Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dubai Group Ibook Summary

Dubai Group picture of Ben, Liz, Ty, and Ryan.

This ibook is a summary of Dubai group's journey as students enrolled in EDM310. Though the road was not always a smooth paved one, we worked together as a group and learned many new and exciting things. Our ibook is a visual artifact that highlights our experiences as EDM310 students.Included is a group picture, each members' brief personal bio,book trailor, my sentence/passion videos,favorite blog post, 10 personal photos, and a group discussion. We hope you enjoy our ibook as much as we enjoyed being students in EDM310.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

C4K summary for April

My first C4k this month was Seini at Pt England school in New Zealand. In her blog post titled Pohutukawa She writes about a plant in New Zealand called the Pohutukawa. In her post she explains when this plant blooms, what purpose it has in the wild, and where it can be found. One interesting fact about the Pohutukawa is that it is often referred to as the New Zealand Christmas tree because it only blooms in December.

my comment: Hey Seini, My name is Ben Mayfield and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. i enjoyed reading your post about the Pohhutukawa. This was a very informative blog post. I have never heard of this type of tree. I think it is cool that it blooms in december. where I live the only trees that grow in december are Pine trees and Evergreens which are also cut down to make room for farm land. I can see that you are very knowledgeable about this tree. This was a great blog post thank you for sharing.

My second C4K was Brooklyn at PT England school in New Zealand. In Brooklyn's blog post titled Fiafia , she writes three short paragraphs about her experience at a hip hop dance show at her school. In her first paragraph Brooklyn talks about how nervous she was on her way to school. She also writes about how she was very nervous sitting in front of the stage watching the other group perform first. In her second paragraph Brooklyn talks about how she was not nervous once she got on stage and began to preform. She also writes about how much fun she had performing. In Brooklyn's third paragraph she writes about how she would like to be in the Jump Jum or Kapahaka group next year.

My comment: Hey, My name is Ben Mayfield and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading your blog post about the hip hop event that you participated in. It sounds like you had a lot of fun. Your paragraphs are structured very well, I can see that you are doing well in your writing. I'm sure that next time you can be in Jump Jum or Kapahaka it sounds like you are good at what you do. Thank you for sharing.

C4T Summary

For my first c4t I was assigned Steve Wheeler. In this blog post titled Personal Devices In Higher Education Mr. Wheeler writes about how todays Universities need a "tech overhaul". Mr. Wheeler writes about how several college campuses are incorporating technology into the curriculum but the university buildings them selves are not equipped to handle the new technology. For example many universities do not have enough charging points in the class room for all the students to plug up their lap tops. He also writes about how universities should adapt the traditional university lecture hall to handle personal devices such as tablets or mobile phones. He states that they should build charging points into the desk into the classrooms or have more Wifi access points in the building, which is something that all EDM310 students know too much about. You can always know who is in EDM310 because they walking around the education building holding their laptops up to try and pick up a Wifi connection.

My comment: My name is Ben Mayfield and i am currently a student at the University of South Alabama. Technology in the class room is starting to become more prevalent not only in university class rooms but in other levels of education as well. I also think that our university lecture halls need a tech overhaul. I also think that some universities like mine are implementing technology in the wrong way. Human interaction is essential in learning. Whether it be with other students or with the professor. Many universities, like mine, are using technology to opt out of actual teaching. For example I recently took a history course that was a blended format. In this format students use their computer or smart phone to listen to lectures and complete their assignments. In the course that I took the lectures that we were assigned to listen to where not lectures from our professor, but lectures recorded from another professor at a different university. To me, this cheapened my education. I can easily just listen to youtube videos posted by different professors on any subject for free, but I pay to attend a university to learn different ideas and points of view from the professors there not ones from other universities. I agree that universities need to move towards a tech friendly environment, but I feel that most universities would take the tech overhaul in the wrong direction to save money and cheapen education.

For my second C4T I was assigned mr. Wheeler again. In this blog post titled Who We Are Mr. Wheeler poses the question; Can you separate your personal identity from your professional identity? Mr. Wheeler goes on to explain some of the comments he got on this question on Twitter. He writes that Identity is a complex issue and wonders if some one can separate their personal identity from their professional one on media social networks. He explains that separating these two identities can be a good idea but allowing them to intermingle is not a bad idea. By allowing your two identities to intermingle they can complement each other or hold one another back when one is becoming too prominent.

