Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blog Post #7

I believe that I will need to expand my knowledge on the technology available to enhance my future classroom. I am learning about many new things in EDM 310 that children in elementary school are already familiar with. I need to further build my PLN in order to find resources that will help me become a better teacher. I plan to keep up with the latest technology so I can help my students learn about it too. 

Using Imovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten

This is a picture of six kindergartens sitting around a rectangle table, doing an individual lesson on IPads. Each students has a pair of headphones on and seem to be focused on their own screens. In the video "Using Imovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten" Dr. Strange is having a video conversation with media specialists Elizabeth and Michele who work in the Baldwin county school district. Michele talks about Kindergartners at her school, Daphne Elementary, and describes some of the projects they have done. These five and six year old's are do projects using technology such as iMovie trailer which is a project I just did last week as a junior in college.  They are becoming more familiar with using IPads so just imagine what they will be using when they are in college. I just recently acquired my first IPad and I am feeling behind these kindergartners. Elizabeth gives a brief descriptions of what the Alabama Virtual Library is and how to use it. This is something I personally used some in school so I already had some knowledge on the subject.

We All Become Learners

This picture shows four post- it notes that read "Dont'worry", "Be happy", "Keep Learning", and the last post-it has a light bulb on it.

In the video "We All Become Learners" Dr. Strange again is talking to the media specialist Elizabeth and Michele. The idea is that everyone teaches everyone. The teachers teach the students, the student teach each other, and the students teach the teachers. After hearing Michele talk about some of the things she does as a librarian it made me realize that librarian do so much more than just help students find books. I know that sounds narrow minded but in all honesty I never knew they do so much.  Michele talks about showing students in the library a new technology or skill and challenge them to go show their fellow peers and teachers.

iPads in the Classroom 

This picture is actually nine pictures of students holding up IPads that say different things. The IPads read things such as "explore", "collaborate", "connect", and "engaged".
IPads in a classroom can immensely enrich both learning for students and teaching for instructors. Using technology such as an IPad gives teachers the ability to share a photo, video, paragraph, or anything to students directly. The example used in the video is if each students has an IPad the teacher can share a photo with every student at the same time. The advantage the students have is the ability to zoom in on the picture and they are able to study it at their own pace.

The results of assessments are almost immediate in lieu of the teacher having to grade every test one by one. Ipads are an incredible tool for students to use but for special ed students, IPads can be much more valuable. Special ed students who are non verbal can learn to use apps on an IPad allowing them to be able to communicate with others. This feature is giving nonverbal special ed student a way to engage with the world around them.

Top 10 Reasons to Use Technology in Education

There is a heart drawn on a piece of note book paper. Written inside the heart is "Students love technology"The argument in this video is that technology is the future of education and teachers who do not get on board with new technology will be replaced by those who do. I do agree with that argument for a number of reasons. One reason is because technology is everywhere in our society, it is almost impossible to avoid. It just makes sense that it will become more predominate in education. Another reason, which is stated in the video, is that students use technology when they go home anyway so why not teach them how to use that technology to learn. No teacher can cater to every students different learning styles but technology can. Student are able to work at their own pace resulting in better test scores. This video gives some great reasons on why you should incorporate technology in to your classroom. Reasons such as students love it, it helps students that have low attention spans, students are able to learn from experts, and it makes life easier for the teacher. I believe every teacher should take advantage of these incredible resources to not only enrich their students education but to become the best teachers they can be. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Blog Post #6

"What do you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?"

This is a screen shot of one of the video interviews between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps.

I found it refreshing to hear from someone who has taken EDM 310 and is now using what he learned in his own classroom. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with projects and assignments so these videos served as a good reminder for me that what I am learning can be very beneficial to my teaching career. 

The first two videos ,"Project Based Learning Part 1" and "Project Based Learning Part 2," basically give some details to what project based learning is and how Anthony uses it in his class. He emphasizes that when creating projects make sure your projects meet required state content. Also, you can get valuable feedback if you listen to why your students did or did not like a project. Something that Anthony said that I found very significant was "Never limit your students by giving them exactly what you want them to do". He then goes on to explain that you should set requirements that the students should have in their finished products but give them some freedom to learn on their own.

