Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blog Assignment #9

Mr. Joe McClung, an assistant principal at Leverett Elementary in Fayetteville, Arkansas
What Have I Learned?

After reading two of Mr. Joe McClung's posts, I feel more prepared for my future classroom than a week ago! Joe McClung is currently an assistant principal at Leverett Elementary in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He is entering his sixth year in the education field! He received a Bachelor's Degree in Health and Physical Education from Arkansas Tech University and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Arkansas. I decided to read "What I've Learned This Year (2008-09)" and "What I Learned This Year - Volume 4 (2011-12)". I particularly chose the first one because it was a reflection based on his first teaching experience. He reflects about his experiences and what he learned after teaching for the first time. He gives us advice on how to read the crowd. He tells us that we need to be flexible. He says that communication is very important. As a teacher, we need to be reasonable and not be afraid of technology advancing into the classroom and student's lives. He also says we need to listen to our students and never stop learning!

It is very important for us to be flexible to our students and accept the fact that nothing is perfect. We are not perfect. Our students are not perfect. Lessons plans are not perfect. We need to be as flexible as we can be. Like he mentions in his post about flexibility, he entered the school with too much control. He beat himself up for lessons that did not go well. We need to let the "perfection" go and just accept that nothing is perfect! We just need to do the best we can! Mistakes will come and we need to face it. Instead of beating ourselves up for faults, we need to use that fault to teach ourselves how to do better next time. As teachers, we are also learners. Like he says, we should never stop learning!

Another important point is we need to listen and be reasonable to our students. Classrooms should be student-centered. It is very important for us to learn about our students. Every student is different. We need to understand them and provide support when they have a problem. In order to be reasonable, we need to accept that they are children and they are not perfect. We are not perfect either! Sometimes they will make mistakes, so will we. We should not reprimand them for not fulfilling our expectations.

In the second post I read, "What I Learned This Year - Volume 4 (2011-12)", he was actually stumped about what he learned this year and what he should write on his reflection post. I think this is the case because he has learned most of what he needed in order to be good teacher. In the end, he decided to talk about reflect about two themes. One is about peer pressure and another is about challenging yourself.

It was interesting to me that even after many years of teaching, peer pressure still exists! Even though he felt like there's a need to please his peers, he just went on doing what he believed was right and did not let them change who he is. He did not let their opinions, or how he was perceived by them, change his way of teaching or handling business. This is very important for all of us, as future educators and as a human being. We will get opinions from others about what we are doing. I constantly get comments about me becoming a teacher. I would get negative, sarcastic, rude, and weird comments. People ask me why I want to become a teacher when I could become a registered nurse (previous major). Their reasoning is the fact that I could make more money as an RN than a teacher. I tell them that it's not about the money and they look at me funny. If it was about money, I would go study to become a doctor instead. In the end, their opinion did not change what I want to do, who I want to be and where I want to go in life. The point is we should not let other's change our path. We should not let other people's opinions make us deviate from our chosen path. Go where you want to go and believe in what you want to believe. Other people's comments are just "opinions" and we should not change our path just to please others!

He also mentions the idea of "challenging yourself". After teaching for many years, he says that is likely for you to be too comfortable and then slack off with your lessons. He mentions about his memories of himself going to a class that was boring. As a teacher, always bring or use new ideas. You should not use the same lessons or slack off!! You want your students to have fun, engaged and enjoy class! You also want your students eager to learn more! I couldn't agree more!

I remember when I use to teach Kindergartners, I noticed some problems. I was the group leader for an after-school program and we had homework specialists for every grade. After doing homework, we would have time for an activity. The activity and lesson plan is written by our homework specialist. Here is the problem I noticed. The activities they had each day were the "same". It consisted of coloring, cutting and pasting things together. It was a different theme but it was the same idea. My students eventually found it boring. They are Kindergartners and we should keep the activities simple but we need variety. There are so many lessons that will enhance their fine motor skills, listening skills, creativity, and etc. This is the same for other grades. I was also told that these were activities that they have done before in previous years. To me, I think that is a problem and I sensed laziness. As a teacher or even a person working with children, we need to have variety in our teaching but also assessing all the required skills or learning outcomes. We had these days, called "10-hour-days", where students get to come in school during holidays or vacation time. Those were the days where we get to work with different grades! During these 10-hour-days, whoever is assigned to work on those days have to come up with lesson plans. I had the opportunity to write many lesson plans! This was my chance to do something "different". We did face masks, different gym activities, art and crafts, science experiments and etc.! This was really different and I think they all enjoyed it. I only say that because students were asking me to do more of it! I was also asked by the Principal if she could use one of my lessons for the school! I think with variety comes variety in learning!

