Visit the EDM310 Alumni Blog

The EDM 310 Alumni Blog is up and running. Happy birthday!If you are interested in being a writer/comtributor, email the blog at

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thanks for a great semester!

Thank you for a great semester, fellow EDM310 friends. Since you've been so free with your perspectives and new learnings, I have learned so much from many of you. I'm looking forward to continuing to share and learn via the alumni blog.

Have a great summer and the best to you!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Sentence

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

Need to think about it.

Two questions that will change our lives ;

What is my sentence?
Was I better today than I was yesterday?

Yep.. Need to think about it.

A 7th Grader's PLE

I am so VERY impressed with this PLE video of a 12 year old 7th grade girl. I liked her statements that she had so much freedom that she felt an inclination to be responsible. "It's not like I can choose not to do something but that I can choose how to do it and when to do it" is what she says.

This is so far ahead of college courses I have. This is what kids need as a learning environment. Where is she from and what is the name of the school?

Summary Post - Honest Reflection

{I am now looking back to January and fast forwarding to today.}

It has been a fruitful 15 weeks. Is that all? 15 weeks? EDM310 has been a valuable experience for me technologically, intellectually, personally, and professionally.

Technologically Speaking

It is quite obvious that I should have grown technologically during my time in EDM310, and I thankfully have. We were initially asked “Are you technologically literate?” Ha! I actually answered “Yes!” And yes, I am laughing out loud at myself. I thought I was so savy with my word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software skills. What a lesson to learn that those are just tools like my pencil that I have to know, and being able to use them does not make me technologically literate. I was just meeting some basic expectations.

EDM 310 has provided me with the tools and (although scheduled) time to experiment with technology I had heard of and much that I had no clue about. I’m grateful to have had the time to begin to develop a plan for my professional development and classroom effectiveness using technology.

Allow me to list the technological tools that I feel I know now :

-Google Docs including forms/spreadsheets/word processing, Reader, Gmail, iGoogle- I plan to
use these in my classroom
- Delicious
- Picasa – love it and now use it for all pictures due to speed and ease of sharing
- Podcasts, - loved the concept and ease of creation and use
- videocasts, - loved the concept and ease of creation and use. I feel I have a good handle on the
equipment needed and value.
- YouTube, - was able to experience using it for a video posting. I enjoy the information,
not garbage, available for teaching and learning
- movie making – I enjoyed seeing the variety of styles and technologies for this on posts
and from fellow classmates
- Posts you read – loved many, enjoyed the professional posts; appreciated the posts that
were for our class to comment on
- PLNs, - great direction given to us to develop one. The spreadsheet with the free
software links was helpful as well as the podcasts on PLN’s
- Twitter – I have an account
- Other teachers and students outside of our region, - Loved them all. What about Mobile
County teachers?
- Comments4kids – great assignment and substitute for no inclass service this semester; would
like to adopt this for my classes
- comments4classmates – liked this because it made me look at the quality of work of my
peers; I had to schedule the time, got in the habit, then do it for those blogs that I enjoyed
- Comments4teachers- if we can’t be in the classroom or around other professionals physically
this course, Comments4Teachers is a great alternative
- iTunes- this course has me now downloading podcasts a few times a week
- iTunesU, accessibility issues and the use of – I was exposed, but not using it
- html tag modifiers to address some of those issues – need to work on
- who you are as a professional,
- Google Earth – did the assignment, was exposed, but no depth on this
- ACCESS and ALEX – glad to have been exposed now before student teaching to use during
block coursework. I’m interested in seeing how valuable and integrating it into my
professional life before being hired. Not to mention, these are not very developed so would I
really have been exposed to this on the job?
- Technological literacy – oh boy! See my comments.
- Tthe future of schools – don’t really know. I feel through sites like At the Teachers’ Desk, and
2cents Worth, as well as others, I’ve seen a more editorial aspect of the future of schools. But
what about Mobile County where it is now, opportunities for technological advancement and
future plans?
- Your "intellectual trail" – please see my extensive comments

Did Dr. S miss anything? Here are Jackie’s other gains from EDM130 :

- Class structure – lesson learned about offering freedom in their pursuit to help them explore and learn through discovery to develop thinkers

- Reflection and Feedback – I have come to understand the value of reflection as a mom and see it as the same asset in teaching. Continuously self-evaluating to adjust the lessons, approaches, effectiveness, goals, missions, meanings, growth is not only valuable, I think as a teacher one will sink if honest reflection is not part of our abilities.

Although I am pleased with the quantity and quality of the education on many fronts with EDM310, there are some places I need improvement on.The following are tools that I will be working on to know better.

- Twitter : tweeting and using Twitter as an active tool for networking and professional
- WIKIs – I should know this, but need to listen to the podcast and familiarize myself
- Movie Making : I need to streamline the making part as well as learn through practice
how to make interesting and effective movies. Also posting using iTunesU and Youtube needs
to be practiced.
- Balance between using the technology and getting lost in the sea of information.
- How to apply what I have learned while still meeting my job requirements
- If what I have learned can not be supported in the school that I will be placed, then how
will I work to get the support, through grants, the main office?

Are there things that I would have liked to learn and did not?

The current policies in Mobile County – Can we even blog?
Current classroom technology (I’m not talking about the projector or intercom)
Mobile County trends and plans for using technology
Smartboard use and effective integration into teaching.

Intellectual and Personal Gains from EDM310 :

This learning and teaching style suits me well. I thoroughly enjoyed the hybrid aspect, as we were still interfacing even when we were not in the same room. The experience as a student who will one day have her own students was valuable in that first hand I saw what not setting the bar resulted in. It allowed those that were learners, went far and those that weren’t interested, fell.. I’m not advocating that someone needs to fall. What I am saying is this class structure didn’t allow for anyone to be pulled along, yielding a false perception that they would meet minimum expectations. I would like to instill some of the self directedness into my classes appropriately. I’m interested to figure out how to get the lower performing students to rise to the challenge by helping them to discover their own path… Oh I know this is all so naïve, and I don’t know how to do it, it is only my vision. No plan happens without a vision and some action… Enough said.

