Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blog Post #4


In the podcast Listen-Comprehension-Podcast, a second grade class learns the story of Purim and with help from their Jewish studies teacher they create a script and present it to their parents in the form of a podcast. What made this particular podcast so special is that this class of 2nd graders presented this story in Hebrew! It was astonishing to hear 7 and 8 year old kids speak this foreign language with such ease. The students used different editing tools for their Podcast but the main purpose of this project was to see how quickly these young students could grasp and comprehend this difficult language and then apply the skills they learned in order to write a script.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom

I found The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom to be very informative. I don't know too much about podcast and I've never used them in the classroom so this video was very helpful. The video showed that this form of technology in the classroom is a very effective way of keeping in touch with students outside of the classroom and also allowing for parents to be able to hear and understand what is going on in class. Most students today are constantly using laptops, iPods, iPads, and cell phones so making the learning material available through these devices is very convenient for students and also offers a since of familiarity. After watching this video it is obvious to see that podcasting is a very effective way of not only teaching but learning as well.

Podcasting with 1st Grade

Podcasting with 1st Grade is a podcast telling the story Vacation Under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne. This is presented solely by a 1st grade class and in my opinion they did a great job. As I was listening I could tell that the students were very excited and enthusiastic about this project. Instead of just having the students read the book aloud during class the teacher integrated new technology into the classroom with this podcast and made it more entertaining for the students, teacher, and audience. Another important factor about this project is the script that the students and teacher came up with. I think writing out a script gave the students a better understanding of the story and made it easier to present.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blog Post #3

Technology in Special Education

To begin I would like to say I greatly admire special education teachers for putting in the time, effort, and patience to do their job. The use of iPods and laptops have really helped the learning and teaching process of Ms. Cook's class evolve. One of the students, Kris, is unable to speak but with the help of his laptop he is able to communicate with Ms. Cook as well as his classmates. I thought this was amazing because without the help of his laptop Kris may have not been in the class and been able to interact with his classmates, which I think is a very important part of learning. Also there was another student who was unable to read, but with the help of an iPod he was able to join the class in quiet reading time. Before the introduction of the iPod the student would have to leave the classroom and have a teacher read to him but now he is able to stay and join in with his classmates. I think the introduction of advanced technology in these classrooms is a great way for the students to learn more efficiently.

Special education students require much more attention and traditional teaching methods don't always work when it comes to these situations. I admire Ms. Cook's initiative to introduce these advanced technologies to her students in order to help them learn and to better her class. Many teachers feel that iPods and laptops in the classroom are a distraction but she showed how they can be extremely helpful.

Education App

The educational app that I chose is "meStudying: Algebra 1." I chose this specific application because I believe one of the hardest subjects for students of any age is math. One of the hardest parts about math is that you can't constantly study for it like other subjects such as history or science. With this application you can choose a topic and practice problems and learn concepts at anytime, not just during class. The convenience of this app would be extremely helpful as well as the extra practice problems that are needed to understand specific Algebra concepts.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

I was amazed by how much information is sent and received over the internet in such a short period of time. We are constantly using YouTube, Facebook, and sending and receiving text messages but we don't realize exactly how much we rely on them. As an educator this means we must learn how to use these communication systems properly, not only for everyday use, but also as a teaching tool. These new ways of communicating with one another are great resources for educators. The days of sitting in a classroom and listening to a teacher talk for hours are coming to an end and being replaced more advanced technologies. It is much more efficient to send homework assignments and other class related work via email rather than hand them out during class.

The numbers on this social media account are only going to continue to grow and failing to embrace these new communication tools will only result in falling behind the curve. By the time we begin our careers I'm sure there will be many new tools that will aid in the teaching process. I believe the use of these types of technologies will make the learning process much more enjoyable , not only for the students, but the teachers as well.

A Vision of Students Today

I think Michael Wesch's video did an exceptional job of describing the thoughts of a college student when it comes to what they are learning, how they are learning, and how they feel about the information being taught. Sometimes I question why I'm required to take certain classes because I can't see how they will help me in the future. This seems to be a common problems among college students. As pointed out in the video, we are required to purchase books and materials that we rarely use and do not benefit us in any way. I believe there are many ways to educate students but I don't believe requiring them to purchase hundreds of dollars in books and having them read and memorize the information is the best way.

