Monday, May 3, 2010

My Sentence

As an educator, it is my duty to incorporate different learning styles through the use of technology and other useful techniques so that my students can reach their full potential inside and outside of my classroom.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Comment4Kids Week 14

This week I had to read Kayla's blog. She made a story book online using Storybird. Her story was called "Her & Daddy," but it wasn't really about a girl and her daddy. It was random and talked about the girl going to town and eating apples and having a pet monkey.
My comment:

I have never used Storybird. Did you enjoy using it? Is it easy? I am a student at the University of South Alabama taking a class called EDM310 so that I can one day be a teacher. Maybe I can use Storybird in my classroom.

Farewell, So Long

I had a great semester and a great time in EDM310. I learned many new tools from Dr. Strange and Ms. Averitt and from my classmates as well. I hope each of you have also enjoyed this semester! I am sure I will see many of you in other classes and maybe we can use some tools we learned in EDM 310! :) You all have my gmail email (via this blog & our Master List) if you would like to stay in touch or need to ask anything. I hope everyone has a great summer!

My Final Reflection of EDM310

This semester is coming to an end, and I am shocked that it has went by this fast. When I first entered EDM310 and saw all of the required projects and participation, I felt extremely overwhelmed! What is a podcast? I have to Skype? Picasa--is that something created by Picasso? I have to comment on blogs? Oh no, I have to create a blog?!? These are a few of the questions that ran through my head the first night of class while listening to Dr. Strange talk about the "intellectual journey" we were fixing to embark on together. I thought I was technology literate until I took this class. I am not brain-dead when it comes to computers, but I have found there are many programs and resources I had never heard of, much less used before. Throughout my semester in this course, I have come to love and frequently use:

Google Docs Google Spreadsheets Google Forms- My favorite part about Google tools is that you can email them to anyone, and they can either view it or edit it. It is reliable because Google can be viewed anywhere internet access is allowed. Therefore, you do not always have to have a USB with you.
Youtube- I have watched silly videos on Youtube with my friends and co-workers, but now I have realized the educational side of Youtube. People make videos every day, and you never know what you will find when you search Youtube.
Windows Movie Maker- I have seen this program on my computer since I got the computer; however, I have never used it until this class. I used it for a project with Brooke McQuillan and Lauren Germany to make a video on how students use technology in the classroom and at home. Since then, I have made a video of pictures of my niece and nephew, and I am planning on making another one of video clips!
iTunes- I have never been interested in iTunes because I like music, but I would rather just listen to my car radio. I was given an iPod for my birthday one year, and I never visited iTunes to download music. Now I know that I can listen to lectures from professors at numerous universities and find many instructional and educational videos.
iTunesU- South Alabama is coming a long way with iTunesU. Professors at South Alabama need to move with technology and not against it. I am sad to see that my department (math) is still lagging in the technology world; however, I am super excited to see that my other department (education) is going full speed ahead in this area!
Delicious- Delicious is a great tool because it bookmarks everything you want to use. The reason Delicious is better than just bookmarking something is because you can pull it up on any computer, just like Google tools! You can even send bookmarks to others, which makes it great for PLNs.
ALEX- This is one of the best resources I have found. This site allows you to view lesson plans and podcasts. It even suggests different web links and provides personal working space. I know I will be using this site constantly in the near future!

I had no idea Google has such a variety of different free programs for its users! I absolutely loved commenting on kids' blogs because you never knew what you would see. Children are super creative, and it is awesome that their teachers are giving them the chance to express their creativity by the use of technology.

When my class presented their substantive presentations, one guy presented a cartoon he created by using ToonDoo. I wish we would have known about this program sooner so that we could have prepared presentations from ToonDoo as well. This would be especially great for elementary education majors. Maybe next semester the classes can prepare a presentation using ToonDoo.

I honestly do not believe there are any projects or assignments I regret doing. I do not regret them because they all gave me a chance to see what I like and might try to incorporate as a teacher and what I might not want to use. After all my complaining about blogging, I have now realized I will probably create a class blog for my students to go to that will offer podcasts for them to listen to in case they do not understand a problem. I am thankful that I now know how to record podcasts and videos and edit them as well.

I cannot honestly say that anything really excited me. I am super thankful though that I have went through this "intellectual journey" and had the opportunity to explore many useful tools for my future classroom. I did get tickled when I finally figured out Google Earth because that program gave me fits at first!

Google Earth was the only program that I found challenging. I had a hard time figuring out which controls did what on the program and for some reason the instructional videos simply did not "click" in my mind. After a few hours of frustration and wanting to give up, I finally started to understand what to do and how to make the program work. I am thankful for it, too, because I have now decided to go to Orlando, FL in May on vacation!

