Sunday, April 26, 2015

Project 12

C4T summary 3

Experts and Newbies: Bloggers on Project Based Learning is a blog dedicated to project based learning. The post I commented on was entitles Tell the Story: Celebrating Student Success.It discusses the benefits of project based learning, stating that teachers are inspired by seeing something "click" for their students, and that using PBL, "clicks" happen more often. The blog post goes on to to tell the story of a little girl named Sally. Sally has Asperger's and was becoming withdrawn and much preferred solo work. But through PBL, she was engaged and responsive to the material and her fellow classmates. She went so far as to present their project at the local mall. PBL seems to majorly trump the traditional lecture format.

For the next assignment, I returned again to Jennifer Ferguson's blog. I chose to comment on the post My Learning Journey of Connected Coaching. In this post, Ferguson wrote about her process of becoming a connected learning coach. This was a lengthy post in which she posed herself questions of reflection and then answered them. It shows through her writing how deeply she cares for her field and her journey as a life-long learner. I told her this, and hope that I can remain motivated and as self determined in my career as she is in hers.

C4T summary 2

The third blog I commented on was on Jennifer Ferguson's blog My Journey as an Educator.The post is entitled Professor Ferguson: an Affectionate Moniker. Mrs. Ferguson writes about her role as an educator in a rural community. She views herself as a lifelong learner, along with her students. It is obvious in her post that she is a dedicated teacher that cares about her students and has fostered a learning environment and relationship with them that makes them care about learning and care about her. She received a master's degree and as a result, her students felt that she deserved a better title than simply Mrs. Ferguson, so they began calling her Professor Ferguson.

The fourth post I commented on was to the same blog by Jennifer Ferguson. The post was entitled InfoWhelm and Information Fluency and included a video of the same name. The video detailed the exponential growth of digital output in recent years and stated that there is no way the traditional way of teaching (memorization and regurgitation) will be conducive to educating students anymore. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Blog Post #5 part 2

A final summary of my PLN.

At the start of my journey in EDM 310, I had no PLN set up for myself.I now have one that includes Twitter, Netvibes, Facebook, National Geographic, and PBS. 

I intend to use Twitter and Facebook more for personal use to help bounce ideas off of colleagues and other people that could provide useful input about my classroom.I will incorporate PBS, Netvibes, and National Geographic directly into my classroom. For example, PBS has a lot of educational videos, articles, activities, and discussion questions could be used or at least helpful in the development of questions. National Geographic has a wide variety of topics with interesting articles and pictures that would be helpful in sparking thoughtful conversation and raising interesting topics for debate and analysis. I am excited to have all of these tools at my disposal to help me jump start my journey in my educational career before it begins, and look forward to being a techie teacher.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Blog Post #13

What did I leave out?

Is history still an important subject to learn in today's world?

Watch the videos Why Study History?Why Study History? Jessica Lepler & Alice O'Connor at OAH in Milwaukee   and History Degree: Why Study History?

Next answer if you believe the study of history is important in today's world of ever expanding technology. 

I believe that the study of history will always be relevant no matter how advanced society becomes. History calls attention to ethical and social problems that arise as a result of the human condition. Society will never outgrow the fact that we are and will always be sentient beings, and the situations and conflicts that happen as a result. On a more basic level, history teaches us research skills, critical thinking skills, and problem solving skills as it introduces scenarios and events that present the student with both basic questions that build basic skills and deeper questions that strengthened the student's character and self-awareness. For example, a basic question such as "In what year did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?" will build memorization skills. On a deeper level, a student could be asked "Was it justifiable to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII? Explain your reasoning." This line of questioning asks the student to question themselves about their beliefs, and it requires critical thinking, analyzation, and problem solving skills. History is an avenue of learning that can not be created in any other field of learning. It will never be irrelevant. 



Sunday, April 12, 2015

Blog Post #12

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?
Not all students enter the classroom with the same capabilities and needs as the student next to them. Through the usage of technological aids, the gap is closing between what student's with special needs can and cannot accomplish as effectively as any other student. As listed in the video Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children. There are many tools available to blind and deaf children, including text to speech devices, talking calculators, note takers, iPads, phones with cameras, and screen magnifiers to name a few. The video iPad Usage for the Blind, demonstrates how an ipad effectively helps those with vision impairments. Another video,  describing a device known as the Mountbatten, shows how a student can use braille on the Mountbatten, which announces aloud what the student is saying. This isn't as accessible as an iPad, but could be obtained through the school and of great use in a classroom with visually impaired students. All students deserve equal educational opportunities. In addition to these tools for student use, there are devices and tools that educators can use to learn what it is like to be blind or deaf. It would be beneficial to put yourself in "someone else's shoes" so to speak in order to better understand what your student deals with every day of their life. Locally, we have access to Alabama School for the Deaf and Blind. They offer tours of their facility and demonstrations of some of the devices mentioned in the videos assigned for this blog. I have been there and highly recommend it to anyone interested in really gaining an understanding of what the children of our community face in their lives.