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. 

11/30:
      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:
    Problems and Solutions
  • Unqualified Teachers
  • Rewarding the Educator
  • Job Security Based on Seniority
Solutions:
  • 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



11/1-
      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! 

11/9-
      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.

11/23-
      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:
  
      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:

      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!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Project #10

Blog Post #12

Collaborative Blog Post
by: Kathryn Ortmann, Noah Armstrong, Chelsea Power, Tori Hudson, and Melissa Keeler


Kathryn-AT for the Blind and the Visually Impaired

      Students that are blind or have visual impairments are going to be vulnerable to falling behind in a classroom setting. Meet Mason.  He's a first grader and suffers from a vision impairment.  Mason's parents were worried when he first started school that he would not be able to keep up with others and he wouldn't be able to go to a normal school.

Mountbatten Brailler      To help solve some of Mason's complications, his school purchased a Mountbatten Brailler for him to use during class so that he can learn to write and read Braille.  The Mountbatten Brailler is the complete Braille learning center for children and their teachers. As a professional resource, the Mountbatten Brailler offers exceptional connectivity and software to support flexible teaching and educational needs.  The Mountbatten is a simple tool that can be used to develop awareness of Braille symbols and characters. The clear audio response reinforces learning and tells the student which commands are being entered.  The Mountbatten is the first and only Bluetooth Smart hard-copy Braille device that communicates wirelessly with iOS Bluetooth Smart Ready devices. Mason is able to learn Braille at an early age, so as the grade level increases and the difficulty of subject matter increases, Mason can keep up with his fellow classmates.  

      Mason uses an iPad and the Smart Board to increase his learning.  The iPad allows Mason to participate in fun games and learning exercises that teach him how to read and spell.  There are many apps that allow students to listen to words and spell using the sounds, so that they do not really have to see what is happening to learn.  The Smart Board, since it is so big, allows a visually impaired student like Mason to be able to participate and actually know what is happening on the screen.
Girl using a smartboard
Noah- Speech recognition software

In my research I came across a few technologies that are designed to help physically handicapped students, but one stuck out because it is something that would help people like me with forms of dyslexia. Speech recognition software was designed to help use a computer without using the traditional mouse and keyboard. Software like “Dragon” can recognize sounds spoken by the user and convert them into commands for the computer. This allows someone with limited use of their hands to operate a computer with their voice. This allows people with limb abnormalities or amputations to be free of the need for an aid to do the typing for them.
Using this software one can also dictate to the computer what they wish to type. This can help not only the people who find it hard or impossible to type but also those that have problems spelling, like those with Dyslexia. These programs are almost 100% accurate when it comes to spelling and recognizing speech. This allows them to make up for their handicaps.
Speech recognition may not be in itself a learning tool but it levels the playing field so that those with the inability to use a computer normally can have a way to do it on their own without help. This is not only a tool for school work but also for the real world that is now run by computers.
Sources:

Melissa- AT for the Deaf and Hearing impaired student. 
During my search for assistive technologies available for the hearing impaired or Deaf this disability was often paired with blindness as well. It was explained that both of these disabilities account for the smaller part of the disabled population so maybe that is why they were often paired together. Another reason could be that a lot of times when a person has one disability it can be accompanied by another or sometimes multiple disabilities reside within one person. At any rate I concentrated on the Deaf. The Deaf community and members within consider it offensive to call them hearing impaired or to say that they have suffered a loss of hearing. They consider ASL (American Sign Language) to be their native language and English their second language. Some do not speak by choice however most of the Deaf learn to speak in order to effectively communicate with the general public.

I will move from older to newer technologies as some of the older ones will still be in use but not for long I am sure as smartphones are getting smarter every day.

In the classroom setting the interpreter was at one time the only way a teacher could communicate effectively with a Deaf or hearing impaired student. The interpreter stands to the left and a little bit behind the teacher and signs what the teacher says in sign language for the Deaf student to see and understand.

Hearing aids can be used by some students with hearing impairment however, do know that the aids amplify ALL of the sound including background noise which could still make it difficult for the student to hear the teacher. Use of FM systems (the same kind as presidential security or McDonald's drive through) where the teacher wears a mini microphone and the student wears a pair of headphones is extremely useful in these cases because the student hears ONLY the teacher.