The only time I was bored is when I attended class meetings. I did most of my work ahead of time, and I felt as if it was a waste of time to be there most days we were required to come. Most of my classmates were playing on Facebook, and I wondered if they were ahead, too. These were the only times I was bored in this class. The class itself is extremely intriguing and has prepared me in many ways to be a successfully technology literate teacher.

For future classes in this course, I would definitely suggest that they use ToonDoo. That program was super interesting, and I feel it could definitely interest little kids. The work load was not too much. The projects seem like a lot, but if people learn to manage their time and space them out, they will not have a problem in this course.

I do believe that I am now technology literate--thanks to this course! I have not realized how many technology tools are at our fingertips because I have not had many teachers implement technology tools in their classrooms. This is sad because these teachers will one day be faced with younger technology advanced educators taking their positions simply because they want to sit back and be stuck in their old ways. I do not have a problem with pencil and paper one bit, but we have to be able to captivate our audiences and make them want to learn. Most children nowadays rely on technology at home, so implementing technology in classrooms will only prove to be extremely useful for both educators and their students.

I plan to continue working on my PLN and continuously watching podcasts. I also want to watch children's blogs to see what they are doing in their classrooms so that I will be prepared when they get to my classroom. I will also use ALEX to my advantage for lesson plans and such.


For one project, I had to interview a student and ask what they believe constitutes a technology literate teacher. I interviewed Chad, a junior at the University of South Alabama, who is majoring in Information Technology (IT). Chad has been attending USA for one and a half years now. In my interview, I asked him what he believes a technology literate teacher is and if he believes teachers will be more technology literate as future generations become teachers. Please watch, and listen to his views about technology literate teachers. Thank you!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Google Earth Presentation

I had to create a Google Earth presentation for EDM310 as well. This turned out to be a great experience! I decided to go through the United States' top tourist sites. I have always wanted to take a trip to Disney or Sea World, and making this presentation made me want to visit these places more than ever! I have actually now planned a trip to visit Busch Gardens, Sea World, and Aquatica during May 2010. I am extremely excited about this trip, and I owe part of that excitement to Google Earth. Please enjoy and tell me what you think!

Substantiative Presentation

Brooke McQuillan, Lauren Germany, and I interviewed three students and asked them how they use technology in their classrooms and at home. The students were in middle school, high school, and college. They each use computers in their classrooms, but they vary with their use of technology at home. The college student, Mark, uses technology at home to work with clients. The high school student, Kelly, uses technology at home to communicate with friends and listen to music via her ipod. The middle school student, Benjamin, uses technology at home to play his xbox. Please watch it, and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blog Assignment for April 18

Commenting for Children

Children thrive on compliments from anyone, especially from adults. My favorite part of this class was commenting on children's blogs. Children are super creative, and even though I will one day be a secondary education teacher, I still love looking at younger children's works. I have read stories on children's blogs, viewed their drawings, and read about historical events through their own words. One blog was a creative story by two fifth graders using adjectives. Their story was about a scary spider, and their usage of adjectives astonished me because they used adjectives well above their grade level. Another blog was on the French Revolution from a fourth grade child. I saw an illustration from a first grader of a lion, and she wrote a short sentence describing her picture. I love being around my five year old niece because she lights up any time I tell her good job or to give me a high-five. When we compliment a child's work, it is the exact same thing as giving them a high-five.


Lauren Germany, Brooke McQuillan, and I recorded a podcast reviewing three inexpensive video cameras.Listen to it, and tell us what you think! We used audacity to record it on Lauren's computer. We googled sound clips of Napoleon Dynamite's voice from his movies. When we came to a part in our scripts that called for his input, we simply played the clips. We also used Three Days Grace's song "Just Like You" for our introduction and finale. Audacity is a nifty tool that is very user friendly and records sounds. Our entire class made podcasts; listen to them and comment!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Comment4Teachers Weeks 13 & 14

I have been assigned to Mr. Needleman's blog: Creating Lifelong Learners.

Week 13:

Mr. Needleman divided his class into groups to form a literature circle in which they are given various tasks when reading stories. My comment:

Mr. Needleman,

I am a junior at the University of South Alabama majoring in Secondary Education–mathematics. Please feel free to check out my blog at:

In my elementary and secondary schools, my teachers divided us into literature circles. However, we were not given the same jobs/titles as your students. I like the titles you have created (The Predictor, Maker of Connections, Great Summarizer, Curious Clarifier, Word Wizard, and the Very Good Visualizer). Instead, my classmates and I were given the job of finding the problem, the solution, the climax, the rising action, etc. If we had been given interesting jobs like your students, I might have enjoyed literature class more! :)

Week 14:

Mr. Needleman gave tips for improving comprehension scores of students. I commented using Vocaroo software:

April 11th Assignment

Before EDM310, I had never used a blog. In fact, I honestly did not know exactly what a blog is. I am thankful that EDM310 has shown me the importance of blogging. Blogs can be an extremely helpful tool in classrooms. Blogs can help parents, teachers, and students communicate regularly and collaborate ideas to better the education of the students.