These are all important things to consider when it comes to teaching, especially for the first time. I have experience working with children but it's different when it comes to the "real thing"! I look forward to it and Mr. Joe McClung's reflections really helped!

Project #12 - Book Trailer

This is my book trailer of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. This is one of the most popular children's book. It is a must-have in your future classroom! They learn about the different days of the week, numbers, colors, types of food and how a butterfly is formed!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

PLN Progress Report #1

For my personal learning network (PLN), I use Symbaloo to organize various websites and some tools that I would use to gather my sources for a project, research or to expand my network. Aside from Symbaloo, I use Delicious, Screenr, Youtube, Livestream, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Google Chat, and Blogger.

This is a screenshot of my Symbaloo set up.

I got in the habit of using Symbaloo. I added a lot more "buttons" that links to websites I can use to do research, help me with my English, access to University pages and etc. It's pretty neat because you can click on a box/button and it'll instantly go to the page that it's linked with. It allows for quick access. Within each button, you can set up a sub category. You can add an "education" button and it'll bring you to another page. In that page, you can add all your sources that relates to education. I have not gotten that far yet. Symbaloo isn't a software or program for your computer but a website that requires you to login. Some people may not like this but the benefit is that you can access your sources and tools from anywhere. You can organize it any way you like as well! Besides using Symbaloo for research and educational purposes, you can also add your social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. It's really personal! I have it set up as my first tab on my Google Chrome so it's always there!

This is a screenshot of my Skype session using video chat, screen sharing, and screen recording.

A tool I use for my PLN is Skype. Skype is a great software/program to use in order to communicate with your group members, other educators, and even your family! Instead of physically meeting to discuss a project, you can save travel time and money by using Skype. You can also use it to set up interviews with educators around the world!! The neat thing is that you can have a video chat and an option to do screen sharing. In my opinion, screen sharing is one of the most amazing utility. When I first used screen share, it was free. I used it a couple of days ago and it wasn't free (odd) but it's definitely worth getting if you're working with people from far away. The first time I used it, I was teaching someone how to use Adobe Photoshop. Screen share came in handy because they watched what I was doing on my computer. It's visual learning and it helps. A couple of days ago I used Skype in order to meet with a team member for a group project. We did a video chat and a screen share. The neat thing about Skype is it's not just like a phone call. You are on your computer, talking to someone and having access to all the necessary documents and files you need. Another benefit with Skype is you get to have contact with anyone, anywhere. If I want to discuss a research idea with Professor from New York, I can do that without spending $400 on a round-trip ticket. Besides that, you can also have regular chats. It's a great program that allows you to connect with others. This connection can help you with your studies, research, projects, and etc. It's also a way for you to find assistance or help if needed.

This is a screenshot of what Livestream looks like on the computer.

While I was having my Skype session, I used Screenr to do a short recording. Screenr has a free option but the recording is limited to 5 minutes. Screenr allows you to record your screen and save it. You can use this as a tool to record a part of your research or something that may benefit others. You can post this video onto YouTube for others to see. Because it's public, you will get feedback or advice from others. By producing something that helps others, you are also helping yourself. That is one way of learning. Before I discovered Screenr, I used Livestream. I did not use it for educational purposes but it can be. It's also a screen recording program but the difference is you are broadcasting to the public as you are recording hence the name "LIVE-stream". You have the option to save it onto your computer and have it automatically published to your Livesteam website. In a way, this can help your learning and help you expand your learning network. Like in blogs, you can also ask questions in a video and you may get responses. During the broadcasting, you can chat with your viewers. As an educator, you can incorporate Livestream into an activity.

This is a screenshot of my YouTube interface.

You can publish those saved videos onto Youtube. I use YouTube for my PLN because of the unlimited amount of sources you can gather that can help you with your teachings. You can find inspirational videos, tutorials, activities or lessons you can give to your students, advice from other educators and etc. You can find almost anything on YouTube that can help you. Besides that, you can post your own tutorials, activities, lessons and etc. that can help others. On YouTube, you can also make comments, suggestions or ask for advice. It's another way to contact people.

This is a screenshot of my activity on Twitter along with other people sharing sources.

