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".