Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Week 11 (I think)

Happy Easter
Between these three blogs an amazing thing has happened! A dad decided that a great way to share his daughters childhoods with not only, family members but also, the whole family was to create a blog for each of them. While sharing with all of us everything that both Kaia and her sister have learned and are learning; a teacher, (Mr. C), found Kaia's blog and shared with his students the amazing photos that Kaia and her dad took outside of their home while learning that everything is beautiful, even the ugly stuff. The class ended up Skyping one another and Kaia's dad Jabiz, suggested that the class put their comments on a video or audio. This amazing teacher and his class put together a VoiceThread and sent it to them! This is such an amazing thing, people from two very different countries connected over the technology that is made available to all of us!
As a future teacher this example is very exciting to me! I hope that I will have an opportunity like this one to be able to connect with other people from around the world. Even though Jabiz did have some reservations, in which every parent should, I think that his decision not to keep Kaia to himself and share what a special girl she is is amazing. What he did shows how much the classroom environment has changed and will continue to change in the future.
Below are the comments that I left on each blog:

Mr. C's Class Blog:
"Mr. C and class,
I am from Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. Thank you so much for sharing this Voicethread with not only Kaia, but also with all of us! You all did an amazing job! I am trying to create my own Voicethread and so far I am not having any luck with it. Keep Up the great work!"

Kaia's Blog:
Sweet Girl Kaia, I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. You are an amazing, smart, beautiful girl! Your pictures that you took all by yourself were fantastic! Keep up the great job and be sure to tell your dad how great he is for helping you share you pictures with all of us.

Jabiz's Blog:
Jabiz, I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I am not yet a parent, but hope to be one someday and I can see where you would question yourself on wether or not to "share" her on the internet. There are always going to dangers in everything you do with her. If you show her as she gets older how to be careful and I think that she will understand the dangers and how to steer clear of them. I commend you on being actively involved in you children's lives because so many parents today are not. She will treasure this time you and her have spent together and she will grow to appreciate everything you have done for her. Good Luck to all of you!

Monday, March 22, 2010


I have been assigned for weeks 10 and 12 to follow Dr. Scott McLeod's blog called "Dangerously Irrelevant."
Week 10
This week I watched a video posted by Dr. Scott Mcleod called "You Can't Be My Teacher." Here is what I commented:
"I watched the video "You Can't Be My Teacher" and I found it very entertaining. Teachers and students becoming teachers, like myself, should know how to use the Internet as well as be able to show children how to use the Internet properly and safely."
Overall, this video was really cute to watch. The questions that the little boy asked were "do you know how to use the internet?" and "are you going to teach me how to use the internet safely?" and other questions to the same effect. If a teacher does not know how to use the internet or how to teach the students how to use the internet safely then according to the little boy you could not be his teacher.

Week 12
This week I watched a video called "The School of One." It was about a school in New York that is catering towards the needs of the students. The proposed mission is to provide a way to achieve an individualized personalized instruction to the students so teachers can be more focused on the quality of teaching. Here is what I commented:
"I believe that this will be the future of schooling. I do know that some schools here in Alabama have already started implementing a simular version of this in the high schools. I think that it will work and it will be very successful."

Week 10

Fat Cat
Morgan Bayda's An Open Letter to Educators
This week I read a post by Morgan Bayda called An Open Letter to Educators, I also watched a video that was included on the post my Dan Brown. Morgan and Dan expressed their views about University teaching. They both thought that having a professor standing up at the front of the classroom lecturing facts and then giving tests was the wrong way to approach teaching. Dan actually dropped out of college, not because he is a dead beat or because he was failing but because he believes that his "schooling interfered with his learning." They both mentioned how numerous times they had bought books for classes and never even opened them. According to filife.com the average student spends $634 on textbooks per semester! I know personally I have spent more than that. That amount begs the question "how many of those textbooks were actually used?" It is crazy to think about how much money was wasted on those books when you can get the same information for free from the internet like Dan said. Here are my thoughts on what was posted and what I commented: "As I was reading your post and also watching Dan Brown's video the only thought that kept coming to my mind was "this is deja vu." What I mean by that is even though I am a part time student the classes that I take are with approx. 20 students and 1 professor. There is a little more one on one interaction between the student and the professor, but the professor is still standing up and teaching with a power point, overhead projector, white board, etc. We are still required to learn the "scribbled notes of facts" and take a test to receive a grade. Call me old-fashioned or a person who does not like change, but I like the fact of having a teacher teach me facts and testing me on them to receive a grade. The part that I like about Dr. Strange's class is that when he his trying to teach his students he is being interactive with us. He is teaching us how to become a great teachers in the future by not necessarily showing us step for step how to do something. He gives us the tools to use while also giving us a chance to be creative while interacting with the other students in EDM310 and from around the world.
I have felt cheated several times, in the past, when I have paid hundreds of dollars on text books and I don't even crack them like you! In my opinion, some things do need to change in our education system, but then again there are a few things that don't need to change.

This was a very challenging post. I encourage all educators both current and future to read this post to understand what is going to happen if we like it or not. Technology has already changed our lives, but it is not done yet!


This week I commented on Hannah's blog post about her cat. The post was actually a little poem about her cat that chases a rat, and he is a fat cat! Here is what I commented:
"You did a great job on your poem! I love the fact that your words at the end of each line rhymed. I also have a cat, but he is not fat. He likes to run after birds! Keep up the great job!"

