Saturday, December 11, 2010

Final Post on PLN

person thinking

I am continuing to build my PLN. I am still following some of the educator blogs that I have been assigned in C4T. Most recently, I have started following Jerrid Kruse. I really enjoy his comments on teaching and education in general. I have a Twitter account, but I am not using it as much as I would like. It is still a very foreign concept to me - although everyone else seems to really enjoy it and learn a lot from it. I continue to use my gmail and yahoo accounts. Additionally, I have added the ALEX website to my PLN. This website has a lot of information that is useful to new teachers.

Blog Post #13

ALEX website
The Alabama Learning Exchange provides educators, parents, and students with interactive educational information. ALEX is sponsored by the Alabama Department of Education, and the information is approved by the National Board of Certified Teachers. When you go to the website,, you can click on Courses of Study on the left side. Once in this section, you can select the material that you are interested in, you can open up sample lesson plans and interactive activities. There are graphs and other information for each lesson that you can download as well.
The ALEX site is very beneficial to new teachers. As a new teacher, this would be a good website to review to get ideas for lesson plans and classroom activities. This is also a good resource for parents who want to plan educational activities for their children.

ACCESS is a distance learning program for Alabama high school students. There are over 100 educators who participate in the ACCESS program. Students can take AP classes, remediation classes, and summer school classes. I had no idea that this program existed, and I think it provides a good opportunity for Alabama high school students to get ahead, get caught up, or simply explore additional educational opportunities.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

C4K Summary 8 - 11

students in classroom
C4K #8: I commented on a first grade blog from Ms. Cassidy’s class. The students have been using Vocaroo. Vocaroo is software that allows the students to record themselves reading a story and upload it to their blog. This is a great way to get students exciting about reading and sharing.
C4K #9: This classroom is in Ms. Gaudet’s sixth grade class in Ontario, Canada. My assigned student had no blog posts, so I commented on Brian’s instead. Brian had posted some information on a science project. It was a very good post. I asked him if he enjoyed blogging, and his reply was “not really”. However, his post was well-written for a sixth grader.
C4K #10: Ms. Melito’s class blog was one of the most interesting C4K’s that I have done. This is a math class, so I was curious what the students were actually going to blog on. Ms. Melito has done a great job incorporating blogging into the math class. The post that I read was about a mathematician, and it was very good work.
C4K #11: I commented on a student’s blog from Mrs. Huebner’s class. The student blog post was about Christmas. I left the student a comment, but I was more interested in Mrs. Huebner’s blog. Her blog addressed questions specifically to parents such as “What was school like when you were growing up?”. This is a great way to get parents involved.

Final Project

My group and I created a blog about helpful hints for EDM 310:

Things to Know About EDM 310

C4T#4 Summary

For my fourth Comments for Teachers, I followed Andrea Hernandez. She is a technology coordinator for K-8 in Jacksonville, Florida. Her first post was about formal education - especially in master's degrees. This was a very interesting post as she pointed out her opinion. Her second post was about using Shelfari in the classroom. In this post, she discussed the use of reading logs and the potential negative impact they can have on students and their enjoyment of reading. Shelfari is a social networking site for readers. Mrs. Hernandez feels that by promoting the social aspects of reading through sites such as Shelfari, students can really learn to enjoy reading and sharing with others. This blog was very interesting as Mrs. Hernandez shares thoughts for using technology in the classroom as well as her own thoughts regarding education in general.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Post #12

teacher at blackboard
Assignment: Read “What is the Purpose of Educational Technology?” by Jerrid Kruse:
Post your thoughts on stimulating versus engaging students.

Mr. Kruse’s article presents some interesting thoughts on using technology in the classroom. He did a study in one of his science classes to study the impact of providing students with a stimulating activity then testing them to see what they had learned. The result: although the students participated and enjoyed the stimulating activity, they were not actually engaged in what they were supposed to be learning. In reading through some of the comments on Mr. Kruse’s post, it is apparent that there are some educators who feel like they must use technology to get students’ attention. In this class – and others – we always talk about how students are so stimulated outside of the classroom that we have to incorporate technology into our classroom to compete with everything they are used to outside of the classroom. Educators must use technology appropriately to ensure that students are engaged and learning instead of just going through the motions.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Project #6 Google Form

survey graph
For my Google form, I asked some general questions about students’ background and student life at the University of South Alabama. Based on the responses, eighty-eight percent (fifteen out of seventeen) of those in my survey group attended high school in Alabama, and one person has attended college in a state other than Alabama. Sixteen out of seventeen people in my survey group decided to go to school at USA based on location. Fifty-three percent of students prefer in-class only instruction versus hybrid or online only classes.

