Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blog Post #16

How you would now (tools, methods, classroom, activities, etc.) change what you wrote at the start of the semester? Explain why you would make these changes.

As I reread my first blog post there are not a lot of things that I would change from the beginning of the semester. I still want my students to be able to study topics that interest them and use their creativity in my class. I still want to be that teacher who encourages, not forces learning. The difference is that now after taking EDM310 I know how to be the teacher that I wanted to be in the beginning of the semester.

At the beginning of the class I was a not a fan of iPads in a classroom. I felt that too much technology would create a distance between the real world experiences such as being outside, and interacting with animals. Now, I see that I was very wrong. Technology is a great resource not only for me as a teacher, but for my students. Between the apps, and online tools such as Discovery Ed and iCurio, technology does nothing, but enhance a student's understanding of a subject.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Post #15 Collaborative

What can you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?

In the video iCurio I watched as Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange discuss iCurio. I learned so much about the iCurio and it’s features. Although I had previously looked at it before, I never realized what a great tool it was. I think it is great that it enables students to use the internet while preventing inappropriate material from appearing in their search results. Not only does it provide safe search engines, but iCurio also allows teacher and students to save information in folders to come back to later. I thought this was great! So many times when working on a project I print a numerous amount of unnecessary information because I do not want to lose it after I leave that particular website. Not only is this a great way to be environmentally friendly, but it encourages organization for both me and my future students. I am very impressed with the capabilities iCurio has to offer and will definitely being using this in my class!

In the video Discovery Ed Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange discussed Discovery Ed. Discovery Ed is a website that offers a variety of tools to assist in teaching particular subjects, such as science and social studies. It offers pictures, videos, and much more to reiterate the subject being taught. One feature that I like about Discovery Ed is that it allows students to listen to an expert in a given field. As a future teacher I understand that I will not be able to answer every question they have, but with Discovery Ed I will be able to point them in the right direction and let them find out from someone who does know the answer. I think this is a great tool to enhance and personalize their learning!

I think The Anthony - Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1 is a great video for anyone who is considering or even on their way to being a teacher. Anthony Capps provides some very great insight to what his life is like as a third grade teacher. Always reading books, always learning new things, and working more than just the school day. Many people think that teaching is one of the easiest jobs, but that is far from the truth. There is so much more to it than just standing at the front of a room talking. There are lesson plans, parent meetings, and so much more that a teacher does not because it is easy, or because teaching pays a lot of money. They do it because they are passionate about teaching children.

Kaylee Diegan

I really enjoy listening to Anthony Capp’s ideas and advice. Knowing that he once was a student in EDM310, as I am today, gives me hope that I can grow from this class and apply my knowledge in my Project Based Learning Classroom.

Earlier in the semester, I chose to do one of my posts on iCurio. I think iCurio is a great tool for students and teachers. In the video about iCurio, Capps discusses how safe it is and how it can be used for any grade level. Like Dr. Strange, I tend to misplace my notes. This tool can prevent that problem! Students can upload their files into certain folders, search under restricted sites and save their information quickly. This video taught me how to allow my students to search the internet without coming across inappropriate sites. This is really important to me, as a teacher and a parent.

Discovery Education is another tool to be used in the classroom. This allows students to enter key words they are searching for. Like iCurio, this also allows students to search for information without seeing inappropriate websites. I think this would be a great tool for students in elementary school. It seems to be harder to know exactly what to type in the search engine when you are younger. Searching for key words can help students quickly find what they need. I hope to use both tools in my classroom!

The third video I watched was Additional Thought About Lessons. Anthony discusses four “layers” to his teaching strategy. He says there is the curriculum based off of the year, the unit, the week and the day. He compares this theory to a Russian nested doll. It is important to prepare your projects and teachings in all four of these time frames. I agree with Anthony on this! My biggest fear about using Project Based Learning in my classroom is time management. This strategy helped me realize how I need to plan the curriculum. I think this strategy could really help!

I love how Dr. Strange is surprised by many of the information Anthony gives him. This really proves that teachers can learn from students. I enjoyed all of the videos I watched on conversations between Dr. Strange and Anthony!

Jamie Risner

In this video Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange talk about iCurio. ICurio is an online tool that allows students to safely search websites and use other online media. Another great feature that iCurio offers is it allows students to store information that they find interesting into folders and to also create new folders. By allowing students to add to and create folders it gives students responsibility and organization skills. These are skills that students will be able to use for the rest of their life. The feature I thought would be the most useful to teachers is that iCurio has the ability to read text to students with disabilities. This feature will be a great help to teachers who have a student with a disability, because they will not have to read the text to the students themselves.

Discovery Education
In this video Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange talk about the online search tool called Discovery Education. Discovery Education is an online search tool that does not just offer pictures but also video’s of experts giving information on the topic. Anthony Capps stated that Discovery Education does not take the place of reading but helps to enhance it. I agree with what Dr. Strange said “students should not just be consumers of technology but also producers of it”. I think this is a great statement because students should not be satisfied with using the technology they are given but rather the students should want to create and contribute to technology, which allows them to have their voice and ideas heard.

Don’t Teach Technology - Use It
In this video Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange talk about the use of technology in classrooms. I agree with the statement Anthony Capps made in the beginning of this video when he said “it does not matter if you like technology or not you are surrounded by it”. Everywhere you look there's technology and it is at our fingertips at all times with smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The most important thing I learned from this video is a teacher should not teach technology but should do it. A teacher can do this by designing projects that starts off with just an introduction to technology, then the teacher continuously designs projects that allows students to build their skills and combine the tools they are learning. I think this is a great idea because it allows students to use critical thinking skills and problem solving skills, which they will use the rest of their life. There are many advantages to using PBL and technology. One advantage is it is cheaper because it is a one time purchase and teachers do not have to keep buying supplies for projects. With PBL and technology students can be engaged with projects all year long. I thought this video was very helpful because now I know that in my classroom I should not teach technology but use it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

PLN Project #9


Although I have been building my PLN on many different networks, such as twitter, blogger, etc. I have found some great stuff for EDM310 and my future classroom on Pinterest. There are many teachers on Pinterest that share different lesson plans, classroom friendly apps on the iPad, and much more. Through them I have came across many cool things that I want in my classroom, as well as information and pictures for my blog. Here is an example of one of the tools I have found on Pinterest that I cannot wait to use.