Sidekick is a mobile communication device that allows the user to receive Instant Messages (IM) and Email. Of course this device is being replaced by the cellphone.

Video instruction and televised announcements with closed captioning can be effective tools. The student can pause or review any forgotten or missed parts of the video instruction avoiding misunderstood questions or answers due to language/communication barriers.

Photo experience books created by the student offer a visual tool to communicate personal experiences with a hearing person without the use of spoken language.

Power point presentations are great for the hearing impaired and Deaf students. It is a computer program that is offered through Microsoft. The program allows the teacher to add pictures and text to slides eliminating the need for the student to hear what is being said.
my computer

A vocalization to visualization tool is available for free through a computer program called Winamp media player. A microphone is used and auditory sound is turned into visual fireworks on the computer monitor. This is used to represent the sound that is going on in the room as well as to teach the Deaf student how to speak.

The top assistive technology by far within the Deaf community is the smartphone and texting. The junior high and high schoolers especially like this because it completely eliminates the need to speak. They can communicate clearly and just as quickly with text as their hearing peers.

All of these technologies can and are used in real world situations and like I said earlier the smartphone is quickly replacing a lot of these technologies as I type.
Sources:


Tori - Today I am going to share with you an app called Proloquo2Go that is available on iTunes. This is an app that gives a voice to people who can not speak through the use of symbols. This is an amazing tool for kids who have trouble with verbal communication. Instead of trying to guess what they want or need, they can click on the appropriate symbols to tell you exactly what they want. When a symbol is clicked, it says the words out loud on the app as well. In this video, you will meet a 10 year-old boy named Nick. He was diagnosed with Autism and has trouble with his verbal communication. The video shows his mother and other people who work with Nick through out the day using Proloquo2Go and they talk about how it has drastically changed the ease in which they communicate. Nick will often try to verbalize what he wants but when/if it does not happen he uses his iPad to press the symbols which make sentences stating what it is he wants, needs, or feels. Most of the time he will also repeat what the app says which is strengthening his verbal communication skills. The app is availiable on the app store for $219.99. That may seem like a lot of money for one app but when it comes to being able to communicate with a child and the child better communicating with the world, I believe it is worth every penny. If you visit Proloquo2Go, read the reviews from people who have bought it. They all have touching stories about having children or students with disabilities of all kinds whose lives have been made so much easier because of this amazing app that enables them to communicate more effectively.
iPhone Screenshot 2

Assistive Technology for Students with ADHD By: Chelsea Power
friendshipcircle.org
In todays classroom there is a growing rate for children with ADHD. This can be very difficult for a teacher, parent, and other classmates. It also requires a lot of patience, I say this speaking as a mother with a child that struggles with ADHD. I chose to find assistive technology for students with ADHD. I also use some of the programs and strategies at home to help with his homework. There are a bunch of resources for students and teachers in the classroom that I have listed below. A word-prediction program that requires a few keystrokes to generate word lists can help students with severe spelling problems, who do not benefit from spell-checkers. Graphic organizers, on the other hand, can be helpful to students who can't generate ideas and organize their thoughts. Such as this website Aurora Systems
und.edu
Clickers Clickers are remote control looking items that record student’s answers to questions. They can be multiple choice questions or polls. It is a great way to get immediate feedback and data on student’s knowledge of the material. Clickers are engaging for all students especially those with learning disabilities. They provide instant feedback for the student and involves technology It engages the student while maintaining focus on the lesson and task at hand. Text to speech programs The programs and tools that create text to speech are great for students who are auditory learners, struggling readers, or have visual impairments. This allows the students to listen to the text while following along with the reading. The student is no longer focused solely on word recognition but now focused on the content and main ideas. WordQ is another program that helps students proofread their work.

C4T #3

Twenty-seven ways to make the year betterThe Library Girl


     Jennifer LaGarde (aka library girl!) is a Librarian Ambassador and Education Road Warrior!  As an Educator on Loan for the NC Department of Public Instruction, she travels across the land working with school librarians, classroom teachers, principals, superintendents - literally ANYONE who needs help building or making the most of a 21st century school library.

