Monday, November 29, 2010

C4T #4 Summary

Blog Key

My teacher for C4T # 4 was Larry Ferlazo. The title of his blog is Larry Ferlazo's Websites of the Day. In the first post I read published on November 15, 2010, Larry provided a website for Bloom's Taxonomy. The website he gave can be seen here. My comment on this post was this: My name is Morgan Mohler and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I really enjoyed looking through your blog and all of the helpful links you have posted here. I think it is a really neat idea to post at least one helpful website a day! This link is especially helpful to me because for the first time in my college career almost all of my classes have been focused around this Bloom's Taxonomy! I will be posting my thoughts on your blog on my blog ( in a couple of weeks if you would like to check it out! Thanks again for sharing! On the second post I read he provided a link for the 10 best iPhone Apps for eBook Reading. The list included B&N eReader, iPDF, Kindle for iPhone, Read lite, Stanza, BookShelf LT, Wattpad, Wirdy, eBooks by Kobo, and Quick Reader lite. He also included a link for tips for beginning iPhone users. For this blog I commented the following: My name is Morgan Mohler and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I think this information provided is very useful for educators, students, and leisure users alike. One eReader I thought to be particularly interesting was the iPDF. A lot of my classes involve looking through PDF files and it can be a rather tricky task trying to do so on my iPhone. I also liked that you included a link for beginning iPhone users. Since the phone doesn’t come with a manual it can be rather difficult to try and figure everything out on your own! I will be posting my thoughts on your blog on my blog ( in a couple of weeks if you would like to check it out! Thanks again for sharing!

C4K 8-11 Summary

C4K #8: For assignment number 8, I was assigned to read the Alba Middle School Blog. This blog was simply a picture of two holes on the USS Alabama and the student was wondering what they should title the picture. My comment for this post was: Hi! My name is Morgan Mohler! I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class! I am so excited that you are blogging and also taking an interest in photography! I love taking pictures, it's such a fun way to capture your thoughts and now you can share your pictures AND your thoughts through blogging! Keep up the great work!

C4K #9: For assignment number 9, I was assigned to read Eliza's blog. This blog post was titled "The Funny Times I had at Queensland." In this post, Eliza talks about her trip to Queensland with her friend Bethany. She got stuck on one ride called the 'Aqualoop.' On this ride, you go into a little box and then the floor falls out from underneath you and you go plummeting down  a water slide very fast. Instead of crossing her arms and legs like she was supposed to be, they were uncrossed because she was so scared thus she got stuck in the water slide. Luckily, it happens all of the time so there was an easy and safe way for her to get out. My comment on this blog was: Hi Eliza!My name is Morgan and I am a student at the University of South Alabama here in Mobile, AL. I was assigned to read your blog as a part of Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class. First of all, I have to say that you are a very brave person! There is no way I could have ever gotten on that ride! It sounds super scary!! Second, I am glad that you are using blogs as a way to keep up with your memories! Blogging is such a good habit to pick up and it will definitely help you both now and in the future! Keep up the good work!!

C4K #10: For assignment number 10, I was assigned to read Amy's blog from Mrs. Huebner's class. The title of the post was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and it was published on November 12, 2010. In this post, Amy discusses how her class used Skype to talk to another school, Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania about various things. They talked about famous foods, and the students at Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament showed her class the song they use to remember the 50 states in alphabetical order. My comment for Amy was: My name is Morgan and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama! I think it is great that you and your class are getting in to blogging! Blogging is such a great way to enhance your writing skills, and express your thoughts and opinions. It is also exciting to hear that your class is using Skype to communicate with other schools! Skype is such a good tool for students to use to learn about students in other areas! You are doing a great job, keep up the good work!

C4K #11: For assignment number 11, I was assigned to read Clare's blog from Mrs. Haugen's Sixth Grade Class. Her post was titled "The Chalkboard Kid." In this post, Clare gives a brief summary of the a book she has read called The Chalkboard Kid. Basically, the book is about a boy and his father who are forced to get a new home when his dad loses his job and his uncle ends up moving in with them also. My comment for clare was: Hi Clare, My name is Morgan and I am a student of Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your blog post! It just goes to show how useful blogs really are! You were able to give a summary of your book that you read using your blog and you will always have this to go back and read if you ever need to be refreshed about the book! Your blogging looks great, keep up the great work!!!

Final Post on PLN

    I created my Personal Learning Network using the website Symbaloo. The picture above is a screenshot of my PLN. The general concept I ended up with for my PLN was to create a place where I could keep track of all of the helpful information that I came across during the course of EDM 310. By compiling all of the information into one PLN, I can access it easily without having to try to think of the website or tirelessly google something until I find it.
    The two columns on the far left are the areas designated for free tools and helpful websites that I have come across during this semester and wanted to keep track of for the future. These include: the Alabama Learning Exchange, Alabama State Department of Education website, ACCESS, Google Squared, Wolfram Alpha, Scribd, Screenr, iTunes U- podcasts and helpful information, TimeToast for creating timelines, 100 ways to use your iPod to learn, SmartExchange- Smartboard lesson plans and other useful resources, and Teacher's Hub- information on how to use Smartboards and enhance your current skills. The three columns in the middle section are devoted to videos that I came across during the course of this class that I really enjoyed and wanted to have handy to go back and re-watch in the future. These videos include: Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, Michael Wesch- The Machine is Changing Us, Sir Ken Robinson Changing Education Paradigms, The TED Website, Sugata Mitra, Virtual Choir, the iSchool Initiative, Wendy Drexler: The Networked Student, and Daniel Pink- Two Questions that can Change Your Life. The top right hand corner of my PLN is made up of blogs. This includes my blog, the class blog, and teacher's blogs that I enjoyed- The Nerdy Teacher, Mr. Chamberlain's At The Teacher's Desk, Lisa Thumann's Thumann Resources, and Mr. McClung's blog Mr. McClung's World. Finally, the links on the bottom right hand corner are websites that I visit daily, with the exception of the class blog of course. These websites are gmail, South Alabama website, USA Online, Facebook, Twitter, CNN,, AOL, and Yahoo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Project #15

Blog Post #13

Alabama Learning Exchange Logo

     The Alabama Learning Exchange is a website full of resources and tools for teachers to use. One of the sections on the website is called Lesson Plans. On this section, teachers can access lesson plans made by other teachers so that they can get ideas for their own lesson plans. Another section available is the Courses of Study section. This section allows teachers to search information about curriculum details at all different grade levels, or you can select by subject. A teacher can use their Personal Workspace section to prepare for class by putting their ideas on the site for reference. Teachers can also store their lesson plans and teacher webpages here. Other sections on the exchange include Web Links which have web resources for teachers to access, Profession Learning which includes links to teach teachers how to use a variety of technology tools i.e. internet/email, multimedia applications, google tools, etc, a Podcast Treasure which contains multiple podcasts for all of the subjects that students cover in school including mathematics, history, and science, and lastly a Search section which can be used for obvious reasons.
     I think that ALEX is a very resourceful website to know about. When I begin teaching I will be definitely be using it for ideas and to compare/contrast the materials in my classroom against those in other classrooms in the state of Alabama. It will also be helpful to use the Professional Learning page just so I can assure myself that I am staying as up to date on technology as possible. This site is one that every teacher should know about.