Blog Post #14

This assignment is not in my area of specialty. Instead, it reiterates what we have been taught in class that we need a change in education. The purpose of this assignment is to give students facts about our education system so that they can appreciate PBL and understand what changes are necessary to effectively teach students of the future.

Watch the video Is Education Outdated?.
What did you learn? Do you agree that the education system is outdated? Tell why or why not.

In the video Is Education Outdated? I learned that we are educating students for the past, not the future. Much of this we cannot help because we do not know what the future holds, but we can help students prepare for the future with new methods. Our current education system was a concept designed for the industrial age to create warm bodies for manufacturers an universities. A revolution that occurred almost 100 years ago! Why teach a student in the 21st century with methods from the 19th? It just does not make any sense. Instead, we need to be determining what relevant today and designing our education system around it.

"Our future is changing so rapidly, that what worked in the past has no guarantee of working in the future anymore."

I completely agree with Guy Morrell-Stinson in that the education system is outdated. Just because something worked 100 years ago, does not mean there is not a better more efficient, up to date way to do it now. Today's society has different educational needs, so why keep the same educational system from the industrialization that focuses academics? Today we should be telling kids to do what they want. Be an artist. Be a horse trainer. Be a fashion designer. Anything! We no longer have jobs that require everyone to go to college for academics. There is no reason to keep encouraging every student to attend college when graduates are having a hard time finding jobs in their degree of expertise. We should encourage them to find something they are good at and encourage them to pursue a future in it.


C4T #4

I was assigned to the blog Blogging About The Web 2.0 Connected Classroom by Steven Anderson. He is the Director of Instructional Technology in Winston-Salem, NC.

The first post I read was 5 Leadership Questions To Finish (And Start) The School Year With. It was a very interesting post that discussed how to be a productive teacher even at the end of the school year. You might be wondering how does a teacher stay productive at the end of the year? That is when everything is over, right? Wrong! The end of the school year is the perfect time to get some reflection time in. In this particular blog post the questions all covered technology. The questions presented in the post covered participation, effectiveness, planning, and many other topics. I thought this was a great way for teachers prepare themselves for the next year. By answering these questions they could come up with some new ideas, as well as create goals that they would like to accomplish.

Next, I read Summer Learning Series-It's All About The Hashtag. This was a great article that discussed what hashtags are, how to create a hashtag, and how to find stuff using a hashtag on Twitter. Before reading this article I knew very little about hashtags, except that you were suppose to use them. Now I have a better understanding of their purpose, as well as how to use them to find interesting stuff. The article even provided a link to a list of at least 100 education hashtags! From #edugreen all the way to #BlackEdu. This is a great resource for anyone in education. Visit Some Educational Hashtags to see what hashtags you should be following!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blog Post #13 Collaborative

In the video "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful Shane Koyczan raises his voice against bullying in a poem. As a child he was picked on and torn down everyday because of his weight. This video was made to raise awareness, put a stop to the cruelty, and most of all give hope to those who feel different and alone.

With his combination of words, music, and pictures the audience is sucked into the lives of the different characters. Feeling their pain with every word. Watching the constant insults break them down. Allowing the names to define them, because after hearing it for so long they are no longer able to see themselves as anything else. Watching this video is like watching a train wreck waiting to happen. It is dark and depressing, but you just cannot take your eyes off of it. My words alone cannot even begin to explain what a nerve hitting masterpiece Shane Koyczan has created. I believe it is only appropriate to share a couple verses.
she was eight years old
our first day of grade three
when she got called ugly
we both got moved to the back of the class
so we would stop get bombarded by spit balls
but the school halls were a battleground
where we found ourselves outnumbered day after wretched day
we used to stay inside for recess
because outside was worse
outside we’d have to rehearse running away
or learn to stay still like statues giving no clues that we were there
in grade five they taped a sign to her desk
that read beware of dog

to this day
despite a loving husband
she doesn’t think she’s beautiful
because of a birthmark
that takes up a little less than half of her face
kids used to say she looks like a wrong answer
that someone tried to erase
but couldn’t quite get the job done
and they’ll never understand
that she’s raising two kids
whose definition of beauty
begins with the word mom
because they see her heart
before they see her skin
that she’s only ever always been amazing
People says "kids are cruel" like it is an excuse not to stop bullying. That bullying is okay because it is coming from a child. We ignore how badly the bullied child's feelings are hurt and what the possible repercussions could be. This teacher just moved them to the back of the class hoping they will become invisible. Unfortunately, time and time again we have learned that ignoring the problem does not work. That is why we have kids bringing guns to schools to kill other students, harming their own bodies so that they can feel a moment of relief, and overdosing on pain killers just to get away from reality. By leaving them alone, without support and trying to make the them invisible we are doing nothing, but helping to create their own personal tragedy. We need everyone, not just children, to come to a realization of how their words and deeds can affect others. On his project website he says, "Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. We can give them a starting point… A message that will have a far reaching and long lasting effect in confronting bullying". His original video has received over 9,000,000,000 views on Youtube. I believe that we had found a plausible solution. If we could show our students something like this video, we could teach them what their words can do to others. Everyone has compassion and I think when they realize the outcomes a change will be made.

Kaylee Diegan

Are you thankful for the education girls AND boys are given in our country? You should be! I know that I am after watching the TED video on Kakenya Ntaiya! I highly recommend everyone watch this video!

As a child growing up in Kenya, Kakenya Ntaiya was not promised an education past twelve years old. Her father was away working most of the time, and when he was home he was selling the crops her mother had worked on all year and drinking with his friends at a local bar. Her mother, her siblings and herself were to do exactly what her father demanded or the mother would be abused. She was arranged a husband to marry once she became a woman. When she was thirteen she was mutilated as a female, like the all of the other girls her age. Since her mother was denied an education, she emphasized how important an education was. Ntaiya told her father that she would go through with the “celebration” of becoming a woman if she could continue her education. He agreed.

Little did she know how her world would change! She went to high school in Kenya then received a scholarship to college in the United States. She went around to all of the men and collected enough money for her plane ticket to America. Once she got here, her eyes were opened to: SNOW, rights, laws and many other things that had been stolen from her back home. After receiving her Master’s, Ntaiya went back to Kenya to repay the community for helping her receive her education. She started an all girls school and not only kept 125 girls from being sexually mutilated, but helped them transform into educated young ladies with chance at life!

