Monday, July 26, 2010

Final Blog Post for EDM310

EDM310 was a very different class than I expected. I was challenged, put on the spot, and learned how to think for myself. I am thankful for every minute spent on this class. I will admit however that it was stressful at times just simply for the vast amount of "stuff" to do during such a short semester. However, I am very confident that this class has made me a better student and hopefully will make me a better teacher.

I learned many useful things during this course such as the importance of blogging, how-to blog correctly, developing a PLN, how to create impacting presentations, podcasts, and videos. That was just naming a few things. I think drawing from the comments4teachers was probably the most useful thing to me. It was really encouraging and helpful to see the thoughts of other teachers and to kind of have a leg up by drawing on their experiences already. Also watching the videos and podcasts made by students was really inspiring to be the best teacher possible to enable my students to also reach their full potential.

There are a couple of things that I would tell other students thinking of taking EDM310. Be prepared to work, be prepared to learn, and be prepared to be impressed by other people. It is a very interesting and meaningful class that I personally think any teacher should be required to take. As we can see society is evolving everyday therefore the school system has to learn how to evolve as well in order to keep up and maintain the interest of the students.

Also I would recommend students to take the course during the spring or fall if at all possible just simply so they can enjoy the interaction with the students during the C4K projects.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to my EDM310 experience (instructors as well as students)!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

C4K 2

Send Your Name To Mars was a post by Miss McGeady to her class on a project NASA was doing where they could submit their names to be taken to Mars.

This is the comment I left for her and her class:

By: Christina Motes on June 25, 2010 at 10:21 am

Hi Miss McGeady and Students!
My name is Christina Motes and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL in the U.S. I am currently taking EDM310 with Dr. Strange and as part of our assignments we are reading other teachers’ blogs as well as students’ blogs. It has been a very interesting class and I am learning many new things about technology and Education.

I really enjoyed my visit to your page and I would love to send my name to Mars! Also I think visiting outer space would be a fun adventure and I would most like to see the rings of Saturn =)

~Christina Motes~

P.S. Feel free to visit my blog as well as our class blog.

And this is her reply comment:

By: Kathleen McGeady on June 25, 2010 at 11:10 am

@ Christina, thanks for checking out our blog. You should definitely send your name to Mars! If you haven’t already seen it, I write a blog for teachers too that you may be interested in
Best wishes for your studies,
Kathleen McGeady

Final Group Project

Glogster Final Project

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How To

just pray

I was very moved after watching this video produced by Alba Middle School students. It made things hit home even more to see how the oil spill is also effecting the younger generation emotionally. I also was very impressed with the skill and creativity put into the videos made by the Alba students. I will definitely be watching for more videos by these young students.

This is my comment I left for the students:

1 day ago
Hi! My name is Christina Motes and I am also a resident of the gulf coast and am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. I really enjoyed your way of getting the meesage out and asking people to help! It was a very creative and unique way and you guys did a great job!! Keep up the good work!

Blog Post 13

Barry Gartman's Smartboard Project

Christina Motes said...
I really enjoyed your smartboard project. I think it was a great way to demonstrate some of the uses of the smartboard as well as some pretty great info on Mobile.
July 18, 2010 7:33 PM

Stephen Akins'PLN Update

Christina Motes said...
Thanks for the great post Stephen. It was really encouraging to see the results your getting by using Twitter. I must admit that it's been something of a struggle for me to get into using Twitter but I'm trying really hard.
July 18, 2010 7:37 PM

Leah Divincenzo's

Christina Motes said...
First of all I must say that I love Dory so I immediately love this post =)
But not only that the content of this post was also very helpful. My PLN is still growing as well and I also plan to keep that growing throughout my college and professional career.
July 18, 2010 7:45 PM

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blog Post 12

Well I have just read Mr. McClung's post What I Learned This Year about his second year of teaching. It was reallin interesting to look at how much Mr. McClung had taken in and the insight that he has in only two years of teaching. In the article he talks about things like adapting, finding your "school mom", don't have an ego, not losing sight of what's really important, and many other things. It really sounds like Mr. McClung has really learned a lot and is well on his way to be an amazing teacher.

In addition to the M-Cubed: ISTE Presentation Video I also watched M-Cubed2, M-Cubed1, and Print Fabricate. I think the "Print Fabricate" video was the most helpful since I was not familiar with fablab and it explained how it was used. The other videos showed students using fablab and making digital fabrication. I think that this could be helpful and a good learning tool when teaching students about surface area, volume, area, etc. I would definitely like to try this piece of technology out at some point in the future.


My 4th C4K assignment was to watch a video posted on CinemaOwls YouTube channel for Kelowna's Secondary School Arts and Video Production Program. The video I was assigned was called Traced that was made by Grade 12 Video Production students. Justin and Anthony shot this trailer prior to the actual movie but they do plan on making this movie this summer. Here is the comment I left for them followed by the response I receieved.

