Friday, November 9, 2012

Blog Post #11

Mrs. Cassidy's Class
Technology in the classroom

In Mrs. Cassidy's first grade classroom they use many approaches to technology. Some of these include: blogging, websites, Wiki, Skype, and even the students Nintendo DS'. Mrs. Cassidy set up blogs for all of her students. This allows them to work on their writing skills. She and the students particularly like this because it is not just Mrs. Cassidy reading their work, but the whole world! The students write usually about a sentence or so a day and they get feedback from lots of viewers. Their teacher set it up on their blogs so they can see how many people have visited their blog that day. Mrs. Cassidy sees this as a reinforcement for her students. This tool also allows them to be more focused on what they are writing. Another perk of using technology in her classroom is that the parents get to follow their children's progress. They do not get to post everything online, but most of their writing is online and their parents have access to see their child's progress in the classroom all while learning to use technology. The children have been taught by their teacher that safety is crucial while on the internet. They only go by their first names, no last names are displayed. Also, if their picture is up, their name will not be directly beside it. Before the students use technology, papers are sent home to the parents to explain what their children will be doing exactly. Some other items the students use are Wikis. This helps them ask questions to others about topics such as traditions and rituals from around the world.

In the Skype video with Dr. Strange, Mrs. Cassidy tells us that she got involved with technology because she was given five computers and that was enough to create a center, so she thought why not! She realizes that there are some teachers who still like the traditional way of teaching, but as she said, the students love it. It can become an issue when teachers do not like or care to learn about technology because it deprives their students of the world they live in. Like Mrs. Cassidy stated: "technology is apart of our world and it's not going away". I think Mrs. Cassidy has a great approach to technology and I think as long as we are using technology in the classroom there will not be much room for impediments. From what I can tell, technology is engaging to our students, not distracting. I think there are many benefits to having technology in the classroom. By allowing students to have their own blog, access to a class blog, or learn how to navigate a website is beneficial to them. Of course they would have to be taught what is right and wrong when it comes to browsing the internet. Nonetheless, technology might be strange to us, but it is not strange to them. This is their world and they have to be taught how to navigate it for future purposes!

Check out Mrs. Cassidy's First Graders here!
Check out the Skype conversation between Dr. Strange and Mrs. Cassidy here!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

C4K Post #8

September 25th
This is what Jazmyn wrote for her blog post:
Hi my name is jazmyn and i like to curl and to do girl guides.what is your favorite thing to do?I live in rocky mountin house we live by alot of moutins in canada.people love to do summer and spring and winter sports.what is your name?i have a dog and a fish they are two of my favorite animals.whats your favorite animals or pets?we have lots of wildlife here like birds and deer bears moose and owls.moose and owls are very rare.i also love marine animals.I love to read its my favorite thing to do after school. do you like to read?

Comment: Hi Jazmyn! My name is Kayla Parazine and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. It is so neat that you live in Canada! I have visited there once. I went to Niagara Falls and it was beautiful. I just got married this summer so I stay really busy working, going to school, and being a wife!

October 30, 2012
Dr. Vitulli and Dr. Santoli are in Ireland and I was to comment on the Potato Fest has Begun and this is what i left: Hi Dr. Vitulli and Dr. Santoli! I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class and I have been assigned to comment on this specific post. I hope you are both having a great time in Ireland and learning lots! Your posts are very entertaining! Have a safe and great rest of the trip! Link to the site: here

Our First Eighth Grade Volleyball Game
Nicole wrote about her first volleyball game experience in the eighth grade. She is a very active young lady. She has been playing volleyball since the sixth grade and she also ran cross country. Her team did very well for their first game, they won! You can read her post here!

My Comment: Nicole, I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I loved reading your post about your volleyball game! It sounds like you all are really good! You seem very athletic, keep it up! You are a beautiful writer, you are able to tell stories so well! I feel as if I was right there with you at your game! Congratulations on the win!

