Sunday, May 4, 2014

Final Reflection


The Ibook project was a project that was used to show my group's knowledge that we have gained this semester about technology. We were able to use the skills we gained and create an Ibook that incorporated some of our projects from this semester.

Nola Group

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Blog Post 13

My area of specialty will be Secondary education/english and literature. I think we spent a lot of time hearing from elementary teachers for this class, and not enough time hearing from secondary teachers. I would like to have had a project in which we researched a classroom that fit our exact major and did a post for it in order to see if we could find success or failures in the situation with technology in the classroom.


I googled my topic and found a blog that was unique to secondary education and found a teacher who started off without technology, but then was able to incorporate it into the classroom successfully. The blog was Saving Socrates. This teacher shared her success with technology on her blog and I felt that it was good for me to get to read about it becasue it will be encouraging for my future.

I know this is similar to the C4T's that we did this semester, but I was never assigned to a secondary ed teacher or an english teacher.


This week I was assigned to view Mahana's blog. Her blog post was about why we should use a knife and fork. She went over reasons why we should, how to use them, and had a conclusion. She and a classmate graded her work.

My comment on her post was, "My name is Mallory Harris. I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your post. You did a great job giving reasons why we should use a knife and fork!!!"

This week I was assigned to Shealesblog. The blog post was a chrome book reflection for the semester. The student answered questions about their feelings after using the chrome book for the semester.

My comment on the blog was," My name is Mallory Harris and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. This week I was assigned to your blog. You did a great job with your reflection! It was neat to read your feedback. "

kids with school sign

Sunday, April 13, 2014


By: Amber Harris:
Assistive Technology

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?

After watching, "Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children", the video clearly shows educators that if they utilize the technologies available they can actually change a learning experience for a child with either a visual or hearing impairment. I agree that more awareness should be given to professionals to incorporate these types of technologies for children who not only suffer from sensory impairments,but for some teachers there is a resistance to incorporating new media in their daily teaching for the benefit of all students. More teachers need to be equipped with the skills to use these technologies. As with all professional learning surrounding the use of technology, teachers cannot expect to be handed a 'how to' manual on how to use and implement these technologies.
With some research on my own, I asl found the webpage "Computer Based Assistive Technology." This webiste gives 10 assistive technologies, such as Speech Synthsis Software. "Speech synthesizers are basically screen readers. They read text that is displayed on the computer monitor, allowing students to gain independent access to assignments, books, and research. Teachers or students do, however, need to pre-scan material before they can use it. Speech synthesis allows them to access the print in textbooks, and thereby the curriculum, in a way that would otherwise be more difficult, if not impossible. It may even increase student motivation to read." (Montali & Lewandowski, 1996)
How students can use speech synthesis software:
1. Where text is available in digital form (i.e., on the computer or diskette), students can have text read to them.
2. Some screen readers can read in a variety of applications, including the Internet.
3. Some Internet sites have collections of textbooks available to be read by screen readers.
4. Students can control the pace of the reading and the reading selection, through having the computer read only the words they are having difficulty decoding or a whole paragraph or passage.
5. Students can manipulate the rate of read-back to allow for variations in the speed they process auditory information.
by: Mallory Harris
The driving question for this post was, "What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?"

technology in the classroom clip art

For this assignment, I Googled assistive technology in the classroom. There were some pretty interesting results. The first resource that I cam across was Bookshare. It is a website with a free online library for people with print disabilities. The website help people who have trouble reading.
This website seemed like it could be very useful for me in the future because I am going to be an english teacher and some of my students may be able to get some use out of the site.

The next resource that I found was Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology. This is a website that offers information in its resources section as well as access to the QIAT list serv. The list serv is an excellent forum to keep current with new developments in AT and the latest websites and other resources.

This would be an imprtant website when working with assistive technology because it could keep me up to date with the standards.

I also watched the video assigned by Dr.Strange called Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children. The video was about the different types of assistive technologies that can be found in the classroom and listed some of the reasons why it is important to know about these technologies. Sheridan’s Blog #12 Work For this weeks blog assignment, the driving question is, "What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?". To be honest, I have not thought about what technological tools that could be out there to help with special needs students. When I received this topic, I was actually able to put myself in a current teachers shoes and began to think "what if" I have a student that is blind or deaf. The videos that were assigned for us to watch were very useful and relating to what questions I had about this topic.

The first video, The Mountbatten created by The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, was relating to a device that uses audio/feedback. It can save files, transfer files to a computer, and receive files from a computer. This device is great for a student and/or teacher who does not know brail. Blind students are now not limited to what they can do not but rather be included in projects and be held to a responsibility of doing their part of the work.

