Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Red Queen Hypothesis Unveiled

As many of us are familiar with "Alice in Wonderland", I was blown away that there was an underlying explanation of co-adaptation (or as evolutionary biologists call it...co-evolution).

Malice In Wonderland: The Red Queen Theory from Ed Watkins on Vimeo.

Yes, it explains important mechanisms of adaptations in nature...but let us not limit this theory to ONLY biology.

The notion of 'running to stay in place' applies to the relationship between humans and technology!

I have to keep learning and keep using all the new things just to remain the innovative person I am today.

To be a technology literate teacher...to stay knowledgeable about using technology...to stay up to date... to stay caught up with the kids... We have to be an ongoing learners....never stop running!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Early Mornings, Coffee, and Field Experience...

As of right now, I am busier than ever!  School has an odd way of stealing every single second of your time.  (My plate is full, therefore my appetite must increase!)

I have been going back and forth doing field experience for my Educational Foundations class, whose one of many objectives is to acquire 18 hours of serving teachers.  Over the past two weeks I've been visiting two schools (I'm not sure if any consequences would happen for posting their names in my blog.  So, I will refer to them as School A and School B)

School A:
Private School
95% White

School B:
Low-Income Public High School School
95% Black 

These schools are greatly different.  School "A" has the best facilities in the city.  "B"'s facilities are deemed adequate.  "A" has all the coolest technology on the market whereas "B" uses chalkboards and book work.

BUT...where are the similarities in these schools?

It's in the students....adolescent High-Schoolers....(this is the age group I observed)

It doesn't matter that school "B" has almost all black students and school "A" has mostly white.  ALL of these kids have a desire to learn.  They want to learn and understand.  ALL these kids want to communicate and interact with information around them.  They want to perceive the world around them.  They are ALL frustrated when they don't understand.  They ALL need extra instruction, but not only instruction.  They need a person to understand their confusion and kindle a desire for them to become a better person.

As I was walking through school "A", it dawned on me that these students can't help that they are in this school.  They did not pick their situation.  They could not choose their family (yes, they are blessed they are in that family).  All they understand is they are here, this is my environment.

This applies to school "B" students.  They are in a black school, born into black culture, and have learned the things they know because of their environment.  The way they act is only a reflection of the environment around them. 

Throughout these hours of field experience, my mind keeps coming back to this thought:
Everyone has the freedom to achieve their desires (goals, aspirations, DREAMS)......but these desires seem to be shaped by social surroundings......Does this mean that some people have greater chances of achieving? Do social stratifications mean we are not all equal and freedom is limited?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The class has ended but I have not

A new semester has arrived, and this one is without EDM310.  Always, we will do things we enjoy.  So here I am...blogging.  (also known as trying to scribe and form a better understanding of what is on my mind).  What will be on my mind this semester?

  • Educational Psychology
  • Purging Myself of Cultural Bias
  • Learning to communicate Cross Culturally 
  • Ecology 
  • Evolution
  • Organic Chemistry   
  • World Music (creating an ensemble awareness)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Final Project #16

Teach Savvy: where teachers become learners

Emily Pilotte and I created a web site!  This site is designed to help teachers, aspiring teachers, and anyone who wants to learn, become acquainted with the ever-changing world of technology.  On this site, we reflected some of our favorite parts about EDM.

What are our intentions?  One of the main features of the site is the connect tab.  This is a library of teacher's blogs (the best of the best, the blogging powerhouses).  As of right now, it is categorized into elementary teachers, middle school/high school, and administrators/groups.  But, as we find more teaching blogs we love, I want to categorize the connect page into which part of the world the teacher is from, and what content they teach.  We are extremely excited about keeping up, maintaining, and getting feedback on our site.

COME CHECK US OUT... Teachsavvy

Final Report on My PLN

It seems a bit bitter-sweet that this class is coming to an end.  I have grown exceedingly attached to the pattern of work flow.  I can honestly say that no other class has impacted me more than EDM310.  Why have I learned so much?  Well, I accredit most of my learning to the fact that I have been an ongoing, engaged, and autonomous learner.

How have I used a personal learning network throughout EDM310?

Yes, my symbaloo is full of sites that intrigue me.  It is full of useful tools and things I check daily (emails, classblog, USA-online, bank account).  But, my PLN is more than just a symbaloo screen that graces me with its presence every time I get on the internet.

My PLN involves RSSfeeds from sites and teachers I'm following.  Google Reader is awesome!  It's like my morning newspaper, but with all the articles regarding topics I love and want to hear about.  Also, in my PLN are podcasts.  If you subscribe to some good content, I'm sure you'll find yourself listening to podcasts every time you ride in your car (for me, especially on long trips) or when you have to walk to class.  Listening to podcasts are a great way to warm up your brain before you go to class.  They get your mind going and allow stimulation for those eager dendrites.

My PLN gives me information through many different mediums.  Even though it is well established, I plan to continue learning this way and growing my network.  I plan to especially work more at learning through twitter.

Teacher #4

Metanoia by Ryan Bretag
The first post I commented on led to an extremely thought provoking comment and reply from Peter Rodrigues.  I would like to hear what you think about students (and everybody in today's technological society) leaving behind a digital trail.  A footprint.

My Comment
Thank you for sharing your ideas and beautiful pictures. Maybe I’m off, but I thought the main goal in using aliases and ID#’s were to protect identities and make the parents feel better about their child leaving behind a trail. Yes, I agree having a name (their name) is a healthy part of leaving a footprint. So, do you think our society is past the fear of leaving behind a real trail of our intellectual journey?
Thank you very much for provoking thought!
Josh King (an EDM310 student)

I GOT A REPLY, sort of...
Coming to this conversation a bit late, but I’ve been thinking about this lately, as my daughter approaches two, has some presence on facebook, etc.

I think part of the reason we use the alias/id# thing is for the illusion of safety – parents don’t want students’ personal information out of the web through their school work. Yet, our students have a digital footprint outside of school. And instead of teaching them how to properly craft that footprint, we create a culture of fear. Instead of hiding students’ digital footprint, talk and teach the right way to create an online presence (that will make parents feel safe too). Personal Info, compromising pictures, etc need to be discussed.

  • Aliases and id#'s give the illusion of safety...
  • Are we creating a culture of fear?
  •  Do you think we need to teach our "futures" how to develop a health digital footprint (inside and outside school)?

The second post was a post about who he nominated for the EduBlog awards.  This list had some people we've commented on and read posts from...(Scott Mcleod, CASTLE)  There were others on his list that I didn't know.  It was nice to be directed to more blogs, bogs that insightful in regards to teaching.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Summary Post Comments4Kids

She posted a video about a three year old riding a pony! See the video for yourself.

My Little Pony 
My Comment
Haha.. This is too cute! The music made the video!

You are a really great writer. You may be interested in learning some HTML code that will make your posts look extremely professional! Here’s a site if you time.

Keep up the awesome work,
Josh (an EDM310 student)

Their class had a guest speaker come to school.  He talked about telling stories and how to tell good stories.  I could tell Vernon really enjoyed this speaker.  He was especially enthused about their class getting to make up a collaborative story about monsters and the bed room.