ICurio is a tool I am not familiar with so the video was very informational to me. ICurio is a search engine that allows students to safely search the internet as well as store things in folders. It also has a data directory making it a great resource for students to use for projects.
Discovery Education is another tool that I am unfamiliar with but I plan on teaching in the Baldwin county school district so it is something I will research further. This tool brings experts into the classroom via video. This is a great way to enrich students research experience as well as help teachers make their lessons more enjoyable.

Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps give some great tips in the video "Strange List of Tips". Some of the tips were that you as a teacher have to be interested in learning yourself, you have to be flexible, and meaningful reflections are vital. Sometimes what you've planned doesn't work out so you need to be able to quickly move onto a back up plan.

I found myself agreeing with the majority of the things Anthony said in the video "Don''t Teach Tech- Use it". Don't teach technology but instead plan your projects in a way that incorporates new tools and resources for students to use. Give students a chance to explore different technologies while still meeting the state requirements.

I had never thought about a lesson in layers as Anthony explains in "Additional Thoughts". The first layer is your school year and how does your lesson fit in with your year. Does it cover all your standards that are required? The second layer is the unit size. How long do you need in order to cover everything that is required? The third layer is the weekly scale. Plan how you will cover everything for one week. The fourth layer is a daily plan. How do you deliver the lesson to your students and you need something to measure what they have learned. It is when the daily plans add up eventually to make your entire year.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Project #3 Presentation

Blog Post #5

PLN what are they?

This picture has logo's popular personal learning networks. In the center is a picture of a woman. Branching out from her picture are the seperate categorizes: Search engines, reference tools, bookmarking, social networks, and learning communities. Each of those branch out further to so the logos of the networks.

A PLN is a tool that uses social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with connected colleagues anywhere at any time. ( PLN's are fantastic for teachers to use to consult with other educators or experts. No one knows everything so PNL's are a great way to tap into other peoples knowledge to better yourself as a teacher. 

Dr. Mark Wagner offers some great tips on how to form your PLN at Personal Learning Networks for Educators: 10 Tips. His first tip is to connect. Leave comments on blog post or podcast. Sitting back and just read, watching, or listening is not enough. You need to be present and engaged. Second is to contribute. Share your knowledge and your struggles with others. Your contributions are valuable to people who do not have the same experience as you. Be patient, building a good PLN sometimes takes time so don't give up if you don't get a response immediately. Another great tip he gives is to be authentic. Anyone can copy someone else but no one has your exact experiences, knowledge, or point of view so share it with others.

You can begin to create you own PLN through a number of ways. Twitter, Pinterest, Classroom 2.0, and Linked in are all great networks to use to start your PLN. All you have to do is sign up, look around to find other educators who you find interesting, and then follow/add them. Over time you will find more people to add to your PLN and hopefully others will add you to theirs. My first additions to my PLN will be Vicki DavisMary Beth Hertz, and Lisa Dabbs

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Project #15

This is a picture of a magnifying glass with an assortment of search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yelp.


Bing is a broad based search engine where you can find many different sources on a certain topic. The homepage has a simple layout that is easy to navigate. You simply type what you wish to search in the empty search box and click on the button with that magnifier glass. When the results appear you have the option to click on tabs at the top for more specific results. The tabs are "Web", "Images", "Videos"," Maps", "News", and "More". Also on the right hand side of the screen is a section for related searches that can help you find more information. I have used Bing many times and I find that it very easy to navigate. The related search column is a great tool because it shows you different searches that contain the word(s) that you used. Bing makes it easy to find useful information that you may not have been originally looking for. Bing presents an uncluttered homepage which I prefer. I also enjoy the background pictures that have interesting facts that you can click on and the fact that there is a new background everyday.

This is a basic, broad search engine that you can use to find many different sources on things you'd like to search. You just type what you want to search in the empty search bar and hit the search button. I do not recommend using this search engine. The security is extremely low. You are constantly bombarded with ads and pop ups. I am aware of this search engine because it has taken over my preferred search engine before. It acts almost like a virus, it attaches itself to downloads and then replaces your set homepage. It is possible to get rid of it but it can be a little tricky. My advice, if you have it don't use it!

