Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blog Post #5 Part 2

At first, I was uncertain of the importance of PLNs. Then my PLN basis began to grow. Not only do I have Symbaloo to thank for kick-starting; but, through my observations I have been able to connect with varieties of educators. Mobile County Public School teachers, especially those from Baker High School are helping me shape my future as a teacher. The English department as well as other teachers from different subject fields. Most notable are three teachers that I observed: Mr. Rice (History), Mrs. Barbosa (English), and Mrs. Gladen (Marine Biology). These teachers have shown me a variety of lessons that are highly successful and have encouraged me to keep going on my quest. Teachers from other states and countries from our C4T assignments are being added to the list as well. Mrs. Miller from my interview with a teacher assignment is a great person for technology and its many usages in the classroom. This exercise is great to collaborate with teachers from all backgrounds, regions, and countries to see what works and what doesn't. This will prove to be a key tool in the future for my classrooms to provide viable sources to present to my students and to help drive home the lessons. EDM 310 has turned out to be the most interesting and resourceful class thus far in my education courses. It allows me to connect, collaborate, and create new things and opportunities for not only myself but the students I will one day have the honor to teach.

C4T #4

Eva's Blog

Eva's first blog post that I commented on was a poetry post. She was teaching a lesson to her students and she felt that it was unsuccessful being that some of her students require special help in order for them to learn.

This is a piece from this post:
"I had a very disappointing lesson the other day and when I arrived home I thought what I could do for them to realize or do something for themselves until the next fork appears on the road they had chosen. And I decided to go to the class with a poem. Yes, I chose The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost as I thought with a little help, they would be able to understand the poem and we’d be able to talk about our decisions. To sum up, it was a great lesson. We all enjoyed it and I think they also revised their decisions or their attitudes towards their choices."

This was my response:
"I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I am a Secondary Education/ English major. I am taking EDM 310 and have been learning about technology and students. However, it is the students that are the key part of our careers. In order for them to want to learn we must show them that we care and will do everything in our power to help them reach their goals even when they don’t see their true worth at times. Giving students the motivation they need to push forward is a skill set I wish to attain to be a better teacher for them. I really enjoyed your post and what you are doing for your students. Plus, I love Robert Frost. Thank you for your time."

Eva's second blog I commented on was a fun one. She made a game for her students and had them breakup into teams according to their grades on the previous exam. This made the students work as a team to complete this complicated but fun way of playing 'telephone'. She got this idea from one of her PLN's and it proved to be successful.

Here's my response:
"Hello again,
My name is Kelia Fagan. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I loved how you made this a game meant for the students to work together. As well, using your resources in order to improve your own classroom by taking away something positive from someone else’s classroom."

Blog Post #14

Teaching can be a profession by Joel Klein

  • Seniority
  • Professionalizing teaching

  • Giving more options to families in regards to schools
  • Using more technology
  • Starting school for kids earlier than age 5
  • Adopting a knowledge based curriculum

1. When Mr. Klein was asked what he would change in schools today he responded with four key points. The first, families are entitled to more options and it plays a major role in how students are educated. Parents will not always chose convenience or the closest in proximity to their home. Parents was the schools with the best ratings and reputations. Next, technology is a growing necessity for teaching and learning in the classroom. In EDM 310, as well from the many speeches from Dr. Strange, students are not going to learn the same way we did. The technological world changes rapidly an advancements are made daily. Students and teachers need to have access to these technologies to better the learning environment. Then, schools need to adopt more knowledge-based learning for students. This provides a more content based learning and gives the students more opportunity to gain the mot out of their lessons. Lastly, starting students in school before the age of 5 has already been enacted in schools around the world and has proven to be worth it for their growth. The schools doing this are adding lessons into their daycares. It is an optional thing for parents with that option. These are all of the issues Mr. Klein has stated that exist in the education system today.

2. Professionalizing teaching is another point he wanted to touch on. Holding teachers to the same standard that doctors and lawyers are held to would improve the overall environment and performances out of teachers. A way to make this even better he stated that the top third from the graduating classes should even become educators. Just having a degree in education should not be the only deciding factor in becoming a teacher. This would showcase the educator who strived to be the best and bring the most knowledge to the table for their students. Personalities of teachers matters as well. A teacher should be humble and outgoing with their students to have better more content based interactions. He even made a note about teachers' rewards being changed.

3. Seniority is a major problem in the education system. I agree wholeheartedly. The effectiveness of an educator is not always determined with the years of service they possess. The "Police" system from Shanker I do not believe would solve the problem. Testing teachers on an aptitude exam to get the job wouldn't solve this. Educators have to pass our own exams before even leaving our respected universities. I believe the depth of a teacher's lesson and how they bring it across to a classroom with an evaluator in the room would bring about a more fruitful tell of their teaching capabilities.