Additional Assignment #5

Pencil: The Original Computer

In Sketchy Portraits, I think the main ideas were that technology and the ways we teach students are changing and we, as teachers, must adapt to these changes and make changes ourselves. What made me think that is the line where he talks about accepting the duality of the students vs. accepting the rules and the structure of school. I think the meaning behind He Just Likes the Class for the Pencils was that students will exhibit better behavior and respect, if they are treated in the same way. Teachers cannot expect students to be respectful to a teacher who appears arrogant and does not show any confidence in their students. In the final post we were to read, The Medium Shapes the Learning, I think the message was that while some tools are appropriate to enhancing education, some only serve as a bigger distraction. We have to be careful what technology we bring into our classrooms, and be positive that they are actually going to help the students learn more and learn easier. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Project #16 Report

My group for project 16 is myself, Kristen Hayes, and Kathryn Buchanan. We are going to do our project on how technology can be helpful to educate students about other cultures. We are going to explore the ways blogs, Skype, and wikis can be used in the classroom to educate students on cultures from around the world. We will also talk about how we will use these tools and other technology in our classrooms. Once we get all of our information and videos together we are going to compile it all together using Glogster.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Google Forms Analysis Project #6

USA Parking Ticket on Windshield

    My Google form asked students several questions regarding the parking situation here at the University of South Alabama. I got a total of seventeen responses to my form. The most popular parking zone was East, which 29% of the students selected as their parking zone. Majority of the responders(76%) said it only takes them between 0-5 minutes to find a spot in their designated zone. However, only 47% of the students had classes that start between 8:00-10:00. I personally think that 8:00 classes are the easiest to find parking spaces for. Only 24% are late to class because they have had to circle the parking lot so many times trying to find a spot. Almost exactly half of the responders gave USA's parking situation a rating of 5 or below, on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being "very satisfied." Only 48% rated it as a 5 or below, but 65% agreed that the JagTran system was not a good solution to the parking problems. 71% agreed that South needs to add new parking zones but the majority of the responders were satisfied with the system of having one parking permit per student.
    In my analysis, I found some of the statistics to be contradicting/surprising. Four students from the survey have housing decals, but only 3 of the 4 say they are late to class because of parking. I feel like I have heard so many students that live on campus complain of being late because they could not drive to class with out getting a ticket that I was expecting the housing students to be the most disgruntled with the parking system. Another thing that I did not really understand was none of the students really showed that the parking situation as is had any significantly negative effects on their daily activities but the majority agreed that South needed to add more parking. If parking is fine now, why should we add more?

Blog Post #12

Instructions: Watch Adora Svitak: What Adults Can Learn From Kids (8:13)
  Write a post in which you discuss the main points of this video and include the following information as well. While watching this video, pay attention to what Adora says about how adults think compared to how children think. If teachers were to begin thinking more like children, how do you think that would affect the classrooms? Also pay attention to what she says about kids being the generation that will bring the world forward. How do you feel that technology will play an impact in this movement forward? Where do you think our classrooms will be 10 years from now as far as the use of technology? How old is Adora? Find out more about this child prodigy and her book, and post this information on your blog as well.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Project #14

Twitter logo
One thing that I feel like is an important tool in this class is Twitter. Dr. Strange has mentioned Twitter on countless occasions in various assignments. And I admit, after finally getting one and figuring out all of the logistics of it, it has been a very useful tool especially for my PLN. Twitter is a way of connecting with other people who share your interests. But it is more than this, it is a way of connecting people from different countries and cultures and bringing them all to one place communicating to each other. Some have even called Twitter a "microblogging tool" since it is a way to get your opinions out on the internet, but it limits you to an 140 character post. For Project #14, I decided to create a .PDF file of instructions on how to operate a Twitter account effectively. These Instructions can be found below.
Project 14

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blog Post #11

Students Using Technology in the ClassroomMs. Cassidy is a First grade teacher in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. In the first video we were assigned to watch, the different techniques that she uses in her classroom were described. Those methods were blogging, webpage, wikis, videos, Skype and Nintendo DS. The blogging improves the students' writing and promotes positive feedback amongst peers. They use their webpage to find information about different things and in the video they used Wikis to learn about different things like traditions and rituals by posting questions and having responders. Skype allows the students to speak to different people from all over and have virtual face to face contact with people that they would normally never come into contact with. Videos are used to help the students learn different information, for example they used a song to help them learn the alphabet and the letters using a video. The last way was the most surprising to me and that was the Nintendo DS. The students use these popular game systems to become better problem solvers while learning how to share at the same time.
    The technique described that I would really like to see used in my classroom is the Nintendo DS or the popular game system equivalent at that time. Nintendo DS is a very popular item amongst children and there are several educational games that can be purchased to go along with it. This way, children are learning quite a lot about role playing from games like the one the children played in the video and also from more educational games and having fun at the same time. I think some impediments I might encounter with this method are funding and keeping the students focused. I would have to come up with a plan to provide these for my classroom and I could try to get a grant like Ms. Cassidy did, or have a fundraiser of some sort. Also, since it is a "fun" gaming console, the children would probably be easily distracted or tempted to want to play games that are less educational than others. I would have to have only educational games in the classroom, and rarely mention other games other than what is already in the classroom. Children have an innocence that can be really beneficial in this area mostly because if you don't constantly mention it, you have a greater chance of them not even knowing there are other game options.
      In the Skype interview we watched, Ms. Cassidy mentioned a lot of eye opening points for me and shared a lot of information about the technology in her classroom. She has been using Webpages in her classroom for about 10 years and she has had a classroom blog for about 5 years. She did mention that she is constantly adding technology to her classroom which is a sign that she is constantly changing her routines. One thing that she mentioned that really stood out to me was her response to Dr. Strange's comment about students' opinions that they are not going to be using technology in their classrooms. She really emphasized that technology is not going to go away, and we cannot keep teaching students in this day and age with methods that were used 20 years ago. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