My comment: I too believe that Identity is a complex issue. I am currently attending the University of South Alabama for secondary education. I realize that as an educator you must separate you personal and professional identity to a certain extent. In a highschool classroom setting your students have to understand that you are in control which is where your professional identity comes into play, but while teaching your lessons you ca allow your personal identity to complement your professional identity. I believe that ones personal and professional identity should not separated but intermingled and allowed to complement each other. After all when asked the question of who we are, we always take into account both our personal and professional identities before describing who we are as a person.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blog Post 13: Blog about Blogging

The assignment that I think would have been interesting and fun for this class is what I would call a Blog about Blogging. This assignment would not only be educational for the students but it would play a key role in community out reach that could better our education systems here at home.

Instructions: For this blog you will have to think about the benefits of blogging while utilizing your Personal Learning Network. This blog can be done individually or as a group. For this assignment the students will have to get in touch with a teacher of their choice. Each student must talk to the teacher about how blogging can benefit them in their classrooms. After talking with the teacher the students must post what they have done to their blog through a video, slide show, or a written text. Students also should post pictures from their interviews or discussions to their blogs.

While talking with with the teacher that I used for my interview I realized that many teachers are not utilizing blogging as an educational tool. Many f the teachers at his school didn't even know how to set up a blog and had no idea that a blog could connect them with others around the world. This is why i set up a blogging class for the teachers at this school. In this class I referenced several educators that have expanded their class rooms through blogging. One of which is Ken Halla who was a C4T assignment I had in the past. Mr. Halla has turned his blog into a must read media sensation that many newspapers have written stories about. He has also received a book deal. All because he wanted to connect his class with others. The class that I am setting up is a simple getting started class. I will show the teachers how to set up blogs and how to find others. I will also show them a few HTML codes. I called this class Bridge The Gap. I felt that this title best fits what I was trying to do. Bridge the gap between classrooms and teachers. I was surprised at how many teachers and faculty where so welcoming to my idea and were more than wiling to participate.
Bridging the Gap picture of a bridge  over water

Sunday, April 6, 2014

C4T Summary

For My first C4t summary was assigned to post on Kindergarten life's blog. The blog that I commented on was titled Literacy Enriched. In this blog post She writes about her current reading progress in her Kindergarten class and how she used technology to make reading fun and engaging for her students. She talks about how her class met with another class from Wisconsin over Google+. Her students were able to ask questions about their author of study who was Theodore Theodore Suess. They were also able to Theodore Theodore Theodore Theodore Theodore Theodore their SMART board to listen to one of Dr. Suess's stories. She writes about how excited all of her students were in this process. She also writes about how the use of I pad's and Airstream has inspired her because it opens the door to endless possibilities and makes learning exciting for her students. My comment that I left is: This was a great Blog Post to read. I am currently a student at The University of South Alabama studying Secondary Education/ History. It is very exciting to read about how you are using technology to help your students learn to read. It sounds like your students are very enthusiastic about the stories they are reading. I also find it amazing that you are connecting your classroom to others around the country. This is something i hope to do when i become an educator. My mom was actually a Kindergarten teacher and I have witnessed first hand how hard it can be to teach some kids how to read and be excited about reading. I will have to tell her about the many ways you are using technology in your classroom to keep your students excited about reading. Thank you for sharing.

The second blog that I commented on was from the same author and titled Connecting Through a Quick Conversation. In this post she talks about how she ran into a boy that had dropped his book bag. She noticed that a Korean flag fell out. She connected with this because her class often often shares things online with a kindergarten class in South Korea. She stops and takes the time to talk to the boy. She finds out that he is from South Korea and attends a Korean school. She asked him if he would come to her class and share his culture and ideas with the rest of her kindergarteners and he did. She writes about how her students were so excited to learn about the culture of their Korean kindergarten friends. Also the boy had a book that her class had read with the Korean class. She writes that her students had an instant "text to text" connection. At the end of her blog post she writes about how taking the time to start a conversation can open doors and make connections that you didn't even know whee there. My comment was: Hey, My name is Ben Mayfield and I am currently an education major at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading your post about making connections. I think it is amazing that your class is able to communicate and share ideas and customs with other classes around the world. This is why technology is a great tool in the classroom. Your students can explore the world and meet new and different people with out even leaving the classroom. The story about the boy you met is also amazing. You never know when you will meet some one that you and your students can make a connection with. I am glad he was able to come speak to your class I am sure that your students where very excited to meet some one in person that can share the customs of their Korean kindergarten friends. Thank you for sharing.

C4K Summary For March

In my first c4k assignment this month was Danielle. She is a first grader in Mrs. Jenny She's class in Aukland New Zealand. In Danielle's blog she told a story of a Giraffe named Harold. In her story she was able to show how she could use adjectives to describe Harold the Giraffe. My comment: Hey Danielle, I am a student at the University of South Alabama studying to become a teacher. I really enjoyed listening to your story about Harold the Giraffe. I really liked the Giraffe you drew in your blog. you are an exceptional artist. You did a very good job of reading the story describing Harold. All of the adjectives you used where very well structured in your story. I hope to see more stories and great art work from you soon. Thank you for sharing.