My Comment
Sounds like you learned a lot from the story teller! That’s awesome. Everybody loves a good story that’s why people are drawn to things like reading, movies, video games, and comic books. I really enjoyed your post.
Keep up the awesome writing!
Josh (an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL)

Ashley Le's Blog (Grade 5 French Immersion at NMES)
Okay, at first I was a little confused because this school is in New Brunswick, Canada.  The students are 21st century bilingual learners.  The posts were in French and English.  Most of them were in french and I had to use Google translator.  I learned about  VoiceThread.
My Comment
Hey Ashley,
My name is Josh King and I’m from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. This is such a cool post! “King Nugget”, it sounds like he was a fierce and mighty chicken! I LOVED YOUR POST! Keep up the good work!
Josh King

Maclains Blog
This young man lives in Quimbly, Iowa and he loves hunting.  In his post he tells a story about a lady seeing a 10 point buck.  His grandpa asked the lady why she didn't shoot it and the lady said, "I would not do that".

My Comment
I’m from Mobile, Alabama and hunting is a huge part of my life. It is really cool to see that you enjoy it also! It sounds like you guys have some really big deer up there.
Why do you think the lady would not shoot the deer?

Monday, November 22, 2010

PROJECT 15 (Trailers for Books)

Trailers For Books
Ice Station by Matt Rielly

Beauty by Susan Wilson

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Additional Assignment #5

My review of four posts from Tom Johnson's Adventures in Pencil Intergration

Just teach them to solve for X
Instead of having the students solve for 'x' in math class.  Tom Johnson has the kids create metaphors to explain the concept of 'x'.  The CANDY LAND specialist inturrups his class because she doesn't agree with this method of teaching.  She thinks, in math, you should be taught cold hard truths, truths so the students can understand the world.  As Tom (Mr. Spencer) explains, there is no clarity like this in the learning process.  While we learn there is mud and confusion and mishaps.  Then, there is understanding and clarity.  Learning is messy.

Sketchy Portraits: 8th Grade Identity and Pencils
 I like to keep in mind that he is talking about computers and technology in general.  Yes, I thought it was pretty obvious of this fact when I was first introduced to this blog.

But, this post delves into more of the psychology of why middle schoolers behave the way they do.  They want to be treated as kids and adults.  They want to have freedom and govern themselves, yet they still cling onto the security of childhood.  This is just the nature of a middle schooler.

It's important to be shaped by the students we teach

He Just Likes the Class for the Pencils
So, a boy is accused of being disrespectful in all his class but the one that uses technology (Tom's class).  The other teachers write off Tom as not having a voice in the meeting because the boy likes Toms class,; he likes Mr. Toms class beacuse of the technology.  But, as you find out, he boy enjoys Mr Tom's class for more than the techonolgy.  Mr Tom actually listens to the student.  There is a mutual level of respect.  Tom Johnson is an innovative teacher and even though he is using technology, the students love his class for reasons beyond the technology.

The Medium Shapes the Learning
The tool we use, the medium we teach with, shapes our learning.  I about typed, "shapes the students learning" but I would like to steer away from the notion of the the students are the ones learning.  The classroom it is our learning experience not just the students.

This was a very thought provoking post.  As new technology comes out (not just the pencils any more but film and telegraphs), we must understand how to effectively teach with each, and understand how the medium creates an experience...which determines what we learn.

Blog Post 13

Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX)
Okay what is ALEX?  It is a library of lesson plans and other materials (such as web links).  Teachers can collaborate material, and I really like that the lesson plans were detailed and outlined to cover content standards (based on Alabama curriculum).  The search engine made finding useful material easy and most of the science lessons looked very interesting.  The lessons I looked at used methods of teaching that incorporated a lot of hands on experience!  I like that!  Yes, I definitely think this is a useful source to find lesson material. 

It is Alabama's distant learning initiative that is targeted at Alabama public high schools to bring them high quality instruction.  They offer two type of courses: Video Conferencing Instruction and Web Based Instruction.  I think it is a great idea to certify e-teachers.  Actually, I would like to be able to teach (more like mentoring and guiding) using only 21st century technology.  It seems like much more is possible than what this ACCESS program is offering, but it is great what they are offering.

As a side note...
I hated having to use the AVL (Alabama Virtual Library).  It was like pulling beaver teeth trying to find a reliable source.  When students are use to using wikipedia where topic specific information is very easy to find, it makes using AVL very frustrating.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Post 12

1.  Watch Tom Charfield's 7 ways games reward the brain (16:29)
Think about how he defines engagement and how video games can show us how we learn.  Write a post in regards to these concepts.

2.  Read Scott Mcleod's Do Most Education Games Suck
Pay attention to questions A, B, and C at the end of the post.  I read a lot of the comments and downloaded a couple of free (actually decent) educational games.

Why I chose to do a blog about video games?
Video games are an enormous part of our society.  They are a huge part of student's lives.  We need to understand why we love them, why they engage us, and how we can incorporate video games into educating future generations.

Tom Charfield does a magnificent job explaining engagement.  WANTING + LIKING = ENGAGEMENT.  I think teachers can learn and adopt what video game designers have almost perfected: an effective ongoing reward system.  What these games do is give out rewards at carefully calibrated percentages.  They get us to work hard to achieve a win.  A reward system can spark ambition and drive people to be continuously motivated.

I thought the "Do Most Educational Games Suck" was a really neat post.  Most educational games just look dinky and cheap.  They look simple.  I think a main problem of these games is that the developers are too focused on what the student should learn from playing these games.  They are focused on teaching first and fun second.  You might as well just get the students to do a worksheet.  It seems like anytime we force and control learning...no learning actually happens!

I think that video games (either actual games or the concepts of the games) can and should be used in our teaching...

Here's my mini out line of what I want to do in my science class (found at the end of blog assignment 11) plus the ideas of a video game style reward system.
  • My class has a blog
  • The student scientists have their own personal blog where they complete assignments I give them, and they can do freelance research.  
  • Freelance research.  I will encourage kids to become observant in everyday life and do research.  They keep up with their research by writing about their findings in their blog.  If they wonder why salt is used in making ice cream or if they hear on the news about dispersants used in cleaning up oil spills, they can look up information (site it) and write about what they learned.
  •  The reward system: I can give the student scientists experience points according to the work they are doing.  After gaining so many experience points the student can level up!  With each level up, the student scientist gets to choose a new ability to have (I'll have to get creative on this).  Some abilities they could pick... being able to choose his/her seat in class, picking a pseudonym that everyone has to call that person while in class, getting bonus point to add to a test, or they can get free access to my pencil draw.
I've heard about a college professor giving experience points instead of grades and giving experience points for things like coming to class.  Here's one link to follow up... Professor Abandons Traditional Grades for Experience Points.  I'm going to do some more research and post it later.

      Summary of Responces From Project 6

      My project 6
      I created a survey in hopes to understand how well students are generalizing their education.  To me, generalizing your education is taking what you've learned in class and applying it to everyday life.  I feel as if college students today aren't sure exactly why they are in school.  The society basically demands this furthering of education, but the students aren't sure what they are supposed to get out of school.  I think on a basic level we do understand that being good at school isn't going to get us anywhere.  The world doesn't care how many facts we are able to regurgitate. 

