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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.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Well, all I can say is that my PLN is definitely a work n progress. I have watched the videos, looked at past student PLN's, watched the tutorial and still am somewhat lost as to the benefit of using the PLN. I have an account with Symbaloo and have changed the background and created a few tiles to make access to my blog and the edm310 blog easier from Symbaloo. It is easy to create a tile. I am just confused as to what tiles I need to be creating. Maybe I am making this more difficult than it is. Maybe I am trying to read something into it. The way I understand it, it is just a way to organize websites you use on a regular basis. I would happily take any comments or suggestions as to how to make the PLN useful to this class.

Blog Post #7 - Randy Pausch Last Lecture

I just finished watching the last lecture of Dr. Randy Pausch, what an amazing man! To be faced with the news of cancer and only a short time to live and to be able to continue to have that attitude and response to life. His statement in regard to life being about your reaction is so true! Your personality truly shows in your reaction to the "brick walls" as he discussed. I loved the idea that the brick walls are there to stop the others that don't want the item/idea as much as you. They are there to find out who is truly motivated. I loved that he shared his childhood dreams and that by achieving his dreams, he was able to touch the lives of so many other people. How true it is that when we take the focus off of ourselves and make it about others, life becomes so much more fulfilling and happy. We achieve so much more when we help others. It appears that is the story of his life and what a success it was!

I really liked the lessons that he talked about that he learned from others in his life. I once had a softball coach that had us practice without a ball as well. I never really understood the philosophy behind it until he talked about his football coach. It really is about knowing the fundamentals. It takes the whole team to be a success, not just the one with the ball! I am often asked why I make myself crazy involving my kids in so many sports. It is for the exact reasons that he spoke of. "The head fake" lessons. Children learn so much about teamwork, helping others, playing together, sharing, etc. by being on a team. I also like the idea that he carried the team aspect over into the classroom. I think that students can learn just as much as if not more by working in teams. Everyone sees things in a different way and when exposed to all these different thoughts, it often sparks creativity and enthusiasm. I think that teamwork and group projects are an important part of education. These projects can be incorporated into every aspect of education. I think students learn better and learn more when participating in the process and working with others. When in a group, it is just more fun! It's the head fake lessons, most of the time you don't realize you are learning. You often see it as a time for socializing, yet you are learning. What better way to teach - then when they don't realize they are being taught!

I also liked the fact that he wasn't afraid to try something new. Starting the BVM class and the ETC classes were a risk. No one knew how they would be received. No one knew the outcome. But, he had developed such a relationship with the school and he had such the personality that they were willing to take that risk. And what a great decision that was. I think it would be safe to say that the students amazed him in their abilities. I think this idea could be applied to all classrooms. If we give the students the support and the ability to use their talents without too many restrictions, we will always be amazed at the outcome. I think to often, we get stuck in a rut and we do that which has always been done when it would be much more effective to be open minded and to think outside of the box. I think in regard to technology and the advances that have been made, we as future educators have to be willing to change, we have to be willing to take risks and we have to have faith in our students ability to amaze us!

And, finally, how awesome would it be to know that you have touched as many lives as he has. To have inspired so many people. To have changed the way education is approached. To have been able combine all aspects of education, the right and left side of the brain. To teach without the student knowing that they were learning. I think we live in a hands on society. Children want to be entertained and our jobs as teachers have to change with that mentality. We have to be able to break through the brick walls, whether it be lack of funding, lack of equipment, lack of parental support, lack of administrative support and provide this type of education to them. We have to involve the student, motivate the student, and incorporate technology so they stay entertained and on target. We have to give them the tools and support they need to develop their creativity and as an aside, they will in most cases amaze us and teach us more than we have ever taught them!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Link to Teacher's Blog

I do agree that we can not teach as we were taught. I realize that education has to change and grow with the technology that is now available. We as teachers have to be able to incorporate technology into our classrooms in order to first hold the students attention and second to prepare them for the world in which they are to become a productive part of. Technology is ever changing and it is a scary thing because you can never be an expert as most teachers feel they should be. I think the answer is to realize that as teachers we just have to be expert learners! We have to be willing to try the new technology, sometimes that may even mean learning from our students. We can't be afraid to try new things! We have to meet the challenge of the future head on and not allow ourselves to hold onto the "old ways" to the detriment of our students. I hope that I can incorporate all that I have learned and will learn in EDM310 in my classroom once I begin to teach! I want to be the teacher that the students think is cool because they are engaged and are learning when they think they are just having fun. I know it will be hard because as a whole society often resists change and there are many teachers with a lot of seniority that will hold out and resist the movement to incorporate more technology into the classroom. They will offer every reason why it won't work and that things are working fine now so why change. I hope to be a strong enough voice to change that attitude and help to move education into the 21st century!

