Dear Ms. Averitt and EDM friends,
I have enjoyed taking this course with all of you. Thanks for the encouragement and help when I needed it! Thanks for the laughter which was always nice to hear on Thursday evenings...at the end of a long week. I wish you all well in all that you do. Good luck in your teaching profession. Thank you, Ms. Averitt, for the teaching instruction you gave. I feel that I have learned several things from this course, and I am excited to incorporate them into my daily instruction in my classroom.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Wow, the end has come to the course already! I remember the first night feeling lost and almost ready to break down and cry! I felt overwhelmed at the illiterate mind set I had with technology. While being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, I knew things had changed, but never guessed the dramatic way it had all changed. After completing the course, I feel that I still have things to learn and will continue to do so in my own personal education. However, I feel so much better after completing the course and learning all that I learned. I am excited about incorporating what I have learned into my classroom. In fact, I have already! We now have our own classroom blog!! I created it to use with student assignments. I create the post (assignment) and they give their answers through their comments. This way, I can also monitor their comments and approve before posting them. The kids seem very excited and eager to do their homework!
I would have to say that the classroom blogging has been my favorite of all of the things we have covered in the course. I have also benefited personally from the Professional Learning Network. I love being able to find a mentor at any given time rather it be from communicating directly or just reading others comments and posts. I also have enjoyed learning how to set up my I-Google page. This is a wonderful way of organizing your educational resources. The Comments4Kids was fun and a creative way to use kids' thoughts and ideas. This is one goal of mine to start with my own class. I would also love to engage in the Skpe with my students. I think these would both be fun and exciting experiences for them. As an over protective mom and teacher, I just want to ensure safety with my students. So, I do not want to initiate something until I know it is safe. Safety from outside the classroom is important to me as well as the feelings of the children. Too much flexibility with technology can become a sword fight among students. The podcasts and videocasts we made were fun and beneficial for me to watch. I was able to get several ideas and links to websites based on the presentations done by my classmates.
The things I really did not gain a lot from was the I-tunes University. However, if I were at that level of teaching, I would most likely participate with it. I also did not gain much from the grade book spreadsheet assignment. This was because we do not use it in our school due to having the convenience of STI. I really cannot think of anything that I did not learn and expected to learn. As for the boredom question, I did have time to get bored! I found all of the assignments useful and I am very excited about incorporating them with my students!
Best of all, I really enjoyed getting to know my classmates. It was such a friendly atmosphere and working with them was a pleasure. I would have to say this was much better than sitting with a book, listening to lectures and studying for tests!
Last, yet not lest, thanks goes out to Ms. Averitt for all of her encouragement and instruction time. When we felt overwhelmed or incapable, she was there as our cheerleader. That is the one strength every teacher must have to build the success of a student's ability to learn and achieve.
Monday, November 9, 2009
In this assignment, we were encouraged to read the list of Seven Stupid Mistakes Teachers Make and Seven Brilliant Things Teachers Do With Technology. These were found at the following link. (http://is.gd/3WWXJ) While I found all of them interesting, I chose two to comment on briefly. On the Seven Stupid Mistakes made by teachers, I found that the unwillingness to use technology with our students in our classrooms was an important mistake to discuss. I feel that we, as educators, must rise to the occasion of changing with the times. That is not to say that we go all out with the technology and use nothing other than that. I feel that we should incorporate it, because of the fact that our students are using it daily in their personal lives. It seems natural to them, and they feel at ease with it. Also, it provides a wonderful way of bringing excitement into learning and simply bringing education to life. The second mistake that caught my attention was the lack of supervision with the students and technology. If we make the choice to use technology, we HAVE to monitor it closely and safely. We are not only liable for ourselves, but also for each student that we teach. While technology can be a wonderful thing that brings about several positive benefits, it can be a deadly weapon if it is mis-used and abused.