10/26: 27 Ways to Make This the Best Year Ever
      Ms. LaGarde's post this week is all about how to enjoy teaching and keep it fun for you and the students.  LaGarde gives tips and tricks on how to make the year enjoyable and how not to get burned out on doing the same thing semester after semester, year after year.  My comment is, I'm assuming, still under moderation.  I simply told Ms. LaGards how much I am liking her blog and that I really got a lot of knowledge and encouragement out of her post.  As a future teacher, I worry about what will happen if I am to get tired of it, or just plain fed up with it.  She, however, has given me courage to move along and not worry about it to much, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

11/9: The Art of Listening
      Ms. LaGarde's post is about listening and learning about what other teachers have to say.  LaGarde discusses how she had a meeting with the other teachers and asked, as the librarian, how she could get teachers to believe that coming to the library is a good use of instruction time.  She got back very good and thoughtful answers, but she was surprised to see that so many of them started off by thanking her for asking their opinion.  People just want to be listened to, and teachers are people too!  My comment stated that I appreciated The Library Girl's acknowledgment that teachers really and truly appreciate being listened to.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blog Post #11

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning from These Teachers?
Teach and Learn Reflection

      Brain Crosby, in his TEDx Talk, mentions several times about his students "thinking outside of the box".  This is something I struggled with throughout my school career.  Not many of my teachers encouraged me to think outside of the box, just to get good grades and stay in school.  As a result, I did not enjoy school too much.  I want that to be different for my students.  I want them to look forward to my class and be excited when they come in the door, ready to learn.  I will have to spend some time coming up with fun and creative activities so my students can think outside of the box more.  I think having the capabilities that technology gives will be a great way to spark interest and excitement in students.

      In Paul Anderson's video, Blended Learning Cycle, I learned that it is always a good thing to be able to stay on track with teaching.  My greatest fear is that I will come up with a lesson plan, and then take forever and a day to actually execute it with my students.  I am going to have to become a better time manager so I can teach in an accurate manner, in the most time efficient way possible.  Mr. Anderson gives a good acronym to help stay on track.  He uses the word :QUIVER.
Question
Ivestigation/Iquiry
Video
Elaboration
Review

      Mark Church has some good ideas about group learning and group work in his Making Thinking Visible video.  I like that he split his students up into small groups and let them discuss what they wanted their banners to say.  Everyone is going to have different theories and ideas, and combinations of those differences sometimes come up with the best responses. I am going to incorporate group learning into my classroom, definitely.  Also, displaying student's work makes them try harder on the assignment because they know others will be looking at it.  It will also show students that I approve of their work and they will get a sense of accomplishment to see their work displayed in the room or in the hallway.

Digital Citizenship and quote from the Spider Man movie      Sam Pane teaches his students about digital safety in his video, Super Digital Citizen.  I tend to take for granted that students are going to come to school knowing how to safely use the internet.  I realize now that is not so, and they will more than likely need some assistance in that matter.  What better way to learn than to make a comic about a Digital Citizen superhero?  No matter how old or how young a student is, superheroes are always a huge hit.  Then we are having fun as well as learning important subject in the classroom.  If I am going to require my students to use technology in our classroom, I need to teach them how to be safe while they use it before we do anything involving technology.

      Dean Shareski's video, Project Based Learning, is a great example of how different subjects can be easily blended together.  I would love to partner with different teachers and complete projects that involve everyone.  I think the students will get more learning and understanding out of the project and as teachers, we will gain some team working skills as we go along.  It will be so fun to combine English (my subject matter) with that of History, Math, Science, and any other subjects.

      After watching Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Learning I have picked up on a theme that I will now remember throughout my teaching career.  That theme is: Always make sure that the students are engaged.  Now that I know this and realize it, I am going to use it, Engaging students is going to make sure they enjoy what they are learning and will retain what they have learned.  If they are engaged and participating, I will know that I am doing my job correctly.  PBL makes it possible for students to become fully involved in the lesson and the teacher is not just simply standing in front of them and lecturing information for them to just spit back out for a test and then forget it.  PBL lets students apply what they have found out to real-life situations, showing them value in what they are learning.  I now see the extreme worth in PBL and look forward to basing my teaching off of it.  


Quote from Dr. Kevin Maxwell

Project #14, Project Based Learning Plan #2

Weather

      With this Lesson Plan the students will learn about different types of weather, how to observe the sky and nature to pick up on some clues, and the seasons. They will also learn how to protect themselves from inclement weather.  This will be accomplished through guided self observations along with videos and guest speakers.  The students will also be collaborating with each other and discussing daily weather changes.  Art will also play an exclusive and very important role of the learning experience along with fun, engaging games to help the students remember key points.

