Monday, January 31, 2011

Teachers come in all sizes.

two students in front of a computer

I wanted to share with you something that made my heart swell with pride. In this photo is my youngest daughter, Kyli-Addison, she is on the right side with the hounds tooth bow in her hair. She is a reading mentor to a little first grader, who is a little behind. Kyli-Addison reads her the story and then helps her take an AR test on the computer. Kyli-Addison does this every week. It just goes to show you that teachers come in all sizes.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Project #5 Google Presentation

I hope you enjoy my presentation! It was so much fun to create and easy to do with Google Docs.

Blog Post # 3

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

This video has captured some of my college experiences. I have attended, Bishop State Community College and am currently here at The University of South Alabama. At Bishop State, Classes were small, usually no more than 30 students. So I was astounded when I went to my first class at South and found an auditorium with 200 students. Most students at Bishop did not carry around a laptop. So, getting on the internet and facebooking (Can I verb that?) was not an issue. However, the situation here at South is a different story. Students carry their laptops to class as more and more classes are turning hybrid. The only problem I see is that students tend to browse the internet and not pay attention to the instructor. I actually did and still do read my text books,but the majority of students do not. At both colleges, I have seen many students on cell phones in class; texting, talking, messaging, looking at the internet. They are doing everything except paying attention to the instructor. I tend to get aggravated when I see this because, here we are paying a lot of money for an education and some of those people are just blowing off their opportunity. There were several other situations mentioned in the video that applied to me as well, such as, working, eating,watching television, and networking. All of these activities add up to a huge amount of time, actually more time than in a 24 hour period. The one thing I could add to that video is: having children and taking care of a family. Today there are more and more mothers and fathers returning to college or starting college for the first time. So, add that to all of the things mentioned and as you could imagine, sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to take care of everything.

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

In her article Kelly Hines discusses the four things that every teacher must recognize in order to effectively and positively impact students in a new generation of learning.
1. Teachers must be learners.

As an educator or future educator how could one not agree with this statement? How can we effectively teach students in this day and time without learning more ourselves? After all, isn't learning what we are expecting our students do while we teach? So by learning new techniques and staying on top of currents trends is a good example of being a "learner".

2.Learning and Teaching are not the same thing.

I agree with this statement. Educators can teach a lesson until they are blue in in the face, but unless students can demonstrate that they have mastered the lesson being taught, then it was not learned. I can think back to my experience in Elementary School where my teacher was teaching prime numbers and I just didn't get it. She tried and tried to explain it to me, but I never learned what they were until I went to college and started with basic math. I remember feeling so frustrated and more worse than that, the teacher made me feel stupid. Eventually the teacher just moved on without me.

3. Technology is useless without good teaching

This one stands out to me. I absolutely agree with this! Why on earth would school systems spend so much money on technology, if teachers are not willing to be educated. I have seen this first hand in a few of my own children's classrooms. The Smart Board is there, but is not being utilized. Children love to use it and it creates an exciting learning atmosphere. Something about the Smart Board draws students in and keeps their attention. Some of the teachers I have spoken to about their Smart Board say that they don't have time to learn how to use it, or they don't want to attend a workshop on the weekend. What a waste of great technology!

4. Be a 21st Century Teacher without the technology.

I don't think that teaching should be all about technology. However, it can be a great asset. Teaching children to be learners and to critically think is just as important as teaching them components of a computer and how they work, especially in this world of technology and gadgets. I think that maintaining a balance of technology and good old fashioned learning can be beneficial for the students.

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

If you are an educator or not,it is not okay to be Technologically Illiterate. Everyone needs to be able to operate a computer. In this age of Technology computers are everywhere and most companies used them for the job application process, Universities use them for communicating with students, Hospitals use them for charting. So, you see it is not only important for Educators to be computer literate, it is important for everyone.

How, as an educator can one not be technologically literate? Lesson plans are done on the computer, e-mails are sent to colleagues, worksheets can be found on the web, news letters are created, and many other countless tasks. So, I could see why it would frustrate Mr. Fisch for his staff to not be technologically literate. I would think it would make things more difficult in their day-to-day activities.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

Looking at the numbers it makes you realize that this world is a big world and getting bigger. But, with the advancement of computers and technology the world seems to be smaller. The more the numbers change the more I think to myself, I need to make sure that I learn as much as I can in regards to computers. There is so much to learn and I don't think that I will ever know all there is to know about technology but, I want to delve deeper in this content area that I seem to know so little about. I think that it is the way of the future as more and more people are using computers and such to run their businesses, as well as, the addition of computers to schools all over the world. I believe that the more you know about technology and how to use it will greatly affect the chances of employ-ability. After all, would a principal want to hire someone who doesn't know how to use a computer or would he/she want to hire an educator with computer experience and knowledge of programs? So to sum it up, knowing how to use technology can only help in my future as an educator.