I enjoyed the soft, philosophical aspects that were more global lessons than just those related to technology. The ongoing discussion about grades, quality of posts, quality of our work and our future as teachers were priceless. I found all of it insightful, exciting, important, inspirational, paradigm shifting, and good information for when I’m in the classroom. My fellow students were fascinating to me. We came in all shapes and sizes, and collaborated fabulously. I learned a lot from them and Dr. Strange, Jim Fawcett, Mr. C., Dorothy Burt, Mr. McClung, Ken Robinson, etc. The interface and experience caused me to grow in many ways.

There wasn’t a time when I wasn’t learning something in this class. That may seem impossible, but nothing comes to mind. I wish I had learned more! Luckily, I will continue to do that, by taking very seriously, the need to be a life learner.

How funny is this??

Check out this site called Chogger for an interesting way to format presentations like a comic strip.

Substasive Presentation

My presentation was given to my class as a recruitment and info-mercial for the EDM310 Alumni Blog. My preparation was limited and on the fly (much like I imagine the day in the life of a teacher will be). Outlined during the presentation was the inception of the concept, the project start, the process we used to determine the interest and needs for the blog, as well as what was needed from the current students to get it rolling.

Since then, many students have become contributors and the momentum is growing.

My Professional Blog - EDM 310 Alumni Blog

This is an experpt from my post entitled "Final Comments on the Evolution of my PLN."

I feel like the cherry on the sundae has been the EDM 310 Alumni Blog. I enjoyed using Google Docs and gmail to acquire addresses, form the team (of 20-30) and understand the needs and desires for the project. This was a bit of a test run for me in using the available fee technology to collaborate with never meeting face to face. Google Docs was used to create a form and now we have a project start. This project has caused me to take my PLN to a new level locally. I've met more classmates and other EDM310 students, and the project vision gets a little more defined with each email and new contributor.

I had mentioned, in my February 27th post, that I would continue to do something rather than nothing to venture into uncharted waters. Jamie Lynn and I did just that in about 15 minutes face to face (during Dr. Strange's lecture - thank you for understanding Dr. S!) and the birthday was established. It was fun and most rewarding.

The best part is that we now have a local network of fledgling teachers with a common forum to exchange ideas and learn from.

Final Comments on The Evolution of My PLN

I am writing after reading my initial post entitled " The Evolution of my PLN." At that time, on February 27, 2010, over two months ago, I had already experienced so much with my PLN. It was well on its way at that time. There was even a mention about a EDM310 Alumni Blog in that post.

Since then, many of what was in place continued and grew a little and has been now integrated into my typical day or week. I keep up with my Google Reader each day as well as my and the EDM310 Blog. I've enjoyed Delicious until I did something to my password to get denied access. I'll be fixing it soon as it's difficult to live without.

I feel like the cherry on the sundae has been the EDM 310 Alumni Blog. I enjoyed using Google Docs and gmail to acquire addresses, form the team (of 20-30) and understand the needs and desires for the project. This was a bit of a test run for me in using the available fee technology to collaborate with never meeting face to face. Google Docs was used to create a form and now we have a project start. This project has caused me to take my PLN to a new level locally. I've met more classmates and other EDM310 students, and the project vision gets a little more defined with each email and new contributor.

I had mentioned, in my February 27th post, that I would continue to do something rather than nothing to venture into uncharted waters. Jamie Lynn and I did just that in about 15 minutes face to face (during Dr. Strange's lecture - thank you for understanding Dr. S!) and the birthday was established. It was fun and most rewarding.

The best part is that we now have a local network of fledgling teachers with a common forum to exchange ideas and learn from.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Posting to a Student's Blog Does Make a Difference - for Student and Teacher

I was tickled to receive this response to a post on my Comments4Kids posting. This was her response :

Heather said...

Thank you so much Jackie for commenting on my blog and I wish you all the best but always keep up teaching your students.
April 21, 2010 9:17 AM

I always leave a question on a Comments4Kids post, hoping to begin a dialogue with some student somewhere in the universe. They never answer the questions, and this was the first response. But we do make a difference letting them know that we have seen their work AND were impressed!

Just another thing that makes teaching so fascinating and rewarding.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

EDM 310 Alumni Blog - The Survey is Out! Be Heard!

Email Me if you want a version of the survey that you would submit.

The survey is available for you to complete if you would like to provide input on the design of a blog for all of us to use once we move on to the next stage after EDM310 and then in our after USA life. Instructions are in the header of the survey. Responses have to be submitted by Wednesday, April 14th, please.

THIS IS NOT MANDATORY, BUT VOLUNTARY. It's a student driven project, not an assignment.


Email Me

Project 8 - Teach Someone With Technology

The Prototype : Adding Mixed Numbers

The project I have chosen is something I plan to use on Monday with a student that I tutor in math. During the second or third week of the semester, I had decided that podcasts and video casts would have a place in my classroom. Math seems like a great subject to have a library of short, technique tutorials for students that may need further review. The student that I tutor has difficulties in taking notes and understanding the material during class. So, here it is. The prototype for tutorials to come. It is a little rough (such as the title should read "Adding Mixed Fractions") but I wanted to spend the time to see it through to posting to make sure I understood how to make and post a podcast using a PC. All the Mac students seem to be wizzes at it and those of us with PC's have a little more of a cumbersome path.

This will need to be polished, or Take 2 will need to happen before I share it with my student and his teacher on Monday.

Some things I will improve :

-practice a couple of times before recording, then the rest would probably be better
- be more accurate in my information (the title is wrong, and if time permits, I'll correct)
- a bigger white board
- better handwriting
-decrease the length, be more concise
-find a better recording set up - I used my desk and an old whiteboard my kids play with
-add inflection in my voice with logical transitions to not put the viewer to sleep

I used a Logitech 500 Webcam, a write on/wipe off board, Windows Movie Maker 2.1 and then Mydeo to post it. Mydeo is a web video host, and it is free. I chose the streaming option for the video. I don't know if that was the right choice, but in the essence of learning, it was the first try.

