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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blog Post #15 - Final Reflections

Video refections of EDM310

Thank you for a very eye-opening class as to the technology available to teachers and students! I hope that I can retain at least half of all that I have learned in this class! I will make an effort to use the applications that we learned about each day and will always strive to learn and use more!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Project #5 - Google Doc Presentation and Project #14 Teach Someone Something

I know this was due early in the semester and I had a child in the hospital so I never went back to complete it. But, I didn't want to leave anything undone so I am just now uploading it. Hopefully as the screens progress, you can see the things I have learned in this class.

And, as the slide says, I have only just begun! I look forward to all that I will be able to continue to learn as my experiences in the College of Education at South progress!

My video to teach something took a while because I was unsure how/ what to do. I was trying to make it much difficult than it was. Finally, I decided that I needed to just jump in and do it! If nothing else, in EDM310 this semester, I have learned that you just have to try! Once you get started it all makes sense. So, my advice to myself and others in the class is to not be afraid of technology! It is never as difficult as it seems!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Project #16


Our group decided to create a wiki that would help teachers to find easily accessible technology, have an open discussion and share sites they have found useful as well as help them find and apply for grants that would allow for the implementation of technology within the classroom.

During the semester, I spoke with Ms. Naugle a fourth grade teacher in New Orleans, LA. . She is doing amazing things in her classroom with technology and it was all made possible by a grant she received several years ago. In today's economy with all of the constraints that the school budgets are under, the teachers need to have access to ways that they can enhance their classrooms without much funding, and in some cases with no funding at all. There are many free sites that are available and there are many corporations that provide private funding because they realize the importance of technology in the classrooms for the future of our children. We felt there was a need for a place where teachers could go to find out where these grants are and how to apply for them. Our hope is that the discussion page will become a collaboration of teachers that will share their experiences and knowledge about grants that they have used so that other teachers can take advantage of those grants as well in hope that one day, all classrooms will be equipped with the latest in technology! Please visit our site and join the discussion and add any links that you feel would be helpful to teachers today!

The main hurdle that I have heard to incorporating technology into the classroom is funding. Our hope is that this website will make that hurdle eventually disappear. That all teachers will have access to the technology that they want and need for the classrooms of the future!

I am glad that our group was able to work together the entire semester and complete so many projects together. I have learned from each of them and know they will all be successful as teachers in the future!

Final PLN

My PLN is definitely still a work in progress. I have added tiles for my blog page, the class blog page, South's web page, my gmail and my twitter. These accounts that are used on a regular basis so they deserve a short cut on my PLN. I have added tiles for those tools that are used to complete projects such as YouTube, I Tunes U, Skype,etc. These shortcuts make it easier to navigate within the project for quick completion. I have tried to add sites/tiles that I think will be useful to me as time progresses such as the blog pages of Ms. Yollis, Mr.Chamberlain, Mr. McClung and Ms. Naugle. These are all good examples of the use of technology within the classroom and I hope to follow their example once I have my own classroom. I have also added sites such as ALEX, ACCESS, and BrainPop because I feel they will be useful for future projects and learning.

I am anxious to continue adding to my PLN. I think that your PLN is an ever changing tool that changes based on who, what and why you are doing whatever it is that you are doing at that point in time. As I progress in my education classes, I am sure that I will be able to add/change the collections on my PLN. I hope to continue to develop my network of friends and blogs to follow because I truly feel that we learn best from each other and through each others thoughts, words and experiences.

C4T April 17

My assignment for this C4T isSpeaking Of History. This is a very interesting blog page by Eric Langhorst, a history teacher in Liberty, Missouri. His latest post was a presentation that he was giving at the 2011 Missouri Council for Social Studies Conference in Kansas City. It was a wonderful presentation on the use of social media for teaching history. I was not aware of the availability of history material on YouTube. And, i really liked his comment in which he compares Facebook to Twitter. He states that Facebook is people you knew in the past and Twitter is for people you want to know in the future. Although I am new to Twitter, I do see the usefulness of it,however, I am not yet in the habit of using it on a regular basis. I hope to do better with using it in the future. I also like the information about Flickr - I don't use that now but will have to try it out. There is so much technology out there that can be used in the classroom! We have to be open to change and willing to try new things to keep our students interested. Also, I think if we incorporate technology, they are learning a useful real life tool that they will carry with them into the future in addition to the facts and the history! We will be preparing them to use and to be open to all that is available through the internet for when they are no longer students but contributing members of society through the workforce and as future parents themselves. What amazing things we could accomplish if we were to take advantage of all the information that is available to us!

Below is the comment I left for Mr. Langhorst.

Hi Mr. Langhorst! My name is Lisa May and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I really enjoyed the presentation on social media! I am learning new things everyday about each of these services. I would not have thought of using YouTube to teach history but there seems to be a lot of videos available. What a great way to teach the students something useful with a tool that they are all accustom to using on a daily basis. I would much prefer my own children and later my students would be watching something interesting about the Constitution or Declaration of Independence than the latest parody of a rap song!I will have to suggest it as a resource when they are doing there next research assignment!