Mrs. Rose is an elementary math teacher. She uses her blog to give her students different links to help with their math skills. She says we should use technology because it is a natural way for them to learn. She posts math activities on her blog and pictures of events her classroom has participated in during the school year to keep her parents and students involved.

Enjoy learning English is a blog created specifically for ESL (English as a Second Language) students. This is wonderful for these students because it gives them different links that can help them want to learn English. One link on the blog leads to jokes; the author of this website says jokes are a natural way of learning that can be fun for these ESL students.

A Really Different Place is a blog for gifted children from grades K-7. This blog displays some of their work they complete in their gifted programs. One interesting area of the blog is the Doodle for Google projects. They had to creatively change the Google sign on Google's site. They displayed many unique designs, which you should check out at this site!

Blogs are going to continue playing an important part in the educational system, and we should be open to blogging. An infinite amount of blogs are available, and we should continue to look at different blogs for ideas in our classrooms!

April 4th Assignment

I have seen the "Your Baby Can Read" program many times on TV, and I have always told myself I will make sure I get this program for my children. I have a two and a half year old nephew, and I even thought about buying it for him. Children that can read at 9 months old is absolutely astonishing to me! It is important for parents to realize how incredible this program actually is. When I was in Kindergarten, I was not required to read. Instead, we played, napped, and wrote our letters. We wrote letters--not words; the words came in 1st grade when we started learning to read. If children began to read earlier, they might value literature more than most children do today.

Children who can read at such early ages absolutely amazes me, so you can imagine how inspirational Kaia's story was to me! Kaia's father sees the importance of involving your children at an early age. Although Kaia cannot read yet, her father is taking it one step forward by allowing her to blog with him. I have always thought I will be super protective of my children on the internet, but Kaia's father has given me a new outlook on the internet. My grandparents live about three hours away, and my children can keep in touch with them through Skype and blogging. These tools are going to be invaluable to me and my children one day. I am glad to see that Mr. C was also impressed by Kaia and allows his class to communicate with her. I hope to see the children of today blogging more and more often!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

PLN- Post Number 2

I have continued working on my PLN (Personal Learning Network), and I plan to use this in the future to help me become a better educator. A PLN is great because it helps to converse with teachers all over the world, not just teachers who work at the same school. It also enables teachers to share the works of their students with other teachers so that they can collaborate and share ideas about the students' works. My PLN is still evolving, and I am sure it will never quit. I hope that it grows forever because this shows I am still actively involved in my career and concerned about the education of my students.

Facebook has been the main source for my PLN. I have joined teacher organization groups, groups for high school students, and groups for math students. Some websites, such as, even allow parents to join so that teachers and parents can converse. This is wonderful because it keeps the parents involved in their children's educations. I am thankful for my PLN because it allows me to have tons of "pen pals" all over the world and be able to relate to other educators. Every educator's style is completely different, and a PLN allows us to collaborate and pull ideas together so that we can make our styles and beliefs better for our students. I am glad EDM310 made me start a PLN because it is something that has already proven to be useful for me!


I am always astounded to hear how many people have trouble performing operations on fractions. Even some math majors and engineers seem almost scared and intimidated by them--not that they cannot perform the operation. I have even heard that some elementary teachers do not like fractions, so they hurry along through the chapter, and the children never really see them again. This makes me sick! Those teachers need to do their job so that these children can perform these simple operations in middle and high school.

I am not saying I absolutely love fractions. Instead I am saying that they are out there, so we might as well make the best of them. I have composed a Google Presentation on Fractions. I explain what exactly a fraction is and how to perform different operations on fractions. I hope this helps people of all ages feel confident while working with fractions.

Math Questionnaire

Throughout the years, I have been told a few times that it is rare that I am good in math. People used to tell me not to let the boys get ahead of me and keep striving to be the best. While I am not the best, I thought it was odd to hear them say it was "rare" that a female was good in math. I have heard when public schooling was still fairly new that math was the "boy subject," whereas English was the "girl subject." In my EDF315 class this semester, I was shocked to see people still view girls as somewhat below the boys in mathematics. So, I decided to make my questionnaire about mathematics to see exactly what other people think about gender differences in mathematics and if times have actually changed or not. My results:

Everyone (25 people) who participated in the survey said they had at least fair skills in math. No one said they were horrible at mathematics during grades K-12.

84% of the people who took my survey had at least one parent good in math. Of this 84%, 62% said the parent that was good in math was the Dad rather than the mom.

Only 12% (3 people) said they felt that males were superior to females in mathematics. Everyone else agreed that neither gender is superior.