Hi, My name is Christina Motes and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I watched your trailer as part of an assignment for Dr. Strange's EDM310 Class.

I really enjoyed your trailer and would definitely watch the film if you decide to make it. It seemed pretty interesting. You guys did a great job. Congratulations.

~Christina Motes~

Thanks for your comment!
The student filmmakers plan on making the movie this summer.
With the movie trailer assignment many students will try to fast track the process by not clearly conceptualizing the whole story first. The strength of this piece is that these students had a very clear idea of what the feature film would be, and were then able to construct an outstanding and intriguing trailer to catch a potential audience's attention.


screenshot of my symbaloo

Well first of all let me start this by saying that my PLN is definitely complete nor do I ever expect it to be. I think that a PLN evolves over time and can never stop growing. So far I've been using the sites that we have learned about in this class and going from there.

I chose to use symbaloo as you can see from the picture above to keep all my sites organized. In this I have links to twitter, facebook, delicious, my class blog, edm310 blog, youtube, etc. This was just a simple way to have everything at my fingertips one click away. I used delicious to bookmark sites, videos, and commentaries I found interesting such as Mr. McClung's World, The Fisch bowl, and many others. Also on twitter I was able to find Ms. Cassidy, Sir Ken Robinson, Karl Fisch, Discovery Education, and The US Dept. of Education and became followers of all of them and others.

Working on this project has definitely been eye opening to see all the possibilites of connections to be made all over the world that is simply a click away.

As I said this is something that I will constantly be updating and using.

Questionnaire Results

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This is the interview I did with Beth Paris, a recent graduate of Union University with her degree in Early Childhood Development and Education.

In the interview Beth began by telling a little about herself and then goes on to explain her experiences with technology being used during her college experience. She explains that powerpoint and smartboard presentations was the majority of what was used and she wished more would have been used by the teachers.

I then asked Beth about her experience during her student teaching. She explained that she used a Promethean board a lot and was able to use interactive games in class. Also she said that the senior teacher used playstations to play educational games during small group times.

Next I asked Beth her plans for her future class and if she planned to use technology in her class room. She quickly responded that she would be using any technology that was available to her depending on the funding of the school. She mentioned that there is still a lot of technology that she feels she needs to make herself familiar with but that will be a learning experience during her teaching time and that she will definitely be learning and implementing it as much as possible.

Of course the last question I asked was did she think teachers should be technologically literate. She answered definitely yes that teachers should be utilizing any tool available therefore any technology readily available teachers should take the time to learn to use it and teach the students because technology is being used more and more everyday and we as teachers have to keep up.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blog Post 11

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class

I was absolutely floored while watching Ms. Cassidy's Class Video. The amount of knowledge these young children contained and not only knew about but could also implement and use in learning was astounding. It seems that every time I think I'm learning a lot in this class I find something like this video that makes me realize how much more I have to learn.

I also watched the skype video that Ms. Cassidy had with the EDM310 class from last semester.

Ms. Cassidy has taught her 1st grade students how to plan and create videos, maintain a blog, use wikis, and complete a majority of their homework using some sort of technology. I particularly liked that she even implemented their Nintedo DS' in class!!

I have struggled during this class with the question of how I will use all the things I have learned and be a technology literate teacher teaching math. As I've thought about it I've been slightly discouraged because I just wasn't coming up with many ideas how to mesh mathematics and technology (excluding calculators of course). After listening to Ms. Cassidy answer questions for other EDM310 students I am now encouraged. I'm starting to have ideas about posting assignments using Google Docs, having a class blog where I can post links to notes, homework changes, extra study times, and youtube videos that have been created just for math!

So thank you Ms. Cassidy, watching these videos have not only been informative but also uplifting.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Smartboard Presentation

Thanks to Katie Watson and Melissa Jones for helping with this presentation!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I was assigned to read Mr. McClung's World 19th blog post from the month of May.

In this post he was introducing his students to a new musical artist, Cory Branan. He also posted a song by Cory Branan called, The Tall Green Grass.

Here is my comment left on this particular blog post.

"Hi Mr. McClung,
My name is Christina Motes and I am part of Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I was assigned to read this particular blog as part of an assignment.

I had never heard of Cory Branan before but I was pretty impressed with the sound clip you posted. I will definitely be going to look him up on iTunes.

Thanks for posting,
Christina Motes
My Blog
EDM310 Class Blog
Email Me"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blog Post 10

screen shot of 7th graders PLE video

I found watching the video Welcome to my PLE very helpful. This video was from a 7th grader giving a tour of her personal learning environment. Since I have been kind of stuck on what to do with my own PLN i found this video both interesting and useful. I have been just using my web browsers bookmarking or top sites and then searching for connections on twitter, but I noticed that the student was using Symbaloo. I went to that website and checked it out and I do think I will definitely be using this in addition to my delicious account.

