Sunday, October 12, 2014

C4T #2

C4T #2 Post #1

      This week I was assigned to comment on Mrs. Lisa Thumann's blog, a professor at Kean University in New Jersey. In her this week she brings up a situation which has been bothering her for a while now. She helps organize and run the EdubloggerCon East in Boston, a conference to help people talk about education. In recent years, attrition has worn down the number of attendees for the conference so she posted asking others to offer suggestions about how to fix this problem. I offered my opinion in that maybe people are forgetful and a system of e-mails or calls needs to be set up so that the people who register are still able to make it. I also suggested making sure that the venues have topics that people are interested in just in case people have become bored with the conference.

C4T #2 Post #2

      This week I once again had Mrs. Thumann's blog. In this week's post Mrs. Thumann talks about 20% time. 20% time is a concept in which people are allowed to devote 20% of their work hours to a project of their own choosing. She gives an outline of the project and took a poll to see if teacher's are implementing such a concept in their classes. As it turns out many teachers are, and I commented on the post saying what a great idea it would be to have in the classrooms. Students would actually want to attend class and it would alleviate any boredom or stress they might be under. It wold give students a chance to express their own opinions and ideas, something which rarely happened when I was in school.

Project #9

Video Book Commentary

Blog Post #8

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture Video

      Where do I even start with this video? We were asked to consider what we can learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. I think that one of the most important things is the subject of brick walls. Throughout the video Randy Pausch's kept pulling up the concept of brick walls, things in life that get in your way and that are meant to see how badly you want something. If you don't want it bad enough, the wall will turn you way. However, if you want something bad enough then you will find a way past that wall. I find this applicable to learning as I myself find myself running into a brick wall. Even now, I am questioning myself with how bad do I want this degree? I am taking 18 hours of classes and still working a job. I find myself questioning how much stress am I willing to put myself through to get to my goal. And that is where I find the best thing about Randy's concept of brick walls. It's in moments like these when you run into a brick wall that you find out things about yourself. Finding out about yourself and the world around you is what learning is all about. Each moment learning is something new, something different to discover. If you are able to learn about something and find out about yourself at the same time, then I think you've accomplished something truly worth it. And that right there, is what learning and teaching should be about. You should be willing to teach in such a way that students find out about themselves and the world around them so that they have an environment where they can grow as students and as people.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blog Post #6

Anthony Capps videos

      These videos were quite informative. Even from the first video I learned something. Getting the students involved and excited about a project is a big step toward getting them motivated about projects. Having them be a part of every step of the project from beginning to end is a good way to have them feel like they aren't just doing busy work. I was surprised with the second video in that I didn't how much overlap project based learning would have within subjects. From the kids getting to draw their favorite scene yet having to write a page long defense of it before they were allowed to draw it is a a great example of overlapping subjects.

      I was very interested to learn about iCurio in the next video . Having a search engine that's been refined for scholarly only sources would have been of great use in my previous semesters here at South Alabama. The organization feature alone would have saved me hours of writing and forgetting sources. Discovery Ed, mentioned in the fourth video also seems like a very useful source as well. Being able to have videos detailing subjects seems like a great tool for audio and video learners.

      I would very much like a printed list of the tips outlined in this video . I think that this would be a very good motivator for myself.

      I very much like in this video how Anthony says that lessons and how to use new technology should be incorporated into each other. I have seen so many lessons just devoted to the teaching of something rather than having it be used. Breaking down work into just four layers as mentioned here seems like a great approach. Implementing those layers would help keep things on track day by day and yet keep them wrapped up in the yearly projects that need to be done.

C4K September Summary

Comment Number One
      I am ashamed to admit that I lost the URL for my first student to comment on and forgot to ask Dr. Strange if he had it written down as well. Next time I will draft these summary's exactly like the instructions recommend and copy down the URL to avoid such a situation again.

Comment Number Two
      For my second student to comment on, I had Henry from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. The project I commented on was a google presentation showing how to convert decimal places to make subtraction problems easier. I told him that his presentation was well set up and that how I found it useful that he had explained in writing what he had done in his problems, as well as showing us the math work.