It is so important to realize how lucky we are to have our education handed to us. For me, it was known that I would attend school all the way through college. But, for others it’s not that simple. It’s amazing what you can do if you really want something and fight for it. In another TED video Sugata Mitra emphasized how amazing it is to see what children can do if you give them certain atmospheres and tools. Once she made it to America, all it took for Ntaiya to be successful was an opportunity. We should teach our students to be motivated like she was and not just expect things to be given to you. We are truly lucky to live in this country and be given the education opportunities that we have.

Jamie Risner

I enjoyed the video “Teaching One Child at a Time”. In this video, Shukla Bose talks about how she started the Parkrma Humanity Foundation. This foundation helps the children in India who live in the slums get an education. Bose started by going to the slums and identifying houses where the children who would never go to school lived. She would then talk to the parents about sending their children to school. The parents wanted their children to go to school, because they wanted their children to have a better life, but the parents still had to be convinced that change was possible. The Parkrma Humanity Foundation started with one school that was located on the top of the building and had 165 children. The Foundation grew to four schools and a junior college, which all became successful because the schools taught the best curriculum possibly. They even taught English to get the students ready for a globalized world. I think it is great that the children are not just being taught basic skills but also skills that will help them have a better future. The main reason the schools became successful is that the schools and teachers operated under the idea of "one child at a time", which means they would educate students through school and into college by focusing on treating each child as an individual. I believe more schools should operate under this idea, because not every child learns the same or at the same speed. This idea means students are more likely to understand the material taught rather than just being passed along to the next grade.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blog Post #12

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?

Ken Robinson is an author and educator. He led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, and was knighted for his work. We can learn so much from Sir Ken Robinson in his 2006 TED talk on The Importance of Creativity. Although he talks on a variety of points, one in particular caught my attention. He said,
There isn't an education system on the planet that teaches dance everyday to children the way we teach them mathematics. Why? Why not? I think this is rather important. I think math is very important, but so is dance. Children dance all the time if they're allowed to, we all do. We all have bodies, don't we? Did I miss a meeting? Truthfully, what happens is, as children grow up, we start to educate them progressively from the waist up. And then we focus on their heads. And slightly to one side.
After hearing this, I began thinking of all the schools I attended throughout my life. That is twelve schools to be exact. I came to the conclusion that not one of them encouraged me to get up and dance, do something creative, or anything else outside of academics. I thought why is this? Who decided that math, science, and english were the most important subjects? I later learned that our educational system was made to suite the needs of the industrial revolution. A time when people were focused on manufacturing. Public schools began preparing students for jobs by focusing on math, science, and other subjects that were deemed important. Likewise, little time was spent letting students use their creativity in art, drama, or music. Society did not care at this point in time if you could paint or do something extraordinary with your creativity. They wanted someone to be able to work machines and understand how to fix them.

Even today, our education system remains much the same as it was during this time. Students spend minimal time in classes such as art, drama, and other creative thinking based classes. Sir Ken Robinson is absolutely correct when he says that schools are killing our creativity. As young children we probably look like this little boy a lot, or at least I did. Covered in head to toe in whatever I was doing. Most time it was dirt.
Then we start going to school, where teachers only want one answer. The textbook, burp back answer. It does not matter if you see a color as being salmon, but if a teacher says it is pink then you are supposed to see it as pink as well. We tell children they are wrong, when in fact they could very well be right. Who is to say their perception is wrong? Instead of accepting their ideas, we break them, and turn them into robots by teaching them only to see what we want them to see. I learned from Sir Ken Robinson that we need to stop this negative stigma of being wrong, and let children discover and learn through their own eyes. Allowing them to keep their creativity and imagination.


Jamie Risner

Changing Education Paradigms

In the video Changing Education Paradigms Sir Ken Robinson he asked two questions. The first is "How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century, given that we cannot anticipate what the economy will look like at the end of the next week?" The second question he asks is "How does a country educate children to also have cultural identity while also being part of globalization"? I enjoyed this video very much. It shows how public education became what it is today. "The current system was designed and conceived for a different age. It was conceived in the intellectual culture of the enlightenment and in economic circumstance of Industrial Revolution." The current system divides students into the academic and non academic categories, which makes many brilliant people believe that they are not smart. I believe this is very true. If a student does not make good grades the stdent often believes that means the student is not smart. If a student is discouraged they begin to shutdown and do not want to go to school. Sir Ken Robinson makes a great point that the school system needs to get away from standardization and go to divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the essential capacity for creativity and to see multiple answers-not just one. I think this is a great idea because divergent thinking teaches students to use their minds and their creativity rather than just using their memorization. Sir Ken Robinson also gives a great example of how the public education system is failing. In his example, 1500 kindergarteners were given a test to measure divergent thinking. 98% of those students scored in the Genius level. The same test was given the the same children when they were 8-10 years old, and again at age 13-15. The results were that the scores continuously deteriorated. I was amazed by the results of the test. It shows that as children get further along in their education their divergent thinking skills begin to suffer. This is because they have been taught that there is only one correct answer. This video opened my eyes to the problems of how students are being taught in the education system. I think any person that is wanting to become a teacher should watch this video.

Kaylee Diegan

I really enjoyed Sir Ken Robinson's video How To Escape Education's Death Valley. He discusses learning in America and how even though we put enough money and time into teaching, it's not the most successful way of allowing our students to learn. I was literally laughing out loud when Robinson was discussing ADHD (not because I think the diagnosis is funny for any child to have, I just couldn't agree more). He says that he knows it exists, but that just because a child is hyperactive doesn't mean they should be put on medicine to be calm. I agree with him: any child that you make sit in a classroom for hours at a time is going to get bored and lose concentration! With that being said, why don't we make the students' learning exciting and try not to let them get bored?

Another analogy he used was curiosity being like the engine of a jeep. I learned that curiosity is so important for the teacher to possess as well as the students. Students can thrive off of curiosity and therefore willingly learn more. I never thought about it, but learning and education are two different things. Robinson says you can talk about education without talking about learning. Just because a teacher is in a classroom "teaching", does NOT mean the students are learning. We've been talking about standardized tests in a lot of my classes lately. There is a time and place for standardized tests. They should not be used on a daily basis; just for diagnostics. I agree with this for many reasons, but especially because not all students are good at taking tests. So, just because a student doesn't do well on a standardized tests means they don't understand something? FALSE.

