Sunday, May 3, 2015

Technology and Teaching: Ms. Fagan's Way

Teaching with Tech

 Technology is becoming more of a necessity than merely the fun and exciting gadgets we grew up with. It is a tool that is fluid and will change with the growing demands of the world. As an educator it is my duty to ensure the likelihood of my students' success by instilling a sense of wonder in the world to continue searching for answers, a pride in their work, and the tools necessary to achieve these goals.

pinterest.comOriginally, I believed technology to be trivial to my classroom in particular. That has changed irrevocably at the end of this semester. Though in order to maintain stability and control of my classroom and lessons I must ensure that a few tenants are followed. They read as such:
  • Be Relevant
  • Be Internet Citizens
  • Be Positive
  • Be Open to new ideas
  • Be There for your students***
The last one is the most important of them all. This is a lesson I learned long ago in a simple summer job. "Be There" for people. Doing this for our students is the simplest thing to ask for; but, can be a challenging task to be held up to. I believe with the many apps Google has to offer that I will be able to BE THERE for my students and to interact on a wider scale. 

Technology is the next step towards a brighter future for our students. It is our responsibility to stay up to date, open, and excited about new tools that can pose even more possibilities in the lives of our students. 

Final Reflection

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Part 2 of Blog Post #5

PLN Summary

Throughout the semester, myself and the other EDM 310 students have been exposed to a variety of contacts that will prove essential with furthering the growth of our respected Personal Learning Networks. The original sets that students had the opportunity to download are great jumping-off points; however, I believe that the exposure we've received is far more beneficial. We have had several speakers come into the classroom as well as numerous contacts added to our C4T assignments that provide even more insight and potential to helping us future educators in the future if we need to call upon a professional for help or guidance. Here are a few options that I have deemed appropriate for my own PLN system:

These are just a few in comparison to the educators at the University of South Alabama that are willing to be a part of my PLN. I will be able to use educators from past courses dating back as far as high school to the teachers I will come in contact with near and around the world. 

I hope everyone has enjoyed the process of growing their PLN! It has been an interesting and insightful journey! Keep searching!

Final C4T- April

pinterest.comMy final C4T teacher is Teacher Tom. He is an interesting preschool teacher who uses a variety of unorthodox teaching methods. I was able to read up on a few exercises that seemed like simple interactions but proved to be so much more.

Through these simple questions or raising the slightest curiosity he was able to teach a variety of lessons without the young ones even realizing it. It is enthralling to see the many ways that teachers impact their students even when interacting in a manner that isn't in a typical classroom lecture style.

With all of the teachers I came in contact with this semester he has been the most interesting and thoughtful. I am thankful for the opportunity to interact with a variety of educators to see the many ways to "skin a cat". I think seeing their blogs and opinions, responding and asking questions is a great way for future educators to start thinking of ideas and realizing that "Plan A" isn't the only way to teach a lesson. Thank you for this opportunity!

Final C4K- April

Throughout the semester I have had the opportunity to comment on some pretty amazing bloggers' pages!

This month I commented twice on a young lady's blog. Her name is Tressie.

The first blog she wrote about the different forms of narration found in literature. This was truly exciting to me that she not only recognized the difference but was able to loosely grasp the importance of the various forms of narration. She remained curious and researched on her own to find out more.

Her second post was about the concept of being kind over being right. I believe her response of being kind in a situation over being right is the better choice. For her to understand this concept and to want to inhibit the ideal of being kind and not prideful to all ages is a wonderful thing to witness.
She truly is able to express herself via her blogging. I am glad to see that students are able to express themselves, explore new concepts, and truly expand their horizons via blogging. This semester has taught me so much and my interactions with students through the C4K program has been truly humbling and insightful. I cannot wait to make a difference in my students' lives and expand their writing experiences through blogging just as the teachers from which these students come from. Thank you for the opportunity!

Blog Post #14

Teaching Our Students Can Be A Profession

  • Seniority
  • Professionalizing Teaching
  • More school options for families 
  • Adding more knowledge based curriculum
  • Beginning school earlier than age 5
Mr. Klein was asked what he would change with the schools of today and he responded with four key points:

First, families must have the opportunity to decide from a variety of schools where their students will go. Parents will more often than not go for a school of quality over convenience. Parents will research schools and find the schools with the best ratings and reputations. 

Second, a change in the curriculum regarding the use of technology is a must. With the changes made daily in the advancements of technology it is imperative that students have access to any and all of it for the betterment of their education. 

Third, schools need to adopt a knowledge based curriculum that is more content driven. This will inhibit a style of learning that the students will gain more from than merely prepping for a "burp-back" standardized test. 

Lastly, starting students in school earlier than the age of five has proven to be highly beneficial and is practiced in many parts of the world currently. Certain day cares are incorporating lessons into their day to day routine to benefit the young minds. This is an option for parents who live in an area where it is offered.

