Mr. Warren Grieve’s fifth grade class at Medbury School for Boys. Aidan posted a speech about rebuilding Christchurch targeting three major goals. His first goal was to make Christchurch a green city. Christchurch will need more open green areas, which will make it a more beautiful city. Aiden believes that making this city green will reduce air pollution and improve the presence of plants, trees, and parks. The second goal was to improve transportation. Aidan discussed the invention of a vehicle with no exhaust will reduce pollution around Christchurch. He would like to see alternative routes for bikes and cyclist. This will make the city better and safe to live in. Aidan’s last goal was to improve the culture and entertainment of Christchurch. He discussed how great it would be if the children had more activities and playgrounds. One idea was having a slide in the shape of a Kiwi. Aidan would develop more workshops for the children to participate in building new things. He described this idea as a Kids fest all year round.

My Response:In my response to Aidan’s speech, I first introduced myself as an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. Next, I stated how I enjoyed reading his speech about rebuilding Christchurch. I applauded him on his great ideas on improving his city. Last, I informed him that his idea of developing a slide in the shape of a Kiwi was awesome and really stood out to me. To conclude my comment, I encouraged Aiden to keep up the good work and creativity.

C4K #8

Freedom of Speech
For my C4K #8, I was assigned to Annarose in an online Government/Civics course. This online course is instructed at a school for girls in Oregon. Annarose’s post discussed the first amendment and how she learned to love it. Freedom of speech does not prevent what is known as hateful speech. If someone is offended by another’s speech and does not believe that person should have made that offensive comment, both parties are still entitled to their own opinion and neither voices can be muted unless violence is provoked. The first amendment is designed to permit any type of speech that is not expected to incite violence. Annarose provided examples based on facts from the United States .

My Response:

First, I introduced myself as a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Next, I applauded Annarose on her post and stated that she was a very intelligent young lady. Then, I made a comment on how I agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinion even if we don’t agree on another’s speech.Also, I let Annarose know that I learned how to love the first amenedment just as she did. I closed my comment with “great job!” and encouraged her to keep blogging.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Post #10

What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch

 Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch taught me ways to achieve my dreams and how to enable the dreams of others. Randy’s story was very inspirational. He was a firm believer and fighter. Randy was diagnosed with ten tumors in the liver with a three to six month life expectancy of good health. His discussion inspired me to not be distraught by the obstacles that are put in my way during a journey. Despite the negativity there is always some sort of positivity in any situation. I learned that doing something young enough and training will make it become a part of you. For example, Randy had a childhood dream of becoming a NFL player. He was active in football at a young age and trained for it. Even though he didn’t make it to the NFL the game was instilled in him still. I can use this idea to help encourage my students with accomplishing their goals.

Randy also stated a quote that I will instill in my students for enthusiasm, “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted”. Even though Randy didn’t make it, he still got the experience. Also, I learned some leadership skills. Leadership is a very important element when teaching. You always want your students to respect you and trust that you believe in them. One important skill that Randy learned from John Snoddy is that when you wait long enough, people will impress you with the things they have learned. I think this is true. A teacher’s biggest reward is seeing their students take what they have learned and use to create something of their own. Therefore, it is important to give your students time. A strong leader has to have patience. Last, Randy discussed his class, Building of Virtual Words. This class consisted of fifty randomly selected students divided into several groups that will construct five projects during a semester. This development stood out to me the most because after the projects were completed his students shared them in front of an audience of peers, faculty, and parents. This encouraged the students to do better in their work and to keep learning. I learned from Randy that encouraging students that they can do better will keep them going and improving. To conclude, Randy Pausch’s discussion was very inspirational and provided several skills such as, enthusiasm and leadership, which I will pursue in my future classroom.

Screenshot of Randy's Youtube Discussion

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Project#14 PBL Lesson Plan #2

Wonka's Runt's Fruit Candy

Name of Project: Fruitastic

Subject: Health

Duration: 180 minutes (three class periods)

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Teacher: Ms. Westry

Project Summary: This project will introduce the students to their colors and the importance of fruits to the human body. Students will be divided into groups of five. Each group will be assigned to one of the major fruits: strawberries, grapes, apples, oranges, and green apples. Once each group is assigned to a fruit with the guidance of a teacher, they will research on how these fruits can be helpful to the human body. After gathering the research, each group is required to make a poster/presentation on their fruit. The objective of the fruit to the body, the color of the fruit, and how to harvest these fruits will be described in each presentation. At the beginning of this lesson Wonka runt’s fruit candy will be given out to introduce the students to the color of their fruits and grab their attention. Once presentations are completed, each group will present their projects to peers, faculty, and parents. The last day of this project the class will have a reflection method of a class discussion on how they have used their knowledge about these fruits at home.