Adding Mixed Numbers

My First Voicethread

Here it is, my first Voicethread. This is like hanging my report card on the refrigerator when I was a kid.

PS22 Video

What fun! I like that the arts are being kept alive in the classroom here! The energy and happiness of both the students and their teacher is what makes teaching worth it!

For any teachers that want to use technology in their classroom:

Eric Langhorst is a history teacher and host of the blog Speaking of History. Mr. Langhorst really helped Tyler and I on our podcast project. Since connecting with him, I check out his blog occaisionally. It's really great.

If you will be a history teacher, don't miss this one. He has a lot of material that you could probably use for your classroom.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Why is it important for students to post their work to blogs (or other places)?

One common thread to the many blogs that I have had the privilege to encounter this semester is that kids like to know that someone can view and comment on their work. I had thought the they would be more apt to not want to put themselves out for display, but it is much the contrary.

Posting is different, fun and a special assignment for students. It provides them a tangible role in the learning process. Wasn't that one of the lessons in Week 1 of EDM310? Posting is out of the norm - today. It empowers them to be a part of the learning process. A site that I stumbled on this semester, is MathtrainTV. I dug into it because I was interested in math related podcast teaching tools, but became instantly fascinated because the students are doing the teaching. Check out this posting on The Innovative Educator, "Kids Teach with Mathcasting." The key words are KIDS TEACH. This is really a great example of using technology in the classroom.

Within the posting is a link for Mathtrain.TV where the students' math podcasts reside. The podcasts are really well done. Check them out!

If you want a sampling of failure prior to success for a teacher when using podcasts in the classroom, take a look at Sustainability Digital which is a blog hosted by 9th grade science teacher Ben Wildeboer. The blog contains comments from the teacher on the trials of the initial video project. You can see the enthusiasm of the students in the videos. An alternative "traditional" assignment may not have inspired the effort by the students that the video had.
This was a Comments4Kids assignment where I commented on the alkaline earth metals video produced. The students produced their own videos pertaining to their subject. This is Mrs. McGeady’s 2KM class blog. Their teacher announced a contest that would involve blog posting tips. She asked that anyone who had something to add to the recommendations to comment. I added that it was polite to respond to a post made on your blog kindly to express your appreciation for their contribution.

Eric Langhorst, Speaking of History

Eric Langhorst's classes appear to be very integrated with technology. He uses technology with many assignments, and to convey information. Check out this blog post, The Donner Party Project, where he has experts on the topic and education peers comment on the student videos. Students present info and also debate on video.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Survey Results for Survey Project

I have used a workaround prescribed by Dr. Strange to report the results. If you would like it, email me.
One caveat is that all of the comments that are in a list format are not viewable. Other than typing it myself, I don't know how to display all the comments.


What you had to say - Survey Results!

Survey Project

Monday, March 29, 2010

Week 12, Comments 4 Kids

Afio Mai and Welcome to Room Nine

This was an interesting assignment. I really wasn't sure how to approach this since the language propriety was so important. I hope I was not offensive by including a little bit of her language from the website. My comment pertained to Alarze's first post, which was not in English. She did well! My response:

Tēnā koe, Alarzae!

Kei te pēhea koe? Ka nui te ora

I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama United States of America. I am learning how to teach children math when they are 11-18 years old. My teacher introduced me to your class blog where I was able to learn a little bit about your language. It is beautiful.

You should be proud of your first post. You did very well! Continue the great work.

Have a super day!

E noho rā

Jackie Gorski
University of South Alabama, USA
Secondary Education/Math Student
EDM310 Technology in Education

my blog :

Week 12 Blog Post : Kaia, Her Father and Mr. C

Let me first start by saying that this was a great example of how we are fundamentally just people, regardless of culture, age, or geographical location. Here is Kaia’s father, with concerns no different for his child than those of us in the United States would have. And then his philosophies on education, learning and the outdoors are really common to those in our class and others here in the United States. I like that the blogs allow us to share ideas and see the commonality of people across the globe.

I truly enjoyed reading the posts. Mr. C’s class really hit a home run to find someone so curious and insightful to help the project be more than it was intended to be. I enjoyed Kaia’s fathers many mentions about taking risks to learn and to do that with people around the world.

Google Guide for Teachers - A find I had to share!

Check out Free Technology for Teachers and subscribe to the RSS feed for some really good stuff that you will want to have in your teacher's bag of tricks.

PLN tip : I have every blog that I follow in my Google Reader so that I can quickly browse through resources and with little time choose the posts that I am interested in. This one came to me today and caught my eye for two reasons. We all may be able to use this one day, if not now, and I think it may be a good candidate for the Alumni Blog.

Thomas Byrne is a Google Certified Teacher. Read his blog post describing why and how he wrote this guide.

Click here for the Google for Teachers guide.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mathtrain.TV Podcasts

Check out this posting on The Innovative Educator, "Kids Teach with Mathcasting." The key words are KIDS TEACH. This is really a great example of using technology in the classroom.

Within the posting is a link for Mathtrain.TV where the students' math podcasts reside. The podcasts are really well done. Check them out!

The Innovative Educator - Sir Ken Robinson - "Eureka! We've Finally Perfected Educating Students for the Past"

I know we are supposed to post our Comments4Teachers at the end of week 12, but I don't think I could wait that long. This was a good clip, which talks about meeting kids needs individually as no two people are alike. He touches on standardized testing and how we can't evaluate the success of a student with a one-size-fits-all evaluation.

I was intrigued by a comment posted by a gentleman who calls himself "Marksrightbrain." He made some comments that I either don't understand or am just in such disagreement that I can't see his point (not always an endearing quality of mine :)). If you have a chance to read his comments, then my response, I would really be interested in your feedback. Click here to go to this posting on The Innovative Educator.

Thanks, Jackie

Below is the clip.