At the end of the video Robinson describes what he means in his title by "death valley". Death Valley is a desert by his house that nothing grows on. It doesn't get any rain, therefore it has no grass, trees, flowers, etc. But, when it did rain, flowers grew! Death Valley is like our students' learning. If we don't teach them anything and give them a learning atmosphere, then they won't learn anything. If we do, then they will grow in their education and learn. I can't wait to have a classroom and try to apply the things I've learned in EDM310 from people's blogs and videos to my own students!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Blog Post #11

I watched the videos First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class and Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy. Ms. Cassidy is a lovely elementary teacher from Canada. Compared many older teachers who are stuck to their old ways, Ms. Cassidy is different in her approach to the use of technology in the classroom. Her classroom is full of technology and she loves it! She was not a teacher to jump on the bandwagon and use technology because it was the new thing, but started from scratch ten years ago when she was given computers that did not allow additional programs. When other classrooms were doing the bare minimum with bulky overhead projectors that required transparency sheets she was making websites, blogs, and so much more with her classroom because she knew how important it was for her students to learn what they could do with technology.

I thought it was super cool all of the technology she used in her first grade class. I never expected to see her students using something like a Nintendo DS to learn. It may be outdated, but compared to other technology it is much cheaper and probably has many features that work well in the classroom. I personally would not want a DS in my classroom because of how limited they are in terms of capability, but I would love to have something more advanced like iPads for my students. Many parents may not see the benefit of students working with them, but in today's society people are connected to knowledge 24/7. Why not take advantage of it? Learning should not stay the same as it was 100, or even 20 years ago. By changing the way we teach the benefits range from more personalized learning to being more environmentally friendly. Some people may remain skeptical of technology in the classroom and I would encourage them to take a look at what students are doing with these resources. It just might amaze you.


Collaborative Project #13

A Day In The Life Of Worker Ants

Duration: 225 to 250 minutes divided amongst several days

Subject: English, Science

Grade Level: 3rd

Project Idea Summary:

Students are to do online research about worker ants. Students are to use the research they found online to create a short story, and illustrate as if they were the worker ant for a day. They are to write about what they would do, what problems they might encounter, and how they would solve those problems. Students are to then get into groups and read over each others stories. Each student would receive and give feed back from their group members. Students would then revise their stories and illustrate them. All the stories would then be compiled into a book called A Day In The Life Of Worker Ants. A podcast would then be made of the book with each student reading their story. The podcast would then be posted on the individual, as well as the class blog page.

Content Standards:

ELA(3) 9. Compose narrative text using an introductory paragraph, specific time frames, clear sequencing of events and conclusions.

TC2(3-5) 8. Collect information from a variety of digital sources.

ELA2010(3) 24. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear events sequences.

21st Century Competencies To Be Taught and Assessed:



Critical thinking

Creativity and innovation

Entry Events:

Show YouTube video about worker ants.

Formative Assessments (during the project):

Rough drafts

Summative Assessments (end of the project):

Written products by using a rubric

Oral presentation by using a rubric

Resources Needed:

Computers with internet access

Access to class blog page

Pens, crayons, markers, paper


Reflection Methods:

Group discussion

Class discussion

Writing in a daily journal


C4T #3

I was assigned to the blog Peoplegogy by Dr. Will Deyamport. His blog is awesome for those who are interested in learning about and using technology. Making it not only helpful for teachers, but anyone who wants to be more familiar with using Skype, LinkedIn, Google Hangout, and other tools that are available.

The first video I watched from his blog was Twitter Webinar with Tom Whitford and Victoria Olson. Tom is a school administrator, while Victoria is a teacher as well as a instructional technologist. Together with Dr. Deyamport they explain how twitter is a great way to connect and build a PLN. This video made everything click in my mind. I can finally understand why Dr. Strange had us create a twitter account. Before I thought Twitter, I hate twitter, it is useless. Now, I can see how great twitter can be if you use it the right way.

One last important point, they showed me how I should be finding other educators and influential people to follow using twitter, besides Carly Aquilino from Girl Code. I can not unfollow Carly.


The second post I read was What You need to Know about Class Dojo by Erin Wolfhope. This was an extremely cool article to read. It brought back all those memories from elementary school when I had to go to the front of the room and change my card for being bad. I hated this way of discipline when I was in school because it was completely forgetting all my good behavior and only punishing my bad behavior. To fix that problem kids today have Class Dojo. A super cool up to date version of card flipping. It allows a teacher to not only take away points when necessary, but also give points to reward good behavior. Even though Class Dojo is controlled online by an electronic device such as an iPhone or Android, it still visible for students at the top of their normal projected screen at the front of the room. Allowing students to instantly see when they receive new points. Another feature that I thought was interesting is that Class Dojo has a parent password, allowing parents to monitor their child's behavior during school online. Did I mention the students have cool avatars?! I love it! I need it! What a fun game.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blog Post #10

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

There are so many things one can learn from watching Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. This video is his last lecture before he died of cancer. His goal through recording this was to pass on all the lessons in life he learned to not only his children, but people around the world. As many say, he wrote the book on living while dying. Although he did not always succeed, Randy Pausch had an incredible outlook and understanding on life even when the odds were not in his favor. Here are just a few lessons from his lecture.
Your critics are the ones still telling you they love you and care.

Show gratitude. Gratitude is a simple but powerful thing.

Don’t complain, Just work harder.

Never underestimate the importance of having fun.

All of these lessons are so important to embrace especially for Teachers because they work with children everyday. As a teacher we are not just there to make sure students learn, but to motivate them, help them grow, and most importantly to set them up to achieve their goals. My favorite quote from Randy Rausch is,

"If you’re going to have childhood dreams you should have great parents who let you pursue them and express your creativity."

During this specific lesson he talks about how important it was that his parents let him decorate his walls with math formulas, despite the negative impacts. I know this was meant for parents, but I believe this is a very important lesson for teachers to learn as well. It does not matter what type of home life a student has, as a teacher you can make a difference by giving students the support they need to dream. As a future teacher I plan to let my students go wild with learning. I want my classroom become a totally cool learning zone with their favorite topics surrounding them, just like Randy's room as a child. I want to be able to give them an opportunity to find and surround themselves in their own personal niche and run with it.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blog Post #8 Collaborative

What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?

Through the video Making Thinking Visible, we see Mark Church a sixth grade teacher in Amsterdam, use visible thinking in his classroom. The video starts with a topic they learned about the day before, early human beginnings and the origins of human society. He has his students create and write down a headline to summarize what the meaning of the search for human origins is all about. The students then start discussing in their groups how to summarize what they have learned into a small statement. Once they have decided on their headline and written it down, they share it aloud and tell why they chose that headline. Later on once they have completed the lesson they will go back and answer the same question, and then see how their answers changed over time. This is an example of visible thinking. The goal of visible thinking is to develop student thinkings patterns while expanding their understanding of a given topic. To do this visible thinking uses questions to get students talking and thinking about the possible answers, and documented answers to be able to go back and reflect to see how their understanding and thoughts have changed on a given subject.