C4T #1 Project #3

a cat shredding paper

Comment #1
I was assigned to, Mr. David Wees' blog, 21st Century Educator. You can find his blog
In his post, The (nearly) paperless classroom, he discussed different tools he uses to keep his students learning without the use of a lot of paper or a lot of technology. He suggested one of my favorite tools, a white board for students to use for "class work" as well as larger ones to write assignment and instructions.
He also suggested a few old computers placed in various spots around the room so that large groups of students can gather around when necessary because most of their work is collaborative. Digital cameras were also on his list. He uses them as a way of documenting students work, as the white boards are large enough to see when a snap shot is taken. He also has a back-of-the-room library as additional resources for his students. For the most part, using notebooks or journals for self reflection is where most of his paper use is. He states, "The (nearly) paperless classroom starts with the assumption that not every piece of work students produce is worth saving forever." While I agree with his comment, I am not totally sold on the idea of a ( nearly) paperless classroom.

This is my response:
"I have read your post regarding a (nearly) paperless classroom. You have some great ideas! My favorite being, the white boards. What kid does not love writing on those? Every child in my house has their own whiteboard in their bedrooms, hung on the wall. They use them for math work, writing, and other homework activities. I also have one in my home "classroom". They are great tools and so much better for the environment. I also love the, back-of-the-room library. I'm sure that is especially useful for a different source of information. I wonder what the age of e-books could do for students in the future? The cameras are a great addition as well, but could be expensive if the cameras get broken or, if your students are like my kids and their friends, all I get are silly faces. Overall I think it is a great concept, I just don't know if I am totally sold on the idea.

Now, with saying that I need to add the following disclaimer: I am merely a student. I am not a full time teacher, yet. So the following comments are strictly my opinion and are just some thoughts that pop in to my head. Now that we have that over with, back to my post.

While I like the whole idea and am a great fan of technology, I can't help but wonder, is it really possible to run a classroom effectively without the use of paper? I see you take pictures of the student's work and load it to a computer, but, what if the computer crashes and you lose some of the information, what then? As a teacher are you responsible for keeping some of your student's work for verification of some sort? if so, how do you do that? Are the journals or notebooks that you have good enough for that purpose? Just a few things to think about."

Comment #2

David Wees' response to my comment on his post, The (nearly) paperless classroom was awesome. He touched on a few of my main points that I brought up in my comment. He also explained that his post was to try and come up with a few ideas that would assist him in creating this "paperless" classroom with not a lot of technology. Last year he was able to only use about 20 sheets of paper for 4 of his classes. However, he did say that most of his students had access to a computer, which helped the process. He admits that, while it's not perfect, he believes he could do it and in fact, there are some teachers out there that are actually paperless classrooms.

My reply to David Wees.

"You know, I didn't even think about the computers and cameras being taken. That would definitely put a damper on things. I think your reply about having silly faces on the white boards was funny. You know back in the "olden" days as my kids say, we had chalk boards and I can remember drawing silly faces and such when we were given an opportunity to draw on the them. Here in Alabama, we are going through a funding crisis. Teachers are having to account for the paper they use, and most of the time, buy the paper themselves unless, there is a parent ( me) who will buy them a case of paper to help them out. So, in that aspect going paperless could help ease the financial strain that teachers tend to have to endure. I like your ideas and while it's not perfect, I can appreciate your willingness to create a learning environment that is interesting and fun for your students."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Did you all know.....

human head with lightbulb on top

That there is an EDM 310 help line? I saw the number posted on the board in the back of the lab and I said to myself, "I may need to write this down". Well, low and behold I had a question about the special assignment posted on the EDM 310 blog. So, I first e-mailed Dr. Strange my question and after several hours ( almost 24) with no response,( I figured my e-mail may have been overlooked since he is so busy getting the classes up an running) I decided then to do the next best thing. I called the help line and guess what? The prompt asked me for my name and then connected me to Dr. Strange! He answered my question and gave me an explanation as to why he posted that particular assignment. So write this number down 251-272-9023 and give it a ring if you have any trouble. So, now for a quick shout out! THANK YOU DR. STRANGE FOR YOUR HELP THIS MORNING!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blog Post #2

Did You Know?

This video had so much information in it. So much information,that in order for my brain to process it, I had to watch it twice! The video was interesting, but the music was a distraction and made it difficult for me to read all of the frames.

Aside from that, I can’t believe that China will soon be the number one country for English speaking people. That seems a bit strange to me considering that their first language is Chinese and the majority of people here in the United States can only speak English. Also, I found that 1 in every 8 people met on the internet. That says a lot about how many people in this world have access to a computer, which I believe to be a good thing. Overall, the video was good and it really got me thinking about things that I wouldn’t have given a second thought to.