I am proud to say that I have learned something from this 7th grade student and will be applying what I've learned for my assignments for this class.

screen shot of Two Questions that can change your life

Two Questions That Can Change Your Life by Daniel Pink was a very thought provoking video. In this video two questions were posed: 1. What's my sentence? and 2. Was I better today that yesterday? These two simple questions are very powerful. I can come up with so many sentences that I hope can be mine some day in the future as well as am always hopeful that I am always better today than I was yesterday.

My sentence : "I am trying to become the best teacher possible and impact the lives of every student that I teach."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Blog Post 9

a screenshot of Dan Brown's video

In Morgan Bayda's post An Open Letter To Educators she talks about her experience as a student at a University. She also references a video made by Dan Brown also called An Open Letter To Educators.

In both Morgan Bayda's personal experiences as well as those expressed in Dan Brown's video it is said that the educational experience, or the university, hasn't changed in 100's of years but meanwhile society all around is in a constant changing state. Morgan shares that in her experience as a student she spends most of her class time trying not to fall asleep, listening to a professor recap readings that no one has actually done because they know their grade sits on how well they can recall facts on the two tests, a midterm, and a final exam. Dan Brown recalls similar experiences where he spends on average $100 per class on textbooks not actually used because information is more readily available on the internet, he's just studying facts from powerpoint presentations given by the teacher in order for the students to regurgitate those facts on a test and that is what they are graded on. Not on how well they can apply the material in real life but just simply how many facts can we recite correctly. He didn't feel like the university he was attending or any other was preparing him, or other students, for the real world.

In my own personal experiences it is very similar. Though I must mention that this is not the case in every single class. There are teachers out their that recognize the change in society around information and see that they have to change their teaching style in order to help their students. However, for the most part it is pretty much the same, go to class, listen to a lecture, take notes, memorize, test on what you have memorized. Usually there are no actual applications of the material we are learning or how to use it in our future careers.

As stated in Morgan's blog as well as Dan Brown's video, society is changing and the education institution should recognize the need to change as well.

ALEX stands for the Alabama Learning Exchange. It is a website designed for teachers, students, as well as parents. Upon reviewing the website I found many useful things. There is a workspace for teachers to build lesson plans from, a vast amount of shared lesson plans ready for teachers in virtually every subject, helpful web links for students and teachers, and numerous podcasts available for review.

It seems that teachers have a login id in order to use parts of the website like their personal workspace but students and parents don't need a login in order to browse the vast amount of information available. There is even a link to the Alabama Virtual Library.

I definitely will be bookmarking this website for the future since I plan on teaching in Alabama. I think it will be very helpful with finding information to help with my teaching as well as drawing from lesson plans already found successful by other teachers. I will also be recommending the website to my future students because of all the links to homework help available as well as any other educational material.

I also checked out the ACCESS overview page to make myself familiar with this as well. It is a distance learning program offered to all Alabama highschool students via an e-learning classroom. With Access students are able to achieve advanced diplomas and many other things. It was very interesting to read about and I definitely think it is something I want to take part of in the future.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blog Post 8

What I've Learned This Year by Mr. McClung is a post that I feel beginning teachers should all read. You could learn a lot by these simple facts that Mr. McClung has learned in his first year of teaching.

In the post he talks about how some beginning teachers are so worried about being rated by their superiors that they sometimes lose focus as to how to read their actual audience which is in fact the students. At the end of the day we should be more worried about what the students walked away from our lesson with than how our superiors are rating us. If our students are learning, and enjoying while they learn, aren't we doing our jobs as teachers?

Another point that Mr. McClung made was that we need to remember to be flexible. Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world and so our lesson plans do not always go as smooth and perfect as when we plan them. This isn't something to become frustrated with we just have to simply learn that this is inevitable and how to take it in stride.

"Be Reasonable" This simple statement holds quite a bit of meaning. I think that teachers should set high expectations for their students but not so high as they are unattainable. Think of how frustrated you would be if there were always these goals set before you but you just simply couldn't quite reach them even though you were doing your very best. You wouldn't keep trying for long if no matter what you still failed. Students will be the same way. If we set the expectations too high they will eventually quit trying all together. Set the goals in an attainable range and praise their good work and they will be more likely to take on even harder work in the future.

I think all new teachers could learn a lot from this post, because I sure did and I am not yet a teacher.

Thank You Mr. McClung for your insight and help.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Group Interviews on the Ipad

Comments4Teachers #2

My C4T #2 assignment was to follow Mr. Larry Ferlazzo's blog and respond to his most recent posts. I found that the majority of his posts were pointed in the direction of getting out useful websites and information to other teachers. It was very informative and I did find a lot of useful information and you might want to check it out here.