Another tool I use is Twitter. I have never used it and refused to before EDM310. Now I use it almost every day. It's not only a social networking website but a way for us to share our ideas, articles, and etc. to others. You can build your own network. I have added the educators from my C4T and others that my classmates suggested to me. From there, I added other educators that connected with them. As a result, they added me! We would share articles and ideas on Twitter back and forth. You can also find great sources for teaching because they are being posted by the educators you are following. I have been expanding my network and found many great websites. You also get news that is related to education.

I am slowly expanding my personal learning network on step at a time! I really enjoyed this project and discovering new tools that can help me as a future educator.

Monday, October 22, 2012

C4T Summary #2

Andrea Hernandez & EdTech Workshop
For my next C4T, I was assigned to Andrea Hernandez and her blog is called "EdTech Workshop". Andrea Hernandez labels herself as a "passionate educator" and is currently exploring the usage of blogs as a platform for personalized learning and documenting the changes & growth in each subject. She is currently a 21st century learning specialist and instructional coach at Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, facilitating online classes for Professional Learning Board and co-creating a conference called "EdJEWcon".

I commented on her post, "Where is the Authentic Audience?" and this heavily relates to what we are doing in our class. She talks about an authentic audience for bloggers. Students use to have the class and the teacher as their audience. The audience provides guidance, critique, feedback, opinions, conversations and etc. But in the blogging world, who and where is the audience? What does "authentic audience" mean? As bloggers, we need to write a quality post and need to keep the readers in mind. As teachers, they need to understand the concept and usage of blogs in a deep way. They also need to teach their students how to write a blog effectively with quality. The students should be taught how to write in a powerful manner, doing the assignment because it's more than an assignment and know how to create a conversation in a blog. There is also the question of are we writing for ourselves or for the audience? In some of her comments to other educators or commenters, she talks about how sometimes the comments she gets are not that insightful. Sometimes the audience doesn't understand the post and they might be commenting just because it's an assignment.

In all honesty, I went to comment and admitted that I might not have understood her post entirely. I was not sure if it's on my end or that face I was not taught how to comprehend other people's writing well enough. I also commented because it was an assignment. I tried to make it more than just an assignment. I learned something new in the end. In my comment, I told her about my experience and what we are doing in our EDM310 class that is related to what she was talking about. Our authentic audience is the class but I asked the question, "who will be our audience after the class the over?” In this class, we are learning how to be effective writers and Dr. Strange is an educator who is guiding us through the process of 21st century learning. Like how she claimed her tweeting with no replies was ironic, I have to agree with her. It's really different from getting valuable feedback in the physical world versus the web. In our class, we have C4C assignments but most students find it too mean to leave an honest critique. Most students end up with comments that won't help the student. This is not an authentic audience. If we were to do this as an in-class assignment where we exchanged papers to edit, we would actually gain the authentic critique we want. It's hard for us, bloggers, to gain an authentic audience. Blogging and commenting is not something many people will do. People also like to keep their opinions to themselves than use the time to write a long and effective comment. In the end, she replied to all of us claiming, "This is the power of authenticity", because in this one post she received more than 15 comments that are insightful. We were the examples of her authentic audience. I still think I may have misunderstood her post.

In the second post, "Creating a Target- A Work in Progress", Andrea Hernandez talks about the change in education and how educators have to accommodate to this change. A 21st century learner should receive a 21st century education. Change is inevitable. She and other educators are working together to create a structure to support their school's growth and change as the society/world changes around them. They summed their rubric into a one-page-summary. Below is a picture of that one-page-summary:

In my comment, I wrote "...Education has changed/shifted and I think we all need to be 21st century learners and educators, not the 19th. What you are doing is great because you are trying to cope with the change. Not many educators would do that. When there is a change in society, there will be a change in learning and education. When there is a change in education, educators need to re-define their purpose and tasks. The chart you provided is superb." I think it is very important that as time changes, we have to change with it. As a student of the modern era, it's difficult to learn things the old fashion way. Penmanship is thrown away, chalkboards are starting to disappear, and technology is making their advances into the classrooms. SMARTboards are being placed, we are allowed to use our laptops, do our research online and etc. Teachers/Educators have to change or re-define their purposes and tasks. Teachers need to change their roles in order to accommodate with the changes around them. Our way of learning is different than how it was 20 years ago. Like what Kevin Roberts says in his video "Teaching in the 21st Century", teachers are filters for their students. I think Andrea Hernandez has the right point. It's great that teachers/educators are putting in their efforts to improve teaching, learning and education rather than going against it.