Almost fifty percent of those in my survey group eat when they have a break between classes. No one in my survey group uses a bicycle for transportation around campus; sixty-five percent of them drive their personal vehicle. Over half of the students in my group have to plan their classes around a work schedule. Only forty-seven percent of those in my group have attended a Jaguars football game. I asked my group to rate their blogging skills since starting EDM 310. On a scale of one to five (one being still unsure about blogging and five being a pro), only one person rated themselves as a one.

Before this project, I had never used Google Forms before. Actually, I had never even heard of it. I was really impressed with how the information flowed right into the spreadsheet. This is a much more efficient than re-keying information into a spreadsheet manually.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Summary Post C4K3 - C4K7

child's artwork
The student blogs that I read for C4K3 – C4K7 were all over the map in terms of content and quality. When thinking about this summary post for C4K, I kept Ms. Cassidy’s comments in mind that students might be more motivated to write for a global audience. That is obvious in the C4K3 and C4K7 blogs that I reviewed and commented on. These students seemed especially excited to be presenting “normal schoolwork” to a larger audience.
C4K3: I commented on a second grade student’s blog from Auckland, New Zealand. His blog post was a video of him reading a traditional New Zealand story.
C4K4: I commented on a fifth grade student’s blog from Sydney, Australia. Her blog post was about a vacation that she took with her family.
C4K5: I commented on a seventh grade student’s blog from Tasmania. Most of his posts were not academic related, and the post I commented on was on his creation of pivot animation and stop motion videos
C4K6: I commented on a sixth grade student’s blog from Iowa. This was a simple post on the type of books that the student liked to read.
C4K7: I commented on a second grade student’s blog from Australia. This was by far the best blog post that I have read from a student. The student’s response to my post reiterated how much the students enjoy our comments:
Dear Jared,
Thanks for the great comment! I have never had a person from an university before. Learning to be a teacher woulod be fun. I’m so happy you left me a comment for your study. Thanks for saying my writing skills are good and that you enjoyed looking at my pictures.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

C4T3 Summary

Teaching is a Dynamic Activity

I was assigned Jerrid Kruse, who is an 8th grade science teacher in Nebraska. His blog presents some very interesting thoughts on technology in the classroom. The first blog post I commented on was titled “Technology lets you choose”. Mr. Kruse said that yes, technology lets you choose, but choose what? I commented that technology lets you choose, but you must be careful how you use it, and there is an increasing need to use technology responsibly – for educators and students.

Mr. Kruse’s response to me:
I would add something to your role of educators. In order for students to really use technology 'responsibly', they must be able to critique the technology. That is, student must be able to identify what things the technology is doing for them, how the technology might change their thinking, how the technology might change our culture, and how some of these changes are not desirable. All technologies have a faustian bargain, or a trade-off.
That said, these negative effects are not an excuse for teachers to not use technology. Tech literacy must include understanding how to use modern technology, but people rarely note how tech literacy must include understanding some of these deeper philosophical issues surrounding technology.

The second article that I commented on was “What is the purpose of educational technology?” Mr. Kruse presents some enlightening comments in this post as well. The part of his post that I could really relate to was when he was discussing stimulating students with technology without engaging them in the class. In this class – and others – we always talk about how students are so stimulated outside of the classroom that we have to incorporate technology into our classroom to compete with everything they are used to outside of the classroom. However, it is possible to stimulate the students without having them learn anything. I had not thought about this before, but it definitely has me thinking.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blog Post #11

Ms. Cassidy’s First Grade class is quite technologically savvy. I was surprised to see how much the first graders could do. After listening to the interview with Ms. Cassidy, it made a little more sense that some of the students speaking on her video were out of the first grade. Regardless, it was enlightening to listen to their “tips” on how to successfully blog.