      So...as a student, I think it is my responsibility to be able to learn and preform what I am taught.  To learn is to understand the why.  When information is thrown at us we have to be able to reason with this knowledge and use it in life!  AKA, generalize your education.

      What are my findings? 
      Well, school is important to these 22 college students.  Most all of them talk about school moderately or frequently outside of school.  Also, they can remember things they have been taught in previous classes.  They are more likely to remember (material taught in prior classes) than to have to relearn the material.

      18 of these students (81%) spend less than 50% of their own time exploring classroom subjects.

      Majority (68%)of these students claim that work related experience is more credible (worthy, important, valuable) than academic experience.

      Majority of these students do try to understand the why behind the facts presented in school.

      Most of these student's friends think they are above average in intelligence.

      They feel as if they know more concepts in contrast to trivia.

      The majority agree that if you teach a dog to fetch a ball but that dog can't fetch a bone...
      then the dog did not learn how to fetch.

       What did I conclude
      I am really pleased with all the outcomes of this survey (you can click on the picture to go to the form analysis).  I did not conclude any solid data.  After analyzing the data, I get the feeling that these college students want to learn and apply what they learn to everyday life.  We want to generalize our education.  We want, but the system of education doesn't supply what we want.

      Progress on the Final Project

      Emily Pilotte and I are working together on this last project. We want to create a website!  A place for teachers come and become inspired. We are getting comfortable with Weebly.  It seem like it will be able to do everything we want.  Which are:
      • Bring great minds and ideas of 21 century teaching together.  
      • A place for teachers to find others to blog with and learn from.
      • Watch videos 
      • Comment on blogs
      • learn how to use things like wordle, timetoast, voicethread.
      I really like the idea of creating this site and maintaining it as I become more involved in my teaching career.  Weebly looks very professional.  I'm not sure yet of all the possibilities.  Also, I'm not sure if we need to get permission to put peoples blogs on our website.

      Sunday, November 7, 2010

      Blog Post 11

       1st grade students can blog!  What can you do?

      One thing I have not thought about is the privacy issue with students blogging.  Mrs. Cassidy endeavors to protect student's identity. 
      What she does:
      • Sends out permission forms on the first day of school regarding student work being on the internet
      • Only uses student's first name
      • Doesn't match any names with pictures
      I think I can use blog as an online portfolio.  I like the fact that parents can watch their kids grow.  Kids love technology.  It is a natural part of their world.  With technology in schools, kids don't have to power down when they come to school.  They can live in their world and not the world of the 20th century.

      Are elementary education teachers held most responsible to show students how to learn with technology?  I know it is never to late to use technology with your students, but I feel like the elementary teachers have some of the biggest responsibilities because they are indoctrinating these students into their long like of learning.
      Curtis is in first grade and he loves me
      Now is the time to learn.  I say this with lots of things.  It is kind of like my scholastic version of the "just do it" saying.  Now is the time to learn how technology can help you learn.

      A cool advantage of blogs verses pen and paper
      With blogs, the students have a massive endless audience.  This is an aspect you don't have to teach the kids.  They know and understand what the internet is and what it allows.  Does it make a difference if students have an audience?  I think it makes a huge difference in one of the hardest areas about learning, motivation.  They want to be heard.  Everybody loves feedback on something they put personal time into, and I think it motivates students to do better quality work.

      I think it's a good time to talk about twitter.
      Okay I'm glad Ms. Cassidy said it, "Twitter doesn't feel worthwhile at first".  That's how I feel now.  I completely understand that I am following people who have similar interest as me, and I can learn from immensely from these people.  Or, maybe I'm following too many old people.  I have enjoyed some of the links people tweet, but there is so much material being thrown.  Maybe my stream of knowledge is too much for me right now (I bit off more than I could chew).  Also, I feel this way about the blogs I am following and in the RSS feeds being sent to my Google Reader.  I just don't have near enough time to read, comment, speak my mind, and enjoy these things I'm interested in.
      What do I want my students to use?  What do I see as having utility?
      Well, I definitely want to develop my students to be self learners.  I do not want to be the person that supplies facts and grades them on how many they can retain.  Here's a rough mini outline of what I want to do in my science class!
      • I want organize my class around the theme that the student IS the scientist.  The student scientists must be observant, form questions, collaborate questions, and test these hypothesis.  (This is the scientific method)
      • I would like to present assignments (ideas, facts, problems, deep questions, or let them ask questions) on a class blog 
      • I would like them to research the assignments using their self created learning environment.  I can show them things I'm using now in EDM310.  Also, I want to encourage learning from the natural world.  I want them questioning things they experience in nature, around their home, and in everyday life.  The student scientists generate the questions. Then, use the internet (their PLN) to do further research.
      • They have to keep track and record their data they collect in their blog.  This can be video, images, audio, or text.
      This is just an idea formed from my desire to have people control their learning, and enjoy the world they live in.  I would really like your feedback! What do you think about this outline?
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      Summary Post C4T Teacher #3

      This teacher seems like a really interesting fellow.  His blog.  He was a concrete artist then turned turned technology teacher on a journey to teach paperless!

      The Concrete Classroom
      Here's the first post I read: 10-10-10

      A woman had a baby on 08/08/08.  She became pregnant again and had a child on 09/09/09.  Now, she had her third on 10/10/10.  Is this coincidence?  Or was she aiming for these magic birth day numbers?

      His post was asking if this was a worthy question to ask students and how could it be used/presented.

      My Comment 
      Hello Mr. Kaechele,
      I'm Josh King an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I'm preparing to be a general education science teacher! I think this is a great question to ask students because this questions makes students becme opinionated and form ideas to answer the question. This is a worthy question because life is going to be full of questions like this. Questions where we have to infer the best possible answer from our educated opinions.

      Next week I'll be writing some more thoughts about this on my blog

      The Alchemist and L'Amour
      It is amazing how in this class many assignments reiterate ideas of previous assignments.  I think you could entitle the last couple of weeks, "The failing aspects of institutionalized education".  In this post by Mr. Micheal he quoted some of L'Amour's work.  I want to remember these and spread these ideas, so what better place to start than here.

      Somewhere along the line I had fallen in love with learning, and it became a lifelong romance...

      No matter how much I admire our schools, I know that no university exists that can provide an education; what a university can provide is an outline, to give the learner a direction and guidance. The rest one has to do for oneself.

      Education should provide the tools for widening and deepening of life, for increased appreciation of all one sees or experiences. It should equip a person to live life well, to understand what is happening about him, for to live life well one must live with awareness... 

      My Comment
      I'm amazed at how cohesive this post is to what we've been learning in EDM310. You are right the ideas to change education really aren't new, and I think we need change now more than ever. We just watched a video about Dan Brown (a University of Nebraska student who dropped out of school because school was interfering with his education).

      I have really taken to heart some of the L'Amour quotes (posted my favorites on my blog) Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Josh King an EDM310 student.

      Summary Post C4K 3-7

      Levi (year 4 class at Pt England School in Auckland, NZ.)
      His post was entitled "Crazy Monkey".  He described a monkey eating a banana.  He used so many adjectives I felt like I was the crazy monkey ripping into the banana with my teeth, tasting the bitter peel and drooling on myself when I tasty the creamy banana inside. 