At the end of my comment, I asked her a question. It's the same question I asked David Truss when I did my C4T with him. I asked her, "What advice would you give to a future educator? Or what would you like to impart to us future educators?" Instead of replying as a comment, she made a blog post answering this question! In her recent blog post, "So, You Want to Teach?", she gives future educators her advice! In her post, the usage of bullet points and images are highly effective. It makes the post have distinct qualities. At the end of her post she wrote, "Your craft is the art of learning. And learning is the art of living. Teaching is not easy. You might sometimes wish you worked at the car wash instead. But remember that you are touching lives." The beauty of teaching is that you are touching lives. It's not just touching but you are changing, influencing and helping as well. As an educator, you need to be passionate and dedicated in what you do. You have to be responsible, reflect on yourself, willing to learn more than what you know and etc. She points out that we need to take care of ourselves. To most people, it may sound selfish but it's true. Like she says, we are the energy of the classroom. We need to take care of ourselves before we take care of others. We need to be healthy in order to work. It's a wonderful post! I highly recommend future educators to read this post and her blog. It's very useful and it makes you think. Thank you Andrea Hernandez for giving us valuable advice.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blog Assignment #8

A girl writers the word, dream, on the chalkboard.
How We Dream

In Richard Miller's videos, "This Is How We Dream Part 1 & 2", it makes you think about the advantages, the impacts of technology and how it changes society. Richard E. Miller is an English professor at Rutgers University. He believes that modern day technology is changing education and our privacy. In his video, he talks about how writing has changed in the academy and in culture. He believes that we are living in the greatest moments of change in history. He is talking about how technology is changing us. In the beginning of the video, he talks about his experience, time and effort he put into publishing a book. At the end of all the hard work, the book is being sold for less than a dollar. There is really no point in traditional publishing or having the need to go to a library anymore because of how technology transformed society.

We do not use paper and pencils anymore. Instead, we carry our laptops or use our computer as our work space. The web is like a limitless open-source compared to a library. Instead of publishing books, we can publish and share it on the web. It takes less time and work. He also speaks about his experience on using technology and the web to do his research on the VA massacre and other projects. He did not go to the library to gather sources. Instead, he used what was available and provided on the web. Instead of using paper, pens or pencil, he used a software such as word processor to type his work on his computer or laptop. The advantage of the web versus the library is that the information is limitless. You can gather more information from various sources than go to your local library to try to find a book or an article that can be related to the massacre. On the web, you can get access to the many sources and information that won't be in the library! Your sources and information from the library are limited.

Technology and the web also allow us to do collaborative work. People can put together a piece of work with the help of unlimited sources from the web and various software that can help stitch it together. A person can also use a software, such as Skype, to discuss ideas or problems with other people without having to physically meet. You can have a conference at any time of the day. Like the collaborative project he did on Martin Luther King Jr., he combined sources, used images, audio and then stitched it together to create an original video that can be shared to others. The ability to share our own work and sources adds on to the ones that already exist. This expands the amount of sources on the web.

I think Dr. Miller is right. Technology is changing us, our culture, education and society as a whole. It's a shame that he put so much effort in publishing a book and now it's worth less than a dollar. Because the book is also published online, people are more likely to read it online versus purchasing a physical book. Technology is also shifting us in a way that we don't really need paper and pencils anymore. Instead of writing our papers and going to the library to do our research, we rely on Microsoft Word and the web. We also do most of our work online. I think that this is a great change for society but on a personal level, I won't say it's an excellent change. I enjoy the constant updates and sources that are provided on the web. I also enjoy not having to spend more money on books, papers, pens, pencils and having to go to the library to save time to do something else. Even though I enjoy all of these, I won't call it an excellent change because we lose something for change. We always lose something. I personally enjoy writing than typing. I enjoy drawing traditionally than digitally. I enjoy reading a physical book than off the internet. I also learn more if I have to go through the longer process. I love technology but in terms of learning, I personally prefer to learn the traditional way. This doesn't mean I refuse to learn it the modern way. His video also reminded me about this class, EDM310. We are using technology to do collaborative projects, to communicate and to learn. We do not use paper and pencils. It's awesome to learn this way but it's something that I am learning to get accustomed to. I have never had a class like this or have to learn like I do in this class. On a person level, it's a different learning experience that will be beneficial in the future. On a society and educational level, I think this change is 100% beneficial.

