Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blog Post Assignment 2

Did You Know?

Dr. Strange made his own version of Did You Know? based on the version by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. Their version is called Did You Know? 3.0.
Dr. Strange's version focuses on informing future educators on how important technology and preparation is when you become a teacher. He created a video full of facts and statistics of education and languages around the world. For example, he starts off with stating, "25% of the population of India with the highest IQ out numbers the entire population of the United States."
Another fact mentioned in Strange's version that stood out to me is that "18 million Chinese citizens speak English, and 300 million are learners." This statement caught my attention because we can barely use the English language correctly in America, let alone learn another language. How many of you can honestly say you are fluent in another language?
We, as future educators, should be paying attention to videos and information like this because in a few years this may become a reality. It makes me nervous that another country will soon be more fluent in our language than we are. It is my goal to make sure my students understand and appreciate the English grammar, not just learn the rules.
According to Dr. Strange's video, "Today's learners will have 10-14 jobs by the age 38." When I become a teacher, I will have to prepare students for not just one job but 10-14. This statistic could also change or increase in the next ten years as well. It is important for educators to continue to educate themselves in order to keep their teaching up to date.

At the end of the video, Dr. Strange ask his listeners, "And you want to be an educator?" My answer to Dr. Strange is YES! I understand that as a future educator I am taking on a big responsibility, and I hope to be the role model students need in life.

Did You Know? 3.0

Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod's original version of Did You Know 3.0 has different meaning behind it, but it can still be interpreted as a wake up call to future educators. The difference is that this video focuses on how technology and the world are changing while giving you freedom to develop your own interpretation of the effects.

One of the questions that stood out to me the most in this video was when Fisch and McLeod asked, "Whom did we ask before Google searches?" In the past, research had to be conducted in the library or in another resource center through encyclopedias and books. Today, we can find answers with the click of a button. Our world is going "green" in the sense that more and more articles, research, and books are being published or purchased online to save time, paper, and money.

When I watched the ending of the video and saw the last question, "So what does it all mean?", I took to heart how important technology is. As a future educator, I now understand the importance of incorporating technical resources into my classroom. I plan to adapt to and learn how to use any new technology that comes my way.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes is a cute, comical video created by Mathew Needleman. In this video, the character, Mr. Winkle, wakes after sleeping for 100 years. He gets up to go to work, but when he walks outside everything looks unfamiliar. His office is now inside a tall building full of computers and other resources he does not know how to use.

In distress from a complicated office he goes to the hospital because he is feeling loopy. Once he walks into the hospital he begins to feel even worse. The doctors are using x-rays and other resources that he is unfamiliar with. With no were else to run, Mr. Winkle heads to his old school.

Inside his school he feels comfortable and warm because it is still familiar to him. The students are sitting in desk while listening to a teacher lecture, but the computers sit in the back collecting dust.

Needleman illustrates an excellent issue that is seen in classrooms today. There is not enough use of technology, and it needs to be addressed. I know that some school systems cannot afford top notch technology because they are funded by the government. However, teachers need to use the resources they do have to their greatest ability. When I teach, I plan to incorporate technology into my lessons as much as possible.
The Importance of Creativity

Ken Robinson once talked on TED about The Importance of Creativity in schools. According to Robinson, "schools kill students' creativity." He believes that everyone is interested in learning in their own creative way. In his speech, he establishes the idea the education is meant to take us into the future that we cannot grasp realistically today.

Robinson stated, "Kids will take a chance. If they don't know, they will take a go. They are not afraid of being wrong." He believes that the education system demolishes this drive in children, because the students are so worried about getting the answers right. They do not use their imagination when they are focused on not making a mistake.

In my classroom, I want to instill in my students that no answer is incorrect if they can back up their answer. It is important to me to challenge children to think outside the box. If I force students to learn information my way they are not learning for themselves, but instead they are simply memorizing.

Ken Robinson stated, "Intelligence is diverse and dynamic." This means that the brain should be interactive with creativity, academics, and fine arts. He mentioned the fact that there are many students who think they are not smart, because their talents are not academics.

This stood out to me, because I believe that every child is unique and brings their own special qualities to the classroom. We are not robots. I want to assess my students based on their achievements, not on their mistakes. It is a goal of mine to challenge every student I teach to go the extra mile and achieve more than they could ever imagine. In order to do that, I will encourage my students to be creative and be true to who they are.

Think About Glass

In February 2012, Corning made a video about A Day Made of Glass. At first, I did not understand what was going on until I watched the A Day Made of Glass: Unpacked version.

Basically, Corning gives you a glimpse of what the future holds. Their plan is to create a tablet that will replace cell phones. These tablets will work other glass products to transfer and display information. It will be luxurious and resourceful, because it is made of glass.

I will be looking forward to the day when I can use one of these large scale information walls in my classroom. They are made of glass, so they will be luxurious and elegant. It will also be nice not to have to use any type of projector. The information would be presented electronically from "my tablet." Although, this new technology would take me sometime to get used to, I would love to be able to adapt it into my teaching.

Hopefully, by the time I am in a classroom the luxurious class activity tables will be affordable. I would love to use one of those in my classrooms! (If you do not know what I am talking about, take a few minutes and watch the video so you can fall in love with them as well.) Having a electronic activity table illuminates the need for numerous activities, because I would be able to create many games or fun ways of learning electronically. Since it is made of glass it will also be easy to keep sanitized and clean.

Technology is changing every day. There are so many new and fun ways to teach lessons. I cannot wait to incorporate different concepts of learning into my classroom using electronic resources.