I am new to the world of social media and have not yet acquired all the necessary skills but I am trying and I am learning something new everyday. My personal blog page is a work in progress but I would invite you to visit and leave a comment if you have a chance!

The second posting to Mr. Langhorst blog post was another presentation that he had given at the 2011 NETA Conference called Not your Dad's History Class. This was a very interesting slideshow that focuses on the evolution of the classroom. It made reference to current methods of teaching: 1. Teacher finds content 2. Teacher presents content to students verbally 3. Students obtain the content usually through written assignments 4. Students demonstrate knowledge usually through a test. His argument/ presentation is that with the use of technology, we can make the classroom so much more! We can make it a much more personal learning experience through the tools that are available to us. However, we can't lose sight of the objective of education. We have to focus on the lessons not just the tools to convey them.

All of this can be accomplished through the use of communication with the students, with other educators, with the parents, etc. It is necessary to collaborate with others that are teaching as you are. It is necessary to build a PLN, the use Twitter, to be social, to find out what is working. It is easily accomplished by inviting others to help with your content, the use simulators, to use demonstrations, use lectures, use videos, there is so much out there that is free and at our disposal as educators, use it! And, finally, BE CREATIVE! Ask your students for input! Energize your lessons, and you will be amazed how much more the students will learn and retain!

These lessons, can be applied to any class not just history! If we incorporate the technology that is available to us into our classroom, we can spark the interest of the students. We can ignite their desire to learn by making it fun and exciting! We can make them want to learn and to come to the classroom if we make it a more personal experience in which they can participate and show their individuality and creativity while not even realizing how much they are learning.

Below is the comment I left for Mr. Langhorst:

Hi Mr. Langhorst,

My name is Lisa May and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed your slide show! I am sure that it was a hit at the conference! I look forward to the day that I can attend these conferences to further my own education and hopefully incorporate that which is being done with technology into my own classroom!

I completely agree that there has to be an evolution in the classroom. Technology has presented us with so much information and so many tools that can make our education system so much more rewarding for the student if it is used! The old way in which I was taught through lectures and memorization is so outdated! The students have access to all the facts,they are right there at their finger tips at all times. We as educators now need to focus on how to use it and to develop their creativity and innovation skills to put this technology and information to use. So much is being lost when we focus only on the facts and test taking. We need to make the past come to life so the students can learn the lessons not just the facts!

This evolution needs to take place in all classrooms - not just history if we want to engage the students so that they become a contributing force in not just society but the world!

I invite you to visit my blog and see the summary I have written of your slideshow!

4:45 PM

Blog Post #14 - Special Assignment - Metaphors

Metaphor's be With You

To begin my post on metaphors, I thought I would "Google it" to see exactly how it is defined and maybe get a different perspective. Of all the definitions, I found this one on by Richard Nordquist to be the most encompassing.

"Some people think of metaphors as nothing more than the sweet stuff of songs and poems--Love is a jewel, or a rose, or a butterfly. But in fact all of us speak and write and think in metaphors every day. They can't be avoided: metaphors are built right into our language."

I never really thought about metaphors until we were asked to keep up with them for a week or so. I didn't realize how many I used on a regular basis, especially when referring to my children. Just like the above statement says, they are built into our language. So, when I use them so often, why did I miss the metaphor in blog post? I think it is because I wasn't really thinking about what I was reading- the big picture. I focused more on the idea of test taking and lack of parental support and involvement. I didn't really pay much attention to the idea of the "pencils." I knew some of the ideas about "pencils" seemed absurd but I overlooked that to focus more on the education system that is currently teaching our children to be excellent test takers but not excellent students. So, I would assume that maybe that is the reason why others missed it as well but am not really sure.

So, you ask what metaphors have I used or encountered lately. Here is a small sample: fast as lightening, she is a night owl, snug as a bug, eyes as blue as the sky, head in the clouds, hard as nails, floating on a cloud, life is a beach, sneaky as a fox, etc... I could go on forever. Especially since I am a country music fan, there seems to be a metaphor in every country song you hear once you are looking for them.

And, finally you asked, why we use metaphors and how can we teach our students to recognize and use them. We use metaphors because they help to get the point across. They help to create an image that puts added emphasis to our thoughts or ideas. They make the conversation or writing more interesting. I think we need to teach the students to use them simply because they show creativity with our language and further our writing and speaking skills. They seem to just come naturally as an adult, maybe because of life experiences so it may be harder to teach young students about them or how to use them. I think that it will require us, as educators, to focus on the technical aspect of the english language to make sure that this art of using metaphors in writing and in speech is not lost. It adds such color to our language that we don't want it to be a lost art or something that is solely used in poetry or country songs!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blog Post #13

border to ALEX webpage

ALEX also known as the Alabama Learning Exchange is an extremely informative website for teachers, administrators, students and parents. Until this assignment, I was unaware that there was an initiative to incorporate technology into the classroom in Alabama. This website, allows for educators around the state to collaborate and share lesson plans, thoughts and initiatives within their classroom that are successful. I found numerous lesson plans, a tremendous number of links and the blog page to be very useful. There is even a personal work page in which you can customize and share your thoughts and ideas. It is a very well-organized website that will introduce you to advancements being made within the state to enhance the education process through the use of technology.