Visit our lessons plan, calendar, and rubric by clicking right here! 

Common weather elements




Sunday, October 26, 2014

iTeach and iLearn

Hey Edm310!

I've been reading and following David Mulder's blog, iTeach and iLearn, for a couple of weeks now.  He has some really good tips and tricks for technology and using it to teach in the classroom.  His most recent post is all about "Netiquette" which is the etiquette of the Internet world! If you get the chance, take some time and read some of his posts-they're really awesome and have a lot to do with what we are learning in our class.

learning words

Blog Post #10

What Can We Learn from Ms. Cassidy?

Lab and friends Nintendogs game for the Nintendo Ds      Watching Ms. Cassidy's video, Little Kids...Big Potential, showed me that students as young as first grade are really enthusiastic about using technology in their classrooms, it's not just the teachers.  I really liked the usage of the Nintendo DS and the Nintendogs game, and not only because I love the game myself.  I never would have thought about using a video game to teach students about responsibility and team work.  I think I could very easily implement this in my classroom, even though I am planning to teach in a high school setting.  High school students may first view playing a Nintendo game as child-like, but I am fairly certain they will enjoy the act very quickly, especially after we make it into a classroom competition.  They will be getting teamwork experience without even really knowing it!

Female computer technician       In the video interview Dr. Strange did with Ms. Cassidy, Cassidy 13 Part 1, Ms. Cassidy talks about having a technology coordinator.  Now, I know this isn't something I can really use in the classroom setting, but I think it is vital to have someone in charge of all the technology if you are going to be heavily using it during school.  One person that can keep up with the ever changing technology and handle any sorts of questions or problems that may occur while using technology.  At my mom's elementary school, they have a technology board.  One teacher from each grade level is chosen or volunteers to meet with the group so they can learn new techniques and share ideas with each other.  They then go back and talk about these new things with the others on their grade level.  I think have some people or a person in charge of the technology will make it easier and less stressful to use for teachers, especially those wary of technology in the first place.

      In the video interview Dr. Strange did with Ms. Cassidy, Cassidy 13 Part 3, Ms. Cassidy talks about blogging depending on the year and what type of students and resources she has available.   Watching this interview, I am thinking more about how I can use blogging in my own classroom.  As an English teacher, my students can make book trailers and presentation about what they have read, and then post it on their class blog so I can grade it that way and leave feedback,  Other students can also leave feedback and suggestions for their fellow classmates.  I can have one major class blog to post reminders and assignments for students so they do not have to worry about losing the piece of paper they may have written the assignment on.  The only problem I might face with this is students that do not have access to a computer or tablet at home, in which case I will have to make sure the give them plenty of time to work on assignments during class-which will just give me more of an opportunity for group work!

Watching Ms. Cassidy's video and interviews have certainly opened my eyes to the benefits of technology in the classroom, and has showed me how much students actually enjoy using it.  I'm looking forward to incorporating technology into my classroom someday!

It's not 1989. The excuse I'm not good with computers is no longer acceptable

C4K's for October




October represented with witch hats and bats


10/5:
     Darrell's blog post is a picture interpretation of the color he made up called "dream cloud-ish".  Darrell created a volcano with a dinosaur at the bottom.  His picture shows that he is a very creative student and he dreams about dinosaurs and volcanoes.
Interpretation of the color called dream cloud ish

My comment:
      My name is Kathryn Ortmann and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I am studying to be a teacher and am learning how to use technology in classrooms. I love your picture! “Dream cloud-ish” is a fantastic color and I am glad you drew a volcano, I think they are very cool things. I especially like the creature at the bottom of your picture, which I think is a dinosaur and in that case is a pretty awesome thing indeed. 

10/12:

      Liliana's blog post is about a blogging challenge where she talks about a book she read aloud during school.  The book is called The Fourteenth Goldfish but she was surprised to find out that the book has nothing to do with goldfish!  Liliana is excited about the book and is enjoying reading and looks forward to what will happen next in the story.

My comment:

      Hello! My name is Kathryn Ortmann and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am taking a class in college that is teaching me about using technology in the classroom. I enjoyed your post and am shocked to find out that “The Fourteenth Goldfish” isn’t about a goldfish! I really liked your description of the book and thank you for explaining what happened so well. I noticed that this was a read aloud assignment. I am studying in college to be an English teacher and would like to know if you think reading aloud is fun. I enjoyed it when I was younger, but I would be interested to know what you think!