These are the comments I left for Mr. Ferlazzo on the blogs that I read.

Hi Mr. Ferlazzo,
My name is Christina Motes and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama, Mobile AL. I am currently pursuing my degree in secondary education and mathematics there at the university. As part of an assignment for EDM310 I will be following your blog for the next several weeks and then summarizing my visits and comments on my own personal blog.
I had no idea that something like Docs Teach from the National Archives was available but I am glad that I can now add that to my list of available teaching tools. I visited the page and was quite impressed and can’t wait until I can use this. I am learning everyday about all the technological tools available for teachers to use. Thank you so much for posting such helpful websites.
Christina Motes
My Blog
EDM310 Class Blog

Hi Mr. Ferlazzo,
My name is Christina and I am part of Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class, I have posted on one of your previous blogs.
Thanks for another helpful website to check out. In the EDM310 class I am required to do student blogging myself and this was very insightful on why we are completing these assignments. If at all possible in my future teaching opportunities in mathematics I will incorporate student blogging.
Thank You,
Christina Motes

Hi Mr. Ferlazzo,
Thanks again for this useful post. I went to your “Best Applications for Annotating Websites list” and found all the information very helpful there. I am a student myself so any tools that help with studying and learning are greatly appreciated.
~Christina Motes~

Also after my first comment Mr. Ferlazzo immediately emailed me and this was his response:


I hope you find the blog useful, and wish you well in your career!


Timeline #2

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blog Post 7

Screen shot of Randy Pausch Last Lecture

I was moved beyond words while watching Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. After learning about his health condition and his only having a short time left to live I was amazed with his demeanor, character, and just his happiness in general. I only hope that if ever put in a similar situation I could remain so gracious and use even that as a teaching tool. God bless him and his family.

I personally think that Mr. Pausch would be the perfect teacher to have. He seems to have all the characteristics of a perfect teacher. He remained focused on "enabling others to achieve their dreams" which in turn was part of his achieving his own personal dreams. I think that is exactly what all teachers should be striving for, enabling their students.

I was amazed further when Mr. Pausch went on to tell about how he focused on a way of teaching in "alice" that showed students how to do something really hard and complicated but since it was fun to them they responded eager to learn or have fun. He went about teaching, not in the traditional sense of textbook learning, but leaning more to project base learning and hands on experience (much like this class) where his students learned by doing something themselves vs. reading about someone else doing it. I through experience have learned that not only does this seem to be the most rewarding aspect of learning but it also seems to be more of what sticks with me through life. He was there as a teacher to set the expectation, challenge, affirm good behaviors, and help students correct some not so good behaviors.

Mr. Randy Pausch has definitely challenged me in this video and inspired me to be the best teacher possible. I cannot imagine better attributes in a teacher or person in general. After watching his video my interest was piqued so I googled "alice" and was able to find the website for the "alice" program that he kept mentioning. Since my major, prior to my switch to secondary education, was computer science I found this whole idea very interesting and am currently in the process of downloading some of the software to try. I am very excited.

Thank you Randy Pausch for your dedication to achieving your childhood dreams which in turn drove you in your dedication to be an amazing teacher. I hope to be even have an ounce of your wisdom and teaching abilities.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blog Post # 6

screen shot of This is How We Dream Part 1

This Is How We Dream, Part 1&2 by Dr. Richard E. Miller was yet another set of videos that made me feel like I am very behind in things. The way he showed writing evolving so fast left me second guessing the last papers and reports that I have turned in.

I have to agree with him when he points out that, how much more compelling is a report that includes video, audio, visual aids, as well as text, all of which can be posted online so that not only can your teacher and classmates can see but the whole world, compared to a simple text document. If you were trying to get out valuable information you would more than likely reach a lot more people and have genuine interest with this new way of writing vs. the old word processor way.

To answer the question as to if I write this way, the answer unfortunately is not enough as I should. Do I think my students will write this way? Most definitely, and I would not consider myself a good future teacher if I was not catching up and learning the same things my students will be doing. I cannot expect quality work from students if I am not already giving that myself.

Screen shot of The Networked Student video

The similarities between The Networked Student video, by Wendy Drexler, and this EDM310 class seem very similar. I understand that "The Networked Student" could even be taking it a step further than we are but I think Dr. Strange is teaching us how to use many of the same tools.

In the video the question is raised as to why does the networked student even need the teacher? The answers did not surprise me but reminded me as to what teaching is all about. The teacher is there to guide, encourage, help when needed, advice, and empower the students with the tools that they need to learn. The networked student's teacher is not cramming information down the student's neck but rather showing them how to find information, request help, and share their knowledge with the world.

