Friday, April 30, 2010

Goodbye For Now!

Well, as odd as this feels for me, this is my last blog of the semester. This class has been a great asset to my education. I feel like I have learned quite a bit about technology and I have developed my own life plan for my teaching career. In this class I have learned how important it is to integrate technology into the learning process. The tools that Dr. Strange and Mr. Sullivan have shared with me are great tools that aren’t tough to use if you try to figure them out. I find myself wanting to learn more and more and I think young students will feel that way too. I hope that you have read my posts and learned some of my feelings and thoughts on technology in the classroom.

I hope to be starting a new blog for the rest of my college career and my teaching career and I hope that you will visit that blog as well! Whenever I do create this blog, I will share a link. For now, I must say goodbye. I’ve enjoyed this time with you, class! Talk to you soon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Final Blog Assignment

The list of what I have learned:
1. Google Docs and Google itself- I always just thought of Google as a search engine and where I received email, but it is so much more than that! Google docs and all that Google has to offer is awesome. I love to explore iGoogle.
2. PLN’s- My Personal Learning Network is really cool and I enjoy going through it. I mostly use Twitter, but I enjoy the websites and links that I have discovered.
3. Google Earth- The Google Earth tour confused me at first, but once I figured it out it became a fun tool to use.
4. Screen Jelly- I love this website. Screen Jelly is so cool and a quick way to show people exactly how to perform a task online.
5. How I can use technology in the schools- I won’t keep going on a list because it would be too long. Podcasts, Twitter, Videocasts, Wikis, and so many more things were used to learn in this class. I enjoyed it and if there was an EDM 310 pt. 2 I would probably take it. I know there has to be things that I did not hear about in this class, but now I know how to find these things myself.

I don’t think I know of anything else I would have wanted to learn in this class. I’m sure if I thought about it, I would figure something out. I would have loved to see more Skype sessions and create more things for the class, but I know that would take up more time that a lot of people don’t have. I think this class is great how it is.

I don’t see anything as not useful. I think all of the tools are very useful! I don’t know why people wouldn’t want to use these tools because the tools can help make teaching a lot easier and more fun. I like the organization tools and tools that allow teachers to share what their students are doing with the world.

I found this class to be exciting! I will admit, at first I was very overwhelmed. The list of things we had to do looked so large because I had no idea what the tools that we were going to use were. The only thing I knew before this class was Gmail and Skype. Once I told myself to just dive in and get started, I got into the projects and the learning experience. I found all these new tools exciting and fun and I found myself sharing my projects with my friends and family. I’m proud of the work I’ve done for this class!

I think some of the videos and blogs we read were “intellectually challenging”. Not challenging as in difficult, but challenging as in they made me think harder than I normally would when I read blogs. I was actually forming my own opinions and ideas through these blogs and videos and that was cool to me.

I was never bored in the class. I was always working on something so I was busy. I think the workload was a good one and the things we have been learning are things that we can use everyday. If students would take that seriously then they would not be bored at all.

I think it would be cool to have a Mac workshop during the course, but I also know that not everyone has a Mac so that isn’t really possible. Workshops outside of class time are normally missed because of work or other responsibilities. I would have liked to learn more programs to use in the classroom. I really would have liked a Smart Board lesson too. Even though I have seen people use Smart Boards, I don’t know how to use one and that would be good to know. I don’t feel overworked in EDM 310. I did my work ahead of time most of the time and it helped me to stay on track.

I think I’m Technologically Literate at the moment. I’m not great, but I think I’m good and I’m continuing to grow. The more I explore the web, the better things get. I will probably never be amazingly Technologically Literate, but I’m going to try my best. I would like to be a media specialist after teaching for a while, so I’m going to have to keep my technology knowledge up.

I will continue to grow my PLN as I go through school and continue to learn and use new web tools. I want to keep a blog and continue to share my ideas and thoughts throughout my college and teaching career. I hope that I will be a good teacher and that I will be able to use as much technology as possible in my classroom. I want my students to be prepared for the future.

My Professional Blog

I'm beginning work on my professional blog. If you would like to visit, go to this link!

Project 15: Lauren and I Interview Mr. Sullivan

Project 8: Teaching and Google Earth

My Second PLN Report

Earlier during the semester I wrote about my PLN. My main use of my PLN is Twitter. I do not update my tweets often, but I do get on Twitter and read what other teachers have to say. I have had conversations on Direct Messages with other teachers from around the world which is very neat! I've enjoyed reading Mr. Needleman's tweets because he puts up a lot of great cartoons and articles. I have many websites that I consider a part of my PLN. I really enjoy using Education World and PE Central because they have been so useful to me during classes. I have a few teachers through the Semmes area that I would consider a part of my PLN. Mrs. Stephanie Estes created 4 Semmes Kids and I have been observing her for the past year. We e-chat often and I enjoy her ideas and the information she has given me. I will continue to grow my PLN over the next few years and maybe by the time I'm a teacher, I will be a part of someone else's PLN.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Google Earth Presentation

In my Google Earth tour, I take you to some places that I like!
It starts in Vail, Colorado when you see the first screen and then it flies to Disney World, after that you'll see Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves! The last place is Atlantis in the Bahamas. I haven't actually been, but I would love to go.
Hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 25th Assignment

A 7th Grader's PLE
This video really surprised me. The 7th grader had an awesome Personal Learning Environment, why am I still having trouble developing mine? I have twitter, facebook, delicious, and a great website called The Educator's PLN that I like to use, but mine isn't set up quite as neatly as this girl's is. I'm going to check into Symbaloo because it looked like a great organization website. The screenflow was used very well. I also liked seeing her use of the website Evernote. You can save all types of text and it's a great website. Overall, her PLE definitely inspired me to keep growing my own PLE.

Two Questions That Can Change Your Life
The two questions asked in this video were written by Daniel Pink, author of 'Drive'. The first question was, "What is your sentence?" It gives a lot of examples of what famous people's sentences could have been and wants you to think of your own sentence. To be honest, I can't think of a sentence for myself right now. I think further along in my education I will be able to develop a better idea of my goals for my life. For right now I will say that my sentence would be, "She did the best she could to change students lives for the better." The second question Mr. Pink asks was, "Was I better today than yesterday?" I think this is a great question to ask yourself because it will make you strive to be your best each day. I worked really hard on projects yesterday and today I am just sitting at work, so I can't say that I'm better today that I was yesterday. Everyday is different I suppose! I think that every teacher should ask themselves these questions each day for inspiration.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My TimeToast Timeline

I really enjoyed making my Timetoast Timeline even though it took quite a while. It is a great timeline tool and I believe it is much more organized that the board timelines we make for other classes. I did my timeline on a hero of mine, Walt Disney. I hope you enjoy!

