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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!