Ms. Cassidy’s comments on why students would want to write on a blog – with an audience versus writing on a piece of paper – with no audience were very interesting to me. I had not thought about this as a motivating factor for students to write, but it is really a good idea. It was also nice to hear that parents were so supportive of the idea. In today’s crazy world, teachers have to be creative and allow parents to be involved in ways that they are comfortable and ways that work with their schedules. Having parents support the use of technology is imperative in being successful with implementing it in the classroom.

It is nice that Ms. Cassidy has support from her Technology Coordinator. Based on our discussions in this class, not all teachers have the support from their principal or school board. That obviously makes a big difference in the success of implementing technology. It was also nice to hear Ms. Cassidy’s thoughts on Twitter. I too have been very reluctant with Twitter. These videos really encouraged me. It was nice to hear how Ms. Cassidy got started, and her tips for being successful with technology in the classroom.

Project 13

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blog Post #10

What is my sentence? Was I better today than yesterday?
An Open Letter to Educators by Morgan Bayda
I enjoyed this post. The organization of some classrooms or even entire schools does not encourage the type of environment that students will need to succeed once they leave the classroom. Limited communication with classmates and traditional instruction methods are not indicative of how the world operates outside of the classroom. Our world is becoming increasingly collaborative and global. By not encouraging this type of thinking and problem-solving, we are not fully preparing students to succeed once they get out of the classroom.
Don’t Let Them Take the Pencils Home by Tom Johnson
This post was very interesting. I had to read it a few times to get the full effect. It is human nature to focus on the problem instead of trying to come up with a solution. By giving students tools, we are encouraging creativity and giving them opportunities to excel.
Two Questions That Can Change Your Life
Wow – this video has really made me think. Although coming up with my “sentence” is tough, the harder question was the second one. “Was I better today than yesterday?” is a really hard thing to think about. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our routine and just trying to make it through that we get a little complacent. As educators, it is especially important that we ask ourselves this question. Working with students can be draining, and I think it could be very easy to become comfortable in our routine. My sentence: I am committed to my family and to making a difference in the lives of children through education.

Additional Assignment #3

picture of a bored student
I really enjoyed this presentation. At first, I didn’t totally agree with where he was going in talking about the assembly-line setup of our school systems. Children need structure. However, after listening to the rest of the presentation, I agree with where he was going.
Overall, our professors in the College of Education agree with most of the points that are made in this presentation. As I have discussed on earlier posts, as educators, we are trying to get through to students who are very visually stimulated. That is why it is imperative that we use technology and keep students engaged in learning. By taking advantage of technology available and thinking about learning on a global scale, we are helping students explore and develop in areas that they naturally excel in. I enjoyed the format of this presentation. If it had to do a presentation like this, I would probably be a narrator or editor.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blog Post #9

Mr. McClung’s post was very enlightening. It was very inspiring to read the comments from a first year teacher. He touched on many different points, but the theme of his post was that you cannot be a perfect teacher. No matter how much you plan the lessons, things are going to come up that you cannot control. No matter how much you want to push students to succeed, sometimes you just need to listen. This article reminds future educators to keep the focus on the students. Although our superiors will be evaluating us, students have to be at the center of what we do.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Project #11 Short Movie

Blog Assignment 8

Richard Miller: This Is How We Dream
As I have mentioned before, many things in education are different from my first time around in school. However, things have definitely changed for the better. Writing and presenting with multimedia is a MUST for educators. With all of the resources available, it is not difficult to use multimedia in writing and presentations. Sometimes it takes a little time to find age-appropriate information, but there is always information available.
Because of the technology available in our society, students are used to being visually stimulated outside of the classroom. To hold their attention, educators must be creative and appeal to this sense in order to keep students engaged. Educators must be willing to spend the time to include multimedia in their writing.
I am confident that my students will be able to write with multimedia. Children as young and three and four are using computers. So, by the time they get to my class in first grade or so, they should be pros! Students today do not know what it is like to write a report without doing research on the internet. In a few years, I’m sure they won’t know what it is like to write a report without including multimedia.