Morgan Bayda: An Open Letter to Educators

My hat is off to Morgan Bayda. All I can say is : ENERGY! I'll be checking out her blog often. She may be great to collaborate with on the Alumni Blog.

I loved Dan Brown's video. I wish the K-12 kids had a say in the education they are provided. Free and appropriate.. That 's the education their supposed to be getting, but all of this fact memorizing makes my stomach turn. It's up to us to give them more than that!

I'm curious about the alternative education path that he will either find, or most likely create for himself that would grant him opportunities for employment. Is he looking for another university? Wouldn't it be interesting to know if there were universities out there with the programs that he describes?

Here he is below:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Comments4Kids Update

Week 9 Posts

Sustainability Digital is a blog hosted by 9th grade science teacher Ben Wildeboer. I commented on the alkaline earth metals video produced. The students produced their own videos pertaining to their subject. The blog contains comments from the teacher on the trials of the initial video project.

Week 10 Posts This is Mrs. McGeady’s 2KM class blog. Their teacher announced a contest that would involve blog posting tips. She asked that anyone who had something to add to the recommendations to comment. I added that it was polite to respond to a post made on your blog kindly to express your appreciation for their contribution.

Skype - Try it and You Will Love It!

Skype has been a great tool used for my daughters to communicate with family and friends that live far away. The three of us regularly Skype with my parents. Recently, my youngest, Olivia, turned five years old. It was quite special for her to open her presents from Grandma and Grandpa while they watched even though they couldn't be here. We occasionally Skype with a friend from Mississippi. I found Skyping useful when working with Tyler Mathis on our project. Skype is a great way to have visual contact with others when it is not possible to be in close proximity. And it’s free!

Comments 4 Teachers Weeks 7,8,and 9

Week 7 : “Augmented Reality : Does it have a place/future in education?” by David Hopkins.

Watch this video for a new development in experiencing history, architecture, geography, medicine, etc. into your home or classroom. I love this. Check out more about Augmented Reality on David Hopkins' blog, eLearning Blog Don't Waste Your Time.

Week 8 :
" Email Is So 1973” is a presentation on how email could become obsolete. The video introduces real time conversations as the preferred means to online discussion versus email. I’m not clear about the advantages of this versus video conferencing of IM’s. I may just not understand fully the real time conversation concept. It is evidence, though, of the constant progression of real time communication.

Week 9 :

See my previous post for the presentation called “Presentation Skills for Geography Teachers.”

Monday, March 22, 2010

Comments4Teachers Week9 - Late but Worth It!

Valuable Hints on Slide Presentations provided by David Hopkins.

Click on the link to check out this slide presentation that I found on David Hopkins' blog eLearning Don't Waste Your Time, entitled "Presentation Skills for Geography Teachers." I found it helpful in designing presentations. This post really points some of the psychology around student perception of information for slides. I commented to Mr. Hopkins that I really appreciated that the slide presentation shows how to market facts rather than just present them to students.

Alabama Learning Exchange - ALEX

Alex : Alabama Learning Exchange

**** Be sure to get down to the section about a potential opportunity for EDM310 students.***

By the title, I am assuming that ALEX is a site where Alabama educators can share information. Oddly enough, there is no introduction or information about ALEX that I was able to find. So one needs to “figure it out” by searching the site.

Let me move on to the positives I found. It appears that ALEX is a site where Alabama educators can come to get leads on educational resources such as web links, lesson plans, and a place where a collection of podcasts by subject has been started. There are also professional development resources available from grant writing podcasts to leadership and evaluation information to name a few.

This site link is on the Illinois New Teacher website as a resource. You can also follow it on Facebook.

Don’t miss this interesting potential opportunity :

Gov. Riley’s iChallenge Podcast Competition - Is this up our alley or what???

Governor Bob Riley’s Podcast Challenge Announcement

the iChallenge Website

The competition is open to Alabama teachers, higher education faculty, students (that may include us), and is designed, per the site, to get people involved in the evolution of technology use in Alabama’s education realm.

Gov. Riley with Apple iTunes U invites those who qualify to make podcasts that either deliver professional development or teach a concept. Maybe some of the podcast topics we presented over the past couple of weeks would qualify. At a minimum, we all had some really great information that would be nice to share with others getting started in the technology realm.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture

I first heard of this on 60 minutes a couple of years ago and had to have the book. Since then, I’ve given this book as gifts and recommended it to many. If you think you choked up during the video, then get a big old box of tissues for the book. He goes into more of his upbringing and teaching career in the book, but the video is a great tribute to the folks that helped him to achieve his dreams. In the book, he talks about his thoughts when he was diagnosed with 3-6 months to live. His biggest sadness was that he was not going to be there to teach his kids the life lessons that he was so privileged to have with his parents. That was probably his biggest worry. So, the book and his Last Lecture were his legacy for his children, the best he could do, to leave them with the things that he wanted for them to learn and live. Amazing, isn’t it?

When reading the book and listening to the clip, I thought that “this is one of the good guys we can all learn from.” As a person, as a teacher, a role model on many fronts. Randy Pausch attributed much of his success to the teachings and support of his parents. He carried that gift of opportunity through community with his students. I loved his dream to enable others to fulfill their dreams. Isn’t that what teachers are supposed to do? In addition to that, I feel teachers must help others to determine their dreams through exposure to know what to dream and then through the building of confidence and perserverance to achieve whatever it is they want. Randy Pausch did that. He inherently may have had that talent, but I would like to think that logically his talent to enable others came from his experiences presented to him by others. His community was good to him, and he reflected constantly to evaluate when to recognize the opportunities from this community.

The head fake – love it!! Millions of kids having fun learning something hard was so exciting to him. His courses were about learning and presenting an environment of discovery and few boundaries. His lesson from Andy Van Dam about what to do when his students just blew him away was fantastic. Don’t define the bar, and let them believe they can always do better is fantastic. So often we want them to meet the standard. How wonderful to set the course up for them to blow the standard away.