A picture from the video asking the question: Are you are 100% in the moment and totally committed in all you do?
Carly's Blog Post

Carly Pugh is a great writer and her post really got me thinking about how I want to teach, what kind of teacher I want to be and what tools do I want to use in my future classroom. She gave out an assignment where you have to create your own playlist on YouTube with videos that reflects on what kind of teacher you want to be, what you want to teach and etc. You can also add videos that can help you in your future classroom. This assignment is excellent because it urges you to use a tool that you may be unfamiliar with. Because you are using the tool, you are learning something new that can be beneficial in your learning and teaching. YouTube is also a place where you can gather and save information for later use. It also contains audio and videos. This assignment also gets you to watch many videos that you may come across while finding the one that can complete each of her questions. For example, she asks you to find a video of what a good teacher and a bad teacher is. If you search on YouTube, you may get many different types of videos. While watching these videos, you may learn something for yourself. You may learn something you never thought of! It's all part of a learning process. You are exposed to new information as you are searching on the web. This is a superb way of learning. You are not only completing the task but learning something new in the process. This is also a very creative way of learning too!

In a way, this is what Dr. Miller is referring to when he talks about writing with multi-media. In her writing, she implemented visual aid and video references. She also urges usage of media. At the end of her post, she included a video that reflected the point of her post. The usage of multi-media in writing can change the way a reader thinks and feels. It also gives them a visual understanding of what the point of the writing was. At first, she places an image of someone slacking. She was writing about how she was distracted and procrastinating. The image has a relationship with what she was writing. The video at the end of the post sums up her entire post. The music and images along with the questions really got me thinking about me being a future educator. It is hard to explain the feeling I got after reading the post and watching the video. It was beautiful.

Chipper and Dr. Strange are having a discussion.
Chipper & EDM for Dummies!

I loved these videos! In the "Chipper Series", it teaches us what not to be as a student, a learner, a future educator and an adult!! It is filled with sarcasm! I really enjoyed it and I found it funny because many students in the current semester are showing some of these "symptoms" such as procrastination, blaming the professor for not doing their job, using the excuse of life being too busy, claiming that they (the student) are not the problem and etc. Chipper avoids deadlines, have the wrong priorities, and thinks of excuses for her lack of responsibility. She gets fired from her jobs, fails at running her own school and etc. because she refused to learn the responsibilities and admit her faults. She fails to see where her problems are and learns it the hard way. Basically she wasted years and years of time. These are the things we should not do in life and in education. Especially as future educators, we have to be reasonable and responsible. We have to set our priorities straight and understand that there are deadlines! I understand people have their personal issues and events occur but it's our responsibility to inform our teacher or employer about this so they know. Like our assignments in EDM310, we have deadlines we have to meet! We signed up for this class and we should do what is necessary! I am guilty of procrastinating every week and I know it is wrong. I try to change it but it's a little hard. The point is that I admit to it whereas Chipper did not. I definitely need to stop procrastinating because it 's going to cost me. We also have to understand that time, patience and effort are important.

"EDM For Dummies" is hilarious too! A lot of the students act this way! I am laughing right now. Honestly, I don't understand how people have a problem with this class when Dr. Strange provides us all the instructions and we, as learners and future educators, should already know how to learn something new. We are adults and we did not come this far in life without learning the basics. We did not learn to walk on our own. Our parents guided us and we made the effort. It's similar to the class. Dr. Strange is guiding us and we need to put in the effort and try rather than ranting or complaining that the work is too hard. It's the same for new tools and softwares. If you don't understand something, search for a tutorial or read the instructions. This class is frustrating and the workload is more than normal but you get so much out of it! I think this class has more benefits than you think. I dislike the amount of work but I am learning a lot out of this class. I am learning about the many types of technological tools I can use in my future classroom, learning about how the technology can change our teaching and the change in education! I feel like I'm understanding the roles of a teacher even more.