      My Comment for Levi
      Hello Levi, I'm Josh King. I'm from the Unites States and in college at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I don't think I've ever wanted a banana as bad as I want one right now! I think I'm going to just eat the creamy, tasty, fantastic part of the banana and not the yellow, nasty skin.
      I really like your writing. It has many crazy monkey characteristics. All the descriptions gave me a clear picture of how a monkey really looks when he eats a banana. That is awesome that you were able to do that! Keep up the good work.

      Jay (in grade 6 at a school half and hour away from Hobart which is the capital city of the Australian island Tasmania)
      This may or may not be surprising but this 6th grade boy loves video games!  In fact, all of his blog posts were about different games he had recently played.  Desert Storm 2: Back to Baghdad was his most recent post.  He was most interested in all the different weaponry available in the game.  Why do we like video games so much?  (I include myself in this because if I had more free time I would play some of the games he is describing.)  We love action; we love story lines; and we want to be involved in both!  All these things are key to in getting students to be engaged learners.

      My comment for Jay
      Hello Jay,
      I’m college student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, USA. As a video game player myself, I enjoyed reading your blogs! I think what we enjoy most about games is being able to interact through the game and do all these crazy things like run around as a blue Avatar man or shoot really cool weapons. I also like a really good story plot in a game like in the game Mass Effect or Oblivion. It’s pretty cool to think that we can experience and learn things through a game, but that should not take away from the importance of learning from your teachers or from your parents.
      Keep up the good work and keep blogging!

      Liam (from the same school as Jay, only Liam is in grade 7) 
      His post was about different search engines you can use.  I thought this was really cool because I usually only use Google, but there are many different search engines out there.  The ones he listed are very visual search engines.  I bet he is a visual learner as well!  Here are the engines he listed

       1.Sleedo.I like Sleedo because every time you search something you are donating 10 grains of rice to the poor. Here is the URL with a hyperlink.          http://www.sleedo.com/     
      2. I like search cubebecause it is cool and it is a visual search so you type in what you want and it comes up with the things that you’ve searched for like google.            http://search-cube.com/
      3.I like blacklebecause it is black and it is also a google custom search and the reason why it is black is becuase it is to save power        http://www.blackle.com/

      My Comment for Liam 
      Hello, Liam
      This is Josh King. I’m in a class called EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. It’s in Mobile, Alabama USA.
      I really like these search engines! I’ve actually never used or heard of any of these. I really like the visual effects of search-cube. It makes searching and learning fun! I’m not really sure but sleedo wasn’t working, maybe the site was down, but I’ll try again later.
      Thank you for sharing these and teaching me!
      p.s here is a visual search engine I found.. http://search.spacetime.com/

      Riely S.
      We are the FUTURE.
      We are the PAST.
      We stand LEGENDARY.
      The TIME IS NOW.

      My Comment for Riely
      Hey Riley, This is an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. This is a very inspirational post! I’m not really sure what you are describing, but to different people it can mean different things. That is what makes this post so good. I took it as describing your generation! Keep up the great work and show them how it’s done!

      She blogged about being drug free.  It was red ribbon week at their school and she learned about the importance of being drug free.  She said, "you have a  life don't waste it”. So, I would just like to be drug free growing up. If you are around an environment that has drugs, try to keep yourself away fome some where like that because it all depends on you to keep your life, body and yourself  DRUG FREE. So make your self safe by staying away from drugs."  These are great words from a young lady!

      My Comment for Autumn
      Hello Autumn, I'm in college at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL.  I think you have an amazing future ahead of you!  Planning to be drug free and knowing the importance of being drug free shows that you are very mature.  Keep up the wonderful blogging!

      Instructional Video: A scholastic way to use your iPod

      Sunday, October 31, 2010

      Blog Assignment 10

      What is wrong with institutional education?  Why is our society passing by this style of education?  Here's a comment I left on An Open Letter To Educators.
      Hey, I'm an EMD310 student and I totally agree with you.  There is no need for teachers to be holders of information.  The teachers are being used as if they are the only one who are able to hold an instruction manual, and it is their job to throw facts at us from this manual.  Since all the facts are in the public domain via the Internet, why do we need this style of education?  I really like your post and Dan Brown's response to this question.
      I feel like my college experience relates to Morgan Bayda's experience (the girl who wrote the post).  In most all of my classes, my learning experience is very impersonal.  The teacher doesn't know me.  We aren't encouraged to discuss with the teacher or other students.  It's actually not much of an experience, and that maybe why we have a hard time doing the one thing we are demanded to do...focus.

      I do have a slight counter opinion with one genre of classes (i.e. Chemistry).  I'm in my third inorganic chemistry class and I actually use my book!  (Maybe the fact that I actually use my book in ONE of my classes speaks truths about institutional education failing.)  Anyway, I use the book because it follows the lectures and has may topic specific problems for me to practice.  To me, chemistry is a skill that I have to constantly practice; use it or lose it.  It's just like practicing free throws in basketball, and how well you perform in the game depends on the practice you put into it.

      This is a great way to use a blog.  Combining fictional characters in historic situations to discuss modern conflicts.  It's brilliant!  I've had some of these same "pencil" thoughts last week while thinking of iPad use in school.  Will kids think of iPads as a toy?  How do you get parents and others on board with a new concept?  Can this technology really be used for education?

      Yes!  As Tom Johnson said, "Don't hold the kids accountable.  Try and find projects that keep them interested.  But if they choose to play Hang Man or go on the pen pal networks, be okay with it. There's probably some learning that's taking place that we don't realize."  I love this mentality.  Give the students the possibility to learn, without holding any doubt over their heads.

      What is your sentence?  

      A great man is a sentence.  A sentence that drives us.  One to sum us up and for us to take with us where ever we may go.  A second sentence goes hand-in-hand to motivate us and develop us.

      Are you better today than you were yesterday?

      Okay, this is probably the most difficult post yet.  I write this keeping in mind that I hold the right to change it as I learn more about me, my purpose in life, and what motivates me.  So, here it goes.
      Josh King is a man that strives to learn in every situation and tries to motivate others to do the same.

      Additional Assignment #3

      The ideas of Aristotle and Plato, shown in thi...Changing Education Paradigms 
      To me the most important thing Kin Robinson said was, "The current system of education was designed and conceived for a different age."  The culture of education was developed during the Age of Enlightenment and then combined with the idea of free public education during the Industrial Revolution.  As our society changes, this old style of teaching kids doesn't work.  Yes, our society has changed that much.  How can we demand a student to be engaged on a teacher centered lecture when that student goes home and is bombarded by visually stimulating multimedia.

      How are the things Kin Robinson says in agreement with what I'm learning in the College of Education?  Well I don't have much to say here because I've only taken two education classes (EDM310 and SPE400).  I am very glad that EDM310 was one of my first classes in learning to be an educator.  I can confidently say that this class has allowed me to define my views of education.

      What can I do to address the issues Kin Robinson raises?  When I teach, I plan to make learning an active, engaging, and aesthetic experience.  The funny thing is that I actually don't know how to do this, but I do plan to continue to be an alive learner myself in hopes to be able to assimilate my experiences with learning through creativity and technology to my students.