“Brick walls are there to let us show our dedication. They separate us from those people who don’t want to really achieve their childhood dreams.” In his anecdotes, he always seemed to never meet a challenge that he wasn’t going to overcome. This energy and determination must have influenced his approach with students. Their accomplishments must have been influenced by that can do attitude. It must have been contagious. I found his perspective in the comment “If you do anything pioneering, will get arrows in the back but at the end of the day, it was a lot of fun.”

A lesson at the heart of his courses was in cooperative education. I liked his pace to change projects frequently while causing people to work with different classmates each time. Most importantly was the self-reflection aspect through peer review. What a great experience that will carry over into their professional and personal lives. I agree with his statement “your critics are the ones who love you, who still care.” He says something along the lines of when you’re screwing up, and no one is commenting, that is a very bad place to be.” Without knowing how to reflect on how you are received by others, or being blind and denying criticism, you will miss out on opportunities and not grow. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but in the long run, very valuable. For those that have those critics, w each are fortunate to have a mentor that will take that time to tell us when we need to rethink and do differently.

Some other points I really liked :

“Wait long enough, and someone will always impress you.”

“Some brick walls are made of flesh.”

Beware of how you say things, or your message may not be sent the way you intend.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Learning Through Game Play

Jeopardy Labs

This site came across my Google Reader this morning. First, it's free! (I think that must be the most common exclamation amongst teachers!) This is a site that offers a template for a game of Jeopardy. You enter the questions and answers and then set it up for the number of teams that will play.
can see this being a means for test review, a game at centers that could change regularly, or a way to make not-so-interesting material fun to learn. It would seem that any subject or grade level could use it from Government and Ethics, to Math, Social Studies, Physical Ed and Health, to Scholars Bowl or Spelling Bee prep.

I made a quick and dirty "Test Game" with math questions to see if it was worthwhile. This is ROUGH, but check it out by clicking on "Test Game.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

TimeToast Project Posted

Jackie's Sailing Career Timeline

This is the Time Toast Project completed today. It is just a simple example for myself to trial Time Toast.

Random but Important Questions for Fellow Future Teachers

Questionnaire : Random but Important Questions for Fellow Future Teachers

I need your help! This is one of our projects for EDM310, so I need you. Please go to this survey and complete it. It should not take 5 minutes. Your time is appreciated.

And please don't hesitate to ask me to complete yours, so I can help you as well.

I will post a summary of the results after break.

Thanks in advance for your time!

Have a great day,


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blog Assignments Week 8

Richard Miller This is How We Dream

Am I ready to write with multimedia? In considering the videocast from Richard Miller, I would say that I will be conscious of the response of my writings by students. I think the gist of this is to not focus so much on cool pictures and movement, but depth through data and display. The example he gives about the 2008 Presidential Election Data is fascinating. Not only was it real time data, but the demographic data was presented on many levels, real time.

I think students are in an information climate that provides them with a lot of depth. Is it absorbed or researched? It would be interesting to me to know how many kids read much more than that required by school. I also wonder how many just sit at the computer and browse the web for whatever comes to mind. It is our job to provide the depth to whatever it is we are conveying. So I would take the message of this videocast to be to provide the depth and charisma in the material we present to our students that will convince them to explore and learn.

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

When children are networked, why do they need teachers? I am of the opinion that teachers should be the experts. Not all are. There are even some that really shouldn’t call themselves teachers. But for those that are wonderful teachers, I feel there will always be a place for them. It’s not a competition of teacher versus information network. Certainly the challenge to the teacher is providing guidance on the base skills that students should posess developmentally while providing an environment for independent discovery and vast exposure. Maybe the “traditional” teacher and classroom become less of a lecture hall and more of a fast paced, integrated lesson style where the depth variety of information offered on the web are a large part of that. Throw in independent discovery, and there the teacher has allowed them the networking aspect while providing guidance for appropriate development.

I think this may be the fourth post that I mention this, but what I propose above sounds a whole lot better than a curriculum centered around standard testing. Another case for eliminating it?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Comments4Teachers Post - David Hopkins

Email Is So 1973

This is a Red Magma slide presentation. Do we call this a slide cast? Anyhow, take a look at it to see a view of why email may be obsolete. It kind of makes me chuckle that it would even be imaginable that email could be outdated by real time conversations online. WAVE by Google is the program that is discussed, although it is mentioned that it can be done without Google. I left a post for the teacher asking for examples of real time conversations on-line that are different than an IM or chat room. I am having a hard time coming up with an example myself differentiating the real time conversation from IM. Anyone have any suggestions for clarification?

The Evolution of My PLN - Initial Post

This PLN idea is fantastic. I never would have imagined that this is the kind of thing we would be encountering in this class. Teaching is looking more and more to be an art. With that, I feel, come endless ideas. What would be a greater way to test out your new ideas than networking? I also think about those times that I won’t be able to come up with my own solution. To be able to reach outside of our region, without the constraints of our school system, will be so valuable in learning new techniques. Grant writing comes to mind when being able to site supporting information for that grant from other teachers that already have proven the cause to be worthwhile.

My PLN started the first week of EDM310. A couple of rules of thumb that I quickly adopted were to respond to every post and post regularly. Who would want to post to my blog if I’m not actively posting?

As the weeks have progressed, I’ve pretty much done what Dr. Strange has recommended and then the PLN seems to have taken off. I’ve looked at a lot of blogs and websites, and have commented on a couple. When someone has responded with advice, I’ve gone to where they said to go and explored. Dorothy Burt from Pt. England left a lovely message on my blog with some good information about how she and her classes make podcasts. This launched me into learning a little more about the amazing podcasts submitted to iTunes by a variety of schools.

Mr. Chamberlain has offered a lot of time to our class in posting advice, and I have taken advantage of that. He strongly recommends Twitter. I posted my apprehensions about joining Twitter on my blog, and then Dr. Strange chimed in with some guidance, which was shared with the class last week, on managing Twitter. So I decided to try it. To further add to my PLN, I looked at the people and sites that Mr. C. and Dr. Strange follow and chose to follow the ones that appealed to me professionally. I have not spent a lot of time on it, but occasionally when I do get on Twitter, some good stuff crosses my list.