As for the seven brilliant things, I found several that caught my eye. The idea that technology can put kids in touch with the world, and it can be a wonderful communication device with parents both are huge positive advantages. My favorites, however, were using technology as a resource for our classroom. It is so convenient to "google" things that we are looking for whether it is activities/games, projects, experiments of even a whole set of lesson plans! What a huge resource element right at our finger tips. We can also use it for enhancing our own education by participating in professional teachers blogs. The other thing I was drawn to the most was that it is able to empower kids with their learning. Students can use it to become better debaters, speakers, problem-solvers, and writers. Using good assessment strategies to determine the quality of technology will enhance educational projects. I agree with him when he states that delighting in the fun of technology makes good teachers better teachers.
After viewing the mistakes and brilliant things teacher do with technology, we were to visit http://is.gd/3WKrk and read about the New Classroom Rules by Education Innovation. I found these to be very comical. I liked the very last rule the best. It stated that we are to find what we are learning. We are to know what we are learning, why we are learning it, and have ideas for how we will use the new knowledge. I liked this one the best, because I feel that we are always to be at our best for our students. We expect that from our own children's teachers, so we should strive to be that for the student's we have in our classroom on a daily basis. We also expect the best from our students and should therefore model our best for them. My second favorite was on being polite and respectful at all times. I am a firm believer in giving respect if you want to gain respect. I found all of the other rules amusing and did get a laugh at it. It is amazing at how far we have come in our society in just a few short years!! This is must read for everyone!!
In this assignment, we were to visit http://attheteachersdesk.com and read several of the post made by teachers. After reading them, we were to compile our thoughts on five of the posts we read.
The first of the five I read was done by William Chamberlain. It was titled "Helping Students Create Positive Digital Portfolios." In this post, he discussed the violence we now have in our society with young kids. He expressed a strong need to help them better showcase the positive experiences that our kids have today. Examples that he gave in doing this was by the usage of digital content being created and saved through writing, audio, and video. By doing this, they can gain positive self identity.
The second post was also by William Chamberlain. This one was titled "Using Skype to Connect with Others." In this post, he places emphasis on using skype to communicate with other classrooms from around our world. He feels that this provides an opportunity for students to see similarities and differences among themselves. It also provides them with a huge opportunity to learn about others. I agree with his thoughts and opinions on both of his posts. Students do need to channel more positive experiences and then be able to showcase them. What a difference that would make on our society if we could focus more on the positive rather than all of the negative. I love the idea of the skyping. I hope to incorporate this into my own classroom soon.
The third post I read was my teachernz. He wrote briefly on how he did not like to record his voice by audio. However, he does it to be an example to his students and show them that you can conquer your fears and dislikes. How can we expect them to achieve this goal if we do not create that model image for them? I really agree with him on this subject matter. I am a firm believer of being an example to the students and not expecting more out of them than we are willing to give ourselves.
The fourth post was done by Jarrod Lamshed and he spoke on using technology to communicate with our parents. He expressed his thoughts on the positive and negative on different ways to communicate. Communication with the parents is a huge factor in our kid's education success. Yet, it can sometimes be the most difficult task of teaching. He shared how the phone calling and note writing that we have always used in the past is no longer the most accessible way to reach our parents. Many times you have to leave a message and then play the game of "phone tag." As we all know, notes do not always reach their destinations! He tried e-mail and twitter, but found many parents do not check it often and in time. His most success has come through face book. Parents seem to check it regularly and it was the most successful route for him. I loved his last point in his post. He states that if we continue to have the mind set of "We have NEVER done it that way" or "We have ALWAYS done it this way," then how can we get anywhere? He poses the question of "Where would we be if we do things the same way all of the time?" I completely agree with him. Change is necessary if we want to grow as professionals and as individuals.
The last post I read was again done by William Chamberlain. He spoke on the usage of technology in the classrooms. He describes his own passion for it and feels it is necessary for other classroom teachers to use it to the fullest ability. He shares his thoughts of wondering if it is indeed necessary, or is he just pushing his passion for it onto others. He poses the question of "Are we pushing it, or are we just catching up to today's times?" I have to say I feel like it a little of both. I do feel that we need to catch up with today's young society and incorporate technology. However, I feel that they should also still have other aspects of styles of teaching incorporated. A good balance is needed. We sometimes can change so fast, we go to the extreme with it.