A picture of the word, Change.
Learn to Change, Change to Learn The video, Learn to Change, Change to Learn, relays a powerful message about today's change in education and how many educators do not accept this change. I think their arguments are valid. It's absurd that we are not allowed to use our hand held devices, laptops and other technology tools in the classroom. I understand that many teachers prefer the traditional ways of teaching and learning but times have changed. Today, we use technology to learn. I understand that there are teachers who worry about students who will be distracted in class because they are texting their friend or tweeting but not all students will do that! I think it's the teacher's responsibility to teach their students what to do and what not to do during class. I am not saying it's entirely the teacher's responsibility but they need to set the rules and let the students know their consequences. That doesn't mean they should take away or eliminate technology in a classroom. When there's a change, other things need to change with it. With the burst of technology, society changes. When society changes, people change. When people change, I think education should change to cope with the other changes. In several of my classrooms, my professors tell us that we cannot use any electronics or laptops in the classroom. I understand why but I think that's not good. Sometimes changes will happen and we cannot do anything to stop it. Our way of learning has changed, therefore schools should accommodate. We are in the 21st century and I think we, as students, deserve a 21st century education.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

1) Social Platform - Edmodo

This is very useful site that I would use in my future classroom because it's paperless, you can input grades, add assignments and etc. It's kind of like the University of South Alabama's SAKAI system. We can also add polls and create quizzes! I think this will make it easier for the teacher and the student. Because it's on the web, it's paperless! Paperless is always a good thing. On Edmodo, we can also include other teachers into the classroom to view their work and grades. It's a neat tool. Teachers and their students can also have a forum conversation. This is good because that means the students can ask questions before the class.

2) Presentation Tool - PREZI

Prezi offers two exclusive deal for students and teachers! We get to create out own logo than use Prezi, 500mb of storage space and we can secure our content for free! Because you can store your presentations, Prezi can act as a back-up device. The other deal is we get more storage space (2GB), offered better and faster support, and we get to use a Prezi desktop for us to work offline. This deal costs less than $5 a month! Honestly, this is a really cheap deal especially for 2GB worth of storage space. Prezi also allows you to share your content as you please. You can access your presentations anywhere.

2) Poll - Poll Everywhere

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Assignment #7

Wendy Drexler's high school student tells us the roles of a networked student and the new roles of teachers!
The Networked Student

Networked Student is a video produced by Wendy Drexler's high school students. It was inspired by CCK08, a "Connectivism" course offered by George Siemens and Stephen Downes back in 2008. It was quite interesting. It reminds me of our current EDM310 class because we don't have a textbook, usually have online assignments, required to "connect" with other educators and students and our professor is the "filter". The student has to do prior research by using valid websites, libraries and other great resources. There are many websites and software, such as "Delicious", that allows you to save websites/bookmark and share them throughout the network. Within these websites, you can also find links other people have shared too. These may be articles, news or blog posts. Most of them will allow you to comment and share your own insight with others. This creates a discussion and a social network. In order to learn, a student is required to create their own network with peers, students, and/or educators to gather the necessary information that is needed for the subject he or she is learning. Not only does this help the student learn but it can strengthen the learning process. In the end, you can create your own blog to share what you have learned and discuss the information you have gathered. A blog can be viewed by anyone, even your peers! It's a great tool to use and this is why we are blogging.

So this brings up the question: why does the networked student even need a teacher? What is the teacher's role? Even though the student is basically learning by creating their own network, the teacher has many roles. Teachers teach students how to build the network, offer guidance, shows them how to communicate properly & effectively, how to ask for help from experts in a respectful way, how to differentiate between good information from bad, how to turn a web search into a scavenger hunt, how to organize information and etc. The teacher serves as a filter for the students. They teach the skills that are necessary for the student to network effectively. In our class, Dr. Strange serves as the professional who is teaching us these skills. He provides us many documents with information and gives us blog assignments that can help us improve our writing skills, how we dissect information, how to respectfully comment on your peers or educator's blog, and etc. He also teaches us how to communicate properly in order to relay or understand information better.

I am an example of a networked student as well as my classmates in the EDM310 class. I think the video describes our roles, our classroom and our professor's role precisely. The video also shows us the effective uses of technology in a classroom. Many people think that it'll wipe the role of teachers or that they won't be needed anymore but that isn't true at all! I think a teacher is always necessary when it comes to learning. You need an experienced and knowledgeable professional to guide you through your learning. The teacher's role will change but they won't be entirely eliminated from the classroom. I hope they don't. I personally do not enjoy the 100% online courses. It is very convenient but I feel like I learn less without the instant feedback or guidance from my teacher. We can always e-mail or message through SAKAI but it's not as effective as meeting in person. It's also good to have a few classroom days so the students can network with each other. This is why I like EDM310. Even though it's heavily an online course, we do meet several times throughout the semester.