Of the 25 people surveyed, 56% said they took at least one extra math class in high school, and 36% of those surveyed said when they do well in math, they feel it is due to hard work rather than intelligence. 52% agreed that mathematics is like a different language.

I was definitely happy to see that the math stereotype (boys are better than girls in math) is fading away!

Timetoast Timeline

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Comment4Kids Week 13

I read Dillon's post about his experiences at camp. He described them in the form of a poem and even shared video footage with us. My comment:
I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. Was this footage from your trip at camp? If this is you, it looks like you had a blast! I love your poem and your usage of adjectives and adverbs. You seem to have a natural talent for writing, so I hope you continue to write! Thank you for sharing this video and poem.

Comment4Kids Week 12

Anahera drew a picture titled "The Sleepy Lion." She descirbed it to her teacher as, "The sleepy eyed lion with the fluffy orange mane was lying peacefully on the rocky outcrop."

I commented on Anahera's picture of a lion she drew. My comment:

Anahera,I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I love your picture and the adjectives you use to describe it. I have never thought of a lion's mane as being fluffy. Do you like lions? Are they your favorite animal? Nice job! Keep up the good work!

Comment4Kids Week 10

This week, I had the same child's blog as before, so I went back to her blog to see if she had posted anything new. The child, Gabby, still had not responded to everyone's question asking what her hypothesis for her science fair project was.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Week 10

Morgan Bayda and Dan Brown "An Open Letter to Educators"

Morgan Bayda's post is a video about how lecture forms of learning are becoming extinct in schools and universities today. With new technology, it can be extremely hard for teachers and professors to keep students entertained. This is mainly true because most teachers teach by forms of essentialism, which is where students are extremely passive and learn mainly by memorization. Students disengage and mentally drop out, which eventually leads to physical dropout. This is sad because it does not necessarily mean these students are stupid or lazy; in most cases, they are extremely bored. I have to admit I have been bored to death in quite a few lectures because most teachers do not get their students actively involved.

When students are not actively involved, they do not want to attend class anymore. Most students feel the majority of classes they are taking are unrelated to their majors, which is normally true in the first two years of their college education. This means they have to get through these classes first; the problem is most students drop out before they ever get past these classes. I agree that we will finally be able to change the way lessons are taught if we choose to in our classrooms because we are the generation with

Comment4Kids Week 10

This is Gabby's post I was assigned to leave a message on:

For my science fair project I am seeing if the spread of your hands on the lacrosse stick affect the distance the ball travels. So far what I have tested mt hypothesis is wrong because when my hands were close the ball went farther.

My comment:
I think you have a good idea for your project. I am guessing your hypothesis is that you think the ball will go further with your hands spread apart? Please keep us informed with your results.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Week 9

ACCESS is an Alabama program whose mission is to provide equal opportunity educational distance learning experiences to all Alabama students. This program is offered to all Alabama public school students so that they can better their education. One of the best features ACCESS offers is 14 advanced placement courses; they are approved by the College Board. ACCESS even offers ChemLab, which is a specialized simulation software for chemistry courses. On ACCESS's website, an Alabama virtual library is for teachers, students, and all citizens of the state.

ACCESS is an awesome program for high school students in the state of Alabama. I have never taken a distance learning course in a classroom; I have taken online courses. This program offers opportunities to students that would otherwise not be available. Funds are limited in many individual schools, and many courses are not offered because of the funding. Therefore, ACCESS is most students' best bet for bettering their education, especially through the advanced placement courses it offers. I am from Mississippi, and it would have been great if I had the opportunity in high school to take these type of distance learning courses.

Week 9

ALEX is the Alabama Learning Exchange, which is a program created by educators for educators. This program has many sources available to educators so that they can better their classroom. First it tells the teacher exactly what curriculum they are required to meet that year in his/her particular subject area. It also has links to various websites--students', teachers' and administrators' sites so that the teacher can interact with various people in the educational system. The ALEX website also has links for lesson plans; a teacher can view other teachers' lesson plans or create his/her own by using ALEX's website. The site also has a section dedicated to podcasts in every subject area as well as latest news stories involving the educational system.

ALEX can prove to be a very useful resource and tool for Alabama educators. It is amazing how much information is packed into this one website and is at the fingertips of many educators. The lesson plans can truly help out other teachers, especially new teachers who might be stumped and need a little push in the right direction. The podcasts are invaluable because the teachers can learn from them, and they can even show them in class so that their students can interact and not have pencil and paper handed to them every day. The website had a space for personal workspace, and I am not quite sure exactly what this area is for because you must sign in to view it. I am sure it is for notes, lesson plans, and favorites on the site though; if this is the case, it would be great to have everything backed up online so that the teacher can view it from anywhere with internet access. ALEX has taken educational criteria and sources above and beyond.