April 18th Assignment

Our assignment this week is to think of something from EDM 310 that we worked on and write thoughts and feelings about it. My favorite thing that I've done in this class has been commenting children from around the world on their blogs. I just think that it is awesome to have an influence on a child just by writing a short comment on every one of their blogs. Now I know we cannot get to every child's blog, but I think each child should have one person say something special about the work they have done on their blog. Not only does it encourage the child to blog more often, but it also encourages the child to work harder and learn more. I know when I get comments on my blog I feel encouraged and it makes me want to write more often. I even get excited when I see I have a new post on facebook as odd as that may seem. I know children feel the same way and they must get excited when they see a new post on their wall.

I think that when I leave this class, my main goal is going to be keeping up with other class blogs. I want a class blog for my classroom and I would love to have college students comment on the posts each week. How encouraging! I have created a Wordle describing my feelings towards children's blogs and I would love to know your feelings.

Comments4Kids Assignment (Week 14) and Vocaroo

I had a new way to comment on my Comments4Kids assignment this week. I was able to use Vocaroo which was such a cool audio recording tool. I commented on Ryland's Blog from Kathy Cassidy's class. They are just learning to read and write so I thought it would be neat to write Ryland a note and leave him something to listen to. He wrote about riding bikes with his family and his dog. I think he is doing a great job writing his words out and I am sure writing on the blog helps improve writing and spelling skills. If you would like to listen to my Vocaroo, here it is:

You can create your own by going toVocaroo's website.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Comments4Teachers Weeks 13 and 14

The past two weeks I have been reading Jason Schrage's blog, Connections. I really enjoyed all of the information and ideas he has posted on his blog. He uses Google Docs and Youtube videos a lot in his posts, but most every time he is the one who has created those tools. He has great links on his blog and shares many awesome strategies for teaching! There haven't been many updates lately, but I would really encourage you to check it out.

Week 13
Hi Jason,
My name is Amber Fleming and I am in the EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. ( I love the PD Presentation idea especially with the use of visual tweets. I have seen that program used in a local debate and I thought it was neat. I hope to develop some good ideas about PD's in the future and I would like to read other teachers' opinions. Your Google Docs slideshow was great as well.
I will be following this blog for my class and I would love if you would visit mine.
I hope you have a wonderful week,
Amber Fleming

Week 14
I really love science centers and think that the fact that high school students were able to help the younger children learn is awesome. That not only rewards the older students since they know they have helped a child learn, it gives the younger kids inspiration and someone to look up to. I think the young children experiencing the older teens helping out will influence those younger children to help out more in the future.
In Mobile, we have a science museum called the Exploreum and they have great exhibits and events. The children are able to go to classes there and local college and high school children can volunteer and work there. It amazes me that they were able to put on such a great event at the local elementary school. I think that is awesome and should be encouraged. I think the video of your son learning was awesome as well.
Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m a student at the University of South Alabama and I was required to read your blog for my EDM 310 blog. If you would like to drop by, you can visit:
Have a wonderful week,
Amber Fleming

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 11th Assignment

Don't Be a Zax and PS 22

It is very important for students to post work on their blogs every week. I think the beginning of a child's learning experience involves them learning to work on their own. At young ages they will need help, but as children get older they should learn to do things on their own. If children do not start doing work on their own at young ages, they will more than likely become Zax's at an older age. If you do not know what a Zax is, watch this video. A Zax is a person who does something one way and does not change. Children need to learn that yes, they can turn things in the old school way on paper, but some things should be posted online and in creative ways. Videos, pictures, drawings, and paragraphs are all fun ways for the children to share things in their blogs. Here are a few examples of things I've seen throughout this semester:

The PS 22 Video
This is a great example of a creative student post. The children's voices are inspiring! I think it was beautiful and I am so glad they shared it with the world.

Room 9 Blog
There are so many blogs from the Pt. England school in Auckland, New Zealand. I love all of the blogs, but I have been enjoying this one a lot. They have great videos and posts from each student and all of the students are learning great things through technology.

Kaia and Skyelar
I think this blog is so sweet. Their father runs and moderates the blog, but at a very early age Kaia is learning how blogs work and she helps create things for the blog. I love reading the posts for this website and I visit regularly.

Team One Blog
Team One is also from Pt. England, but they are younger students that don't use as many videos. They have pictures they have made online each week and they are all so sweet! You should definitely go look.

180 Days of Kindergarten
This is my favorite of all the websites I have commented on. Each day is made into a blog post and pictures and videos from the day are included. The kindergarteners have so much fun and I love to read about their day!

These are just a few things that students have done on blogs. Definitely check them out!

How I Use Skype

I've been using Skype for quite a long time, but I think it is the best video chatting program on the internet. Having my father overseas for a year was tough and Skype made it so much easier. All holidays were spent with the computer hooked up to Skype and we were able to feel closer because of the program. I have used it this semester to get in contact with family and friends that I do not get to see or talk to regularly. My cousins live in Tennessee and we talk weekly through Skype. I was also able to skype some of my friends from class for help with assignments! I liked the fact that my teachers were available to chat with as well. I was able to talk to different people and be in a class when I was sick in bed. It wasn't pretty, but it happened. I enjoy Skype very much and would tell anyone to use this program since it is so easy to learn.

My Survey Results

I sent out a survey last month about the use of technology in the classroom. Only 2 out of 63 people said that they do not think that technology should be used in the classroom. Most people are very interested in using technology in their classrooms. There were many different forms of technology that people said that they would use although some said they would only use a Smart Board. There were mixed feelings about children using blogs in the classroom. Most people said that children should use blogs, some of those said there should be limited access to the blog, and only 2 people said that children should not use blogs. A lot of people want to use the Smart Boards in the classroom. One third of the class feels ready to use a Smart Board, a large majority wants to use the Smart Board although they still have to figure it out, and the remaining people do not like Smart Boards. Most people have not decided if they would use podcasts for their classroom. The other part of the class is split in half between knowing they want to podcast in their classroom and knowing they do not want to podcast in their classroom. This survey was very eye opening for me and it was interesting to see into the minds of the future teachers.

Here is a link for my results if you are interested in reading them.
Click here!

Comments4Kids Assignment (Week 13)

I visited Pt. England's Room 14 Blog this week. I commented on Turuhira's blog! She wrote about roller blading and also had a video on her blog of the children roller blading. It looked like so much fun. I told Turuhira that I enjoyed roller blading as well and that roller blading is very good for you. It is awesome cardio excercise. I enjoyed the Pt. England Room 14 blog and would suggest for others to visit.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4th Assignment

Kaia and Mr. Chamberlain’s Class

If I was a parent, I would not have put pictures or sound bites of my child online for everyone to see. Reading Mr. Raisdana’s blog changed my mind a little bit and made me see his point of view. He was also a nervous parent after seeing how many people saw his daughter’s post and the fact that these people were in a different country and time zone. He saw the educational power of the response though and the good effects definitely outweigh the bad effects. This also helps me to realize that I am not the only overprotective person and I will have to show parents in my classroom the benefits of online learning. Kids should not suffer because of parents being too scared of new experiences. Parents and teachers should keep the children's information safe and still let the students experience online learning. This blog would be a great reference point for parents to know what is going on in early childhood online learning.