C4T Teacher #3 Summary

The teacher that I was assigned to for C4T #3 was Jenny She. The title of her blog is Jenny's Learning Journey! The date of the first post I read was September 26, 2010 and was titled "We had  a Dragon Dance at the Cultural Festivals at our School." In this post she discussed how she volunteered to make a cultural item for her school's Cultural Festivities in September. The idea that she came up with was the Dragon Dance which she worked on with Helen Squires. To make the dance even more festive, they added Kung Fu and an Umbrella Dance to the performance. Below is the video that was included in her blog:
In my comments for this post I said the following: "Hi Jenny, My name is Morgan Mohler and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently taking EDM 310 with Dr. Strange. I think that it is really neat that your school has cultural festivities and they sound really fun and educational! When the content the children are learning is fun, they actually want to learn it! I also think that it is really important for students to learn about different cultures! Is this something y'all do once a year or once a month? It sounds like a really fun way for everyone to get involved!! If you would like to contact me you can via my blog:!"
When I revisited Jenny's blog for comment #2, she had no new post so I commented on the post prior to this one. It was dated July 7, 2010 and was titled "We Should Listen to the Kids."In this post she discusses how when she went to school, the students opinions were never really important to the teachers. However, when she became a teacher in the 21st century, she was required to use a Mac computer and had no idea how to. Even though she had no idea, she was embarassed to ask her colleagues because she did not want them to know that she did not know how to use it. The only way she was going to learn was by asking her students, so she did. They successfully taught her how to operate the Mac computer and she has now become quite skilled at it. She was surprised by the fact that whenever she asks them for help, they never ask why she doesn't already know how to do it or make remarks like that. She describes the students as having a collaborative learning nature which adults still struggle to achieve. In her blog post, she included a video that friend recently posted on Facebook. I have attached it below. In the video it shows a child discussing her feelings on how children are viewed today.

My comments for this post were as follows: "Hi, My name is Morgan Mohler and I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama! I really enjoyed this post, and the video as well! It is so refreshing to see adults not afraid to admit that they need help from younger people! Children are definitely a lot smarter than we often like to think that they are! I am so glad that you posted this video because it was a very touching video indeed! I think I will use it for my upcoming project in EDM 310 where we have to make a blog post assignment! If you would like to read my summaries for your post, or even my upcoming post about this video you can visit my blog at!"

Summary Post C4K 3-7

kids.jpgC4K #3: For this assignment, I was assigned Miss Walters' year 4 and 5 students from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. The post which I read was about a video the students created for something they call Fia Fia Night. They included the video that the class created together. It was an animation about Justin Beiber's song "Never Say Never." In my comment, I told the students that I was not sure what a Fia Fia Night was but that I really liked their enthusiasm about it. I also told them that I was impressed with the way that they worked together to create this video.
C4K #4: For C4k #4, I was assigned to read Shara's blog. The date of the post was September 1, 2010. In this post she discussed her fondness of playing Netball and her team. Most of the post consisted of her just naming all of her friends that were on her team. She also mentioned that Her team had won all of their games except two. In my comment I told her that I was glad to see her taking an interest in blogging. I also stated that I thought it was good that she had an activity that allowed her to get some exercise while having fun with her friends. It sounded like she had a pretty good team, which is of course a bonus.
C4K #5:  For this assignment, I was assigned to read a student's blog from Miss W's class in Australia. The student was in the 7th grade. In his post he discusses how he sees whales from the school bus on his way to school in the mornings. He talks about how big the whales are and how exciting it is to see them. In my comment I told him that the closest beach I lived to was over an hour away and that I had never seen a whale in person before. I said that I bet it's really a neat thing to be able to see every day just on a whim and to keep up the good blogging techniques!
C4K #6: I found this comment for kids to be exceptionally touching. This assignment had me reading a young boy named Colton D's blog and the particular post was titled "War in Afghanistan." In this post, Colton discusses the fact that his brother will soon be leaving his family to go off to fight in the war for our country. He heard on the radio about a roadside bombing killing some American soldiers, and that really upset him. Right now his brother is signed up for the infantry, but he might be a scout for snipers. Also, they have purchased a computer and web cam for him to take with him so that he can stay in touch while he is away. I spent a lot of time thinking of the right comment to leave on this particular post. Basically, I told him that I knew it would be hard to have his brother be so far away from the family and that it would be scary but that he was doing a very noble deed for our country. I tried to encourage him by reminding him that he would still be able to see his brother thanks to technology and that before he knew it his brother would be on his way back to the States!
C4K #7: For student number 7, I was assigned to read a 5th grade student named Molly's blog. The title of her post was "Red Ribbon Week." In this post she discussed her views on drugs and drug users. She feels bad for people who do drugs and thinks that they need to change their lifestyles. Her ultimate goal is to put a cap on drugs. In my comment I told her that I was very inspired to see someone her age taking a stand against drugs and drug use. I encouraged her to keep up her mindset and to keep working towards her goal of putting a cap on drugs! I also mentioned that her blog looked really nice and that she should keep up her blogging because it is a good way to spread her message!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Additional Assignment #3

6a00d83451b64669e200e553a7e1f48833-popup.jpgSir Ken Robinson: Changing Educational Paradigms
      I think that there were a lot of things that were said in this video that I would call "important." One of them was definitely this quote: "Trying to meet the future by doing what they did in the past." I feel like this is a common concern in many of our assigned readings and videos, and it obviously needs to be addressed because it is affecting so many people. I also thought his argument with ADHD was pretty important, and much debated. However, it was also the portion of the presentation of the video that I disagree with the most. At one point he mentioned that students are being "penalized" for getting distracted from "boring stuff." Almost like, obviously boring stuff is going to distract students. As a student who has been treated for ADHD for 7 years and still receive treatment, I feel like I can safely say that many people are mislead in their arguments against the treatment. The "boring stuff" is not the only thing that students get distracted from. I often find myself distracted from even things I enjoy, like television shows or movies and I often have to go back and watch it again just to know what happened because it is so easy to get distracted. I also think that the argument that treating attention disorders is harming the arts. I don't think of myself as any less creative than I was when I wasn't being treated. I still participate in the same activities, I still play piano. My creativity level has not been altered at all. To say that treatment should not necessarily occur would also have negative effects in the classroom. If you have these students with hyperactivity disorders they are going to be distracting both themselves and their classmates.
      Many of the ideas in the presentation were consistent with ideas that I have learned in my classes this semester in the College of Education. One thing that I have heard repeatedly is that a college degree no longer guarantees a job, you have to go above and beyond a degree to stand out from your peers. Also, we talk at length about reforming our public education system in my classes and creating a more modern system of education. 