Within the website, it includes information for teaching ages k-12. It includes specific subjects and within those subjects, you can find related lesson plans and links to useful web sites. It will also give you information in regard to the standards that are required on each subject and each level. It appears to be a well developed website that would be useful to all teachers. It does appear also that it needs more contributors in each subject. Maybe it hasn't been promoted within the schools but i am sure as time goes on, it will continue to develop and progress to be an even better tool for teachers within the state of Alabama.

In addition to the course help, it has many links for professional development through Alexville. Although I could not access these sites, since they require registration and passwords, I think that these would be useful in our professional development as a teacher. The field of education is developing and changing at record pace and any information that would be available to help with your personal development and advancement is always a plus.

I found the Access Distance Learning Website to be equally impressive if not more so. In fact, even though this has been in existence since 2004, I had not heard of it before. Again, this could be because I am not yet an educator, and have just now returned to school to study this field but I would think that more promotion of these programs is in order. This is a tremendous program that has been recognized nationally for the strides it is making in the areas of improvements in test scores and graduation rates. I had no idea these initiatives had been established and think they are most definitely a move in the right direction for Alabama. The variety of classes is all inclusive on the high school level and according to their goals for the next 5 years, they hope to expand to the middle school level as well.

I think this is a great resource for students that are independent learners and are self motivated. It allows for a personalized plan in which they advance at their own pace and chose the enhanced courses that interest them. In today's technological world, I think this is a great option for our high school students. It allows them to have access to many subjects that they may not otherwise be exposed to within the walls of their school. It can only help to prepare the students for the ever changing world in which they are a part of!

I think that both sites should be a part of any teacher's PLN. Both allow access to knowledge that can be used within the classroom. Both are a great resource for subject specific data and professional development. I know I will refer to both as I further my education in hopes of becoming an educator in Mobile's school system.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

C4K - April Posts


I was assigned to view the blog page of Ms Thompson's 6/7 year students in Adelaide, Australia. Her blog contains a video for "Rocking Around the Clock" that the class performed. Charlotte T's blog was my assigned student. Her post was in reference to the performance.

Here is the comment that I left for her:

WOW! What a great performance!

My name is Lisa May and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile Alabama in the United States. I am studying to be a teacher and taking a course on technology and was asked to look at your blog page. I read your post about the performance and had to watch it! It looks like so much fun! I love that song, it just makes you want to smile and dance!

You are so lucky to have a teacher that is encouraging you to use technology in your education. Take advantage of it and learn all you can! I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future. If you would like to visit my blog just click on the link. I would love for you to visit! Good luck with school and have fun on your trip to Hong Kong!


I was assigned to watch the talent show section of Mr. McClung's world. Aren't these students amazing! Take a look at his website,here he is doing some great things!

Below is the comment I left for the video- student performs a Weezer song:

Hi! My name is Lisa May and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I was assigned the video - 8th grader sings a Weezer song under the talent show heading. He is very talented on the guitar as well as his vocals! Talent shows always amaze me! I love watching them and am impressed by the talent and courage of the students that perform in front of their peers. I was always to shy and never really had any marketable talents to participate but definitely admired those who did!
I have enjoyed exploring your website and am very impressed by all the things you and your students are doing! I am very new to all of this technology and am continually amazed at all that is being done and the capabilities of the students! I look forward to the day that I have a classroom and can incorporate some of these things into my classroom!
My blog is not as extensive as your classes but I would love for you to visit and make any comments you can. I look forward to following your blog and to learning more great things!


Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog is exceptional! I have been clicking and reading and viewing for well over 2 hours now! I think that the organization is very easy to follow, even for a newcomer to technology like me. I really enjoyed the headers across the top that introduce her, the kids, how to comment, etc. These were extremely informative and helpful. As I was watching and reading, my 12 year old came into the room and he too was amazed that this was a 3rd grade blog. It sparked a great conversation about blogging and its usefulness in both the classroom and for the family. Their school does not use blogging but maybe I will suggest it to the teachers as a possibility for next year!

I really liked the links that she provided in the section about herself. I watched the presentation that she gave on Tech Talk Tuesday. This was an extremely informative video as well as an interesting link that I plan to add to my PLN. It is a site where educators from around the world can collaborate and share ideas about technology and teaching. I think this is so important because we should never stop learning and other teachers can be the best source for help! Here is the link - watch it if you get a chance!Teaching,Commenting and Encouraging Parent Participation

I also liked the video on how to leave a comment. This would be extremely helpful to anyone that is new to blogging. It really makes you think about the importance of what you say and how you say it!