The two main issues Mr. Klein addresses are that of seniority and professionalizing teaching, this is my summary of the two:
  1. The first is of seniority, it is a major problem within school systems and I agree 100%. The effectiveness of an educator and their impact on their students cannot always be measured in years of service. The "Police" system from Shanker, where teachers are given aptitude tests on a regular basis, I do not believe would solve the issue. Educators already go through a series of aptitude exams before joining the education system. I believe the depth of the lesson, the content taught, and the effectiveness of their delivery is a better way of judging a teacher's quality and the overall potential outcome of their students. 
  2. Professionalizing teaching simply means holding educators to the same standard one would a doctor, lawyer, or any other profession one deems highly esteemed in their level of professionalism. Having an elitist mentality is not a bad thing. I think that only the top tier of educators from a graduating class should be selected to become educators. Not every person who attains a degree is adequate to teach in their field or any. Another factor should be the overall personality of the teacher. An educator should be humble, outgoing, and willing to take criticisms. This will better their interactions with their students and inhibit an environment where students, parents, and fellow educators are comfortable and willing to interact more willingly. 
In conclusion, I believe that educators are not given the respect or held at the same standard as other professions that are deemed to being more elite. Some of Mr. Klein's ideas I would definitely support but not all would be effective. Teachers are not revered as a true profession and are not taken as seriously as they should be. Both of my parents (both teachers) always remind me that, "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 do not believe in keeping teachers who are only judged by their years of service. I believe that only the best qualified educators should remain employed or be hired on to better their learning institution.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Blog Post # 13

What Did I leave out?

Throughout this semester, collectively, the EDM 310 classes have learned about a variety of new technology and have been invited time and time again to go out and search on their own. In my concentration, Secondary Edu./ English, I believe a good blog post assignment would consist of using these technologies:

  • Eaver: this tool allows you to record a Skype call. It is free if you record under five minute increments. I would have my students find a modern novelist and attempt to conduct a proper interview with them via Skype being that it would be the easier option. 
  • Popplet: is a great tool for organizing thoughts, collaborating ideas, and an interactive tool that allows students to work off of a central idea and make it grow. This tool will be so helpful when prepping for essays and other written works. This will even be a great collaborative tool among groups during group projects.

The Lesson:"A Poem of Growth"

1. Students will get on Padlet and will be given the simple task-as a group-to answer the question "What is growth?"

2. The groups will answer the question by stating six central characteristics or traits of 'growth'.

3. The task will be to write a poem starting as a four line stanza-rhyme scheme unnecessary-that will use their first thoughts on their original six characteristics.

4. The first four lines will be added to a blog post with appropriate blog items: atl+tag modifiers, images, and links to one of their favorite poet's poem via an accredited virtual library.

5. Over the course of a month the student will watch and read the following videos and blogs on 'growth':

6. The groups will then add their ideas to Popplet and use the central idea of 'What is Growth?' and fill in their original six ideas and then continue adding to it.

7. By assignment posting day students will individually add four more lines to their first stanza.

8. This will continue until all 16 lines are written. 

9. Then post full poem all together.

10. Students will create an extensive self- and peer-evaluation of their personal and group member's growth. 

11. They will be exercising Self-Reflection and Evaluation. As well, they will be adhering to the rules of writing a proper blog post, research, and creative writing while using technology.

Hope you enjoy my "What did I leave out?" blog idea! Go Jags!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

C4T- #3

I had the pleasure of reading Ben Jones's blog. He is an avid believer in PBL. He explains how being a team player with other educators is imperative to collaborate not only with students to students but teachers to teachers.

Is an interesting site where after sifting through the ads to buying his books, you find a few blog post about incorporating technology with coaching. With athletes they need to prep for their events not only physically but mentally. They must learn a lesson and be taught skills and tools to better their chances of winning. The blog that I watched was about Urban Meyer's take on the flipped coach and the important role technology plays in and out of the locker room. This really is interesting to see that technology is a versatile tool that can be incorporated into almost everything.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Blog Post #11

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

Brian Cosby's Back to the Future project is a project based learning project that adheres to all of the state learning standards. In order to attain feedback for his lessons he used class blogs to track the understanding of all of his students. He ensured to enrich the students' PLN's with "High Hopes" to connect with children from around the world and share each other's dreams. With this tool the students taught the students from other countries what they've learned as a fun way of expressing their knowledge. Crosby's lessons we so accessible that a student with leukemia was able to follow along and keep up with the class even with the stress of their deadly illness.

Mr. Paul Anderson uses the Blended Learning Cycle to combine technology, mobility, and the classroom itself to better the learning process. He goes on to explain the 5 E's of Science:

  1. Engage
  2. Explore
  3. Explain
  4. Expand
  5. Evaluate
  1. Question
  2. Discussion
  3. Demonstration
  4. Creation
While having fun and creating something of their own creation the students were able to achieve the knowledge of how to be a safe digital citizen. 

Project Based Learning  played a key role in integrating the classroom environment and lessons with new technologies to better help enhance the learning capabilities of the students within. 

slideshare.comRoosevelt's Elementary's PBL program is a way of bringing real world problems to the desk of the students. 
  1. Independent thinking
  2. Early Public Speaking practice
  3. Decision making
  4. Self-Motivation
  5. Real world skills
  6. Independent and group skills
  7. Curriculum integration
  8. Student Engagement 
  9. Community Engagement

Sunday, March 29, 2015

C4K March

Danyale's Blog
Danyale had the unique opportunity to shadow a professional in the field she was interested in. She was able to contact this person within her community and set up a time for her to get a closer look at a career that she would like to pursue.