FEBRUARY 20, 2011 10:41 PM

This is my second comment on your blog for the C4T assignment. I loved the title "Serendipity" what a fun word! It invokes creativity just in saying it! As I read the blog and the comments about the video, it made me think back to the video. The video was very inspiring as many of the quotes from the comments of other students said. It really makes you think how something so simple can have such a positive affect. It makes you think about the value of creativity and the importance of fostering it in our students. We don't want our students to become complacent and mundane in their approach to school, to studies and mostly to life. We want and need to inspire them to use all of their brain! Can you imagine the impact we could have on the world if we were to inspire even half of the children to reach their potential! As educators, it is important that we challenge the students and inspire them so they don't become "robots" doing the same thing day after day just because that is what has always been done. I think it is our calling to think outside the box to make school fun so they can see all the possibilities that lie ahead of them! Isn't it crazy how something so simple and can have such impact!

Blog Post #6

I just finished watching Wendy Drexler's video on the Networked Student. I enjoyed it because it was simple and straight forward. It is hard to believe that it was made in 2008. I was completely unaware that all of this technology was even available at that time. The idea of the networked student was new to me as I began this class.

I guess I am still trying to grasp all of it and how to use all of it in the classroom. It is hard to envision all of these changes, my brain wants to remember the classroom of the past that I learned in 20 years ago. I accept the challenge to learn the technology and to continue learning as time goes on. I think that the role of the teacher will always be there, the function may change. The teacher in the future may be more of a moderator that helps the students on individual learning paths. I think the classroom will always exist but maybe not the way it did 20 years ago. We have to embrace the technology and change with our students so that we can keep them engaged and teach them skills not just facts.

I think the idea that was presented in the video of teaching the students to develop a learning network is important as well as the idea of not being afraid to ask. With the technology that is available, the students can be exposed to so much more than I ever was as a student. All I had was an encyclopedia which doesn't even come close to the information that is available on the internet. But, I think the students need to be guided and taught how to use the internet effectively. They need to know it can be used for learning and for meaningful conversation not just for entertainment. All in all, I think teachers and students need to have a learning network available to them, it needs to include the internet and technology as well as human interaction and discussion.

A 7th Grader's PLE

I was totally impressed by the video of this 7th grader. It can be found by clicking on the following link. Welcome to My PLE.

This video really amazed me! These students are really learning skills that they can use for a life time. She didn't just learn about the gecko or the jellyfish, she learned where to get information about it, how to organize that information and how to communicate and share the information! What a lesson! My PLN is a bunch of websites written on sticky notes, the back of envelopes and scraps of paper. How much more efficient would it be for me to have this information organized on a personal page? I think I need to go back to elementary school to learn these skills! As I have been progressing in this class, I have tried to not be overwhelmed and have tried to be open to change but after seeing her PLE and thinking about mine, I realize I am still holding onto the old way of doing things with pen and paper! I will make more of an effort to utilize what I am learning and to incorporate it to make my learning process easier and more efficient!

To use a Smartboard?

Positive Uses of the SmartBoard

After reading the first two articles, I wondered if there was a positive side to using the smart board. These two educators seemed to think the only benefit to the smart board was to make it appear that the school was using technology. They argued that all the smart board did was allow the teacher to have a neat new gadget that enabled her to continue to teach in the "old way" of stand and lecture. It also seemed to argue that the expense was outrageous and the same outcome could be accomplished with the old methods, the tried and true, projectors and computer stations with keyboards.

My assumption after looking over some of the comments to these two articles and the link that I have attached, is that maybe these teachers didn't have significant training on how to use the smart board. It appears that teachers, have very distinct feelings about the smart board, you either love it or hate it. There seems to be a significant argument for both. It appears that it is more successful if the teacher is creative and has enough training to be able to use it effectively. It seems to be successful when it is used interactively and keeps the students involved in the process. They seem to be very successful in math classes and in teaching special needs students, ie the deaf and hard of hearing. If the students don't participate in the lesson, how is the technology beneficial? The use of technology is to involve and engage the students. I think the smart board is just a tool as is all technology. It is not the answer in every situation. If the money is going to be spent to obtain them, take the extra time to train the teachers to use them effectively. If the training isn't going to take place, use the money on something else!

Project 9b - Instructional Time Line

How to Meet your AR Goal