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.