Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blog Assignment #15 - Final Reflection

Project #13 Report

Our group is called "The Triad". The members of the group are Paul Bedsole, Amanda Durden, and Anna Zhuo. For our group, we used many tools that assisted us in our collaboration for project 15 and 16. We used Google Docs, Google e-mail, Twitter, SMS text messaging, Skype + Screen share, and Screenr for recording some of our video sessions.

This is a screenshot of me using Skype with Paul Bedsole, along with screen share. This is a screenshot of me using Skype with Paul Bedsole.

At the beginning, we started by e-mailing and texting (to one of the members who can only text), e-mailing and setting up a Google Doc to share info. We used e-mail to inform each other if we updated or added anything on Google Docs, when to meet up to do the video session, and to tell each other whether or not they are available at certain times to do Skype sessions. We had to text one of the members because she didn't have immediate internet access. The only way to notify her about what we are doing is by text messaging.

This is a screenshot of our documents on Google Docs.
For project 15, we had a total of 3 documents. One of them is a schedule with a little bit of conversation going on. The second document was an instructional one with links that will help us with the SMART Board. It also included procedures, step-by-steps, in how to execute the individual demonstration. The third document contained the instructions and our script for project 15. For this project, we also had a Skype session. One of our member wasn't present for it, but we did a Skype session anyway. On Skype, we discussed the given instructions, came up with ideas, and used screen share that was built in Skype. Screen share allows you to show other people your desktop or what's on your computer. It's a LIVE stream of your computer. On screen share, we showed each other how to do certain things with certain programs. It's a great tool to use to teach others different software such as SMART Board. I was also using Screenr to record parts of the video session. The free option of Screenr can only record up to 5 minutes. We continued using Google Docs. Eventually, we agreed to meet up to record our individual demonstrations. Paul would use Twitter as a way to contact me as well. It worked out better than I expected!

For project 16, we continued using the same tools as project 15. We had one document that consisted the instructions, ideas, and our script for the video. At this point, we lost a group member. It is only me and Paul left. Project 16 was a lot easier now that we are use to communicating with each other with these tools. We worked on it, then met up to record and putting it together. We spent at least 6 hours recording and putting it together. In the end, everything worked out according to plan!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blog Assignment #13

A Vision in Students Today

For this final blog assignment, we were assigned to watch a video called, "A Vision in Students Today," created by Dr. Michael Lee Wesch with the collaboration of 200 students at Kansas State University. Michael Lee Wesch is an associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. He focuses on media ecology, where he explores the numerous effects of media, especially digital media, on human interaction. In the video, it shows what the students are doing, learning, assessing, and how they life is today. In some parts of the video, students claim that they do no use the $100 textbooks they bought, do not really pay attention in class, there are over 100 students in the classroom, they are in debt due to the cost of tuition, working part-time, spend more time on the internet, how the classes they are taking are not relevant to their life, and etc. At the end of the video, Dr. Wesch writes on a chalkboard and asks what is missing? He wrote that the chalkboard is missing photos, videos, and a network.

I think the point of this video is that we need to incorporate technology into the classrooms. I think teachers and the staff members of the University should be open-minded and try to break away from traditional, out-dated, ways of teaching & learning. This is the 21st century and students deserve a 21st century education. I think they should change their methods and tactics in teaching students what they need or should learn that will benefit the student's life and future. This would mean taking advantage of technology and applying it into the classrooms. It also means changing tuition rates, the uses of "books," getting rid of chalkboards, and etc. They also need to get away from the marketing and business aspect of education and focus more on student learning. This is something they have to move onto if they want their students to actually learn and do well.

As a student, I completely agree with all the things the students said. I think that technology should be incorporated into classrooms and that teachers/educators need to embrace it. They also need to understand its positive uses. Technology is not a bad thing, but a benefit especially in today's society. If technology is incorporated, I think many students will be engaged and are willing to learn. There are books that are "required" for a course and it can cost up to $200 per book. Will I ever open it? Probably not. I think it's a waste of money if I can easily get an eBook version of it. I won't ever lose it and can be accessed anywhere. I don't need to carry it either. Instead of having students why super expensive books, why not resort to an eBook? You can help the environment as well by going green. I spend more time on the internet and doing other things in the classroom than listening to lectures. I type more e-mails than I do with papers. I do more research on the internet than go to the library. I am recognized more often in classrooms that involve the usage of technology than I do in traditional classrooms. My classes are pretty small but some professors do not recognize me. I am going to be $20,000-$30,0000 in debt after I graduate due to tuition. I am going to class that is worthless to me yet I have to pay and go because it's a requirement. If there were no attendance policy, I would not go to class. Sometimes I might not even go because I can learn on my own but I feel guilty and I already paid. I still think it's a waste of my time when I can be learning somewhere else. Classes are not engaging, boring, and dull. We, people of the 21st century, spend more time using and applying technology, using social media to converse, it is only beneficial that classrooms are up to date with the world. We need to apply what students use on a daily basis to make the classroom more fun and engaging.

