Sunday, October 31, 2010

Additional Assignment #3

I watched Sir Ken Robinson's Changing Educational Paradigms and was very impressed. The presentation of this alone was amazing. I have never seen anything like this. If I was to be a part of this, I would want to be the idea generator, I think. I am very much in agreement with this thoughts on changing the paradigms of education. For starters, he is correct in saying that just because you have a degree does not guarantee you a job like it had in the past. Additionally, I also agree with his opinion of an ADHD diagnosis. I believe many children are medicated when they should not be. It is used too freely to dismiss a child by medicating them. I'm not saying it is not a disease, but I feel it is diagnosed too frequently. Finally, his assessment of the current education system is correct. There are too many standardized tests and too much domination of students. Students should be allowed to have their own thoughts and opinions of how to solve problems. Why are teachers trying to hard to make their students carbon copies of themselves? It is ok to be an individual and as long as you are able to come up with the correct answer (in such classes as math), why does it matter how you come up with the answer? I do not believe in doing away with a students individualism in favor of making them conform to "my" way. It is sad to know that this is happening all over the country.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Skype Project #12

For my Skype project, I interviewed Karessa Lankford about her best teacher.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blog Post 9

After reading What I've Learned This Year, I can see how all of his ideas and lessons are more than likely common ones. I know that as future teachers, we must stay positive, above all else. I also feel that listening to you students in the next in importance. Many times you may be the only one who listens or who they feel they can trust. As for me, I will be teaching in 6-12 grades, where students are in need to someone to trust and help them achieve their goals. You must be able to communicate with you students. So much gets lost if you don't know how to do so properly. I feel that never stop learning and don't be afraid of technology go hand in hand.As teachers, it is our job for us to continue to be taught. We must be able to give new lessons and curriculum, instead of the same lessons year after year. With technology in the mix, we must be able to incorporate technology in our classroom, as this is the future. Additionally, if we are so far behind the students we teach, what purpose are we really serving. As for the rest of the lessons that center around curriculum, goals, classroom setting, as well as teaching style, it is important to always remember to be flexible. Not every day will run smoothly and accomplish all goals set. It is important to also remember that not all students are the same and cannot be expected to live up to the high expectations we set for them. A teacher is like a coach- they should encourage their player to achieve their highest potential, but also be there for support and guidance when they stumble.

Blog Post #8

"This is How We Dream Part 1 and 2"

It is easy to forget the time of books and libraries. It seems for me, one minute we were learning how to use card catalogs, the next we were learning to navigate search engines and look for educational sources. I am an avid reader, but traded by books for a Kindle almost 2 years ago. Convenience plays a factor in our advancements. While I miss the smell of a book (I know that sounds crazy), I love being able to carry my library with me.

In these videos, it shows the transition between how people used to write papers and publish information. While printed books are not yet extinct, they are slowly being rendered useless. Most magazines, newspapers, and journals are now available in digital form, as well as print form. I feel this is the wave of the future. How may years until the only way to read your local newspaper will be online via computer, electronic book reader, ipad, etc?

I feel it will be almost required for me to write in multimedia. I feel that the more time that goes on, the more students who will know the ins and outs of writing this way. The days of paper and pens are slowly going away for more convenient, more environmentally friendly, and more up-to-date means of teaching, learning, reading, and writing. We must stay ahead of these changes and be able to properly utilize and demonstrate them in our future classrooms.

EDM310 is Different and The Chipper Series

I felt both videos were great! I have not make any movies since I was a kid with someone having to hold a huge video camera on their shoulder. How times have changed! I look forward to making instructional videos. I hope I am not too critical of myself and how I look on camera. The message in The Chipper Series was one that all college students need to see. Well, all people need to see, actually. More times than not, when you try to take the easy way out or try a get-rick-quick scheme, it ultimately blows up in your face. College is a lot of work, but certain procedures need to be followed. Similarly, what isn't acceptable in college is not acceptable in the real world either. You must put in the time and effort to receive the results you want. As for EDM for Dummies, it was a great movie to show that it doesn't do any good to get frustrated and that all our assignments are online. Also, Dr. Strange and all of his associates/assistants are available to provide help. It is great to have that support system available, as well as have all information needed available with a mouse click.