The second video, Teaching Math to the Blind by Professor Art Karshmer University of San Francisco, informs us how they have created a touch-pad that blind students will be able to use to learn mathematics. Students will be able to use special (braille engraved) blocks and align math problems in a 2-dimensional way so they may learn as normal students learn. The touch-pad will keep track of the coordinates of each block students can keep up with where they have laid previous blocks. It is a foundation for blind students so that they may learn the basics of mathematics. The picture below is a touch-screen display of graphical mathematics for blind students.

This last video, iPad usage for the blind, I found the most amazing and intriguing. Apple has developed a voice-over for the iPad that enables the blind to use the iPad just as a normal person with normal vision can. Wesley (who is blind) demonstrates this in the video by using the voice-over on the iPad and telling/showing us what all he can do with it. It is amazing technology that expands the blinds capability so far. I love how Apple has created such an amazing tool that not only helps for learning purposes, but also, to help create the feeling of normality to blind students/people. 
By:Tyler Mills The driving question for this blog post is, "What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?" The video that I found interesting in the blog instructions was ipad usage for the blind. It showed a man named Wesley Majerus who was blind fully operate a stock ipad. He was giving lessons and tips of how to use the ipad as a vision impaired student. Wesley demonstrated how to operate using Voice Over. The system works by simply dragging your finger over items that appear on the screen. The Voice Over systems reads out whatever your finger comes across and makes a ticking noise when your finger is over a blank area. This is extremely helpful for a vision impaired student and helps them keep up with the rest of the class.

Through my own research I came across an ability to dictate what you want your apple product to type. The process is called dictation which is available on apple products. While viewing the video Dictation on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, by Steve Dotto I got an idea of how dictation works. Dictation works by saying anything aloud and your device typing the words out for you. This may help out a student that is born with no arms or hands to type. The system can be used to type papers in microsoft word and other systems. Mentioned in the video by Mr. Dotto, the dictation can not be used in google drive. I still believe this can be a big help to a handicap person. Steve Dotto   


This week I was assigned to view Michael Gorman's blog 21st Centurey Educational Technology and Learning. His post on this blog was called "Project Based and Authentic Learning… Plus Ten Valuable PBL Resource Links." His post was about sources you can use for technology in the classroom and ways we can generate authentic learning within the classroom.

/ My comment on his post was, "My name is Mallory Harris and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I was assigned to view your blog and I must say that you have some very meaningful information on this post that has definitely sparked some interest for me. You are right about the standardized testing becoming an issue with students. I think that your ideas for creating authentic learning situations are some that I will definitely be able to use in my future class room."

This week I was again assigned to view Michael Gorman's blog 21st Centurey Educational Technology and Learning. This weeks post was called "Part one digital citizenship education..." HIs post was about proper online etiquette for students. He had some helpful links for the topic, as well as some of his own opinions on the subject.

My comment on his blog was, "My name is Mallory Harris and I amen EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading this post because you had very helpful information that I will be able to use in my future classroom. I appreciate the links because I will also be able to use those in order to help me succeed with my future students."

teacher with chalkboard

Thursday, April 3, 2014


male teacher at shcalkboard

This week I was assigned to comment on Jeff Delp's blog 6 things On My Education Wish List. His blog was a short list of the six things he wanted for his profession of education. The six things were: teachers treated as professionals, recognition that good teaching is not just about curriculum, providing adequate resources, stop talking about tests, recognizing that poverty is a huge factor in education, and less fear more adventure.

My comment on Mr.Delp's blog was, "Mr. Delp, My name is Mallory and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the EDM310 class. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. Your wish list is something that I think all educators should want and strive to achieve for their school systems. On my education wish list, I would want teachers to have more freedom as far as lessons planning with their class. I am going to be an english teacher and I would like to have the freedom with my lesson plans to choose the books my students read and things like that."

This week, I was again assigned to view Jeff Delp's blog Molehills Out Of Mountains. He had not published since I last viewed his blog, so I chose to view on of his older posts. This one was called Teach for today.. and tomorrow. His post was about a presentation he did to middle school math classes about what it takes to graduate. He did not focus so much on credits, but rather he chose to focus on the decisions the students were making and how they could impact their lives. He also talked about how he believes blogging is good and so is having a PLN. He talked about that because he was saying that people need to not only share their success stories, but share their struggles as well.

My comment on his blog post was, "My name is Mallory and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the EDM310 class. This post is amazing to me because you have such valid points. I think you are so right that people need to share their failures and success when they aare blogging or tweeting because that way others have something to think about if they are in similar situations. I also think that your presentation was an awesome way to show your students that their decisions matter. I like that you chose to use the presentation instead of just talking to the students about credits. It really shows that you care."

