Sunday, December 2, 2012

Final PLN Summary

PLN Summary

This time for my PLN summary, I decided to switch things up a little bit to give a representation of my network has grown over the past few weeks. At the beginning of the semester, Dr. Strange introduced me to many technological resources. Of course, I checked them out, but honestly, I forget many of the resources he had shown us if I wasn't already using it on a daily basis.

With that being said, I already used Twitter, Facebook, Google, Blogger, Instagram, SnapChat, and many other technological resources on a daily basis for my personal life and school. Over these past few weeks though, I have learned to broaden theses resources. I now use my Delicious account to save important webpage links that I come across. I discovered that Safari allows users to put "Add to Delicious" as a link to the top of their browser. When I realized this aspect to Delicious I started using it a LOT more.
Add to Delicious

Another aspect of my personal network that I developed was my YouTube account. Ever since I learned from Carly Pugh that YouTube allows you to create your own playlists, I have been adding videos I come across that interest me academically or socially to playlist. This has helped me to organize information that I can use in the future.

Kangaroo from Groopt

For those of you who do not know there is a new social network called Groopt. As a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, I have recently added this network in my personal learning network because we have to use our Groopt account on a daily basis. It includes an online data base where we can leave comments and post similar to Facebook, has a calendar of event, and links to documents that we can upload.

These are only a few of the new additions that I have made to my PLN. Others include Google Docs, Skype, Endomondo, MyFitnessPal, Pic Stitch, iTunes U, iHeart Radio, and many more.

C4K November Summary

C4K #7

The seventh students' blog that I was required to comment on was not actually a blog of a student, but instead it was a blog of Dr. Vitulli and Dr. Santolli. Both professors spent two weeks in Ireland and posted every day of their trip. The post that I was required to comment on was a picture of the "Irish Blessing". This really spoke to me because I visited Ireland as Freshman in high school with my choral group. We actually sang this song in the chapels of Ireland. It is a beautiful and heart spoken work of art.

Here is the comment I left the professors:

Dr. Santolli and Dr. Vitulli,
I am a student in EDM 310 and in EDU 301 (with Dr. Vitulli) at The University of South Alabama. I love this post about the Irish Blessing. I had the chance to travel through Ireland as a Freshman in high school. I actually went because it was a field trip for my chorus class.
I am thrilled that you posted the Irish Blessing because this is actually one of the songs that we sang in the cathedrals of Ireland. If you have not had the chance to listen to music in one of their chapels yet, you need to before you leave! What you will hear will take your breath away.
I know you are having fun!
P.S. -Dr. Vitulli, I can't wait to hear all about it in class!
Amy Archer

C4K #8

The eighth students' blog post that I was assigned to comment on was a student in Ms. Spencer Alberta's fifth grade class. Her class is located at school in Canada. The student I was assigned to is referred to as "Magnificent Marty" on the blog page. Marty's post was written on the Canadian Shield.

Here is the comment I left Marty:

Hi Marty!

My name is Amy Archer. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL.

I LOVE your project that you created on The Canadian Shield. Honestly, before checking out your blog, I did not know anything about it. You are lucky to live so close to such a beautiful piece of land!

I can tell that you spent a lot of time working on your assignment. You need to give yourself a pat on the back. It is outstanding that you are so motivated at such a young age. Keep up all your hard work, and stay in school!


Amy Archer

C4K #9

The ninth students' blog post that I was assigned to comment on in is in Mr. Seliskar's fourth grade class. The student's name is Diego D. His blog post describes his sister and how much he loves her.

Here is the comment that I left Diego:

Hi Diego!
My name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am currently in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class.
I am super excited to see that your class is blogging! I believe it is a great aspect to learning. Your blog post was very descriptive, and I loved reading about your sister.
I have to say, I also love watching Dora. It is one of my favorite educational television shows. You seem to be a great big brother, and I can tell that you love your sister very much.
Keep up the good work and continue blogging! :)
Amy Archer

C4K #10

The tenth students' blog post that I had to comment on was from a student in Mr. Cometti's World History class. He teaches at Robertsdale High School. Natalie is the name of the student that wrote the blog I commented on.

In Natalie's blog post, she discussed the French Revolution in detail. I could tell that she spent a lot of time writing this post because she transitioned through each aspect of the French Revolution. She also summarized each main point very well and briefly. She gave readers enough information to teach them about the French Revolution and not too much information in order to prevent boring them to death.

Here is the comment that I left Natalie:


Hi! My name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am currently taking Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class this semester. I loved reading your blog post!

You explained The French Revolution in detail, and you summarized this event very clearly. Keep up the diligent work in your blog! You are a fabulous writer, and I know you will go far in life!
Have a great week! 

Amy Archer

C4T 4 Summary

C4T #4

The fourth teacher's blog post that I was assigned to comment on was a teacher by the name of Daniel Edwards. Mr. Edwards' blog is essentially mainly used to inform others on the new technological resources in the world, as well as receive input from bloggers on their opinion of the resources.

The first post that I commented on was from November 18, 2012. In this blog entry, Mr. Edwards listed and described many lesser known technological resources that can be used in the classroom. Some examples are Anitmoto, Skitch, Socravtive, etc.

Here is the comment that I left Mr. Edwards in response:

Mr. Edwards,
Hi! My name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am currently in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class.
Thank you for sharing all the many resources that can be used in the classroom! In our EDM 310 class, we are practicing the use of technology so that we will know how to incorporate it into our teaching one day. These ideas will definitely stay on my list of resources to check out.
I hope you are having a wonderful school year, and, again, thank you for your advice! It is greatly appreciated.
Amy Archer

The second post by Mr. Edwards that I commented on was written on November 24, 2012. In this post, he discussed the positives and negatives of the iPad Mini. Although the iPad Mini has a great screen for displaying videos, Mr. Edwards believes the iPad Mini is not as good of a choice for the classroom as the iPad. His reasoning is because the iPad Mini requires one finger typing and challenges the creation of videos.

Here is the comment I left Mr. Edwards:

Mr. Edwards,
Hi! My name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama. I am currently taking Dr. Strange's EDM 310 Course where we learn to incorporate technology into teaching.
Your input on the iPad Mini is a great resource for me! I have actually been curious as to how useful the iPad Mini would be in the classroom because it is less expensive. However, with your input I see that it would better for me to invest in an iPad because of the typing.
I am wondering though if you have used one of the new tablets created by Windows? Would these be in any way comparable to an iPad? I was just curious because I know that these tablets would be more affordable for the public school system.
Once again, thanks for your advice!
Amy Archer

Blog Post 13

Back To The Future

It's a Challenge.

Mr. Chamberlain suggested via email:"Brian Crosby's presentation at TedX Denver would be a great video for your students because it illustrates how one topic can encompass a huge range of learning." Brian Crosby is an Elementary school teacher in Sparks, Nevada. His speech on TED gave me a completely different look on blogging.

Mr. Crosby hooked my attention in the beginning of his speech by reciting the data that was received from a school where over ninety percent of the students lived in poverty. The survey asked the fourth grade students simple questions. For example the first question asked, "What city do you live in?" Only nine out of twenty-four students could answer the question correctly. The sad part is that majority of the students have lived in the same city since kindergarden.

After Mr. Crosby caught my attention, he stated the purpose of "hooking" viewers with the recent survey he had found. He believes that the school in which the survey was taken has too narrow of a curriculum. One of my favorite quotes stated by Mr. Crosby was his response to narrow-minded curriculums. He said, "It is hard to imagine what can be if you don't know what is."