Week 7:

I commented on Mr. Schrange's blog about an event he attended with his son in kindergarten which involved high school students displaying their time and knowledge. He posted a video of his son at the event, and I commented as follows:

I am required to read a few of your posts for my college course EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. This event that you attended with your son was both rewarding and educating. It was rewarding for the high school students who donated their time to give information to these younger students. I am sure it was also rewarding for you to see these high school students because most of them were your former students. It was educating of course for the little ones but also for parents who attended.

I also agree that it is important for students to get involved in their community. I think it is awesome that the high school has a community service requirement to ensure that students take advantage of these experiences. Thank you for sharing the video of your son at the event; he seemed really intrigued.

Week 8:
This blog post was on Educon 2.2, a conference held for educators.
My comment:

I am not yet an educator, but I do believe it is important to attend conferences and events to discuss progress being made in schools. I am glad you had a great time at Educon 2.2, and I hope when I have to attend conferences, they are nearly as interesting as this one was for you. I think it is awesome that it was streamed virtually as well so that people who could not make it to the event could still have a part in what was being discussed. I liked that you said it made you feel as a part of a community rather than a stranger. It is hard to attend events where you do not know one another, and it is great to hear that this event helped to make everyone comfortable outside their own skin.

Week 9:
This post by Mr. Schrange was about the first week of school and what he did to break up the monotonous first day schedule.
My comment:

I know you posted this a while back, but I have been helping a friend with ideas for her classroom and thought it was relevant. I am really glad to see that you have taken the initiative to be different, especially on the first day of school. Throughout my secondary education, I always dreaded the first day of school simply because it was always the same procedure in every classroom. We were forced to read a quarter of the handbook in every block so that by the end of the day, we were finished and had no excuse not to know the rules of the school. You did not stick to this monotonous schedule, and I applaud you for that. I have often thought of what I will try to make my students break apart from their comfort zones with students they have not met, and I believe I might have to use this "Group Juggle" game. Thank you for the great tips!

Week 10:

I am now reading the blog for Teacher Voices by Teacher Leaders Network.
This post was about a the book Metaphors and Analogies by Rick Wormeli the teacher read that has helped her in her classroom.
My comment:

I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the course EDM310,, and I am required to read posts made on this blog. My blog is

Thank you for sharing this book and letting us know how inspired you were by it. I completely agree that teachers want their students to think analytically and at the next level. Students should learn to "think outside the box" and not be afraid of this way of thinking being the wrong way.
I agree with chapter 8 saying that it is important for students to mold and defend their own ideas. This creates an entire new way of thinking, and it is important for students to explore this type of thinking.

Week 11:

This post also came from the Teacher Leader Network. It is about caring teachers and confident students. My comment:

It is extremely important for students to be confident. It is just as important for educators to be confident in their students and push their students to do their very best. Students need someone to show them that he/she cares; if they do not have this someone, they will not strive to accomplish everything they are capable of accomplishing. Teachers should be active not passive; they should be involved in their students' lives and show their students that they can achieve anything they put their mind to. A little bit of encouragement goes a long way.

Week 12:

This blog was on voice recognition software, Dragon Naturally Speaking.

My comment:

I have never heard of this software program, but it sounds very interesting. I am a math major, and I know it would definitely come in handy writing English papers simply because I am a "talker." I am very quick at typing, so I do not know exactly how much I would use it for writing papers. My absolute favorite use of this program that you have made is recording what you say for projects so that it is typed word for word. This is awesome so that there is no discrepancy about what you did or did not say. Hopefully one day you will get one of those wireless mics! :) Good luck with this program.


This week I was not assigned a new child. I had the same as week 8. So I commented on another child's post that was assigned to someone else in my class. This student's post was about organization in writing. My comment:

I am also a student at the University of South Alabama in EDM310. Staying organized will take you far in life. No one likes reading any material that is unorganized. I am a math major, and I try to keep everything extremely organized so that my professors can easily understand what I am trying to say. You have a great idea on how you like to organize things, and I am sure you will continue to do great in life! :)

Week 8


My comment4kids assignment was for a blog post on the French Revolution. The student gave a quick description of the three social classes and what lead to the peasants' revolt. The student asked if the peasants were justified in their revolt. My response:

I completely agree with the peasants. Their revolt was extremely courageous, and they should be applauded for what they accomplished. I believe people should stand up for what they believe in if it means anything to them. Unfortunately, society will always have classes and social statuses unless people keep revolting and fighting against it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Skype Project

This semester I was required to download and use Skype. Before this class, I had never used Skype and had not planned to use Skype. I downloaded it in my EDM310 classroom and began to play with it along with my friend and classmate, Lauren Germany. Using Skype was probably the funnest project I have done so far in EDM310. Lauren and I used it to work on our podcast so we could write out our scripts. This made our podcasts super convenient because we were not always available at the same time as one another. We also took snapshots of each other, which turned out to be interesting. Lauren found out the sex of her unborn baby today, and she held her ultrasound picture up to the camera to show me that she is having a boy! :) I really feel Skype could be a useful tool in the future between my students, friends, family, and co-workers. One big plus is that Skype is extremely user-friendly for me because I have a built-in webcam on my computer. I am looking forward to using Skype again and again and again! :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Comment4Kids Feb 22
Staphon wrote a blog on saltwater fish. It was really interesting because he had some of the same beliefs I did. The neatest part about corals is that they are not rocks or plants; they are actually animals. This took me a long time to realize when my boyfriend got a saltwater aquarium. They are one of the most interesting parts in it though because we can see them flow with the current, but we never see them move. God's creatures sure are amazing!