Mr. Winkle Wakes.

How strange it was for Mr Winkle to wake after a hundred years to find that the world had changed so much. Technology has made huge leaps over the past hundreds of years and continues to do so everyday.

The statement about technology in schools not being used is so true. Although, there have been advances in that area, it is still not enough. How sad it is that there are many schools that do not have access to different kinds of technology. Sure, they may have computers, but they are not utilized in a way that would enable students to progress in this world of computers, gadgets and technology.

Another issue that was implied in the video, was that Mr. Winkle was intimidated by all of the computers and such. There are many “older” people who have never and will never get on-line with a computer simply because it intimidates them. Technology, as important as it is to the younger generations, is just not that important to the “older” generations, so they don’t feel it’s necessary to learn how to use it. My own aunt who had never owned a computer would come to my house and ask me to look up information for her and finally one day I asked,” why don’t you get a computer?” her reply was, “ because I could never even turn the thing on!”. With a little coaxing she bought herself one and has never looked back, which I think is terrific!

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

This video was interesting. Sir Ken Robinson had many great things to say regarding creativity. As I listened, I couldn't help but to think about my own children's experience in the public school system. Having so many children, I find that I am in classrooms more than I am not and the one thing that all of their teachers have shared with me on more than one occasion is this: "Teaching is not as fun as it used to be. There is so much paperwork and tests, that we have little time for anything else." This comment seems to be universal, whether the child is in Kindergarten or 8th grade.

I think that schools should get back to the basics, when there was time for art and music and such. Instead of the 20 minutes of rushed creative activities. So much emphasis is placed on what grade the students make on their test as well as meeting AYP (attendance goal). How sad it is that our children are not allowed to express themselves as freely as in the past. We stifle their creativity with a bunch of lessons and tests and do not offer them any means of self expression. I am in no way saying that academic achievement is not important. However, I think that there should be some way to have a healthy balance of both.

Cecelia Gault's
interview with Sir Ken Robinson can be found here

My first response to Cecelia was, Wow! What a smart young lady, very articulate and bright. She asked some great questions!
What can I do with my future students to make sure they have as good an education as Cecelia Gault? First I think that staying up to date on the latest educational programs designed to engage students and keep them interested in learning is a great way to start. Another way is to have as much fun with learning as possible, allowing children to harness their creativity through a variety of interactive lessons. Also, I think that making children accountable for their own education is great strategy as well. I think that making some sort of educational goals set forth by the students (if age permits) and a weekly check on those goals is a great way of keeping the students organized and on task. There are many things educators can do to facilitate learning among students, but doing them in an interesting fashion is the key to getting students on the road to a better education.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts | Edutopia

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
I like what Mrs. Davis had to say in regards to technology and I agree with her. Technology changes everyday and there is no way that any one person could know everything about all of the different programs that come out on a daily basis. I like that she expects students to look up the information for themselves, instead of her telling them what a word means or how to do a certain activity. What a great way to get students to wear their thinking caps! Technology is the way of the world and I believe that students would benefit greatly if every school offered a class similar to Mrs. Davis'.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wordle Project #2

picture of words from my previous post

Nice to meet you all! blog post #1

picture of people shaking hands

My name is Kelly Evans. I was born here, but moved to Gulfport, Mississippi when I was 12 years old. In 1995 I moved back to Mobile and got a job at Providence Hospital where I was a Surgery Tech. and helped to deliver babies for a living. I met my husband shortly after moving here. We have been married for 14+ years. My husband and I have 7 children (No, that is not a typo). In addition to raising our children, my husband and I also own our own plumbing and drain business where I work part time as an office manager.

I can remember as a young child teaching to my stuffed animals and although they were great students, my dream was to one day have my very own classroom of real students. Life put those dreams on hold as I had my first child at the age of 16. In the fall of 2007 I decided it was now or never. So I embarked on the journey towards fulfilling my dream of graduating college with a degree in Elementary Education. I started out at Bishop State Community College and transferred here this past summer. This is my third semester here at The University of South Alabama and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

I love to scrapbook pictures! It is my passion. I go on two trips annually to get away with my girlfriends where we scrapbook the weekend away.

I want to enter the Education field to make a difference in the lives of children. I want to have a positive influence on them and show them compassion and understanding through my actions and words. I want them to know; that no matter what circumstances may arise, they can do and be anything they want in life.

Practice post

Hi! My name is Kelly Evans. This is my second attempt at this class. My first attempt was this past summer and it seemed like too much work for such a short period of time so, I dropped the class. I felt like I would not be so overwhelmed if I took it during a full semester. I must admit, I am a little nervous but I am looking forward to the learning process.