Blog Post #10

graduatepencilrgb.jpgTom Johnson- Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home
     I really enjoyed reading this post and trying to figure out its message. In the post the two faculty members discuss the consequences of allowing children to take home pencils and use them at home. Gertrude argues that students who use pencils at home have lower standardized test scores. However, to counter that argument the point is made that in lower-income schools, students come in with a mentality that pencils are to be used for entertainment. The low test scores really have nothing to do with students using pencils at home. One quote that really stood out to me was this: "There's probably some learning that's taking place that we don't realize." I think this quote applies to many activities that children participate in. There are important educational ideas to be learned behind every activity, regardless of how significant the activity itself may actually seem. I think the same applies with technology, if we give students the time to just play around with technology on their own, they are going to be able to teach themselves and they will learn a lot of information about technology from it. I think this post really ties in with the video from our Additional Assignment #2.
Morgan Bayda's Post
    I thought that Morgan's post was really eye opening, and I really enjoyed the video that she included as well. She definitely described some scenarios that were relatable to my own experiences here at University of South Alabama. One of these scenarios would be when she discussed not being able to keep her brain focused during lectures. Sometimes we unfortunately have teachers that are just not concerned with keeping students interested in the material, and it becomes very simple to just drift off. I do believe that I am getting a good education here at South and as a whole I don't feel like I am wasting 4 years. However, I do think that some of my classes and experiences could have been better, more informational. A lot of the times I feel like I am taking a "cop-out" class just to get the credits needed to move on. Like Morgan, I feel like classes like EDM 310 are very beneficial in preparing students to handle technology and do better research. I think part of this sense of accomplishment comes from the fact that we have to do a lot of things for ourselves and figure them out using just the Instruction Manual. I have said it before and I'll say it again, I think that hands on learning is one of the best methods for retaining information and really getting a good grip on the materials being taught. 
     The video included in this post was of a student named Dan who dropped out of the University of Nebraska because he felt like going to school was getting in the way of him actually learning. He discusses how the universities in America are failing to advance and improve while the rest of the world is changing. I think this ties in with what I stated previously, if schools aren't going to get their students as involved in the material as possible, students are going to feel like they're wasting their time sitting behind closed doors when they could be out in the world actually doing stuff. 
Two Questions That Can Change Your Life
      I really, really enjoyed this video. Even though it wasn't very long, it brought a powerful message to the table and really got you thinking. The two questions presented in the video were: 1) What is my sentence? and 2) Was I better today than yesterday? Everyone should have a sentence about who they are and what they are doing in their life. We should use this sentence to navigate our lives and stay focused. I don't know that I can really say what my sentence is right now, I still need more time to figure out exactly where I am going.  However, I can say that I hope my sentence will be " I am doing my best to keep students focused on the positive outcomes of every situation: good or bad." Or at least something close to that. For the second question, I try to be better every day but it can often be a struggle. Some days I can really tell myself confidently that yes, I have been better. But we all must realize that we are human and humans make mistakes, we can't always expect to go forward in everything we do- but we can certainly put our best efforts forward.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Blog Post #9

FYE Logo.JPG.jpgWhat I've Learned This Year- Mr. McClung
    In this post by Mr. McClung, he discusses the most important lessons that he learned during his first year of teaching. The first lesson he discusses is how to read the crowd. Teachers often become consumed by the idea that they are the most important person in the classroom. However, they need to realize that the audience- their students- are really the ones who drive the instruction. Teachers need to remember to check for students' comprehension instead of just gliding right through the lessons. The second piece of advice he offers is to be flexible. You may have the ability to create the perfect lesson, but that does not mean that everything will go according to plan. The most important thing for teachers to remember in this situation is that things are going to happen and things are not always going to go according to plan.When things go wrong, you have to make the best of the situation and keep going. The third lesson he discussed was about communication. Communication is essential in any workplace and it is absolutely necessary to have strong relationships with your fellow teachers. The fourth lesson was to be reasonable. Often times teachers set goals for their students that are simply not attainable. When teachers set their students up to "fail" in a sense it is only going to hurt their self-esteem. When discussing this lesson he stated "Our job as teachers is to simply pick them up after they fail, dust them off, and encourage them to try again." This quote really stood out to me because I think it speaks volumes of what our expected role as a teacher is. We have to be positive reinforcements for our students, we cannot constantly bring them down if they do not perform at certain levels. We need to make sure that they learn the material and give feedback in the most positive way possible. The fifth lesson was simply to not be afraid of technology. Technology is becoming more and more a part of our education systems, thus it will be critical that we master it. The only way to learn technology is by using it and not being afraid of it. The final lesson discussed in his post was to listen to your students. Student teacher relationships are important to have in a good classroom. One way to assure the appropriate level of respect is present in those relationships is to listen to your students. It is important to take interest in students' lives and to just take time to listen to the things they have to say. 
     I really enjoyed reading his post and I am so grateful that we were able to see into the first year of the rest of our lives. I think it will be really beneficial for us to know kind of what to expect. Also, I am only a junior so I was able to read this post and get an idea of what I need to be working on to be prepared. For example, I know for fact that I am the type of person who sets goals that are extremely high. Knowing that I cannot do this with my students, I can start working on setting more attainable goals now so that I have hopefully mastered it by the time I graduate. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Additional Assignment #2

How Kids Teach Themselves

1. What do you think? If learners are motivated, can they teach themselves?
I think that yes, if someone really has the desire and drive to learn then it is definitely possible for them to teach themselves.     2. If those motivated learners are kids, can they teach themselves?
I think to an extent they can teach themselves but it would certainly be a more limited selection as to what they could teach. However, as demonstrated in the video, the kids quickly taught themselves how to use computers in the other countries. 3. What conditions are necessary for kids to teach themselves? For anyone to teach him or herself?
I think the only thing that really needs to be present for the kids to learn is a really strong want to learn! If you can set your mind to it, then you are clearly willing to do what it takes to learn the best that you can. 4. What role do computers and internet access play in the process?
Computers and internet definitely facilitate the learning process easier and faster. With computers, children have immediate access to literally unlimited amounts of information about the world around them. However, I don't necessarily see them as an absolute requirement. With or without, a child can learn.5. What role does motivation, a desire to learn?
Motivation is what drives you to learn, it's what makes you willing to put up with all of the "brick walls" as Randy Pausch calls them. 6. What roles do a problem, a question or multiple problems or questions play in the process?
It depends on the learner, problems could easily discourage someone who is trying to learn. However, if the problems or questions are seen in the right light then they can really be good learning opportunities along the way. 7. How do you motivate someone to learn?
Feedback is really important for motivation. I also think that encouragement is very important as well. If students know that someone actually cares that they are doing well, then that will drive them to do even better.8. How are you motivated to learn?
I am motivated to learn by a number of things. One, I'm on scholarship so I kind of need to keep that up. However, even before I had a scholarship I was motivated to learn by feedback. Seeing how proud my parents would be when I got a good grade on a test or a paper really drove me to keep doing well in school.9. Can anyone who is not motivated to learn learn?
It's definitely more of a challenge to teach someone who is not motivated to learn, but it's not impossible.10. Do you teach yourself? When? Why?
I do often find myself teaching myself things. One specific time I remember very vividly was my freshmen year here at South. I was taking a math class and I just really didn't get the methods the teacher was using to teach the materials. Every day after class, I would go home and get my books out and just teach myself how to do it in a way that I understood it better. I did it because I knew that this was something that I could be good at and all it was was a misunderstanding in the teaching methods.11. What role does a teacher (either answer generally or use a specific example) play in your learning?
A teacher plays a huge role in my learning. One of my biggest motivators in high school was one of my teachers and I still talk to her to this day. Also, teachers I have now are important obviously because they are the ones teaching me the materials that I am currently learning. 12. What is the most important idea, question or emotional response you take away with you as a result of watching this video?
The most emotional response that I took away from this video was seeing the children in the less developed countries using the computers and figuring things out and watching them enjoy technology and actually being able to learn. 13. What other questions or issues are raised by this video that should be considered and discussed by aspiring teachers?
I think the most important thing for aspiring teachers to understand is how big of a role model they are going to be for their students and providing positive feedback and loving attention is priceless for a child.