Week 8

Dr. Randy Pausch's Video "Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"

Have you ever known someone to want pity from everyone at all times? Have you ever met someone who uses their weakness or illness to get something from someone such as attention? Those people drive me crazy because they do not hold their head up high and try to be content with what they have been given; instead, they have given up. Dr. Randy Pausch is the complete opposite of those people! During this video, he announces at the beginning of his speech that he is dying of Pancreatic Cancer. Rather than letting his audience have a moment to pity him, he says that is not at all what he wants. He tells his audience that he is in great health--even better than most people in the audience and does push-ups on stage to prove this.

Dr. Pausch takes us on memory lane discussing various dream jobs he had as a child such as being an astronaut, being a professional football player, and being an imagineer. He then jumps to years ahead and leads us to the question "How do we enable the dreams of others?" Being a new teacher, he was astonished at the projects his students presented him with. He told his mentor the students were past the point he had planned on teaching them, and he asked his mentor what he could do. His mentor told him to raise the bar--tell his students they did good but they could do better. I agree with this to an extent. As a student with excellent grades in secondary school, the last thing I ever wanted to hear was that I could do better. This made me feel as if someone was trying to tell me I did not do good enough because I did not put forth enough effort. I believe we should push our children, but when we see they are doing their absolute best, we should congratulate them and let them know.

The part of his lecture about brick walls is neat. He basically tells us the brick walls are not there to keep us out. Instead, they are there to show us exactly how bad we want whatever it is they are keeping us from. If it is really important to us, we should do whatever it takes to break this wall down. This is true in so many instances--relationships, school, and careers. Anything is possible if we set our mind to it, and I truly believe God never shuts one door without opening another. We should fight for what we believe in and what we want if we truly believe in it with all our heart.

Dr. Pausch tells us throughout the video that we should: build the fundamentals, correct students, and encourage students. He tells us that if we do not make our students understand the fundamentals, we cannot expect them to build knowledge on top of it. They must have this foundation. We should correct our students because when no one is correcting them, no one is caring about their success. As educators, we should correct them so that they can better themselves. We should definitely encourage our students. He believes we should always set the bar higher than students set for themselves. These are three extremely important responsibilities of educators.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Week 7

This is How We Dream Part One and Two

Part one talks about the fact that the children of today will probably never set foot in a library. It is quite possible that children will not know what a library is. The reason for this is that children are far more technologically advanced than previous generations. Rather than using black and white plain printed text, students are using audio and video from online documents. What kind of effect will this have on our future generations? Only time will tell, but it can be expected that in the future, libraries might almost be extinct. It is even possible to write reports without setting foot in a library because online sources have the exact same amount of valuable information.

In part two, Richard Miller says that we are missing the technology in schools that is needed to help our students thrive. Students have the amazing ability to have information at their fingertips that is updated immediately. Educational sites on the web are thriving these days, and it is extremely important to let our students have access to this information they provide. If we do not allow our students to have this information, we are holding them back both technologically and academically.

It is crazy to think that students might never know what a library is. Even the fact that they will possibly never set foot in a library is extreme to me. My mom took us to the library all the time when I was growing up. My sisters and I would spend hours looking at children’s books while my mom searched for her books. When I had a project for school, I went to the library to research it and had to use the old card catalog until the catalog was able to be accessed by computer. Of course now I hardly ever use the library, but I still believe it is important for children to have a hard copy of a book to look at. I guess you can say I’m a little old fashioned.

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

A networked student shares his information with others so that they can expand their knowledge together. When the student finds information that might be useful, he posts them to his social network or blog so that it is available to others, and they can form their own opinions. This student blogs so that other students all over the world can communicate with him. The networked student also makes usage of research sites such as iTunesU because it can contain valuable information.

Teachers can help these networked students by allowing them access to each other and leading them in this journey. Teachers will show these students how to build their networks and offer them guidance along the way to ensure that their networks are top-notch! Students will know that they can ask their teachers for help so that they will recognize the “good” information from the “bad” information along the way. Most importantly these teachers will help their students organize the information they find so that it is easily located and accessed by themselves and other students as well.