I watched Kaia’s photo essay and the video that Mr. Chamberlain’s class made for her. I thought it was great that Kaia could hear her comments instead of looking at a blob of words that she did not even recognize. I really liked the digital book version of the video since the sound came on every time the page turned. The class did a great job expressing their thoughts through comments and the video and it is awesome that they were able to make that connection from Missouri to Doha, Qatar. This is the thing I want to happen in my classroom. I want my students to experience other people and places through the internet and gain that learning experience. These videos and blogs were awesome to read and see and I will be using these as examples of a great web learning experience.

Comments4Teachers Weeks 10 and 12 (there was no week 11)

I visited the blog It's Elementary, My Dear Readers the past few weeks. It is written by Dan Carver and I really enjoyed his thoughts! He had not updated his blog in a few weeks, but he talks about things that are actually happening in education primarily in Iowa. Here are my comments and links to the blogs. I highly recommend reading them.

Week 10
As a college student studying to be a teacher, it scares me to think that I will be evaluated by a test that my students will take. I want to be a good teacher and know that my students have mastered the information I teach in the class, but sometimes tests are overwhelming and students can't make perfect scores on every test. I think it is unfair to evaluate teacher by test scores. Some students are not good test takers, especially if they have not had a review on all of the aspects included on the test. Teachers need a fair evaluation.
Thank you for your views and opinions on this blog! I will be following the blog for the next few weeks for my EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I would love if you would visit my blog.

Have a wonderful week,

Amber Fleming

Week 12
People in the government really do need to be more informed about the ways of education if they are going to make good decisions about the schools. They should ask people on the front lines what is going on and what would help them in the classroom before making major decisions instead of making decisions only to make themselves look good. I enjoy your blogs and I thank you for your thoughts.
I'm putting my comments on my class blog for EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama and I would love for you to visit my blog.
I hope you have a wonderful week.
Amber Fleming

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Comments4Kids Assignment (Week 12 there was no Week 11))

Today I visited the Pt. England 5 Year Old's blog. I enjoyed all of the pictures I saw. I commented on a child named Henry's blog. He drew a picture of his brother playing outside in the pretty sunshine. I thought Henry was a great artist and did a very good job on his blog. I hope to have students like Henry in my class one day.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 28th Assignment

An Open Letter to Educators

I took a visit to Morgan Bayda’s blog and read the post we were assigned for the week thinking, “Hm, yet another blog. Hope this isn’t boring.” Well needless to say, it definitely wasn’t the least bit boring. I agreed whole-heartedly with the information she and Dan Brown portrayed through words and video.
At the University of South Alabama I do go to class and feel completely cheated of all my time and money. I go to class to be bored. This is sad, but I have a Sociology class that I go to every Tuesday and Thursday for an hour and a half just because of the attendance policy. It is the most boring class ever because the teacher does not teach us a thing, nor does he want to teach us anything. I think he just wants us to be bored since we paid money so he reads notes that he emails to us anyways. Is there even a point to me being there? No. Is this going to help me on the tests I will take in that class? No. Could I learn that information on my own? Yes and I do that anyways!

Classes need to progress to the new age. If my Sociology class were an online course that I could use blogs and PLN’s with then I would be doing much better in that course. Educators have to change their form of education because institutional education can be so boring now. We have so many tools to take advantage of! I wouldn’t count on most schools changing anytime soon just because teachers do not want to learn. Personally, I am excited to be a teacher of the future. Teachers of the future will be well equipped and ready to use all of the tools that are out there. My class will not be bored and will not have to sit through boring lecture and burp-back answered tests.

I don’t blame Dan Brown for dropping out of school. School really can hold you back in learning everything that you can learn! Even though school is supposed to be the thing that is teaching you all you need to know, now you can go on any internet website and learn something new. Educational information is not just in the classroom. I’m not saying it is okay for everyone to rebel and drop out of school, but I do think everyone should choose to work on their own education outside of the classroom.

Anyways, this is what I would like educators to hear me say. Please progress your class along with each year. Don’t be afraid to learn or use something new. Take advantage of the technology we have because we are all blessed to have it. Lastly, keep your students awake during class. I don’t mean to fall asleep during classes, but if the information you are teaching is not interesting I will fall asleep. I think every educator has every tool to make his or her classroom a success. They just have to run with it.

Here is a link to Morgan Bayda's blog post:
An Open Letter to Educators

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Comments4Kids Assignment (Week 10)

Today I read a blog by Gabby on Djibouti. (link here) The blog was so organized and easy to maneuver. I really enjoyed the layout of the blog as well. Gabby seemed like a very intelligent girl and her facts and pictures were great. The colors of Djibouti's flag are pretty. Great post Miss Gabby!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Comments4Teachers Weeks 1-3

I visited for my comments for teachers project! They have not posted a new blog in the past 2 weeks, but it is a very interesting source of information.

Week 1:
Amen! I know so many students that pass curriculum based English courses with flying colors, but when they leave the classroom their true knowledge appears. Students need to learn language the correct way and they do that through communication and great teaching, not just through a curriculum. I found this post very interesting.
I'm Amber Fleming from the University of South Alabama's EDM 310 class (Link to class blog. I will be reviewing this post and following this blog for the next few weeks. At the end of my 3 week following, I will be posting my review on my blog! Please visit my blog at and if you find anything interesting leave me a comment! I'd love advice and opinions!

Week 2:
Wow. Since I'm from the U.S., I wouldn't have even thought of speaking English as being a true English course. When I think of English, I think reading, writing, and grammar lessons. I think this is an amazing idea. Making the German students use their English skills in a normal situation must really drill the words into their heads. I'm sure it makes phrases make more sense as well.
If I ever teach in a different country, I will definitely have my students practice their English skills at a place like this. I don't really have any other ideas on spreading the English language, but if I do think of some, I will include them in my blog post in the next few weeks. Be sure to visit! :)

Week 3:
I honestly do not know where I stand in the reform opinion. It is very true that teachers are ill-equipped to fight in the war for what they want. I think it is because each teacher probably wants something completely different! I want my classroom to learn a lot of life lessons as well as educational lessons and I want them to be able to put those things to use in hands on situations. Whatever would make that happen is what I would like in an educational reform.
I have enjoyed reading your blog for these past three weeks and will continue to visit! I thank you for your knowledge and opinions and I hope you come visit my blog to read my opinions. Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14th Assignment

Information on ALEX and the Technology Initiatives

After googling information on Alabama state initiatives for technology education, I know that technology is certainly growing in the education field! I found a page on the Alabama Department of Education found here that talks about technology coming into schools. The page includes a few links that are also very interesting. It talks about Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT), which is funded through Title II by federal funds. The website says, “These instructional technology funds are to be expended by the federal regulations and are used for instructional technology to improve student achievement.” The website talks about the grants and funds included in EETT and how they are being distributed.