This is definitely something I enjoy doing with the observation hours and soon to be student teaching to truly get a good look into classrooms. I will say I've been lucky that I was raised in teacher's classrooms being that both my parents are teachers. I have had a chance to see the inner workings first hand for so many years.

For Danyale to be able to have this experience is a great thing and to blog about it is even better. She was able to learn some very important life skills as well as have fun. Here is my response:

"Hey Danyale!

I am thrilled you got to have a shadowing experience as well as enjoying your time. I am very glad you learned some life skills like how to be professional on the phone, at your job place, and even posting about it on an Internet forum. Keep having fun while learning!"

I think a shadowing program is a great project based learning lesson that can be utilized in all subjects.

Blog Post #10

What Can We Learn From Mrs. Cassidy?

The students in her first grade class are advancing technologically just as we are. They are utilizing blogs, using Skype, as well as a number of other tools. They are accomplishing the lessons while still enjoying it by using technology as a medium.

In these interviews Mrs. Cassidy explains how technology and the use of it in the classroom is an everyday thing and that you are always searching for new and exciting technologies to use. This also will keep your curriculum fresh and new every year. A key thing that is important is having the support of your students' parents and your superiors. With the change and growth of the generations to come, it is imperative that we continue to expand our knowledge of technology to benefit the students.

She goes on to explain that since blogs have audiences it helps the growth of the writer. As well, this makes our students aware of his or her impact due to the feedback from around the world. Not only is technology important in the growth of writers it is important in just the mere growth in technological understanding. Cassidy says to grow your PLN starting off with something your interested in and go from there.

A major help to building our PLNs is Twitter. Starting off it may seem as though you only have a few connections; however, it will grow in time as the many followers who share the same interest begin to follow you and you follow them in return. Following teachers from all backgrounds, subjects, and geographic locations is another good habit to get into.

  1. Blogging can be used at any time, for any subject, anywhere.
  2. Cheating is less of an issue when teachers and students remain interactive and innovative with the lessons.
  3. A Facebook account can be useful, as long as it's only a SCHOOL FACEBOOK.
  4. Safety is key when using internet forums or any technology where it is possible for the student's identity to be put out there. It is the teacher's job to equip students with the proper online etiquette and know how to not add their last names, phone numbers, sensitive information, pictures, or things of that nature to their blogs.
  5. Between school and home, there must be a balance for students to be able to practice with technology. 
In my English class I hope to utilize blogs to enrich the writing skills of my students. As well, I would like to use PLNs and maintain a project based learning environment to better my student's skills when it comes to researching and analyzing information. Also, by using technology I want to ensure that there will be ample opportunity for my students to express themselves as creatively as possible. With these tools and the tips from Mrs. Cassidy I believe my students will go far!

Project #12

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Blog Post #9

What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning?

In order to find out how PBL (Project Based Learning) effects both students and teachers first we must know how to initiate and productive project based learning lesson. In the Seven Essentials of Project Based Learning it explains that a project must adhere to two main criteria. First, it must actually strike a chord with the students and be truly meaningful. This is important for the "slackers" or easily distracted students that need a little help tuning in to the lesson. Second, the most obvious criteria, it must be educational! Without having an actual educational basis or purpose for the project it will be all for naught. This site gives us seven essential things to keep in mind when creating a project based learning plan:

1. A Need to Know- This is where the teacher begins to introduce teases the idea of the project; this could involve a short clip getting them interested on a topic that the teacher wishes them to do their project on.

2. A Driving Question- This is a great place for the teacher to help hone in any ideas the students may have with a core question he or she wants them to answer. This is no ordinary question. It must be worded in a way so that the students get a clear image of the project while being challenged and given a sense of purpose.

3. Student Voice and Choice- This is SO extremely important to PBL! This allows students to utilize whatever medium they see fit to fulfill this project. They are able to use different kinds of tech, media, or presentation styles to showcase their knowledge. This doesn't hinder students from the actual project while having to stay "inside the lines". Here they can branch out and truly express their knowledge.

4. 21st Century Skills- This is where students are able to work on their skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and the use of technology.

5. Inquiry and Innovation- This is the best part of PBL. Not only are students searching and finding new information and knowledge; but, they are now finding new questions along the way with more possibilities of answers than they would from a generic research project.

6. Feedback and Revision- Receiving feedback and giving students the opportunity to revise along the way helps them see their mistakes, analyze what they need to do, and create a better product in the end.

7. A Publicly Presented Product- Here students have a chance to broadcast their products to a wider audience than just their teachers and classmates. Presenting their product on a blog, or in a newsletter, etc will entice the student to perform to their utmost potential in order to have a good looking product that will be viewed by many.

edutopia.orgProject Based Learning for Teachers is a peppy little video that shows the benefits of switching to a project based learning environment. Every class must uphold the standards of the Common Core State Standards; however, that is just "What" needs to be taught. "How" students need to achieve those standards is completely up to the class leader- the teacher. The teacher can choose to create a more productive environment by setting up a deep driving question to get the gears turning for the students.