The other thing that I really liked about her blog was the request for parental and family involvement. The questions that are asked in relation to each post really make you want to comment so you can add something to the class. I think these comments are probably as important as the actual blog because it will spark additional conversation within the classroom and the students are learning so much about different cultures, different backgrounds and how things have changed through the generations. And, in addition to all the excellent information that the students are being exposed to, they are learning about writing, grammar, spelling and punctuation! What a fun way to teach the basics of English class. Much more interesting than the way I learned it!

To sum it up, all I can say is that I wish more teachers were using classroom blogs like Mrs. Yollis. It is a tremendous educational tool for the students and the parents! I plan to have a class blog when I get into my own classroom!

C4K #10

I was assigned to comment on Adia's Babble Blog what an amazing 3rd grader! Her writing skills are tremendous! You can definitely see how blogging has had a positive impact. Her close attention to detail and description is exceptional! If I didn't know she was in the third grade, I would have thought her to be much older. The post I commented on was about her Girl Scout meeting in which they discussed Japanese culture. There were great pictures and very interesting facts. And the questions she posts at the end are perfect for inspiring comments. I hope that as teacher, I will be able to inspire my students as Ms. Yollis has to be such good writers and such good students!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Special Assignment Mr. McClung's World

After reviewing Mr. McClung's World, I was extremely impressed with his organization, forward thinking, teaching style and motivation. He seems to be willing to try educational techniques that are a little "outside the box" but I feel are effective in his classroom. I explored the tabs across the top, reading Mr. McClung's bio in which he seems to be a very interesting man. Both an exceptional educator and interesting person. It really appears that his students like him,enjoy his teaching style and are flourishing in this learning environment.

His rules are very explicit and straight forward. They are simple and easy to follow. Follow directions, stay in your seat, raise your hand for permission, make good choices and keep the teacher happy! I think as educators we sometimes think that things need to be complicated, that there needs to be long sets of instruction. But I think that what we will find, as Mr. McClung seems to have found, is that the simpler the better. Don't overwhelm them, just tell them what you expect! Children like boundaries so there needs to be guidelines but they have to have freedom to develop creativity and to learn.

Mr. McClung requires each of his students to have a day planner. I would assume that this is for them to learn organization skills that they will use not just in school but in real life. That is a lesson that we are never to young to learn and to use! If it is important write it down so that it doesn't get overlooked or forgotten. Being on time for assignments, meetings, projects, etc is extremely important and organization and time management contribute heavily to these. If the planner is used as it should be, and assignments are tracked, I am sure that they are done in a timely manner. His penalties for late homework are not unreasonable. They are similar to the penalties I incurred as a grade school and high school student. They do not seem too tough and the students in eighth grade are able to understand the consequences of bad decisions, including not doing work or assignments.

When reviewing Mr. McClung's World for the last assignment, I watched a video. I chose to look in April posts to find a post to review this time. I chose, Using Kagan Strategies – Circle the Sage post on 04/14. In this post he explains this technique of teaching. I think it is a good teaching strategy because it involves the students and lets them teach their peers. There is a video of the process in a future post as well on April 17. The students seem to have enjoyed it and it appeared to be a success. I think sometimes it is easier to learn something from a peer than it is to learn from the teacher. It somehow makes it more interesting and easier to remember when you hear it from someone else. I would be interested to see what Mr. McClung thought of the lesson and if he plans to continue using this style in his classroom.

Mr. McClung includes many useful links on his web page. The two I chose to explore wereDiscovery Education and The Scholastic Story Starter. Both are very educational and offer numerous resources for teachers, students and parents. I plan to list both on my personal PLN. They contain lesson plans, links to ideas for presenting subject matter, communication with other educators and great activities for the students. They are both applicable for all ages so which level you teach you will be able to find age appropriate material. The Scholastic site was highlighting the Story Teller page. It is a slot machine type game that gives suggestions for storytelling. It could be used to spark the imagination for individual stories or a collaborative group project. Either way, it would definitely ignite the creativity in the students to continue the story! I imagine these sites were included because of their usefulness and overall appeal to all involved in the education process. I know that I will use them when I have my classroom.

In regard to the host EduBlog, I did find the layout very useful. It seems to be well organized and easy to follow and find information. I really like the headers across the top. They help to navigate through the site more effectively. The only classroom blog that I have seen on Blogger is the EDM310 site and it seems to be just as easy to navigate. I have not found anything that would make me chose one over the other. They seem to be equal as far as I am concerned. In addition, I have not reviewed any other 8th grade blogs. Most that I have reviewed are of younger grades. So, Mr. McClung's blog is more advanced than some that I have reviewed but I suspect that is because his students are a little more advanced and warrant a more complex site. Overall, his site is one of the best that I have reviewed. He has so much information available through his posts, the student posts and the links. There isn't anything that he left out that I can see. I hope that when I have a classroom blog, it will be as comprehensive and as useful as his!

