Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I am so happy that this class exceeded my expectations. Now I feel ready and capable of providing my students with the educational technology that they need. This class helped expand my computer skills greatly and I would not change anything at this point.
ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide. The ACCESS lab is a distance learning program that allows students to "access" classes that are not offered at their current school. This gives students a larger variety of class choices. ACCESS works by locating schools throughout the state who offer different courses than those offered at the current school. The course that a student would take in the ACCESS lab is going to be taught by a teach from a different school. The student will actually become a member of the class in the other school and will be able to communicate with the teacher virtually. I know that if the ACCESS lab had been used when I was in high school it would have made a great difference in how I scheduled my classes!
Another way that the ACCESS lab is being used at Foley High School is to lower the dropout rate. There is a poster in the room which I have a pictured below. It states "Linking Leaders for Dropout Prevention". Students today love technology, so giving them the technology they love in an educational way is very important. The ACCESS lab can be a great escape from the traditional classroom setting. I believe that ACCESS would be a great way to motivate students to stay in school.
Monday, April 27, 2009
The next podcast I listened to was "A Night in the Global Village" by Heifer Ranch for sharing and learning. The program is designed to let kids walk in someone elses shoes and focuses on hunger and poverty. They also raise and then donate livestock to poverty stricken countries. The ranch simulates living conditions that would be found in a country with poverty such as Thailand. The living areas are actually categorized into different countries. I think this is an amazing way to make students aware of what is happening in the world around them. It also lets them know how lucky they are to have what they have. This would be an awesome experience for anyone, not just children.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I believe that blogs can play a positive roll in the classroom in many ways. Students today are very tech savvy so using blogs in the classroom can be a valuable way of gaining their attention. Students can easily look up missed homework assignments if they are absent. They can access links to educational websites and access skill building exercises for certain subjects. They can also keep up with their classmates using their classroom blog.
Although there are many pros to having a classroom blog, there are also many cons. Some students may not have access to a computer when they go home so the blog would be of no use to them. Also, a blog may not interest some students so they would never check it. There is also the problem of privacy. Some parents may be against having a classroom blog so that would be a tough obstacle to overcome.
Overall the pros and cons of blogging are clear to see. The cons may be a little hard to overcome, but I think the outcome of having a classroom blog would be a great addition to any classroom.
Monday, April 13, 2009
The next podacst I listened to was about Burpback Education. While listening to this one I had to turn the volume up very high to hear what was being said. They started off loud but trailed off towards the end of their sentences. I liked that they talked about why they wanted to teach the certain grade levels that they chose. I liked that they also gave examples of burpback education and how to avoid them. However, they talked very fast so it was hard to catch everything that was being said. The last podcast I listened to was What I learned from Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. This was one of the podcasts done in our class so I had to turn the volume up to the max to hear it, but that could not be helped. I like how they started the podcast but they also spoke very fast.
I was unable to listen to my podcast because it said error every time I clicked on it. I would say that after I listened to others I would have done ours a little differently. We were reading directly from the paper also so I'm sure that people could tell. Other than that I think all the podcasts were pretty good, especially since this was the first time for most of us. I think with a little more practice we can all make great podcasts. This assignment was a great start and we can only learn from our mistakes.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
For this assignment I was able to contact Mr. C’s fifth grade class located in Noel, Missouri. I think his blog is pretty much amazing, especially since this is the second time I have written about it! I asked him a few questions about using blogs in the classroom and his response was much more than I expected! I am sure everyone else will love it too, so check it out! I have posted our conversation and the link to his answers below.
I absolutely love your classroom blog! I am a junior at the University of South Alabama majoring in Social Science Education. I am doing a project that requires me to make an electronic contact with a teacher from another state. If you don't mind I would love to ask you a few questions about your blog!
Wm Chamberlain said...
Of course I am willing to answer your questions. You can leave them on the blog, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much!