The podcast project has been where I have seen the biggest benefit of the PLN. Tyler and I chose to research “Can podcasts be useful in the classes I teach?” We had decided to interview a local teacher to see how he uses podcasts. Then I took a look at some websites that I had bookmarked through blog assignments that would help. I always like to have more than one set of data (that’s just the analytical in me) to see the trends, so I decided to email Mr. Chamberlain with similar questions we had for our interviewee, Mr. Fletcher. In that email, I also took the opportunity to ask for any leads Mr. C. may have for other teachers that he knew of that used podcasts in their math classrooms. And so he gave me the link to a friend of his Eric Langhorst. I emailed him requesting his interview and any contacts he may have for a math teacher that creates and uses podcasts. We received a great podcast with excellent information and a link for a math teacher that creates and uses podcasts. It was great to see how our research for the project unfolded and through mine and others’ PLNs, we received great information. This was a great learning experience.

I have truly enjoyed the exposure to the available (free) technology information as well as the perspectives by other teachers. This is where I use Delicious. I really was happy just using that bookmark program that comes with Explorer or Firefox. I went to Delicious because we were supposed to :) and have enjoyed it. I especially like sharing bookmarks. And so I saved all of Dr. Strange’s professionally pertinent bookmarks to my Delicious.

I have really enjoyed many student blogs. Jamie Lynn’s is one that comes to mind. The posts are always thought provoking for me. I haven’t been to everyone’s, and expect to hit those as the class progresses. It’s nice to hear the comments of my peers, as we all are in the same boat. Our eyes are wide open and our hearts and minds are getting ready to step foot in the classroom. It would be neat if Dr. Strange had an EDM310 alumni blog. Just a thought!

I’ve said in here a few times that I just did what I was supposed to. And that is my start. There are things that I know I will not use or use differently to fit my style or learning, networking and organization as time goes on. Starting somewhere is better than not starting at all. It goes the same for venturing into unchartered waters, which is where I’ll continue to go as well.

I like the start of my PLN and am looking forward to seeing how it evolves. I will quote Eric Langhorst from our podcast interview. He says, “If you find something that works, share it with other teachers…We are all on our own with professional development. Schools don’t have tons of money to pour into professional development…” The PLN sounds like a great start.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blog Assignment 6, for Week of February 15th

Dr. Alice Christie is a recently retired Education Technology professor from Arizona State University. She also has 25 years in the classroom in grades K-12. This website has a TON of information. This is a must have on my bookmarks. Dr. Christie has included lecture notes on many topics that can be helpful to a new teacher when considering different aspects of technology in the classroom. The entitled “New Roles for Educators” has a search engine for articles, allowing you to choose criteria on anything!

Under Dr. Christie’s Research Links, “Linking Technology, Learning and School Change,” the article “ How Middle School Boys and Girls View Todays Computer Culture” was interesting. It focused on the use and meaning of what computers can do and the way they interact with them, for a population with a mean average age of 12.5 years old. I appreciated the findings, in particular the recommendations for being aware of and addressing the gender bias in computer use.

This website may be a good add to a blog in addition to bookmarks as an addition to our PLN. The Education Portal has links to many websites covering educational news and links for educational funding.

iPods in the Classroom

The volume of information available is amazing for this topic.

iLearn : Learning Made Mobile is a publication I found on Judy Brown's (coordinator of the website) blog. The format is interesting, to begin with. The content nicely bridges some learnings from our EDF315 class (Fall 2009). This guide is an aid for learning what the different iPods can do in a learning environment.

iTunesU seems to be the application used by many schools to store their podcasts for all of us to use. Dorothy from Pt. Aukland stores the podcasts for this school on iTunesU because she feels the quality is very good from that site. iTunes can classify the podcasts by grade level or topic, making it easy for us to find what we need.

The Duke University iPod Experiement

Interesting research done here to see if iPods would be useful in the classroom. The first thing that came to mind was "What a great plan to investigate before a mass integration of the new thing!" The results were both for and against, but in general it seemed that the iPod was easy to use. Duke will continue to use iPods in the classroom, where the study showed it to be beneficial.

Some benefits that were seen during the study was that the iPod was most students used it to record lectures and field notes.

Negatives about using the iPod included that some publishers didn't allow recording of protected material and sometimes the recording quality was poor. Professors worried about class attendance, that lecture would be replaced by the recordings.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Comments on "What I've Learned this Year" by Mr. McClung

What I’ve Learned This Year by Mr. McClung

I enjoyed this post in that Mr. McClung shares the real side of teaching. I often wonder how I am going to put my education into motion in the classroom. Endless information about child psychology, diversity, and technology are presented to us. We hear snippets about the adverse conditions of the classroom and student population such as not enough resources (money nor people), pacing guide, standardized tests, student home life, learning disabilities, truancy, teen pregnancy, etc. At times it seems overwhelming to me to think that I will need to meet the pacing guide and standardized testing with all of these obstacles. There are a lot of teachers that make it happen, that their students learn. Their students learn more than the material that will “be on the test” and have opportunities to explore and enjoy learning. How do they do it? I’ve been told that it’s not until a teacher gets into the classroom that the real training begins.

Mr. McClung tells us about that. His learning curve was steep his first year. I expect mine to look much like Mt. Everest. Flexibility and positive attitude while focusing on the comprehension by the children seems to be his recommendation, in a nutshell. It seems to me from his last comment that he is a great net worker. Listening to the students as well as being a life long learner sounds like they are part of the formula for being a successful teacher.

I look forward to getting into the classroom, and wish it was more of an integral part of our entire time in the education program at USA. The toolbox I’m filling while in the program will have all sorts of tricks and treats that I will be ready to pull out when needed. I don’t think that until I actually work with students awhile, that I’ll know which ones will go to the bottom, and those that are necessities. And then there will be the teacher network that will have infinitely many lessons on what works and what doesn’t.