I absolutely love this video. I personally am a a person that learns and retains the most when I have spent the time to research and find out for myself. I'm not sure if that is because I feel it is even more valuable since I have spent the blood, sweat, and tears working on it or if I feel that it's more rewarding to find out new things on my own. However, as all students I still like the reinforcement of a teacher telling me if I'm doing a good or bad job, someone I can go to for advice, and simply a guide on how to get started and to keep me on the right track.

Michael Wesch's video Toward a New Future of Whatever was very interesting. I particularly liked his history of the word "whatever" as well as "meh". I definitely see we are experiencing the things he talks about everyday. In school students still seem to have the "whatever" or "meh" attitude in one of it's many meanings. This attitude makes it a challenge for teachers to present students with material that they feel passionate about or at the very least a decent amount of interest in because there are so many other stimulating things in the generation that we live in. However, as teachers this is ultimately our job.


screen shot of Miss T's Class Blog

My first C4K assignment was Jordan's Blog from Miss T's Classroom.

Miss T's Classroom blog is for her 5 and 6 year students in New Zealand. The page was designed to get the parents involved and keep them involved with what their children are doing at school as well as a local place for information for the students.

Jordan's Blog was very interesting. He had reviews of books that he was reading as well as just videos that were important to him in some way, whether that be just as entertainment or something he saw a message in. I commented on Jordan's blog telling him how much I enjoyed my visit there and of the good work that I thought he was doing. I also included a few things about myself like where I was from, where I was attending school, EDM310, as well as a link to my blog.

This was a great experience of seeing students using technology.

PLN Update

So far much of what I've done on my PLN project is research. I am researching sites I think would be helpful, as well as other teachers blogs. I have bookmarked a few things as well as added feeds to my igoogle page. My next step is to get more involved with twitter and begin adding teachers to follow and just getting involved to see what's going on. It is definitely still a work in progress.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Blog Post 5

In Michael Staton's Why Smartboards Are A Dumb Initiative he gives to arguments as to why he doesn't think that "SMART" boards are a good classroom investment. The first is that teachers will face the same problems of standing in front of a classroom and lecturing in the same way that he says students don't respond to, only now with a more elaborate board behind them. Second, that they are an "administrative cop out" for a justification to spend money. He states that in order to request money they need to be able to show a valid reason or area that the money is going to, and that's where the SMART boards come in to play. They are a good show piece, to prove how well they are spending the money they are allocated.

Almost the same feelings are expressed by Bill Ferriter in his post, Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards. Mr. Ferriter even goes as far as to say that he has given his interactive board away. Both of these gentlemen express some very intense feelings on the idea of SMART boards.

While I do not completely disagree with both of these men I cannot agree 100% either. Having experienced lessons with and without the use of SMART board I can appreciate some of the advantages as well. Students today like to use technology, and the chance to use the SMART board is an incentive to many students when giving reports. It gives them a sense of creative freedom when doing presentations that just simply doesn't exist with the use of normal blackboards. Also, I know from experience that when teachers are writing things on the board for you to copy as notes it is sometimes hard to get every single thing before they are erasing and going on to the next time. SMART boards allow teachers to save anything that has been written on a SMART board and posted on the internet for the students to refer back to at a later time.

While the idea of using a SMART board is totally opinionated this is a link I found interesting and helpful when looking at advantages to utilizing interactive whiteboards. Why Do Teachers Love SMART boards? is a website where teachers from all over have went and posted what they love the most about SMART boards so school board officials and principals can see the potential and possibly approve the funding to put these boards in their schools.

picture of the EDM310 for dummies video

Watching the Chipper video as well as the EDM310 for dummies was a very interesting experience. Both videos showed a great amount of thought and creativity as well as the "chipper" video teaches several great lessons about being successful in life.

They were made you think of what were some possibilities for other movies? Maybe like the "chipper" movie we could make a video showing kids the consequences for drug and alcohol abuse just like chipper found out the consequences for procrastinating on school and work? Cliche maybe but I still think it would be a good idea.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Before this class I have never really thought about using podcasts as a potential learning tool. Let me just say that my eyes have been opened. I'm beginning to learn that every single piece of technology holds the potential for some sort of educational purpose, you just have to find it.

After exploring the list of websites given by Dr. Strange I have a whole new outlook on podcasts. They can be a fun new way for students to do reporting on subject matter and if teachers have lectures or assignments recorded then they are always available to the students and not just during class time. Also it gives the parents a chance to get involved and know what's going on with their children.

A picture of the Eagle Nest Radio Class

The Eagle Nest Radio & Class Blog is a perfect example of students using podcasts to further learning, use creativity, and have fun in the process. This was a podcast made by 3rd graders on the things they were learning about the ancient Romans.