C4K #2

kids around a globe

BonusWeek - No C4K Assignments This Week (NO C4K #5)

This week I was assigned to Mrs.She's class blog. I had to listen to their Fairy Tales post. For this post, the students got to use voice thread in order to say what their favorite fair tale was and why.

My comment on their blog was, "My name is Mallory and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the EDM310 class. Your voice thread was awesome!! I think you all had wonderful choices and I really enjoyed listening to them!"

This week I was assigned to view Machelle's blog "The Crane At Work". It was about a crane coming to her school and moving it.

My comment on her blog was, "I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the EDM310 class. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. It must have been neat to get to see the crane in action. You did a great job describing the job of the crane."

This week I was assigned to view Logan's blog. His blog was about Park Jae-sang's success.

My comment on his blog was, "My name is Mallory. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the EDM310 class. I really enjoyed reading this post. You did a great job sharing the information you learned about Park Jae-sang's life and success."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

project 12a

Project 15/12b

Blog Post #11 NOLA

The driving question for this blog post was, "What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?"

The first video was Back to the Future, by Brian Crosby. His video was about a project that he did with his students that integrated technology in many ways. He felt that curriculum has been narrowed over the years and that it is keeping students from having real life experiences. The main idea of his project was to send a balloon up into the air. His class did some reading and activities with pressure to get the project started. This got his students excited. He was able to get his students to incorporate various types of technology into his project. They embedded videos into their blogs, wrote about the science behind their experiments, learned to make wiki pages, used their class Flikr account to write stories about what it would be like to be the balloon, used free online software to design book covers, illustrated their stories with Flikr photos, did more work with their blogs, and made trading cards using free online software. Mr.Crosby also had his students write "high hopes," for their community, their school,and the world. Their blogs got many views which inspired them to ask other people from all over the world to write their own "high hopes." This taught the children to develop their own learning networks. The class also used google maps to track their balloon as it went into the air. By putting all of their work on their blogs, the class got to show off their work to other students. They are doing language intense activities which encourage them to read/write, to learn content, to clarify and share, and to tell a story. These activities encourage them to be creative, want feedback, articulate orally, connect globally/aware globally, want authentic audiences, and remember the science.

blended learning cycle
The second video was the Blended Learning Cycle by Paul Anderson. He turned his classroom into a video game. He moved from teacher-centered learning environments to one focused on students. He said the biggest obstacle he encountered was trying to get his students to learn independently. He designed each level of the video game around a blended learning cycle. He believes in the power of learning and questioning. He described blended learning as taking the compelling parts of learning: online, mobile, classroom learning and just blending them together in the classroom and using that technology in a powerful way. He said the five E’s of the Learning Cycle were engage, explore, expand, and explain all of which revolve around evaluation. He had a unique way of combining these methods with his quivars. Quivars stands for question, investigation/inquiry, video, elaboration, review, and summary Quiz. He uses the question part of this process as a hook to get his students interested. Next comes the students investigating by examining what is happening- you let the students experiment. You then use a video which frees you up for other things because the students can watch it independently. Elaboration comes when the students read about what they are doing or make diagrams for it. Then they review. He meets individually or with small groups and asks them questions to check their understanding. They can’t go onto the summary quiz until the teacher is sure they know what they are talking about. The quiz tests them on what they know and if they don’t know it, then they go back. He doesn’t think you’ve learned something until you can explain it to someone else. After they go through about five learning cycles, they have a unit test. The students do all the grading, but the teacher asks really good probing questions.

thinking cap
The third video was Making Thinking Visible by Mark Church. He had his students work in small groups to have a discussion about a video they watched. He wanted them to come up with a headline for what their unit was all about. He asked them to think about how their ideas/thinking were extended. He then wanted them to think about the challenge or the puzzle with the topic in general. He asked them to search for human origins. One of the students described his question as, "How could we sum up everything we have been talking about in just a phrase?" Every group had to have a couple of words to say behind their headline. Once they did their final project, he was going to ask them what the headline is now. He was doing this to get his students thinking how the story has changed and how their thinking has changed.