He then proceeded to explain how he creates a classroom where his students can use their imagination and make scheme of the world. First of all, his students each have their own blog. With their blog, the students write post that include videos of the activities they participate in in the classroom and their written response to each activity. The students also comment on other student's and teacher's blogs around the world. This gets the students globally involved and aware of what goes on in countries around them.

Another great concept that I learned from Mr. Crosby was the video that his students created with an science experiment. The students created a transportation device for a camera that was connected to a parachute and balloon. The students released the device. When the balloon reached eighty thousand feet it popped! Then the camera slowing began to fall, and the parachute popped open guiding the camera to safe landing.

This science experiment absolutely amazed me! Then to make it even better, Mr. Crosby tied in the language arts into his science lesson by having the students write a story about what they experienced. They had the choice to write a story that was factual or use their imagination and incorporate the balloon experiment into a narrative piece.

At the end of his lecture, he really touched my heart. Mr. Crosby was given a student that had leukemia, and instead of assigning that student to home study, Mr. Crosby did what no other teacher had done before. He had the student participate in the class each day through the use of the web cam and a computer. Leukemia is hard enough to go through, and he did not want the patient to feel left out or alone.

Overall, Mr. Crosby taught me that it is important not to rush students through school. I have to let my future students get engaged in the world around them and give them opportunities to think outside the box. With technology, I know that anything is possible.

A Vision of Students Today

bored student

Micheal Welsch created a video called A Vision of Students Today. His video is inspiring and a wake-up call to the Universities of the world. In today's society, technology is undeniably necessary. Many people no longer have house phones and the social networking systems are taking over our face-to-face contact.

Micheal really focuses on how outdated the use of chalkboards, even dry erase boards, are in today's classroom. We now have SmartBoards, Projector screens, etc. But still college professors choose to consume the classroom with chalk dust? At The University of South Alabama, I see a lot of my professors starting to incorporate the use of technology and illuminate the boring, out-dated concepts.

For example, in large classrooms, teachers are now using applications on Smart phones to take roll. Our Biology department is now offering virtual online lab courses. This allows the working students to complete assignments at their own time. My Spanish professor uses the SmartBoard to present new information and allow our class to hear hispanic accents from around the world. Also, we have online homework assignments on MySpanishLab that help us to over come grammar concepts and oral frustrations.

Overall, we live in a world that forces one to become technologically literate. E-mail, Skype, and social networking systems are no loner simply a luxury, but instead, they are now becoming a necessity too.

Project 16

Project 13-Group Awesome Collaboration

For Project #15 my group for EDM 310 had to come up with different ways to communicate prior to completing our project. The point of this assignment was to find different technological ways of communication other than the basic use of e-mail and text messaging. Our first idea was to use Skype. However, when we tried it out all together, we realized that we could not all three Skype together for free. In order to have a three way Skype call one must purchase Skype instead of downloading the free software.

After this first battle, we decided to use Google Hangout which allowed us to have a three way call. When we talked on Google Hangout we decided who was going to research and discuss each standard for our third grade History lesson.

Then, Nancy created a Google Document that allowed us to input our data and ideas on how to teach our part of the lesson. This made it easier when we came into the lab to create the lesson on the SmartBoard Notebook software.

Project 15 Group Awesome

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Progress Report for Final Project

Group Awesome's Final Project

For our final project, we chose to participate in the contest for Made At The USA. This contest ask students to create a one to two minute long video that encourages alumni, as well as others, to donate to or apply for admission to The University of South Alabama.

My group and I have been brainstorming ideas and putting our ideas into action over the past two weeks. The first week, Nancy sent Michael and I a Google Document that we are each able to make corrections into. In our document, we created an outline with ideas and decisions of how we would like to create our final project.

After brainstorming ideas, we decided that we wanted to record JAG fans in action at the last football game. On Saturday, November 17, 2012, we all three rode together to the football game and took pictures of fans that were tailgating. We also recorded some of the fans cheering on our football team.

This week we will continue to work on gathering pictures and recordings so that we can begin laying out our video! There is still much to be done, but we are gradually getting farther along. I know that we will do a great job in the end!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blog Post 12

For this week's blog post, our class was assigned to create their own blog post on a concept based on their major or concentration. At first I was a little nervous about this assignment because I had no idea what I wanted to focus on. In order to prevent myself from freaking out or over analyzing the assignment, I stopped and asked myself, "What is one concept or resource of technology that I still do not feel comfortable using in the classroom at this moment?"


This semester I have experienced the challenges of technology and gained knowledge of it's benefits as well. However, there is one resource that I still did not feel like an expert in prior to this assignment. At the beginning of the semester we touched on how blind students can use the computer today to help them with their education, as well as their day-to-day life. Dr. Strange taught us how to always use the "alt" application on images so that someone who is blind can know what the image is displaying. The computer reads the "alt" to those who are blind.

Although, this application did help me to understand a little bit about how the computer can help a blind person, I still did not feel like I could really teach a blind student or direct them in using technology. Now that the state of Alabama is encouraging Collaborative Education in Elementary schools, I feel that it is necessary for me to know and understand all the resources that can be used to include special needs students into the classroom. I want every one of my students to feel equal, and I do NOT want a student to feel like they are any less important or "different" because of the way God created them. We are all equal and deserve the same amount of education. With that being said, for my own designed blog post I chose to focus on the use of technological resources for blind students.

Upon my search, I was surprised at how many instructional videos there are just on YouTube explaining how to use technology with blind/deaf students. I found videos encouraging the use, explaining how the applications worked, and what the purpose of the different resources are. After conducting my research, these are the instructions I created:

1. Before you begin, watch Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children. Afterwards, write a paragraph on how this video from Australia can be adapted and seen in The United States as well.
2. Watch the video about The Mountbatten. This video was created by The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine, FL. Write a paragraph explaining what you learned about this resource and how you would use it in your classroom. 3. Watch the video Teaching Math to the Blind that was created by Art Karshmer at The University of San Francisco. Write one or two paragraphs in response to how this resource could help teach math to your blind or deaf students. 4. Watch the video iPad Usage For the Blind that was demonstrated by Wesley Majerus. What is unique about Wesley Majerus? 5. If you still want to know more, watch the video Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child Is Learning On the iPad. This video was created by Denise Robinson to help parents understand how their children are using the iPad to learn.

Now, the second part of this week's assignment is to complete the blog post assignment for myself. I have to be honest, I loved getting to search and put what I have learned in EDM 310 so far into action.

Assistive Technologies For Vision and Hearing Impaired Students

The first video that I picked out inspired me to truly learn more about the assistive technological resources that are created for blind/deaf students. At the beginning of the video there is a clear demonstration of what it would be like to be deaf in a classroom full of students. It is common for humans to over look those who are considered "different". This video really stood out to me because it motivated me to want to help the blind/deaf students of the world. Every child deserves equal and individualized education. I feel the need to make this happen after watching the video from Australia.

Even though the "Assistive Technologies for Deaf and Blind Students" video was created in Australia, it can still be adapted to the lives of American citizens. There is still a need for advancement and encouragement in our special education programs. Sometimes teachers over look these students, or they feel like they cannot truly be included in the class discussions or lessons because of their "disability". However, in my opinion, teachers should be taking advantage of the assistive resources we have today and illuminate the barriers that exist.