      Yes, I loved this animated video.  It shows some of the possibilities of composing through multimedia.  If I had to create using these means I would like to be an idea generator.  I would like to guide the flow of topics and how the discussion flowed.

      Thursday, October 28, 2010

      Project #13 SMART-Boards

      This was my first time ever touching a SMART-board.  I had fun working with a SMART-board and learned a little about rocks in the process!

      Monday, October 25, 2010

      Blog Assignment 9

      What will I learn after the first year of being a teacher?
      The thinking man
      My first year of teaching...Wow!  It's hard to even imagine.  I hope that I'm able to learn busloads every year, but there is no doubt my first year will be very meaningful as a growing teacher.  This post by Mr. McChung gives great insights on how to be that awesomely effective teacher.

      To read the crowd is another way of saying the audience is driving the instruction.  If the students aren't comprehending, then what good am I doing?

      Why do we need to be flexible?  We need flexibility because humans are not perfect.  We screw up.  The lesson that I actually teach and the one I plan to teach will be different!  To me, a lesson is just a group of information that I plan to present a certain way.  (A crazy thought)  Some days I can't even remember what I ate for lunch.  So, how am I supposed to remember and execute teaching a lesson the exact way I planned it?  In regards to chaos, mistakes, and misunderstanding; we should proceed in life with a smile on our face and opportunity in our eyes.  I think in all situations learning can happen.

      (Some skills to practice to make me that awesome teacher!)
      Be flexible
      Be reasonable
      Don't be afraid of technology
      Listen to your students

      Sunday, October 17, 2010

      Blog Assignment 8

      This is how we dream
      This is Dr. Richard E. Miller discussing writing with multimedia.

      Our society is changing!  The web and modern technology is changing the material we compose.  The content we create is different.  Now, we can create material that combines video, audio, and text.  Also, the material we make can be updated instantly.  There is no need to buy the newest version of The World Book Encyclopedia.  Maybe the most important aspect of this change is that we can push our ideas out into the world.  As Dr. Miller implied, there is no need to go through the publication process when we can publish our own work instantly.  We can let our social feedback be our critic.

      So, I guess the question exists:  Am I prepared to write/compose with multimedia?  Is that not what I've been doing?  True, I have not mastered the skills of integrating text, audio, and video in a powerful, compelling, and innovative manner.  But, as I network with others and mature into the possibilities of multimedia creation, I think I can do it!  My growth already has been exponential.  Since August, I have learned a gargantuan amount about communicating, learning, and creating through technology today.  Other than the word, I didn't even know what a blog was until this class!

      Will my students be able to do this?  Well, they should be able to.  Dr. Miller's discussion allowed us to see small glimpse of the future of composing.  Our students will live a life and have jobs that require them to deceiver and create this type of material.

      The Chipper Series and EDM for Dummies
      Chipper series felt a bit lengthy, but I liked the point that if you just take everything seriously from the beginning and try to understand the importance of what you are doing at the time, then you won't find yourself in a loop of mishaps.  The personal message I take away is that I'm finding myself submitting my work later and later each week (while still being on-time, I've gotten away from doing my work early on in the week and proofreading it throughout the week).  A new week is a new opportunity to be efficiently productive.

      Also, I really like the creativeness behind EDM for Dummies.  I think overall, I want to make a final video that speaks creativity along with a clear message.  

      The SMART Board Contrasts
      Here's my pro-SMART board blog (super recent post, Sunday Oct, 17)
      SMART Boards: The Smart Thing To Do!
      The biggest pro-SMART board comment here is the statement, "Probably the biggest benefit the SMART Boards offers is that children are more likely to engage in learning no matter what their learning style may be."  Also, they said that with the IWB the kids are eager to participate and volunteer. 

      And, the other two rather opposite of this...
      Why I hate Interactive Whiteboards
      Why Smartboards are a Dumb Initiative
       The main thing I take from these anti-IWB post is that these boards are just giving us a glorified teacher centered style of lecturing.  They aren't actually changing the system of education, but instead they are supplying an expensive add-on to the traditional system.  And, administrators like these IWB because they are a tangible way of counting technological advancement in their schools.

      What do I think?
      To me, if the IWB is used for lecture, then it is no better than a slightly more advanced PowerPoint.  But, if the students are able to create and interact through it, then there is utility in these IWB.  Actually, I'm really excited about using one because I do not know much about them.  I think some personal use with one of these boards may help me in deciding how useful I think they are.

      Short Movie Assignment (The Brave Monkey Pirate by Hayes Roberts)

      TimeToast Instructional Project #9b (History's Most Powerful Explosions!)

      Wednesday, October 13, 2010

      Additional Assignment #2

      Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education

      Mr. Mitra challenges many core principles, ideas, and beliefs we hold in education today.  He does this by changing the notion of learning.  The following are my answers to questions from the EDM310 class blog (or you can take them as statements from my understanding of the lecture).

      1.  "Where you have interest, you have education" - Arthur C. Clark

      2.  If the motivated learners are kids, they can teach themselves.

      3.  What conditions are necessary for people to teach themselves?  Being intrigued...asking questions, and using a source of information to answer the questions.

      4.  Computers and internet access are sources (the most powerfully organized and effective sources) in which we can get information.

      5.  The desire to learn is the key factor in learning.

      6.  Questions and problems are by-products of having a desire to learn.

      7.  How do you motivate someone to learn?  This is a hard one.  Part of me thinks that motivation is purely intrapersonal (you are motivated by a personal inward drive).  But also, people are motivated by rewards or competition.

      8.  My motivation to learn comes from many different areas.  Sometimes, just the excitement of gaining new knowledge or adding to my preconceived notions motivates me.  Other times I want to learn something to be able to teach it to my friends.  Competition helps also, I like having the highest scores on tests especially something hard, like in chemistry.  I like to feel like I can do something most people find difficult.  This is the egotistical side of me.

      9.  Learning requires motivation!

      10.  Yes, I teach myself daily.  In every one of my classes, I have to learn and practice on my own. 

      11.  What do my college teachers do?  They throw a lot of information at me, expect me to be motivated to learn it (which I should be, I am in college now), and test me on what I have either memorized or actually spend time to learn. 

      12.  Don't these type teachers seem backwards and irrelevant?  The video mostly changed the way I think about learning.  Learning is an emergent system with characteristics that we can't govern.  It is a naturally occurring phenomenon, and when we try to rule the process of learning, we are actually interfering with the process itself!  This video has many implications on me as a teacher and has formed many challenging questions.  I think from here, we must respect the new system of learning and guide children to be successful  members of society with this foreknowledge.  

      Sunday, October 10, 2010

      My progress on my PLN

      PLN (Personal Learning Network)

      Actually, I got caught up in developing my PLN and reading some RSS web feeds that I about forgot I had to do this post.  I'm really excited about my network because it is all about me and my interests.  Basically, this is what I'm doing (if it is the wrong way to go about developing a PLN let me know).  I decided that my goals of this first personal network will focus on teaching using technology and how people learn. I'm using  Symbaloo to organize my PLN.  Here, I have my twitter (which I just started recently).  I now know why some of my friends don't like twitter.  It's because they are not using it right!  To me, twitter is perfect for following a stream of information, but it is terrible for social networking (in the ways my peers would like to social network with it).  On twitter I'm in the process of following a stream of information that is specific to my interests.