TimeToast Timeline Project 9b

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blog Post #8

Richard Miller: This is How We Dream
   In parts one and two of this video, Richard Miller discusses changes in the way we write and share knowledge. In today's society, our workspace is a desktop. A desktop where we can type on Word Processing applications and you can research anything you want that is stored on the web. Books now have two forms- in print and a virtual, online form. The print form can disappear, but the virtual form will be online all of the time. Having dual forms makes the possibility of sharing knowledge infinite. Online/Virtual texts bring together text, images and videos all in one space. You can see things in an instant. One quote that really struck me was this "Ideas don't belong to us individually, but they belong to us as a culture." We can access almost anything we want to on the internet, and as teachers it will be our job to share our ideas without hesitation. Miller believes that students will eventually compose using digital composing materials instead of word processing. Composing on the web itself allows us to speak our dreams and share them with other people through the internet.
   I do not know that I am prepared to write with multimedia. It seems extremely detailed and intense but it makes sense as to why it is coming. Technology is our future. I think that if things continue to develop at such a rapid pace there is no question whether or not my students will be able to do this. That being said, if my students will be able to do this then I myself must also learn how to do this so that I will be able to help my students.
Chipper Series & EDM 310 For Dummies
    I thought that both of these videos were very interesting and well thought out. Both groups had very creative ideas and really made them interesting to watch. It's hard to watch other people's work then have to think of ideas for your own because you have that mental block where all you can come up with are the ideas you have just seen. For my video I think it would be fun to maybe do a talk show, or a reality show with different characters and contestants and scenarios. I still need to put more thought into it, but I think if I carried it out right it could really work. The primary message of Chipper Series was that you have to step up to the plate and do the work for yourself. If you go through life expecting other people to pick up your slack you are not going to make it very far. Life is hard, work is hard, but if you want to make something of yourself, you have to be willing to do the work and to make the effort. The primary message of EDM 310 For Dummies was that at first the students did not really understand the class or what they were doing in the class and thought it was pointless. They did not understand the websites they were being told to use like twitter, blogger, etc. However, once they learned how to use the tools properly and to the best benefit, they realized how beneficial all of it really was. The tools we learn in EDM 310 really are very beneficial. What we are doing in EDM 310 is not a waste of time, it is very helpful for us.
The Great SmartBoard Debate
    Both Michael Staton and Bill Ferriter's posts argue strongly against Smartboards. Staton argues that all Smartboards do is keep teachers from having to use a mouse and allows teachers to save content on the whiteboard which is something they could already do using screen shot. He notes that Smartboards are just a more expensive version of something that classrooms already have. They do not change what the teacher has to do nor do they decrease their workload. He also argues that they are an "administrative cop  out." The administration likes to spend money on technology and they like to spend it on big things that they can point to and count up. Ferriter agrees that Smartboards are no good. After using his Smartboard for a brief period, he actually gave his Smartboard away. He said that it was useless and did not make teaching his required curriculum any easier. Ferriter thinks that "Interactive whiteboards are an under-informed and irresponsible purchase." They do little to promote independent learning and imagination in children. He feels that by purchasing Smartboards, people are actually trying to buy the change they want to see in the classroom.
    However, in a blog I found by Patrick Black he strongly argues for the use of Smartboards linking them to special education. In his post "Smartboards & Special Education," he lists 5 reasons why Smartboards should be included in every special education classroom. 1) It's big; special education students respond well to visuals and using Smartboards teachers can implement very large visuals as well as share information with the entire classroom at one time. 2) It's flexible; Smartboards allow teachers to change what they're doing or looking at while still teaching without any major disruptions. 3) It's interactive; students do not have to worry about operating a mouse and a keyboard with a Smartboard. Instead they can just use the touch and click method and use pens if they wish, it's really much easier to use. 4) It's easy; most people can jump right into using a Smartboard, it may require a little training at most. Also, software works seamlessly with Smartboards for easy use. 5) It's fun; there are an endless number of fun activities for both student and teacher to do using the Smartboard technology. For information about his thoughts on Smartboards and their benefits you can visit his blog here.

TimeToast Timeline Project 9a

PLN Project #10 Progress Report

I am using Symbaloo to create my Personal Learning Network. It is still very much a work in progress, but I am slowly but surely figuring it all out. Some of the social aspects I have included in my Personal Learning Network are Facebook and Twitter. My Twitter account is morganmohler310. I am using my Twitter account to follow a great number of the teachers on the list from our syllabus as well as more "fun" things like various photographers since I am really interested in photography. For my educational aspects of my Personal Learning Network I am using the class blog, my EDM 310 blog, USA Online since I do A LOT of my school work through that website, USA Home site, the online USA library and various other websites that I frequently visit such as the Alabama State Department of Education website. I am still tweaking it and trying to make it perfect. For our next report on our Personal Learning Networks I am going to include a link so that everyone may visit it and see it for themselves. Right now it is still a little disorganized!