What Motivates Students Today?
This is a great video of real kids telling us all what truly motivates them. Every student is different and are motivated in their own way. Teachers must remember that no two students are the same. We must remember to find out how to motivate each and every one of our students to reach their full potential. Here are a couple things that motivate students:

  • Public Praise
  • Future plans (getting a good job, house, dog, etc)
  • Clip chart- that all students can see, (classroom money, red-yellow-green-etc)
  • Not being able to participate in extracurricular activities
  • "Money" 
  • Candy, food
  • Have class outside
  • Changing up the class environment everyday- themes
Two students who endure the everyday problem of the watery build up within a ketchup bottle cap when trying to squirt it on your food. These two students decided to solve this issue using PBL. This seems like a goofy project. But they actually used computer software to design a cap that wouldn't cause this watery mess and printed it using a 3-D printer. Pretty Neat! This shows some of the immense possibilities of Project Based Learning.

Project Based Learning: The Students' Experience is a video I found from students at Davidson High School, no not the one here in Mobile, AL. This shows the side of the students and what they think about this idea of project based learning. A lot of the students enjoyed it due to the fact that the students had almost complete independence and guided their own studies. They did touch on the challenging factor of it as well that they aren't being "spoon fed" information. I was giddy to hear that in their English class-my field-they were able to utilize PBLs fully. They had to create their own driving question and make sure it was relevant and actually challenged themselves. The students definitely kept with the theme that they were responsible for their own education and that it really helps them develop as a student and a person. It was obvious to see the excitement of the students as well as the pride that they showed when talking about how creative they we able to be and to fully express themselves when doing these projects. This video I hope gets bookmarked for later classes due to the fact that it shows what students really think about this new style of learning.

Project #9- Chapter 9: Enabling Student Creativity

Sunday, March 15, 2015

C4T #2

Comment For Teacher

Mr. Ben Jones blog Inter.Connect.Ed is a very depth and constant blogger about education. Aside from the one I was assigned I snooped around a bit and found out a lot of information that would be deemed highly important and can be used in the future.
The blog post that I posted on was mainly about professionalism and working around the struggles of a test-taking environment. This reminded me of one of Dr. Strange's big pet peeves about "burp back learning". Training students to take just a test is not truly teaching them anything. This can also put a damper on the teaching environment for the teachers. However, it is key to maintain an environment of professional and collaborative teachers to best benefit the children. He explains the importance of working as a team to teach students collectively and within this network to be mindful and respectful of one another.

Mr. Ben Jones has many other blog posts that speak to the behavior by which educators should act and present to their students. As well, several of the blogs incorporate a lot of collaborative learning styles and discussions that I would like to utilize in the future.
I think everyone should check out his blog. It's fun, neat, organized, and highly insightful.

Blog Post #8

What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?

Randy Pausch is a remarkable human being. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 47. In his lecture at Carnegie Mellon University he gives a full auditorium his Last Lecture. He gets right to the issue of the situation and informs all about his condition and the message he wants to get across.

Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

He tells all about his and explains them. The first one is about experiencing zero-gravity. His class won a chance to ride on the Vomit Comet. However, he goes on the explain "the brick wall". It is not there to keep us out it is in place to prove to us how badly we actually want to achieve something.
This ties into education immensely. Students are faced with challenges daily and roadblocks that include: educationally, personally, emotionally, and socioeconomically. Our job as teachers is to take away the educational brick wall. We are to inspire their dreams and to encourage them to move forward and achieve anything they set their minds to.

His next dream is joining the National Football League. This lesson is more about a "head fake". A head fake is about learning something indirectly. It is a great thing for students because they believe they are playing football but in reality they are learning more prevalent things such as teamwork, perseverance, and sportsmanship. These are the tenants that they should take away from the sport instead of just learning the sport alone.

In regards to education this is a phenomenal idea. I remember in school that the mere idea of learning Math was exhausting, terrifying, and annoying all at the same time. Those are brick walls. If my teachers had used the skill of using a "head fake" maybe then I would have been able to learn Math in a way that would disguise the fact that it is Math and been able to grasp the true point of the lesson. As an English major this will be very useful. Time and time again from my non-Education Major peers I get the same comment when I tell them my major, "I hate English...It was my worst subject...It is so hard that I quit paying attention". These statements upset me. I have such a drive and want to teach it that I truly want to find ways to make it easier, enticing, and fun for my students in each and every lesson. I think using a "head fake", incorporating useful and fun technologies, as well as using PBL it will inhibit a higher outcome of students more willing and open to learn in any subject-especially one that they are apprehensive about.

Wrapping Up the Full and Complete Message of the Last Lecture...

Randy Pausch is a truly inspiring individual that reminds us to go out and achieve all that you can imagine. Why wouldn't we want this for our students? He has changed the way I think about education and how I will become one of the most influential people in my students' lives. He leaves us with some key points from his lecture that I will directly quote:

  • Loyalty is a two-way street.
  • Never give up.
  • You get people to help you by telling the truth. Being earnest. I'll take an earnest person over a hip person every day, because hip is short term. Earnest is long term.
  • Apologize when you screw up and focus on other people, not on yourself.
  • Get a feedback loop and listen to it. … Anybody can get chewed out. It's the rare person who says, oh my god, you were right. … When people give you feedback, cherish it and use it.
  • Show gratitude.
  • Don't complain. Just work harder.
  • Be good at something, it makes you valuable.
  • Work hard.
  • Find the best in everybody. … No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side; just keep waiting, it will come out.
    • And be prepared. Luck is truly where preparation meets opportunity. 
    These simple statements truly can change the outcome of anyone's classroom. I truly believe that these points can be used both in and out of the classroom. Present to your students a willingness to learn and grow and they will do the same. I hope everyone has taken away as much if not more from Randy Pausch's Last Lecture as I have.