10/19:

      Jersey's blog post is a short but sweet post.  They simply say that they like learning while at school.  This is a great thing to hear, it's always nice to know students actually like what they are learning, they're much more fun to work with! 

My comment;

       Hello! My name is Kathryn Ortmann and I am in an EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I love that you love learning! There are so many nifty things to learn about! My favorite thing to learn about is the process a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. I just think its really awesome. What’s your favorite thing to learn about?

10/26:

Box of Weet-bix      Toma's blog post is about him learning how to read a map in his literacy class.  He is learning the cardinal directions and they have come up with a clever acronym to learn North, South, East, and West.  His phrase is "Never eat soggy weet-bix".  I looked up weet-bic and they do not look very pleasant to be something eaten while soggy!

My comment: 

      Hey, Toma! Like my fellow classmates, I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Maps and directions are one thing I have struggled with. I have found the saying of "Never Eat Soggy Waffles" helps, but only if I can remember which letter goes where! I really enjoyed reading about your progress though, knowing what is north, south, east, and west is great, it'll help you a lot as you move through your education! I also looked up Weet-bix, and you're right, they do not look like they would be very tasty while soggy! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Post #9

What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning?

Words describing Project Based Learning

      Just when I think I know all there is to know about PBL, I get the chance to learn new and more fascination things! 

      In the Seven Essentials for Project-Based Learning, I learned steps to make the Project Based Learning application process easier.  The article stresses that in order to keep the attention of your students, you must first capture their attention.  This grasping information can be a video, a lovely discussion, a guest speaker, a field trip, or anything that interests the students enough so that they will want to keep learning about what the unit is about.

      While watching Profect-Based Learning for Teachers, I discovered how much technology can really be used during PBL.  In our EDM310 class, I thought I was overwhelmed with the methods we learn to use on a daily basis, but this video lists some I have never even heard in a matter of a few minutes.  This video really opened my eyes to how much work I have to do so that my students receive the best education I can give them and that means being open to and aware of all the technology I can so if they have a question, I can have an answer for them!

      Project Based Learning in PE ,whaaaaaaat?  I never thought about PBL working for a PE classroom, but now I realize it's something I did often during some of my PE classes.  Like in middle school.  We were placed in groups and assigned a song to create a dance with and share with the whole class.  It was so much fun ad we all got to learn different styles of dancing! Project Based Learning doesn't have to be difficult, and it helps ideas stick better then those learned during individual learning.

      I chose to watch PBL: What motivates students so that I could find out what really does motivate students.  I was surprised to know that students really do like when teachers compliment them and share their work with the whole class.  I previously thought this just embarrassed most students and they would rather not be recognized for doing the work the correct way.  PBL handles this recognition very well, since one of the lasts steps is to present the results of the project to the class.  I am looking forward to using PBL as a tool to motivate my students to succeed!

      Okay.  I am a ketchup fan, I have to admit it.  I was pretty excited to read Two Students Solve the Case of the Watery Ketchup by Designing a New Cap.  Watery ketchup is the most disappointing thing in the world, especially when it ruins whatever you were about to eat.  I was greatly interested and thrilled to see the amount of effort and work students put into something they are passionate about.  This just goes to show that PBL must be introduced to students correctly so that they are inspired to do their best.  The results are much better when they care about finding something cool and new during the process.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Project #9

Implications and Teaching Opportunities for Camera Use in Teaching and Learning

"My Cellphone is My Best Friend"

Dr. Strange gave us these astonishing facts recently:
Mom trying to get the attention of her son
1. 87% say their smartphone never leaves their side.
2. 80% say the very first thing they do in the morning is reach for their smartphone.
3. 78% say they spend 2 or more hours per day using their smartphone.
4. 68% say they would prefer to use their smartphone instead of their laptop or personal computer for personal use.
5. 91% say that having a camera on their smartphone is important (61% very important)
6. 87% say they use their smartphone camera at least weekly. 59% use their smartphone camera at least every other day. 44% use their smartphone camera for still or motion picture taking every day.