I was just wondering what it is like to use a blog in the classroom? How do your students use it? Do your students like having a class blog? What made you decide to create a class blog? Are their parents able to check the blog? In what ways do you think your class benefits from having this kind of technology in the classroom?
Wm Chamberlain said...
I turned your questions into a blog post. If what I did doesn't work, let me know.
I want to thank you and your class so much! The information was great and the way you chose to answer the questions was awesome! I plan to use this type of technology in my future classroom as well and I think your blog will be an excellent building block!
Monday, April 6, 2009
The second podcast is titled Thinking Mathematically. In most math settings they learn example by example in the text book. Some students are unable to learn by this. They can memorize formulas but they still may not know how to use them. Mathematics takes thinking. I believe technology can be an outstanding way for kids to connect with math. I was always horrible in math. I hated going to class, doing the work that I did not understand, and no matter how many times the teacher showed me how to do the equation I still never fully understood it. I wish my teachers would have used some sort of technology in my math classes. Maybe I could have made a better connection than I did using the examples in the book.
Monday, March 30, 2009
The group of students with work skills and personality skills did exceptionally well. They were taught with the Growth mindset method. "Your brain is like a muscle, it gets stronger when it is used." Their connections increased over time and their intellectual skills grew as well. They are now doing research to see if race car drivers can benefit from the growth mindset.
I believe this type of growth mindset needs to be used in every classroom. A student can be taught anything, but they will not learn it unless they can use it themselves and see it in practice. It is completely true that your brain gets stronger if you use it. I want my students to understand this.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Wyatt calls super readers when there is a problem and they meet in the book club. I can see where a type of video podcast like this can be useful in the classroom. This type of video can be very interesting to elementary age children. It is full of bright colors and allows the child to become a part of the video. The characters talk to the viewer, not just among themselves. I think this video is a great way to help children with reading.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The second podcast I listened to was Kidcast. In this podcast I learned about ways to keep students active while listening to podcasts. Some of the tips included creating an outline for students to follow, and having some sort of question or quiz at the end of the podcast. I think this is a great idea because if students are only listening to a podcast their minds can wonder away from the information. If they have a reason to stay on task, such as a quiz after, it makes it easier for them to pay attention. I know this would work for me now.
The last podcasts helped me to better understand how to create effective podcasts. Each of the podcasts focused on technology and how to use things such as facebook, blogs, computer applications, etc. in your podcasts. I think that podcasts can be very effective in the classroom. I also believe that if they are conducted in the right ways that the students can gain much needed confidence for the future. It is a good idea to prepare your students with podcasts, making them create some of their own, so in the future it will not be a new topic for them. They will know how podcasts work and what is needed to make them effective.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The second podcast I listened to was Blogging – Podcast #2 (#1 of Ms. Averitt’s Class). The speakers in this podcast speak very clear and slow. This gave me time to comprehend what was being talked about. I liked how they gave the background information on blogs for people who are not that familiar with them. The only thing I noticed was that it sounded like they were reading the information straight from the paper. I will try to make mine a little more personable.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Randy's last lecture is broken down into three topics. The first is about his childhood dreams, the second is about enabling the dreams of others, and the third is about lessons learned: how you can achieve your dreams or enable the dreams of others. Another of my favorite quotes from his lecture is about the brick walls. It goes a little something like this "The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we really want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough." I absolutely love what Randy is saying about the brick walls. I am going to use this quote in my future classroom. I think that it can give that extra bit of motivation when we need it the most. Brick walls let us show our dedication. If you have a dreams you can make it happen. Randy shows how he made his happen and it is possible at some point to reach your dreams too.
His next topic is how to enable the dreams of others. Randy was so happy to have become a professor. He says "What better of a place to enable the dreams of others?" I agree with this 110%! I think that teachers are here to help enable their student's dreams, no matter what those dreams may be. In some cases, a child's teacher may be the only one that actually cares what the child's dream is. Randy told his class who's projects completely blew him away that he knew that they could do better. He never put a bar anywhere for his students to reach, this way they just kept rising. He also states that "The best gift an educator can give is to make a student become self reflective." I will also use the "head fake" in my classroom. He says that the best way to make someone learn something, is to make them think they are learning something else. An example is ALICE. In this program students think they are just playing a game but in reality they are learning to program it. "Have fun while learning something hard!" Teachers also need to learn from their students.