Conclusion: Some ideas, not all, could propose an option towards bettering the education system. I believe teachers are not given the respect or professional respect that doctors and lawyers are given. They are treated less or as a not so serious profession due to the lack of high pay they receive. One thing my parents (both teachers) always told me, "You never become a teacher for the pay. You become a teacher because you have the drive to improve the lives of the youth and leaders of tomorrow. You want to make an impact on the next generation." I don't believe seniority should play a factor when looking for a job. Only the most qualified educators should be employed.

C4K November

1. Kurt's Blog Post: "I made my costume out of a black coat, tape for the machete on my back, some filet knives, and a ski mask." He then posted two computer made pictures of himself in a trading card and his alter ego.

My response:"Hey Kurt,
I'm Kelia from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am in EDM 310. I love your creativity of your character. You did a great job!"

2. Brandon's Blog Post:
"South Dakota Trip

My trip to South Dakota was the best trip ever. We got to see more bison than you can imagine. It was better than most of our camping trips. I know that all of my family had a good time. We also went to Reptile Garden and hold a snake and see some giant tortoise. We also got to go to a cave and see these cool crystals. But my favorite part was to go running about one mile out in the Badlands. That night we slept at this campsite and it rained on our tent and my mom kept pushing me in the puddle while she was asleep. This was my favorite vacation because we got to see so much and go and have fun."

My Response: "Hey Brandon, I am Kelia Fagan from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am taking the EDM 310 course.

I remember going to South Dakota in high school! It was a magical place untouched by time. I am glad you were able to make those memories there. Very good blog post.

Keep having wonderful adventures!
Kelia Fagan

Both students were able to make the best of their situations and be creative to learn. One students used technology to help him be as creative as possible with his project. The other students was able to separate completely from technology in order to make stronger memories with his family. Whether you're using technology or not students are able to be creative with the tools they're given in order to gain as much as possible from their environment.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blog Post #13

What did I leave out?

Over the course of this semester Dr. Strange had the EDM classes utilize a number of technologies to better the education of our future student. The technologies ranged from Blogger, Smart Boards, and iPads as well as a variety of other technology. For my area of study, Secondary Education specializing in English I never thought before that technology would play such a big role in my classroom. Before this class I believed that my students would merely read from books, discuss, put pen to paper, and type their assignments on Word Processor. However, through the course of this semester Dr. Strange has presented new technologies that would be resourceful when considering certain types of lesson plans or even to just enhance the lesson as a whole. I do not believe Dr. Strange left anything out more so that he focused mainly on Mac products which I did not mind, I was at first unfamiliar with. I think that I would use the following three products most in my classrooms due to the importance of project and team based learning and how the two can enhance English Education.

Padlet: Padlet allows students to post on a wall to create and collaborate. The students could in turn elaborate ideas from literature readings. Take a group quiz. Or even practice vocabulary and definitions back and forth. As well, if a student couldn't come to class they can log in and add to the discussion even from home.

Popplet: Popplet is another great resource I can use with my students. Here they can use an interactive word web and add ideas or thoughts with their group to better understand the central idea. This can be used in literature studies, vocabulary, or even with grammar usage. This is a fun collaborative tool that can help students formulate ideas and keep them organized.
Google Docs: This is by far my favorite technology to use. It is helpful to see who is working on the document as a group and who is not participating. This app allows you to make a presentation much similar to PowerPoint and share it with either your teacher, other students, or publish it to your blog. Google Docs is a great way to never lose your work as well. You can save it to your drive and either email or share it with your teacher so that you do not lose points for leaving either your flash drive or hard copy at home.
With these tools along with many others that continuously are being made and innovated I can enhance and further engage my students so that they won't be taught the way I was. This way they will be more effective learners and will go out into the world with not only more knowledge but with skills to help them in the future.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

C4T #3

Post #1The first post I commented on was about Mrs. Morris's quest to stay in the education loop. She had a young child and was not able to be in the classroom. She also explains the importance of a learning community to help one another out in and out of the classroom. She goes on to explain how important blogging is much like the blogging we do in our class. Here is my response to her blog post:
Hello Mrs. Morris!
I thoroughly enjoyed your blog. It did get me thinking about the family life and balancing a career as well. I am a Secondary Education/English Lang Arts Composite Major with a minor in Military Sciences at the University of South Alabama. I am currently taking EDM 310 and it has given me opportunities to visit real people’s blogs and take a peek into their lives to help myself reflect on my own. Thank you for your time.
Kelia Fagan

Post #2 Here my teacher expresses the importance of quality reading for her students. Her main focus is primary; however, all teachers strive to better the reading capabilities of their students. The site goes on to talk about how students are able to read fluidly on the iPads and how it greatly improved their reading skills. Other technologies have proven fruitful in helping students advanced self regulated learning abilities. This is the comment I posted to her page:
Hello Mrs. Cassidy, my name is Kelia Fagan. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I enjoyed your post immensely. I have never heard of Epic. However, using Kindle and other technologies and products to help improve the reading capabilities of children is remarkable. I have learned about numerous technologies that can greatly improve the outcome of students’ performances in my future classrooms. This is all thanks to the great roles models like yourself I have come across through this class and its projects.
Thank you for your time, Kelia Fagan
From these two teachers I have found a number of uses for technology in my classroom that will better the learning environment as well as students' abilities.