    Sunday, March 1, 2015

    Blog Post #7

    How Do We All Become Learners?

    Growing up in the public school system I was taught how most traditional classrooms are conducted; the teacher stands at the head of the classroom and lectures all of the students. However, this is not the most productive way of giving a lesson. Project based learning is a great way to provide an interactive learning environment where students use tools and skills acquired from the teacher and search for the answers or new questions to help the lesson become more in depth.

    My Strengths:

    • Adaptive
    • Creative
    • Time Management Skills
    My Weaknesses:
    • Procrastination
    • Silliness
    • Getting off topic

    I think I'll have to learn to focus more when giving a lesson so that I do not get off topic so easily. As well, being prepared ahead of time for my lessons and not procrastinating will help me stay on topic and keep the lesson moving right along further preventing silliness. Using stimulating technology will help keep students interested in the lesson.
    Using iMovie and Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten is a great video where Kindergartners are using iMovie to create Book Trailers like the videos we are. As well, they are beginning to learn how to research and practice it. We All Become Learners is a video about how teachers become learners and learners become teachers. With iPads in the Classroom students can utilize this technology to go on virtual tours and field trips. This enhances every lesson and helps keep the students interested and inhibits a more productive learning environment. 

    Top 10 Reasons to Use Technology in Education is a great video with a short listing of important things to remember:

    • Students Love Tech
    • Engages them in the four key components of learning
    • Simplifies teaching environment
    • Professional development
    • Improves Test Scores
    • PLNs- learn from experts
    • Helps with Homework
    • Saves Money
    • Removes obstacles
    • It's just fun!

    C4K Post- February

    1. Mr. Boylen's Students made up a video telling a faux news-story using iMovie to teach a lesson on adjectives. The students went through several different green screen scenes using excessive adjectives to further showcase their knowledge of adjective use.

    Here's My Response: "Hey, I'm Kelia Fagan from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I'm in the EDM 310 class that utilizes blogs. This is a very fun and interesting way to discuss adjectives! All participants discuss the usages of adjectives and give plenty of examples. Keep up the great work guys!"

    2. Ms. Leatherwoods's Student went to the Hershey amusement park. She was very descriptive in everything she saw, smelled, and experienced during her time there. Very well put together post.

    Here's My Response: "Wow! That sounded like a great trip! I'm Kelia from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I'm in the EDM 310 class. I really enjoyed how descriptive you were in your blog. Keep up the great work! Keep having wonderful adventures!"

    3.  Smeby's Students got to write to their senator and really ask some great questions about the legislative process. 

    Here's My Response: "Hey Brooklyn,
    My name is Kelia Fagan, I'm a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I am overjoyed you were able to make a fun connection with your Senator. It is important that you understand the legislative process and I am glad that she was so informative. Keep up with the great blogging!"

    4. Booklyn's Blog is about her idea for a fashion class and all that it will entail. She discusses real world skills that she would teach such as sewing and dressing the part. She did a great job!

    Here's My Response: My Response: Hey Brooklyn, I think your idea of a fashion class is wonderful! I'm from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I'm in the EDM 310 class. I love your ideas for teaching real world skills like sewing and dressing appropriately for the event or place you're going to. Keep up the great work!

    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    Blog Post #6

    What do you learn with these conversations with Anthony Capps?

    There was a lot to gain from the videos between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps. Within the videos Project Based Learning Part 1 and Project Based Learning Part 2 both gentlemen went over the premise of teaching rather than scanning over regurgitated knowledge. In order for students to perform well they must be given an excellent amount of information. Examples given are:

    1. Authentic Audience
    2. Students must be interested in the subject
    3. Community Involvement
    4. Content Driven

    In a classroom it is not the job of the teacher to limit the amount of creative potential a child has, moreover, it is our job to give them chances to explore. Each lesson using project based learning is an opportunity for students to stretch their creative muscles and showcase what they've learned.

    tips.atozteacherstuff.comSome aids that Capps brought up that he found beneficial for his students to utilize. They are iCurio and Discovery Education. iCurio is a great tool due to the fact that it is a safe search engine for students to use. As well, students can use a "bookmarking" type function to save places they've visited and information they have acquired. This gives students a chance to organize information and learn how to search for items by criteria instead of just name or content purpose. Discovery Education leans more towards science and social studies and helps provide visual displays as well as important information that could pose as useful during project based learning.

    Anthony's Strange Tips for Teachers Part 1 is a great video that gives the viewer qualities that make up a well-rounded teacher. They include:

    1. Having an actual interest in learning
    2. Knowing that hard work is both beneficial and fun
    3. Flexibility and creativity
    4. Start your lessons knowing the end goal
    5. Always seek out 100% student engagement
    6. Reflect and self-evaluate

    Capps goes on to explain to the viewers the dangers of scaffolding in his video Don't Teach Tech- Use It and Additional Thoughts About Lessons. He states that using and teaching technology is a build up process. You will teach/learn one type and build on it from there. Capps uses the analogy of a "Russian Doll":

    1. Year
    2. Unit
    3. Weekly Scale
    4. Daily Lessons

    It was great to view videos from a former EDM 310 student to see how useful all of these tools can really be in the "real world of teaching". It is inspiring to see these tasks in action and functioning well. I look forward to using these tools in my own classroom.