After watching this short video I think visible thinking is a great way of learning. I really appreciate the fact that it allows students to work in groups and discuss their ideas. To me, being able to work with other people is a very important lesson to learn as a child. I also like that visible learning allows for students to look back and reflect upon their learning. I was never encouraged to see my progress during my education and I think could be very beneficial for my students to be able to see their progress. This is definitely a method of teaching that I could use in my classroom for subjects such as math, history, and much more.


Kaylee Diegan

Paul Andersen, a science teacher in Montana, is incredibly smart and has great ideas to incorporate in his Blended Learning teaching style. He has been teaching science for nineteen years and just recently began teaching science online. His main idea is Blended Learning in the classroom. Blended Learning consists of online, classroom and mobile tools that incorporate engaging, exploring, explaining, expanding and evaluating (the five E's).

Andersen has six steps to his students' learning process. The first is the question. This starts the tone and is the "hook" of what they are learning. I realized that it is important for the question to be something interesting to the students so they are willing and encouraged to learn. The next step is investigation/inquiry. This is where the students should experiment and try various things with the proposed idea. Next is the video. This is more for the teacher. Andersen makes podcasts giving his students detailed instructions so he doesn't waste any class time. Instead, he has this time to review with his students. The fourth step is elaborating. This is where the students can read on the subject, or do some research. Also, this is where graphs and tables come in to play. Review comes next. Andersen meets individually with his students to evaluate them and see how well they know the material. He says in his video that if a student really knows material, then they should be able to explain it. He sits with his students and asks them questions. This is where he can tell if they know the material or not. Lastly is the summary quiz. If he doesn't feel like the students know the information, they will start over wit this learning process. If they do know the information, he will give them a timed, paper/pencil test.

I learned quite a few things from Paul Andersen. First of all, I was very impressed with his blog and the way he presented himself in his video. He sounds very intelligent, put together and like he really cares about his students. I have already learned from EDM310 that my classroom doesn't have to be the same, boring classroom atmosphere I had in grade school, but Andersen really reinforces this. He gave great examples in his step-by-step learning process on ways to ask questions, use time management and make sure your students really understand what they have been learning. I am excited to incorporate things such as group activities, podcasts and student-centered learning in my classroom!

Jamie Risner

Back To The Future

Back to the Future is a video by Brian Corsby who is a teacher at Agnes Risley Elementary school. Mr. Corsby teaches fourth graders who are second language learners. The first day of class he gives his 24 students a quiz. One question asked the students what city they lived in. Only 9 got the answer correct. Another question the quiz asked the students what country they live in. Only 3 got the answer correct. This video goes on to show the many projects and style of teaching Mr. Corsby uses in his class. My favorite project they did was sending a high altitude balloon up into the atmosphere with a camera. When the photos and video came back, the students wrote stories from the point of view of the balloon and took their story and the photos taken from the balloon to make an illustrated book. Mr. Corsby does not have tests in his class. Students post videos of themselves doing projects to their blog. Each student not only has a blog but also a laptop computer to use in class. Students also use their blog to post about what they learned and did in class that day. Mr. Crorsby used technology to help fourth grade students get excited about learning and connect with students all around the world. I thought this video was amazing and Mr. Corsby showed more passion for teaching and learning than any teacher I have ever seen. Keeping students engaged in learning and excited about going to school is the most important thing any teacher can do because if a student is excited about learning than the sky is the limit.

C4T #2

I was assigned to read Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano's blog Langwitches Blog. Here is my summary of her post and my comments.

Blog Post June 11, 2013

Upgrading Traditional Reports to eBooks- Guest Post by Karin Hallett

This post shows how a librarian reinvented a book report. Instead of a normal, paper report on animals, this teacher had her students create an ebook using the apps ExplainEverything and BookCreator. Together, the apps enabled students to create an ebook made up of their own text and drawings. In this project students were encouraged to let their imagination run wild. They were simply given a list of specific items that their book must have such as a cover page, table of contents, wonder question and answer, and other items like these. Although the teacher herself was a little worried about how well the students would engage themselves into learning, she found they loved the freedom and their work effort was something to be very proud of. Here is a sample of a finished book from one of her students.

I thought this was an excellent blog post. I love that the students were able to run free with this project. It started with a simple question and natural curiosity and turned into a super cool ebook that they could be proud to show for their hard work. My comment stated that I loved the idea of an ebook, and that I would love to do something like this with my future class.

Blog Post June 14, 2013

More iPad Workflow Scenarios

The purpose of this post was to share apps that she found to be great tools for teachers and students.

This was a great post, especially for those who are looking for apps to help with different projects. I like how she organized the apps into a workflow, instead of just listing them. Her workflow was interesting to look at because of the way she organized and colored her categories, as well as the use of app pictures. My comment reflected that of the apps I had used from her workflow they were a great tool, even as a college student. Here is her workflow of apps. Check them out!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Progress Report Project #9

My group has divided the book amongst the members. Individually we are all taking notes about the important topics that we would like to discuss in our podcast. We plan to meet next week for a discussion and filming. The podcast should be posted by Tuesday night.

Blog Post 7 Collaborative

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?

In Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child Is Learning On the iPad, I was able to watch as a parent was given instructions to use an iPad, that her child uses in class. It was simply amazing to watch. Although, it was just an iPad that so many people use day to day, I have never seen it used in such a way, nor did I realize what an incredible tool it really is to have. The parent was able to slide her finger across the top of the screen while the iPad read aloud to her the apps available to select. When she found the app she was instructed to find, she was able to double click anywhere on the screen to bring it up. Even more amazing she was able to type any letter by using this speaking iPad to help select the proper letters.