Chipper and EDM 310 for Dummies
These movies reiterate the fact that EDM 310 is a different kind of class. At first, this class was very intimidating to me, and I was a little frustrated. If we procrastinate, then it only makes things harder on ourselves. It takes a little time to get organized, but it is well worth it. However, I have really enjoyed the way that the class is structured. We receive guidance and direction from our leader, but it is up to us to complete the assignments and learn the material. This class is more indicative of the real world. Once we get into the real world, we are not going to be “taught”. We are going to have some guidance and direction, but we are responsible for our students and our classroom.
A good idea for a short video would be how to use the Instruction Manual to find the Blog Assignments and Projects. On week two, I couldn’t remember how to get to the Blog Assignments. I felt really silly about this. However, I talked to one of my group members, and she had encountered the same problem.

Why Smartboards Are A Dumb Initiative and Why I Hate Interactive Smartboards
These articles presented very interesting perspectives on Smartboards. I enjoyed the comments on school systems spending money on technology just to say that they had spent it. As a future educator, I can appreciate technology that enhances the classroom. However, school systems don’t need to think of Smartboards as the solution to incorporating more technology into the classroom. As the second article states, “You can’t buy change” because it is a process.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Additional Assignment #2

     1.What do you think? If learners are motivated, can they teach themselves?
Yes, if learners are motivated, they can definitely teach themselves.

2. If those motivated learners are kids, can they teach themselves?
Children are naturally very curious. They are more apt to explore and teach themselves than adults.

3. What conditions are necessary for kids to teach themselves? For anyone to teach him or herself?
For someone to teach themselves, there must first be a desire and an opportunity to learn. This video proves that other than that, very little is needed.

4. What role do computers and internet access play in the process?
Internet access and computers help to facilitate the learning process. However, these do not have to be involved. For example, small children can teach themselves to put a puzzle together.

5. What role does motivation, a desire to learn?
There must be a desire to learn for someone to teach themselves. In children, there is a natural curiosity to explore and figure things out. I think this sometimes diminishes as we get older.

6. What roles do a problem, a question or multiple problems or questions play in the process?
Questions and problems can help direct a student’s learning and keep them focused.

7. How do you motivate someone to learn?
It is sometimes difficult to motivate others to learn. Sometimes you can motivate others by relating the subject that you are discussing to something that strikes a personal or emotional emotion with the person.

8. How are you motivated to learn?
I am motivated by setting short-term, achievable goals as well as looking at the big picture.

9. Can anyone who is not motivated to learn learn?
Unmotivated people can process information – by memorizing or putting it in their short-term memory. However, if someone does not want to learn, then they are simply trying to get through something. To truly learn about something, you must want to know more about it.

10. Do you teach yourself? When? Why?
Sometimes I teach myself because that is the only way that I can understand things. Some concepts are easier to learn this way. Sometimes I have trouble understanding the way that the teacher is presenting the subject, and I just feel more productive learning about the topic on my own.

11. What role does a teacher (either answer generally or use a specific example) play in your learning?
Teachers help to facilitate learning. At the college level, it is important for students to want to learn and to motivate themselves. It is really encouraging to go through a class where the instructor is passionate about their subject.

12. What is the most important idea, question or emotional response you take away with you as a result of watching this video?
This video was very encouraging to me. It proves the curiosity of children, and that is very refreshing. It was also very interesting to see the “natural leader” of the group emerge.

13. What other questions or issues are raised by this video that should be considered and discussed by aspiring teachers?
This video helps to remind us to not be afraid to think out of the box or try something a little different.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

PLN Update

When I started this class, I had no idea what a PLN was. After being out of school for over seven years, I had to adjust my thoughts on being a student. There has been a HUGE learning curve for me as far as using technology in the classroom. Currently, my PLN includes the teacher blogs that I am following, classmate blogs, my gmail for school-related communication, and my yahoo for personal and other professional communication. After watching the 7th grade perspective on a PLN from last week's assignment, I started exploring symbaloo. There is some interesting information available - especially for teachers.