I have used ALEX before to write lesson plans. It does have a lot of interesting information and can really help you find things for your classroom. There are web links, a professional learning page, the state standards, and more. The newest addition to ALEX is their podcast treasury. Podcasts are so great to use in education and I’m glad that this website demonstrates that. The website is very easy to maneuver and anyone can visit easily. The only page that you are restricted to view is the Personal Workspace page. You have to have an account to view this. To visit the website, click here.

The ACCESS Program

I went to the ACCESS program’s website (link here) and explored quite a bit! ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide. Right on the front page, their vision is stated saying, “The State of Alabama will provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning.” ACCESS provides courses online for all public high school students. After reading information on the About ACCESS page, I think it is an amazing program. It provides equal opportunities for high school students and provides great teachers for students who can’t take everyday classes. Dual enrollment programs are offered through this program and it has a lot of support for distance learning. They train their Alabama certified teachers to be e-teachers so you know they only use the best of the best.

The website has a course list, high school graduation exams, test preps for AP testing, exam exemption forms, and much more. They have a list of their teachers, brochures, and information for guidance counselors on the website so that you can see ACCESS up close and personal. I really love this program and if I was teaching high school, I would definitely use the resources they have available. There are ACCESS Support Centers at Troy University, University of Alabama, and Madison City Schools. I think it would be amazing to be an e-teacher and I wish they had an upper elementary/middle school version of this program! Who knows, maybe I will create it. I know elementary is a little tough to go through online, but middle school could be plausible. I would recommend this website to any high school student that needs courses that their school does not offer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Comments4Kids Assignment (Week 9)

I went back to the Kindergarten Kids website this week! See it here. The kids seemed to have had another great day. They ate chicken nuggets for lunch, which I love. They read "On the Go" which I think is a Dr. Seuss book! Am I wrong about that? If I am, someone let me know please. I told them that they should check out some Dr. Seuss books if they haven't already. Mrs. F. did a great job helping the class write their blog this week and I enjoyed reading it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My EDM 310 Questionnaire!

Please fill this out for me! That would be amazing.
This questionnaire pertains to technology use in Elementary classrooms!
The best survey you'll ever take...just kidding. But really, click here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's lecture was basically about dreams and life experience. I thought is was amazing. He is such a positive person and it was a pleasure to hear the stories he had to give. Mr. Pausch said this lecture was once referred to as the Last Lecture because it was the lecture he would want to give before he died. He started the lecture out by telling the audience about how sick he was, but the fact that he was in great shape. He then goes on to talk about himself as a child and shows pictures of himself smiling and dreaming. I personally liked when he said, "The idea that anything is possible; that's something that we should not lose sight of is that the inspiration and the permission to dream is huge." Mr. Pausch did his best to make his dreams come true and learned from each of his dreams.

Dreams get you to where you need to go. Even if your dream does not exactly come true, it helps you become a greater person. Mr. Pausch wanted to be a NFL player, but he did play football for a while. Not exactly his dream, but it gave him experience and he learned a lot from that experience. He said that he learned more from this dream not coming true than he did from any other dream! I wanted to be a dancer forever, but I was never great enough to really get far with it! I stuck with that dream though and learned a lot from many dance schools. I would not be who I was today if I hadn't received the experience from my dance teachers, fellow students, and mentors. Dreams are so important and really enhance life so much.

He talked about meeting his childhood hero, Captain Kirk, which is really William Shatner. He came into the lab at MIT to see what Mr. Pausch had done. He also had a dream of being a Disney Imagineer! As you may have read in other posts, I am a huge Disney fan, so it delighted me to know we had that in common. Disney did turn him down, but he was positive about the situation and said that the walls were there for a reason. The walls show how much you want something. Everyone hits those brick walls every once and a while and the pain from the hit hurts! We just have to get right back up and try harder. Eventually, Mr. Pausch did succeed and was able to work on the Aladdin project. How exciting! He made a virtual reality for Aladdin and he did such a good job he was invited to become an Imagineer. He turned the job down, but he did go work with the Imagineers from time to time. He helped create the Jungle Cruise ride for Disney Quest! It was fun to know that he had created a ride experience that I love.

After talking about dreams for himself, he talked about helping others with their dreams. Mr. Pausch helped a student named Tommy achieve his dream to work on a Star Wars film. He created a course called "Building Virtual Worlds" at Carnegie Mellon to give students experience with virtual creations. The students got really into it and wanted to share these creations with the school! People from all over the school departments came and it looked awesome from the pictures. He did show a clip from a creation called Hello.World. The bunny was really creepy and freaked me out. I did not enjoy that character, but the concept was cool. When all the bunnies and creatures started dancing, I thought I was gonna lose it and the end is really freaky too. Please people, if you make another virtual world, do not make creepy bunny worlds that resemble Telletubby land. The class really did inspire the students and help them to live out their dreams. After 10 years of teaching the course, he handed the course over to a former student. Pausch then created the Dream Fulfillment Factory with Don Martinelli. The class promoted entertainment technology and you were required to make 5 virtual reality projects that pertained to entertainment technology. He helped students learn how to work with groups which made them more successful. Mr. Pausch did his best to make as many students' dreams come true as possible. He loved that his students are having fun while learning something hard.

The last part of the lecture revolved around the lessons that Mr. Pausch has learned. He talks about his parents, mentors, and students and the role that they played in his life. His parents sounded like wonderful people and I enjoyed the pictures and stories. He also says that you not only learn from a teacher, a teacher will learn from you. One student named Caitlyn helped him realize that if he presented the Alice project as a storytelling activity, that students would enjoy it more. He talked about former experiences and said a lot of things I have heard a lot, but they were so much better in the context that he put them in. He said to never lose childlike wonder, help others, always have fun, be loyal, never give up, and let people help you.

This lecture was so good and I enjoyed the whole hour and sixteen minutes of it. I was really worried that it was going to be boring, but I would advise anyone to listen to the lecture. I think this is what any parent would want their child to hear. Following your dreams and achieving your dreams is possible if you try hard enough and Randy Pausch makes this very clear. By the way, if you're wondering about the picture in the top corner, it is peas talking about their childhood dreams. I thought it was cute. As a teacher, I want to help all of my students reach their dreams and Mr. Pausch truly inspired me.