A 7th grader discusses her personal learning experience by using Symbaloo!
Personal Learning Environment / Network

In the video,"A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)", a 7th grader shows us her personal learning environment (PLE) and tells us what the uses are in her learning. It is pretty amazing. In a single page, she has all the information she gathered for her science class and her social networking tools. In our class, EDM310, we are required to build a personal learning network (PLN) that is very similar to hers. Developing your own personal learning network is really helpful for you and your learning process. In a PLE/PLN, you are allowed to use your own creativity to learn. I think the fact that it allows you to be creative in the way you want to learn makes learning much easier and likable. This gives the student the control and power over their own way of learning. Everyone learns in different ways. Like she stated, creating your own PLE/PLN to learn is fun and you actually have a lot of freedom. You also develop a sense of responsibility. I ended up using Symbaloo to manage my PLN. It seemed more organized to me. I also use"Delicious" and Google bookmark manager to store and organize various websites that will help me in my projects, research or studies. When I started my PLN, I was excited because it really helped me learn in an organized and helpful way! It's also very fun and easy to work with. I am glad that this was brought to our attention!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blog Assignment #6

Randy Pausch displays the stuffed animals he had won during his younger years at his last lecture

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

"Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" is one of the most inspirational, humorous, and hopeful video I have ever watched. Randy Pausch, full name Randolph Frederick Pausch, was a professor of computer science and human-computer interaction & design at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also the creator of a software called "Alice". In this video, he talks about how he achieved his childhood dreams by going through many obstacles whether it's good or bad. He also tells us how he achieved it, how we can achieve our own, how we can help enable other people's dream and what you can learn from it. It's not just a video on methods to how to achieve your dreams but how to lead your life. There are many advice I took from the "Last Lecture".

One of the advice he gave us is to not let brick walls stop you. Brick walls are to block the people who really don't want to be dedicated or show how badly they want to achieve something. Don't use brick walls as a way to stop you from what you believe, want to accomplish or achieve. Instead, use them as a chance to show the world how badly you want it. You should show your dedication. In a way, a brick wall can be seen as an "obstacle" in your life. You have to get through that obstacle and chase your dreams. I think this is important advice to teach your students. You should encourage your students and let them know that they have to be strong and firm about what they want. Along the way, there will be brick walls or obstacles but don't let that affect you. Find your way around the brick wall than to let it stop you. If you get rejected from your dream University, don't let that stop you. Keep trying and one day something good will come. Randy Pausch was rejected from Carnegie Mellon but he kept trying. He eventually got accepted.

Another big advice he gave us that he used during his time teaching at Carnegie Mellon is do not set the bar for your students. At 34:44 minutes of the video, he asked his "sensei" Andy on what to do about the students remarkable projects. Basically Andy told him that he should just go back in class and tell his students that they did well but can do better. The reason behind it is because since Randy didn't even know how high of a bar he should set, why even set one? Like Andy says, setting one without knowledge is a disservice to the students. Instead of setting a bar, just keep pushing them. I think this is important because once you set a bar, whether you know how high or not, you always want your students to keep going forward. My parents always did that with me. I come home with projects, papers and exams that I received 90's on. They were happy but not extremely. They said I can do better. At first I was mad but I am glad they did that. I pushed myself harder. I learned and achieved more than I would ever before. Once you let a student know that they have done the best they can do, most of them will just stop and won't continue discovering or put in the effort. This is not for all students. It happens most of the time.

From the many advice he gave, I think the best advice is to never give up. I have always lived by that even though many people have tried to get it across me that there are things that are just "impossible". Once upon a time, creating medicine to fight headaches was impossible. Once upon a time, landing on the moon was impossible. What do you know now? One day, we will be able to fly on our own. It is also important to never give up on your hopes and dreams. One day, if you believe in it and never give up, it will happen. I think this is extremely important for students. As they grow up and are learning new things, they will have people coming into their life telling them that they are foolish and had already set the bar for them. For example, your parents may tell you that you are not college material because they weren't or they just don't think you are. If you really want to college, believe it and don't give up. If you really want to grow up and be an astronaut, don't give up. As a future educator, it will be the most important thing I'll do. It's not for teaching's sake but to help my future students.

