Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blog Assignment #13

     The first video for this blog post that I watched was Back To the Future. Mr. Brian Cosby talks about all the different activities that he does in his 4th grade classroom. His students blog, create videos, use wikis, and a lot of other cool technology tools. My favorite part about this video was that video clip he shares of a student doing a science experiment about air pressure where a soda can crushes itself. This wasn't my favorite part because of the really awesome reaction in the experiment, but because Mr. Cosby had each student film themselves doing the experiment and then embedded the clip into their blogs. The idea of having each kid excited to participate in the activity and then even more excited about sharing what they have learned is amazing.
     My second favorite part of this video is the balloon experiment. Mr. Cosby lets his kids help design and engineer the actual balloon so they are all involved and having fun while learning. After the balloon was lifted off he assigned each student to write a story from the point of view of the balloon. This interested me because he is combing two core subjects, which is something I don't think we do enough. The students expand their creativity immensely with projects like these. It also turns school into an exciting day of learning rather than a boring day of daydreaming.

     A Vision of Students Today was the second video I watched for this blog post assignment. This video was very thought provoking from the point of view of a student. It made me ask myself what I am trying to get out of the college experience. It also made me evaluate what I want for my future as well. As a student, I can relate to feeling like you are wasting your money, that there are not enough hours in the day, and even not being recognized by your professors by name if at all. College isn't meant to be easy, I get that. It's preparing you for the real world. It almost feels like a weeding out process, like every teacher is testing you, not on the course material, but if you are determined enough to finish.

     From the point of view of a president or dean of a college or university this video is probably haunting. To live for money has got to be a miserable life, and sometimes I feel like people in administration are forced into the black hole of dollar signs purely because their jobs call for it. If I were an administrator and I saw this video I would feel sad, simple as that. It would feel awful to see the signs being held up one after the other saying things about how expensive college is, how much debt students will graduate with, or that the material being taught isn't lining up with the students needs. Although the administration is said to hold all the power they don't, the world and society does. We as a society have made money the center of our universe and we're all paying for it. But then again, hopefully a member of an administration team somewhere will see the video, spark some change, and help make the college experience affordable and worth it educationally.


I would want my students to know...the feeling of accomplishment.
I would want my students to be able to...use self discipline for their schoolwork and home life. I would want my students to have experienced...a classroom environment that pushes them to better themselves.

     After watching the video, How will you teach me in the 21st century, I was impressed by the media and content. Melinda Kraft had a very creative take on the future of our students. She poses many questions concerning the values, skills, and material we will be teaching our classes in the future. Technology has become such a huge part of the every day life of the every day person that it wouldn't make sense not to bring it into the classroom. A classroom with technology brings up questions like Melinda's though. I think our teaching will look different but the motives behind the activities will stay very similar. Our jobs as teachers are to teach and mold our students into being the best they can be, and if the classroom is changing then let us take this opportunity to embrace it. We should show our students that change can be good and that it doesn't need to change who we are, just maybe how we do homework.

     The Exemplar of Students' Work With Video post and video was very refreshing. The two students are not being fancy or using special technology to film this video. They are simply just sharing about their responsibility of managing their school's compost pile. One of the students is legally blind and he still fully participates with the project which is probably the most amazing part of the video. I love the fact that he was able to have just as much fun and be 100% involved as any other student would. Technology can potentially cause an issue with participation from students within special education, and I worry that there will be a student out there somewhere who wasn't as lucky as the little boy in this video.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Project #10

     Below I have shared with you one of my favorite webmixes that I created on Symbaloo over the process of making my PLN or my personal learning network. My PLN is going to help me so much when I get into the classroom and begin teaching. It is so convenient to have everything in one place. With a short glance and a quick click, you can be four sites away discovering new lesson plans or fun activities for students. Although I am not in the classroom yet my PLN guides my internet usage almost daily. It has all of the sites I visit on a regular basis ready to go for me so when I open up my home page all I have to do is choose and click. Over the years I hope to grow my PLN far and wide. I also recommend creating your own PLN regardless of what line of work you are in.

C4T #4

     I was assigned to Ms. Andrea Hernandez for Comments 4 Teachers this round. She is a technology teacher and has lots of helpful hints in her blog. The first post I commented  on is focused on creating a good learning environment for students in the classroom. One thing she pointed out that I found interesting was how much the physical representation within a classroom can affect the learning process for students. I had never put much thought into why some teacher's classrooms or offices are more easy going than others. I describe it as easy going because it seems to be the only thing that fits the calm, attentive, content feeling that you get when you are sitting in a classroom taking notes or working on homework and you aren't wanting to tear your hair out.

why share?

     The second post I commented on Ms. Hernandez's blog was an image that states the old age saying "if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it does it make a sound?" and compares it to "if something is created but not shared, does it make a difference?" I found this post to be my favorite purely because of the fact that it causes you to think for yourself and process what you believe. My response was mixed. Half of me said yes it does make a difference even if it isn't shared because the person that created it had the desire to make that particular thing become a reality for them. Therefore, it made a difference to the creator. However, the other half of me argued against it and replied with no, it makes no difference if it is not shared with anyone because
no one can be affected by the creation unless it is shared with them. Therefore, it does not make a difference.

Project #15

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blog Assignment #12

     For this post we are supposed to create our own blog assignment, and I have chosen to make mine about an awesome website called Pinterest. Pinterest is a social media site but don't compare it to Twitter or Facebook because they are very different. Basically there are all types of categories to search in when you login. There is arts and crafts of course, creative food recipes, funny video clips and images, workout plans, wedding ideas, photography pointers, cool classroom decorations or fun lesson plans, tips and hints on cars and motorcycles, I could go on forever! The social part about Pinterest comes in when you like or re-pin something because it shows up on the boards of your followers, kind of like sharing.
     The assignment I have come up with could be used in the high school or middle school level in a computer or English class. I believe that it would be beneficial in a computer class because it's fun and keeps the students learning more about how to maneuver around the internet and more complex websites. A English class could also gain something from this blog assignment because each student must write in good grammar, use proper sentence structure, and use their creative writing skills. It would serve as good writing practice as well as typing practice, which could be great for each class.


My Pinterest Assignment:

1) Create an account.

2) Pick 5 different categories that interest you, and re-pin 3 objects or ideas in each category.
- For clarification: within each of the 5 categories you choose you should re-pin 3 things, therefore you will end up with 15 pins on your board.

3) Out of the 15 pins choose your favorite 5 and write a blog post explaining why you chose these particular pins.
- Questions to think about: How or will this benefit me? Could I see myself actually doing this project? What about this pin attracts me? Is this pin something I could use later on in life? Does this motivate you to start a new hobby or activity? How or could this affect other people?

4) Use proper grammar, sentence structure, and good transition words. Must be 5 paragraphs including an intro, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. This is your chance to write about what you choose, so be bold, creative, and use your voice!

Progress Report

     So far this final project has gone very smoothly. I couldn't have been placed in a better group and am really glad I got to know them over the course of this class. Each of us add a little spice to the melting pot which cooks up a fun time! We are almost done with our iBook. All we have left to do is add in a few more individual details for each member, put together our group video, and combine our paragraphs to complete the group summary. What's cool about this project is that it's so different. It's so interactive and is constantly challenging you to step up your game. Although I have had my rough moments with the iBook editing program, I'm enjoying it very much. We should have it all put together and published by tomorrow, fingers crossed!