In my 2nd C4K assignment I was assigned Wakatere, who is an 11 year old boy in PT England school in New Zealand. Wakatere posted a poem to his blog describing several aspects of him self. Who he is, what he likes to do, where he wants to live, and what his personality is like. he described him self as a happy young kid who one day wants to live in Canada. This is the comment I left for him: Hey Wakatere My name is Ben Mayfield and i am a student at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading your poem. I also read your "about me" and wow you have a lot of brothers and sisters. It looks like you put a lot of thought into your poem. From reading your poem i can see that you are a very driven person and you have big dreams which is a very good trait to have. I will be honest i do not think i have ever wanted to live in Canada. Where I live it is warm and Canada would be too cold for me. I also like to think of my self as a happy person. I really enjoyed reading your poem and i hope to see more like it thank you for sharing.

For my third C4K assignment I had Francis who is a 7/8 year learner at PT England school in New Zealand. In his blog he posted a video of his math strategy. He shows us in his video how to solve decimal math problems by jumping the number line. He uses the example 7.9+____=12.5, then he draws a number line and counts how many points he has to go to get to 12.5. The answer he arrives at is 4.6 which is the correct answer. The comment I left him is: Hey Francis My name is Ben Mayfield and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed watching your video about your Math Strategy. First i would like to say that you did a great job making this video. You are well ahead of most students i know. Your ability to use technology at such a young age is amazing. I like how you used the number line to ump to your answer for your math problem. This shows that not only can you solve complicated problems put you can visualize your solution. Great job. Thank you for sharing this video, I hope to see more like it from you.

Interview with Mr. Finnegan

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What Can We Learn From Sir Ken Robinson

In this video Sir Ken Robinson gives a speech about our current education system and how it can be improved to better our children and allow them to grow and prosper in a digital age. In his speech he makes the comparison of our current "Fast food" model to an "agricultural" model that he believes would work best. He sates that our current model is made for mass production and effentiancy much like fast food. He states that education should be more of an "agricultural" model. What he means by "agricultural" is a model that provides an environment where students can grow and flourish and the teacher can feed this flourishing much like a farmer growing crops. Sir Ken Robinson also talks about how there is too much enfaces on going to college. He states that not all students need to college right away or at all. In his speech he tells us a story about a man who as a child wanted to be a fireman. When he was in school his teacher told him in front of the class that if thats all he wanted to be than he was throwing his life away and that he should go to college and become a professional person. Sir Ken Robinson later explains that the man who was now a fireman had recently saved the life of the teacher and his wife. The point of this story is that as teachers we should allow our students dreams to flourish and never suppress them.
Sir Ken Robinson

There is a lot we can learn from what Sir Ken Robinson states in his speech. I think that the most powerful message in his speech is that we as teachers and parents should try to move towards a more individual form of education. We should create an "agricultural" model of education. an environment where students and children can have their own dreams but allow teachers to plant seeds of knowledge that can help them grow and learn new ideas that can shape their dreams but not suppress them. I like the quote that Sir Ken Robinson uses in his speech. "A 3 year old is not half of a 6 year old". We shouldn't force children to become what we see as the right thing to be. We should allow them to be themselves and to be educated individuals that can pursue their own dreams. If you would like to see Sir Ken Robinson's speech you can go to Sir Ken Robinson on Youtube.

PBL Learning Plan #3

Create your Own Schlieffen Plan In this project students will learn how the Schlieffen plan failed and how it affected the outcome of the war. To do this students will create their own alternative Schlieffen plan and give supporting details to show how it would work. Students will also have to analyze how it would affect the war if the plan succeeded.
Schlieffen Plan

Project Based Learning Plan

Smart Board part A instruction

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What Can We Learn From Kathy Cassidy?

Kathy Cassidy is a first grade teacher that Dr. Strange and other students had the oppertunity to interview over Skype. In this three part interview Mrs. Cassidy explained how she began using technology in her first grade class room. Mrs. Cassidy has her first graders post blogs to their class blog once sometimes twice a week. Some times these blogs are videos that the students make about what they are learning in class. Mrs. Cassidy is very open to using different types of technology in her class room. She began using technology when her class was assigned three computers to use in the classroom. At one point in the interview Dr. Strange talked about some of his students views on technology in the classroom and learning how to use technology in the classroom. Some of Dr. Strange's students where asking why they had to learn how to use technology when the schools in this area where not implementing it into the curriculum. Mrs. Cassidy responded to that by expressing her views about technology in the classroom. She stated that in her classroom the kids are learning better with technology and that education was going to have to change. Mrs. Cassidy states that as teachers we cannot continue to teach the same way teachers have taught for the last twenty, ten, or five years. I agree that education needs to adapt to an ever changing world around it and embrace technology as a tool for the future and not a distraction.