    Project #7 Part B

    For The Parents

    For The Students

    Project #8 - Book Trailer

    Sunday, February 15, 2015

    Presentation Project #3

    Project #7- Four Movies, Part A

    My Sentence

    My Passion

    Blog Post #5

    PLNs, What Are They?

    Today is a normal discussion day with your students. One student who is equipped with a question asks don't know the answer. Instead of using the scapegoat of "Google it", you-the instructor-pull out a different tool. You use your Personal Learning Network (PLN). This is a system of people and tools to better find an accredited answer, help, collaboration, or consultation on a given subject. PLN systems can help keep track of your connections. A good PLN does not consist of a consolidated listing of organized contacts. Instead, a good PLN is a quality group of people and tools that an instructor can call upon at any given time to formulate a better response. PLNs can also be helpful for project based learning due to the fact students can research people and tools from all around the world trying to find the answer or to better discuss something in class.
    Personal Photo
    Ways of forming your PLN one could use Symbaloo as a means of bookmarking all of your favorite websites, blogs, forums, etc. It keeps a neat and clean display on the home screen so that it is easier for you to access your favorite websites. My Symbaloo account would start off consisting of teachers we've met and will meet through our C4Ts as well as teachers from the blog assignments and videos. I would utilize specific search engines as tools. Also, I would try to network with teachers in the area by Twitter or their own educational blogs.

    NetVibes is a neat source because it monitors digital usages and users can publish and personalize the digital aspects of their everyday lives. Corporations use it as a means of organizing widgets and contacts or corresponding organizations. This is another way to use PLNs.

    PLNs are great ways to maintain a collaborative environment for the lifelong learner. This tool can instill students to continue growing their PLNs in order to connect with learners and educators from all around the world and to continue learning.

    Sunday, February 8, 2015

    Blog Post #4

    What do we ask? How do we ask?

    Nothing is more frustrating to a teacher than the tedious task of pulling teeth trying to get an answer out of their class. As well, nothing is more annoying than a student getting called on to answer "pointless" questions. Then it becomes a game of "don't make eye contact and I might not get called on" between the teacher and their students. However, this does not have to be the case.

    creatememe.chucklesnetwork.comFinding the right questions will ignite a fruitful discussion that will explode into a productive project based lesson that will benefit both teacher and student. The best part is that there are ways for teachers to gain new ideas to improve their classroom discussion. Edutopia has a series of effective questions to utilize in the classroom. These questions can range from elementary level to the highly advanced. Sometimes asking how, what, and why are great ways of kick-starting an open-ended discussion.

    As well, in order to give an effective lesson the teacher must be effective with their delivery of their lesson and when asking questions.The next thing that needs to be addressed is How a teacher must go about asking questions. This reverts back to not asking "yes" or "no" response questions. Asking open ended questions will be the best route to take. This way students will have to think more critically and quite possibly do some research in order to find the answer. Here the teacher-through proper question asking-has created a project based learning environment. In turn, this allows all students the chance to figure it out whereas otherwise some students who did not quite get the discussion would've let those that did take the limelight and would not fully get the lesson. Asking questions properly gives all students the opportunity to fully tune in and engage with the lesson and helps improve overall understanding.

    Project #15: Search Engines

    The internet is a vast space with an abundance of free knowledge. Sifting through all of the junk, wrong leads, and spam is difficult enough. Finding safer ways of searching for the right information doesn't have to be. Search Engines are a great way to find the information you want to help a student find creditable information. Here is a listing of some search engines I have found useful that will also be useful for students.

    1. RefSeek is a search engine that will search through newspapers, books, encyclopedias, journals and webpages. It is proud of the fact that it takes away the distracting information that most broad search engines allow to enter into the search results.

    2. iSeek is meant mainly for students and teachers. The site values their technique of "targeting results" rather than merely searching for information and receiving a broad spectrum of miscellaneous responses.

    3. Kid Rex is a fun search engine meant to be completely kid friendly with 100% accuracy. I love the set up on this page, mainly due to the fact that it will dismiss most if not all inappropriate content.

    4. Wolfram Alpha is a search engine I wish I had known about. A student can actually type in an equation and receive feedback or help as results. I think this would be very helpful for students that need a little extra help with math or science.

    5. Sweet Search will be great for research papers. It has a lot of validated information that is easier to access without fussing with normal search engines.

    6. Dogpile is my favorite search engine because it will sift through other search engines to find the best answers without you having to do the legwork. Also, the site donates large portions of its revenue to the ASPCA!

    7. Pipl is a neat search engine that can be beneficial to students doing research on a particular person. This site helps you find out information about a particular person by pulling any and all accessible information forward.

    8. Blinkx is one a teacher would have to monitor the students' usage of. It is a way to search for videos that would be useful for research, visual aids, or clips for iMovie projects. However, it does have broad access to videos that may not be school appropriate.