Comment Number Three
      For my third comment, I once again had Henry from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. This time, Henry had created a video giving a brief history of archery. I told him that the style of video was well done. I recommended that he turn down his background music as it was hard to hear him over it and that ending the video just after his presentation would be better as well.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blog Post #5

Personal Learning Networks

      At the time I began this project, I had never before even heard of a Personal Learning Network. A Personal Learning Network (PLN) is the people and tools you will use throughout your career to help you and your students. Although I had never heard of a PLN before, I had already begun to save useful resources and websites I had found over the years to a special folder so that I could access them for future use. Without knowing it, I had already begun to build my PLN and can only hope to keep expanding it in the future.

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence is...

My Passion is...

Project #3 Presentation

Monday, September 15, 2014

Project #15

Search Engines
      This is a search engines that lets you input a question and get a direct answer. I've actually never used this site before and it appears to be one I'm going to be using quite often. This one is good when you need to know an answer or fact without resorting to a general search and getting a million and one different links to the same information back.
      Bing is your general search engine much like Google but prettier. I'm kidding! After searching for something in Bing, it lays links to other websites containing information on your subject. It also creates a right hand column containing items such as a general overview of your subject and items that may be related to your subject. The good thing about this website is the specificity of the links it provides you. For instance, I type into Bing "Yellowstone National Park" and every link that follows is about or directly related to Yellowstone National Park without all the oddball sites that merely mention the words Yellowstone National Park in passing.
      Kayak is a travel search site that lets you compare several sites at once. It searches other travel sites Ziplocal
      Ziplocal is a search engine that searches the addresses of business or locations within a specific area. If I type in "Chinese" and "Saraland, AL" into the blanks provided a list is then generated with the addresses and phone numbers of Chinese restaurants close by. It's basically like an online phone book with addresses.
      Ohloh Code is a search engine that lets computer programmers and other tech savvy people browse through online codes. I don't mean codes like, "you'll win x if you put this code in:..." on bottle caps. I mean codes as in HTML or things used by programmers to create software. Any publicly available codes are searchable provided they have been put online.
      Yahoo Maps is a search engine created by Yahoo that pulls up an online map of any area you enter into the search engine. I've found the interface to be much more appealing than Google Maps and it is faster at updating to any changes as well.
      Yummly is a search engine created with the specific purposes of finding recipes for any food you want. Enter a food into the engine, say pizza, and thousands of different recipes are pulled from the internet and displayed for you. Pictures, ratings, cook times, and number of ingredients are all displayed below each recipe so you can quickly browse through items you like. You can refine the search by adding or removing ingredients, browsing by occasion such as Game Day or New Year, tastes, allergies, nutrition, and a host of other options are all available to help you find just the right recipe you are looking for.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


      I was assigned to read the blog of Mr. Ken Halla, a history teacher who create his blog to share information he finds on the web about history and how to use technology in the classroom.
Post #1
      In the first post I commented on, Mr. Halla is posting about an website called Remind. It is a free service for teachers that lets you create a virtual group for your class in order to keep in quick contact with the parents of students. He has posted a YouTube tutorial video he made on how to use it so newcomers are not overwhelmed by this service. In my comment I went over I how I liked how he was sharing such a tool with everybody to see on his blog and how useful it can be. I found it similar to Facebook groups without the hassle of being required to join Facebook or even need an internet connection as the website sends messages directly to recipient's phones.
Post #2
      In the second post I commented on, Mr. Halla has posted a reminder that PBS will be running a documentary special on the Roosevelt family this week. I commented saying that I liked how is blog included little things like this as they can help give teacher's ideas for the upcoming week or even give interested students extra things to do.

Blog Post 4

Asking Questions
      I think that what we need to know about asking questions in our classrooms is how does the question keep our students engaged? When I say engaged, I don't just mean how does it make them interact. I mean how does it make them think? Does it make them think about why or what if? Do they think of how or of other people's point of view? There are too many questions asked that are simple yes or no questions. These questions are given with the expectation of a certain response and if a student doesn't know the right response they will stay quiet. Instead of asking yes or no questions, I think that questions should engage the student. If I can ask a question in class and it keeps the students thinking about it after the answer is given or it creates even more questions by other students who now want to know more beyond the answer, then I have asked a good question.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Blog Post 3