Comments4Kids Assignment (Week 8)

Today I visited Mrs. Voigt and Mrs. Farrington's kindergarten class blog! Link here! It was so adorable. I enjoyed the video of their class play and the George Washington video very much! The class play was called "Five Little Ducks" and the kids looked like they were having a very good time. They were also great singers. I was also pretty jealous that they had broccoli and cheese for lunch since that is my favorite food. I will be visiting their blog again soon!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My PLN Report

I have spent a good amount of time developing my PLN and really figuring out what a PLN consists of. A personal learning network is a great teaching tool. If you ever need to know anything at all, you can rely on your PLN! I'm developing my PLN through two separate resources: Twitter and a Ning network called The Educator's PLN. I really enjoy both of them, but I am still figuring out The Educator's PLN.

I have added many teachers and resource pages to my twitter page and have begun talking to people on Twitter. I never knew how to do that, but it's not hard at all once you have it figured out! I really enjoy the resource pages such as @insidetheschool and @edutopia. There are many more to discover as well. The Educator's PLN has great webresources and website links. There are also chat rooms and videos readily available on the website. I have my page set up and now I'm working on adding links to websites that I have found and enjoy.

If anyone else is using either of these sites to enhance their PLN, find me! My twitter name is @ambernoelle23 and my PLN Page is here!

My Comments4Kids Assignment (Week 7)

I visited Mrs. Quam's student writing class blog this week! Visit Here! They had some wonderful blogs and there are two specific blogs I commented on. A girl named Kelly wrote a Haiku about a monkey and put a very cute picture on it! She is a talented Haiku writer. I was never really good at writing Haikus. I also read a list of 15 things Nick would like to do before he dies. He is a brave young man! Only two of those items I would choose to do because they are just traveling events. He would like to skydive, go grizzly bear hunting, go shark hunting, ride in a fighter plane, and more crazy stunts. I wish I had that sense of adventure. :) I enjoyed this blogsite a lot and I am glad I was linked to the website.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 28th Assignment

This is How We Dream Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Dr. Richard Miller talks about the fact that much has changed since the time he was growing up in the videos, ‘This is How We Dream, Parts 1 and 2’. Now people don’t really go to libraries and bookstores to find what they want to know, they have their laptops with them and can search whatever they want to find! Books aren’t in print as much and more people read books on the web than in a library. I have an online book reader and I never make trips out to the library anymore! Dr. Miller showed tips on how to make an online readable document more interesting/better by adding videos to the document or post. I know that I like things better if there is a video or audio to listen to along with it.

We work on our computers. It doesn’t matter what kind of work you do, you will be working along with your computer! I love how he pointed out that ideas don’t belong to us individually; they belong to us as a culture. He said that as he was talking about lectures on iTunes U. A lot of great lectures are being shared on iTunes U and I love the fact that all of this great information is being shared. It is our first stage in ‘working’ with our computer. I think that college is your first step in the work force and the more we are using lectures online, we are learning to ‘work’ online. We have no limits or restrictions on what we can use to develop our learning networks. We have so much access to information for our students and we really need to take advantage of that access.

The thing that made me feel a little weird was the fact that Dr. Miller thinks that one day students will not be using word processors, but instead composing assignments with digital enhancers. I just think it’s crazy that someday we might be grading a student’s paper through their YouTube video. I do agree that if we do move in this direction, we need to learn how to make these presentations beautiful and compelling. I also found it fascinating but crazy that someone is using the web to compose these informational pieces! When I thought of the word ‘Bot’, I thought about some futuristic movie, not something that would be used now. There are so many ways to use technology now and I can only imagine what we will be doing with technology in the future!

The Networked Student

Wendy Drexler made an awesome video entitled ‘The Networked Student’. I loved the cartoons and the way the information was presented. I believe all information should be presented in a fun learning form like that was, but we all know that is not going to happen. Oh well. Alex Drexler, you are an awesome cartoonist and you should start making educational cartoons if you haven’t already. Just throwing that out there.

The Networked Student was about a Psychology class that is handled in a web communication form other than attending class once a week. The video showed how the teacher introduced many networking websites to the class and taught the class how to use those websites. The student learned through their PLN and found all different kinds of ways to communicate with their classmates and others. That is how EDM 310 is done and I love it so far. My PLN is still confusing to me, but I am learning continuously. The networked student used Skype, which I have also been doing a lot more often recently.

The question towards the end was asking why the class needed a teacher if everything was taught through networking. The answer would be to teach them how to access this network and encourage them along the way! How else would a student know what to do? If I said “Okay class, here’s your syllabus. Go find a personal learning network and you’ll be good to go.” Do you think they would really learn? Probably not. I would be very confused if I didn’t have instructions or information on how to start learning on the web. I do agree with this video because this is the way we’re going to be learning in the 21st century! Good technology literate teachers are definitely needed.

Toward a New Future of Whatever – Michael Wesch

I enjoyed Michael Wesch’s lecture about the media and technology nowadays. I think it’s pretty accurate when he says that the media is an environment. Television, music, videos online, and more pretty much define our culture! That is what we learn from and that is what we look at everyday. I really liked when he compared his classroom to American Idol auditions. That was hilarious. I really wish all classrooms were like an American Idol audition, it would be much more exciting. Michael Wesch was really funny and fun to listen to.

He began to talk about the word whatever and the different versions and meaning. It was pretty funny, especially the MTV version. In our society, we have to find ourselves and find recognition and that is why we love to put ourselves out there on shows like American Idol or The Real World. People want to find themselves and they create their own view of themselves.

I’ve created videos for YouTube and other social websites before and I guess I did that because everyone else was doing it! My friend and I made a webshow last year just to tell what we had been doing and what was going on at the University we were at. I totally agree with what Mr. Wesch said and pointed out with his students about how self-conscious you become when you start talking to a camera. You want to fix your hair a lot; you want to fix every flaw before that video goes online. The video does become a confessional. Since other people are not around, you are much more likely to say what you really want to say.

I don’t really use as much media conversing other than Skype at the moment, but maybe it would be good for all of us to make more YouTube videos or media documents. Not only to express our feelings or things we want to share, but to help each other learn as college students. It would be great to ask questions and have them answered by other videos. I will be using videos for my classroom and media for my classroom. I want my class to respond to videos I make and post for them and learn through those videos. I want to do ‘whatever’ it takes to make the future for my students and myself as bright as possible.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 21st Assignment

Dr. Alice Christy

I really enjoyed viewing Dr. Alice Christy’s website and I found a section that I have been interested in learning about for a while now! She has a section on her website all about using the GPS system in the classroom and Geocaching. I received a GPS system for Christmas this year and the first thing someone told me to do was go Geocaching. I had never even heard about it, but I did some research and it looked like a lot of fun! I still haven’t been, but maybe with some of Dr. Christy’s instructions I will have a try for myself.