The number of students owning laptops, iPads, and other tools with access to the internet is constantly growing. This should be acknowledged and instead of having students purchase hundreds of dollars in books every semester, which they more than likely won't read, educators should make the learning material accessible through the internet. Not only would this be much more efficient, but it would also make the learning experience much more enjoyable and interesting.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blog Post #2

1.) After watching Did You Know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version by John Strange I realized that we are not the superiors that we think we are. The video talks about the amount of technology we are using everyday whether it be Youtube, cell phones, computers, etc. Millions of information are exchanged every minute and we don't realize it or take advantage of it. If we are constantly sending and receiving information with these technologies, then we should be able to use the same technology to educate ourselves and others. I found it amazing that many people are being prepared for jobs that don't even exist yet. Everything is growing at such a fast pace I don't know how it's possible to keep up. Previous to this video I thought the United States was at the top when it came to education and development, but I see know how blind i was to think that.

2.) I found Matthew Needleman's Mr. Winkle Wakes interesting. I'm assuming that Mr. Winkle is Rip Van Winkle and in the video he awakes from a very long slumber and is in shock at the new technologies that surround him in his work place. He is later taken to the hospital and is also astonished by the x-rays, heart monitors, and etc. Later he visits a school and feels more comfortable in a more familiar environment because there aren't any of these new devices around. What I took from this video is that schools aren't growing as fast as other places when it comes to new technologies. I agree with this because I attended a school that had a student body of 500 students from seventh to twelfth grade. There was one computer lab for the entire school and it held maybe 20 computers. The only computers in the classroom were the teachers computer and the first time I saw a smart board was my first semester in college. I think schools need to integrate more computers and other new forms of learning into the classroom. The earlier people are introduced to these learning the systems the more familiar they will become with them and find out interesting they can make the learning experience.

4.)The video, A Vision for 21st Century Learning, made some interesting arguments. The first obvious argument made was that the learning experience today is usually boring and repetitive, which I agree with. Sitting in a classroom listening to someone read from a book or taking notes is very boring and most of the time students are just writing and not paying any attention to what is being said. Another argument made is that a newer more interesting learning experience could be available and could help not only the students but the teachers as well. I completely agree with this theory. I have sat in class and listened to my teacher read and take notes and I've also used computers, interacted with students and teachers via skype, and even played games as part of the learning experience and I found option two to be easier and much more interesting.

5.) I enjoyed watching Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts. I think it's great that a rural town in southern Georgia has integrated computers into the classroom and are using them as learning tools. I'm from a small rural town in Alabama and I would have loved to have a class like that in high school. The students in this video seem to be learning so much quicker and having a good time while they are learning, which doesn't happen a lot. The teacher even mentioned that after learning some basic things the students were able to teach her a few things. The type of learning environment demonstrated in this video seems like the best way for all students to be involved and keep them interested. I think a big reason that some students don't learn as well or as quickly as others is because they aren't interested by the material or by how it's presented. This new type of learning can make everything more interesting and help some of these students who get bored easily in traditional classrooms.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blog Post #1

1.) I'm from Jacksonville, Alabama, which is located in northeast Alabama about an hour past Birmingham. USA will be the fourth college/university I have attended. After high school i attended King College in Bristol, TN for a year on a wrestling scholarship. I transferred from King back home to Gadsden State Community College after a year because I was having issues keeping my weight down and my grades up. After I finished up most of my basics at GSCC I transferred to Jacksonville State University and from there I came to USA. It was a tough decision to come to USA because my step-dad is an Auburn University alumni and he really pushed for me to go to Auburn but I had some friends from high school that came to school at USA and I've only heard good things from them about the school and city and that had a lot of influence on my decision. My decision to go into the field of education was influenced by my love for sports. I've played sports my entire life and if I wouldn't have had weight issues I would probably still be wrestling. My first major was Business Administration but after I moved back home and helped coach some area high school wrestling teams I knew I wanted to teach and coach. One thing I love so much about sports is the preparation process so I would really like to be a strength and conditioning coach for a university. I realize that a bachelors degree doesn't mean the same as it always has so after I graduate with my bachelors i plan on going back for my masters in Kinesiology. 2.) I found Mr. Pausch's lecture very informative. I really agree with the planning things out part. I try to plan out every thing I do from the my school work to my workout. I like to have a plan before I start something. His suggestion of a to do list seems like it could be very helpful. If things are written down or typed out and I can actually see them and know what I have to do I usually get them done more proficiently. I had never heard of Mr. Pausch before this video but after I watched it I watched a couple other videos by him.