Providing Meaningful Feedback for Peers
      With the Peer Editing video, I like how they say to start your comments off with a compliment. This is a good way to break ice and lets the recipient know that where they are strong at in their subject. When the video got to 1:18, they began to list several categories that would be good for offering advice on, such as grammar, layout, and topic. It's good that the video lists items such as these as some people may just summarize their personal feelings on a post because they aren't sure what to look for when suggesting changes. The slideshow tutorial is a good tool for teaching peer reviews to students just starting out on the subject and it reiterates many ideas in the Peer Editing video. I do wonder though why both resources would differentiate between suggestions and corrections. Many of the categories have room for overlap and would not corrections be offered with suggestions?
     While watching the Writing Peer Review video, I found it to be very informative with the different ways of how not to peer review. I had not realized there were so many different types of characters who get it wrong. I did like how the video portrayed problems on both sides of the peer review process. From Pushy Paula who can't just let it go to Off-Task Oliver who won't get with the program, the video does a great job of showing the process from the reviewer's and recipient's point of views. I can only hope that when I peer reviewed my classmates in the past and any in the future that I will not be any of the characters in the video. Maybe it has a been a long time for me, but I don't remember ever getting the chance to peer review another classmate's work in the fourth or fifth grade. I do like how it has changed. Teaching students early on how to properly peer edit and cooperate, in addition to what not to do do when editing, will only help them as they go through life.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blog Post 2

Professor Dancealot

     I think the central message of the video was to show us how not to teach a class. The author of the video asks us what happens when a teacher's goals, assessments, and course activities do not match up. In the video Professor Dancealot shows talks the entire time throughout his lectures and uses diagrams and demonstrations to illustrate his point. The author's point soon becomes clear as the video progresses to lecture after lecture. Professor Dancealot's demonstrations are lost due to the fact that he stays behind his desk the entire time, blocking the students' view. Another crucial part of Professor Dancealot's lectures is that he refuses to involve or interest his students. By the end of the semester half of the original class has dropped and the remaining students have no practical knowledge of anything that has been taught the entire semester, further dooming them when their final turns out requiring them to give a demonstration of all that they have learned. While Professor's Dancealot's goal of teaching a dance class may have been met, his assessment's and course activities are rendered completely moot by the end of class. I would have to agree with the author in that the video is a good representation of what not to do in a classroom. Anyone can simply teach a class but to actually engage a class and make sure the students are learning are the hallmarks of a good teacher.

Teaching in the 21st Century

     Kevin Roberts thinks that to be a teacher is to be to one who shows students the skills they will need to use the information that they themselves can readily access. In his video "Teaching in the 21st Century", Robert's says that students can already access any information they want or need through resources such as Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube and that teachers should not just re-spout this information to their students. They should engage their students by teaching them the skills they need to know to interpret the data before them. I would agree with the way that Kevin Robert's sees teaching changing. Many students nowadays are bored in classes and don't even show up when all professors do is read from the book. In his video Roberts asks several questions of his students such as: "What is the current relationship between India and Pakistan?" or "You have $1000 to donate toward hunger relief. Which organization in which country would you give it to?". Accessing information on two countries or looking up hunger relief organizations is something that can be done by any student with basic internet browsing skills. However, early in the video Roberts mentions something similar and asks if students can do the following six things: validate, synthesize, leverage, communicate, collaborate, or problem solve using information. Would a student know which food relief organization is the most responsible with their money? How would they know the difference between an article that shows an objective view of the relationship between India and Pakistan and which ones are biased? These are the types of things that Roberts, and myself, believe should be taught to students. I for one will most certainly adapt my teaching techniques to teach my students the skills they will need to use the information they are given.

The Networked Student

     As I watched the video "Networked Student" by Wendy Drexler I got more and more excited. Finally, here was a video that was talking about all the things my professors had been introducing to us. Over the past few years, professors have been pushing more and more for students to establish their "personal learning network". Yet, not a one explained exactly what that was other than the textbook "...resources and people you will use to help you in your field in the future." Well, that's not very helpful. Not a single one answered the big question I always came away with: How? So, when "Networked Student" explained the role of our psychology student's teacher, I was glad. I thought to myself, this is what a teacher should be doing when they tell a student that they should be learning outside of the classroom. Teaching the in's and out's and the how's, that should be a teacher's job. Yet, I'm also a bit sad because I have yet to have a teacher like the one described in the video. I can only hope that one day I'll get more and more teachers like that while I'm in school and hope to be like that teacher one day.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