Blog Post #11

Ms. Cassidy's first graders were unbelievable! How great is it that they are being exposed to this amount of technology at such an early age? They are so inquisitive at that age and what better way to teach them than through a medium that that have only seen as entertainment before. All children love to see themselves on video so why not use it in the classroom to reiterate lessons that are being taught. The students take pride in what they are doing which sparks them to want to learn more and do more. And, isn't that our job as educators, to spark their interest to learn and to ignite that passion for education within our students?

Ms. Cassidy has found many techniques for the use of technology in her classroom. Just in that short video, use see students learning math, english and reading. When they can publish what they know through videos or blogs that are going to be seen by the entire world, it not only teaches them the facts but develops their self-confidence, their ability to work with others, their writing skills, and the list goes on and on. What could possibly be negative about it? I really like what she is doing and I hope that in the future, we see this as a standard in all classrooms!

I also liked her comments in the Skype interview about the safety of the children and internet use. I thought the idea of sending home a letter for permission on the first day of school was a great idea. It immediately lets the parents know what their children will be doing and that their safety is the number one priority. I also like the statement that she made that our job as educators is to teach them how to use the internet. Sure there are negative things out there but I would think that it is not a common circumstance that the children go looking for it. I am sure there is some curiosity but our job is to teach them to be responsible internet citizens as she stated. I think that is probably one of the best lessons that we can teach them!

I hope that when EDM310 is over, I will continue to learn about technology and it's potential uses in education. I hope to use blogs, videos, etc. once I have my own classroom. I have seen through Ms. Cassidy's interview and video that the students are never too young to begin using technology. They will improve their writing skills, communication skills and resourcefulness. And, it is all taught to them in such a way that it is fun and exciting! I know that whenever things are changing such as the way we teach, there will be some resistance. I think that Ms. Cassidy has the best approach by doing what she is doing in her classroom, and finding support where she can and understanding that there are varying views out there. As she stated technology is here to stay so why not start using it! I know that technology is ever changing and I hope that I can have the dedication and support to continually learn so that I will be able to prepare my students for their place in the world!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blog Post #12

I came across this video on Youtube - Do You Teach or Do You Educate? I think a blog assignment in relation to this movie could be beneficial to all education majors.

The blog assignment would read something like this:

Watch the video, Do You Teach or Do You Educate. Think about why you became an education major. Write two paragraphs stating how you intend to educate rather than just teach.

If this would have been one of our assignments, my blog would have been:

How true is this video! We are called to be educators not just teachers! Our job is to lead the students and to engage them in such a way that we spark their creativity and we guide them to be the best that they can be. All students learn in different ways and if all we are doing is drilling them with facts and forcing our opinion upon them, will they be able to think for themselves when they "grow up"? Will they be able to take what they have learned in my classroom and apply it to real life? Will they know how to use the vast amount of information that is available to them through technology and the internet?

These are just a few of the challenges that we encounter as educators! I look forward to the challenge and hope to have a classroom that is enlightening, nurturing, engaging and successful in influencing the students to always want to learn more. I hope to inspire them to be forever students and to be willing to experiment with new things and to know that every experience is a learning experience. Some lessons will work, others will not but I hope to be an educator that is continually learning and inspiring my students to do the same!

I love the quote from Socrates, "Education is the kindling of a flame - not the filling of a vessel." What a statement and what a responsibility we have as educators! I look forward to the challenge and the responsibility!

Progress Report on Final Project

Thanks to Meghan Simmons, our group has an amazing idea for our final project. We will be meeting this Wednesday to "hash out" the details! If all works as planned, it will be a very useful wiki for educators to use to find funding for incorporating technology into their classroom! I look forward to working on it and developing the idea further!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blog Post #10

In Morgan Bayda's Blog - An Open Letter to Educators, she presents some very interesting ideas and valid complaints. It is hard to sit through hours of lectures and to decipher that which is important and what needs to be retained for the "test". I have experienced both forms of education now. My previous experiences, before EDM310, consisted only of lectures and memorization. I was okay with it and graduated with my degree because that was all that was available or so I thought! Now that I have been exposed to a more collaborative form of education where there is conversation and creativity involved, I see how much greater things can be! How much more information is actually retained for future use and application when the student participates in the learning process. Any one can memorize a fact and spout it out for a test but can they really apply the process or use the lesson in the future. Have they really learned anything? In today's world, we as teachers need to focus on fostering the creativity and the application of facts not so much the facts. Sure, there has to be a balance and we want our students to "know" certain things but isn't it more important for them to know how to find the facts and use the facts rather than just memorize the facts? I think our challenge as teachers is to find the balance between the old form of education and the new form of education. It is to incorporate technology and be willing to adapt and change as the world continues to adapt and change.