The fourth video was Building Comics by Sam Pane. He was teaching his students how to figure out what information websites might be after. He asked his students, “What kind of power does the internet give us?” He told them to be specific. They had a class discussion about this. He told his students that a digital citizen is a person who chooses to act safely, respectfully, and with responsibility whenever you are online. He then asked them to build a comic about their digital superhero. His class used a website which allowed them to do this. He showed his class how to make a superhero for about five minutes, and then let them do it themselves. He matched the lesson up with English language standards. The students are able to create a narrative between themselves and the superhero in order to put together a complete story. This project gave the students a sense of ownership. The students were able to analyze the situation that they were in and analyze the text structure of the comic book in order to build a complete narrative. He had his students take what he called a, “gallery walk.” This was his way of having them peer review. The children were very eager to share their comics with the class. The english language standards in his project were to write narratives to develop imagined experiences or events, analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to text, ask and answer questions.

The fifth video was Project Based Learning by Dean Shareski. In this video, three teachers worked together to combine history, English, and information processing and embedded the principles of project based learning to create a unique learning experience for students. Project based learning helps to create engaged learners with deeper understanding. The teachers had to convince their administration that what they wanted to do with the students could really be beneficial for them. The kids use technology as a tool to bring the content to life in their classes. Their idea gave them the luxury of time: time to blend ideas into content, time to go deeper into learning, and time to provide quality feedback for students. They are able to give students multiple perspectives. The students love the projects and enjoy doing them.

The sixth video was Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program. The video described project based learning as in depth learning that integrates thematic instruction based on real-world problems using research based projects and presentations. Project based learning helps to take away the fear of public speaking because children get used to it at an early age. They like to have the students make a lot of decisions on their own to create in themselves a sense of power. The teachers put trust in their students and give them ownership of their work which makes the students accountable. Students learn to work independently, cooperatively, how to solve problems, how to communicate with each other, and to support each other. It also helps children to learn in different ways because it incorporates many different intelligences and learning styles.

what we learned

What we learned from these videos was that teaching with technology can be done in many different ways. These videos showed us that projects should encourage learning from students and that technology can be used to make classroom projects fun for students. These videos really showed us the diversity among techniques for project based learning, but with the same consensus that it is something we should all try with out own classrooms. We all enjoyed getting to see how experiments worked out for these teachers in their own classrooms and hope that we can someday develop such amazing projects as these.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Blog Post #10

The driving question for this blog post was, "What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?"

bring on the learning revolution
In Ken Robinson's video Bring on the Learning Revolution, he said that he knows people who drone through life miserably and he knows people who absolutely love what they do and wouldn't change a thing. He also felt that education sometimes keeps people from their natural talents. The main point in his speech was that education reform is not enough. He said that reform is not enough because all it is doing is trying to improve a broken model. He thinks that instead of reform, we need transformation or revolution.

Mr.Robinson's ideas were to challenge what we know and take for granted and innovate fundamentally. He thinks that people's biggest problem is that they get in a habit of thinking that once something is done one way, it simply can not be done any other way. He wants people to reconstitute their sense of abilities and sense of intelligence. He says that life and education should be about passion and what, "excites our spirit and our energy." His thoughts on revolution in education would be to model it on principles of agriculture and realize that human flourishing is not a mechanics process, that it is an organic one. His best advice was that we need to be like farmers and customize to our own circumstances.

What I learned from Mr.Robinson's video was that education really does need an entire transformation. I had not thought about education the way that he talked about until viewing this video, but I really do agree with him. This can especially relate to technology in the classroom. Teachers once only had chalkboards, textbooks, paper, pens, and pencils; but now, they have access to so much more through the internet and things like P.L.N.s. If teachers do not change their ways and try to incorporate things like this into their classrooms, their students really will be missing out. Teachers should take changes like this and learn to develop them for their students development and their own. Mr.Robinson's idea about being like farmers really stood out to me because if we as educators are like farmers, watching our students grow and adapting to the changes that they need, we will be able to in a way grow successful crops with our students.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Blog Post #9

The driving question for this blog post was, “What can we learn fromMs.Cassidy?”

learning with a computer mouse

The first video we watched, Little Kids...Big Potential, showed Ms.Cassidy’s first grade students. The video said that the students like to write on blogs because people see them and give them comments. The students think it improves their writing and they know the rules for commenting and know how to stay safe while using the internet. Their center time even involves technology. They are independent learners and even try to learn at home. They use wiki’s, make videos, use Nintendo DS, and use Skype.

This video was very interesting to me because it showed many ways in which technology can be used in the classroom. It was also interesting because I got to see the student’s opinions on technology in the classroom. It encouraged me to try to find ways to incorporate technology in my future classroom.