It seems most opinions found about a smartboard are negative. Most teachers seem to think they are too expensive and not worth the money. However, I was able to find one article that has survey results indicating that smartboards are beneficial to the classroom.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Project 9b- Instructional Time Toast

Additional Assignment #2- "How Kids Teach Themselves"

What an amazing experiment! I do believe that if children, or anyone for that matter, are interested in something, they can teach themselves. In this particular case, computers were made accessible and children began exploring on them. It didn't take them long to dig further to find things they were interested in and begin to understand the information they found and the systems they were working with. Motivation is a key component in a person's learning. You can make them memorize facts to spit out later, but to truly learn and explore things, a person must be motivated. It seems that you have get students interested in things to make them motivated to learn. These children had never seen a computer and were curious, which is a form of motivation. I am motivated to learn to further my education, as well as to be able to teach others. I find that I am more motivated in some classes than others, depending on the professor's teaching style and the subject matter. Some classes I know I just have to get through. Others, I want to take the information I have learned with me for later use. Additionally, if I am interested in a subject, I will dig deeper during my own time. I feel a teacher serves as a guide, or coach, to assist children in their learning. They can give information that children are unaware of, but in my opinion, they serve as a guide to help children expand their intellectual journey, as well as interest them in harder or less interesting subjects. I felt this video is a great example of how students can teach themselves and be creative in furthering their education. Things such as language barriers did not discourage these students from learning. They continued to try to understand things that were formerly foreign to them. As a future teacher, this is another example of why we should not feed children information to simply have them regurgitate it later. Children are capable of teaching themselves. It is important to be a good guide for them to make them want to continue to learn.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

PLN Progress

Prior to this course, I had not even heard of a PLN. I have been using Symbaloo to develop my PLN. I have been incorporating social networks, such as twitter and facebook. As far as twitter, I have been exploring people other than celebrities to follow, as to use twitter as an educational tool, rather than strictly entertainment. In addition to social networks, I have added many news and information sources, such as CNN and the History Channel. Also, I have been looking for websites relating to my teaching field to add. So far, it isn't much, but I am continuing to expand my PLN to make it into something useful to assist me in my continued learning and in my future as a teacher.

Blog Post 7- The Last Lecture

After watching Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture", I feel enlightened in things that are not the standards associated with teaching. He goes beyond books, lessons, and papers in educating students. He showed his perseverance to achieve his childhood dreams and how to assist others in achieving theirs. He discusses all the people who surrounded him and supported his dreams. We hope that our students have a family who support them and help with their dreams. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. I feel that as a future educator, it is part of the job to help your students achieve their dreams. You don't always have to do grand things to help them. Sometimes it is simply showing them support and it helps them work harder to know someone had their back and believes in them.

I feel his statement that brick walls are only a way to keep others out who don't want it bad enough is a true statement. Brick walls happen in life and it seems that there is no way to continue that path. However, he shows that sometimes you have to be creative and that if you want something bad enough, you can find a way to make it happen. Also, even if you can't be exact on making your dream come true, sometimes there is a good alternative that is just as satisfying. Probably every student at the University of South Alabama, minus a few very fortunate ones, have encountered a brick wall of some sort and it is up to us as individuals to find a way around it or to tear it down. However, this is usually much easier when we have people behind us who support us. Personally, I hope in the future that I will one of those people who is supporting my students to fulfill their dreams.

He also shows us that students are capable of more than we initially believe they are. By his Building Virtual Worlds course, he shows that when students are interested in something, they can do more than you expect. He states that it would be a disservice to students by setting the bar when you don't really know where it should be set. No matter what you teach, there is a way to be creative and keep you students interested. I feel that many teachers fail in this aspect and only teach the subject matter without ever trying to get students involved or interested. This is a good point in that all students learn differently and it is up to you as a teacher to engage all students and make sure they get more out of your classes than simply passing. Dr. Pausch shows us that he was creative in starting this new course to involve students and get them excited about something.

Another point I have taken from this is how positive he is. He is months away from death and he is still very enthusiastic about the projects he has worked on and the students he has encouraged. Additionally, he speaks very highly of Carnegie Mellon University. It is important to have your employer support you in your endeavors. This alone helped him achieve his dreams, through allowing him creative freedom to develop his own course and help other students achieve theirs. He has left his professional legacy with the Alice program, which enables children to have fun while learning something hard. He will live on through this. I'm sure we all, as future educators, hope we will leave our own legacy as well.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Timetoast

Summary Post C4T#2

For my second teacher, I was assigned Beth Still. Her posts and my comments follow:

Presentation to Nebraska Administrators

Next month Brenda Smith and I will be presenting at the Educational Administrators Technology Conference in Kearney, Nebraska. One of our presentation is on how networking can help educators stay on top of the very latest tools and trends in educational technology. For the most part, our audience will be principals. This is where we are looking for some help. I have put together some questions that will help us tremendously when we go to put this presentation together. (See published results here.) If you had the chance to talk to a principal about the value of networking and opening up access to tools, what would you say to them?