The Mountbatten

"The Mountbatten" video showed viewers how blind students can type in their own way. The mountbatten machine allows the student to type through the use of braile. When a student types words through the feeling of the braile on the mountbatten, the words are transferred to a computer or screen. This is applicable when the mountbatten is connected to the computer or big screen. The blind student can be included in class discussions through the use of the mountbatten because when the teacher asks the blind student a question, the student can answer the teacher by typing on their mountbatten. If the mountbatten is connected to a big screen, it can be visible for the rest of the students.

Teaching Math to the Blind

Art Karshmer explained to viewers the negative side to learning math when a student is blind. When a blind student reads a math problem in braile, from left to right, it is linear. By this I mean that the math problem shows up in a straight line. For example, students who are not blind are able to see a math problem in double linear form. In an addition problem, this helps them to realize which number is larger and line the numbers up according to value.

Mr. Karshmer has created a graph board with columns and rows that can hold pieces of braile together in a double linear form. The students pick up the piece of braile and scan it using a scanner that is connected to a computer. They place the numbers in order. They are then able to view the equation in their minds in a double linear form. This can improve the quality of learning in blind/deaf students at a young age. Mr. Karshmer said that his design can be used up to pre-algebra math. Knowing this, I believe it is good that I know/understand how to use this resource because I will be teaching Elementary Education.

iPad Usage For The Blind

In this video, Wesley Majerus demonstrates how blind/deaf students can use the iPad for educational purposes. It is interesting that he demonstrates this technique because he is actually blind himself. He works for the National Federation of the Blind in Nebraska. He joined the federation while he was in college.

During his demonstration he shows viewers how to use "Voice Over" that is built into the iPad already. All of Apple's products are created and designed to be accessible for the blind and deaf. When using "Voice Over" the person using the iPad simply has to double tap the item in which they are requesting to select. You use three fingers and slide them to the left in order to turn to the next page of applications.

He then proceeds to demonstrate how important the iBook is. This application comes with the iPad, and it does not have to be purchased. The students can choose from books in their iBook, or purchase new books off of iTunes. This application is very convenient for blind/deaf students because sometime books are not always immediately available in braile. A blind student can have the book read to them by using their iPad.

Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child Learning on the iPad

The last video that I found was simply another demonstration of how to use voice over on the iPad. Before researching about technological resources for blind students, I did not even realize that the iPad had all of these options. I had previously contemplated on whether I would want to purchase a Kindle or an iPad. After discovering another one of the iPad's many features, I know that I will definitely be purchasing an iPad as my next big investment. I believe that this device will be on of the best investments towards my future classroom.

I hope all of you bloggers enjoyed listening and learning about the assistive technologies that there are for blind and deaf students. Also, I hope that each of you, current or future teachers, will take what you see and apply it to your classroom. I know I will be applying what I have learned when I teach.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blog Post 11

Little Kids...Big Potential

Big Things
By watching the interview between Dr. Strange and Ms. Cassidy and her personal YouTube video, I had the honor to learn about her first grade students. In Ms. Cassidy's Skype interview with Dr. Strange, she explained to our EDM 310 class that she started incorporating technology heavily into her classroom when she first received five computers. She now has a computer for each student. Of course, Ms. Cassidy teaches in Canada, so I am not quite aware of what kind of financial resources she is given from her country. In America, it would be hard to find a public school system that had a computer for every student in every classroom. However, we do have computer labs in almost every school. Some even have two. With that being said, I do not believe that ANY teacher in The United States has an excuse not to incorporate technology into their classroom.

Today we live in a technological literate world, and Ms. Cassidy pursues this life style to the fullest in her classroom. While listening to her interview and watching her own YouTube video, I learned of the many different resources that she incorporates into her teaching. First of all, she has each of her students create their own blog. By using a blog, the students are required to not only know how to use proper grammar but type it as well. I believe this is a fabulous idea. Not only does it teach the students how to type, but using blogs illuminates the extra use of paper. This is a very economical resource because our world is trying to illuminate pollution by saving paper.

Now, Ms. Cassidy knows that blogging has its cons. Her biggest rule is that her children are not allowed to use their last names in the blogs, only their first name. This helps to prevent unwanted creepers from invading the students personal lives. We all know their are predators out there, but with the right instruction we can teach students how to avoid future conflicts with strangers.

Another form of technology that Ms. Cassidy uses in her classroom is a webpage. She created a class webpage with links to educational websites for her students to use. Each link is represented by the name of the website and a picture. These links allow her students to research and learn new ideas daily. I believe her webpage is a very good resource because it allows the students to search the web freely, but by adding her own links, she shows them what an educational resource is. This way when her students search the web on their own, they know the difference between a "good" website and a "bad" website.

Her students also use Wiki. A previous EDM 310 class actually had hands-on experience with Ms. Cassidy's class through Wiki. When Ms. Cassidy's class created their own Wiki about the alphabet, EDM 310 students made videos in response to help her class to have fun while learning. Ms. Cassidy's class uses the Wiki to explore other cultures as well. They study the different traditions and rituals that other people devote time to.

Ms. Cassidy's class learns to create their own videos and how to use Skype. The students often get into groups to create videos based on what they have recently learned or are learning. This to me is a good way to evaluate the student's mastery of a particular subject. Creating videos can also be a way to incorporate the arts because teachers could require their students to create a song and record it or design a short skit that demonstrates or pertains to what they learned.

The students use Skype to talk with different students around the world. I can't begin to imagine how mind blowing this must be to experience as a child. We didn't even have personal cell phones as children when I grew up. Now kids are getting iPhones at the age of 6! Ms. Cassidy's class uses Skype for other educational purposes as well. Ms. Cassidy teaches her students how to Skype with "experts". By Skyping with experts, the students can ask questions that pertain to whatever each expert emphasizes in.

Another interesting resource the Ms. Cassidy's first grade class uses is the Nintendo DS. Her students are allowed to play a game called "NintenDog". This game teaches the students responsibility because they have to take care of their dog. Throughout the game, the student must solve obstacles that they come across. In order to conquer these task they have to solve math problems.

Over all, Ms. Cassidy shows future teachers what it really means to be technologically literate. She is very good role model of what a true 21st century teacher looks like. She lives and breathes technology in her classroom. I hope to one day be as good of a teacher as she is!

Summary Post C4T #3

Bill Genereux is the third teacher that I was assigned to this semester. He is a known as a "Tech Intersect".

Fragile Kindles

The first blog post that I commented on by Mr. Genereux was pertaining to Kindles. He was a little put out with their quality considering because after having two kindles for only 18 months, he has had to replace them both. He said that Kindles are extremely fragile. He has actually replaced his own Kindle twice now, and he replaced his wife's once.

Here is the comment that I left Mr. Genereux:

Mr. Genereux,

Hi! My name is Amy Archer. I am currently a student at The University of South Alabama. This fall, I am currently taking Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class.

I do not have a Kindle, but I have considered buying one.
I am glad to hear your input on how they function because their sensitivity will definitely be something I take into consideration. I have also been looking into purchasing an iPad as another option. What is your intake on iPads? Have you seen the new video for the “mini iPad”? I heard it is supposed to have similar qualities as a Kindle.

Good luck with your new Kindle!

Amy Archer

Free Range Halloween

The second post that I commented on by Mr. Genereux was his most recent post about Halloween. The idea for his post came from reading a status of one of his friends about Halloween. His friend believes that Halloween is an awful holiday because all children do is "beg" for candy. Also, his friend thinks that the Halloween costumes are too scary and gory.

Mr. Genereux counter-attacked his friends statement by relating Halloween to his own life. He talked about how it is fun when your children get older and can be trusted to trick-or-treat on their own with a buddy. Another concept that he mentions is to take children's "gory" ideas for costumes and turn them into creative, funny costumes.