If technology were incorporated, I think more students are more likely to be engaged, interact, and learn more. It's also easier for a student who is working to make ends meet. Tuition won't be as high and we don't need to buy super expensive textbooks that are not beneficial to us. Instead of having physical group projects, we can collaborate online like what was shown in the video. About 200 students collaborated on one document. If you think about it, what would it be like if 200 students were required to meet on a single day to collaborate? It would be hectic and people are not likely to come meet. Technology plays a bigger role than you think, especially in today's society. In EDM310, I learned more skills that I can apply to my daily life than I do in my other courses. The fact that we only meet about once a month, my Tuesdays and Thursdays were free for me to work on other projects and life activities. Even though we only met once a month, there were still assignments that we are required to do but it's different from assignments given in a traditional classroom. I also enjoyed this course because of the integration of technology. I am always on my computer, always online, e-mailing, using Facebook, chatting, and etc. It's what I like to do. By adding what I like to do in a classroom, the class is much more appealing to me. I also liked the fact there were no textbook requirements, the professor recognizes each one of us, there are constant and quick feedback, and etc. If only every classroom is like this, I would really enjoy school work.

C4T Summary #4

This is a picture of Bill Ferriter, a 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher in a PLC near Raleigh, North Carolina.
For the last C4T of this class, I was assigned to Bill Ferriter, a 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher in a PLC near Raleigh, North Carolina. He was named a Regional Teacher of the Year for 2005-2006. He also created courses that teaches people or increased their proficiency in technology. He taught people how to use ad apply blogs, wikis, and podcasts in the classroom. He also taught the roles of iTunes in teaching and learning and digital moviemaking. His blog is called, "The Tempered Radical."

In one of his posts, "Answering Chris's Questions about Student Friendly Learning Goals", he writes about the importance of having student-friendly, clear and helpful learning objectives. He answers Chris's list of questions that was posted on another blog post by Mr. Ferriter on writing student friendly learning goals. He thinks that school should have one structure for student friendly learning goals that will be used across grade levels and content areas. He believes this because if every teacher uses a different structure and goal for the same task, the student will have to change their learning every time they enter another classroom. It's inconsistent, inefficient, and confusing to the student. He also says that he never posts the student learning goals word for word. Instead, he creates an "overview" sheet for the student. It has important questions for students , student-friendly learning goals, vocabulary for each unit, and etc. Creating student learning goals is essential for every teacher as it will help them with the structure of their lesson, future assessments, provides feedback, and can help the student keep track of their own progress. He says, "student friendly learning goals force teachers to clarify key outcomes together, make it easier to integrate student self-assessment into your lessons, and serve as the perfect tool for communicating essential standards to parents and practitioners beyond your classroom."

In my comment, I told him I agree with him about the importance of creating student-friendly learning goals. I also told him that I'm currently taking a course that teaches me how to create proper learning objectives that will help me in my future classroom. This is a post that I can relate my own experience and knowledge on. This is a matter that most teachers look over and do not put much time into. It is great that he thoroughly explained its importance and that it helped me in my understanding of the matter. This is a great post, along with the related post "Writing student friendly learning goals," as it will help any educator.

I also commented on a recent post, "Shameless Self-Promotion in Education's Social Media Spaces," where he writes about a blog post he came across written by Chris Wejr on social media in education. Mr. Ferrier says that, "while blogs and Twitter and Facebook are SUPPOSED to be "social spaces," there's definitely a TON of broadcasting -- pushing out ideas to nameless, faceless hordes -- going on. "Having followers" has become WAY more important than "finding co-learners" to FAR too many people." He also talks about how self-promotion is also a good thing for unrecognized, unnamed and faceless individuals around the world. Even though he is not for the popularity facade, piling up followers, he thinks it's not surprising when teachers/educators take pride in it and embrace the idea of self-promotion. He says this because teaching is usually known as the "nice second income" profession rather than the "profession for breadwinners." They are under-recognized by many.

I said I agree that social media these days are about self-promotion, popularity, and it's only normal for a person to embrace the spotlight that they earned. In my comment, I wrote:

I started using Twitter in order to expand my personal learning network and for other educational purposes. I get really excited when there are educators who decided to follow me, and I'm glad to follow them back. You see, for me it's not about popularity. I recognize the person's work and I learned a lot from them. I decide to follow them because of the information, resources and other useful tips and suggestions they provide that can help or assist me as a future educator. I can learn from them. I also follow them because they are educators. I respect educators a lot because they are not as recognized as they should be.

As for me, I take pride when educators follow me. I'm just a student, trying to become a future educator. I'm nameless and just another person on the planet. Why would they want to follow me? I think it's because I post useful & beneficial information and resources that can help them learn about a specific thing. I take pride, not because of popularity, but because I able to help someone out there in the world. Popularity contest or not, it helps bring out the educators who are looked over, unseen or unrecognized.