I was amazed at the ability and creativity that these students showed and the amount of detail they were able to put into this podcast. Also the teacher that assigned this should be commended for taking the initiative for wanting the children to learn about podcasting and incorporated their class work as well. I can guarantee these children will never forget the facts they used to make this fun podcast.

Another set of amazing students are shown in the Langwitches Blog. This group of students took what they were learning about space and the solar system and created an entertaining and fact filled podcast. The teacher of this class asked another teacher to come in and show the students all about podcasting and creating a storyboard and the students took the knowledge and ran with it.

The podcast tells a creative little story, made up by the children, about space and the solar system but the catch is that all the facts that the students have to use in the podcast. It showed real creativity of not only the students way of showing their knowledge of the material but it also is a fun way to teach other students the same material.

So after seeing these podcasts I wondered, where to find great podcast like these? The Education Podcasting Network was a helpful website to answer this question.

This website is a library of sorts on educational podcasts that can be used for education. There are podcasts on practically everything, like mathematics, english, technology, and even theatre and drama. I will definitely be referring back to this website in the future when I begin teaching.

If you are still wondering about the benefits of podcasting, a how-to guide, or any other basic information, Judy Sharf Podcast Collection is a great website to visit. I found so much of this website helpful. There is info on what is a podcast, how to podcast, sample timelines for podcasts, and even sample assignments for student's podcasts.

Overall I feel very enlightened on yet another piece of technology available to us as teachers and students. I'm excited about this new knowledge and tool to put in my teaching belt.

My Favorite Teacher


Friday, June 11, 2010

Blog Post 3

Just who is Scott McLeod? Well after reading his post, "Dont Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?", I googled his name to find out.

According to his website he is an Associate Professor of Educational Administration at Iowa State University. Also the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). Then I was also surprised to find that he was also a co-creator of the Did You Know? 3.0 video we watched for our first blog assignment.

His strong feelings in "Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please" now make much more sense. Not that I didn't agree with him already. My interpretation was that children/students who's parents/teachers don't teach them to be "technologically literate" they are directly effecting on how successful they will be in the future or how many opportunities they will have. It's simple, in the near future the more technologically savvy we are the better chance we have to be successful. Teachers should feel a direct responsibility to these future students and should do everything in their power to ensure their ability to be successful.

Picture of Travis Adam

In the video The iSchool Initiative Travis proposes a plan for all the financial cuts going on in the education system today. He talks about the costs of things in school like copies, paper, pencils, etc and how money could be saved by using the iTouch and it's applications. He goes even further to propose and iSchool plan.

I see a couple problems with his plan and that would be the costs of the iTouch. One for every student and one for every teacher is going to add up really fast. Then there's the question of who supplies the iTouch? The school? The parents and teachers? I definitely agree with Travis that technology should be used but I think we first need to implement more of the technology that is already available in the schools before we start asking them to buy more. The iTouch plan will not work if teachers first aren't willing to use technology.

Screen shot of video

The video Watch the Lost Generation was very interesting. The creator of the video starts off by reciting, line by line, a story of sorts of how in the future work will be more important than family, divorce will be inevitable, "money makes me happy", and that she is the lost generation. Then the video starts to sort of go backwards with the creator of the video reading each line but in opposite order. The same thing she said only with the lines in reverse order says that she will not be the lost generation, "money makes me happy" is a lie, divorce will not be inevitable, and that family will be more important that work.

I think the author was saying that we have to make a conscious effort and decision to do things that "change the world". I have to say that I agree with her. If we go by all the statistics alone of course we won't change anything. It's the people who try to change things or "make a difference" are the people who are remembered in history.

Eric Whitaker's Virtual Choir should show anyone the countless opportunities that can be found by using the internet. This was a beautiful vocal piece performed by over 100 people who never actually met but used the internet to post their contribution to the song, and then the composer put all the pieces together to make a beautiful song that sounds like it was performed in a recital hall with all of these singers present. But it wasn't performed in a recital hall with all the singers present. This is just a small show of the power of the internet.

I have also seen a similar video on youtube by the famous composer Tan Dun. His composition is called "Internet Symphony, Eroica".
Here is the video if you would like to take a look.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"It's Not about the Technology"

A Vision of Students Today by Michael Wesch describes about 75% of my college experience. I always spend lots of money on books I barely(if at all) use, half of my classmates don't come to class, and I'm just not motivated to concentrate during class or participate in class because I know all my teacher is concerned with is that I pass the tests. Now there are exceptions to this, EDM310 for example as well as a few other classes I have taken. The exceptions are generally the classes I take the most from and the classes that I most enjoy. When a teacher finds a way to challenge students in other things than just spitting back facts and figures thats been crammed down our throats it's actually quite enjoyable. I think all teachers should watch this video and it should be a wake up call on what they can do so that these students in the video are not their students.