One of the ways Mrs. Cassidy uses technology in her classroom is through blogging. She has her students post blogs to their class blog and read other blogs from other students across the nation. This is something that i would like to implement in my classroom. I also like how she gives the parents the ability to log on to the class blog and see the work that their children are doing. This can help not only keep the students engaged but also keep the parents involved in their child's education which i believe is a very important tool in educated children.
Bloger Icon

Although technology is a great tool to use in the classroom there many doubts and worries that people have about allowing students full access to these tools. Some might be afraid that their child's safety might be in jeopardy or that they might come across something on the web that is not suitable for their age. Like Mrs. Cassidy states you have to teach your students to be good online citizens. This means be respectful when you are viewing or commenting on some one else blog or video. Also as teachers we must teach our students what is acceptable learning material and what is not. A good tool to use to filter out un wanted material is I Curio . This will allow your students to search the web for information that is relavent to their age and the material they are looking for.
br /> Their are many benefits for the students in using technology in the classroom. One major benefit for using tools such as Bloger is that they can collaborate with other students in the classroom and with classrooms around the globe. Another great benefit is that you can get the parents involved by allowing them to comment on the blog of their child. This allows the parents to play essential roles in the education of their children and monitor how their child is doing compared to the rest of the class. The interviews with Mrs. Cassidy and Dr. Strange where very insightful and can teach us a lot about how technology can benefit not only us as teachers but our students as well. You can find these interviews at Kathy Cassidy Interview on You Tube. There are three parts so be sure to check out all three.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

21st Century Learning and Communicating Tools

Teaching in the 21st century requires many tools. Throughout this semester we have learned about many different tools for communicating with other teachers for ideas, and tools to enhance learning in the classroom. One of the ways we communicate as teachers is through our PLN or Personal Learning Network. There are several tools that you can use in your Personal Learning Network to communicate. A few of these are Twitter, Facebook, and ED Utopia.
People talking as social network sites

One of my favorite tools to use for communicating with other teachers for ideas is Facebook. In todays age there are very people who do not have a Facebook Which makes it easy to connect with a variety of educators. Facebook also strecthes across continents. This can allow you to connect with people on different sides of the globe. Facebook makes it easy to connect with others no matter where you are. For example while you are on a break you can use your phone or tablet to discover new people and pages that offer advise or ideas.
Facebook Logo

There are also several tools we can use to help our students learn with technology in the classroom. Learning in the classroom begins with a lesson plan. Planning a project based lesson plan takes a lot of creativity. Sometimes it is hard to come up with new ideas for lessons. I have found BIE very helpful for coming up with project based ideas.Through this website you can find different lesson plans and callanders to help you as a teacher in the classroom. After you have planned a lesson there are several tools you can use to help your students complete their projects. One of the most useful is I Curio. With I Curio you can make sure that your students are only seeing age related and course related material. I curio can be very useful for any research project that you are having your students complete.
Icurio Brand name

These are only a few tools that you can use to communicate and help your students learn with. There are endless tools online that will help you as a teacher in the 21st century.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What Can We Learn From Randy Pausch?

In Randy Pausch Last Lecture at Carnegie-Mellon University was very enlightening to listen to. We can learn a lot about teaching and life from his last lecture. In the beginning of his lecture he talks about his childhood dreams of being a Disney Imaginer, experiencing zero Gravity, and being able to play in the NFL.He was able to achieve two of these dreams throughout his life. Unfortunately he was not able to become an NFL player. Throughout his lecture he talks about teaching and learning. A few good points that he brought up can be used in all aspects of education. One of the best points he made was something he referred to as "head-fake" education. He uses the example of sending your child to play football. when you send your child to play football the main goal is not that they learn football but that they learn how to work as a team and build confidence in themselves. This is a "head-fake", it is teaching the students something with out them realizing that they are learning. Pausch described a graduate course that a colleague and him self started at Carnegie-Mellon University. This program was a Project Based Learning curriculum where the students would have a series of projects working in groups to develop virtual worlds. Having the students make virtual worlds in groups allowed them to learn different types of code and how to create different worlds with the students thinking that all they were learning was how to create virtual vide games or movies. As educators there is nothing greater than seeing your students fully engaged and having fun while learning. "Head-fake" learning is a great way to do this.
Randy Pausch Last Lecture