C4T Teacher #2

For these assignments I was assigned to the teachers Jarrod Lamshed, William Chamberlain, et. al. and their blog At The Teachers Desk. For my first comment, I commented on a post that was published August 27, 2010 entitled Student Learning Manifesto. This post was about getting his students to create a learning manifesto. He wants the students to consider 3 or 4 positive actions that thay can use to become a bettwe student. He included a video of Kiley, a student, in which she discusses her learning manifesto. One of the things she included in her manifesto was to use what she learns in school in every day life. On this post I commented that I think the Student Manifesto is a really good idea to get students involved in their learning. I think it is very important for students to learn at a young age that goals are important. They should create both challenging and realistic goals. By getting the students to come up with their own, it allows them to evaluate their own performance and figure out what areas need improving. When I become a teacher one day, I plan on trying to get students involved in as much hands on learning as possible because I think that the more kids actually do with the material, the more information they retain about it.  The second post I commented on was posted on September 30, 2010. In this post, a role as a team teacher of a math course is being discussed. One quote that really stood out to me was "Students are expected me to be able to help them identify why they don't 'get' something. How can this great professional development for me if I am not comfortable?" He talks about how he has become a student again, having to relearn this material with the students as they learn it. He feels that he is in over his head on this project because he feels uncomfortable since he does not understand the material fully either. However, through his team teaching he is learning both math and how to be a better teacher. For this post I commented that I thought what he was doing was really great and sometimes it is difficult to do things we are not absolutely 100% comfortable doing. Often times it is the ones we are most unsure of ourselves that we learn the greatest amount of information. It is inspiring to see someone so willing to discuss their self doubts and to over come those doubts as well. 

Blog Post #7

LastLectureCover.jpgRandy Pausch: The Last Lecture
    First, I want to say that I am so glad this blog post assignment came when it did. It was such good timing for me personally. It's the middle of the semester and I've reached that point where I'm just sick of school and want to be done and this was a good motivator for me to keep going. Before watching this, I had heard a lot of good things about it but had never gotten around to actually watching the video.
     In this lecture, Pausch discusses his childhood dreams, how he achieved them, and the lessons he has learned from them. His childhood dreams were: zero gravity, to play in the NFL, being an author in the World Book Encyclopedia, Being/Meeting Captain Kirk, winning stuffed animals, and being a Disney Imagineer. In some way or another, he achieved all of these dreams but one- playing in the NFL. However, it is this dream that he cites as being the dream that he learned the most from. He played football as a kid and one day at practice his coach rode him all day about what he was doing wrong and he never let up. When he was telling someone about this particular day at practice they told him something that changed his views completely. They said "When you're screwing up and nobody's saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up." This quote inspired not only him, but me as well when I heard it. You never really think about things in that light and so when someone shows it to you, it really opens your eyes up.
     After going through his list of childhood dreams and how each was accomplished or not, he goes on to talk about enabling the childhood dreams of others. He realized that he could do that by being a professor. He is a professor at Carnegie Mellon and he created a course called "Building Virtual Worlds."  There were 50 students in this course from all different colleges at the school. In the course, they were divided into 4 person teams to do projects 2 weeks at a time. At the end of the 2 weeks the groups would present their projects and over time more and more people came to watch these presentations. In his lecture, he included an example of one of the projects- the bunny and creating the world. I thought the  video was really cool and it was neat to watch someone just wave their hands and something come up on the screen. Eventually the class became a campus phenomenon. At the presentations, he tried to involve the audience using technology that was also used at the premiere of Spider Man 3 in LA. The technology let the audience control what was on the screen.
      He taught this course for 10 years before passing it along to someone else and creating something new. He worked with another staff member to create the Entertainment Technology Center. The ETC is a two year profession masters degree. When he was describing the course he said it was like Cirque du Soleil. People say Cirque du Soleil is like a circus, but not like any circus you have ever seen. ETC is a masters degree, but not like any masters degree you've ever seen. The course was all project based and really technology centered. At the end of this segment he said something really cool about how he felt about the ETC: "Millions of kids having fun while learning something hard." I think that quote speaks wonders about technology in the classroom. Kids find technology interesting, exciting and new. If we can merge something they find so exciting with education, they are really going to learn a lot more and it will most likely be easier for them to do so.
       The final topic of discussion was lessons learned. The lessons he has learning throughout are: mentors are important, work hard, don't complain, never lose the child-like wonder- it's what drives us, help others, have fun, loyalty is a 2-way street, never give up, be honest, focus on others, and show gratitude. If you lead your life the right way, the dreams will come to you. The very last thing he said in his lecture was my absolute favorite part of the entire thing. In the last seconds of the speech he said "This talk's not for you, it's for my kids."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

C4K Posts 1&2 Summary

For my first two assignments of C4K, I was assigned a student at Noel Jr. High. She is in the 8th grade there. Some of the things she enjoys are volleyball, family and Mexico. In my comments on her about me post I told her I was a college student and that I also played volleyball in middle school. I also encouraged her to keep blogging and working hard in school.

The 3 key points in her Learning Manifesto were to 1) Pay more attention in class, 2) Turn in her work on time, and 3) Never give up on her work. In my comments on this post I encouraged her to stick with her manifesto. I told her that she should never give up on her work and that nothing was impossible, some things just take longer than others. Also, being punctual is a valuable action to get in the habit of and it is something that is really positive trait for an individual to have. Finally, paying attention is essential in learning new materials so I thought that was very important to include as well.

I really enjoyed getting to know her and I really hope she sticks with her manifesto and has an extremely successful school year!

Blog Post #6

The Networked Student- Wendy Drexler
 I thought this video was both very informative and very relatable. It adequately described to the viewers what a networked student was- a student who does not necessarily have a text book and does majority of their learning through a self-created personal learning network about whatever subject he/she is learning. As a student of this EDM 310 class, I am a networked student. We are each taught to create our own personal learning networks did facilitate our learning experiences. This situation described in the video really reminded me of USA's Hybrid classes, we see the teacher maybe once a week and the rest is left up to us to learn. We have access to USA Online in which we can network with our classmates and discuss our classwork and have regular chapter discussions. We can also each other's questions if they have any because we are able to post it online.
 The purpose of having a teacher for the networked student is very logical. Student's do not automatically know how to create these learning networks, so they need teachers to be there to guide them, tell them how to do it, advise them on how to differentiate between reliable and non-reliable sources, and to help them take advantage of all of the learning opportunities presented to them.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (PLE)
 This student's personal learning environment was extremely impressive. It's so strange to see how technologically advanced a seventh grader is these days. I really liked how organized it was and how she kept  her school materials separated from her "fun" things like social networks. She really took advantage of it and was able to show us how she was able to do her science work all through the internet and tie it into one easy location. My PLN is very much still a work in progress, so it's not nearly as impressive as hers. I definitely got some good ideas for my own PLN by watching this video.