My Comment:
My name is Brittany Schneider and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I am in agreement that educators should use technology available to network. Wouldn’t it be great to allow teachers all over the world to communicate with each other and share ideas? It seems that most principals would encourage this for their teachers to stay current on new trends and information. I think it is great you are spreading awareness.

Second Post:
Still Family Laptop Initiative
I have been waiting MONTHS to write this post, but I had to get some details ironed out first. There are still some details that need to be settled, but I can finally share some information regarding a very special project.

Back in July my husband and I decided we wanted to do something to give back to our community. Kris and I decided to start a tax-exempt nonprofit that will help low income students obtain a laptop at an affordable price. We decided to start with the 45 students at my school.

We have selected a laptop that costs around $500. Students will be required to volunteer 25 hours at predetermined locations in our community which will earn them a $100 credit. They can volunteer up to an additional 25 hours to earn another $100 off the final cost of their laptop. We will also off incentives for perfect attendance and good grades. A student can earn up to $250 in credits and incentives which means they can potentially get a laptop for $250.

The funding for the credits and donations will come from local businesses and individual donors. People have already expressed an interest in what we are doing and once I am able to release the rest of the story I think they will be lined up to help. (Still one HUGE detail that I cannot share until November!)

This project will benefit so many in my community. Students not only get a computer, but they also get the chance to experience doing something for other people. Local organizations will benefit from students volunteering up to 50 hours each. My hope is that this project will help strengthen the ties my students have to our community and motivate them to stay involved in it.

I will provide another update next month.

My comment:
Hi Beth,
This is my second comment on your blog for Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. This is a truly wonderful project! The idea that children who would not typically be able to afford laptops have the opportunity to get one while helping in the community is great! It allows them to receive help, while also helping others. I feel it is beneficial to them in receiving, as well as teaching them a lesson in giving. As a future educator, I hope to be able to give to my students who are less fortunate, as well as teach them lessons outside of my history classroom, such as humanity and giving. I hope more people get involved in the future. My applause to you.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blog Post #6

After watching Wendy Drexler's "The Networked Student," it makes me realize how connected and up to date students are today. They truly do have access to people and information from all over the world and they usually have the skills to know how to access it. Gone are the days of standard paper and pencil classrooms. Classrooms today, no matter what subject, have at least a little bit of technology added to them.

As a future teacher, each lesson I complete for this course makes me realize more and more that I need to stay up to date on the latest technology advancements and how they can be used in my classroom. There may come a day that teachers are not longer needed. But as long as I stay current on new technology and technology education trends, it will help keep me relevant in the classroom. As the video demonstrates, the teacher acts as a guide for many students. If you are a technology illiterate teacher, you lose your usefulness in an every changing world.

This was a wonderful example of how networked students really are these days. They are connected with people all over the world, whether it be for educational or social purposes. As a future social studies teacher, I fully intend to utilize many techniques in my teaching to educate, as well as connect my students to others in the world.

After watching "A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment," I am stuck at how creative and organized it is. This being a new concept to me, I am continuously working on mine.I'm glad to know that for future generations, this is more of a standard practice. I love the idea of being able to do away with so many papers that are typically a standard practice in the classroom. I am looking forward to implementing these practices into my classroom. And it makes me realize I better get busy on mine!

I feel that "The Machine is (Changing) Us," is a wake-up call to show how even though technology and social networks typically bring us together, they also divide us further. There is a disconnection by not having physical interaction, as well as isolating us to our computers and webcams. There is a significant part of individualism that gets lost in this. I feel there is a balance to use technology in a positive way and not lose individualism. Everyone is able to portray themselves as they want without their true self always showing. I also liked the point of how society makes the latest generation crave recognition, typically by means of television, but in a sense, the internet makes this possible. To relate this to education, it seems teachers play a role in this quest for recognition. As future education and teachers, I feel if we are mindful to recognize each student for who they are, and not just as the "same kid in the same class year after year", then we are satisfying their search, as well as doing our job.