After watching this video I wondered who was this Denise Robinson? I google searched "Denise Robinson special ed teacher" and the seventh listing was the article, A New Model of Education for Blind and Low Vision Students. As it turns out she has an amazing story of her own. It is not just Denise Robinson, but Dr. Denise Robinson. A woman who puts every waking minute into working with blind children. Her inspiration? She lost her vision due to diabetes when she was twenty-four. Fortunately, she gained her sight back years later due to several surgeries. Through her experience of being blind, she understood the improvements needed to help others be able to function and live a normal life. Her story is inspirational and reminds me of my math class last semester where I encountered a boy that was blind. I had never been around someone who was blind and for me it was fascinating. He was so smart and I could not understand how he was able to survive in college. I remember talking to my mom about him. Saying that, even though I did not know him very well I was so proud of him because if it was me, I don't think I would be able to go and do what he is accomplishing. Likewise in the article, she tells that there is a 74 percent unemployment rate among blind individuals because they are not being taught effectively. With her methods and use of technology she is working miracles in lives of so many students. She is someone that I inspire to be like. This video and research is useful to me because it made me realize how much I would enjoy making a difference like Dr. Robinson has working with blind children. After this assignment I will definitely be looking into specializing my education to help the blind.

The article, 50 Must-See Blogs For Special Education by Jeff Dunn, is a great resource for teachers. It has different blogs that cover anything and everything. From special education tips and strategies all the way to blogs for specific disorders. One particular blog that caught my attention was, ADDitude Blogs, a blog made to help those dealing with attention deficit. It is a brilliant website. Not only is it available to help those coping with the disorders, but the writings are all from those suffering from ADD, parents whose children have been diagnosed, as well as ADHD experts. For a teacher, this is a great because the writings are not giving a glossed over, dictionary version of a disorder. It is giving you personal accounts, findings, methods all from people who understand. When you have a child in your class that has a disorder such as ADD or ADHD, what would you rather read to be able to help them to the best of your ability, a research paper or a personal account?

Jamie Risner

Teaching Math To The Blind

Before watching this video, I never gave much thought to how a blind student learns math. I had always assumed blind students learned math with braille. However, blind students are unable to learn math using braille because braille is only linear and cannot show two diminutions in math problems. Professor Art Karshmer at the University of San Francisco, designed a solution to this problem. Professor Karshmer put braille on small blocks that look like scrabble pieces and then designed a board that was made into a grid. The blind students scan a block and then put it on the board. The computer then tells them in what row and grid they placed the block in. This design makes it possible for blind students to work problems out in two diminutions, which helps give blind students a foundation of math. This design is one of the most important tools available to blind students and the teachers responsible for teaching them math. Without a foundation of math, the number of jobs for a blind person becomes more limited.

Ipad Usage For The Blind

This video was amazing! Wesley Majerus is blind, yet in this video he demonstrates how new software that is put into an iPad makes it possible for a blind person to use an iPad. The software has voice-over which allows the user to drag their finger over the screen while the iPad tells them which app their finger is on. Another great feature this iPad offers is a main stream e-reader. By having e-readers available, a blind person can buy a book they would like to read but which is too expensive or else not offered in braille. The e-reader on the iPad reads the books out loud and describes images in the book. The only problem with the e-reader that I noticed during the video was that the reading voice was fast and hard to understand at times. The best thing about this iPad is that it comes this way out of the box and already set up. This makes it more user friendly to its blind owner. With this new software, a blind person is now able to use the same type of technology that seeing people can.

New And Useful Technology For The Blind

I was amazed at all the different technology for the blind. I found two different ones on the website click here ; that I thought would be very helpful. The first technology is called the smart cane. The smart cane is a new and better version of the walking stick. The smart cane can detect objects around the user up to a few meters away. This would be a great thing for a blind student to be able to have for crowed hallways or field trips. The most impressive technology for a blind person on this website was the Knfbreader mobile. The knfbreader mobile is a phone for a blind person; however it also has a camera that lets the owner take pictures of a text. The knfbreader mobile will then read that text back to them. This would be an amazing tool for a blind person in any situation in which braille text is not available. However, I was unhappy to find that I would not be able to use these tools in my classroom because they are hard to obtain and very expensive.

Kaylee Diegan

With today's technology, there are so many available tools to help enhance teachers' classrooms. I watched the video Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children. In this video many tools are shown that can help increase the learning experience for impaired children. A few of these are sensory aids, flip cameras, text telephones and text to speech devices. Sensory aids, such as hearing aids, can allow students with hearing impairments to hear better in the classroom, thus automatically increasing the things they can learn. Flip cameras allow access to videos immediately. Text telephones are used for those who have speech impairments. The main tool that struck my attention most was the text to speech devices. These are frequently used for students who have ALS. There are apps you can download on the iPad such as EZSpeech Pro, Fat Cat Chat Repair and Verbally Premium. EZSpeech Pro is for literate users who have lost their speaking ability to ALS. Users can receive phrases from others and store them in their device. The Fat Cat Chat Repair is more "small talk" based. The student can push a symbol, then they are prompted to choose from fifteen different words choices that best fit the symbol. Verbally Premium seems like it would be extremely helpful for those who are speech impaired. With this app, students can save their favorite phrases or most commonly used phrases. The voice can be personalized. Students often use this for common places such as a doctor's office or the classroom. These apps, along with many others, can be found on a Special Apps, Special Kids blog.

The other video I watched was the Mountbatten video. The Mountbatten is a braille writing machine. You can connect it to a computer and save, transfer, and receive files. It helps recognize braille characters, allows play for young children who are not physically able to use traditional braille writers, provides basic level concepts of using braille and displays the children's work. This is a great way for impaired children to be included in classroom activities such as peer group projects.

It's hard to say which of these I will use in my classroom, but I think all are potential tools that could help me with any impaired students I may have. Hopefully I will have an iPad in my classroom, in which case I could download any of these apps to use in my classroom. I think it is so important that project based learning is including impaired children. All children deserve the opportunity to explore and learn at their full potential. They can't do this without teachers who are willing to let it happen!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blog Post 6

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?

In Asking better questions in the classroom, by Joanne Chesley, I learned that an effective teacher does not use close ended questions in their lesson. Close ended questions do not offer any positives in terms of learning. They just give a yes, no, maybe, whatever, blah answer. Instead, effective teachers should be using open ended questions because they can be perceived in different ways and start a meaningful discussion among students. Open ended questions allow for more creativity and learning to occur in a classroom. As a student, I would much rather be able to talk and bounce ideas off my teacher than to just sit there and maybe answer a yes or no question.

In Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom I learned that a effective teacher needs to prepare, play, and preserve questions. Good questions play a crucial role in learning. For a teacher a question resembles a lesson, it needs to be given at the appropriate time and order. A teacher does not walk into class and start talking about the first point that comes to mind. So, why would you ask a question without preparing it too? An effective teacher also needs to understand that once you have given the correct answer to a question, the students are not thinking about the question anymore. It is gone. Their brain has been shut off, they no longer care to think about another possible answer. To prevent a student from shutting their brain off, a teacher needs to play with a question and discuss the answers with the class before saying what is correct. Finally, an effective teacher needs to preserve good questions. If you are asked a good question keep it! Write it down for the next time you are teaching the lesson. It shows the students you care what they say, as well as helps point students in the direction you want in the future.

angry baby

Project 8 Book Trailer

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence

My Passion

Blog Post 5

Through The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale, I learned that podcasting can be helpful for students outside of class. I had never thought of how such a simple video could be used to help in so many ways. One example presented in the video that really hit the idea of podcasting home for me was using it to help students who are out sick be able to keep up with class. This is a fantastic idea! It reminds me of all the days that I went to school feeling terrible just to be able to attend an important lesson. By offering a podcast for students who are absent is great because we are no longer pressuring them to come to class when they are not feeling well. I for one, am all for giving my students to tools necessary to keep up with school all while being able to stay home and get well. I want my students to come to class healthy, happy and ready to learn, not worrying about getting sick.

From the Judy Scharf Podcast Collection I learned about podcasting in general. She has some great tips on topics, research, as well as background information about podcasting. One thing that surprised me was the origin of the term podcast. I had no idea that it was cross between broadcast and ipod.

I loved reading Langwitches - Podacasting With 1st Grade. For me, as a future early education teacher, it helped me see what I could do with podcasting in my classroom. At the beginning of EDM 310 I had a poor attitude towards making a blog and other technological profiles because I had the idea that I would never be able to use many of these things in my classroom. After reading this blog post I can see what a difference something as simple as recording students reading can do. I think it is incredible how interested many of students became in the project, as well as how much feedback and encouragement they received from the people who visited their podcast.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Project # 3 Presentation

Project #4 Comments4Teachers

I was assigned to read Will Richardsons' blog Read. Write. Connect. Learn.. Here is my summary of his post and my comments.

Blog Post May 29, 2013

Who Knew That Learning Was a Problem to Be Solved?

This blog post was over the article: Amplify Announces One of the Largest Tablet Deployments in K-12 Education

This news release from Amplify, a tablet producing company, announces that they will be sending 21,215 tablets to middle schools in Guilford County North Carolina. The tablets were purchased mainly by federal Race to The Top funds and are covered for four years. Along with details on the tablet and their company, the new release has several praise statements about the tablet from the CEO and other important members of their team.

Out of everything that was possible to say in response to this news release, his only writing consisted of sarcastic remarks. While I was highly disappointed in his blogging I had to go through with the assignment. To make my required comment be worthwhile, I went and researched the tablet on the company website. I looked into whether or not these tablets were a good investment, because education at any grade level is an investment. My comment in a nut shell stated that 14 million dollars is a lot of money especially for technology, such as a tablet. They become highly outdated in a short amount time and are not wanted once there is something better on the market. Maybe I sounded a little too crazy with my use of numbers because my post was miraculously gone after ten minutes on his blog.

Blog Post June 7, 2013

Two Options for Being “You” on the Internet

Refers to the article:Privacy tools are a joke

This article talks about the recent news of the government's online snooping and how you should overcome the situation. It shows that privacy on the internet is really nonexistent and the NSA can watch you even with what some think as impossible to track "anonymity-protecting TOR browse" technology. To truly be able to have privacy on the internet you need a fake name on Facebook and start encoding your emails. Besides the unrealistic answers that I enjoyed reading about, the author finally comes around to politics and how we need to change them to protect ourselves. Here is my favorite part,
A civilized society should not permit its government to collect unlimited amounts of data on innocent people. President Obama said something to that effect when campaigning for president in 2007, when he attacked Bush’s surveillance activities as “a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand.”
I guess I should not say refer to the article above, his blog post was nothing but sharing the article. Super interesting topic, but he did not say anything! Pick a side, take a middle of the road stance, something. Please. My comment just thanked him for sharing the interesting read. I could not think of anything else to say that would not get deleted.


Blog Post 4

Once I start teaching elementary education, more specifically second grade, I want to use tools that keep learning fun. That is why in my class room I would like to use SMART Response interactive response system to go along with my SMART board. The SMART Response interactive response system connects small hand held devices directly to my SMART board. This allows me to post math problems, reading questions, and potentially many other daily questions such as attendance at the front of the room. All they have to do to respond to a question is simply click a button on their assigned device. The potential this tool has in a classroom is limitless. As a teacher, this benefits me in many ways, but most importantly it allows me to evaluate my entire class almost instantly. If I was to give the same problems on paper it would likely take me at least 30 minutes to go through all the papers and get back to my class to address frequent issues or see that they have comprehended the material. Not only does it speed up the time it takes to evaluate my students understanding, but it is a very helpful tool to eliminate unnecessary paper waste. Making my classroom more environmentally friendly.

Jamie Risner

21st Century Learning And Communication Tool

When I graduate I will be teaching High School history, with that in mind I believe the most important learning and communication tool I will be using in my classroom will be e-books. There is new technology being brought into classrooms every day, however I think the most important, and overlooked technology is e-books. One reason I think e-books will be the best learning tool for my classroom is they are small, weigh a lot less than a traditional textbook, but can store all the students needed information for all of their classes. Not having to have many different textbooks is not just good for the students, but also great for the enviornment because e-books do not use any paper. E-books are not only good for the students but also great for the shcool as well, because books would be much cheaper downloaded on e-books. On the web site it says that 1,500 books on an e-book will cost about $15,000, however to buy 1,500 hard copy books would cost about $39,000. By simpley using e-books schools could save a lot of money that they could put towards other improvements in the school.

The third, and most important reason that e-books would be the best learning tool in my classroom is, because they offer many options that pen, paper, and text books do not. The website says "e-readers offer online dictionary, unlimited notes, saved highlights, simple and convenient search, and the ability to share quotes on popular social resources like twitter and facebook". With these types of options right at my students finger tips the sky would be the limit to their learning. With so many benefits it is hard to understand why schools have not already gone to using e-books. E-books range in price from around fifty dollars to hundreds of dollars, and are avalibale at most electronic stores and even online. I believe it is only a matter of time before schools start doing away with textbooks, and replace them with e-books. My question is, with all the benefits e-books offer to classrooms, why wait to make the switch?