Another great thing we can learn as educators from Randy Pausch Last Lecture is that when you can never under estimate your students. Pausch talks about the first Project Based assignment he gave his students. When his students show him their results he is stunned he has to call on his mentor for advice. He ask his mentor what he should say to them ad his mentor tells him to tell his students that they did great but he thinks they can do better. This teaches us that setting a bar for students to reach can hold some students back. If you don't set a bar for your students to reach they will surprise you at how how far they can go.
Quote from Randy Pausch Brick walls are not there to keep us out. They are there so we can show how badly we want something
Throughout his lecture he talked about how many times he would hit brick walls while trying to reach his dreams. What he says about brick walls and their purpose could not be more true. Pausch states "Brick walls are not there to stop us. They are there so that we can show how badly we want something". This quote resinates with me. It tells us that as teachers we will meet brick walls while trying to educate our students. We should not give up when we hit these walls. we should try harder to help our students and guide them so that they can get the most out of their education. After listening to this lecture I have new views on life and how to reach my goals and dreams. I am very glad i was introduced to this lecture.

Group Lesson Plan The Water Cycle

Ferris Wheel of Water – Lesson Plan

“The Ferris Wheel of Water” is a week and a half long project based lesson plan that will teach 5th grade students about the water cycle while providing them with hands on learning objectives. After a brief introduction to the material, students will be placed in groups of 4-5 (depending on class size) where they will be introduced to iCurio, Google Docs and Discovery Ed as research and presentation tools. The objectives of this lesson include collaborative research, completing an assessment rubric, and effectively using Google Docs and the SMART board to present the information they’ve learned. Dubai group’s driving question is: What are the components of the water cycle?
The Water Cycle

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Before today I have not heard of a PLN or Personal Learning Network. A PLN is essentially a group of people, websites, or organizations. Most PLN's are formed over social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Social media has not only changed the way we communicate but also how far we can communicate. PLN's through social media can help you connect to educators all over the world and share ideas and tips for teaching in the class room. Also having a PLN can help you connect your students to other students around the globe.

As a teacher you are always trying to come up with new ideas for the classroom to keep the students engaged and excited about learning. A Personal Learning Network is perfect for coming up with new ideas and sharing your ideas with others. Before Personal Learning Networks teachers where limited to their peers within their school walls. In many schools their are teachers that are experimenting with using blogs and other online tools to help their students learn. Having a PLN will allow those teachers to reach beyond their school walls to connect their students to others.
Personal Learning Network
You can form your own PLN by using Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Blogger. While forming your PLN the list of information, links, and sites can get extensive. To organize all of this data you can use tools such as Symbaloo. Symbaloo is useful tool that you can use to organize all of your PLN information on one dashboard so tat you can freely move back and forth between networks.

The first addition to my Personal Learning Network will be Mr. Finnigahn a teacher at W.P Davidson Highschool in Mobile Alabama. I have spoken to Mr. Finnigahn about project based learning and i found out that he is one of many teachers that use this method of teaching in Mobile. I have actually planned to go and observe a class that he teaches to see how his students like this type of learning.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Anthony Capps Discussion

In the videos Project Based Learning 1 and Project Based Learning 2 I noticed that the students were more involved and more excited about the subjects that they were having to learn about. From Anthony's experience it seems that with project based learning the students are becoming more independent when it comes to learning in the class room. I also learned that project based learning allows for each student to explore an area of the lesson that they found more interesting and then share the material that they have gathered to the other students. This allows students to not only learn from the teacher but also learn from each other. For example the Afghanistan culture project that Mr. Capps had his students work on. Some students focused on the food, clothing, and life style, and others focused on the warfare. Then all students where able to see what the other students had discovered about different aspects of life and culture in Afghanistan. From listening to what Mr. Capps had to say about project based learning I could see that it creates a more exciting and engaging learning environment for both teacher and student.
Discovery ED Logo

The programs I-curio and Discovery ED are new to me. I think it is amazing that teachers are now able to have their students search the web for information with out fear of them seeing something that is not age appropriate. All of the features on the I-curio program are very useful for the students. I love how you can collect websites and information in a folder when you see it on the web so that you don't have to go looking for it later when you need it. I also learned that I-curio has a feature for students with disabilities. For example it has software that can read the text to you. Discovery ED is also a very useful tool in the class room. With Discovery ED a teacher or the students can find multimedia to pair with the lesson that they are learning about. This tool is very useful for the students that are visual learners, and makes class more exciting for the teacher and the students.

Love your job bilboard with man walking
The video discussion with Dr. Strange and Mr. Capps titled . Strange Tips For Teachers was very interesting. The tip i liked the most is that Teaching is hard work but can be exciting. I like what Mr. Capps said about not letting your job become work and allow your self to be excited about what you are teaching. I also agree with what Dr. Strange said. He stated that as a teacher you must also be a learner. Teachers don't always know everything and should be open to learning more and gaining different perspectives on different topics.I found these tips very true and think every teacher should keep them in mind throughout their career.