I hope he shares year two with us.

My opinion of how and when Wikipedia can be a trusted source of information.

I was surprised with the information I had learned about Wikipedia. I was always under the impression that this was like an Encyclopedia Britannica website where the information is factual. I must say, this solves the question that has always nagged at me about Wikipedia. It has always amazed me that I have never, and can really say never, except for a people search, have not pulled up a Wikipedia link for any topic I have searched on the internet. This certainly supports the fact that it is necessary to know the validity of the information we see. Shame on me for being so naive!

Virgil Griffin designed a great tool. I equate it to Fact Check which was used to verify the facts in Presidential campaign articles and speeches. It let me decide if the facts presented were valid and also illustrated the integrity and quaifications of the candidates,. Running an edit scan on the article I am accessing in Wikipedia would allow me to make my own decision as to whether or not to site it as a resource. Also, in defense of my decision, I could provide that information in the bibliography of a paper or presentation.

I can still see Wikipedia as valuable. I can almost be assured I can most always find the topic. If I were to cross reference the Wikipedia listing with another source, the facts could be confirmed. Wikipedia would provide some direction.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Teacher needed in NZ

I think this spot may have been filled, but I thought this podcast was too cute not to share. The children are requesting their new teacher.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blog Assignment 4 - Summary of Podcast Information Found - Helpful Stuff

Summary of information found about Podcasts

Website : Engage - by the University of Wisconsin Madison

This website provided tips on creating a podcast. The following information may be helpful to all of us in EDM310 whom are preparing to create our first podcast.

This is reprinted from the website.

There were some important points in the first step. UWM mentions that choosing to present material with a lot of detail is usually best kept to a lecture or reading because podcasts are usually listened to by the user while they are doing something else. Therefore they probably would not be taking notes during the podcast.

In Step 4, Produce your podcast , the information about your presence on the podcast will help in determining how you design it and whether or not you will consider video or audio or slides.

This site has a lot of information pertaining to podcast use and production.


“This is the home of the free podcast tutorial that will take
your podcast from concept to launch fast and for minimal cost
brought to you by, Jason Van Orden, author of Promoting Your Podcast."”

See the Audacdity related podcast that demonstrates how to add music and voice tracks to your podcast using Audacity.I like this tutorial for a couple of reasons. It gives specifics while demonstrating for the introduction of a podcast. This is a great example for the podcast factors of sound quality, environment, and interest level.

Check out Joe Dale’s blog, specifically the tutorial. It has a ton of really neat stuff from photo information to podcasting in the classroom. His focus is bringing technology to the foreign language classroom. He has posted links to many valuable sites that may help in our podcast project. I’ve bookmarked his site for blog ideas and tools.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

EDM 310 Blog Assignmnent #3

Video Podcast : One year old with iPhone :

I may be alone with my reaction, but a baby operating the iPhone is not impressive to me. The brainpower in doing what he has done is not much when you dissect it. What he is doing is a simple repetitive operation, which is no different than knowing how to turn on a computer. I love that my kids are excited about technology and know how to use certain aspects of what’s out there. I’m just not that interested in the aspect that only allows them to experience what a computer programmer has provided, with one right or wrong answer.

I see parents give their cell phone or iPod to their kids to keep them busy. It goes against my personal philosophy that I have used with my two children whom are 8 and 4 years old. To “keep them busy” I provide them with chances to learn by their own unlimited exploration. I’m a proponent of toys and activities that don’t box them in to a correct answer, certainly not those with binary results. Some of our favorites are paper, pencil, crayons, markers, stickers, yarn, and basic art supplies. We’ve now ventured into staplers, hole punches, protractors, rulers, and other tools. Elizabeth and Olivia can create a wardrobe for their animals and Barbies out of those things. They create cities, play school, invent new pieces to their playroom to carry things, such as elevators and ziplines. They write, illustrate and construct their own books. They write letters to each other and make things for people. Give them a stack of towels or some blankets and the dining room turns into a city in Egypt and their bedroom is Chicago. My point is that when they play, their options are endless and are driven by them.

Now don’t get me wrong. My 8 year old LOVES gadgets. And she loves computer time. The spy tank with remote camera and control has been a big hit this Christmas. She has wanted a Nintendo DS for two years now and, well, I broke down and there it was Christmas morning. Reluctantly though. The technology is a part of life. There is no question about that. My preference is to use it to enhance their creativity options, exposure to the world, and to expose them to tools that they will be using down the road.

My 8 year old is very excited about EDM 310. She loves to Skype (something I’ve been meaning to do, but made the time this semester), enjoyed working with me on my presentation due this week (she really wanted to add a wild background to the presentation, but I finally convinced her my professor was against it!), and is looking forward to making a family blog. These to me are the technology opportunities for creativity and unlimited ideas, which I am 100% behind.

“They are First Graders, Are You Ready?”

I was impressed with the first grader who demonstrated accessing their class website. What a great exercise for her to have to organize and order events, to verbalize them, and then to build confidence in presenting. She did a great job. I can see the benefits. I’m ready to bring it to my classroom.

“Little Kids… Big Potential”

I am so happy to have seen this podcast. Many times I heard the following : work together, I decide, my choice, learn, look up, ask questions, plan with my buddy, etc. The students are getting so much from the experiences with laptops, Skype, blogs, etc. I really liked what the one student said about blogs. He liked to log onto the class website at home to see what one of his friends had posted.

I wonder if future grade levels for these students will provide these tools and techniques to continue this aspect of their education.

Reviewing Podcasts to Become Familiar with Different Styles

“Smartboard Lessons :Timmy’s”

I was looking forward to listening to the information to be presented in the four and a half minutes or so that was allotted. The format was very casual, as if he was talking to himself in his car. As a matter of fact he was I his car. It gave me an idea that podcasts may be a great “on-the-run” way to capture thoughts that I may have after having time to think about a lesson or project. I could record them for the class, post them online after school on our class blog to be used in discussion on the next class day. I didn’t like the format of this podcast as the author included too much discussion about his lunch and coffee.