Kaylee Diegan

There are so many technological tools to be used in the school systems. Many of those are used in my EDM 310 class such as a blog, twitter, google docs, skype, etc. However, I think there are certain technological tools that should be used with different age groups. For instance, Remind101. This is a tool that could be used for the age group I want to teach, which is sixth grade. Remind101 was created by two brothers who can see the obvious struggle of communication between parents, students and teachers.

How It Works

As a teacher, you create a login and are given a unique code for your class. Your students and their parents can also sign up, using your class code. The teacher can then send messages to those who are signed up. The best thing about it though, is that there are no cell phone numbers shown. The only thing that you can see when sending/receiving messages is the other's name, not phone number. This keeps a safe barrier with the communication, ensuring that the cell phone numbers of teachers, students and parents are being misused.


A teacher can send a reminder saying, "Science test tomorrow."

A teacher can send a message saying, "Homework due on 06/11/13. American History, page 220, questions 1-6."

With this tool, students are reminded of their work, and parents are either reminded, or told for the first time. Many times, students are lazy and don't turn in their homework. This is an easy way to stay on top of them and make sure they are performing their very best.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blog Post 3

Through the video What is Peer Editing, and slideshow Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial, I learned what peer editing is and how to properly edit a peer's work. Peer editing is simply reviewing a classmates writing. I did not realize until now that there is actually a process of peer reviewing where you first compliment, then suggest, and finally correct their writing. Personally, I am not a fan of the correction step. I do not like going and changing another persons' writing. I think that suggestions are far more appropriate because they give the writer a choice to change the problem in their own way. I completely agree with the video and slideshow when they say that the best thing to do is to stay positive. Many people are sensitive about their writing and can feel as if they are being attacked when a suggestion or correction is recommended. Overall, I feel that as long as you are polite about what needs to be fixed there is nothing to worry about when peer editing.

Through the video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes, I learned what not to do when peer reviewing. This video for me brought to light how we may be perceived when we are not taking others feelings into account. Some of the mistakes made during peer review are being too picky, mean, loud, pushy, off topic, and uncaring. Sometimes we forget when asked to review something that it is not our writing, and not to go changing everything. Scenarios like this make you come off as being rude and condescending, causing people to become defensive. The last thing I would want is someone to think that I am looking down on their work. I love to read other responses to a question besides my own.

bossy pants

In EDM 310, my group members have consistently posted outstanding material to their class blog. The content is right on point, grammar and spelling issues are non existent, and their posts are interesting to read. At first I was a little wary of commenting on others work, especially where others could see, but after getting to know them more and working together in class I am comfortable with commenting and giving suggestions and recommendations. REVISED

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Blog Post 2

The video Mr. Dancealot is a perfect example of our current education system. It takes the sit down, shut up, and listen approach to teaching. This approach does not work. The students in the video were bored out of their minds sitting there, and likewise the class attendance declined throughout the video. It bothers me that we can expect students to want to learn when they cannot and are not even encouraged to be involved in their education.

The video The Networked Student describes a modern day student that is encouraged to use technology. Instead of the standard textbook and class lectures, this modern student has both classes and personal online learning. Through his online learning connections, who are possible other students, teachers, and college professors, he is able to read and understand a given topic more in depth than your average textbook allows. With the extended amount of knowledge he is able to gain using the internet, the teachers primary job is to reinforce the information.

I love the fact that this 21st century student was in control of his learning. Through technology and this idea of connectivism he is able to create and control what he learns. By using blogs, scholarly articles, Itunes U, and other resources he is able to read and listen to some of the most educated people that specialize on his given topic. Not only is he able to read and listen to others knowledge, but he can exchange ideas with numerous individuals to further his understanding and knowledge. This is a great modern day idea that is not being used by a majority of students. It baffles me why it is not the most popular way of teaching in our schools. Every answer a student could want is right here, on the internet, but instead we are relying on sometimes outdated textbooks that may only partially cover an issue.

Another aspect of this video that I admire is that the teacher has taken a step back. She may have all the answers and knowledge to a topic, but she is encouraging students to learn for themselves using their resources. She is not dictating what they learn and simply encouraging them to learn.


Encouraging Teacher

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blog Post 1

Krissy Venosdale and Sugata Mitra have great unconventional ideas about education. I loved the concepts presented in Krissy Venosdale's post If I Built A School. Her school is completely oriented around making kids enjoy learning. Letting students go explore different topics at their own pace and not teaching them to the tune of a state test is an incredible idea. Instead of forcing kids to sit still in a boring environment and learn something they have no interest in, put them in a place full of imagination and watch them learn because they love it. On the other hand you have educators like Sugata Mitra, who do not just have ideas, but have shown that anyone can succeed if they are determined. By giving Indian children computers with english text he is showing that anyone with the desire to learn can be successful. There are no barriers to learning. All that a student needs is positive reinforcement. One correlation that I liked between both Venosdale and Mitra was that both of their educating viewpoints involved not forcing the kids to learn, but letting them do it by themselves.

What do you want your students to know?

I want my students to know that not everyone is the same. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. There is no such thing as the ideal, prefect, cookie cutter person. I want them to know that being different and beating to the tune of their own drum is okay. I want them to be free to have their own style of creativity in my class.

What do you want your students to be able to do?

I want my students to do what interests them. I want them to be able to choose what they learn and guide themselves to learn as much as possible. I do not want to be the teacher that forces them to learn. I want them to love coming to school everyday because its not just learning, but a new adventure and experience.

What will be your primary way of teaching your students what you want them to know and to do?

I want my primary way of teaching to be a combination between the two methods of Venosdale and Mitra. I want to be able to give my students an incredible learning environment with every tool and resource readily available. I do not want to dictate what they do, but be there to help them solve problems and give them positive encouragement to keep learning. I know there will be lessons at the front of the class, just as there have always been, but I want them to be able to take that lesson and work at their own pace to reach their full potential. I believe in a lot of Sugata Mitra's findings in that if you let their curiosity inspire and drive them, their ability to learn is limitless.

What tools will you use in your classroom?

Along with the normal up to date technology, I want to have live animals apart of my classroom. Although I agree that technology is very important in our world today, I do not want my students loosing their connection to natural world around them. I want them to be able to go outside, see the animals, interact with them, and create not only a connection, but a deeper understanding. You may be able to read about animals and different topics on an Ipad, but until you work with something in real life with your hands it does not hold the same value.

students with animals

What role will students play in your classroom, i.e. how will they participate in the learning process?

In my classroom students will be the ones in control of their learning. They are naturally curious when it comes to new things. I want them to be able to find something that draws them in and explore it until they are satisfied with their learning.