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I was assigned to follow the What Now? What Next? So What? blog for my comments4teachers weeks 7,8, and 9. The blog was written by a teacher from New Zealand. His post are sporadic but when he does post it is usually something very entertaining. For week 7, I commented on his post about banning pencils and crayons in schools because they are dangerous and are becoming very disruptive in the classroom. Here is a little of what I wrote:
"Wow! Banning pencils and crayons in schools, I am speechless! I guess we have to protect our children from anything and everything that may endanger them. The only thing is is that everything in life could endanger them or someone else, the only solution would be for everyone to be in a giant bubble."
Week 8
"I love that you are just using pictures that you have played around with and create it all from scratch, basically. A lot of the time, i put my pictures onto Picasa and then play around with all of the different settings and things. Seeing what you have done, has made me want to go and try to make my own Avatar creation! Please come and visit my blog and hopefully, if things don't turn out too disastrous, I will have my own Avatar! Thank you and wish me luck!"

For week 9, I read his post about the Internet being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. This was very interesting because it raises the question of "Do you agree or disagree?" Here is my answer:
" I think that the award should not go to the Internet as a whole, but to the person or people who invented it."

Happy belated St. Patty's Day to you! Your post about the tradition of St. Patrick's Day was really great! This year for St. Patrick's Day I forgot to wear green, so you know what that means, I was pinched. Next year I will definitely remember to wear the color green!"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Week 9

Seal of Alabama
Alex logo

At first glance, this website seems a little confusing. After a few minutes of trying to navigate my way through this site I think I have figured it out. The home page has 8 links that can lead teachers to lesson plans, websites, podcasts, and other very helpful tools. When you use the Courses of Study link it takes you to a list of courses that you can choose from. Once you choose a course that you would like to look up you choose the grade for which you would like to view it will then take you to a list of lesson plans that also has useful websites that can be used in the classroom. Here is a link to a lesson plan that I found for a math lesson for third graders. Almost all of the links o the home page will take you to a list of lesson plans that you may use in your classroom.

The overall usefulness of Alex for any teacher, in my opinion, is that it is very useful. It provides a way for all teachers in Alabama to share with one another their lesson plans, websites, and podcast that have worked for them in their classrooms. This whole site is very useful. When I become a teacher I will definitely be using this site to help me with my lesson plans. I encourage all teachers of Alabama and also all future teachers of Alabama to visit this website and see all of the great things that it has to offer.


The ACCESS program is an online tool for all Alabama high school teachers and high school students to use as an additional tool in and out of the classroom. Any high school student in Alabama can login and then from what I understand, there are multiple tools to help with just about any and every course offered in any Alabama high school. There are also courses like Mandarin Chinese, German, and Latin that a student can take as an extracurricular class. However, students do not receive class credit and it also does not count as a duel enrollment project, which I think is a downfall. In one of the other links that is listed as "Resources," students can receive additional help on homework and classwork from other approved websites. One of these websites is ALEX.

Overall, this site seems like a great tool for high school teachers and students, but it really does nothing for anyone under that age group. Personally, I like the ALEX program better, this is because it is more user friendly and is designed for a broader range of age groups. The only thing that I question about ACCESS is: "Do students or teachers really use it?" My sister who attends Daphne High School, when I asked her if she had ever used the site for homework or in class, she said she had never heard of it. She is in the IB program, which is the degree plan above AP. Now if these students are not using it or had never even heard of it, is it really serving its purpose? Maybe she has just had a teacher who had used it in his or her classroom or maybe the school chooses not to participate in the ACCESS program. The idea of it seems great, I just hope that it is actually used .


This week I read the post for the class by the teacher for the blog English with Rosa. The post was about the Oscars. The class seemed very excited to watch it to see who would win what award. I was also really amazed about the overall class blog, it is very organized and is really a lot of fun! Here is what I commented about the post: "I am so glad that other people get just as excited as I do about the Oscars! I am just wondering if you all enjoyed watching them as much as I did? Also, the class blog as a whole is amazing! Keep up the great job!" This is the link to the website.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week 8

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Wow! I wish more people would have his outlook on life, he is so positive despite his diagnosis! He made all of his childhood dreams come true through his virtual reality worlds. He started his lecture off by telling what his childhood dreams were and then how he accomplished them. He does not let anything stop him from achieving what he wants, he says several times about how brick walls were put up to make ourselves prove how much we want what is on the other side. He says that if a brick wall stops you from achieving what you want that is on the other side then you truly didn't want it.

A major part of his lecture was the program he started at Carnegie Mellon University, called Building Virtual Worlds. He taught his program for about 10 years, with his first semester students he gave them only 2 rules. The rules were no pornography and no fighting. These first students blew him away with what they did just in the first 2 weeks! After talking with his mentor he decided not to set a bar. By not setting a bar, he opened the door for bigger and better virtual reality projects. Having a teacher like him who would not set a bar for you because he know that you can do better is really great!

Dr. Pausch gave several great ways that as teachers we can show our students how they can achieve their dreams no matter how big and impossible they may seem . As future teachers we are an important part of a child's future, as Dr. Pausch stated. What I found very interesting was that in his lecture he showed some of the students that he had helped achieve their dream. He truly is a great professor and has had many amazing opportunities that we are all very lucky to have been able to have heard all of them.

Overall, Randy's lecture was very inspirational and encouraging. He has made me want to become a great teacher and an even better person. He is very inspirational as I have said before. Even though this was a long video to watch it was really great to listen to!

This week for comment 4 kids I commented on the funny video of Mr. McClung singing "Party in the U.S.A" for the one of the school's homecoming week activities. Here is what I said: "My name is Danielle and I attend the University of South Alabama and for my EDM310 I was required to watch your video. It was hilarious! I have to agree with the judge that old you to keep your day job, but I give you big points for getting up there and singing!"