Geocaching merges technology and exploration into a fun filled event. People put all types of coordinates online so that you can type them into your GPS system and find a cache. A cache normally involves something to sign or leave at the place and there are normally a bunch of signatures to read! Dr. Christy’s website has a lot of links to websites with coordinates and activities. It also has videos and pictures of Geocaching experiences! There are links to Google Earth to teach geography with your Geocaching and lots of lesson ideas. I also love the fact that she did research about the best GPS systems for the classrooms. I really enjoyed this website and can’t wait to go Geocaching myself!

iTunes U

ITunes University is an awesome source for educational podcasts. Many colleges are offering courses on iTunes U and most of the podcasts on iTunes U are free. Apple’s website calls iTunes U mobile learning and says that students need to be able to access information on the go these days. You can basically go on the iTunes U section of the popular music program and find any educational information you need. I love the fact that I can attend classes at schools such as Yale, Duke, and Oxford from the comfort of my home.

An article on said that students who used the podcasts on iTunes U instead of coming to class actually did much better on the exams. I think I would probably do better on exams if I had that option in some classes. A professor stated on the article that he enjoyed uploading his lectures to iTunes U instead of doing the lengthy lecture during class. It freed up his time for questions in class and he had his students coming to class since he gave quizzes at the beginning of every class time.

I cannot wait until there are more classes that access iTunes U. I really think that it would be a wonderful study tool and I will be checking out other lectures on the website.

Links for extra reading:
The News Scientist Article

Apple's Mobile Learning Information

iPods in the Classroom

I never thought that I would ever see an iPod being used as a learning tool. I would have thought that it would be hard to keep students under control with their iPods since there are games and songs they would want to play with. Teachers have found great ways to use these electronic devices as learning devices. Some PE teachers are using the items as calorie counters during the day with the Nike iPod kits. Other teachers are using the iPods to catch students up who missed class by uploading audio, video, and pictures to their devices. ELL students are using the iPods as language tools! They can create and use flashcards on their iPods, which is really cool. has great information about people using iPods in the classroom. I will put a link to the page under this paragraph. The website even says Duke University has been using the iPod in their classrooms! The school offers iPods to students who are taking certain classes. They use their iPods to record audio for lectures, capture field information, study with audio books, podcasts, and more, and they store and transfer files through their iPods. I think that is awesome and I wish it was used here at South! It would definitely help my learning experience and study experience be much easier.

Here are two sites that I enjoyed reading on:
Duke's Center for Technology

Education World

Comments4Kids Assignment (Week 6)

I had to post a comment on PJ's video from New Auckland, New Zealand! The kids in the class I watched were in Year 2 and 3 which I am guessing is like grades 2 and 3. PJ and a boy named Zion made a video getting used to the camera. They said that they wanted to be good everyday. They were so sweet and confident in front of the camera! I thought it was so much fun to watch the children in the video. It is so odd knowing that they are so far away! I hope that I can have kids make videos as awesome as theirs in my own class!
PJ and Zion's video!

Friday, February 12, 2010

February 14th Assignment


I've always known that Wikipedia is full of untrue facts. The reason I knew is because I've changed facts on Wikipedia before to throw off my friends about bands. Now I know it isn't right to do that, but I promise it was funny and I changed information back after I was done. I did check back a few times though and there was always new, probably false, information. The weird thing is that I never thought that people could trace my IP address! That's pretty crazy. I can't believe that all of these large corporations are changing their own Wikipedia information to make themselves look better. Walmart, Exxon Mobil, Diebold, and even more change their facts to make themselves look better. I can't say that I blame them, but the lies are wrong.

The Wikipedia Scanner created by Virgil Griffith was an awesome idea and a great tool for the website. Now they can trace back any information or comments left on the website by IP addresses. I promise I will never tamper with Wikipedia again. It is a form of vandalism. I can't believe all the information that has been changed by politicians and even the CIA! I would never trust Wikipedia to be a good source for school assignments or anything else. Maybe one day they will have more limited editing of their website and then it would be alright to use Wikipedia as a reference. For now, I will stick to more reliable information from scholarly sources.

'What I've Learned This Year'

I've just finished reading Mr. McClung's blog post, 'What I've Learned This Year'. He had just finished his first year as an elementary school teacher and shared a lot of interesting information. He shared facts such as reading a crowd, being flexible, communication with your students and fellow teachers, being reasonable with your expectations, embracing technology, listening to the students, and continual learning. I thought his post was wonderful and very insightful! I know that as a first year teacher, I will have certain ideas of what should happen in my class. Through this post I was able to see that I can't let those ideas get in my way! I will have to adapt to my classroom and embrace all the resources that I can find.

I love the part where Mr. McClung talks about expectations. He points out the fact that we sometimes forget that we are dealing with children. He also says that when children don't meet their goals, it is our job to pick them up and encourage them to try again. I also loved when he pointed out the fact that when a teacher takes the time to listen to a child, the child feels respected and more comfortable with the teacher. I want my classroom to feel respect from me and their fellow students. Finally I want to point out the way Mr. McClung said don't be afraid of technology. Many adults are afraid of the use of technology in the classroom. I know I did not think technology was appropriate for a classroom until I entered this class. I will now use many forms of technology in my class since they are such great resources! I hope that my first year of teaching will be as successful as Mr. McClung's!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Comments4Kids Assignment (Week 5)

My Comments4Kids assignment for this week was for the Year 5 class! ( I read and commented on the blog about Martin Luther King. The children wrote about their dreams this week and those dreams were fantastic! The posts that they wrote were very touching and I enjoyed reading them. I was especially happy when I read that one of the children, Demetria, had a dream to become a singer. I love to sing myself and have performed for many years. I hope she keeps that dream alive! The dreams of hope, peace, love, and a future were all included in the blog and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Comments4Kids Assignment 1 (Week 4)

I commented on a child named Jonathan's blog ( earlier last week, but the post has still not shown up! I'm trying again now so hopefully it will work. Jonathan wrote about a book called The Palace of Laughter by Jon Berkeley. He wrote a very good summary of the book, telling his fellow students his opinion. I think this blog was great because it can let other students know what books are fun to read in Jonathan's point of view!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7th Assignment

Listening to More Podcasts
I listened to more podcasts this week and learned that it is really important to keep interesting information in your podcast. I also really enjoy when podcasts have music in the introduction and throughout the piece. The quality of audio is also very important. Nobody really wants to listen to a podcast with bad audio quality. I haven't watched many video podcasts, but the ones I did watch I liked. The only thing that bothers me is when the video quality is bad (lighting, fuzziness, etc.). I love for a podcast to be filled with fun facts, especially when those podcasts are done in a fun manner.