The introduction of the podcast included vocals and music. The man’s voice was desirable hear. The content of the podcast was pertinent to the well –focused topic. The speaker didn’t include personal information. This was more like a lecture rather than a personal conversation.

“ConnectLearning” episode 96
The format was that of a commentator and interviewer. It was clearly presented. Any interviews that were spliced into the podcast were of great sound quality. This was a very formalized conversation with clear points.

“EdTalk” episode 62
The style of this podcast was a relaxed, conversational style. The ladies voices were nasal and not audibly appealing. I would have preferred a very factual interview, but much personal commentary not pertinent to the topic was included.

“This Week in Photography” episode 125
This format was much like that of EdTalk, although the voices were appealing and clear with a little more fact. The format was conversational.

“APT Music Voyager” episode 14
This was a video podcast about the interview of a musical group. I liked the notes on the bottom of the screen during the video. The sound was great for both the music and interviews. I liked the video for this sort of topic.

The following three Podcasts were found on Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 Podcast Blog, found on his personal Website.

Well done fellow future teachers. The format was a question and answer audio podcast. I didn’t feel the need for video here. The interview was well conducted and clearly spoken.

“John et al” – Well done fellow future teachers! This was a three person contribution to convey technology in high school and college sports. I liked the video aspect of this one. If I were to do a video, I don’t know if I could be as relaxed. The challenge with video that I can see is having a good setting and candid motions and interaction.

This was a great, very entertaining podcast. What was the software program used to format the presentation? I really loved the animation. The video and audio were quite great!

Points to Consider when Making My Podcast:

In looking at these seven or so podcasts, I have seen some things I prefer and others I don’t. I think my least favorite podcast was the one about Smart Boards. I would have loved to hear more about the topic, but the man spent so much time talking about coffee, ordering lunch at a drive through, and then other non-related things. My style as a listener is to be more interested in a podcast that is well organized, stays on task, and is as short as possible. So well presented facts would be most appealing to me. I also enjoyed the podcasts that included a short introduction that summarized the podcast succinctly.

I enjoyed the ConnectLearning and “AshleyMayRachel” podcasts the most. I felt my time listening was well spent. The interview and discussion was relaxed, but organized and I never lost track of the conversations.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blog Assignment 2

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

I would first comment that this was an interesting class project. I wonder which points made were most important to the students. What would the sequel entail? Would the students have suggestions for presentation alternatives to the chalkboard that would be more interesting than Facebooking during class?

I admit that I would probably be no different than today’s students if I were 20 plus years younger and had a ton of time at my disposal. I was a telephone junkie during high school (I remember the day we got the 20 foot phone cord and I could take the one phone to my room and maybe a brother or two would trip over the cord every now and then.). I stayed connected with friends – in person. But if I could use my iPhone and keep up with them all day, every day, I probably would. Not to mention my friends in Istanbul, New Zealand, and New Mexico I would have made while Facebooking. Being connected is just plain cool!

After graduating in 1991, I’m now back in school, acquiring my teaching certificate. The statement “I’m a multitasker” emphasizes an attribute about today’s students that was not present when I was in college (the first time ). When returning to college life, I was really surprised at the number of students who are so preoccupied during lecture with texting, Facebooking, or even shopping online. I sometimes joke that it’s the new ADD. I don’t see it as multitasking, but as distraction. Facebooking or texting doesn’t take a lot of brain power and the interaction may only require attention for many segments, only seconds in duration. Presentation of a complicated topic requires time to understand the key concepts, put them to work, and solidify the theme, theory or method. Disrupt that with multiple short breaks and it is difficult to solidify the theme.

I’m absolutely in support of technology in the classroom. Absolutely! And I’m absolutely in support of lecture that is full of interactive examples or out of the box information that a single textbook couldn’t contain. Lecture that is exciting, thought provoking, challenging and organized, without being a sleeper. And I’m absolutely in support of keeping focus on the goal of the lecture without the distraction.

As for the student whose neighbor paid for class but never came, is that due to the structure of the class? What would convince him to come to class? Is it technology? Is it relevance of the material?

"It's Not About the Technology" by Kelly Hines at

Well said by Kelly Hines, that good technology doesn’t mean good teaching. I couldn’t agree more that teachers need to be eager to use the technology, but most importantly eager to “do amazing things.” I liked her comments about teaching and learning not being the same. Knowing what makes these children want to learn, how they learn, and what motivates them is going to be the key. There is a common thread in several of the blogs or clips that I have seen this last week which really brings to light that students are learning differently and desire different than the traditional classroom and curriculum offer. Programs like 21st Century Teachers are fascinating to me. They are even more fascinating when I learn of initiatives that have worked.

Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

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.

Extreme? Maybe. Your thoughts?

Only possibly extreme, I must say. If being technologically literate means using email, surfing the web, and using computer aids like word processors and spreadsheets, then I think it is imperative that teachers be technologically literate. These are tools that can make them more effective and reduce non-value added work, hence theoretically allowing more time for teaching and lesson development. Those few basic technology skills can allow exposure to specific teaching methods offered and proven in many areas of the world, a virtually endless supply of teaching materials, and supplements to the textbook. And maybe there is no textbook, only computers and links for the children to work with. I feel it should be required to have basic technology skills, but even more important to develop and use them in your school for teaching and ancillary functions.

Gary Hayes Social Media Counts
Watch the Social Media Count change every =second when you click on this sentence. Think about these changes that are happening at such an astounding rate. What do they mean for your professional career as a teacher?

My first thought about the information is that the activity for the technology social network is overwhelming. I wonder if the activity is even more rapid when students are out of school (it is currently 1:19pm CST).

Social life for middle school and high school students is a big part of their day. Since I plan to be teaching one or the other, understanding their social networking and what occupies their time is going to be important. So, what is Second Life? And why is Twitter so much more active than Facebook in terms of posts? Also, by which means will a student rather communicate with me; through email or Facebook?