I believe Dr. Strange’s class is definitely preparing me for these networked students. Before this class, I never blogged or listened to podcasts, much less made a podcast. I have used many important tools so far such as audacity, iTunesU, and Google Docs that I did not know much about before this class. I feel that each day I am becoming better educated for my students of tomorrow, and this experience is invaluable to me as a teacher. I cannot wait to share my experience with my classes!

Toward A New Future of Whatever - Michael Wesch

Mr. Wesch begins his video by talking about media ecology. This is the belief that the media shapes most of our views and how we think. Whether we realize it or not, they do. The media practically brainwashes us every day, and most people do not even think twice about it. It is amazing how easily people can be fooled, yet it is happening each and every moment. I believe the media controls everything we know and learn by the news and tabloids.

The video speaks of different generations such as the American Idol generation and the MTV generation. He talks about the fact that people these days believe they are THE American Idol, and when they are rejected, they are completely baffled. The MTV generation is thought to be materialistic with short attention spans. Stereotypes—they are everywhere, and that is exactly what each generation is. Every generation has a label slapped on them, and I can definitely say that I hate being labeled as the “Me” generation because I am not a self-centered person.

The youtube video with the hands was awesome. This video could really send a message to the world, and it is a wonder that it is not played as a commercial on TV. Videos like this give me hope that maybe one day the world will change for the better rather than taking a sharp turn for the worst. It sometimes scares me to think of raising a child in the world we live in today knowing that it is probably only going to get worse.


Before this semester, I never knew what on earth a personal learning network is. At first, I did not necessarily see the point in this, but now I am glad to say that I do! As a future teacher, I have many questions concerning different areas from discipline to conduct. It is important for me to have fellow professionals to relate to. PLNs are wonderful because I can associate with teachers of different experience levels. So far I have expanded my PLN to include my social network Facebook and a few teacher sites including:,,, and Most of these sites are for teachers only, but includes a section for parents to interact. I believe it is wonderful for parents to interact with their children’s teachers, and I am proud to have them as a part of my PLN.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week 6

Dr. Alice Christie
Dr. Alice Christie is an inspiring individual and should be an inspiration to all teachers. She has been teaching for almost forty years now, ranging from kindergarten to college level. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Technology in 1995 and has been exposing others to her field ever since. She now gives special workshops on using technology in classrooms and travels nationally to do so. Dr. Christie is one dedicated individual who is destined for greatness! And the most awesome part about her character is that she is sharing her ideas and opinions with educators all over the nation!

On Dr. Christie's site, she gives many ideas to educators about how to incorporate technology inside their classroom. I loved the section of her site dedicated to portfolios for students. She tells why standardized tests are simply not enough to measure how well a student is learning or progressing inside the classroom. Standardized tests do not measure their writing skills and capabilities. However, if students have these portfolios, each year their new teacher can review them to see what a students' needs and weaknesses are so that they might help the student improve in this area. I think she is one hundred percent correct that standardized tests do not measure how well a student is progressing because some students simply are not good test takers! This is a tool that new teachers and administrators should look into.

iTunes University
Teachers of today have it easy--meaning we have the "world" at our fingertips. We have technnology in our grasp, and just about any tool imaginable is just a click away. ITunes University is an awesome source for students and teachers. It allows professors to record videocasts or podcasts and upload them onto their university's link so that students who miss lectures may listen to/view them online and be ready for the next lecture. This has its pros and cons, of course, as most things in life do. The pros are that students can listen to/view the lecture themselves and not have to rely on someone else's notes that they might have a hard time deciphering. The cons are that many students are too in love with technology and skip lectures because they know they can listen to/view it online later when it is more convenient.

I believe students should use this as a tool to help them when they cannot come to class or when they had a difficult time understanding the professor's lecture the first time. Teacher-student interaction is crucial to learning, and who knows this better than individuals in the field of education?! Students should also use this tool when they have a hard time understanding their own professor because sometimes humans just need a second opinion or to be shown a different way of doing something.

This past semester I had a class called Linear Algebra in which I had a professor who was highly intelligent, and it almost seemed as if he was too intelligent for our class. Many students sat in his class completely confused and aggravated at themselves for not understanding his lectures. Everyone started finding his/her own way to understand by using outside resources. One day before class, everyone started asking how each other was doing in the class and began talking about other useful resources they had found. Almost every student who had went looking for outside help first accessed iTunes University and found Dr. Strange's MIT videos. He broke each topic down to the point where it seemed as if he was teaching us elementary math. The help we received as a class from iTunes University was invaluable, and I will definitely use iTunes University again if I ever have another difficult class like that one!

Could iPods Be Coming to a Classroom Near You--Or Possibly Yours?