C4T Post #3

Student-created Political Parties
This is the follow up to the What My Students Believe about Politics post. For phase two students formed groups based on common ideas as discovered from Students then created their own parties including name, slogan, logo, campaign platform, and 30 second commercial. They then premiered them this week in front of state representative along with a 2 minute stump speech. Overall they did a great job and I feel like the energy and interest in this project was the highest I have seen. Students definitely made an impression on the representatives. Check out their commercials and their party platforms are linked in the YouTube descriptions.

Honortarian Campaign Ad

My Comment: Hi Michael, I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I was assigned to comment on your blog this week! I must say I love what you challenged your students to do. It is so important that they learn the importance of the election and what it is all about, it doesn't come around that often! I was never apart of anything such as this while I was in elementary school. Your students did awesome on their videos, very entertaining! You have inspired me for sure!

Stopping Students from "Cramming"
In this blog post, Michael touches on how his students are rushing to finish their final work in his classroom. They are suppose to do the assignment, receive feedback, then refine their work. However, the students are waiting until the last minute to submit their work. He is attempting two new changes to alleviate this issue. One is students will be required to initiate a re-assessment of a standard within two weeks of the first assessment or they forfeit the opportunity to re-assess. With a re-assessment attempt they will gain another two week window to continue to work on the assessment. By this he hopes to encourage students to begin re-assessment immediately and build in a habit of doing and receiving feedback and doing again and of course eliminate waiting until the end of the quarter to cram. The next approach is to to withhold grades from students. He thinks many teachers realize that as soon as a grade has been attached to any assignment students have been conditioned to view it as "done" and are not motivated to continue in it.

My Comment: Michael, I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I can see your frustration through your words! I have to admit though, I was one of those students in high school. Like you said, if a grade was on it, it was pretty much done-zo for me. I didn't feel motivated to finish and I would become complacent with my grade and move on to something else. I think your approaches to this issue are solid. With holding the grades from the student could work! I would like to know how this worked out for you

Special Blog Assignment

A World Where Grades Will be Left Behind
online education
In this article of USA TODAY, Mary Beth Marklein writes about an education that will be free and available to anyone that wants it. She describes it as being related to something like a whimsical playground: no one is late for class, failure is not an option, and a lesson looks a little something like Crazy Birds. Sebastian Thrun, a 45 year-old vice president of Google and Stanford research professor, states that "you want learning to be as much fun as it is to play a video game". Thrun is the founder of Udacity, the education company, after teaching a free-online artificial intelligence course that drew more than 160,000 students. This experience was so profound for him that he said he could no longer teach in a traditional Stanford classroom. Udacity is just one of the online start-ups he oversees. Thrun's vision is to develop a catalog of free online courses taught by star professors from around the world. Within Udacity special effects and videos of instructor's hands writing on white boards are being incorporated.

Sal Kahn, a friend of Thrun, has inspired a growing number of schools to 'flip' their classroom. This means having the students study videos at night then complete their homework in the classroom during the day. Basically, it is taking pencils, paper, pens completely out of the classroom and replacing them with a diverse type of technology. There are many schools in the North that have taken on this challenge. There are even some college's that want to make a college education as cheap as a cell phone bill!

Thrun's invention is neither the first or last high-tech invention to revolutionize education. When faced with the question "What will education look like in 30 years?" Thrun says that technology is enabling educators to personalize education and scale it up. In saying that, classes will involve more challenging quizzes to help students master a particular skill, grades wont exist, instruction will be free with the exception of related services.

I feel as if EDM is very similar to this approach. There is no paper in or out, just strictly technology, no grades are given, there were no huge fee's that had to be paid, and it is available to anyone and everyone. This article would not have made much sense to me if it were not for this class. The thought of having no paper, pencils, or books in a classroom sounds completely absurd. However, this class has completely changed my perspective. In saying that, I complete agree that a change in the way we approach education is needed. Technology is the future, and the future is now!