      I work at Best Buy in the cell phone department.  I cannot tell you how many times parents are coming in to add a line to their cellular plane for their CHILD.  I'm not talking about a sixteen or seventeen old teenager that has started driving to school by themselves and needs to be in contact with their parents. No, these are seven-and eight-year-old children that are receiving the latest and greatest phone.  Since all of the children now have them, why shouldn't they use them in school? The temptation is so great.  Teachers are going to struggle to keep the attention of their students when all they want to do is pull out their phones and text their friends that are sitting across the room or in another classroom.  This is going to harm the learning and teaching aspects in a classroom.

Children playing with cup phones      While all of this cell phone usage can be harmful, it can be helpful as well.  I like the idea that most schools now have the BYOD device option (Bring Your Own Device).  Students with cell phones in school can use them for virtual text books, taking pictures of assignments, and just general informational usage.  When I was in grade school, I hated to have to carry around my super heavy backpack, my back would ache after a long day,  Having some sort of tablet in school would have made that much easier, no more physical textbooks.  I constantly lose the paper I wrote my assignment on, but with a phone or device always around, I would never have forgotten to complete an assignment! Not many in my class carried encyclopedias and there were not often any present in the room.  Having something to look of whatever I needed to know would have made me be a lot more willing to actually look some things up.  Cell phone usage is not entirely detrimental to teaching and learning. 

Examples:
  • Recording lectures to listen to outside of class or to utilize the "Flipped Classroom" method
  • Creating poplets
  • Creating and editing iMovies
  • Use of Evernote and Dropbox (apps) to send pictures of solutions of difficult problems or assignments that may have been missed

Man using phone instead of expensive camera

Blog Post #8

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning from Randy Pausch?

image of Randy Pausch

      "You just have to decide if you're a Tigger or an Eeyore.  I think I'm clear on where I stand in the great Tigger/Eeyore debate.  Never lose the childlike wonder.  Its just too important.  Its what drives us."--Randy Pausch, Achieving Your Childhood Dreams  

      I had to listen and watch this video a couple of times before I really was able to understand what was right in front of me.  Randy Pausch is such a great inspiration and has truly inspired me to continue on the path of what I want to be, and educator.  Pausch covers many concepts of teaching and learning, I am going to try and cover a majority of it but I don't think I can nearly describe it all.  

Learning:
      Pausch stresses always asking for advice from colleagues and peers.  This concept goes along with the Project Based Learning that we have been learning about in class.  The best ideas come from those around you.  When Pausch did not know the best way to do something, he asked his peers for their ideas and how they would solve the problem.  If we can keep this in mind, everyone will do well!
      One of the things Pausch suggests many times is the same that we have discussed in class.  Stay a Learner.  Pausch says to stay curious and you will be able to keep your students just as curious.  Pausch gives the example of him teaching Building Virtual Worlds.   His students quickly exceeded the expectations set for them and Pausch did not know what to do after that.  A mentor told him to simply ask for more.  Pausch did, and his students gave it.  As they learned more, so did he.  Because he was open to the ideas and the changes, the students saw him learning and they made an effort to do the same.  
      Sharing is the most important thing I got out of this lecture.  Sharing allows others to see how you are solving problems and how they have solved their problems.  Sharing really is caring!

Teaching:
      Pausch never stops stressing that we should "never stop pursuing your childhood dreams".  This phrase is so important and is one I will always have in mind from now on in my career.  Teachers and students both should always pursue what they truly want to do when they were children, it is the most accurate to what they really wish to do.  Determination is a key quality when teaching.  Determined teachers will not be frustrated and convinced to give up on a student or a concept when just one problem comes up.  Pausch also gives information and advice on a technique called "head fake".  This technique involves teaching a skill to a student by making them think it is something totally different,  I am looking forward to using this technique in the classroom, its a bit like reverse psychology for the classroom! 
      

C4T #2

Summary of Comments for Teachers

Picture of Brian Bennett
      
       Brian Bennett is completing his Master's Degree in Education Technology and is focused on improving digital teaching and learning strategies.  I have commented for the past two weeks on two of his posts.

Week 6: I commented on Bennett's post entitled "Abstraction".  I had to read this post several times to grasp the full meaning, but when I did, it really struck a note with me.  Abstraction is a funny thing.  Bennett uses the definition of "the essence of abstraction is singling out one feature, which, in contrast to the other properties, is considered to be particularly important important".  I made the comment of the term "abstract" in reference to an English essay.  My major is Secondary English Education and I have seen the word "abstract" appear on several of my papers.  I also commented that Bennett's post made me realize that in those papers, I may have truly only focused on one aspect and didn't focus as much on the other qualities for the paper, but I did chose one thing that was important to me. 