Project 9a: Timeline

Blog Assignment #7

In Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, there were many techniques that he used throughout his presentation to make it "hit home". One of the most impactful techniques that he uses is quotations. The quotes help to tell his story and make it more emotional. People are more likely to remember the lecture because of the emotional elements.
The use of Power Point was also an effective method used to add impact to this presentation. Using a visual like this helps to keep the audience engaged – especially during a long lecture. The use of videos and pictures in the Power Points add to the emotional element of the presentation as well.
Humor is another method used in this presentation. No one likes to listen to a boring, dry speaker. Although the circumstances surrounding his “last lecture” are incredibly sad, Pausch incorporated humor to keep the attention of the audience.
Aside from the different methods used in the presentation, I enjoyed the discussion on indirect learning. I often think about the indirect learning that is going on with my own kids when they are playing games or playing with friends. As teachers, it is really important for us to be cognizant of the indirect learning that is happening all of the time. There are many life lessons that are experienced – not taught – in the classroom.

C4T #2

I was assigned a middle school teacher in Arizona, John Spencer, for the C4T2 assignment. It was very interesting to read this blog compared to the instructor I was assigned on C4T1. John’s blog is incredibly easy to read. He uses some different approaches in his blogs (such as sarcasm, story-telling, and role playing) which make his posts very interesting. The first post I commented on was on education reform. John was role playing himself as Clark Kent when asked about education reform and charter schools. The second post that I commented on was regarding running his classroom like a small town instead of a big city. He was questioning different ways of running classrooms and different results achieved. I found this blog very enlightening. It was nice to read through some of the “politics” in education as well as some of the other day-to-day thoughts that teachers have.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

C4K Summary #1 and #2

In the first two C4K posts, I commented on a student's blog. My student was an eighth grade student in a rural area of Missouri. The first post by the student was entitled "About Me" where the student described what activities they enjoyed. The second post was entitled "Learning Manifesto" where the student was supposed to describe how he was going to learn this year, and what he was going to focus on. I really enjoyed reading through my student's posts as well as other students in the class. It really gave me a good perspective on what students of this age talk about with each other as well as how they interact with adults.

Blog Assignment #6

The Networked Student
“The Networked Student” is a very interesting concept. After watching this video and before reading through Ms. Drexler’s blog, I was a little skeptical of the idea. The idea of having students create a personal learning network can be very beneficial to a student’s educational growth. However, students definitely need a lot of guidance teachers – especially in their early educational career (elementary and middle school).
I enjoyed watching the explanation to the question “Why does the networked student need a teacher?” As we have noted in many different discussions in this class, the teacher’s role is changing as more technology is used in the classroom. Teachers are taking on the role of facilitating learning rather than strictly transferring information to students. As more credible resources are becoming more readily available to students, parents, and teachers, it is important for us as educators to help students use the information.
Having a non-traditional classroom (i.e., having classroom meetings less than five days a week) will take some getting used to for students, parents, and teachers. There is a great deal of responsibility and maturity needed to focus outside of the classroom. I would be hesitant to experiment this with middle-schoolers, but I think that high school students could definitely benefit from this type of learning environment.

A 7th Grader’s Personal Learning Environment
I was quite impressed by the presentation put together by this 7th grader. I also thought it was ironic that she mentioned responsibility in her presentation. One of my main concerns with using more technology is that it takes responsibility to use it appropriately. This student feels that creating your own personal learning environment actually forces you to be more responsible. I thought this was an enlightening comment from a 7th grade student. 

The Machine is (Changing) Us
This video provided additional thoughts on how our communication styles are changing. I could relate to the MTV generation. It’s interesting how some of the comments on the MTV generation are the same comments that I would use to describe today’s student – especially the short attention spans and not easily impressed. The “Whatever” discussion was very interesting as well. I also liked all of the videos of people introducing themselves on YouTube. I had not really thought about YouTube as a community, but it makes sense that some people could see it as such. Overall, this video helped reiterate the fact that our world and our communication styles are changing.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blog Assignment #5