I enjoyed reading all of my posts and really got some interesting thoughts from them. I gained some ideas to incorporate into my own teaching profession. I love the professional blogging. I feel it gives you insight into other's thoughts and ways of education. It is a true learning experience to get feedback from other co-teachers. It creates a perfect way to communicate and share with others who may have similar concerns and can help you work through them. I encourage each teacher to get plugged in to a professional blog. This way they are able to learn from the blog posts of others and then be able to share their knowledge as well. It is the perfect way to always have a mentor at hand, and at the same time be a mentor to others.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
In this video, I watched Michael Wesch and I listened as he addressed our culture today and where our culture is headed in the future. He described today's culture as being self centered. Some of the characteristics he described were those with short attention spans, materialistic views, and those not easily impressed. He described the generation as those having a "whatever" attitude. He shared that these characteristics of our generation leaves us being self centered and disengaged because we are focusing on our self. He contributed these things to media. He spoke on how media has created so many ways of relating with others. It also creates new ways of knowing ourselves. He describes the median of communications by saying that it all shapes our messages. He also spoke on the fact that this type of communication is leaves us with not being able to express ourself like we can in a personal way of doing it face to face.
In this assignment, we were to relate this to our personal life, our experiences in college, and our work as a teacher. Personally, I don't like all of these ways. I am the kind of person that likes the "personal touch." If I want to talk with someone, I like to hear their voice or see them personally. I have a hard time relating it to my college days because things weren't like this back then. My college days were long before face book, twitter and all the other ways of communicating existed. Communication was by phone. Cell phones if you were lucky!! The other way was through e-mail, if you had a computer! As for my professionalism as a teacher, I see this type of communication more and more with students and it personally saddens me. I am not against these ways, but I feel kids are losing out on something when they don't know how to personally connect and communicate with others. I also don't favor it, because you can never tell how someone is saying something when it is behind a computer through e-mail, etc... The words and expressions can be taken in the wrong way. I like to communicate with my students' parents through personal communication as much as possible. I also, like it this way as a parent of three students. If you would like to watch the video and comment your own thoughts, please visit
Thursday, October 29, 2009
In this assignment, we were to tell why we think students should post. First of all, I think it is a great way of sharing resources with others. The example from this class that I can use for this is when we created our Personal Learning Network. This was a great learning experience of setting up the network through communicating by posting. I also gained information by reading others post. I also think posting is educational in that we can find links and audios/videos. This way we are able to transition new knowledge into our classroom. We can also further our own educational knowledge.
I also think that posting is a wonderful way of sharing students' thoughts and ideas. An example of this we have used in our class is through Comments4Kids. I have enjoyed reading their thoughts and ideas through their posting. Many kids had wonderful, bright and creative ideas. I think it gives them a chance to express their imagination. I also think they probably love receiving comments on their post. I am sure this is a huge motivating factor for many kids and encourages them in their learning experiences.
The third reason for posting is for students to be able to show off their work. The classroom blogs that we established through this class is a wonderful example of this. I actually have incorporated this into my own classroom. I give a weekly homework assignment on our classroom blog. The students log in a post their answers. I then go back and comment and they are allowed to comment on each other's post as well. Since my students have keyboarding three times a week, they are able to complete this assignment in class time. They love doing this! It has been a wonderful teaching resource that I have used for fun topics as well as topics related to my subject areas. I used www.blog.com to set this up. It is a free blogging site and is accessible through the school computers.
This week, in our comments for kids assignment, I read a post by A.J. His subject was on football drafting. He had several things to share about the subject. It was obvious that he enjoyed the sport and studied it well. He knew several players and just who to draft. He did a great job with his post. I enjoyed reading it and now know who to call when I get ready to draft!! (if I ever do!) If you would like to read his post and leave a comment yourself, visit http://mrsgstudent.blogspot.com.