      Another thing that is really cool is Google Reader.  I've been using this to follow all the different teacher blogs and to read all my RSS (Really Simple Syndication).  Right now, I'm subscribed to eight different blogs, podcasts, and website feeds.  These eight are a mix of teaching pedagogy and science information.  Other things I'm building are my Delicious account and my Youtube community.

      I think I need to keep working on building the previous, and I need to start to share my network (Symbaloo, Google Reader, Delicious, and my blog) with other people in EDM.  I feel like I need to make more of a connection with people that have a similar PLN as me.  That way we can share what we are learning together.  

      Blog Assignment 7

      The Last Lecture Audio Book
      Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
         First off, The "Last Lecture" is an amazing lecture given by pancreatic cancer victim Randy Pausch.  This was my second time watching this lecture and both times were heart warming and educational!  This was one of those videos/lectures that just stick with you (almost like they haunt you).  As I go through the day, my mind will jump on things he said.

      For example, I've been thinking a lot about the concept of head fakes.  A head fake is indirect learning.  It's when you think your learning one thing but your really learning something different.  Little did I know, I've been indirectly learning for years now.  I only thought that I've been learning how to become a better drummer and musician while being in the marching band.  But really, I was being taught teamwork and how to be mentally strong.  I have been taught leadership skills and also that there is a time to shut up and play an insignificant role.

      So is there any teaching methods in head fakes?  I think yes!  As a teacher, we should understand and remember that there are bigger concepts behind the scenes (i.e. teamwork, character building, and being a critical thinker).  When I teach, I want my kid's learning environment to build life skills.  I think the first step in teaching indirectly is to realize that  something can be learned in all situations.  That way every opportunity is an opportunity to learn! 

      Another thing Randy said was to not write people off, and that if you wait long enough people will impress you.  People have the potential to impress you even if you doubt them.  A teaching method form this is: don't doubt your students, instead trust them!  It's more than just trust, I want to have loyalty in my students.  In the words of Randy Pausch, "loyalty is a two way street".

      The last method I've been thinking about is teaching without a set bar.  Can we get overly caught up in having our kids trying to reach some sort of academic standard?  Do the set bars make us stop teaching once the set goals are reached?  I am going to teach, guide, and allow my students to learn without the notion of a bar.  Yes, there are concepts I will desire them to learn but how much they learn depends on their potential.  Everybody's potential (capability) to learn is endless.  But, we are only as capable as we are engaged.  And in today's time, how do we become engaged students?  Answer: learning through modern technology. 


      Wednesday, October 6, 2010

      Summary Post C4T Teacher #2

      Teacher's Post
      My second teacher that I commented on is J Spencer.  His blog is called  Spencer's Scratch Pad: Musings from a Not-So-Master Teacher.  You guys really need to check out his blog if you have time.  He is an amazing writer, and I really like his blog format!  His perceptions of his students are very unique and passionate. 

      First Post:  Daddy, Why Cant Girls Be Friends?
      This post is about his son asking this question and wondering why he cant have a girl as a friend.  His son says that sometimes he just wants to talk and he thinks girls are better at that.  His son is absolutely right.  For the most part, girls are better at talking, listening, and handling the the emotional side of life.  But why is this?  Are girls just genetically better capable, or is their talking capabilities due to social factors?  I think it is probably a little of both just like Nature and Nurture both play a part in intelligence, they both play a part in adaptive behaviors also.

      My comment
      Hey Spencer, I'm Josh King (an EDM310 student).  I really like this post because it shows that kids do struggle with gender stereotyping and the pressures of being in a homogeneous group.  Kids know the social boundaries without being taught, but we shouldn't feel like we have to uphold a stereotype.  My girlfriend says that I'm a good listener when I want to be.  So, this should encourage me to be a better listener instead of saying 'oh, I'm a guy I'm not supposed to be like that'.
      In a week I'll post a summary of your blogs, my comments, and what I've learned on my blog.  Thank you!

      Second Post : Rainy Day Schedule
      Mr. Spencer is so engaging!  I love reading his perception on natural occurrences in life and in teaching.  This post is about a day that it was storming really bad and Mr. Spencer was trying to get his students to be quiet so they could experience the weather.  But, the kids were experiencing the weather.  Some were sitting and being quiet.  Others were splashing in the puddles and others were talking about it with fellow friends.  They were experiencing the weather in their own individual way!   Each kid has a distinct personality and therefore each student experiences life differently.

      My Comment
      Mr. Spencer I am so engaged by your experiences! Thank you so much for sharing this. I am in college at the University South Alabama aspiring to be a science teacher. I wonder (if I was in your shoes) if I would have missed the point that the students were experiencing the weather in their own individual way! Each kid has a distinct personality and therefore each student experiences life differently.

      Sunday, October 3, 2010

      Summary Post Comments for Kids 1 and 2

      Kiera G
      All About Me
      She basically described her family and all their names.  She likes to draw, talk to her friends, and do choir.  The most important things to her is school, her friends, and her family.  She said, "I am not very good in math".  She is talkative and smart and has very helpful nice friends.  Mr. C is teaching them how to use the internet. 

      My Comment
      Hey Keira,
      Wow, you've got a really big family! I bet there is never a dull moment in your house. Keep up the good work in school and don't let math get you down. I bet you are better than you think you are at math. Just remember that they wouldn't be teaching it to you if it wasn't important. Just like learning how to use the internet is important, so is sharpening those math skills.
      Josh King, an EDM310 student

      My learning Manifesto
      She had a pretty good manifesto.  It was kinda short and not very detailed in how she was going to increase her learning this year.  She said she was going respect her teachers and people she couldn't stand.  I thought I should address this, and I did in my comment.

      My Comment
      Hey Keira,
      Nice learning Manifesto! Throughout your life you are going to have people that you don't necessarily get along with. So, if this year you can learn how to respect those people who you don't like, you'll be a better person for it in the future. School is all about learning. I think it is great that you want to help out your friends with their work. You will learn a lot yourself by helping them. Keep up the good work!
      Josh King, an EDM310 student

      Aaron K
      My Manifesto, Not Yours
      I really liked his manifesto.  It showed some personality.  He said that he didn't want to wait until the last second to turn in assignments and that he'd do a better job if he started them earlier.  He also promised that he would pay attention more in class.  He had a good point with saying "if I pay attention then I not just help my self, but the other students around me".  He may have just explained the down fall of junior high learning.

      My Comment
      Hello Aaron, this is Josh King. Nice manifesto, I didn't know what a manifesto was until I read your assignment. I like how your manifesto challenges you to be a better student. When we put off assignments we doom ourselves from the beginning. So, to get the most out of the assignment it is best to work ahead, that way you have plenty of time to digest what you are learning!