Headless Em and Friends

Here is the second comment that I left Mr. Genereux:

Mr. Bill,

My name is Amy Archer. I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at The University of South Alabama in Mobile.

I loved reading your post about Halloween! Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays of the year. I agree with your reasoning that Halloween does get better as children get older. 

I think it is necessary to take your kids Trick-or-Treating at a young age, though, so that when they get older they will know how to do it on their own. You can teach them what streets are safe and how to always have a buddy with them.

One of the reasons I have always enjoyed Halloween is that I get to not only dress up like a character but act the part too without judgement! It is the one night of the year that you can pretend to be whoever you want without having to participate in a play or musical production.

Another reason I think it is important to take your children out on Halloween is for the purpose of teaching/helping them practice their manners. I do not think it is “begging” for candy if the children ask politely for candy and then thank the other person in return.

On another note, I do believe that it becomes begging once the child becomes an “adult”. I do not think it is right for adults my age in their twenties or late teens to walk around from door-to-door asking for candy. If you do not have children with you and you are an adult, then I believe this is what we can call begging. However, that is just my personal opinion.

I enjoyed getting to read your new post! I hope your having a great school year!


Amy Archer

October C4K Assignments

C4K #3

The third student's blog that I have commented on this semester was for a student named Brandon. On his class blog, it said that the teachers for this class are Haggerty, Bradford, Clevette, and McKenzie. It appears to me that Brandon is currently in the ninth grade.

Brandon's most recent blog post that appeared during the first week of October was from the end of September. His blog post was in response to a topic that his teacher/teachers had assigned to the class as a whole. They were to write about the beginning of their school year. Brandon emphasized how excited he was to be in upper school now that he was in ninth grade. He talked about the new experiences in his new school and the new friends he had made.

Here is the comment I left Brandon:

Hi Brandon!
My name is Amy Archer. I am a Junior at The University of South Alabama. I am currently in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 Class.
I love that you are blogging! It is a wonderful experience, and it will prepare you for the real world when you graduate. You are doing a great job of incorporating different colors and making different words bold so that they stand out! Little things like these really grab the attention of other bloggers.
I am glad that your year is going well! My school year has been overwhelming, but I do not mind the hard work. The reason I do not mind the hard work is because I am conquering one semester at a time in order to receive a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.
Now here is my question to you: What are some goals that you have set for yourself this school year? How can you make it your BEST school year yet?

Amy Archer

C4K #4

The fourth student's blog that I commented on is a student in a fully online 12th grade AP U.S. & Comparative Government & Politics Course. Her name is Mi. She is in Mike G. Waltney's class at Oregon Episcopal School.

Mi's writing absolutely blew me away! She is an outstanding student. Although, her blog post touched my heart because she prevailed her loneliness from her online learning. She has been frustrated with technology because her class never meets face-to-face. So I decided to take it upon myself and cheer her up.

Here is the comment I left Mi:

My name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. One of our assignments each week is to read students’ blog post from around the world and leave a comment. I have to say, I am more than impressed with your blog post.
You are a wonderful writer, and I cannot tell you how happy I am that I was able to read your post.

You addressed your thoughts and opinions about technology critically, and you made it personal at the same time. I haven’t read something this inspirational in awhile.
I do agree with you that online classes can be frustrating because you do not get face-to-face contact. I do not know if you are enrolled only at an online high school or if you go to a high school each day and take only this class online, but I do believe this class is helping you more than you realize.
I can tell that you are responsible and motivated, so I know that you will make it far in life.

However, I do recommend you take classes that are face-to-face in a classroom if you are not already. Over the past two years in my academic career in college I have taken many classes in the classroom, as well as online. All of my classes are now web enhanced, which means that I have assignments online and resources available for extra help in Sakkai.
You will be ready to enter college head on when you graduate from high school because you are already familiar with blogging and all that technology has to offer.

I know you want that one-on-one attention with your classmates, and it upsets you that you do not see them face-to-face every day, but do not forget how much you are learning through this online class. I am a people person, so I completely understand where you are coming from.
My suggestion to you is to email some of your classmates and set up a study session if it is possible. I have had study groups with classmates from some of my online classes and we would meet at coffee shops and work on the assignments together. I do not know if this is possible for you in your situation, but I hope that you can!

Keep up your hard, diligent work, and never give up! You are an amazing student!

Amy Archer

Surprisingly enough, Mi decided to comment back. Here is the comment she left me in response:

Hi Amy!

Wow, thank you so, SO much for your comment - you have no idea how encouraging it is to hear that you were inspired! Also, you happen to have a serious gift of encouragement in general... it's not every day people tell you that "you'll make it far in life!" So thank you very, very much! That's really, really interesting to here that college classes are more internet-oriented... I thought I might be able to escape it all once high-school ended, but it looks like I have some long years ahead of me. Oh well!

And thank you for your advice - it probably would hugely benefit me to start reaching out to my classmates in a more proactive way, to try and sort of break the tech-barrier in SOME way by making the class experience more personalized. Your study-sesh idea is brilliant, and I'll definitely being keeping that one in mind as we all get closer to the AP exam. Anyway, thank you again so much for you comment - it was a total shot of life!


The interaction I received from Mi really inspired me to keep diligently commenting on other student's blog post. After my experience with her, even though she is miles and miles away, I realized the importance of blogging and commenting on others post. It also gave me another outlook on EDM 310.

C4K #5

The fifth student's blog post that I was assigned to comment on is from Madrid, Spain. The student's name is Manu. He is in the E1A-Bil IES class at Dionsio Aguado Secondary School. Manu is learning English as a second language. His class was required to write a blog post, in English, describing a celebrity. Here is the description he gave:

He has got brown and long hair and brown eyes. He has played in films like Los Mercenarios. People say that he is the best. He has done a lot of films. He has got a hat. He is from the U.S.A. He has got a big nose. (By Manu).

I decided to take a guess, and here is the comment that I left Manu:

Hi! My name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I love your class' blog posts about different celebrities! I believe that you are describing Sylvester Stallone. The reason I believe you are describing Sylevester is because he played in the movie Los Mercenarios. In the movie he wore a black hat. He was also born in New York City which fits your description because you said the celebrity was from America.
You are doing a great job practicing the English language! I am currently learning the Spanish language. It is wonderful that your class is blogging and using the Internet to further your knowledge. Keep up the good work!
Adios amigo,
Amy Archer

C4K #6

The sixth student's blog post that I was assigned to comment on was the post a student named Carter. He is in Mrs. Peterson's 7th grade English class. His assignment was to write a post about a character in the book "The Outsiders". He chose to write about the character named "Sodapop". In his post, he listed Sodapop's actions, statements, and the views of other characters.

Here is the comment I left Carter in response to his post:

Hi Carter!

My name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama, and I am currently in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class.

I loved reading your blog post! I can tell that you enjoyed reading “The Outsiders”. I have not read the book myself, but after reading your post, as well as Mrs. Peterson’s, I am motivated to read it.

Also, I saw that you root for the Atlanta Braves, and I am happy to say I do too! Keep up the good work!

Amy Archer

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Special Blog Post Assignment

A World Where Grades Will Be Left Behind

USA Today celebrates their 30th Anniversary this year. In honor of their anniversary, the reporters interviewed some of the nation's best visionaries. The purpose of each interview was to gain the vissionaries' opinion of what the world would be like in thirty years.