Ms.Cassidy got involved in technology because she wanted to find a way to make computers useful in her classroom. She is always trying to find new things to do with technology. She said the kids like not having to “power-down” when they come to school. She thinks technology is here to stay and that it is necessary for teaching children. She thinks the children really like the wide audience that their posts reach. She thinks that teachers really need to keep up with technology and said that a good way to do that is to keep your students p.l.n.’s growing. She thinks twitter can be valuable for teachers.

After watching the interview videos, I would say that Ms.Cassidy’s approach to the use of technology in the classroom seemed successful. She was not strict on the way things needed to be done; however felt that it was important for teachers to have technology in the classroom. I think the technology technique she used which I liked most and could potentially use in my future classroom would be encouraging students to blog. Based on her students’ reactions, it seems like it is beneficial to students to do this.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blog Post #8

For this blog post,we were supposed to think about what we will be teaching and search for an appropriate tool that will be useful in our anticipated teaching situations.
I decided to Google technology tools that can be used in the field of english/literature. Google had some pretty interesting results. The tool that I decided to examine was developing inquiry-based webquests for literature.

This tool helps to bring reading to life for students. The website I found it on says it, "focuses on how a technology-rich environment can facilitate the reading experience and help students meet challenging standards while addressing essential questions that bring meaning to learning. Through the use of Internet-based WebQuests, students engage in problem solving, information processing, and collaboration. When these WebQuests are literature based, books become the focal point for reading-centered learning activities. The article describes creation of original WebQuests, but also explores how teachers can locate, evaluate, adapt, and integrate existing resources."

note from the teacher

If that doesn't scream fun and learning for students, I don't know what does.

The Webquests encourage students to learn and enjoy while doing it. The website I found this information on was Reading Online.

I hope that I am able to take advantage of this in my future classroom and I really enjoyed learning about it.

Project #14 Project Based Learning Plan #2

I have decided to use the movie trailer idea from EDM310 and decided to use it in a lesson plan for my class. Since I am going to be an English teacher, I think this will be especially useful.

In this project, I would divide my students up into four groups with five students in each group. This project is for students in sixth grade. For the project, I would have my students read a book over the course of a week. They would all read the same book. Once the book was read, I would have the students break into groups and discuss what they believed to be the exposition, rising action, introduction of conflict,climax, falling action, and resolution of the story. Once they had decided those things as a group, I would have them create a trailer for the book. After the trailers were done, we would watch as a class and decide which parts of the book really were the exposition, rising action, introduction of conflict, climax, falling action, and resolution of the book. I would have the class self-evaluate the trailers using a pre-determined rubric to grade their own work.

C4T #2

I was assigned to comment on Karl Fisch's blog, The Fischbowl: "The New NCLB: No Curler Left Behind".

His blog was about the performance of Olympic athletes. He basically said that America should be kicking butt, but since we aren't he had ideas to help change that. His ideas included adding more world championships, changing the locations of the training facilities, changing the locations of the Olympics, changing the committees involved in judging the athletes, and changing the location of the Olympics. He was very opinionated about the ways we can improve our athletes.

My comment on his blog was, "You had some very interesting outlooks on the performance of athletes. I think you are right and that we should raise the car to encourage the athletes to do better!!"

cartoon teacher in classroom

I was assigned to the same teacher for this blog, but this time I viewed his post Inertia, Obedience, and Faith.

This blog was about Mr.Fisch giving a test that he does not enjoy. He said, "Is there anyone on the staff who honestly believes that the best use of our limited time with these students, this year, is spending it giving the TCAP? Or would it be better for them to be attending their regular classes, with their teachers and their peers, learning as part of the Warrior community?" He really felt that the test was unnecessary and took valuable time away from his students.

My comment on his blog was, "My name is Mallory Harris. I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I felt like you had some good points on why this test was taking valuable time away from your students and that your frustration was just. I think your articles back up your point entirely and your viewpoint on this topic was quite on point."

Project #9

Friday, February 28, 2014

C4K #1

I was assigned to view a student named Adam's blog. He had a post about sharks. His class skyped with Sharky Gillian who gave them information about sharks. He thought it was stupid that people killed sharks for soup that might be toxic. He also had an interesting fact about how many humans are killed by sharks each year vs. how many sharks are killed by humans.

The comment I left on his blog was "I think it's really cool that your class gets to skype interesting people. I also enjoyed really reading the facts you put about sharks. It's sad that sharks are killed for pointless reasons. I really enjoyed reading your post."

I was assigned to view Elijah's blog post. The instructions said to respond to the survey. Some of the class posted surveys. Elijah had no posted a survey, but he had done their previous assignment, so I commented on that. The assignment was to say why they liked technology. Elijah said he like technology because he could play games and blog.