I can go on and on about the many advice he gave. I have a long list of advice I jotted down while watching the video. I can go on forever writing about it. For my future classroom, there is nothing I wouldn't use from this video. I'd want to help my students, push them to do better, give them feedback and teach them how to listen to it, teach them gratitude, loyalty, tell them to never give up, achieve their childhood dreams and many more. These are not things that a student should only learn for education but for their life. These are things that can be applied to your life. I will also teach them how to be positive no matter what. Randy Pausch was dying, suffering from cancer and had all sorts of problems but that did not stop him from anything he wanted to do. He can even do more push-ups than me! Having a positive attitude is also a key and I believe it will be for students as well.

I loved the video and feel really inspired. I really wish I would've known about him earlier in life. I would have loved to attend one of his speeches. I found myself tearing a bit, not because I pity him but because we lost a great person on Earth. We need more people like him. We need more people who are willing to help our future generation. We need people like him to teach others how to achieve your childhood dreams and to never give up. Even until he died, he was a positive and humorous guy. Like he asked, do you want to be the Tigger or the Eeyore? He was the Tigger and I think everyone should be. I understand that there are times in our life where it's a struggle. We have things that occur but don't let those stop you from your dreams. I have been through a serious case of depression before. It was for about 4-5 years. In the end, I pushed myself. I made a choice to go forward because I couldn't stand it anymore. I understand that not many people have that initial push. This is where I say that I am sad we lost a great man like him. He is a person who would give you that initial push. Randy was successful. Success doesn't come on its own. We build it on our own. We try and go forward. We go around all the brick walls that are in our way. We shouldn't complain about our problems. Instead of complaining, we should think of ways to fix it. We should never give up and never lose our childhood dreams or our vision. These are all the advice we should take and apply into our future classrooms, our own life, children and many others.

Project #9 - TimeToast

My TimeToast project is based on my life. I will use this as an example in my future K-6 classroom. Even though most people will do a timeline based on their life, I believe it is important to. It is a great way to make you realize how far you got in life, what accomplishments you have done, what you have experienced and know that you still have a lot of time ahead of you. Even for a young student, it will remind them of how far they have come along since birth. For them, they may add what happened in their life that was important to them. Like me, I added the birth of my brothers, my graduations, my dog, marriage and etc.

C4K Summary for September

Students of Pt England School had basketball lessons from Mr. Thia!
For my first C4K assignment, I was assigned to Brandon, a 5th grade student from Room 13 at PT England School. His teacher is named Miss King. In his post, he wrote about what he learned from the basketball lessons taught by Mr. Thia and how sad he was. He learned the rules of basketball, how to dribble, shoot and run & dribble at the same time. He also learned how to double dribble, which is when you run and dribble with two hands. In the end, he was sad because that was the last basketball lesson. It sounded like he really enjoyed the basketball lessons! These basketball lessons were for Room 13, not just Brandon. Most of his classmates had fun and were sad as well.

In my comment, I told him that it will be alright and he will have basketball lessons again. I suggested that in the meantime he can teach others what he learned from Mr. Thia! Not many people, like me, know the rules of basketball, do the double dribble or even shoot correctly! In a way, what you learn can be helpful for others. I also said that he can continue practicing even if it's the last basketball lesson. He can still go play basketball with his family and friends.

Sierra writes about the events of her school's
For my second C4K assignment, I was assigned to Sierra, a 7th grade student from Mrs. Krebs class. She wrote about her upcoming "Homecoming Week". There are different special events and activities each day of the week. She did not say what happens on Monday. On Tuesday, it is "Monochromatic Day" and each class is assigned a color. Her class has to wear yellow on that day. On Wednesday it's "50 Nifty". Each person wears 50 of one thing. She chose to wear 50 cards! On Thursday it's "Herd Day". Their class will be dressing as baboons. On Friday it's "Spartan Fanatic day or Old School Day". They dress up as a Spartan or dress in an "Old School" style. I am not sure what is "Old School" style to them and she did not mention.

All of this sounds very interesting and fun. I know I never experienced something like this before during my Junior High School days! In my comment, I asked her what monochromatic meant just to see if she was taught it and if she remembered. I also told her my experiences from school. Instead of having "50-Nifty", we had "100-days-of-School". That is when we make something out of 100 of one thing. It could be 100 cheerio made into a necklace. She replied me with the definition of monochromatic and she said they have something similar to "100-days-of-School" too! For the "50-Nifty", she actually had all 50 cards in tact by the end of the day! She also said she had fun during "Homecoming Week"!