     In Vicki Davis's video "Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts", I found the main point to be very similar to Kevin Robert's presentation "Teaching in the 21st Century". The point of Davis's video is to say that students need to empower themselves while learning and that teachers should be teaching students and students should be teaching teachers. I agree with this sentiment. I have seen teachers use their experience as a way to elevate themselves and to make it seem like they are all knowing. Yet in the video, Davis says something that I find extremely important. She says "So many teacher think that I need to know everything before I teach and that is completely the wrong thing to teach". Teaching should go both ways or else how can teaching evolve and keep up with changing times? Teachers can guide students while learning from them and students can still learn while showing the teacher something new.

Whose Ahead in the Learning Race?

     In the video "Whose Ahead in the Learning Race?" by Dr. Strange, we saw his experiences with an elementary school classroom and how they where compared to those learning in undergraduate and graduate programs in his college classrooms in terms of using technology. At the end of the video Dr. Strange asks a question. Whose ahead in the learning race, elementary schools, undergraduate students, or graduate students? Given the bare bones facts in the video, it would seem that elementary students are ahead in the learning race and as an undergraduate student myself, I would agree with that statement. Elementary students hold the advantage here because they have easy access to technology which has been provided for them while undergraduate students and graduates are often told "you're on your own." The most important advantage that elementary students hold is that this is all new to them and their minds are not filled with years upon years of other ways of learning. This is the only way they've learned and will know how to learn. For us undergraduates and graduates, we have to unlearn many old ways that no longer are meaningful, in addition to having to learn completely new systems. Having to deal with both is easily confusing and therein the advantage lies with elementary students in not having to balance two ways of learning.

Flipping the Classroom

     The concept of flipping a classroom is completely new to me. I am not sure what to think of it. On one hand I see how if this replaces homework, it can be useful. However, if this was to be in addition to normal assignments and homework then I strongly disagree. Getting the the students to want to learn outside of the classroom is great but putting so much on them to where they are required to spend almost all of their free time learning should not be the goal. I think this approach could be very useful to me as a teacher. Personally, I hate it when teachers just read straight from the books and this solves that problem pretty cleanly. Another thing I detest is having questions to ask and yet no to time to ask except outside of the classroom cause the entire class time has been devoted to lecture. Flipping the classroom seems a good way to balance out all of these problems.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blog Post 1

What About EDM310?
1. One thing I heard about EDM310 was that it was one of the hardest courses in the Education Department. I hadn't heard any specifics about why it was hard but most opinions agreed that it was the one class they did not like.
2. I am afraid about EDM310 in that I will fail it due to something simple such as not studying enough.
3. I would say I could not compare EDM310 to any of my other classes yet because I've only been to one class and do not yet have enough experience to compare it to other classes. I would say that unlike my other classes, EDM310 is one of the most detailed, structured, and time-intensive courses I have taken.
4. I think the most difficult thing for me about EDM310 would be being able to commit so much time to one class in terms of work and studying.
5. I think the best way for me to address this difficult task for me would be to nip it in the bud and start getting into good study habits early this semester.
6. I don't have any other questions about EDM310 at the moment.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Practice Blog Post

-Why USA
-Family information
-Why education
-Educator work details
-Interesting facts

My name is Patrick Morrison. I'm twenty-three years old and I have lived in Alabama and Louisiana. I lived here in Alabama for ten years, then moved to Louisiana where I lived for four and a half years before finally moving back here where we have stayed. I am going for majors in English and Elementary Education. This will be my 6th year here at South Alabama. I started attending USA because it was close to home and affordable.
I have three siblings. I am the eldest and I have a twin brother. I have two younger sisters along with many cousins. Our extended family is pretty big. Every family reunion I see people I haven't seen or heard of before and apparently, we're related.
I want to be a teacher because I want to make a difference and feel like this is where I can help the most.
An educator's work in nowadays involves working with students, parents, other people, and technology to provide the best possible way to teach students the things they will need to know for later in life.

I love playing video games and like reading more than even video games. I would like to learn how to swim since I do not know how. Source: Google Images.
I'm bad at names but remember faces very well so if I see you in class or elsewhere and forget your name just bear with me.