The comment I left on his blog was "My name is Mallory. I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I was assigned to view your blog. Those are really awesome reasons for why technology is great. I bet technology helps you do cool things when you get to play games and blog!!"

I was assigned to comment on Bojangles19's blog. This person did not have any posts, so I had to improvise and comment on adrianb4673's blog. The post was supposed to be a reflection of a 2013 memory. The post was about a night when Adrian went swimming with friends in cold weather and had a lot of fun.

My comment was, "I am en EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I was assigned to view your blog. This sounds like a really great night. I think that jumping in the pool must have been a lot of fun, but I bet it was super cold. That was a great memory to reflect on!"

I was assigned to comment on T_RAW's blog. T_RAW, however, did not have any words and only a picture so I had to comment on Pickle's blog instead. The blog was about a short story. The story was about threee kids who went to a scary house with a murderer.

My comment on the blog was, "My name is Mallory Harris. I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your story. You had some really good descriptions. It was very scary. Good job!!"

kids holding hands


dream big

The driving question for this blog was, “What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?”

After watching Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, I learned that Pausch’s main points were his dreams, helping other people enabling their dreams, and what lets you get to accomplish your dreams.

Pausch had some very interesting points. The quotes that I took away from the video were, “it’s all about fundamentals,” “the brick walls are there to show how badly we want something,” “wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you,” and “the best gift an educator can give is to get someone to be self-reflective.”

I think those quotes are important because they are all qualities he talked about which can help me learn about teaching and helping others to learn. Sticking to the fundamentals will help keep me focused. The brick wall quote is important because it can help me realize to stay determined and to keep my students dedicated. The waiting quote is important because it reminds me to be patient. The last quote is important because it shows a goal that I can try to attain with my students.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


What are personal learning networks? How can they help you as a teacher? How are they formed? How can you create your own PLN? Who will be the first additions to your PLN?
Those are the driving questions for this week. Personal learning networks are what a teacher uses to stay connected. It is the group of people who are available to give teachers support or advice. They can help me as a teacher because I can have someone to go to for information who might have already been through certain situations. PLN's are formed through branching out by teachers. They happen when teachers stay connected. I created my own PLN on Symbaloo. The first additions to my own PLN will be my classmates. They will be my first additions because who better to ask questions to, than people going through the same experience.

This week taught me that I can depend on my own classmates for advice/support in my future classroom.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blog Post 5

The driving question for this blog post is, "What do you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?"

teacher notes file

The first video was Project based learning part 1. This video had some really unique points about project based learning. Anthony said his ideas were constantly evolving. This is a good way to look at P.B.L. because it helpe him to keep an open mind. He also said that P.B.L. can be used as a way of getting students to learn something.What I learned from the video was that it helps if the students have a good audience, keeps the students interested, and involves the community. I also learned that P.B.L. is driven by content. Anthony had his students write letters to their congressman which allowed for writing, reading, and social studies standards to be met for the ACCRS. His students used peer review to narrow down which letters to send. This is an example of how democracy is key to project based learning. It is so important because it gives opportunities to revise and reflect on their work. I thought it was very interesting getting to hear about an actual project he used in his class room. This video made me very excited to one day be able to do these things with my own class.

The second video was Project Based Learning Part 2: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher . I learned that a smart way to introduce new tools in P.B.L. is having students do simple projects in order to get to learn how to use the tools for more complicated projects. Anthony had his students write a narrative script as if they were a child in Afghanistan. He then had them record the narration on imovie and pull pictures from icurio to use in their videos. The focus was broad because it really caught the student’s interests so he did not have to worry about choosing for them. One child even had to do an alternate science project,but it ended up being beneficial to the entire class. The parents were very impressed with the work of the 3rd graders. Anthony said that, "With project based learning you will always get more than you expect." He also said to never limit your students by giving them exactly what you want them to do. Another important thing I learned from this video was that Project based learning involves not just a method for you to evaluate students but a very powerful method by which students learn. It takes a lot of planning and a lot of work.I also learned that it is important to always take feedback from the kids in order to make future projects better.

The third video wasIcurio. Anthony explained that Icurio is an online tool that serves a few different purposes. It allows student to safely surf websites that have been filtered for educational purposes. It not only searches text, but audio and video as well. The students can use it themselves. I also learned that it has a storage capacity for students and teachers for information that they find valuable. This helps with virtual organization. It also has kid-friendly buttons. Anthony pointed out that it is also convenient for classroom bells and sudden changes because it allows students to save their spots and get back to what they were doing quickly. He said you can also search by criteria by key words. I learned that it is useful for all grade levels, even high-school.It has a read-aloud feature which would be good for difficult circumstances. I think that Icurio is a unique learning tool that I can't wait to use in my own classroom.