My absolute favorite podcast I listened to was the Eagle's Nest Radio podcast. It was so good that I actually listened to quite a few of the podcasts offered on the page! The podcast is filled with third graders sharing all different types of information. They travel through time, become ancient Romans, and even more! They have vocabulary words to share, poetry, and riddles that are so much fun! I really thought this podcast was awesome. I even learned some things through the podcast. I want to make podcasts with my students one day. I think the students will be able to learn and retain so much information by making their own podcast! This is such a fun thing to listen to that I think I will tell my younger cousins to give it a listen for fun tomorrow!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 31st Assignment


I have a lot of experience with listening to podcasts so this assignment was not that new to me! I’m a huge fan of all the Disney World podcasts as dorky as that sounds. I especially love the Disney podcasts with video of the parks and I’m subscribed to at least 5 or 6 of them. Now that we have that information out of the way, let us move on to educational podcasts. The education podcasts I dabbled in ranged from interesting to pretty helpful.

I loved the SmartBoard Lessons podcast. I thought that the podcast was fun to listen to and gave very helpful tips and resources. I liked the fact that the man was podcasting as he was going through a drive thru at a restaurant. The only problem I had with that podcast was the fact that he wanted that tomato and noodle soup. That’s just really gross. Overall, I will keep this on my subscriptions list. The KidCast podcast was really well put together and flowed as I listened to the audio. The guy really knew what he was talking about and gave great instructions. I will never say vodcast, I promise. He had some really good points on video podcasting. I enjoy video podcasting more that I do audio podcasting, but that is just my taste.

The music in front of the ConnectLearning episode 90 made me think of Napoleon Dynamite. I think David Warlick is a very smart, helpful person, but for me it was a little dry. Maybe that is the little kid in me, but I like something a little more upbeat to keep me interested. If there was something I really wanted to know more about, I would listen to this podcast. EdTechtalk was hard for me to listen to because of the audio. It was grating on my ears, but my ears are very sensitive so it may just be me. Just so you know which episode I had a problem listening to, it was episode 1 on the version of the podcast. I may have the wrong podcast, but I thought this podcast was boring. It was basically a question and answer session and I could have found that information from a better podcast.

Macbreak weekly is awesome! I have a macbook and I am a huge fan of Apple. I listened to the podcast about the iPad and I have to say, I really want one. The people in this podcast were fun to listen to and I’m keeping this podcast in my subscriptions list. I don’t even have a digital camera that works other than the one in my computer and on my phone, so listening to A Week in Photography was a little pointless. I will refer my sister to it though; she has her own super nice camera. I did enjoy the podcast even though the content really didn’t match any of my interests. I had already heard about the ‘racist’ digital camera that doesn’t detect some people’s eyes because of their race and the fact that their eyes are kind of closed in the first place. If I ever pick up photography, I’ll subscribe to this podcast.

Overall, I have decided that a great podcast needs to include clear audio, interesting and helpful facts, and a little bit of humor. I hope that when I record my podcast, it will be interesting enough for others to listen!

Mrs. Cassidy’s Class Videos and the Baby iPhone Genius

Mrs. Kathy Cassidy’s class videos were amazing! I was shocked at the technology-centered intelligence the children had. They were so young and precious, but so much more advanced than I was at six or seven years old. I didn’t know what a wiki was until I joined this class and I had no idea how to use Skype until I was 19. I can’t imagine how advanced those children will be in another year or two! I am going to have to brush up on media sources if I ever want to have a class like that. I didn’t know how to use a computer until I got the Muppet Treasure Island computer game in the third grade. Now I am a little ashamed.

Sadly those children can probably do more on the Internet than I know about. I just learned how to make blog entries and I am at least triple the age of those kids. The other video that shocked me was the one year old on the iPhone. That baby could barely even talk, yet he knew exactly what to do to navigate that phone. My dad has an iPhone and I didn’t even know you could zoom in on the pictures. It just shows that this next generation is moving into technology at a much more rapid pace than we could have moved. It is an intimidating thought that my students could run a computer or phone better than I could, but I hope to learn these new concepts quickly!

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 24th Assignment

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

In the video about the modern student by Dr. Michael Wesch, a teacher at Kansas State University, the facts shown were true of most colleges across the United States. Today’s student is both great at multitasking and heavily involved in technology. Cell phones, laptops, iPods, and more are readily available every day. The video shows students that skip classes, do not read their assignments, never open their expensive textbooks, and use facebook or chat through class time. I know a lot of students that fly by the seat of their pants in that way, but I have never been able to take the risk. The 115-student classroom fact was overwhelming to me because I have just transferred to South Alabama from a smaller Christian university, the University of Mobile, this semester. The number of students in a class at the University of Mobile is about 30, sometimes even less, and every teacher knows your name unlike the 18% of teachers in the video. We were not even supposed to bring laptops to class at the private university. I know that I will be adjusting more to the facts of this video in upcoming semesters.

It is very true that most of the things we learn in our education experience, we will never use in every day life. I know that most of my classes, other than my classes in the Education department, I memorize facts for a test and don’t even remember those facts the next week. Most of these classes will not solve our every day problems. They will not solve the problems that the world has in store for the future. I don’t think there is any point that I would add to the video as of now. Maybe once I get used to a larger college experience I will know more and be able to understand the points better.

Kelly Hines

In Kelly Hines’s post ‘It’s Not About the Technology’, she talks about how technology is not all learning in the 21st century is about. At first glance, I was very skeptical of what this blog post was going to say. My thoughts were that technology was what would really upgrade the classroom, but really the upgrade into the 21st century is an effective teacher that loves learning and wants his or her students to love learning. Sure, a teacher can teach and preach boring information all he or she wants to, but a student will never understand what he/she is being told unless the teacher is innovative with the learning experience. The teacher needs proper training in the use of new technology before that teacher can help his/her students will the technology.

Being a teacher these days means being up to date with current tools and technology is what Kelly Hines says in her first point. She says that the teacher cannot just attend mandated workshops and required readings, but must be willing to learn about all new things in the world. The teacher has to be a learner throughout his/her whole career! I think that teachers need to be willing to learn alongside the student. Students can actually teach us many things about technology that most of us don’t even know. Kids pick up things on the Internet or on programs just by exploring them and that is what teachers should be doing as well. Exploration and creativity is what makes learning so much fun. All in all, I think this blog makes the great point that teaching is not about drilling information about technology that we don’t even use. It is about learning about the technology and subjects ourselves and developing a love for learning and creativity.

Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

Karl Fisch made some bold statements in his blog, “Is It Okay to Be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher?” and I fully agree with those statements. I do not believe a teacher is a successful teacher when he/she is not teaching what the modern student needs to know for the future! I love how Mr. Fisch compared the early 20th century’s reading and writing need growth to the 21st century’s technology need growth. He states, “If a teacher today is not technologically literate - and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more - it's equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write.” Technology is used everyday in jobs around the world and new technology is available at a quick rate. Teachers need to get acquainted with what their students need to know, so they certainly need to be technology literate.

I am not saying that the use of technology is all that teachers need to focus on these days. That is far from the truth. Karl Fisch says, “Let me be clear, I'm not saying that technology is the end all and be all of education. As I think I've always tried to say, it's just a tool to help us teach and learn and grow - but an indispensable tool.” You can use a mix of modern technology and creativity to teach anything! It is all a matter of taking advantage of the computers and programs there are available. He makes a good point with the fact that technology has been available for years now. There is no good excuse for not learning how to use technology. You have to learn for your students and love the learning process. The students need to be successful in their own time, not successful 30 years ago.

Social Media Count

The Social Media Count created by Gary Hayes is pretty crazy. One thing that shocked me was the fact that people actually spend money on those weird little facebook gifts. I mean really? They are cartoons that your friends will see once or twice. That is just my opinion. None of the other facts about facebook or twitter really shock me that much. I know that a lot of people’s lives revolve around those websites. Facebook gets 600,000 members per day and Twitter gets 18 million new members per year! I really didn’t know that so many people were active on that Second Life game! I only knew about it because I saw it on an episode of ‘The Office’, but people must really spend a lot of time on that website.

Personally I love watching videos on YouTube and I know I spend far too much time on that website. I must not be the only one because it looks like a few thousand videos are being watched per second! According to the statistics underneath the counter, a ton of money is earned and spent on the web every day. All of these facts just show how much modern life is spent in front of some sort of screen.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January 17th Assignment

Did You Know? 3.0
The ‘Did You Know? 3.0’ video by Karl Fisch contained quite startling information. Before I watched the video, I did not realize how much technology use has grown in just the past two or three years. The thing that really shocked me was the fact that technology is doubling every two years and the fact that what I am learning now in my education courses will by outdated rapidly. In years to come, technology could be completely ruling our lives. The computers may become the teachers in every classroom instead of an actual human teacher. Knowing the facts in the video, I’m sure virtual teachers are quite possible. I don’t enjoy the idea that there may be a computer that can compute more information than my own brain.

I knew that the countries of India and China seemed vastly overpopulated, but the fact that in a few minutes only 67 babies are born in the United States while at the same time 274 babies were born in China and 395 were born in India is simply astounding. The fact that China will soon be the number one English speaking language in the world is also very odd. What is happening to the Chinese language and what is happening with our English language? I guess the fact that they have many more people than the United States living in their country makes it easy for them to out speak the smaller nation. India’s population is also much smarter than America’s population. It seems like the United States is slowly slipping away. I enjoyed all of the facts I learned in the video and I plan to keep up with the updated versions.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
The video ‘Mr. Winkle Wakes’ by Matthew Needleman showed an interesting view of schools with few versions of technology. The video shows a cute Rip Van Winkle cartoon waking from his long slumber and getting lost in a city full of technology. He first stops at an office and is overwhelmed with all of the machines he heard and saw around the room. He didn’t like the change so he left and went to a hospital. The hospital overwhelmed Mr. Winkle even more with technology he never thought would exist. When Mr. Winkle arrived at the school building, he felt much more comfortable because it was more like he remembered it to be. There was only one of the ‘machines’ in the back of the room.

I think the video was trying to make the point that even though there is so much technology used in every day life, teachers and schools aren’t using that technology to teach kids what they will need to know in the future job market. Most schools do not use a lot of computers or technology to teach their children and that needs to be addressed. I did visit one school through observation hours that did access technology every day. The kids created power points with their teachers to learn history lessons and did reading and English lessons on a computer with their teachers along with many web-accessed games. The children seemed to really enjoy that kind of education and also seemed further ahead than other kids their age. If school boards would adopt those methods of learning for their own schools, maybe all children would progress on a great level and also be comfortable with the tools they will need in the future.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

In the video ‘The Importance of Creativity’, Ken Robinson says that creativity is important in education as literacy and that we as teachers should treat it with the same status. He thinks that we are educating children into a world of being scared of being wrong which causes them to lose their creativity. I definitely agree with that statement. When a person is afraid of being wrong, the person will not want to say anything remotely close to the answer unless it is correct. As a child, you still have that free feeling of saying anything you would like to say, but as you grow older you are taught in the schools that you are only wrong or right.

Sir Robinson says that creative people don’t feel creative in school because they are not valued or they are stigmatized since they were not good at the right thing. I think that schools should offer more creative arts classes to make those children more comfortable. He says in his speech that mostly music and art classes are taught while drama and dance classes are pushed to the side. Dramatic arts and more creative outlets would be a great way for children to learn English and history lessons in different ways! The children would be developing their creativity and also learning the facts the school boards demand that they know.

I thought the story about the dancer was amazing. It is true that most people would tell the child with the adhd symptoms to go on medication and calm down, but the instructor showed her mother that she was in fact a dancer and the little girl grew up to be a world class dancer. That just shows that people need to focus more on creativity than academics. There are so many children with short attention spans and learning disabilities that would benefit greatly from creative activities. Sir Ken Robinson had so many great points and it was very entertaining to listen to his speech.

Harnessing Your Students’ Digital Smarts
The ‘Harnessing Your Students’ Digital Smarts’ video was very interesting. The way Vicki Davis teaches her students is so different from the average classroom you would enter. I love the way that she uses the flat classroom so that the students are able to communicate and learn with other students all over the world. Vicki’s students learn through using all of the forms of technology they possibly can. On the video I spotted computers, cell phones, and even social networking sites such as Twitter. I loved when she said that teachers do not have to know everything about what they are teaching. Students will probably learn more effectively if they have to help the teacher as well. Vicki Davis is a blogger at the Cool Cat Teacher blog. I checked it out after watching the video. It has such great information for teachers!

Vicki Davis’ students are able to show the whole class how to run certain programs so Vicki is able to watch her students blossom every day. She uses the Open Simulator to teach her students new concepts with Avatars and things like terraform. I had never even heard of these things. I wish that I could spend a day in a class like Vicki’s class. Her students will definitely have so many opportunities because of their experience with so much technology. The videos and chats with students from different countries build their knowledge of different cultures and different ways of learning. I hope to create a digital experience for my students in the future and I will be trying to use Digiteen and different sources in my classroom.