During most of these assignments, I have to admit that I have felt most forms of technology simply do not target mathematics. Obviously someone can use podcasts and such to lecture on history, english, literature, and even science--but math? Mathematics would definitely be the most challenging in my opinion because you would definitely have to work to keep your audience interested unless you are using a video, which would make sense most of the time in a math-cast. However, my opinion is definitely shifting after researching how iPods are being used in classrooms.

Eden Prairie High School's students were not showing proficiency in their math skills. The school board was becoming quite concerned with their students' test scores but more importantly how this would impact their futures. Math teacher, Sarah Youngberg astounded board members when she passed out iTouches to show them a video that she made of her solving math problems. She said the vidoes helped her students' test scores by 9.5 percent when she compared them to the scores of tests where she did not show them videos. Sarah made a great point by saying, "This is their technology. They know how to use this stuff." The assistant principal, Jane Stevenson, says they are now implementing more technology into their classrooms by the use of SMARTBoards and eventually these iPods, which most students already own. This article finally gave me hope that it is very possible to help students in a math classroom by the use of technology.

Duke University was among one of the first colleges to implement the use of iPods in the classroom. In August 2004, Duke University gave 20GB iPods to over 1600 students so that they could listen to important information regarding their subjects. The results were unanimous that technology is becoming a huge part of people's lives and therefore, students' lives. The results of Duke's experience can be found here.

As I have been commenting on the blogs of kids, I have not been reporting back on my blog to share what I have read and commented. These are my Comment4Kids:

Week 4:
I read Dawson's post from Avoca School District. In his post he wrote: "We took pictures and transformed them in photoshop. I used the tool bloat. pucker, swirl, and brush tool. It is amazing what you can do to photos." I think it is awesome that students are learning to transform these photos because I still do not know how to work most of these programs. I replied, "I am in college at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strange’s class. I think it is also great what we can do with photos! It is even neat that some people can edit photos on their phones! I love taking photos and changing them! I’m glad you do, too!" I wish he would have posted one of his edited photos, or maybe a before and after of one.

Week 5:
This week I read Charlie and Josh's story of a spider who bit the narrator. It was a cute story with many catching adjectives and phrases, but it was definitely a cliff hanger. I told them they did a great job with the usage of the adjectives, but I did wish they would finish the story.

Week 6:
I watched Tracey's video, which was very short at only 14 seconds. In those 14 seconds, I learned that she had 2 goals for 2010: to be a good role model and to improve her writing. I replied to her post, " Tracey, I can tell you from experience that to be a good role model, just listen to your heart. You will do many great things and help many people! And I must agree with Mrs. Burt that your writing will improve the more you blog and the more you write. After all, practice makes perfect! :) Good luck!" I believe it is important to encourage children who want to better themeselves and others because it helps build their self-confidence, which is essential to their growth and development as individuals.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Week 5

My Thoughts on Wikipedia

When I was in high school, my English teacher forbade us to use Wikipedia as a citation for our research papers. We definitely complained and did not completely understand why until one day a boy in our class opened our eyes. He called the teacher over to his computer to show her an article that he supposedly found on Wikipedia. It was about a young fisherman who caught a record-breaking fish in the Gulf of Mexico that year. The article starred my very own classmate himself! He had logged into Wikipedia and completely changed an article he found simply because he thought it was funny. Our teacher was quite aggravated as she explained to us that what he did was a prime example of why Wikipedia is not a reliable source. I have to mention, however, that Wikipedia did in fact change the article back the next day.

I understand that Wikipedia is an open encyclopedia so that viewers can contribute to its articles. However, the world will always have those immature people who like to ruin the best of things for the rest of us! After seeing firsthand what someone can do to an article, I am highly disappointed in Wikipedia. If I were going to be an English teacher rather than a math teacher, I would definitely disapprove of my students using Wikipedia. Our students need facts not false pieces of information typed in by someone as a joke or by someone who has no experience in what they are writing about. The sad part is that the people who are doing those things to Wikipedia would probably be extremely mad if they were handed false information that was presented to be true. It honestly makes me sick.

Mr. McClung’s Blog

Mr. McClung’s blog is extremely heartfelt and touching. He honestly cares about his students and how well they are doing in his class. He knows that not every student learns the same way, and not every student is going to succeed at something the first time they do it. This is why it is our job to “pick them up and dust them off” so that they can try again. I love how he states that “No lesson is ever perfect. The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different.” This is a great tip for me because I am truly a perfectionist, and I need to be prepared for the fact that not everything will always go as planned inside a classroom.

I also believe that it is extremely important for teachers to truly listen to their students. If our students are not learning, we obviously are not doing our job! I remember what it felt like to help a fellow classmate understand a topic and to see their “lightbulb.” I cannot wait until I get to see all those “lightbulbs” lighting up one by one in my class. It is important to know your students so that you can read their expressions and know when their “lightbulb” is on or off. Mr. McClung is extremely insightful, and I feel his tips will be invaluable to me as a teacher.