I enjoyed listening to Mr. Capps tell us about how he uses technology in the classroom and how he plans his lessons for the year. I was impressed that his third graders are able to effectively use IMovie with out a lot of help. I like how Mr. Capps explains how he uses his lessons to build on the students skills. He states that he will not go directly into having them use multiple sources to create an IMovie. Instead one week he may have them build a report using Discovery ED, and the next week he will have them use IMovie to make a reflection video on what they learned. Then combine those two skills and have them use both. Before listening to Mr. Capps talk about how he plans his lesson i had no insight into how exstensive of a process planning a lesson is. Not only do you have to keep in mind what goals you want to accomplish for the week but you must keep the lessons in line with what your yearly goals are. I like the example Mr. Capps gives with a Russian Doll Set. You have a yearly goal that you need to meet and in order to meet that goal you must complete each monthly and weekly goal. At the same time you have to make sure the students are comprehending the material. All of these videos gave me a greater insight into what it takes to be a successful teacher and how effective project based learning can be in the classroom.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

C4T Project #4

I was assigned to Eric Langhorst who is a 8th grade history teacher in Liberty Missouri.

C4T#1 comment #1

In Mr. Langhorst most recent post titled The Hudson River Miracle Five Years Later posted 15 January 2014 He reflects on how a pilot of a U.S Airways plane emergency landed a plane on the Hudson River. Mr. Langhorst talks about the power of Twitter and social media and how social media has changed citizen reporting. Mr. Lnghorst recalls sitting in a waiting room watching a news talk show and checking his Twitter feed. He began seeing Tweets about a plane that landed in the Hudson River but wasn't sure if it was true because the news channel had not began reporting on it. After a few minutes pass he began to see pictures of the plane in the river, still the news was not reporting it. Then later the news talk show was interrupted with breaking news. He remembers thinking about how this has shown the power of twitter and potential for citizen reporting.

Like Mr. Langhorst I also see the power of Twitter and social media in reporting breaking news. Although Twitter and social media can be great news outlets they can also be an outlet for false information. An example of this is the Nick Saban too Texas controversy. Social media has great power and like what Peter Parker's uncle said "with great power comes great responsibility". There are several people on social media who will report false news or speculation on news especially when it comes to sport news. It is up to the reader to dig deeper into the report to check its authenticity. Twitter and social media have already changed the way we share and receive information. It will be interesting to see how much social media will shape the modern world that we live in today.

C4T#1 comment#2

In Mr. Langhorst's second post titled "Edcamp 2014 Reflections-Why I Love Edcamp" he reflects on the amazing events he experienced at Edcamp. Edcamp is an event where teachers from all over come and share ideas and experiences to help each other in their fields of education. He reflects on how he has attended several Edcamps in Missouri and each one has been amazing. This year at Edcamp Liberty 200 teachers attended to share ideas and discuss different topics. Edcamp is not like other conferences that most teachers attend. At Edcamp teachers are free to stand up share their ideas on the spot instead of having to submit a written copy of their lecture 9 months prior. Mr. Langhorst explains that at other conferences teachers are forced to sit and listen to dry lectures from a professional, but at Edcamp teachers are free to walk around and share their ideas in different groups or just socialize with their peers. Edcamp is truly a great experience with other educators.

This experience sounds truly amazing an i hope that i can have a similar experience when i am an educator. I love how they utilize technology through Blogger and Twitter to connect teachers to the event. I also love the freedom of the event. Teachers being allowed to share their ideas on the spot can be very useful. When one teacher shares their idea and another can freely get up and add to that idea it makes the event more personable.

Asking Engaging Questions

Teachers use several techniques to educate their students and keep them engaged in the material. The most effective technique a teacher uses is asking questions. This can also be ineffective if not used in the right way. Asking closed ended questions or yes or no questions is not a very effective learning tool. These types of questions do not promote participation in the class room. Most of the time a student will just give the teacher an answer that he or she believes the teacher will want to hear with out exploring into the question. Teachers want to prepare their students for the next level of education. To do this teachers must build their students critical thinking and problem solving skills. The best way to do this is to ask questions. The best questions to ask should be open ended, leading questions, and questions that encourage the students own opinion. I found the best guidelines in Asking Questions to Improve Learning

Open ended questions are the best way to encourage students to dig deeper into the material. According Ben Johnson, in an article that he wrote titled The Right Way to Ask Questions in The Classroom, students place themselves in categories that are those who are smart, those who are not smart, and those who do not care. When a teacher ask a simple yes or no question usually the students in the smart category will raise their hand while the ones in the other two categories sit back and let the others answer the question and continue day dreaming or doodling. When a teacher ask an open ended question and pauses for a few seconds all of the students will be prompted to think about what the answer could be. Also there could be more than one answer and other students can disagree and explain why their answer is best. A teacher could also pose a class debate under an open ended question. Class debates is one of the best ways to get all students involved in the class discussion. Posing debatable questions can eliminate the barrier between the three categories that Ben Johnson speaks of in his article.