    C4T #1

    21 Apples is a blog run by Mr. Glover. The first blog I read was about his encounter with the book author, Jodi Gold. She discusses the importance of drawing the fine-line between allowing students to utilize technology and knowing when it becomes a distraction. At the meeting at Glover's school, Gold, spoke to the Parent's Association about finding the balance. Glover outlined a few key points from her discussion:
    • "have your tween/teen install the self control app
    • don’t spy on your kids, get in the practice of them touring you through their tech world, and giving you their passwords
    • use technology to send people compliments and caring expressions
    • delete embarrassing photos
    • don’t like mean posts
    • unsubscribe from mean group chats
    • do talk about pornography with your kids
    • too many more to list!"
    These few rules I commented could really be a deciding factor by how students respond to the restrictions. Instead of testing the limits on their usage, I believe that giving them understandable and set guidelines will help them acclimate easier. This way teachers, parents, and students will be able to utilize more tools in the classroom and use it safely and effectively.

    Sunday, February 1, 2015

    Blog Post #3

    What is Peer Editing?

    Peer Editing is having an equal review your work and give suggestions and input in order to improve your writing capabilities. The more common ways of doing a peer review would have to be making comments on the actual piece, complimenting it, or giving suggestions. This is a very useful tool that teachers should implement with their students so that the students will be more driven to perform better; being that their work is being critiqued by another student of their own age group. However, in order to utilize this tool the teacher must teach the students the proper skills so that they can accurately perform their peer edits.

    1. Compliment: Always lead with a compliment and let the author know that there are good points within their work.

    2. Suggest: Without being harsh or rude, make suggestions that will honestly help the author make improvements on what they have already created.

    3. Correct: If there are any evident spelling or grammatical errors ensure that the author is aware of them and be polite when making these corrections.

    Peer editing will be a vital tool in order to practice critiquing works of others as well as knowing the proper way to help authors improve their works. In EDM 310, this will be an everyday occurrence. I will have to always keep in mind these three rules so that I am effective, professional, and precise about my compliments, suggestions, and corrections. As well, this will be an important tool to use on my own works. I will have to be humbled by my compliments, open to any suggestions, and cooperative with any corrections. No one is perfect and this is a way to fix any mistake whether or not it is a major mistake or a careless one. Utilizing this tool is a way to become more aware in one's own writing abilities and to either sustain or improve.  

    Sunday, January 25, 2015

    Blog Post #2

    What will teaching be like in the 21st Century?

    Teaching in the 21st Century will prove to be challenging unless we-as educators-change the way we teach. Lectures, texts, and pen and paper will prove to be all but obsolete when compared to the amount of technology students are exposed to in their everyday lives. Resources are now at hand both at home and in the classroom that will provide more opportunities to help students and teachers move forward as learners. It will then be our job as teachers to provide a safe environment to teach students the necessary tools and skills in order to empower them in becoming life-long learners.

    Professor Dancealot is about a professor who chooses to teach in the manner most lecture based classes are, "death by PowerPoint". However, the content that he is teaching is ballroom dancing. The author makes a sounds argument against classical teaching and expresses it through the completely irrational teaching of Professor Dancealot. The students were not taught the proper skills or tools in order to perform to the fullest on their final exam. I do believe that each lesson or subject must be taught in a way that students are able to collaborate and discuss to be able to solve the problems either themselves or be able to figure it out through the tools they are provided.

    Teaching in the 21st Century is a wonderful video that really puts things into perspective for me. Students now have access to countless amounts of information. Roberts believes that we as educators must be able to allow students to use these venues for information; however, they must be able to ensure what they are researching is valid. He touches on a few key points that I agree with wholeheartedly. Students must be able to validate, synthesize, leverage, communicate, collaborate, and be able to problem solve with the information they find. Teaching is helping the students use information and analyze it while creating a product to show that knowledge, per Roberts. I believe this is true. In my field of Secondary Education/English students need to be able to grasp the stories at hand and do more than write an essay. I would love to expand on their writing skills by using blogs to check grammar and understanding. As well as, using forums where they can discuss and ask questions while grasping the literature or assignment fully. Like in the video I must be able to use the technology wisely and maintain order by keeping the assignments relevant, challenging, and engaging. All of this will be possible because it will have to start with me. I will have to become the change.

    The Networked Student is an interesting video. During the course of the video it seems as though the students is unsupervised in his learning endeavors and is figuring it all out on his own through PLNs, wikis, and other informative portals. However, he does still need an instructor to help him start off in the right direction, help him when he is stuck, and give him advice about speaking to these other professors and professionals in an appropriate manner when he wants to make contact.  It is the teacher's hope that given the tools she has instilled him with he will be able to go forward and "solve the world's problems". I think this is a great idea that should be taught in all classrooms and in all subjects.

    Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts is about Mrs. Davis's class where she enjoys collaborating. She looks at their strengths and interests and adjusts the curriculum so that they can learn effectively. She talks about teaching students how to learn. I really enjoyed her mentality when it comes to letting the students figure it out and have them teach her something in turn. I truly love how she allows students to collaborate not only with classmates but with students around the world and lets them learn together. She expands their horizons and view of the world and it does empower them to push forward to learn more.

    Who's Ahead in the Learning Race? I definitely believe the young ones have us beat. They have only known a time with technology whereas those of us in Undergrad and Graduate level schools are either just now coming in contact with it or not at all. It is disappointing to know that we will be teaching these students and not know the technology that they are growing up using.  These tools are very useful and will help them expand the ways in which they learn and advance their knowledge. It is fun to use different kinds of technology and tools and is rewarding due to the fact that they are effective.