In Dan Brown's video, he too raises some interesting ideas about knowledge and it's cost. Information is free on the internet to those that have access to the internet. So there is still some value to information. I agree that the way we educate must change and I think that it is coming but I don't think dropping out of school is the answer. There does need to be reform and we don't want our students so just conform as they have in the past but quitting won't change it either. Change is a slow process but it is happening! Participating and earning a degree to be able to teach and help with the change would seem to be a more productive way of challenging the system. Don't quit on the system, work within it, challenge it's boundaries and improve it so future generations don't encounter the same frustrations and limitations!

Below is the comment I left for Morgan:

Hi Morgan!

I enjoyed visiting your blog and reading your thoughts on education! I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Having been to school, earning my first degree over 20 years ago, and returning to school this semester, it is unbelievable how things have changed. My first degree was earned under the memorization of facts and professor lectures but this semester has really opened my eyes to a new way of learning! I have truly enjoyed all the technology that I have been exposed to and am impressed by the things that are happening in our schools. Although it may not be widespread yet, I think it is coming! As new teachers graduate and implement that which they have learned, it will change the face of education! We as teachers must be willing to continually learn and change so that our students are not struggling to stay awake in class. We must keep them engaged and interested so that their creativity is sparked and their enthusiasm developed for greatness!

While reading the articleDon't Let Them Take The Pencils Home, it made me think about how is easy it must be as a teacher to get wrapped up in the results of our teaching through the use of test scores. Unfortunately, our society and our education system want to put a measurement on everything and when the numbers are not what they want or expect, they want to find someone or something to blame. Like blaming the use of pencils to play with as the reason for low test scores! How crazy does that sound? Maybe as many of the students said in their comments about the article, as educators, we need to focus on the solution not the problem. Maybe we need to ask why the students aren't performing, I would guess that it has more to do with the style of teaching than the use of pencils to play hangman. I realize that a positive environment has an impact on education and that parental support is extremely important but if those things are not there, what can we as educators do to break that cycle. What kind of impact can we have on our students so that they grow to be concerned parents that foster the importance of education in their children. If we engage these students by their involvement in their education and show them the possibilities that are available to them through technology and creativity, we can change their world and thus the world around us. We must keep our eye on the big picture and not get bogged own with the details that can discourage us and make us lose sight of the ultimate goal, well educated productive, creative, contributing members of society!

Below is the comment that I left on the Mr. Spencer's blog page:

Hi! My name is Lisa May and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. I read your blog as part of our weekly assignment. I found it very interesting! I will be following it in the future. I liked the storytelling style. When reading the conversation, it is so easy to see the sarcasm and the ridiculousness of the situation. Could "pencils" really have an impact on test scores? Who cares what they are writing/playing with them at least they are using them! Our job as educators should be to foster such a level of creativity and learning that it carries over into the after school life. I know we can't be involved in every aspect of our students lives but if we show them hope, concern and genuine possibility of an amazing future through creativity and education, we have done our job! The test scores are not the only measurement of our success as teachers!

C4T #2

Lucacept - Intercepting the Web

My name is Lisa May and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class. I was assigned your blog to review for my comments for teachers assignment this month. I love looking at these blogs and seeing the many interesting things that the teachers are doing and the tools they are using in their classrooms!

That video was amazing! It is hard to believe how gullible that people can be! We are often moving so fast through life that we don’t take the time to actually “see” the things that are going on around us. It would be interesting to have talked to some of those people that received the kings autograph. Do you think they ever realized that it was an actor? Do you think that they will think and question the next “exhibit” they see? I bet if the visitors to the museum that day had been children, they would have questioned it. Children aren’t as afraid as adults to ask questions. They are very inquisitive whereas adults often just take it as truth and move on. This is just another reminder that we need to slow down, “see” the world around us and learn from it!

As an aspiring teacher, I would invite you to visit my blog and make any suggestions or comments. Any insights I can get from those that are using technology in their classrooms would be greatly appreciated!

Comment #2

The most recent post on my assigned teacher blog was about April Fool's! What a fun day! Check out this video on the "new" email from Google!

Here is the comment I left in regard to her blog:

Hi, My name is Lisa May and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I enjoyed reading about and watching your April 1st post. Isn’t April’s Fools a fun day! Google does have some great videos and pranks! I wonder how many people tried the “new email” out before realizing it was a joke? We live in such a fast pace world, I think sometimes we don’t really “see” what we are watching – which in turn can really make us look like a fool! Thanks for the post and the laugh! We all need to take the time to laugh!
My blog is a work in progress but I invite you to visit and comment! I look forward to reading about your thoughts on the conference you are attending this weekend!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blog Post #9

"What I've Learned This Year" by Mr. McClung

What an awesome blog! It is true how much we learn over a year's time! Also, with it being the first year in the classroom, things are always so different in "real life." The college classroom full of peers is so different than the classroom full of wide-eyed students! Especially when you are the new teacher, I am sure you are tested by the students, other faculty and administration just to get to know your style and your attitude.