Project #10

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blog Post #11

What can you learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?

Back to the Future: Mr. Crosby Mr. Crosby compares the education children have before they reach his class as constricted. He uses tools such as Blogs and heavy internet access to broaden the spectrum by which students explore and enhance their knowledge. His students maintain blogs-just as we do-posting videos, links, activities and other tools to broadcast their knowledge. His students accessed and created Wiki pages to integrate them into their projects. This gave them different perspectives and had them analyze the driving question in depth. A recurring statement by the teachers we've read about before is the extreme positive impact leaving comments does for his students and others. This motivates them to want to excel in everything they do to receive the accolades they long for. The main thing I would take away from Mr. Crosby is that Project Based Learning (PBL) truly helps students learn more and that collaborating through technology is key for greater success. This is extremely helpful for students like Celeste. She has leukemia and due to this horrible ailment she is not able to always attend class. With Mr. Crosby's in depth involvement with technology she is able to interact in ways she otherwise would not have been able to. She does not get left in the dark or behind and is able to feel as normal as possible when dealing with her disease. Technology is changing our world in more than just education, it is changing children's lives.

Blended Learning: Paul Anderson Just as we assume what the future should look like with hovercrafts and flying cars this video Mr. Anderson portrays what most believe the future classrooms should appear as. Classrooms, he says, will be collaborative strictly through mobile online classes that will integrate directly into everyday life. Mr. Anderson goes through the "e's" of the learning cycle: evaluate a question, engage, explore, explain, and expand after the answer and continue to push the envelope of the question. Putting these two concepts together you in turn attain blended learning. To entice the students the teacher-instead of asking tons of questions-show a video to capture the students and get the wheels turning so that they are the ones elaborating. Students will perform lesson diagrams and then go into a review section. Lastly, they will have a summary quiz. The quiz will be a touchstone to see if the students are ready to move forward or need more practice with the subject. When finalizing the lesson you will give the students and test using pen and paper. Using Mr. Anderson's blended learning will help integrate technology and establish a great system to use when formulating lessons.

Building Comics: Sam Payne Sam Payne is a fifth grade teacher who understands the importance of internet safety and introduces to his class by way of your beloved neighborhood Spider-Man. He challenges students to be digital citizens and recognize the overwhelming power they possess when they have the internet at their fingertips. He has his students create a digital superhero. By using their laptops they are capable of completing this task. They create comic books and they analyze technology structure. They will then peer review their classmate's works. This idea Mr. Payne brings forward is a great collaborative and technologically safe project that still follows the guidelines of his lesson.

PBL: Dean Shareski These two teachers from Canada found a way to incorporate two lessons into one by way of technology. They particularly used it as a means of feedback on their English and History lessons. They concurred that students learn more when utilizing more subjects at the same time through technology. The lesson play did its job of helping expand the students' thinking.

Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program The video first reiterates the meaning and importance of PBL; it's collaborative and students work together to solve real world issues. Student's are encouraged to speak publically early on. This helps deter fear of public speaking that some adults still battle with to this day. It creates more responsible learners that self-motivate and strive to do better because they want to. PBL's push students to be more independent; but, they must still know how to work together, communicate, and solve problems. It is an adaptive style of learning that helps students in all subjects do better. It is a better way for students to learn due to the fact that it keeps them interested and interactive so that they are not stagnant. Every student has a curious streak and PBL shines a light on it.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Project #14

In this project my group collaboratively came up with a special education lesson plan. It is centered around mathematics, mainly counting coins. Together, Group #3 came up with a week's worth of activities to introduce, practice, and master counting coins. We were able to connect the project to a life skill as well. Day one, we will introduce money and its values by use of the catchy Money Song. On the next two days students will be provided with Worksheets to practice on as well as iPad Games to play. On day four students will use the skills they've learned and play a Grocery Shopping Game, this shows the connection of learned materials and life skills. We found this game and we agreed on it solely for the capability it has of changing its levels of difficulty which helps in a special education classroom due to its variety of special needs students. The final day of this lesson will end with a collaborative project where the students will get into groups of four. The students are given "$20" ($5 a piece) to work as a team to spend less than $20 on their "Grocery Shopping Trip". This will be formulated on an iPad by the instructors so that it is accessible to all students. After they complete the project towards the end of class students will be able to cash in their good behavior money they have accumulated throughout the week for a prize from the treasure box. This is a great way for students to utilize the skills they've learned while being appreciated for their good behavior. According the class size or variety of students, accommodations would have to be made in order to complete the lesson. When beginning the lesson I must first think of my students and whether or not it would be a plausible lesson for them and the outcome in either a large or small classroom.

Project Design Overview