Monday, July 26, 2010

Farewell Post

I can't believe this class is over. I am kind of sad to see it go. I learned so much and am so excited to show others what i learned (I've already started with my Grandpa). I can truly say I enjoyed this class to the full extent. I wish you all well and hopefully I'll see you soon (on blogs, youtube, or whatever!). Once again, thank you so much to Dr. Strange and staff for giving me this lesson in technology, learning, and life. I will try and make you proud! I'm so excited for the day I can make MY first class blog! :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Final Blog Post

What can I say? This class has been a true inspiration to me. I never thought I would WANT to blog or WANT to record myself doing anything until this class. I never thought of the great opportunities I could come by with these things. The tools we have learned to use in this class will change, yes, but we are now introduced to them, so we can stay on top of things and use it in the future. This final blog post is kind of an overview of what the class was to me and how it effected the way I will teach my students. First off, blogging. This tool has been amazing. I have come in contact with so many people that I never would've known existed if it weren't for this class. One thing that is really cool to me is that blogging can be about ANYTHING. Earlier this semester, Jillian, Erin, and I recorded a video saying why blogging was important. We mentioned that parents can keep a look on their child's progress. I think parents being involved in the students is important as well. Blogging teaches a lot of things that can be taught on pencil and paper. Spelling, punctuation, and run-on sentences, are just a few things that can be checked and perfected through blogging. Youtube is another very useful tool we learned to use in this class. On Youtube, there are, once again, infinite possibilities of people seeing your videos. Videos can be about ANYTHING. I learned that in the classroom it would be very easy to keep my kids caught up through watching videos and answering questions. We, as a class, could make videos and share them with the world. I know a lot of schools are doing things like this now and it's amazing for the students to see the feedback they get from their videos. Twitter is another useful tool. I NEVER thought I would use Twitter. I actually hated it at first. I understand now that following influential people can inspire you to be better. Twitter has become one of my favorite things to explore. Screenjelly was another favorite. I used Screenjelly to record my presentation. I think it is very useful because you can show a student how to do something online with this tool and them watch it at home to perfect it. All the tools we learned in this class are linked in a way. No matter how big or small the project is, putting all the tools together will always make it fantastic. When I came into this class, I thought I would blog, watch videos, and maybe even make a few. What I didn't realize was that I would take away a new knowledge of how to use it, actually USE it, in my classroom. Technology is a very important aspect of the future. Students are going to get a lot more out of a technology based class, than a non-technology based class. I never thought I would actually think technology is one of the main things to teach in a class, but now I have a different respect for technology and how it can be used. This class on the side of non-technology has taught me time management. I'm in a sorority, have class, and I work, but I have never had to be more on top of my game. This class is time consuming and sometimes a little frustrating, but in the end it really is worth it. Wow, I never thought I'd say that either. Thank you Dr. Strange and staff for such a wonderful semester!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blog Post on Alba Middle School

The Mean Oil Spill

My Comment:Hi, my name is Maeghan Whitmire and I am commenting on this as an assignment in my class at the University of South Alabama, EDM310. I really enjoyed your video. I was very impressed. The oil spill is a tragedy a lot of people don't understand. Thank you for showing people what it's like through the eyes of someone down here. I enjoyed this very much. Keep up the great work!!

Just Pray

My Comment:Wow, you guys are great! It is so amazing that you all are spreading the message of this incident through videos. There are endless possibilities for people to watch this. You all did a great job! Keep up the good work!

Alba Middle School Students Create Videos

I thought this video showed a great representation of what her students accomplish during class. The students seemed really excited and eager to make videos for other people to watch. I really enjoy watching videos like this because it shows that there are people out there teaching technology. Not only teaching technology, but also informing about tragedies going on as we speak. I know they are close and know what is going on, but putting videos up with this topic lets other people see what is actually happening. I really enjoyed this video.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Google Forms

Through this survey, I learned a lot. I learned how to make a survey for one online. I learned how to use different sorts of questions. The questions I asked in this particular survey, however, were very random and had little to do with nothing. I think this tool is a great one and I will definitely use it in the future.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blog Post 12

