Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blog Post #5 Part 2

My Updated PLN
Personal Learning Network words

      Well, in looking back at my previous posts, somehow my original #5 post wasn't ever published.  In fact, I can not find it anywhere.  So I guess that, in a way, this is my first and only description of my PLN.  I started off with a very limited PLN.  As I was going through high school, my network was completely different because I wanted to be an engineer.  The people I met and make connections with were not really the ones I needed when I decided to instead become a teacher.  Throughout this class, I have really been driven to connect with other teachers and people associated with teachers.  I am quite pleased and proud with the progress I have made! I now communicate frequently with teachers at different school, a couple of principals, and have even had some meetings with members of the Mobile County Public School Board.  It has been an enlightening and interesting semester for sure! 

C4T #4

      David Mulder currently serves as Instructor of Education at Dordt College. Previously he served Christian schools in California and Iowa teaching a variety of subjects, mostly in grades 5-8. His most recent position prior to Dordt was Technology Coordinator at Sioux Center Christian School.

11/16: Reflecting on Social Presence is about Mulder finally meeting up with the people he has an online class with.  He discusses how important communication is and how we should strive to do so, no matter what methods must be used.

My Comment:
      My name is Kathryn Ortmann and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am studying to be an English teacher and am currently taking a class on how to use technology in a classroom. I have been keeping up with your blog for a while now and I really appreciate this post. I know that as a teacher, I am going to have to remember that my fellow staff is there to help me, and I am going to have to communicate with them. I can imagine how difficult it is to take online classes and talk virtually to people, but never end up meeting them. I'm so glad you finally did and were able to put a face to a name! I love your blog, and thanks for talking about what you do. 

      Bored in Class is about keeping students engaged during lectures and how to avoid the "glowing screen" of their technology that is used when they are bored.  He also posted this picture:
Keeping students engaged in the classroom while lecturing

My comment:
      This picture really had me thinking and considering my role as a teacher. I have spent the past semester learning how to be a teacher, and not many of those classes have stressed engaging the students and keeping them involved in the lesson. I know, as a student myself, that glowing screen is going to be waaaaaay more interesting to students then what I am talking about. I hope I can use technology to keep them engaged, instead of them using technology to pass the time during my class. Thanks for the post!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post #14

By: Joel Klein

    Problems and Solutions
  • Unqualified Teachers
  • Rewarding the Educator
  • Job Security Based on Seniority
  • Raising the qualifications for a teaching degree and making selections from the top of the class
  • Reward based on performance instead of seniority 
  • Eliminate the least effective teacher instead of the newest hire

      I agree that this is a major problem in our education system today.  I like the solution suggested to fix the problem.  I recently took the AECTP test that will qualify me as capable and ready to enter candidacy.  That was the easiest test I have taken throughout my college career.  After I finished, I was thinking that even if you pass that test, you still should not consider yourself capable of teaching another person.  I think colleges and facilities should make their own examinations, and focus on what the subject matter is that the person wishes to teach.  One general knowledge test is not enough.  I also think potential employers should look at grades before hey hire someone.  Just because they finished a degree does not mean that they are fully qualified.  

      Rewarding a teacher is a weird thing.  They all would sure enjoy raises and things like that, but how are you suppose to judge that?  A teacher is only as good as their class, if they absolutely have no drive or interest in learning, it's only going to reflect poorly on the teacher.  My mom, a first grade teacher, will have a super hard working class one year and the next year she will have all of the kids that are only in school to provide a free babysitting service for the parents.   So yes, I agree there should be some type of rewards involved, but I do not think it is a good idea to base it off seniority or performance.  Reward the school as a whole when something goes well, that way everyone will help each other out and there will be no hard feelings between any of the teachers.  

      This rule is the silliest thing.  I work a part-time job at Best Buy.  We are expected to preform to cooperate expectation on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.  If we do not, we are on our way out of the door before you can even add 2 and 2.  It doesn't matter how long you've been there, only how much money you're making for the company.  Teaching is the same way.  If you cannot effectively teach a class, why should you deserve to stay when there is someone who was hired a year ago that has improved a child's test scores or reading level in such a short time?  I am very much supportive of this suggestion as a solution to the problem regarding seniority in the school system.  