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Joe Dale describes the benefits of podcasting to students. By using technology that the students are familiar with, we are giving them a reason to get excited about learning. I really like the idea of Vodcasts.  Both Vodcasts and podcasts would be especially helpful to students who are struggling with a particular subject. If they had access to the lectures outside of the classroom, they could watch and/or listen to the lecture again to reiterate the lesson.
 100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better
This article was very enlightening. I am new to the whole podcasting idea, and I had no idea all of these applications were available for the iPod. Since almost everyone has an iPod, it makes sense to utilize some of these tools in our classrooms. This article also reiterates the environmental impact that using iPods can have. There are so many apps that eliminate the need for paper and traditional study tools.
Judy Scharf Podcast Collection
This article highlights the fact that podcasts allow students to hear missed lectures. Podcasts also allow parents to be more involved in their children’s education. This site also gave some good information to get students started on podcasting.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog Post #4

Don’t Teach Your Kids This Stuff Please
Dr. McLeod’s post on technology was very interesting. Sadly, I think there are parents and even educators out there that agree with his sarcastic points. If we don’t allow students to explore technology, then we are not preparing them for life. Being technologically literate is imperative for a student to succeed.
Dr. McLeod is an Associate Professor at Iowa State University in the Educational Administration program. He is also the Director of the nation’s only center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators – the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE).

The iSchool Initiative
Travis Allen provides a very good summary of how the current iPod Touch can transform the classroom. He believes that all classroom activities can be carried out through the iTouch. Cost savings for school systems and students are two main points of his argument for the iSchool. There is also an environmental impact of students and school systems not having to purchase textbooks.
Honestly, I did not know that the iPod Touch had all of those capabilities already. There are some apps that would be useful as substitutes or enhancements to traditional classroom materials. The graphing calculator and some of the textbook apps would be especially helpful. There are definite benefits of having teachers, students, and parents connected. I don’t think the iSchool can completely take the place of the traditional classroom, but there are many apps that can be used to enhance the classroom experience.
The Lost Generation
This presentation was very interesting. It reiterates the fact that we are in control and apathy will get us nowhere. The technique used was even more powerful than the message. It was very creative and really made me think about what the message was saying. I had to watch the video twice to make sure that none of the words changed on the reverse message.
Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
This ensemble is quite amazing. The fact that people all across the world can collaborate and put together a piece like this proves the power of technology. This also reiterates the fact that we live in a global world and you do not have to be face-to-face with someone or a group of people to accomplish a common goal.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Additional Assignment #1

Additional Assignment #1
The educational implications of searches such as Google Squared and WolframAlpha are quite significant. The additional information provided by the Google Squared can be helpful to educators when researching topics for our classes. Google Squared searches can also be helpful for students. The information provided by the Google Squared search is helpful in comparing topics or digging deeper into a subject. I also like the fact that you can add items to the search. WolframAlpha was very interesting as well. The graphs, charts, and additional information provided are very helpful when researching. I had not heard about Google Squared or WolframAlpha before this class.
My comments on the Did You Know video are the same. Yes, there were lots of facts and statistics throughout the video, but my thoughts are still the same. I still think our world is becoming smaller, and students need to be prepared to compete on a global level.
Statistics are easily manipulated, and they can be easily misconstrued. As educators, we must remember to keep our perspective when passing along statistical information to our classes. We also need to help our students understand statistics and make sure that they use this information appropriately.
Food For Thought: I don’t think that anyone can deny what Steve Jobs or Apple has done is genius – they have created demand for products that we didn’t know we needed, and they have made these products so user friendly that a six-year-old can pick it up and use it without instruction.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blog #3

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today
This movie does not capture my college experience. After an eight-year “break” from college, the classroom definitely feels different to me than it did the first time around. My college experience was more traditional with classrooms consisting of lectures, studying, and tests. In my first few weeks back in school, I have discovered that my classes at South Alabama are definitely more technology based than my classes eight years ago. Based on the way that our world is changing and becoming more dependent on technology, I understand the need for classes to be conducted this way.
To make the movie more realistic, I would use a more diverse student population (i.e., more varied races and age groups). I would expand on the multitasking part of the video to include activities outside of school that might affect a student’s performance in a traditional classroom setting. It is becoming more common for older adults to go back to school, and they usually have families and full-time jobs that place additional time demands. This could be highlighted in the movie as well to give it a more realistic feel.