C4K Summary for November

For my first C4K in the month of November, I was assigned to Emily H, a student in Mr. Boylen's 2012-2013 LA class. In her blog, called "EMILY'S BLOG OF AMAZINGNESS", I had the pleasure to read and comment on a story she wrote. In her story, "A Life of a Ginger," she adds her own personal experience to develop a story that depicts bullying, name calling, social discrimination, prejudices, stereotypes, and much more. She also tells us how she coped with all of that. It is very detailed and in-depth. This story is about a ginger, a red-head, but anyone can relate with it. Every race has their own stereotypes and is discriminated. It is definitely a story that many people can relate to. I sure did. I was always treated "differently" because I'm Asian. I, too, have a "name" people call me by, stereotypes, and am usually discriminated against. In her story, she uses metaphors, humor, and sarcasm to get her ideas across. To me, it was very touching and heart-warming. It was brave of her to share her own personal life story as well. At the end of her story, she describes what she thought about it all, how she coped with the problems, and that she is just a normal person like everyone else. This is an excellent short story.

In my comment, I complimented on her English and her bravery. As a reply, she wrote, "Thanks Anna, it means a lot! I don’t let anything get to my head, in fact I just brush it all off and most of the time I just take it as a joke. I don’t really have a problem with the way that I am because I can’t change that, I’m proud to be different. Thanks for the positive comments!" She is very mature, positive, and filled with hope!

For my second C4K in the month of November, I was assigned to Jacob, a student in Mr. Cometti's 9th grade IB World History class. In Jacob's post, titled "Napoleon: Russian Campaign," he provides us a brief history on Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion in Russia during 1812, also known as the "Russian Campaign". Jacob goes into little bits of detail of what happened to the French army during the invasion. In my comment to him, I told him that I recently re-learned about the Napoleonic Wars and the major roles Napoleon played during that time in history. I also said that the post helped me refresh my memories and knowledge of Napoleon and historical times in history.

For my last C4K in the month of November, I was assigned to watch "The State House", one of the four videos created by students (also known as Nelson's Navigators) in Mr. Nelson's 4th grade class. These are projects showcasing and teaching us what they have learned from their field trip to Montgomery, Alabama. They used video editing software to create these videos! It is amazing what children can do with technology! The video included images, voice overs, and were organized. There were different students for different parts of the video. They informed us about what the House of Representatives is, showed us the Governor's mansion and included the history behind it, who Lurleen Burns Wallace is, and etc! They did a great job in creating this video! My comment is still under review so it is not posted yet. In my comment, I thanked them for teaching me the little bits of Alabama since I am still new to the state. I also complimented them and encouraged them to continue using technology!

Final Report on PLN

This is an icon of RSS.

Similar to my previous PLN progress report, I am still using the same tools. 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.

These tools are still helping me expand my personal learning network. I have come across new ones but I am not sure what kind of role it will play (major or minor). I did some more research on other ways to expand my PLN but I think I am at a comfort zone at the moment. Even though I am at my comfort zone, I am still eager to find a great way to expand it.

Twitter and Blogger are the top tools that help me expand my PLN the most. Sometimes I get educators from around the world adding, or "following", me on Twitter. I would "tweet" resources that relate to education and that gets re-tweeted. By being re-tweeted, new people will read it and see who it came from. I also re-tweet and reply to other educator's tweets. I am conversing. Starting conversations is a great way to expand your network. It is the same for blogging. When you leave a comment, especially if you add a question, you are trying to start a conversation. Leaving the writer a question may get them to converse back. That have worked very well for me throughout the semester!

Another great thing that I really didn't put much thought into are "tags" or "hashtags" in Twitter, Blogger, and Youtube. Tags or hashtags are keywords you associate the content with. When people type in words in the search bar, they can find your content. For example, if you put #EDM310 hashtag in your tweet, people who search for #EDM310 can find all the content related to that keyword. For blogger, it may be a little different but works in a similar fashion. You can organize your posts with it so people can find related contents quicker. On Youtube, they offer a tag box.

A screenshot of the website, Pinterest, showing the Education section. border= An image of people connecting like a puzzle by using LinkedIn.

In my recent search of finding new tools, I've come across RSS feed, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Pinterest is more for image resources but you can add/link resources to the image. They also have a section just for Education. In the education part of it, people share lesson plans, activities, and many more. RSS feed is a way for people to subscribe to your web content. It is a quick way to update your subscribers with changes you might have made, news, new posts, and etc. It is really an easy way for subscribers to stay up to date with everyone they have subscribed to. I am still searching for new ways to expand my PLN and will never stop doing so!! I always want to be up to date with new technology as time goes on!

Final Project #16

Me and Paul Bedsole created a 10-15 minute video that will give prospective EDM310 students a general idea of what to expect, what the course entails, and some tips & suggestions on how to survive the course!! I hope this will help. We tried to add a little humor in it. I hope this will help some of you. :)