      Also, I like how your second promise helps you and the students around you. When you pay attention and listen in class you are setting a tone for learning. It's kind of like yawning, when you listen others around you are more likely to listen also, it's contagious!
      Keep up the good work,
      Josh King an EDM310 student

      Blog Assignment 6

      Wendy Drexler: The Networked Student
      What is the networked student?  The networked student is a connected student.  These students are connected to informed opinions (like blogs), expert discussions (iTunes U), and organized information (Delicious), just to name a few.  The student learns through being connected, and each connection helps grow their learning process.  This is learning by connectivism.  I think connectivism has some substance to it as a teaching method because it takes the emphasis off the technology.  We do not learn because of the technology but because of the connections the tool allows us to have.

      Am I prepared to teach the networked student?
      The definition of teach is different for these students.  These students are already taking control of their own learning.  They do not need someone instructing them.  All instruction and knowledge is available.  These students need a mentor.  A person that is wise in the ways of connectivism because the mentor himself is a connected learner. In regards to this type of teaching, I am not ready.  I'm not really sure (as of right now) how to guide these students to build a network, to sort good information from propaganda, or to set learning goals.  I am not ready because I'm still in the process of learning how to do these things myself! 

      I really like this pedagogy because the students have freedom.  Because the students are in control of their own learning, they are more likely to be engaged learners.  I've always thought that a self-governing or autonomous learner is an engaged learner.  The student feels like he or she controls all the laws of learning (how, when, why, where), but a teacher is still needed to set expectations and goals.  Also, a teacher is need to motivate, and give positive feedback.  Overall, as a teacher of these students, I want to be able to facilitate and grow their learning process.

      Welcome To My PLE
      Many things are similar with her PLE (personal learning environment) and my PLN (personal learning network).  She checks her science agenda page everyday, likewise, I check my EDM310 class blog daily.  We both have to organize all the information we come in contact with (I use Delicious) and we do not use books or paper!

      My eyes are beginning to open up and understand future learning.  Notice, I didn't say the future classroom.  The classroom is just a place, but learning is not and should not be confined to a classroom or any place.  Me and this 7th grade student are network learners; we are connected to others and all available information.  I like what I read on one of Karl Fisch's blog.  He explained that a PLN has been around for awhile, but the reach and extent of a PLN now is vastly expanded because technology is allowing us to be interconnected and have access to information.

      The Machine is (Changing) Us: YouTube and the Politics of Authenticity
      From the start, I was intrigued by this video.  I loved 1984 while I was in high school and really admired Huxley's Brave New World.  Is the truth today drowned in irrelevance?  Are we a trivial society?  Are we amusing ourselves to death?  As I think of these ideas, my mind keeps coming back to the pedestal we put sports on in our culture, football especially.  How does football better our society, besides entertainment and getting our minds off the critical issues of today.  Why are so many resources put into sports?  I think this just confirms that we are amusing ourselves to death.

      We are also amusing ourselves to indifference.  I saw the concept of whatever (lack of caring) take form while taking my core curriculum classes in college.  So many students these days don't know until after a couple years in college what they want to do.  They play during these years and their lives are focused around entertainment.  Because of this, they choose to do nothing.  Hopefully I'll see the concept of whatever change from lack of caring to, "I care, let's do whatever to make it work".  

      Thursday, September 23, 2010

      Blog Assignment 5

      To be quite honest, I've learned a ton these past two weeks in preparation for my podcast.  I went from not really sure what a podcast is in the first place to having about 12 on my iPod.  Podcast, the word, is a mixture of the words iPod and broadcast.  I learned that from Wise-Women.

      Awe man, I loved Eagle Nest Radio!  These kids have exceptionally good podcasts.  They were very impressive.  I thought I was listening to at least 6th graders talking.  I liked how they had a host and the host would introduce a different person who covered other areas and topics.  Nice and very entertaining with good information and some jokes in the mix.

      Another thing I've learned about podcasting is that content is important, very important!  No one wants to listen to a bunch of babble.  Content, Content, Content.  That is what we tried to achieve in ours.  We tried to eliminate any kind of filler talk and only record things that have depth and meaning to them.  This wasn't to hard to accomplish because we interviewed Dr. Strange for our podcast and discussed the future classroom.  Also, a male and female voices on a podcast go good together.  The contrast between speakers is needed and the different gender voices do the trick.  I noticed this as I listened to Practical Principals.  The male and female voices were very distinguishable from one another.  If you have a bunch of guys or girls with the same sounding voice it is hard to tell who is speaking.

      All in all, podcasts are excellent ways to be informed and a powerful tool for learning.  I like that they are personal topics that you can explore. For example, I really enjoy Sci Fri on NPR, but allot of times I'm not able to listen to it when it comes on the radio. So, I just subscribed to their podcast.  Now, I have plenty of juicy Sci Fri podcasts sitting in my iPod waiting for my ears.  These informative talk shows can be accessed anywhere by anybody.  How awesome is that!

      Sunday, September 19, 2010

      Blog Assignment 4

      Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?
      "block it all
      lock it down
      keep it out
      it's evil, you know
        there's bad stuff out there
          gotta keep your children safe"

      Dr. McLeod is addressing teachers, parents, administrators, and board members.  Yes, there is bad stuff out there that your kid has access to because of the internet and our modern technology.  But is this a justifiable reason to keep technology away from our kids?  I think Dr. Mcleod's point is that we need to be doing technology with our kids and students.  We need to be involved in their learning technology and not be so negative about the bad stuff out there.  He is doing all of it with his kids and he is sure his kids will have a leg up in the future.  This may seem rash but I agree.  I think we should do all of it possible with our kids and not hold any part of the digital age away from them. By doing this, we are monitoring our kids. We are showing that we are not naive to what is out there. By opening up this world to them, they will come to us for questions and guidance.

      Dr. McLeod was the co-creator of Did You Know!  Everything feels full circle now.  He is the director of the nation's only center dedicated to technology needs of administrators, CASTLE. CASTLE is really on a mission to jump start schools into the digital global society.  After reading some other blogs and watching other videos of him, I really consider him to be on the leading edge of the future of our schools. 

      The iSchool Initiative
      Great idea, Great video, one problem; The iphone/itouch is just a device.  As a device it will break, get glitches, and be outdated in a few years.  How will these things help massive budget cuts.
      A broken Itouch
      The student made an intriguing video.  I agree that the school system needs change.  I do not agree that one device is suitable to replace our traditional school system.  Because the iPhone/iTouch has many school accompanying applications, it is easy to get caught up in how amazing this device is.  Don't get me wrong, I do think this Apple technology is amazingly powerful and is very useful.

      But, will a powerful fancy device get kids interested in class or will it be a great distraction from class?  I remember that a simple calculator was a distraction for me and my peers in middle school (maybe high school also).  We would type 01134 and turn the calculator upside down to say "hello".  Also, we would type 58008, turn the calculator upside down, and giggle like the school boys we were.

      Overall, I do not agree that the use of an iTouch should be the model for the future of education.  To better prepare our students, we need so much more than just handing every kid an iTouch.  Throughout watching this whole video, I kept thinking of the post we read It's Not about the Technology. We need a change but the change is our mindset and principles.  Teachers are also learners, the teachers teach with learning in mind, and 21st century skills are highlighted through facilitated leadership.
      Lost Generation
      The Lost Generation Comic Cover
       "And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it"
      As I watch the first part of the video, I was feeling pretty depressed.  This is a smart tactic of the video because I got goose bumps when it repeated everything backwards and shined hope on our generation.  The potential of our generation is up to us.  I like to think that to change our generation it starts with us as individuals.  I am going to take control of my on way of living and establish my own values.   Individual change effects others such as my family and the students I teach.