“It’s Not About the Technology” by Kelly Hines
Ms. Hines made very valid points in her post. School systems could spend unlimited amounts of money on the latest and greatest technology for students. However, if the teachers are not equipped to use the technology appropriately, or if they are lacking in fundamental teaching techniques, then the technology is useless.
As educators, we must focus on continually improving our teaching skills and our presentation skills – especially as it relates to technology. It is no longer acceptable to teach students the same way that teachers did even ten years ago. The fundamentals are still the same, but we must utilize different delivery techniques to match the way that students learn. To be good teachers, we must be willing and able learners.

Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
It is refreshing to read a strong opinion by someone who is passionate on a topic. Although I do not share the same passion for this subject in particular, I agree with the points that Mr. Fisch makes. As educators, we are committing ourselves to learning for our students and ourselves. It is not OK to be satisfied with the “status quo” – even when it comes to technology.
The lack of a willingness to learn is more of an issue than the technology illiteracy itself. There are many available resources specifically for educators wanting to use more technology in their classrooms. Simply stated, if you are willing to learn, the information is available. It just requires some time and effort.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
Although we are all aware that our world is changing at an astounding rate, this counter is a great visual tool to help you see what is really going on. This is exciting and scary at the same time. This counter reiterates that our world is becoming a smaller place. As educators, we must be prepared to teach in a global environment. It is imperative for teachers to focus on the fundamentals of learning, but technology cannot be ignored. This is true while we are in school preparing to become educators, but it is even more important once we are responsible for facilitating the learning of others.

C4T #1

1C4T #1: I was assigned Lisa Thumann who is a Senior Specialist in Technology Education at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She works with educators to improve teaching and learning through technology. The first blog post that I read was about her becoming a Google Aps Certified Trainer. Reading through her post and the comments and responses from others "in the field", it was exciting to see all that there are always new things to learn.
1C4T #2: On Lisa's second post, she gave some information on free courses for teaching with technology. Again, it was very motivating to read through this information and see that there are so many opportunities available. This link provides information on free professional development opportunities:

All About Me

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Blog 2

Did You Know 3.0?
The facts presented in this video reinforce the fact that we must prepare our students to succeed in a global world. Google, Facebook, and the internet in general have made our world a smaller place. To stay competitive, our students must not only be prepared to succeed locally or even nationally. They must be ready to compete on a global scale.
This video is a reminder that our world is constantly changing and there is always something “in the works” that will be bigger and better than the current technology. It was interesting to read the information on students getting a four-year technical degree. It is hard to believe that the information they learn in their first year will be out of date before they even complete their degree.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
This video is a reminder that we must prepare students to succeed in life in addition to teaching them the academics. If students only came to school and learned the academic knowledge, they would not be prepared for the real world.
As educators, it is our job to stay current on technology so that we can pass the information along to our students. They will need more than just the academic knowledge to be successful in the future.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
This speaker had a great presentation. His humor and wit kept the audience engaged. At the same time, he got his point across. His real-world examples helped bring this subject to life.
It is interesting to think that schools actually “kill” creativity, but after watching this video, I see where the thought comes from. As educators, it is important to encourage creativity among students. We also need to recognize different learning styles instead of labeling students as learning disabled.

Harness Your Student’s Digital Smarts
It is refreshing to see teachers thinking outside of the box and not being afraid to try new technology in their classrooms. I like the fact that she doesn’t always give her students the answers, and she makes them figure things out on their own.
This video also confirms that we are moving towards global learning and collaboration. With technology, the world is becoming a smaller place. I like the fact that she created an environment where the students were not only learning but teaching each other as well.
A Wordle based on a short paragraph about Jared Datema

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

About Me

My name is Jared Datema. I have three children: Tyler, who is almost five years old, and three-and-a-half year old twins, Hayley and Hayden. I have an associates degree in Golf Course and Turf Management. Prior to coming back school, I was working in the golf course industry for the last eight years. After my wife passed away last year, I decided to pursue a career in physical education. So, after being out of school for almost seven years, I am back at it, and I have discovered that going to school is now very different.

I have recently moved back to Fairhope from Birmingham to be closer to my family. My sister and brother also live in Fairhope, so it is really nice to be around family. In the small amount of spare time that I have, I enjoy reading, running, and and playing golf. Although school is quite different from what I remember and it is going to be a lot of hard work, I am very excited about my new career choice.