Some teachers might have problems with students answering questions that are not confident in their answers. This is where leading questions can be effective. A leading questions is a questions that prompts the desired answer. This type of question will help the students that are not confident by hinting at what the answer is in the question its self. When the students answers the leading question with the desired answer you can then ask them to elaborate more. this will encourage them to think critically and build up the confidence of the student.

Teaching is more than just lectures and power points. In order to have you students truly learn and comprehend the material you must pose effective questions that allow the student to think critically. Effective questions also encourage class participation and get students involved in the material instead of just memorizing it and forgetting it after the exam.
students raising hands

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Peer Editing

Peer editing or peer review is something that we have all taken part in throughout our years in school. Most of the peer reviews that I have taken part in have involved some one I knew and my self. Editing a paper from someone that I know makes it much easier for me to point out the discrepancies in the paper with out fear of backlash from the author of the paper. Peer editing can be intimidating especially if the peer that you are editing takes your corrections personally. Peer editing is also a group effort. Both parties, the editor and author, have to be willing to participate and eager to take constructive criticism. The editor must follow the three steps in editing and the author must listen and not take any criticism personally.

The Videos What is Peer Editing, Writing Peer Reviews Top 10 Mistakes, and the slide show Peer Editing With Perfection Tutorial are very useful for learning how to peer edit effectively. These videos taught me the three important steps to peer editing. These steps are Compliments, Suggestions, and Corrections. The first step, Compliments, is the most important. You never want to start a review with a bad tone. That could cause the author to completely ignore all of your suggestions and any other corrections you make. Another tool for editing that I learned from these videos and slideshow is that you always want to be positive when making suggestions or corrections. This will allow the author to take your corrections or suggestions openly. When editing you always want to word your suggestions in a light positive manner such as; I really liked how you worded that sentence but i think this may be better. While i am peer editing i will remember the three key components of peer editing, Compliments, Suggestions, and Corrections. Always lift some one up before you have to bring them back down.
Uncle sam pointer his finger at you

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Taking the Teach out of Teacher?

The central message of the video Mr. Dancealot was that students cannot learn the material with out applying it themselves. When students are simply lectured on the material and not able to practice they will not retain anything that was lectured on. It would be like sitting in math class listening to the teacher explain how to do a problem but not being able to practice on your own. It would be nearly impossible to retain the information that the math teacher was giving you. The author in the film makes his case by portraying the students as bored and falling asleep because of lack of hands on learning. At the end of the film the students are asked to demonstrate the dances that they have been
during that semester. It was clear that none of the students quite knew what to do because of the lack of hands on learning. I agree with the conclusion of this video. A hands on learning environment would help students better understand material and retain information.

In Teaching in The 21st Century by Kevin Roberts, Roberts lays out what he believes teaching in this day and age will be like. Roberts key point in his message is that teaching should now incorporate technology in all aspects in order to keep the students engaged in the class room. Roberts states that teaching with technology will help students develop key skills that will enable them to effectively use technology for things other than entertainment. Roberts sees teachers in the future acting more as enablers than teachers. I feel that Roberts is correct about teaching incorporating more technology to keep the kids engaged, but i do not think students can have that technology in their hands without it offering more of a distraction than an engagement tool. The students in today classroom rely easily on social media, which is easily accessible through the technology that the schools want the students to use. In a perfect world yes this would work great to help students learn to use technology to help them learn but right now all students want to do is use technology to help the gossip. If Roberts is correct and teaching will put more technology in the hands of students than teachers will be more like IT personnel rather than Scholars. If Roberts in correct than me, as an educator, has to learn how to effectively maneuver technology to make the classroom fun and engaging.

In the short Film "The Networked Student" by Wendy Dexler they show you how technology and the web will enable students to find an endless amount of information and resources and use it effectively. Dexler shows that every device the students have can help them further their education outside of the classroom. Dexler also demonstrates how through an mp3 player students can gain access to the best professors in the world. towards the end of the video Dexler poses the question, why do we need teachers in this day and age? Dexler states that we need teachers to help teach the students learn how to gather credible information and organize it, how to reach out to others for help on the web, and how to share what they have learned with others around globe. what Dexler explains in the video would work great if this was a perfect world where every student had the amazing drive to learn new things instead of watch pointless videos on you tube. All of these ideas about incorporating tech into classrooms are great ideas but would be extremely hard to control. how do you control the web and the technology that access it? you can't. I feel that Dexler wants more enablers than teachers. using the web for research and for projects is great but i do not think it will be beneficial to use the technology everyday. It will only add more distraction to an already chaotic environment. My views of how technology could or could not help in the classroom are heavily influenced by what I saw while I was in school. every school is different so it would be hard to say that this would never work, but i do believe it will be a long hard road.