The Machine is Changing Us- Michael Wesch
 I thought this video was very interesting and his speech was very well written and delivered. One of the first things he introduced was a concept of Media Ecology. The idea behind Media Ecology is that media are environments and that media mediates our conversations and our conversations then in turn change us. We are all shaped by the media. We rely on media to tell us everything, from how to dress to how to think. One thing I found particularly interesting was his comparison between the image of his classroom and the image of the crowd at American Idol auditions. The students in the classroom were extremely disengaged and uninterested in what was going on whereas the people at the auditions showed immense enthusiasm and interest.
 Another thing I found interesting was his question of "why do these people think they deserve to be stars?" and his response to is. When people come together to create media, they do so with one person in mind- you. The viewer, the listener, the reader. Each of us is the focus of concern for media creators. This idea that we are the target of this media creates a level of narcissism. The egotistical feature of this generation comes from that idea. That is why people truly believe they deserve to be stars.
 One of the most striking quotes of the whole presentation was "we know ourselves through our relations with others." I have found this to be true with myself in many situations. Through talking about things with other people, we learn a lot about ourselves and our views on various situations.
 I thought that Mr. Wesch did a good job at delivering the ideas and opinions he had to give and keeping the audience interested. He included things like funny quotes, funny clips and shocking statistics that always grabbed your attention. Some of the statistics I enjoyed were that over 1.7 million minutes of video are uploaded to YouTube daily, 99.9% of which are irrelevant to you. I think this is a very informative video that everyone should take the time to watch!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog Post #5

Podcast.gifA good number of this week's assignments for EDM 310 are focusing on our next big project: Podcasting! The three sources I chose to read for this Blog Post were The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom, Eagle's Nest Radio & Class Blog, and Judy Scharf Podcast Collection.
The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
In this video and blog post, Joe Dale tells of the many ways podcasts actually improve students' learning. He states that the generation that podcasts are really geared toward are millenials. A millenial is anyone that is born after 1980 who has never really experienced a world without technology. Podcasting provides content that can be listened to anytime, anywhere. It allows for differentiation in the classroom and for greater creativity amongst students. Using podcasts as a teacher is beneficial to the students because if a student is absent, he/she can still access that day's lessons right from home. Also it allows parents to become more involved in their student's learning by providing them the choice of downloading podcasts from their classroom and teachers. The students that were interviewed for this video really seemed more excited and enthusiastic about podcasts and found it to be a more interesting way of learning material. One tip that I will consider using in my own podcasts is using characters. By implementing characters and making it kind of like a television show, students are more intrigued by the podcasts and the content then becomes more memorable.
Eagle's Nest Radio & Class Blog
On this website there was a series of podcasts that a particular classroom of students had produced. The first podcast I listened to was "All Roads Lead to Rome." In this podcast the students had a good use of music and it really got the listeners attention. They gave the listener information about Roman architecture and key characters in ancient rome. The next podcast was all about traveling back in time. The students traveled back in time and held interviews with great explorers of history. The third podcast I listened to was about sharks and shark facts. One thing that I found particularly interesting about this podcast was the students' Make A Change segment. In this segment the students expressed their wishes to save sharks and show that kid's voices matter. It really gave the kids a chance to get involved in big issues at a young age and I thought that was really inspiring. The final podcast was a shark interview with an expert on sharks, Mr. Ward. The students had a pre-prepared list of questions they wanted to ask Mr. Ward about his diving experiences so there was never a moment of "awkward silence." One key idea that I will take from these podcasts and use in my own for EDM 310 is to have a prepared list of questions, if my group decides to do an interview type podcast. Also, something I really liked about these podcasts was that at the end they had a segment called "Rockin' Riddles."  In this segment a student came on and asked the listener riddles about the content they had just heard. I thought this was a really great way to make sure everyone was listening and to measure how much information the listeners were retaining.
Judy Scharf Podcast Collection
A podcast is a cross between "broadcast" and "iPod." It is a radio-style talk show that can be heard by millions of people over the internet. In her posts there was a lot of useful information on podcasting and benefits of doing so. Some of the benefits in education that she discussed were: available 24/7, parents can download classroom lectures, easy to make up missed classes, appeals to auditory learners, and allows an opportunity for students to enhance their communication skills by getting them to create podcasts as well. She also provided many links to documents on how to guarantee successful podcasting students and how to research, create and upload. I will use a lot of information from this site on my own podcasts for EDM 310. For one, I will use her suggestions for research when looking for information to include in my podcast. I will also use her step by step handout for audacity and how to upload if I find that I still need further instruction outside of our Class Instruction Manual. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Additional Assignment #1

A&B) Google Squared and Wolfram Alpha both offer distinct qualities. They are both fast and very efficient in the information they found on the topics that I searched. However, for one of my searches I searched "University of South Alabama" and found that the information provided by Google Squared was more accurate than the information from Wolfram Alpha. Therefore you should be a little cautious when using Wolfram Alpha for things such as research papers, etc. This method of searching is a much faster way of getting information so it saves students a lot of time. I also like that the information provided was so well organized.
C&D) I had not heard about Google Squared nor Wolfram Alpha prior to this assigment. I am definitely glad we were given this assignment because I will be using these methods of searching very often. It's easier to see all of the information in one place rather than doing multiple searches for everything you need. I am very excited about using Google Squared in my future studies!
E&F) This assignment did not really change my opinions on what I saw. The only thing that slightly changed was that I went back and realized that those numbers for India and China were so shocking initially but when you realize how many more people occupy those nations than our own it makes a little more sense. From this exercise I learned that I have to be more careful when reading statistics. You can't just take a statistic and leave it at that. You should get all of the background information on the subject(s) that that statistic covers. Statistics can easily be manipulative if you don't have full knowledge and background information for the given statitistics.

Food For Thought: I thought it was really cool that Steve Jobs was able to create one piece of technology so accessible and easy to use and that could be understood by people across the world. I do believe that it will really be a major tool in education one day.