How important it is to stay positive as the quote said! I am sure it is easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated when things don't go as we envision them. But as was stated so well, we are dealing with children and no lesson is ever perfect. We have to be able to watch their reaction and "see" that they are understanding the lesson as we are presenting it and to be able to adapt and change if that is what is needed.

I think all of the suggestions are great but I find the last two "Listen to your students" and "Never stop learning" to be the most important. We have to hear what our students are saying by their words and their actions because as one of the students stated, that is how they know we care. And, since the world is such an ever changing, ever developing fast pace place, it is necessary for us as teachers to be willing to change and learn with it. No one will ever know everything and we must be willing to learn from all sources - even our students!

Skype Interview

For my Skype interview, I chose to interview Paula Naugle a teacher in New Orleans. I had received an invitation from her to visit her classroom after commenting on one of student's blogs through C4Ks in February. She is doing amazing things with technology in her classroom. Take a look at her blog, Paula Naugle's Blog Page It was an awesome interview! I really enjoyed talking to her and I learned so many things! I can't wait to visit her classroom and see the use of technology in action!

C4K - March Posts

C4K #4

Hi Naomi! My name is Lisa May and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama in the United States. I am studying to be a teacher and was assigned to your blog. I love the picture! I was impressed that you were able to upload the picture and the link. I just learned how to do that in this class! You are so lucky to have a teacher that lets you use this technology in the classroom. I know it makes it so much more interesting!

When I saw the picture of Maria Tutaia, I did a google search to find out who she was. She plays netball for New Zealand. I didn't know what netball was either so I had to search it as well. It seems a lot like basketball. Do you play netball? My two sons are 12 and 10 and they play basketball for their school. Does your school have a netball team? Have you ever been to watch her play? She seems like a good role model from the information I read about her. Why do you like her? Why did you chose to add her picture to your blog?

I would love to hear from you. You can read my blog at


The student I commented on was Ngametua and she is a year 7 student at Point England School. She was blogging about her picnic! Her blog address is Ngametua's Blog Page. Below is the comment I left for her:

My name is Lisa May and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama in the United States. I loved reading you blog about your picnic. What a fun day at school! We call these days field trips at my children's school. But I don't think they have ever gotten to go swimming on a field trip! You must have great teachers that want you to have fun! I love to be near the water and to play volleyball and softball. This would have been a great day for me too! All the things I like to do!

I am very impressed with your blog! I just learned how to use a blog this year and I am much older than you! You are so lucky to have teachers that are letting you explore technology and use the internet! You can visit my blog at I would love for you to comment on it if you get a chance!


The third blog I was assigned to review was Room 8 at the Melville Int School. They are making a lot of movies there and I was asked to watch one on handball. Here is the link if you'd like to view it.NZ Handball Demo for Denmark They are blogging with a school in Denmark and have learned that things may be named the same but are different in different cultures.

Hi, my name is Lisa May and I too am a student at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. I really enjoyed watching your video! Isn't it amazing how "handball" can mean so many different things? My son's play "handball" in our driveway. They use a tennis ball and throw it against the wall. They have tried to teach me but I am not very good at it! They are 11 and 12 and like to play it at recess too! Isn't it cool that they like to play the same things even though we live so far away?

The world really is a small place and technology is making it even smaller. Your school s doing a great job of incorporating technology in your education. I hope you are enjoying it and keep developing it as you advance in your education.

Thanks again for sharing your video! It was awesome.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blog Post #8

Dr. Richard E. Miller Discusses Writing With Multimedia

I enjoyed watching the video by Dr Miller. I think he discusses many important topics. And I definitely agree with his idea that the way we write and communicate has changed. The fact that we live in a world of immediate communication and collaboration is astounding. It does create an environment of immediate audiences and "listeners" to our ideas and thoughts. You can dream anything, find a creative medium within technology to distribute it on the internet and have feedback in a matter of minutes. This in itself amazes me! What better execution of the rights of freedom of speech!

As teachers, I think it is our responsibility to teach our children to use the freedom responsibly. Because they are exposed to it in many fashions, most of it in a social manner, it is our responsibility to teach them to use their writing skills and media for the good of mankind. They need to use it for the betterment of society. We need to teach them to use it to communicate their ideas and thoughts to a world wide audience.