In the video "Harness your Students Digital Smarts" by Vickie Davis, she explains how She has used technology to help her students learn new things on their own and connect with people from all over the world. Her main argument is that when students have only paper and pencil than other certain types of students can learn in that situation, but with what she is doing in her classroom will allow every student the opportunity to learn and grow. I think what Davis is doing in her classroom is great and is inspiring to those who want to connect their students to others to enhance their learning experience. I do not agree with Davis When she states that she doesn't have to define everything and she shouldn't. No you do not have to define everything but it is apart of a teachers duty to teach his or her students new terms or concepts that is why they are called teachers because the teach. If they want to teach the students how to learn on their own Then why have teachers passed the 9th grade? Like I said before, incorporating technology and empowering students is great but it is not a one size fits all solution for preparing students better for life after high school. Here is the link to the video.

Flipping the classroom is a new term for me. I have done similar things in classes I have taken at South but none before that. Having the students watch the lectures, take notes, and prepare discussion questions for class all at home so that they can come to class better prepared to discuss and learn in the classroom. I believe this technique is a great way to use computers and technology in the classroom. It empowers students with technology without taking the teacher out of the picture. It also has a back up plan for those who do not have computers at home. Flipping the classroom will also help students slowly build up the skills needed to be self reliant. Flipping the classroom can also provide a richer experience in the classroom instead. instead of lecturing all day in class the teacher can have discussions and debates about material that they watched the night before. Unlike other technology movements in schools Flipping the classroom does not take the Teach out of the Teacher. Here is the link to the video Flipping the classroom if you want to learn more.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What About EDM310?

I have heard many horror stories about EDM310. Many of the students and even my adviser have spoken about how time consuming the work can be. Although many spoke about the amount of time and effort you must put into this course they also told me that as long as you do put in the time and effort there is a lot you can learn from EDM310 that can help you in the future. The main fear that I have of this course is falling behind and not being able to catch up. Unlike most of the other courses I have taken at the University EDM310 is mostly online based and requires more on your own learning. Also EDM310 requires a lot of projects that are online and involve blogging which I have never done until now. The most difficult thing in EDM310 for me will be the self learning and staying on track. I will admit that I do procrastinate and that is a habit that i will have to break now. It has always been easier to have some one just lecture the material to me but I class I will have to learn most of it on my own. Learning own my own will not be easy but it will allow me to retain the material long after EDM310. to help my self succeed in this course I will begin a new daily routine so that I can devote more attention to the projects and blogs that I will be participating in. One question that I have about EDM310 is what will the projects be on? will we be critiquing, researching, or both in these projects? I am sure if i read further into the spreadsheet in my Docs i would find my answers, and i will be doing that as soon as i post this blog. These are all the things i have heard, the fears i have, and the solutions that i plan on implementing in EDM310.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Practice Post

I was born and raised in Mobile Alabama. I grew up with two older sisters and one little brother. I joined the Army Reserves right out of high school to get a change in scenery. shortly after finishing my training i deployed to Iraq in 2011-2012 for one year. while spending two years bouncing from state to state with the army i found a passion for traveling, although i enjoy traveling outside the military to safer and more fun places i have seen a lot and am glad i joined. it gave me tools so that i could further my education and do the things i love to do. i recently married my girlfriend of five years who is from Croatia and also shares my passion for traveling and seeing other different places. Together we have been to Mexico, Jamaica, Croatia, Germany, Bosnia, and Serbia.

i want to enter the field of education because i love history and the story of how we became who we are and how the events from the past correlate with current events. being an educated i can share my love for history and help others pursue their goals and dreams as well. Also having the best part of hunting season off and most of the summer off is a definite plus. although the money will not be amazing i will love what i do and not be stuck in a miserable work routine 365 days a year.

here are a few pictures of my passions and hobbies. Sail boat in JamaicaMe and my wife in JamaicaME standing Guard on Patrol in IraqMe and freinds infront of temple in IraqMe and my wife in GermanyMe and wife swimming in CroatiaMe holding a sea urchin in MexicoMe in Mexico at Myan RuinsMe holding The Buck i shot
New Post to test settings. 01-16-13

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Test Post Title

This is my first post. i clicked the HTML button which i should always do in EDM 310. i am now a BLogger.