Pitcairn Islands Map

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blog Post # 4

Apple iTouchDon't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
Dr. McLeod is Associate Professor od Educational Administration and the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). I think that it is important for kids to be exposed to technology, however I do not think that it should be our primary focus. If we do not expose children to things such as social networking, online chat etc. then no one is going to show them the proper and safe way of using those tools. Just because we do not expose them to it ourselves does not mean they will not explore it on their own. Thus, we might as well expose them to it and allow ourselves to teach them of the dangers that are involved in it. I do think that the phrase "we can't trust them" was a bit extreme, not all kids are going to get on the computer and do evil things. We have to allow each student to build up his or her trust with the teacher individually and not just assume that no children can be trusted.
The iSchool Initiative
In this video, a 17 year old high school student from Georgia argues that the future of American education lies in iSchool. The iSchool is built on the iTouch platform and would be a school with no books, paper, expensive copy machines and no number two pencils. There are already many applications available for the iTouch that would benefit schools and eliminate paper materials. For example, Chemical Touch is a virtual periodic table of elements, U. S. Constitution is a digital copy of the U. S. Constitution, WorldWiki could replace all school maps and globes, Starwalk is a virtual tour of our universe and there are many more. The iTouch in its present form could already save students six hundred dollars each. I think that the idea behind iSchool is a really good idea, however there are some flaws. First off would be memory space, there isn't enough memory on iTouch devices to take on all of that responsibility. Also, the iTouch is simply too small to be used as a text book and a notebook. In order to read and take notes at the same time it would be very difficult. I think that it would eliminate paper and pencil supplies to an extent but not completely. I definitely think that with a little tweaking this could be a genius idea and something definitely worth looking into!
The Lost Generation
When she first started reading this poem-like piece I found it to be depressing. What she was saying was not anything my generation had not already heard, just hearing from a younger person was only reinforcing what the elder communities had already said. Something about people my own age admitting our demise made it much more life like. However, when she started reading the piece backwards it was very enlightening. It was more comforting to hear someone willing to fight back the assumptions made about today's youth.
I Think I Have Become A Blogger/ Virtual Choir
In Jennifer's blog she introduces a choir ensemble of 185 people performing Lux Aurumque. What made this piece unusual was that none of the members of the choir had ever met nor did they perform the piece together. The performance was put together through the internet. The singers represent twelve countries. Watching this performance was really awe inspiring. It really shows you just how much power the internet has and what it is really capable of doing. It was so incredible to just sit and watch and think about the time that was put into the performance. Watching it it almost did not even seem real. Even though so many people put down the internet and have only negative things to say, this video goes to show that when put to good use the internet can really do incredible things!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

C4T Summary #1

My assigned teacher for this post was Lisa Thumann. Her first blog post I read was on the topic of "Bucket Fillers." Bucket filling is a classroom project based on a book by Carol McCleod. Each Student in the class has a  bucket with their name on it and their peers fill those buckets with kind words about one another. All they do is fill out a slip of paper then place it in each other's bucket. Mrs. Thumann witnessed the positive effects of this activity first hand with her daughter, Emma. She was so impressed with it that she decided to team up with Emma's teacher, Mrs. Skaar, and create a documentary on the project.
I really enjoyed reading this post and loved the idea behind the project! It's such a nice and easy way to keep kids' self esteem up and a positive atmosphere in the classroom!
    The Second post I read was dated September 7, 2010. In this post Lisa discussed open courses on teaching technology. There were fifty courses on the entire list that was published by Online Colleges & Universities. On her blog she highlighted a few of the courses. Some of the courses deal with exploring the design of innovative educational technologies, while others explore the use of digital media as a teaching tool. In her blog she included links with helpful information for each of the courses she discussed in her blog. I was not aware that there were classes like this offered for teachers to take if they were interested. I explored the links she provided and found a lot of information on these classes. These classes are really great for keeping teachers up to date with technology!
   Overall, I really enjoyed keeping up with Lisa Thumann and reading her posts! She had such great ideas and was a wonderful source of information!

Google Presentation Project

Blog Assignment 3

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today
    I would not say that this video captured my college experience completely. However, many aspects of the video did relate to my experiences. For example, I would agree that about 18% of my teachers actually know my name. I also strongly agree with the statement "If students learn what they do.. what are they learning sitting here?" In many of my classes ,this semester especially, I have been trying to figure out how I am expected to learn more sitting in a classroom than going out into the schools and working hands on with students. There were more differences between my experience and the students' experience in the video than similarities. 
    Some things I would change about the video were the percentages for assigned reading, how much they write for the semester, and how many hours they work everyday. The statistic that the students complete only 49% of their assigned reading and only 26% of it is relevant to their life is both true and false for my experiences. In my beginning years I would say that yes, I probably completed only about 49% of my assigned readings and at most 26% of it was relevant to my life. However, now that I have entered my major classes I actually read close to 95% of my assigned readings and pretty much 100% of what I read is valuable information for my career and my life. Next I would change how many pages I write for a class in one semester. I easily write more than 42 pages a semester. In all of my classes I take notes during class and I take at least 8 pages (front and back) of notes while reading per chapter. I would also say that I rarely email, thus my total pages for emails are considerably less than 500. The final change I would make would be the number of hours they work everyday. Having an on campus job allows me to have a pretty flexible work schedule. This means that I work at least 4.5 hours a day. 
    Overall, I found this video extremely interesting. I also found it a bit relieving that other students have the same thoughts that I do and to know that we are all on the same page.
"It's Not About the Technology" by Kelly Hines
I really enjoyed reading this blog post by Kelly! I liked that she admitted that technology is not the only aspect that needs to be changed regarding teaching. Today we are always eager to find the quickest fix possible, we don't always take the time to find the best solution. In order to be good teachers, we must understand that by choosing this profession we made a huge promise. A promise not only to ourselves, but also to our students. We promised to be the best we can be to better their future. However, if we are not willing to adapt with the times, then we are not upholding our end of the promise. We must continue to learn and grow with and for our students. Personally, I think this growth keeps it exciting. Teachers are privileged enough to get the chance to constantly grow and learn and experience new things. It keeps our jobs from ever getting mundane. One of my favorite lines from her post was this: "Teachers who want to be truly successful must be voracious and self-motivated in their pursuit of evolving understanding." I thought this line was a very powerful and moving statement. We have to want something in order to make getting it truly worth while.
Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
While this post had similar messages of the post by Kelly Hines, it also had a very different approach to the situation surrounding technology in the field of education. I also really enjoyed this blog post. Like Hines' post, Fisch makes it very clear that teachers need to continuously learn. If we do not keep learning, students will be taught how to be successful "in an age that no longer exists." Being part of a generation so consumed by technology, I always just assume that everyone is technologically literate. However, reading this blog post really put it in perspective for me that that was not the case. There are many many people out there that do not even know how to turn on a computer and that is in a way a very scary thing to try to comprehend. One line that really got my attention was when Fisch was discussing his wavering between wether or not illiteracy was somewhat acceptable. In this part he stated "there's so much on teachers plates that it's unrealistic to expect them to take this on." This is how he sometimes felt about making teachers learn technology. I disagree with this statement. In this regard, teachers should not be pitied. As a teacher, it is their job to be the best they can be for the betterment of the students. Like I said before, we made a commitment to be the best teachers possible. If we cannot even take the time to learn technology properly so that it is used in our classrooms for the very best purposes, then we are not doing our job. We are not only letting ourselves down, but also our students.
Gary Hayes Social Media Count
Seeing these numbers change so rapidly is truly overwhelming. Majority (if not all) of these changes are involving technology in some way which means that for every number that changes, there is a person out in the world using technology making that change. Students today are absorbed by technology and are living in a very fast paced world. This Social Media Count helped me realize how essential it will be for me to keep up with technology and all of its evolvements.