    Flipping the Classroom is a cool video that does something different in the classroom. It allows students to have access to the lessons the night before so that the next day they are able to create questions and problems to move forward with the lesson. This will give students the opportunity to access a higher level of thinking by asking, imagining, planning, creating and improving. This is definitely a newer idea to me.

    Bringing the Locker Room to the Classroom is an interesting article that talks about fully engaging students and having them "take a shot in the dark" during discussions. Here they are able to work it out among themselves and the teacher just helps them by guiding them through the discussion. The students use a form of Socratic method with each other to problem-solve. I think this will be great for my English students because they will learn the 'system' from me and will be able to figure out the literature or assignments at hand with a guided discussion.Also, they won't be afraid to say something wrong so that they can build on it.

    These videos truly opened my eyes on the differences in teaching. However, teaching methods should always revolve around the students' style of learning so that they can utilize the tools and skills used or taught to learn more than originally thought.

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    Blog Post #1
    What About EDM 310?

    Approaching a new semester with new classes and new curriculum to master is always troubling. When faced with a course that has furrowed many brows and brought about frantic episodes of checking blogs, marking off on the checklist, tweaking videos, and commenting it is easy to see why many may be hesitant to proceed in taking this class. Many students that I have encountered have put it off as long as they could in order to not endure the "torturous" workload.

    However, I have taken this course already and with the hesitation and fear taken out of the equation I am now able to move forward. I previously lacked the time management skills and an open mind to all of the new ideas Dr. Strange was teaching us. I will be honest, of course, I was very uncertain of the role technology would play in my classes as an English Education Major. This predisposition was brought on by watching other English teachers and countless other creative writing courses remain constant with their use of the hard-cover book, pen, and paper. I was certain that this could and would be the only way I would teach my classes.

    I now have no fears in my abilities to perform well in EDM 310 this semester. Now, being able to have an open mind, I will be able to be open to collaborative learning. My favorite line from Dr. Strange was that "you will not teach the way you were taught". At first I did not understand this and after falling down throughout the semester I came to the conclusion that I had to change. The way I was taught is a past form of learning. To become a constant learner and educator I must adapt and enhance my learning and teaching styles to fit the ever changing world of learning. Only then will I be able to ensure the utmost productivity and outcome for my students to continue on as life-long learners.

    EDM 310 is definitely not your average class. In high school, I was able to sleep through a lecture or put myself on "auto-pilot" and still make a B+ or higher with little or no effort. In college, even in my favorite courses-Composition and Literature, I have been able to skirt by without being truly challenged by a content driven lesson. EDM 310 is in its own right a unique course that enables one to truly challenge their own abilities to research, create, and collaborate. Before my first attempt at EDM 310 I never knew how to effectively collaborate within a group of different individuals. I am, however, an effective team member or leader in the military sense from my Army ROTC training. However, as I've learned, not every team is a squad and yet again I had to adapt. This class is challenging; but, it is a new and in depth way of learning. Easily summed up to being called more depth than breath.

    The most difficult part of any course for a college student is Time Management. Throughout my military training with the Army ROTC I have attained many skills that will prove to be crucial to my success. I believe any issues that arise this semester can easily be solved by following these points:

    • Never be afraid to ask for help.
    • Knowing the deadline does not mean wait until then!
    • Adapt to changes in routine.
    • Be open to new ideas, even if at first they are alien to you.
    • Have fun with everything you do.
    • Make it your own.
    This course is a solid and fun course. I do wish in retrospect I treated it as such. However, like the old saying goes, "hindsight is 20/20". I wish everyone luck! Take a deep breath! We all can do well, TOGETHER! Go Jags!

    Practice Blog Post

    • My name and where I'm from
    • A little background information
    • My Major and Minor
    • Why I chose South
    • My Passions and my Career

      My name is Kelia Fagan. I am from Mobile, Alabama. I live with my father, step-mother, and six dogs. Delilah, Ginger, Zeus, JJ, and Sophie are my parents' dogs. Coal Docket is my rambunctious, 10-month old, 60 pound puppy. My mother, step-father, and little brother-Malcolm, live in Sarasota, Florida. I am a Secondary Education, English Language Arts Major with a Minor in Military Sciences. I am striving to become an officer in the United States Army. I will be able to travel the world serving my country. I was born into a long line of educators and military personnel. I chose South Alabama because it is a hometown school. I have family and friends that have graduated from here and it feels like home every time I step foot on campus.

      I grew up loving to learn. I want to be an educator for the sole purpose to enhance the well-being of young people and to help them become a well rounded individual through knowledge. An educator leads a challenging career. Within a normal day an educator must be more interesting and more knowledgeable than the information students have already picked up from the rapid output of knowledge everyday by the new advances in technology. No two students learn the same as the next. It is up to the educator to be able to understand the student's learning abilities and find new ways to enhance their daily learning. My passions in life mirror the career I am working towards. I love all written works. I enjoy reading literature from all across the region, nation, and world. I am an avid poetry writer. I enjoy helping others make sense of literature and expanding their writing capabilities. I hope to make a huge impact on the lives of my future students just as past educators have impacted my life. I intend on doing far better than I did in the previous semester. I do hope everyone achieves their goals this semester. Go Jags!