Mary Beth Marklein wrote an article in response to the anniversary called "A World Where Grades Will Be Left Behind." In her article, she attached the video that USA Today produced to give examples from all the different visionaries on their opinion of how the world will change over the next thirty years. However, the video also included examples that the visionaries believed would remain the same. Education was listed as one of the concepts of society that would still be the same in thirty years.

The reasoning behind this opinion was that there will always be a constant need to learn. Education has always built character in students in order to prepare them for future jobs. This will always remain true as the purpose to educate students. However, I believe the education system will grow for the better in the next thirty years.

The education system can always use new modifications or new technological resources. With these advances throughout history, the education system has increased in strength. Marklein mentions one man's dream for the education system in the next thirty years. Sebastian Thrun has a dream for an education system called "Udacity". He created this institution in January in order to develop a free catalog of online courses taught by professors around the world.

Mr. Thrun was not the first person to try to revolutionize education. Sal Kahn encourages the "flipping" of classrooms. His definition of "flipping" means that students would study videos of lessons at night for homework, and then, complete assignments based on the videos in the classroom. "Flipping" the classroom illuminates the use of books. It also allows the classroom to conserve paper for the environment because the students would not be taking lecture notes, but they would instead be watching videos at home to learn.

In thirty years, Thrun believes that "there will be no more one-size-fits-all". Basically, he believes that in the future, students will no longer have to respond to education. Instead, education will respond to you. In this particular situation, a teacher would no longer have to wait until every child knew a certain concept because of the online courses. The students would learn at their own pace.

Another concept that Thrun believes will happen in thirty years is the disappearance of grades. According to Thrun, "grades are the failure of the education system." I have to agree that I believe grades can often be outdated in the society in which we live in today. In order to truly learn a concept, students should not memorize the answers or their notes to pass a test. That is simply following through the motions of what Dr. Strange calls "Burp-Back Education."

I agree with Mr. Thrun in that the grading system is a failure to our education system. We make students take standardized test, and we teach according to what will be on these test. If we only teach according to this test though, are our students really learning? Or are they practicing to "memorize" the answers to yet another test?

I know that it is important that educators follow the curriculum given by the state so that we can make sure every child is learning the same content in each grade. However, I do not agree with the idea of grading because not every student will understand a concept based on a "teacher's time". Each child learns at their own pace. Grades help us to present a student's progress to others. If a student receives a failing grade in a particular subject, then the student has not mastered a particular skill. In return, the teacher has failed as well because they did not complete their job of helping the student. Overall, I want to make sure I focus on helping my students to master a skill, not for means of a test, but for life. If my students master a concept, then no matter how or if they are tested, they would pass.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Group Awesome Project 11

Blog Post 10

John T. Spencer's Cartoon


John T. Spencer created this cartoon in one of his blog post to mock the commercial that states "Im a Mac and Im a PC". In his cartoon, the "paper clip" is resembling the "PC". The "Ticonderoga" is resembling the "Mac". For those of you who do not know, a Ticonderoga is a more expensive brand of pencils. It took me a second to figure out what he was trying to explain through his cartoon, but after looking at his comments to his post I understood his reasoning. Through his cartoon, Mr. Spencer is trying to show the world that customers get the quality that they pay for. When someone purchases a Mac, they put a lot of money into their purchase but receive far better quality. A Mac can last for years. When customers go the less expensive route and purchase a PC, they believe they are saving money. However, most PCs do not last longer than two to three years.

The Con Academy

John T. Spencer posted a blog post in his "Adventures in Pencil Integration" blog called The Con Academy. He has a very different type of approach to writing, but his style really prevails his ideas well. I had to read his entry several times before I was able to truly understood the point he was trying to make.

He writes his entries in a narrative style of writing that includes dialogue. In "The Con Academy", Mr. Spencer illustrates his conversation with his principal and a salesman. The salesman, Mr. Kahn, is trying to get the principal and school to purchase a series of products from the Kahn Academy.

Mr. Spencer illustrates that there is a difference between teaching and resources. The Kahn Academy sells the idea that their products will help any and every student. However, John addresses the fact that not every student learns the same way, and no product can be guarantee that every student will benefit. He also points out that there is still a need for teachers even if a resource/video can teach students a concept. If there were not teachers, who would be there to answer students questions?

John T. Spencer also addresses that teachers need to implement different resources into their classrooms to benefit every student in a different way. He says that not every lesson will need outside resources, but it is necessary to prepare lessons accordingly. It is important that we, as future teachers, are able to distinguish the resources needed for teaching a lesson.

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?

Another blog post that I read by John T. Spencer is called Why Were Your Kids Playing Games. In this entry, Mr. Spencer illustrates his conversation with his principal about using "games" in the classroom. The principal catches Mr. Spencer teaching his students how to learn by advanced stimulation and considers this to be a "game".

While talking with his principal, Mr. Spencer argues that children should be allowed to learn in different ways. He was not allowing them to just play games because they were learning through the activity. His created activity was in effect his "resource" for that days lesson. However, the principal still did not see eye-to-eye with John.

In the end, John gets his principal to allow him to create an "algorithm factory". This factory was just another way to work around the system and still implement his creative teaching techniques. The principal wanted Mr. Spencer to use what Dr. Strange calls the "burp back" technique. Basically, this is where the teacher "spits" out information at the students and "places" it in their brain. In the end the students end up just memorizing the concepts and "burping" them back to the teacher in a test. This is not learning, but, instead, simply memorizing.

Don't Teach Your Kids Stuff Please

Scott McLeod is known as one of the best leading academic experts on K-12 technology leadership issues. He is currently the Director of Innovation for "Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8" in Iowa. He is also the co-creator of the video "Did You Know?" that I previously blogged about. He also wrote his own book called What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media.

His post was a witty, sarcastic poem that outlined the way society views technology. He wants to instill in his readers that technology should not be viewed in frightening ways. Technology is a great aspect to learning, and if used in the right, academic way, it can be very influential on a student's academic journey. Today, we use technology in more ways than we even realize on a daily basis. If we prevent our students from being able to use these resource, how can we expect them to survive in the real world?

In Scott McLeod's post, he outlines many of the cons that administrators, teachers, and parents give about the use of technology. He says that we "shouldn't" allow students to get on social networks because of cyber-bullying, or we "shouldn't" allow students to search the web because they will look at porn. This cons are so overly used it is aggravating. In my opinion, bullying will occur no matter what in any student's academic career. If it's not through the internet, it will be through whispering in the halls or trashing another student's locker.

I know that cyber-bullying should not be taken lightly, but that is where the teachers/parents need to step in and handle the situation properly. It is the job of the teachers and parents to teach their students/children that bullying is not the answer. It is sad to say, but bullying does not stop just because you graduate high school. I still deal with other students bullying me to this day, but I have learned how to ignore it and live my life without judging others because I have experienced the world for all that it is.

There are predators and stalkers every where you look. I have been followed when leaving Wal-Mart or walking back up to my apartment, but I have learned how to be cautious without staying cooped up inside all day. The point I am trying to address to each of you is that life happens no matter how much you try to prevent it. With that being said, I do not see why students should not be able to use technology to the fullest in the classroom.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Project 10a

My Personal Learning Network

In order to help lay out how I have progressed this semester in my personal learning network, I used Symbaloo. Over the past two months, I have learned to stay connected with my classmates through blogger. I have mapped out my journey into four sections. The first corner is my Education section. It includes The University of South Alabama website, Blogger, MySpanish Lab, etc. All of this links I use today for my classes.