Ask is a search engine that is geared more towards answering questions. You type your question into the blank box then click "find answers". Ask is suitable for people who prefer a simple homepage with clearly labeled links. When you ask your question the results come up reality quickly. Sometimes a definition of what you searched is given along with popular Q&A's. For example, when I asked the question "What is a drought?" I was give three definitions for the word drought. I have used this search engine in the past and do not have any complaints about it.

Artcyclopedia is a comprehensive artist database. You are able to search for artist, artworks, and museums. A search will return images, articles and – best of all – listings for galleries all over the world housing specific paintings. ( Artcyclopedia is a great tools to use for reports, projects, or just your own interest of famous art works. You are able to search for an artist by their name, what medium the use/used, their subjects, their nationality, and what movement they were a part of. You can also find out what museums have certain works of art on display.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is a colossal digital version of our nations largest and oldest library. This website is exceptional for teachers and students. There is a search bar at the top where you can type in what you'd like to search or you could pick from the various links that are on the homepage. You can find old newspaper's, videos, sound recordings, maps, manuscripts, and so much more just on the homepage. there is a column that tells you what is currently on exhibit and how to schedule a class visit. There is also an interactive element with the ability to ask a librarian a question via an online forum and sometime through direct chat. After exploring this site this is one I would recommend to all teachers.


I had never heard of Wolfram Alpha before so I was excited to try it out. At first I was a little confused because this search engine is not one that I am familiar with. The first page is very simple with a search bar to enter what you want to know or calculate. Once you input what you'd like you click the "=" button. Instead of the results being links to follow you are given actual results. There is a input interpretation box so you can see if it understands what exactly you are asking. Perhaps my favorite part about this site so far are the calculations and conversions. This is a great tool for students to use. I also appreciate that providing feedback to the site is so easy.

Duck Duck Go

Duck duck go is a broad based search engine that protects your privacy while you search. Duck Duck Go does not track your search history nor does it share your personal information. The home page has an extremely simple layout with a search bar in the center. Type what you would like to search in the empty bar and click enter or the magnifying glass. The result come up very quickly and are easy to navigate. You can personalize the theme, font, layout, text size, text color, and many other elements. Duck Duck Go is remarkably user friendly. I would recommend Duck Duck Go so anyone looking for a little more security while browsing the web.


KidRex is a kid friendly search engine that makes surfing the web safer for kids. KidRex is powered by Google so the layout and function is practically the same. KidRex blocks sites that maybe inappropriate based on words and urls. KidRex is a great option for children who want to be a little more independent and for parents who want that extra piece of mind. When my daughter is old enough to use the internet this would definitely be a search engine I would feel more comfortable with. Let's face it, there are some things that no one wants their children/students to see. I am glad to see a search engine that tries to protect children's innocence. 

Blog Post #4

"What do we need to know about questions to be an effective teacher?"

There are three dark silhouettes of a mans head facing the left. In the first head there is a question mark. In the second head there are three gears turning. In the third head there is a light bulb.

Learning revolves around asking questions. Having a question and searching for the answer is the corner stone of education. Students need to ask questions to gain knowledge or to better understand a concept. Teachers need to ask questions to promote learning and engage their students. However, many people do not know how to effectively ask questions because they were never taught how.

Knowing different the types of questions, what they require as a response, and you need to ask lays a good foundation. Closed ended question are questions that require minimal engagement and usually a one word response. For example, “Did you enjoy the passage we read in class?” A “yes” or a “no” is all that this question requires to be answered. There is no depth to this question nor is there any critical thinking needed to respond. Open ended questions are questions that require a more detailed answer than just “yes” or “no”. The purpose of open ended questions is to encourage students to think in depth about their response.

There are a few things you can do to be successful when asking questions. First, plan your questions before you ask them. Give them some thought on what words you should use and when you should ask them. Decide what your desired outcome is and frame your question around that. Second, be specific and direct. Don’t ask questions in a way that they are too confusing or way off topic. Few things frustrate me more than when a professor asks the class a poorly structured question. Everyone is too confused to understand what the professor is asking, so no one responds. Third, how you respond is also important. Give your students time to think about their answers and show interest in what they have to say. Even if the answer is wrong acknowledge their response and help them get to the right answer.