We also need to learn to use the technology that is available to us for creating these amazing documents and publications. To be able to embed historical speeches into a paper, to be able to see and use real time reports to further support our thoughts, to be able to rally a nation behind an injustice are all things that are capable by the use of technology. I think a book report in the future will be so different from the book reports that I did as a child. It will be not just a summary of the book but a conglomerate of ideas found in the book, opinions of others that can be found on the internet through blogs and the like, or videos or interviews that contain reviews about the book. The possibilities are endless and we as teachers need to explore all these options and expose our students to all of these options so they will be able to use their creativity to communicate their ideas to the world wide audience.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies

I watched these videos earlier in the semester but they did not have as much impact as they do now! I completely understand the overwhelmed feeing of the "students"in both videos. Because it is a class that is very independent, it requires a lot of discipline to complete all the work. I thought that it would be a breeze but what I have found is that it is very challenging. I don't know if it is so much the time as it is learning all the new technology. I find myself putting things off because I am unsure how to do it so my first thought for a video would be on the usefulness of the lab and the other resources that are provided by the staff. Another video could be a comparison of the level of confidence of the students at the beginning of the class versus the end of the class. And one last idea would be an instructional video on the PLN and Twitter. I am still having trouble with the composition of the PLN and usefulness of Twitter. I don't have the ability to get twitter on my phone so for me to use it, I have to be at the computer and the timing is just hard. Maybe one on suggestions of how and when to tweet would be useful.

The most important thing that I can say that I have learned from both videos and the first half of the semester is to stop procrastinating! My goal for the second half of the semester is to work steadily each day on the projects rather than waiting until the last minute!

I really enjoyed this video! It really speaks the truth. These are very well known, well educated teachers that are stating that education has to change. One even goes so far as to say that "Education is dead but the door to learning has opened." What a profound statement. We definitely are in the midst of a change in mind set when it comes to education. Memorization of facts is not longer necessary. That information is at your fingertips. It can be accessed at any time. Our job now is to teach them to use the resources to find the information, to process it and to apply it to everyday life. They have to be able to differeniate fact from fiction. They have to be able to recognize opinion from fact also. They have to be able to process all the information that is available to them to formulate their own opinion and produce creative ideas and thoughts. They have to know how to communicate their information. They have to know how to collaborate with their peers to create and develop projects. If we can create this thirst for knowledge within our students imagine the future that they will have ahead of them! Education has to change to teach the changing world around us!

RSA Animate The Secret Powers of Time by Phillip Zambardo and Drive - The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by David Pink

First, I would like to say that I love the format of these videos. They are very stimulating because you find yourself enthralled with the fast pace of the drawings as well as the fast talk of the speaker. It really holds your attention and makes you pay attention. What great use of technology to insight both the auditory and visual senses.

Aside from the technology, the message in both is very clear and very true. We are a society that lives in the moment - hedonistic present people. We want what is good now. We hate to wait and consider it a waste of our time. We are a society of multi-taskers. But, is that always good? Are we multi-taking for the betterment of our sanity or only to find more time to work. Do we use technology to help us or to hinder us? I found the fact that if given an extra day, most people surveyed said they would use it for work. Why not for family and fiends? I think we can learn from some of the practices of the past - for instance family dinners and family vacations. How much time do we actually spend with our family? We are all so plugged in that even when we are together, are we really together. I have been in a room with a bunch of teenagers and no one is talking but they are all texting. So, I ask, who are you texting? And, they are texting the child sitting right next to them. CRAZY! Why don't they just speak. Are we losing the ability to communicate in person?

I really believe the part of the video in which he says we have to change the way we teach these children. They are not like we were. They do not respond to the way we were taught. They need to be engaged so that they are not left behind. They are aware of the technology - it excites them. It involves them and they can relate to it. As teachers, we have to utilize this so we can communicate with them and encourage them to learn. They need to use technology for more than video games. They need to know what is out there. They need to know that they can use the skills they have from playing video games in their education. They can use those problem solving skills, those creative approaches to be successful in school. We have to foster their desire to learn and help them apply it so they can be successful in life. We need to teach them to be future thinking individuals rather that hedonistic present thinkers.

This brings us to the second video which is directly related to the ideas of time and culture and society. If, as the video says, we were to pay people enough so that money was not an issue, can you imagine the possibilities! If people did things for the enjoyment, for the personal satisfaction, simply for the purpose of leaving their mark on society, can you imagine all that would get done? If we didn't have to worry about the bills, and the mortgage and the car note, all that brain energy and thought could be directed at developing and creating. When the stress of money is removed, it frees up so much time for being productive.

I think everyone has an underlying desire to change the world. I think that we become robots and do as we are told, when we are told and eventually we forget our childhood dreams of changing the world. We become desensitized by the material world, all the things we have to have and think we need. All those things that money can buy. When, if we were to look inside, what we really need and what should drive us can be found in the heart of the children. What we really want and what really drives us to be loved, to be accepted and have a purpose. We all want to do something important and in turn be important to someone. Our job as teachers is to never let that inner desire to have purpose be destroyed in our students. We need to develop their creativity and love for each other and humanity and develop it so they will have an impact on society by the things the create and do as adults.