      Sure, the school system has problems.  However, that does not mean the community should not just give up on it.  Problems are great because they bring about solutions.  I think its great that these issues are getting out there and known about, now there will be a stronger push for changes in the system.  All of this is for the kids, the students that will eventually be the ones in our places.  My goal is to mold them and make them better people, I want to be a role model.  Even with problems, I believe teachers can fix them and continue to do what we have learned to do: make a difference and teach others! 
I've got ninety nine problems but failure ain't one

C4Ks for November

November logo

      Harvin's blog post is about his grandfather and all of the experiences they have had together.  Harvin remembers playing with his grandfather and receiving gifts from him.  HArvin is also sad because his grandfather is ill and is in the hospital, but looks forward to when he will be released so they can continue their fun times together.

My comment:
      My name is Kathryn Ortmann. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I really like your post about your grandfather. I’m sorry to read that he’s in the hospital, I hope he gets better super quick so you can have more fun with him! Keep up the great blogging! 

      Dez J's blog post is a nifty post about a compare and contrast activity they did with their class.  Dez J compared a PB&J sandwich to a turkey sandwich! How awesome is that? Dez J also made a good point about not calling people names just because you don't understand what they are doing.

My comment:
      My name is Kathryn Ortmann and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. For one, I love that your user icon is Sonic the Hegehog, he’s my favorite Sega character! Second, I love your blog post about comparing and contrasting a PB&J sandwich to a Turkey sandwich. Very interesting and informative, while keeping it fun at the same time! Good job.

      Matt's blog post is about how much he is enjoying his school year.  Matt really likes his teachers and the subject matter he is learning about.  He's also really looking forward to the next school year, especially so he can play many sports on his school's teams.

My comment:
      My name is Kathryn Ortmann and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I loved your post! I’m glad you’re liking school and looking forward to what’s going to happen in the years to come. I think my favorite subject is reading, and I love National Cat Day and National Sibling Day. I hope you continue to enjoy your semester!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blog Post #13

Social Media in the Classroom

      While we had a lot of assignments this semester about using technology to further the classroom, we never really talked about what most of that technology actually does for the classroom.  The basics, that every person with internet is on a lot of the time.  Social Media. Now, I have a twitter jut for this class.  I have learned so many tips and tricks about the classroom from Twitter, and I think it could be very helpful for classroom activities.  I think that while we are studying to be teachers, we should learn how to use social media in our classroom-encourage the use and not avoid it.  

      Facebook offers some really good informational sources, while allowing communications with people directly involved in certain subjects the class may be studying at the time.  Some specific examples are:

    Facebook logo
  • If your class is studying the current election, use Facebook to follow politicians on the local, state, and national scale. You can even ask students to interact with the candidates, posting questions and getting feedback.
  •  Plenty of games are on Facebook, and many of them are actually educational. Adopt Facebook crosswords, math games, and more as a reward in your classroom.
  • Your classroom can follow journalists and media outlets on social networks, gathering past and current news clips relevant to your latest classroom discussions.
  • Parents can follow along as kids post their projects, and even highlight any insightful resources they may know about.

      Twitter is something I have always thought I would never take a part of.  Just constant updates of your life, no matter how uneventful they may be.  Twitter can be used to share so many important things though, with several different people: parents, students, and other teachers.  

    Twitter logo
  • Set up an interesting assignment requesting that students set up Twitter for education lists following feeds relevant to their career goals and keep a daily journal on any trends that crop up along the way.
  • Rather than keeping up with an e-mail train, students can use Twitter to collaborate on different projects and keep a quick reference on any changes.
  • Classrooms with enough resources can allow students to tweet their own notes during lessons and share with their peers – perhaps even printing them out for home use if they do not have internet access.
  • Teachers and students from around the world can collaborate on projects using Twitter as a communication tool that simultaneously educates students in different classroom and cultural protocols.
Here's how Twitter can help in the classroom!