      To me, the purpose of the video was awareness.  Awareness of where we are heading, and awareness that we are in control of our future.

      Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'
      Epic song!  I was a little confused on how this worked because it is presented like a live performance.  After doing a little more research, I found that it was all recorded and done through youtube.  I've seen a multi-track of one person doing all the parts to one song (Danny Boy), but Eric Whitacres's virtual choir took that same concept and recorded a massive number of people with many different parts.

      I can see online virtual choirs becoming very popular in the near future.  It's really cool that you are able to have a world wide source of talent to draw from when forming these choirs.

      Monday, September 13, 2010

      Additional Assignment #1

      Google Squared
      This is a neat site that I've never used.  In squaring Pluto, Beatles the band, and birds, I got more acquainted with Google Squared.  It was more useful for me to search a broad category and add specifics columns.  I would say that the educational implications are that you can generate a group of something very quickly.  It is a quick way to compare information.  It is a really nice way to understand how certain types of items differ and relate.  It also helps you know how relavent the data is by the confidience rating.

      Like Google Squared, I've never used this one either.  I used wolframalph to compare the polar circumference to the equatorial circumference of Earth.  It is shorter distance around the earth pole to pole than around the Earth's equator, crazy.  It's not a big difference between the two (83 miles) but it is still neat to know.  One thing about wolframalpha is that you can be more general in wording your search, whereas in google squared you had to be pretty specific or it said "Google Squared couldn't automatically build a Square about blank".

      Regarding my Did You Know comments
      I still agree with everything I wrote. My comment was that I am amazed at all the statistical data generated for the video.  The only thing is that I should question more on how the data was derived instead of assuming that the video was telling me truths.  Now, I have tools (google squared, and wolframalph) to help me check statistics being thrown at me.

      Food for thought
      A stable boy can use the iPad.  Stream-lined technology is allowing no learning curve to modern technology.  The iPad probably seemed magical to the boy.  Just as the man thought it was magical that the boy could use the iPad.

      Here are the Pitcairn Islands: population 50!
      Pitcairn Island Map

      Saturday, September 11, 2010

      Project #5

      Blog Assignment 3

      Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today 
      Being a college student, many aspects of the video applies to me.  College is a business providing services for a consumer group.  The whole text book scheme, impersonal professors, and enormous debts all point to the fact of college being a business.  But, I am not complaining!  I am comfortable with the system, and enjoy the personal challenge to succeed.  Actually, I'm very fortunate to have grants and scholarships therefore lower debts.
      To add to the presentation, I would try and steer it away from a melancholy mood.  A great man once said to me "Nothing is ever as bad or as good as it seems".  College is just an environment.  Like a job, family life, or Disney World are all environments.  But, what you take out of the environment and put into your own personal world is up to you.  Therefore, to experience the environment is personal.  It is up to the individual if the experience is meaningful, useful, or valuable.

      It's Not about the Technology
      As of right now, as I struggle with linking my URL to Mrs. Hines post, I am frustrated.  But, why am I irritated?  It could be because I’m learning how to do 3rd grade HTML, and not truly sure how everything works yet.

      To create modern technology, we had to be very innovative.  We had to think outside the box and collaborate together (for many years).  I think the same is true about using technology in the classroom.  It is going to take many years to develop and mature the right mind set so that technology can be used appropriately and up to its full potential.  I think technology that is used in the wrong ways can cause disorder to teaching.  Also, I think that the technology can be degraded from its potential, like using a computer just for word processing or for rewarding kids with video games.  But if used correctly, we can engage students.  I’ve been one of those engaged students the past few weeks, and I’ll probably be blog addicted by the end of the semester.  Technology has motivated me.  But how?  My teachers are being innovative.  Like them, I want to teach with a new mindset to teach smarter not harder.  Also, collaboration will help us to try new things while still holding on to what worked from the older ways of education.

      Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
      In one of my classes the teacher uses a smart board.  Well, the teacher had planned for us to watch a video in class.  The video started playing but there was only a murmur of sound coming from the speakers.  Everybody was saying “I can’t hear”, and “can you turn the volume up”.  As he tried to turn up the volume, he accidentally exited out of the movie screen.  He was really confused by then, and he continued to fumble around the screen in hopes of getting the volume and movie going again (did I mention my teacher is an older man).  It was amazing how the atmosphere of the classroom changed into “oh cool technology malfunction, no more class”.  But, a girl in our class got up and helped the teacher fix the sound and she got the video back working again.

      The teacher got the student to show him how she fixed the problem.  The teacher asked how she fixed the problem so he would not have these problems later.  In that moment, the teacher was a learner.  I think this is the biggest and most important part of becoming a technologically literate teacher.  I don't consider that particular teacher to be very technologically literate, but he is learning, using, and trying technology.  Also, it is not all on him to become technologically literate!  I feel like to do things with technology we are all in the pool (students, coworkers, parents).  We all have to help and ask questions and contribute to the educating with technology experience.

      Gary Hayes Social Media Count
      It is odd to note that I felt a lot of anxiety when I first brought up this page.  Probably because the page is lets you see and feel the "exponential growth of technology".  It also helps us EDM students understand the statistical data from the video Did you know 3.0.  What does it mean for me as a teacher and a professional?  We are going through a great expansion in social media.  This is connecting people through technology.  As a teacher I cannot sit on the sideline of this exponential growth.  The more I understand now (and the possibilities of today's technology) the more I will be able connect with my future students.

      Wednesday, September 8, 2010

      Summary Post C4T Teacher #1

      A GeekyMomma's Blog is written by a forth grade teacher, Lee Colbert.  Her first post (that I read) was about birthday books for elementary students.  She started the post telling about her favorite time of the year, which is the weekend after the first few days of school.  During that time, she feels like she is starting to get more organized and putting the order back into her life.

      Her post gave me some personal insight inside the mind of a teacher.  After the first week of school she is still working tons of hours outside the classroom, but she doesn't mind these extra hours because these hours are focused on things she loves, like planning activities.  Another piece of insight is that she didn't get to do one of her favorite activities last year due to having to many students and not enough resources to buy the necessary supplies.  The rest of her post was on a really cool activity; making birthday books for students.  She gave ample instructions on how the birthday books work.  Also, she even gave her very own pdf file that anybody can use.  In my comment I told her that I really enjoyed reading about the birthday books, and that I have similar books and memorabilia from elementary school that mean a lot to me.

      Are you an energy sucker?  This was her second blog which I thought was going to be about being eco-friendly and turned out to be about social politeness.  As a person, we should be responsible for the stress we are causing others.  My family just calls that being well mannered.  So, to suck someone's energy is to apply unwanted extra stress on someone's already full plate.  A teacher desires to maintain a positive aura and negative people can degrade that aura very easily.  I commented that I knew some energy suckers, and the more I read her blog the more energy sucking type of people from my past popped into my head.  I just really do not understand negative people!  Life is a gift.  The environment you are experiencing is an opportunity, and the future depends on us.