Week 8: I commented on Bennett's post entitled "Bathoughts".  Bennett describes bath time with his daughter and their game of throwing foam letter against the side of the tub.  Bennett boasts that he can get one out of every seven attempts to stick to the side.  I commented and told Bennett that I play the same game with my niece and she is much better at it than I am.  Bennett asks if the reader would describe the sticking as adhesion or cohesion and what the reader's students might respond.  I told Bennett that I think it is adhesion because the letter is sticking to the tub, which is water attaching itself to a different matter,  However, I told Bennett that my students may think of the process as cohesion because the side of the tube is wet and so it the letter, which means the process is water attaching to water.   



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project #13

Animal Classification
Girl classifying animals

      In this project our group came up with a project about animal classification.  Students will go on a long distance field trip to the zoo and take notes on the different animals they see and classify them on a worksheet,  Then students use Kid's Corner to practice classifying animals.  We used the ALEX system and the BIE.org website to make a lesson plan and a rubric.


Animal Classification Lesson Plan 

AND

Animal Classification Rubric

Project #7 Part B

Two Movies
For the Parents:

For the students:


Blog Post #7

How do we all become Learners?

The word 'learn' with a computer mouse

How to Make an Audio QR Code
      Audio QR codes are something I was not very familiar with. Its basically a bar code with some sort of information attached to it.  Ms. Bennett of Gulf Shores has made a fantastic video detailing how to make an audio version of this QR code that can be used for messages or for recording the recitation of a book for students to listen to.  Ms. Bennett recommends using this site to record audio and make it into a URL code.  Then she sends us to this site to generate the QR code using the URL made from the first site.  The the second site generates an image and you just copy and paste that image to a Microsoft Word document and there's the QR code! Students can make their own codes for their parents to scan and then the parents can stay up to date on what their students are doing in class.


iPad Reading Center
      Centers is a fond memory for me.  I love the idea of using the iPad to get students more involved in their activities.  When they are having fun, it doesn't seem as much like work to them.  My mom is a first grade teacher and she uses centers as a different way to teach, the kids are more teaching themselves and she is just there to solve problems and trouble-shoot.  I think using the iPad as a way to record and then play back to determine how well the students did is great.  The students get to correct their own mistakes and learn where they may have to do more work than other places in order to fully learn the material.


Poplet with Ginger Tuck
      Poplet is an app that allows students to make a web that centers on one idea and they can expand on that idea in little bubbles around the subject.  Students can insert pictures and text into the app and use it in their own poplets.  As children learn more about their main subject, they can fill in more space and area to record their findings in an easy to understand way.


AVL and Kindergarten Resources
      Alabama Virtual Library is a listing of all types of information regarding a search word.  Information includes pictures, audio clips, and descriptions of that search criteria.  I didn't really like AVL usage, but I can see how it is useful to teach students meanings of words they may not understand or they will be learning to spell in future lessons.


Tammy Shirley Discovery Education Board Builder Moon Project
      Ms. Shirley is a first grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary teaching us how to use Discovery Education Boards.  Education Boards have titles and then various pictures and text boxes that explain what the students has learned from their research on their titles.  Education Boards can be shared with others so they can learn from that Board.  This will be a great tool for students to use as they research to keep their information organized and for them to share what they have learned with others.

      I do not think I am 100% prepared to be able to use technology in the classroom. I have definitely improved from when I first started EDM310 though, when I thought this whole thing was pointless and just another class taking our money before we can graduate.  However, I am now realizing that technology is present, no matter how much or how little we want it to be and it is something I have to learn to deal with in the classroom setting.  I have become an expert on iMovie and various apps such as poplet and education boards in the past month.  I still lack expertise in using Google sites and the various aspects to that, but I am learning every day!  I do not think I will have any problems using these tools to help with project based learning style in the classroom-students working together is something I am looking forward to perfecting and using. The only thing I am really worried about is coming up with an accurate grading system to use when assessing group work.  Hopefully I can perfect that before I really have to use PBL in my own classroom some day soon.