The second corner has websites that I use for social purposes and/or learning situations. For example, I use Twitter for both social purposes with my friends as well as educational purposes.

The bottom corner includes websites that I have for personal use. For example, I use MyFitness Pal to keep track of my daily activity and calorie intake. It helps me to stay active and fit.

The last corner contains websites that I use for online shopping. As you can tell there are not many listed because I am a broke college student. However, I know this will continue to grow as I begin to teach.


Blog Post 9

What I've Learned (2008-2009)

After Joe McClung taught for his first school year, he was inspired to write a blog post about the school year. In his post he mentions what he learned throughout the year and how he conquered his mistakes. He has continued to write about every academic school year after his first post.

His first blog post really stuck out to me because he explained many challenges that new teachers face and how to overcome these situations. As a future educator, I believe it is important for every Education major to know what they will experience once they have a class of their own.

At the beginning of Mr. McClung's post, he has a picture stating that the most important decision to make when you begin teaching is to stay positive! Life may not always be easy, but it is manageable. How you react to the challenges that life brings determines the outcome of your growth. This same concept can be seen in your "life" as a teacher. Every teacher needs to be optimistic about their journey through the classroom.

Mr. McClung points out that many teachers do not have lesson plans that are student focused. In his opinion, many teachers get so caught up focusing on the delivery of their lesson that they forget about student comprehension. A teacher could give what they consider to be a "perfect" lesson and feel accomplished, but what does that lesson truly mean if the students do not understand it? It means nothing because no lesson is ever perfect. I loved the statement that Mr. McClung made about lesson plans. He said, "In order to be effective you have to be able to let your audience drive your instruction."

This statement caught my attention because no matter how much a teacher plans out a lesson, the students determine the outcome. In my opinion, as long as the teacher teaches the criteria that is required it does not matter what they have to do to help their students to comprehend. You may plan to play a game or go more in depth on a certain concept. But who is to say that every student will be enthralled with that specific concept? Or why would a teacher prevent his/her students from asking a question that goes more in depth on a concept other than the topic they had planned? It is our job as teachers to keep our students hooked on learning.

Throughout Mr. McClung's first year of teaching, he found seven key points to be very influential to his year. The first point he made was to "Read the Crowd." This idea goes back to the belief that no lesson is perfect. You have to be able to "read" your students to see if they are comprehending the lessons you create. He also says to "Be Flexible." By this, he means that teachers have to be prepared to make a spontaneous decision when necessary. If something goes wrong, teachers need to be able to work through the problem and make it better. This should be done with a positive attitude.

Communication Graph

Another key step to a good school year is to "Communicate." Communication is the key to resolving problems. It keeps relationships strong and durable. However, this is one of the hardest skills to develop. But without communication, how would teachers be able to truly understand their peers and students?

According to Mr. McClung, teachers must also "Be Reasonable." As teachers, we are always going to have high standards and goals for our students. It is important not to get disappointed when our students fail. Our disappointment only makes the student feel like a failure. Instead, be uplifting and encourage the student to try again.


Another key point Mr. McClung mentions is "Don't Be Afraid of Technology." If there any of my classmates out there who are in EDM 310 and still haven't eased to the idea of using technology, I advise you to change your major now. No, I do not believe that every single lesson must be taught using technology, but I do believe that it is important that we incorporate the use of technology into the classroom because it is now a necessity for survival in our society. The high demand for technology that exist today makes it important for teachers to make sure their students now how to use it for beneficial purposes.

No classroom is adequate without a teacher who is willing to "Listen to Their Students." How do you expect to relate to your students if you do not listen to their needs and concerns? In my future classroom, I hope to not only establish trust between my students and I, but to also truly try to relate to their lives. Every student is different and unique. It is my job to help them find their strengths and encourage them to continue working to correct their weaknesses.


At the end of his post, Mr. McClung encourages other teachers to "Never Stop Learning." It is never too late to change the way you learn or correct the way you think. As teachers, we beg our students to keep learning and to never give up. Now, my question to you is, why should teachers stop learning? If we want to stay up to date with society and technology, we, as teachers, must continue to learn for ourselves.

What I've Learned This Year- Volume 4

In June, Mr. McClung posted about his fourth year of teaching. In his post he addressed two main themes to his school year. They are "You Have to Dance With Who You Brought to the Dance" and "Challenge Yourself".

The first thing I did when I saw "You Have to Dance With Who You Brought to the Dance" was re-read the theme and ask myself "What in the world does this mean?" After reading though, I discovered that Mr. McClung was using this theme as an illusion to make his point that teachers must remember they work for the students, not their peers. Over his previous school year, Mr. McClung confessed to having worried way too much about what his peers thought of his teaching style, rather than worry about what his students thought.

I can relate this concept to my own life right now and to my future. If I sat here and worried about what my peers thought about me, I would get no where. Not everyone will like you or agree with your beliefs. However, it is important to stay true to who you are for this is the true statement of integrity. Mr. McClung said that the one rule he always follows is, "Are the kids having fun?" After his past year, he left behind his fears and focused on being true to who he is.

Exceed Expectations

The second theme that Mr. McClung told bloggers was to "Challenge Yourself." He believes that it is important to change your lesson plans up and stay creative. I agree with him that teachers cannot get too comfortable because it is real easy to get lazy. He encourages teachers to try something new. For example, he realized that he was beginning to get lazy because he was so comfortable with his class, so he decided to teach something new this year.

Overall, I am glad that Dr. Strange assigned the reading of Mr. McClung's post because they each include great advice. I cannot wait to begin my career as a teacher, and hearing others talk about their experiences only encourages me more.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

C4T #2 Summary

C4T Assignment 2

Over the past few weeks, I have been reading blog post by Aviva Dunsinger. She does not have a Twitter account at this time. According to Aviva, her blog is a "Primary blog for the 21st century."

The first post I commented on was called "The BIG 'Little' Things." In this blog post, Aviva talked about the end of the school year with her class. She moved up to sixth grade this year and into a new classroom. Throughout her blog entry, it was evident that she was going to really miss her class from that school year. Her entry focused on the "little" things her students had done throughout the school year that had a big impact on her life and career as a teacher.

Here is the comment I left for Aviva:

Hi! My name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama, and I am currently taking Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. In our class we are learning to comment on the blogs of teachers, children, and our classmates. I was very excited when I saw your blog post on the “little (big) things.”
I have always believed that it is the small things in life that matter the most, so this post really caught my attention.

However, I am not a teacher yet, but I am working through my classes daily in order to obtain a degree in Elementary Education. I have never had a class of my own, but I have tutored numerous amounts of students in the past.
I can recall many students that I tutored who inspired me to keep pushing toward my goal of becoming a teacher. The one student that inspired me the most was a sixth grade student named Laquisha. She stayed after school for tutoring on Wednesday afternoons. She is so precious, and no matter how many times it took her to solve a math problem she kept trying. Her determination showed her true character. She inspired me to always believe in the students I teach.

I love that your students are working together, excited about learning, and learning from each other in your classroom. I know that it had to be tough switching grades and classrooms this school year. How did your switch go? Are you enjoying your new classroom?

Amy Archer

Aviva has not added a new blog entry since I made my first comment, so my second comment was on an older blog post. In this blog entry, Mrs. Aviva talked about a math lesson she created for her students. She had her students determine how many times she would need to cut her cake in order to serve one slice to a certain number of people. She challenged her students to come up with two different answers.

She uploaded videos of her students discussion about how they got their answer. Each student explained their answer in a picture, words, or numbers. It was neat to see how every child answered differently because they thought out the problem differently.