"It's Not about the Technology" is an article by Kelly W. Hines. In this article Ms. Hines talks about that it's not the technology that is the essential part that is missing in schools. In fact it's the teacher's lack of use of technology or actually knowing how to use and implement the technology available to them in the classrooms.

I definitely agree with her one hundred percent. We can complain all we want that funding isn't there for technology, we need it, blah, blah, blah. Let's be honest, almost every school is equipped with computers and the internet and there are countless tools available to us for free online. In fact, we are learning to use many of them in this class.

So why aren't we (I'm including myself as a future teacher) using technology that is easily available to us? Simple, we aren't taking the time to become learners ourself so that we can relate to our students and be able to teach them in an environment where sometimes they are more knowledgeable than we are. It is easier to teach our specific material just as we were taught and not try to adapt to the new technological age that we are living in. I understand this because I am planning on teaching math, when has math changed? Not really at all for many years. So why should I change a teaching method that has been used for hundreds of years? Easy, because people have changed over hundreds of years and I as a teacher have a responsibility to bring something new to the class room to make an old subject seem fresh and exciting for students to learn.

Mr. Karl Fisch posted an enlightening article called "Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?" In this blog post he poses that very simple question and then goes on to explain his thoughts on that. He compares teachers being technologically illiterate in the 21st century to teachers in the 20th century who couldn't read. An extreme analogy? I don't think so and here is why.

If you take time to think about it it's really not that extreme at all. I will borrow Mr. Fisch's examples. In the beginning of the 20th century people who could not read could still be successful but that changed dramatically in passing years. Towards the end of the 20th century (late 1990's) however it was almost impossible to hold a good job or enter into career without knowing how to read. So knowing how important reading was could you have imagined having a teacher who couldn't read??

Now think about this, in the beginning of the 21st century (early 2000's) you could still get by with little to no technology knowledge or use (If you don't count cell phones, tv's, or camera's as technology). Now however, I can barely think of anything that in some form doesn't use technology. To give you a personal example, My dad last year lost his job due to the company downsizing because of the economy. My dad had been with this company many, many years and it had been quite sometime since he had to go on a job hunt. It only took a few weeks for him to call me very frustrated. His frustrations were that he was not very proficient on a computer and virtually every job he wanted to apply for did their entire hiring process online or through the computer somehow, not to mention just to find job listings you really have to go online. Online profiles, virtual resumes, computer qualifications, and many more things were all things he wasn't familiar with. It was not like he remembered where you go in with a simple paper application, paper resume, and you have a face-to-face interview where you had the chance to win over your future employer with your personality and drive. This just isn't the case anymore.

So if my dad encountered this many problems in simply trying to find a new job I can only imagine what young students who are not taught to be technologically literate will face in the future. As teachers can we really expect our students to do something that we are not doing or learning? Do as I say, not as I do? I just don't think it works nor is it morally right. We have a responsibility as teachers to teach students how to be successful in the world they are growing up in.

WOW is all I have to say about Gary Hayes Social Media Count. It was a counter that showed how many things were going on on social network and such in the few short seconds that you were on that site. The numbers were astounding!! It only affirmed my thought that EVERYONE should be technologically literate.


During the past few weeks I have been visiting the blog of Kim Cofino. I have been reading and commenting on her latest blogs. During these visits to her blog I feel I have really gained an appreciation of collaborating with other teachers and learning from her personal experiences posted on her blog.

Here are the comments I posted on her entries. If you would like to read the articles please check out her blog.

I really enjoyed reading this blog. My name is Christina Motes and I am not currently a teacher but am a student at the University of South Alabama as a secondary education/math major. I am currently taking EDM310 and as part of my assignment I am going to be following your blog for the next few weeks and then posting a summary post on my own blog. I will also be linking my post to the blog for my EDM310 class.

Since I am not a teacher yet I have not attended conferences or workshops like the ones you were talking about. However as a student I feel like I can relate on a certain level. You mentioned that working together with people and building relationships with people helps you to learn as well as makes it more enjoyable and that you are more likely to remember. I fully agree. As a student whenever a teacher conducts a class in a way to where he/she gets the students involved with the course content as well as the other classmates and we actually get hands on experience versus just being told it is much more beneficial, enjoyable, and I feel I walk away with much more.

It sounds like you have really grasped the meaning of a productive workshop for teachers and are striving to improve with each workshop you conduct. Good luck with everything and I am looking forward to reading more on your blog!

Wow this was really interesting. I had never thought of having an entire k-12 school online. Since I am a student that was homeschooled my entire life before college I can recognize the advantages of this. I am sure my mom would have appreciated the extra help when it came to teaching some higher level high school course to me right after she was teaching second grade material to my younger brother.

I understand as well the trying to solve the integrity problem but I’m sure this is something that could be taken care of with enough dedication.