Driving Question: How do we keep our body happy and healthy?

CCSS to be taught and assessed:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.1a Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.4 Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.6 Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly

21st Century Competencies to be taught and assessed: Collaboration, Communication (oral presentation), and Creativity

Resources needed: Computer, Internet access, Wonka runt’s fruit candy, Markers, Poster boards, Scissors, Printer, Glue

Entry Event: Students will record a podcast of each presentation, use their knowledge of their assigned fruit at home, share knowledge with family and friends

Formative Assessments(during project): Image matching fruit to appropriate body part quiz, naming colors of each Wonka runt’s fruit candy orally

Summative Assessment (end of project): Oral presentations of each group

Reflection Method: Whole-Class Discussion on how they have used and shared their knowledge about these fruits with friends and family members.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

We can learn a lot of new techniques and different concepts of teaching through these videos. These teachers teach us new and different ways to run our classroom using some 21st Century competencies. There is a lot to be learned through these videos.
Blended Learning
By. Shanda Thornton, Victoria Williams, and Chastity Westry

Brian talks about the different activities that are done throughout his classroom and how he does them. He knows that students disconnect easily and for many different reasons. We were really impressed that Brian does not stereotype his classroom. He has a classroom full of lower class children and he brings his best to the classroom. He wants them to have the best learning experience and he tries his best to provide that. He introduces these children to blogging along with other class projects. Brian offers his students real life problems through these projects and that is what will prepare the students for the real world. Also, he had speakers that tied into what they were learning to come in and speak with his class. This resource could provide the students with information that won’t be found on the internet. We learned that if we involve, connect, engage, empower, and motivate students they will be more interested in learning.

The projects Brian produced for his students will make them lifelong learners and thinkers. Active learning is a great way to create a learning atmosphere. He teaches his students to think outside of the box. An example was when he told the students to tell the story as if they were the balloon, this gets the students involved in a thinking process. The blogging helps the students to interact with students all over the world and show their reflections. The comments allows students to converse back and forth, this tool teaches them a lot about connecting and collaborating with other people. The comments left on the students posts from readers encourages them to keep learning and improve their work. Brian also established goals implemented in the classroom, the students created goals for themselves, school, community, and the whole world. They also received feedback from other students from all over the world which made the students more globally aware.

Blended Learning
Second, we learned about a method called blended learning.Paul uses the blended learning system for his classroom. Blended learning is when you take classroom learning and mix it with online and module work. Paul basically described it with these three resources: online, mobile, and classroom. There are five “E’s” that tie into the process of blended learning, which can be helpful to learn science.The learning cycles are: engage, exploring, explaining, expanding, and evaluating. So when you mix blended learning with the learning systems, you then will have a blended learning system. Brian wants his class to ask questions and predict what will happen next. Next, the class should then be evaluated. He also talked about the power of the questioning and the power of learning. He always starts with a question that hooks the students, once you have the students hooked, they are ready and excited to learn and answer the questions. Learning cycles are very useful to get students involved in the thinking process.

Also, if the students follow all of the steps to this process on their own they are more likely to take more knowledge with them to the next level. To remember the steps of the cycles, he develops acronyms. Paul’s blended learning cycle consisted of six parts, “QUIVERS” : Questions- start with a good driving question, Investigate/Inquiry- inquire about the driving question and investigate the answer or the reasons, Video- watch a video about the driving topic, Elaborate- elaborate on the topic, Review- review all of the information collected, and Summary- take a summary quiz to make sure the students understand the topic.

Blended Learning Diagram
In the last video, he gets his students to talk about the puzzles in small groups in order to capture the heart of the unit. In the groups they connect with the ideas and decide what it is all about. The challenge on the whole topic in general is to figure out a phrase that headlines and captures the heart of what the unit is about, The students conversed and one girl stated, “how can we sum up everything with one phrase?” How the students interpreted the unit and connected it with what they already know to the puzzles and challenging of the stories. Later on they headline it again and see how much the headline and their interpretations of the unit have changed since the first time they discussed it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Post #8

By. Chastity Westry

A 21st Century learning and communicating tool I will use with my students is the iClicker. The iClicker is an audience response system that enables participants and presenters to interact dynamically through question and answer polling in various group settings.