Mr McClung Reflects on Year 2
Mr McClung's Year Two post was interesting. It shows no one is perfect and even after two and half years of teaching he was reminded that he wasn't. This kind of blog really inspires me, because it makes me think of how to handle myself in the future. I love how he splits everything up into a category. A lot of the things, once you read them, are obvious. They are also the kind of things that stay in the dark that no one thinks would be a problem. That is why I love reading his posts, because he makes something so simple (really, we only think it's simple) and makes it even simpler. I haven't even started teaching my own class yet and I feel like I can relate to him. I really enjoyed reading his reflection on his year 2.
4 Videos
M-Cubed: ISTE Presentation Video was fun to watch. I really enjoy watching the kids be all excited about learning. Stuff like this is what I want to do in my classroom. When it's fun it doesn't seem like learning a lot of the time. These kids were so excited when the final product was done. I really enjoyed watching this video.
The first of the other three videos I watched is here. I watched how to change the shape of a model maker. It was very easy to do and this process seems like a lot of fun for students and teachers alike. There are endless possibilities and with all the different choices a lot of creativity could sprout in a lesson like this.
The second of the other three videos I watched is here. This showed how to move the shape along an axis or just where ever your heart desires. It showed a cool way to look at your shape. You can rotate it down and look at all the sides and move it on the axis up or down also. This is a very easy video to follow and I'm sure it gave a lot of kids an understanding of how to move their shape.
The third of the other three videos I watched is here. This video showed how to make unique shapes with model maker. It was very easy to follow, once again, and it had a lot more fun shapes to choose from.
I would like to use this process in my classroom just for the fact that it is a 3-D model. I think kids would have a blast making their own house, car, or building. They can change the color, size, and shape of it and when printed, they fold it together. It all ends up being a very cool shape where kids can make it their own. That is the most important thing, I feel, is them making it their own. In the first video I watched, I can't get over how excited that little boy was to see his box being printed. He was even acting like the printer! I think this is a very fun and easy thing to do with students. I really enjoyed watching these videos.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

C4T 4, 5, and 6

Week 1
I am following the blog "Dangerously Irrelevant" this week. The blog post I commented on was about a conference that people attended and their takes on the opening keynote of ISTE. It had a lot of blog posts and twitter posts about what happened and how they reacted. I commented on this saying that if the people went there to learn something, I don't blame them for walking out. When you have an audience that is so big you have to make sure that your Powerpoint is sufficient. It has to be readable and interesting. All the people's comments were unhappy and bashing the conference. I told him that I don't blame them, and if I were there to learn something, then I expect to learn something. I left him a link to my blog and told him I would be typing up a summary of my comments.
Week 2
This weekd "Dangerously Irrelevant" had a guest poster. Carl Anderson had a great many things to say about how important PLNs are and said a lot about TPPs. I commented on his post saying that I had never heard of TPPs, but it seemed like a really great idea to me. I told him how we, in this class, have started making our own PLNs and that they are great tools for organizing and following those who YOU want to follow. His post was very interesting and had a few videos in the mix. Feel free to go there to learn more about TPPs and about his thoughts on PLNs. Click Here
Week 3
This Week "Dangerously Irrelevant" was asking if people thought it was a good idea to have RSS readers on a school website. I commented telling him I thought it was a great idea to have RSS feeds on the school website. There were parents that had commented before me saying they would like to go to the website and be able to find out what is going on in the school very fast and an RSS feed could do that. I told him about how we have learned about technology and how to use it in a classroom in EDM310. I have now subscribed RSS feeds to many websites and I feel I would be lost without them. I told him, I would be summarizing all my comments on my blog and left a link. His blog is very interesting. I encourage any of you to go check it out.

Dangerously Irrelevant

C4K 4

This week for C4K, I commented on "The tortoise in jail". It was very interesting. When making the video, they changed the story up a little bit. It was great! They made it seem like the tortoise was in jail for killing the hare. The tortoise defended himself saying that a 16 wheeler hit him. I commented on this video saying how great it was they put their own twist on the story. I really enjoyed watching this. If you'd like to watch it click here

C4K has been a great part of this class and I am sad it's over. Commenting on kids blogs was one of my favorite parts of this class. Guess it's a good thing I want to be an elementary teacher, huh? I can comment on kids blogs all the time!

Final Thoughts on my PLN

My PLN has been made through I have really enjoyed making this. It makes my life a little less hectic online. On my PLN I have a lot going on. I have my Facebook, Twitter, Skype, EDM310 class blog, and my class blog. I also have pages like Google, Youtube, and even Wordle. (You never know when you might use it!) I have around 15 blogs I have been following and they are all very interesting and they range from a teacher talking about her every day experiences to a group of teachers telling lesson plans and giving advice. I honestly do not know what I would without my PLN. It has helped me keep everything for this class super organized and put together. All of my searches for websites and blogs were made through Google. If I've learned one thing in this class it's that Google never lets you down. I have found so many interesting things through that site that I have added to my PLN. I encourage you, if you don't have a PLN, to use, because it is very easy and useful. It kept everything I needed really organized so I knew exactly where it was at all times. (I even made it my homepage!) PLNs are very useful and now that I have learned to make one, I probably will have one for as long as I use a computer. I loved the opportunities and the relief it gave me.