This is the second comment I left Mrs. Aviva:

Hi! My name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama. I am a Junior and I am trying to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I LOVED your blog post! You are very creative, and you are doing a fabulous job at getting your children hooked on discovering the solution themselves.

I love that you challenge your students to find the right answer and explain it using picture, word, and numbers. This gets them to think outside the box, and they truly discover what they believe to be the correct answer.

I hope to be as good of a teacher as you some day!

Amy Archer

Project 9b

Blog Post 8

This Is How We Dream

In 2008, Richard E. Miller from Rutgers University created a video called This Is How We Dream. His video discussed the impact that multimedia has on today's society. In his opinion, we are no longer a reading/writing culture, but, instead, we are now a listening/watching culture. The issue that rises today is whether our students are producing their own multimedia or just consuming the products of others. He challenges teachers to teach their students how to produce their own multimedia and establish their own personal learning network.

In Part 1 of his video, Miller discusses the incremental changes that multimedia has placed on our country. We no longer have to work with a pen or pencil at a desk in the library. The use of laptops, personal computers, and the Internet, have redefined the requirements for a "work space". Students no longer have to go to the library to write a research paper or to discover the history behind a famous author, president, or scientist. Most libraries now have an online virtual library which allows you to search topics and books with the click of a mouse. Also, if the online virtual library does not meet a student needs, there are many educational websites that do. Many universities, such as Harvard and Stanford, are now posting their research to the internet in the form of a word document that can be downloaded for free.

As a future educator, I believe the world we live in today is one of the best generations to learn. I want to make sure my students know how to use the Internet to its fullest potential. In order to do this I will make sure that they know how to search the online library for the school or city in which I teach in. I will also help them to identify and differentiate between reliable and non-reliable sources.

Part 2 of "This Is How We Dream", showed me some of the fundamental changes that multimedia has brought to this generation. Richard Miller believes that it is the duty of educators to be in the business of sharing their ideas and resources freely. If all educators came together and developed their own ideas from another teacher's idea, imagine how talented and creative our education system would be. It is important that we, as future educators, help and encourage each other.

There are many resources that teachers can use to help teach the basic fundamentals in the classroom. One example is iTunes U. Teachers can use iTunes U to download and share academic lectures with their class. They can also use it to find educational videos or speeches to broaden their lessons. The use of multimedia allows ideas and topics to be pushed to the top of our culture. If we were still writing and publishing every single document that was written, it would take at least two years for these documents to reach the people. Multimedia sources also allow us to be environmentally friendly which I believe is highly important because we already create so much pollution each year from cars, airplanes, factories, etc.

Carly Pugh's Blog Post 12

Carly Pugh is an amazing writer and such an inspiration to Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. Her Blog Post #12 opened my eyes to a new resource that I did not know even existed. For her personal post, she taught viewers how to create their own personal YouTube playlist. By creating a YouTube playlist, teachers can organize different videos that they would like to use in their classroom by categories.

This really caught my attention because I did not realize that this was even possible. I obviously have not been using YouTube to it's fullest potential. I was thrilled to know that I could create a YouTube playlist because I am constantly watching YouTube videos for my education classes and, literally, copying and pasting the URL links to each video into a word document so that I will not forget the video that I watched.

Carly challenges teachers to create playlists that are motivational, educational, or just plain fun! Her personal playlists are outstanding. She is going to make an amazing teacher and her categories of playlists will surely continue to grow. Today, I established my own series of playlist. I created one for videos based on mathematics because in my math classes, I learned how fun and resourceful these type of videos can be. I also created a playlist specifically for videos of historical speeches or lectures that were taught by other teachers. Another playlist I created was an inspiration playlist that I will use to store videos that are encouraging to me and help to further my understanding of my purpose as an educator. I believe these type of videos are important to have for whenever I need a "pick-me-up" on a bad day.

At the end of her blog post, Carly leaves viewers with an influential video. This video asks bloggers to think about six different questions. It encouraged me to live my day to its fullest potential and to re-evaluate where I am on my educational journey. The question that stood out to me the most was, "Do you approach life with the magic, the vulnerability, and the curiosity of a child?" I believe that since I have been in college, I have been so focused on achieving my degree that I often forget to take a second and live in the moment. To be a teacher, I do not just have to know what to teach to my students, but I must be sure to be an enthusiastic learner so I always know how to teach my students. Our community, culture, and country is constantly changing and will be never ending in change. It is necessary for me to stay up-to-date and be accepting to the changes I will have to face.

EDM 310 Is Different

At the beginning of the semester, I watched the two videos The Chipper Series and EDM310 For Dummies in order to learn the purpose of EDM 310. This class is not like any other class that I have taken at The University of South Alabama, and it should not, by any means, be taken as a joke. In our EDM 310 class we discover what it means to be a teacher in the 21st century and how to become technologically literate.

The Chipper Series is a cute video that was created by Jamie Lynn Miller to show students the importance of being on time with your work. In the beginning Chipper tried to make excuses for her late work. She wanted to redefine procrastination and make it "okay" to turn in her work late. However, procrastination means that the student turned in his/her work at the last minute, but it was not late.

Throughout the series of events, Chipper continues to live a life without deadlines. She wants to be "taught" so that she doesn't have to learn. This is the wrong way to look at education. Teachers could give their students the answers test, but this would not be "teaching" students. Giving students answers is only allowing students to "memorize". If the teacher challenges and guides their students by assigning projects or lessons that are due at a certain point, the teacher would be truly teaching. It is the job of a teacher to help students to learn from their mistakes and become the most responsible and mature student that he or she can be.

Of course, Chipper learns the hard way that she cannot go anywhere in life without preparing and adapting to deadlines. She is fired from all of her jobs because she refused to follow instructions. While working as a garbage collector, she finally has a change of heart and decides to go back to school. She decides not to procrastinate and go to class. Overall, this video demonstrates the importance of being a responsible student.

EDM310 For Dummies was established to help students realize that the assignments for EDM310 can be completed with patience, time, and help. This is another video created by Jamie Lynn Miller. In this creative video she implemented that is necessary to get help if you are struggling in EDM 310. She listed sources that have tutorials and instructions on how to complete projects in this class. Some of the available sources are Blogger, Skype, Delicious, Twitter, and YouTube.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

Christie Odom suggested that our EDM310 class watch Learn to Change, Change to Learn. This video attacks the education system that exist today. However, I agree with their attack because they are reasoning that the education system is not allowing students to reach their fullest potential in the classroo. Many schools have banned cell phones and the use of texting. They block social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

As a future educator, I have accepted the fact that technology is not a choice, but it is now a part of learning. The social networks that exist today allow students to establish relationships, community with others, and connectivity with various other students. This video amplifies the situation that many students collect more data outside the classroom because it is restricted at school. In today's society, school is only one way that students can learn.

After spending two months in this class, I already know that I not only want to teach my students, but I want to prepare them for life. In order to do that, I realize it will be necessary to help them become technological literate. I plan to incorporate technology in every way possible in order to allow my students to be creative, use their different abilities, and become a resourceful learner.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

Web 2.0 is interactive, accessible, and collaberative. It is important because it leads to higher levels of engagement, differentiation, critical thinking, new capabilities, alternative learning environments, extending learning, and life long learning. On the website there are many different tools that teachers/students can use. The tools are divided into groups. The groups are presentation, video, mobile, video editing, and community tools. The only negative side to this website is that links come on go. However, each time a resource is lost it is replaced with a newer link to replace it.