 Map of the iClicker
It reduces the burden of technical difficulties and maximizes the benefit of learning with the technology.The iClicker remote has basic features that can be easily operated by any grade level. The remote has a simple six button design, easy for students to power up and make their decisions. Next, they are small, lightweight, and portable with a durable design built to last. This tool allows teachers and students to make real-time decisions about academic progress. I will use this tool along with powerpoint or other presentation programs with my students. Since I will be working with Kindergarteners,we will be using this to play matching games on a LCD screen for learning the alphabet and numbers. This learning and communicating tool can be accessed through an iPad, iClicker remote, computers, or any device with internet access. Two benefits that I expect from this tool is making learning more informative and enjoyable. I chose this particular tool because I think it will be very effective in the learning process in the classroom. The iClicker tool will develop better collaboration and communication skills upon my students. Also, when using this tool and pairing students into groups, it can create competition and encourage the students to want to do better in their work. I believe that the iClicker will keep the students engaged and encourage them to learn more. The iClicker is an essential presentation tool that increases engagement and understanding. This tool will keep your students learning experience front and center. Today, as a Junior at the University of South Alabama, I am currently using the iClicker in my lecture classes and I am sure it will be a great effective learning tool for my future classroom.
By.Victoria Williams

 Scholastic Reading Counts Logo
After reading my assignment for post eight, I knew exactly where I could find learning and communicating tools. I referred back to my PLN, Symabloo. This site has tons of useful tools that I am in the process of locating and preparing. I will use these tools in my future classroom. I found this tool on Symabloo and it is called Scholastic. The Scholastic site has tons of great learning resources that I will need for my second grade classroom. To use this site you need to create an account as either a teacher, parent, first administrator, or librarian. Some of the resources listed on the homepage are as follows: Resource and Tools, Strategies & Idea , Student Activities, Book & Authors, and a shop for teachers to buy products. I chose to use this site because of all the resources that it has to offer me.The Resource and Tools tab contains lots of useful tools that I will use in my future classroom. The most useful thing for me was the hands on lesson plans. The lesson plans are designed for certain grade levels and contain a project overview, objective, lesson plan for the unit, culminating activities, duraliation for the project, and the subjects being covered. I would use this site mostly to gather creative lesson plan ideas but there are also other useful resources offered through this site. There are Common Core instructional material and programs. The Everything you Need link is perfect for looking up activities for the whole month. The Tools tab has a variety of technology tools to make things for the classroom such as: graphic organizers, rubric makers, flash card maker and a spelling wizard. This site also offers printables, planning calendar, and daily starters. I would recommend this site to any teacher.
by: Shanda Thornton
 Flocabulary HipHop

I looked over a few different learning sites, and found a few different ones, but Flocabulary just kept jumping out at me. Flocabulary is partnered with and Pearson and currently working on new content for common core ELA. It is $63/year, but I believe would be well worth that price! I just signed up for the free trial, so that I could explore more of the products this site has to offer. Flocabulary has an online library of songs, videos, and activities for grades k-12. Teachers use Flocabulary to supplement their instruction and engage their students. The word up projects teaches interdisciplinary tier 2 words to boost reading skills across the curriculum. It engages, standard aligned content for students of all ages. It offers videos, exercises, games, and quizzes that provide a comprehensive resource for direct vocabulary instruction. it has hip hop songs, videos, and lessons for every subject! It offers products for Language Arts, Math, The Week in Rap, Social Studies, Science. It also has an award-winning vocabulary program and features a weekly current events video. Flocabulary presents academic content in a highly-engaging, contemporary format. It says that the site lets the topic speak for itself, providing students with both visual and aural exposure. And videos aren’t only for introducing new topics; use them to review and provide ongoing enrichment as well. You can play and pause the video while discussing the lyrics, which are visible below the video and also available as a printable PDF. Click on key lyrics to bring up an infobox, which takes the topic further and provides opportunity for a more in-depth discussion. As a class, in groups, or individually, students can hone in on specific details and review key points from the song in a flashcard format. The founders have diverse backgrounds but with a common goal of increasing student motivation and achievement. I would absolutely use this site in my classroom! I love music and I always could learn stuff better if I could turn it into a song! I think most kids are like that, and with this site they get songs and interactive games to help them learn and remember about lessons of any subject! Click here! It’s this generations version of schoolhouse rock!