The fourth video wasDiscovery Education. When talking about Discovery Ed. Anthony said, "A pictures worth 1000 words so a video must be worth a million." After viewing the video, it seems he is definitely right. Discovery Ed. has lots of visual aids which takes students beyond pictures. It also allows teachers to bring experts into the classroom via video. It also has student searches to enrich research experiences and teachers can use it to bring texts to life. It can teach students that making videos can be useful to them. It Compares and contrasts reading to what they are viewing. All of these things sound like things I can use in my class room one day, expecially as an english teacher.

The fifth video was The Anthony - Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1. The first tip in this video was that to be a teacher, you’ve got to really be interested in learning yourself. Dr.Strange said,"If you’re not a learner, you will not be a successful educator. We have to ourselves constantly learn and we have to model that for other people." This stood out to me because it brought up a valid point that teachers really do need to be able to learn themselves. The next tip in the video was that teaching is hard and work is not separate from play. It meant that teachers are always thinking about new ways to improve their teaching even when they aren't technically at work. The idea is to let your work become a fun experience for you. Another important tip from the video was that surprises always happen. The best thing to do in this situation is to be flexible. Another important thing I learnd from this video was that when you start with an end goal and it doesn't look like what you wanted, be flexible and see if you can make it work. It is also important to get students engaged and to reflect. Always ask, "How can I change what I did to make it better?"

The sixth video was Don't Teach Tech - Use It. This video stated that technology is natural for children and you shouldn't teach it. The idea is that when you are designing projects, you incorporate more technology each time. Anthony called it “Scaffolding.” By using this method, it allows for students to learn and review the technology. It is also sharable and teaches them how to do new things.

The seventh video was Additional Thought About Lessons. In this video, Anthony said,"A lesson is at least 4 layers thick. But if it’s any more than 4 its miserable." He said the four things you have to think about as far as lessons go are how it fits in with your year, unit,week, and day.Each is part of what goes into making successful lessons.

These videos really taught me new things that I can hopefully use in my own class room.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


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"Good questions make students think, they encourage participation and I think they improve the caliber of the answers students give and the questions they ask." This quote came from Maryellen Werimer in her blog Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom. The three main topics addressed in this blog were preparing questions, playing with questions, and preserving good questions. This blog said that preparing questions for your class is especially important because it keeps your questions on track and useful to your class. The playing with the question idea was basically saying that it is sometimes best to leave questions unanswered for a while in order to encourage students to think. Preserving good questions was about remembering what your students ask and encouraging them to continue asking questions. These methods seem like they would really keep students involved and thinking the whole time.

"When you prepare for class, office hours, and help sessions, compose specific questions that you will ask your students (or that you anticipate they will ask you). Doing so will help you increase student participation and encourage active learning." This quote came from Asking Questions to Improve Learning. This article had strategies for asking questions, instructions for how to respond to questions effectively, reasons to ask open questions, and how to refine questions. It had points for each of those questions that were interesting because it explained exactly why you should be doing those things. The main focus behind those objectives was to encourage more focus and thinking in the classroom.

To answer this week's driving question, "What Do We Need To Know About Asking Questions To Be An Effective Teacher?" I have looked into those articles above and come to the conclusion that in order to be an effective teacher, I need to be prepared with the questions I want to ask my class and that I need to always encourage my students to ask their own questions. By doing those two things, I should be able to keep my class thinking and engaged.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Project #3 Google Presentation


A+ Teacher sign

I have been assigned to view and comment on Ms.Dahl’s blog For The Love Of Teaching.

The first post I viewed was called How To Plan and Schedule Guided Reading Groups. This blog post was about the plan she has developed in order to put her students in reading groups. Her plan included determining the students reading levels, scheduling the meeting times for the groups, and working the stations around the teacher table. She had pictures of the process to show the actual steps she took.

What I learned from this first post and a summary of the comment I left for this post would be that it is important to think about the individual needs of the children in your classroom. She took the time to assess each of their reading levels in order to work with them on their own level. She also thought about events that were currently going on in her school before planning out each groups’s reading time. I think that was a great way to create reading groups in the classroom.

The second post I viewed by Ms. Dahl was called Thinking Across Content - Good Mathematics Poster. This post was about the language used in a classroom to encourage deep thinking from students. Her steps to do this were knowing the language of learning, actively using the language, how much time will it take to use the language, and the use of the language posters.