Project Glass

Google made a terrific improvement in video technology when they created The Google Glasses. At the beginning of July, they had a live demo showing off their new invention. In the demo, experts jumped parachuted off an airplane, landed on a roof, biked downstairs and into the recording studio.

In the video online I got to watch the whole process from "The Google Glasses." It is crazy how they could record from such a high altitude! Who knows, in a few months we might see people walking down the street with blue-tooths in their ears and Google glasses on their face. Technology is never ending and constantly changing, so as a future educator I am prepared for whatever comes my way.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blog Assignment 1

About Me
My name is Amy Archer. I was born and raised in Decatur, AL. In May 2010, I graduated from Decatur High School with honors. Two months later I came down to Mobile, and I began a new chapter in my life as a Freshman at The University of South Alabama. I chose to study here, because I did not want to go straight into Auburn University or The University of Alabama. One distinguishing quality of The University of South Alabama is that it is a moderate size university and offers many outstanding programs, yet my professors know me by name. I am currently a Junior, and I have a double major in Elementary Education and Foreign Language with a concentration in Spanish.
I was born into a family with two very loving parents and two amazing siblings. As the oldest of three, my parents have always pushed me to go the extra mile in anything I do. My family is very close, and every summer we take a vacation with my mom's siblings and their children to Fort Morgan. My family has always played a big role in my life, especially my mom. She has taught for over twenty years, and she inspired me to become a teacher. I knew at a young age that I wanted to be a teacher, because I wanted to follow in my mother's foot steps.
Obviously, I have a passion for working with children. Otherwise I would not be here today. It is one of my goals to work in a Title 1 school one day, because I want to better my community and encourage children to achieve their goals like I did. In my spare time I love to run! Last March I ran in the Rock n' Roll marathon in New Orleans, LA. A month ago I competed in my first mini-triathlon in my hometown. This February I have set my goal higher and plan to run in the Rock n' Roll marathon again, but compete in the full marathon instead of the half. (That is 27.2 miles for those of you who do not know how long a marathon is.)
When I am not in class or studying, I also participate in many organizations on campus. In Fall 2010, I became a life long member of Alpha Omicron Pi. My sisters mean the world to me, and they have become my second family. This year I received the honor to be a member of the Student Government Association as a Senator for the Education Department. I plan to affiliate with the new "Leos" Club that is being established by Lion's Club members. On Tuesday afternoons I volunteer at the Boy's and Girl's Club downtown in the after school care.
I am a very active and motivated young lady. I like to stay busy, and I'm always on the go. Although I am a busy bee, meeting new people is something I do best. With that being said, do not hesitate to wave or say hey the next time we meet.
Randy Pausch on Time Management
Randy Pausch once made a speech on Time Management. In the YouTube video that I watched, he emphasized on "doing the right things", rather than "doing things right." Another quoted he said was, "Failing to plan is planing to fail."His key to avoiding stress and procrastination was to plan each day, each week, and each semester. He thought it was important to plan, because "you can always change your plan later-only if you have one."
One of the key points that Randy Pausch emphasized that stood out to me was to focus on doing the right things. I am a perfectionist, so I focus on the opposite, which to do things right. I learned from Pausch that I need to do all that I can in life. After all, experiences and life lessons come from bad judgement. I am going to mess up in life, but that is okay because next time I will know how to handle the situation.
When he said, "Failing to plan is planning to fail", I really took it to heart. If I do not create a plan for today, tomorrow, or next semester I will not go forward. I will stay where I am and never succeed. Though I may change my plan every other day, I have moved one step forward by setting goals to reach and priorities to keep.
About Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch died on July 25, 2008. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006. He passed away due to complications from the cancer. Although he suffered a great deal over those two years, he did not show it. The doctors did not expect him to live as long as he did, but Randy had energy and enthusiasm for life. Randy Pausch left a legacy of excellence and integrity. He makes a great role model for anyone, and his blog posts, videos, and pictures can be found all over the internet. We can learn so much from him and realize that our struggles are not the end of the world.
Time Management
Penn State's Learning website has articles on Time Management Exercises and Time Management Lessons. Time Management Exercises teaches you how to prioritize your time and use it wisely. If you sleep 7 hours a night, 7 days a week then you are left with a total of 119 hours to your week. How you use those hours is up to you. Penn State said, "You can monitor these hours or become a Time Waster." Their article, incorporated the use of a calendar and a mini planner to keep up with daily to-do lists and upcoming events. The website also has a time exercise where you can enter in how many hours you spend on eating, sleeping, and daily hygiene a week to see how many hours you are really leaving for studying and extra curricular events.
The other article on Time Management Lessons focuses on creating a "time table" for your life. In order to make a time table, you need a blank calendar with semi-large sized boxes, a planner, all your courses' syllabi, and a copy of the campus calendar. On your calendar you write out the dates of upcoming test, campus events, and things you want to do for fun. In your planner, you write your daily to do list. Penn state emphasizes, though, that it is important not to create a to-do list that you cannot accomplish in one day.
From both of these articles I learned many new ways to prioritize my time and better prepare myself for the semester. I already have a planner, but I learned from Penn State that I am not prioritizing my time properly in order to complete these events. I fall into the category of a "time waster" many days and would rather catch up on the latest episode of my favorite shows on television. I need to keep a better lay out to my day and invest in Hulu Plus, so I can accomplish all of my tasks. I am glad that Dr. Strange assigned these two articles to our class, because I learned life valuable lessons on time management.