Upon my exploration of Web 2.0, I found a website that can be used to create videos. Animito has many different features such as Cinematic A.I., Spotlight, Included Text, Images, and Music. The Cinematic A.I. allows you to focus on the content of the video because it analyzes music, photos, and video clips automatically for you. By using Animito, you can use included text which allows you to mix relevant messages, quotes and statistics into your video.

The image tool allows you to select photos from Facebook and Instagram. This can sometimes be much faster than choosing a photo saved to your computer. It also allows you to choose pictures you may not have taken from another person's Facebook and Instagram. The music tool allows you to upload music from your iTunes. All of these resources make this website unique and creative. I was also interested to know that Animito has an application for the iPhone which allows to upload videos from your phone.

Another website I found on Web 2.0 was Make Belief Comics. This website allowed me to create my own comic strip. Here is the comic strip that I created:

On Web 2.0, I also found a website that allowed me to create my own personal poll. Here is the poll that I created:

Please, feel free to respond to my poll. I would love to see your response! The more responses I receive, the more acquainted I will become with this website. If you have not visited the Web 2.0 website, I encourage you to do so. There are numerous resources that anyone can use.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Post 7

The Networked Student

Wendy Drexler made a video with one of her students named Alec Couros called The Networked Student. Her video was inspired by the connectivism course called "CCK08". This course was offered in the fall of 2008 by George Siemens and Stephen Downs. Connectivism is a theory that proves that learning is a part of a network of many diverse connections and ties. The video helps viewers to understand the technology that exist today.

While watching the video, Alec walked me through his process of networking. He first started his journey to connectivism by putting on his thinking cap and becoming an adventurous student. He explored Google Scholar, created his own book marking site, and searched for opinionated blogs. After exploring, he proceeded to create his own blog to experience networking for himself. He also used other resources to learn. For example, he used iTunes to listen to podcast of lectures.

The world is infinitely spinning and technology is growing with each new day. Information management is one of the major challenges to the 21st century. New tools are being made every day which gives students more and more opportunities to get connected. Some people believe that teachers will eventually no longer be needed because of the vast improvement of resources. To those of you who believe this statement, what will students do when they cant figure out how put in a source for a picture or how to add a link to their blog post? How will students stay focused and manage the information they learn? How will the students know how to differentiate between good and bad websites?

The Networked Teacher

Without a teacher there to guide students, the networked student would not have any guidance. The teacher teaches the students how to build their own network and take advantage of different learning opportunities. When a student gets stuck or comes across an inappropriate website, the teacher is there to help he/she get back on the right track. Teachers are also the role model for students and they show their students how to communicate properly and respectfully.

I believe that teachers play a major role in the networked students' lives. I loved the ending when Alec states, "In her heart she hopes that when he leaves her class he will continue to work and use his network to navigate his future and solve world problems." As a future teacher, I know that technology will have a big impact on my classroom and students. I want to use networking in my classroom because it is my goal to see every student become a hardworking professional when they grow up.

The society we live in today is web based in every aspect of life. It is important to me for my students to be prepared for the future, to know how being connected through a network can benefit their academic career, and how networking can lead them to the unimaginable.

Welcome to My PLE

One of Wendy Drexler's seventh grade students made a video about her personal learning environment. The student was in Wendy's Science class which is paperless and all networked. In the video, the student explained her daily process of networking.

At the beginning of the day, she visits her agenda to see what the class would learn that day in Science. She then proceeds to check her "Pocket Tank". This is a Google document that teaches the students how to write a scientific report. Depending on what the lesson is about, she finds websites on that specific topic and post them to her personal book marking account. She then proceeds to use a special note taking resource that keeps her notes organized. After she completes assignments she post them to her blog for peer review.

Although I was very impressed with her daily routine, I was most impressed with her personal project. For her personal project she created a digital poster about her research. She was able to do this by using Blockster. On her poster she had videos, pictures, links to websites and resources, bibliographies, and much more. It was very eye catching and more elaborate than your basic poster project. Also, by using this resource instead of a piece of poster board she was able to be more creative and think outside the box.

Learning this way gives students more freedom to be creative and open minded. I cannot wait to establish networked students in my future classroom! However, I understand that I will have to establish boundaries because I do not want my students to get distracted with Facebook and other social networks. Allowing them to have more freedom will force my students to become responsible learners.

After watching this student's video, I have been inspired to broaden my personal learning environment because she used so many tools that I did not even think about using. I was very impressed with her work and the fact that she is only in the sevent grade. I want to help my future students to believe they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. By becoming networked students, my future students WILL be able to achieve their goals in life.

Friday, October 12, 2012

C4K Summary for September

C4K #1

The first blog that I was assigned to comment on was the blog of a student named Juanchi. He goes to Chesnut Tree Elementary School, and he is in Ms. Greta Sandler's class. Their school is located in Buenos Aires. On their class page, it states that the class is "5th Chesnut", so I believe that Juanchi is in the 5th grade.

Before I commented on his blog, I looked at their class blog and the teacher's blog. While reading Ms. Sandler's blog, I found that she and I have a lot in common. She is an ESL teacher who teaches English as a second language. I found this interesting because I am currently learning Spanish as a minor.

The lastest blog entry that Juanchi had shared was a YouTube video from a major soccer game. He posted this video because he believed it to be the greatest attempt to score a goal in the history of soccer. He called it "the best missed goal."For those of you who do not know, the Latin American countries are really into soccer. Soccer in Latin America is like football in America.

Here is the comment I wrote for Juanchi:


Hi, my name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am studying Elementary Education in order to be a teacher. I am also studying Spanish. I see that your class is from Buenos Aires, so I know that you really enjoy watching football. Football is called "soccer" in America. Football is used to describe "el fĂștbol de americano" in America. I really enjoyed your video. I am glad you decided to share it. Are you on a football team? Do you play football for fun with your friends? If you had been in the football game in the video, do you think you would have made the goal?

Amy Archer

C4K #2

My second assignment was to post on the fifth post down of Mr. Capps' Classroom Blog. Mr. Capps is a former student of The University of South Alabama. He is currently teaching 3rd grade at Gulf Shores Elementary School in Room 302. His blog is very welcoming and literate. If you have not checked out his blog yet, I highly encourage you to.

The post that I commented on was about a game that his students had played to learn how to count by 10's. The game was very creative because it also included counting money. The children had two dices labeled up to 6. Each time they rolled the two die, the number that they rolled was the number of pennies they received. Now, the object of the game was to have the fewest amount of coins. Every time a student got 10 pennies, they would trade it in for a dime. When the student had 10 dimes, they traded their dimes in for a dollar bill. Each student continued to play until they had received two dollars.

Here is the comment I left on Mr. Capps' Post:

Mr. Capps,

Hi, my name is Amy Archer. I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I loved the money game that you shared in your blog! It is a very creative way to teach students how to count by tens and add multiples of ten. I was also impressed that you incorporated the use of pennies, dimes, and dollars because this allowed the students to see the true value of money. I believe it is important for children to learn at a young age that money is not bad or stressful. After all, the use of money and saving is how we survive in this world.

Another idea that stood out to me was that you had students in the classroom helping other students who did not understand a concept completely. Peer tutoring is a great idea for any classroom because the children who give help are reinforcing in their brain what they already know, and the children who are receiving help are encouraged by their classmate.

I love how you included pictures because they are a wonderful insight to your classroom. You are doing great things with your students! Keep up the hard work Mr. Capps!

Amy Archer