What I learned from this post and a summary of my comment for this post would be that I had never thought to encourage my students through the use of this language, but it seems like a good idea because it would help students to understand more as I am teaching. I think that by learning this language of learning that I could really help my students in the long run.

I really enjoyed reading Ms. Dahl’s blog posts because they opened my eyes to new techniques. It was also very informative and had great use of visuals.

Thursday, January 30, 2014



After viewing Paige Ellis' blog, I learned that there are different ways we can approach peer review. I also learned that the best thing to keep in mind is that one day I’m going to be a teacher and that I will have to review my students work all the time so I might as well practice now. I think Paige was really on point with her decision to use private and public communication.

I felt that What Is Peer Editing? and Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial were very similar. Both showed that there were three steps to proper peer editing. The three steps were compliments, suggestions, and corrections. Both also showed the definition of peer and edit. They also both showed things to look at when peer editing, such as word choice, using details, sentence structure, and the overall flow.

The Writing Peer Review Top Ten Mistakes was a very cute video in which the students showed different scenarios of peer editing gone bad. It was basically a video of instructions on what not to do.

After viewing all of those things, I learned that I need to consider the other person’s feeling when I am peer editing. I also learned that it is important to stay positive. I should do fine with peer editing as long as I follow the three steps.

After viewing my group members’ blogs, I realized that they all had similar thoughts, which to me means that they were all on point with their analysis. I think that one of my group members could have gone into more detail but other than that they were all pretty good. Their grammar was correct and there were no spelling errors to my knowledge. I have come to the conclusion that I would leave similar comments like this on their blogs. I think that this is a good case of when it is ok to comment publicly. If they would have been completely off topic or had tons of errors, I would have privately told them.

This blog was definitely a learning experience and it really opened my eyes up to the right way to view other people’s blogs.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What Will Teaching in the 21st Century be Like?

technology in classroom clipart

1. After watching the Mr.Dancealot movie, I learned that the central message of the video was that in order to have successful lessons, you must make sure you are teaching in ways that go together. In the video, the author made a case for that conclusion by showing that the teacher should have done demonstrations in front of the class and then had the class dance with him, rather than having them dance only for the final. I agree with this conclusion because you should be able to make sure your class materials all go together in a smooth fashion.

2. After watchingTeaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts (John Strange version), I think that Roberts believes that teaching in the 21st century means to not only be there for your students, but to be able to shows them how to find things on their own. He thinks that teachers are not the only source for knowledge for their students and that teachers’ need to play a part in helping their students learn. He also believes that teaching in the 21st century means integrating technology into the classroom so that students have access to even more knowledge. I feel like Roberts is right about teaching because students really do need more than just a teacher with a book. I personally use more than my books to learn so this concept makes sense to me. I think this will affect me as educator in that I will have to learn to use technology and I will have to keep up with my students.

3. After watching The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler, I was shocked by how much the student was able to do on his own for a class. The way the video was set up, it really did make you wonder why the teacher was needed. I feel like the video had good ideas on the resources available to students and that students should be able to take advantage of those resources for their classes. I think that the video was right in its explanation of why the teacher was needed. The idea was that the teacher was there to give guidance in tough situations, and to teach the student the proper way to communicate, as well as to find good sources instead of bad ones. I like the idea behind this video because it seems like the students would be using more independent learning, however I also would want to be more involved if this were my class.

4. After watching the movie Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts by Vicki Davis, I believe that the thesis of her video was that students can learn in classrooms using technology and that the teacher does not always have to be the only one teaching. I think this was a unique perspective on teaching because it showed me that I can have my students lead lessons for the class and that by connecting my student to other students around the world, that they can achieve more learning.

5. After watching the flipping the classroom video, I was inspired. Flipping a class room is new to me. I think the idea behind it is wonderful because it gives students the ability to have knowledge before class. I think that I would take advantage of this technique in my class because that way students have time to prepare and could re-watch the lessons as many times as they needed in order to succeed.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I have heard that EDM310 takes up a lot of your time. Previous students have stressed to me that it really is a nine hour class. My fears about EDM310 are that I will be stressed because of the time requirement. I am normally pretty good about doing all of my homework, but having to set aside nine hours for one class seems like a lot. EDM310 differs from most classes I have taken so far in college because it has a big time requirement, and from what I can tell, it is not a learn and regurgitate type of class. I do not think EDM310 compares with any of my classes thus far. I think the most difficult thing for me in EDM310 will be group work. I am very busy and it is going to be hard to figure out times when I am able to meet with people. The best way for me to address that issue is going to be planning ahead. I do not think that I currently have any questions about EDM310, but I am hoping this semester goes well and that I am able to learn a lot from this course.
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