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

     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. 


      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!


      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?


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. 

  • 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.  

      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!

      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 website to make a lesson plan and a rubric.

Animal Classification Lesson Plan 


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.