In the lessons learned section he talks about how to get people to help you. He makes some great points such as: you can't get there alone, believe in karma, tell the truth, be earnest, apologize when you screw up, and focus on others not yourself. When people give you feedback, cherish it and use it. Always show gratitude. Be good at something, it makes you valuable. Be prepared: luck is where preparation meets opportunity. By the end of his lecture I was nearly crying, a wave of emotion came over me. Randy's lecture had two head fakes. The lecture was not about how to achieve your dreams, but how to live your life. Also, the lecture was not for the people in the class, it was for his kids. What an amazing teacher, husband, and father!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Some of the strategies include increasing connectivity to high schools and central offices, upgrade existing IVC labs to H.323 standards, develop blended course model (pilot sites), conduct needs assessments and evaluations, etc. Distance learning means learning experiences in which instructors and students are separated by space and/or time. The modes of delivery are web based and videoconferencing (IVC). The new mode of delivery is blended. This means combining videoconferencing and Internet based instruction. Videoconferencing is an audio/visual link between two or more geographically remote sites. This mode of delivery is taught by a highly qualified Alabama certified teacher. It allows students to take courses not offered at their school. It also allows students to interact with students not from other schools. It also increases student responsibility for learning.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
To better understand plagiarism I am going to start with its definition. Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s words, ideas, or information as if they were one’s own. The first website I visited was owl.english.purdue.edu. There are actions that can easily be labeled as plagiarism that include buying, stealing, or borrowing a paper, hiring someone to write your paper for you, copying large sections of text, and copying an entire paper or article from the web without proper citation. However, there are also actions that may be harder to label such as using words of a source too closely when paraphrasing or building on someone else’s ideas without proper citation. Some teachers will try to examine if it is plagiarism or if it is accidental. There are other teachers, however, that will not try to distinguish a difference and charge someone with plagiarism. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to always, always, always cite your sources. Most students truly do not intend to plagiarize, it just happens. Mistakes in citation and crediting can draw attention to the information used. This website gives examples of how to check your self while taking notes and reading. It also gives tips on interviewing, writing paraphrases, direct quotations, using another’s ideas, and revising, proofreading, and finalizing your paper.
The next website is http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml. This website provides links to certain types of plagiarism. The goal of these links is to show you what plagiarism looks like in certain situations and what kind of strategies you can use to avoid it. One example of a link is how to recognize acceptable and unacceptable paraphrases. The next site is abacus.bates.edu. This site goes over the definition of plagiarism, the reasons for citing sources, and what to cite. It goes over proper citations, style guides, two common methods of citation, and judicial procedures. The last site is www.copyright.gov. This site goes over how to register a work for a copyright. It has many different links to explore and learn about copyrights. Some of these links include copyright basics, fees, registrations and documents, publications, licensing, pre-registration, copyright records, how to record a document, and copyright law and policy.
Remember to always give credit where credit is due!
The next section is your personal workspace where you can create lesson plans, web pages, or store information. The next section is for profession learning. This section gives links to find professional development opportunities, teaching and learning tools, the latest news, best practices and more. The next section is called distance learning which takes you to the ACCESS site. ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide. ACCESS is providing opportunities for students statewide to engage in Advanced Placement (AP), elective, and other courses to which they may not otherwise have access. The last section is called the Help section. It simply tells you how to create and account and gives answers to any questions that you may have.
I think that the ALEX web site is going to play a big part in my classroom. I think that I will use it often. I like how I could search lesson plans by subject or create my own. I also like the idea of having my own personal workspace online to store and create things. The sections directed towards students will also be helpful. I think my favorite part of the whole site is the lesson plan section! I am going to have a lot of fun with this website!