My Interview Project

Blog Post 11

Ms. Cassidy's class was inspiring. The kids were so excited to be doing things hands on like that. In my classroom, I definitely want to have a class blog. I want my kids to be able to put online what they have learned in class. Of course, I will tell the parents about it first so if they want, they can make one as well. I also want to have blog to keep the parents updated with everything we are doing in the classroom. On a blog, there are infinite possibilities. I want to have my students post about books, math, or anything they learned what so ever. We can even put videos on blogs to show people how much they have learned. I feel like my students, just like the kids in this video, would love to get feedback. I feel like a part of me being a teacher would be to comment and give them positive reinforcement along with their family and friends. I loved that this video showed the actual kids doing the actual work. I loved seeing how excited they were to be learning with technology. I plan on using a few aspects of this video. Blogs can be a very important part of a classroom. Videos and SmartBoards are good to use as well. I think in this day and age, we have to use technology, so we might as well get used to it. I'm very excited for the day I can use these things in my classroom.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blog Post 10

This video on PLNs, I have already watched. When we had to start working on our PLN, it was there to look at and help us. I watched it very carefully because at first I had no idea what I was going to put on my PLN. I went to, just like she did, and that is where I am organizing all my things. This website is very useful. When making my PLN, I was very confused on where to go or how to do it. This video helps a lot. It really doesn't matter what is on it, because it is YOURS! Comparing this video to my PLN is easy because I am using the same site. I don't have near as much stuff on mine as she did, but I'm getting there slowly, but surely.

This video was inspiring in a way. It makes me think of what I have or am trying to accomplish in life. "Was I better than yesterday?". I think this is a question we could live by every day. People are always trying to make a difference and change the world. If you always try to be better than you were yesterday, I think you are on a pretty good track. My sentence...hmm. This is a tough one. Saying we need a sentence in life really makes you think. What have I done that is "sentence" worthy? At first, when I watched this video, he was talking about presidents. When he started showing ordinary people, he said that anyone can have a sentence. That made me think harder. A sentence doesn't have to be what you have accomplished, but what you will accomplish. So, my sentence is:
I am a big dreamer with little connections, but I am willing to try anything to change this world.

C4K 3

This week, I commented on Mr. McClung's post about a fundraiser him and his students did. The fundraiser was for breast cancer. He was updating people, saying that they had made their $515 mark. He was trying to encourage people to keep giving so they could get to $1,000. I commented telling him how special it was they were raising money for such an awesome cause. I also told him since he was going to let one of his classes shave his head, he was going to have to top that next year. :) This is refreshing to read. I always forgot how important it was to raise money, but in school, I did all the time. I need to start again. You can visit this post here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Blog Post 9

The post by Morgan Bayda was very truthful to me. I really agree with almost everything that was said and done. Education is behind, I feel. Technology is taking over and if we as future educators aren't ready to take on that responsibility, then our students are in for a rude awakening. Everything is so simple online. All information everywhere can be found just by the click of a button. Research is easier and sometimes even contact is easier online. I think everyone that is going to teach needs to sit back and think of this for later. Do you want your students to be dropping out of school because all you do is tell them facts on a PowerPoint? I don't think so. Learning is supposed to be fun and exhilarating. It's important to make it fun, because then, learning is easier as well. I really enjoyed this post and I think everyone going into education should be required to read this. It puts ideas in my head for things to do better when I'm a teacher. It also puts what NOT to do in my head as well.

Alex, or the Alabama Learning Exchange, is a database in which teachers post lesson plans and interact with one another. The website offers a lot of pre-made help. It has a place for lesson plans, which when you click on it, it takes you to a page where you can pick by subject or by grade in school. Alex seems like a very great tool to use in the future. Going and looking at all the different lesson plans on this website gives you ideas for yours. I would probably have this bookmarked as a last minute thing for when I start teaching. I could look on there and get an idea and then if I need something last minute, I could go and find something quick and easy. I had never seen a website like this before where teachers just posted lesson plans online, but it seems very helpful. It's here, so we might as well use it. I think Alex could be a very well used tool one day in my classroom.

Access was a really cool thing to learn about. It gives every student an equal opportunity to learn through distance learning. Having a vision like this, I feel, will help a lot of students become more and more independent and willing to learn. This kind of thing doesn't come to you. You have to be willing to learn to be a part of this, but it seems like a very fun and easy thing to be a part of. Access could come in handy in a lot of situations in the education world.