I definitely agree with you that sometimes teachers get so caught up with teaching their prepared materia,l and also some who are trying to learn new techniques to use in the classroom and with technology, that they lose sight of what the desired end result is. Ultimately teachers should be wanting to help students become the type of diverse people that you saw in the event you attended. If we only produce students who just have a basic knowledge of general education but who don’t take that knowledge and accomplish anything, have we really succeeded as teachers? Please note that by “accomplish” I don’t mean that the students have to be famous for something they did or are doing but I mean that they take what they learn and use it in some form or another.
~Christina Motes~
My EDM310 Class Blog

Friday, June 4, 2010

an image saying, did you know? with lots of question marks.
In the video "Did you know 3.0" (available on Mr Karl Fisch points out many interesting facts about the world and the fast way it is evolving. I was not only unaware of many of the facts but was in fact quite shocked to learn of them.

However it was not only the little facts that were enlightening. This video really made me stop and think of just how important technology is to the world we live in, and how that importance and need increases with every passing day. During the first class for EDM310 Dr. Strange asked the entire class whether we thought that teachers should be technologically literate? I didn't really spend a lot of time pondering this question at first, I just knew that I thought yes they should, but I didn't think about why. Watching this video made me realize why. How can we as teachers (or future teachers in my case) be teaching children without first familiarizing ourselves with the tools available that obviously the children are already very aware of? I think teachers have to work harder to stay up to pace with their students in the technology world and still be able to teach them something new as well. How can students have respect for and want to learn from a teacher who doesn't even know the basics of internet, email, online teaching tools, etc? This brings me to the next video I watched.

cartoon picture of Mr. Winkle
"Mr Winkle Wakes" by Mathew Needleman is a short cartoon about an old man who wakes from a 100 year sleep to find the world very different from the world he knew upon going into that long slumber. He is immediately overwhelmed by skyscrapers, computers, printers, and basically technology in general. However he enters a school and immediately feels very comfortable in familiar surroundings because nothing has seemed to change. All the desks are in a straight line, children are sitting and listening to a teacher lecture, and taking notes traditionally just as he remembers.

My question is this, should schools still be this traditional? Please don't misunderstand me, I am not criticizing teaching in it's most tradition sense. However I am saying this, if there are more tools available to create a more involved, interactive, and hands on learning shouldn't we be using them? I just think that sometimes we are scared to try new things when teaching people, but one of the first things I learned about people is that everyone has a different learning style. Some people learn from simple hearing while others need to actually see something and experience it to learn about it. Today's technology makes tools easily available to us that should help us reach a larger amount of students.

Picture of Sir Ken Robinson

"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original." This was my favorite quote from Sir Ken Robinson from his talk on "The Importance of Creativity". Throughout out his speech he talks about how traditional teaching focuses on of course mathematics, science, history, and grammar. Progressively as we get older we are taught that the arts and creativity are not important because ultimately we think that most of us cannot get a job knowing and doing things like dancing, drama, etc.

I agree with Sir Robinson but my thought is this, what if we were taught things like math and science just like now but we were taught equally in the arts? Students were allowed to be as creative as they like but still mastered all the skills of math and science and had a vast knowledge of history? Imagine the next generations level of intelligence and the things they could accomplish. I was listening to a discussion last night and someone said that ingenuity was someone's ability to think outside the box when faced with a problem and being able to solve it without knowing the "proper" way to begin the problem. I agree very much with this statement and I think the way to empower people to do this is to encourage creativity as well as traditional knowledge.

Photo of Vicki Davis

After watching Vicki Davis in the video on called "Harnessing Your Students' Digital Smarts" I have an immediate respect for her and will be frequenting her blog. In this video she shows the importance of technology to students, the opportunities it creates, and also the importance of helping them really learn how to do things for themselves rather than being taught a list of instructions.

I was homeschool student my entire life from K - 12. I remember getting so frustrated with my mom because every time I asked what a word meant her response was simple, "go look it up". I always complained that it would be much easier and time efficient if she just would tell me the meaning since obviously she already knew it. She never would just tell me though, she said I would be more likely to remember after I looked it up than if she just told me. She was right. There are not many words that I looked up that I do not still know the meaning and all it's uses.

I said all that to get to the point that Vicki Davis reminds me of my mom in that area. She makes gives the students the tools they need but make them find things and learn for themselves. This is probably one of best teaching practices that I can think of just because I know from experience that it works and I feel much more prepared for the world because of it.
For anyone who would like to check out Vicki Davis here is a link to her blog.
Vicki Davis


Picture of a random group of words that came to my mind about teachingThis is a picture made by from random words that came to mind while thinking about teaching.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Welcome to a work in progress

Hello everyone and welcome to my brand new blog. I have not previously been a blogger but I am looking forward to this new and exciting experience and the chance to learn many new things.