Sunday, March 11, 2012

Timetoast Timeline 9b

PLN Progress Report


Blog Post 7

The Future

The Networked Student

This was a very interesting video about the powers of networking and connectivity. The video was done by drawing cartoon cut-outs on paper and then using a voice-over program. I think that using cut-outs and a voice over made the listener focus more on what the narrator was saying than visual effects or something else.

If nothing else, the video made great points about the power of connectivity and networking as a tool for learning and advancement. The video depicts the student learning through different types of technology, including Google Scholar and iTunes University. Furthermore, the student in the video gains an audience with a documentary maker and organizes a web interview with the class. I think that the video by Ms. Drexler makes a great point in that it is important to take advantage of the vast networking resources that we have surrounding us. Why not use what we can to the best of our abilities? The video concludes by addressing the statement made in the beginning of the video about the responsibilities of the teacher in the psychology class. Basically, according to the video, the function of the teacher in this class is to be a facilitator, a resource, a guide, a catalyst, and a source of knowledge. Never does the narrator mention that the teacher is to be a lecturer, hand-holder, or test-teacher and I think that was kind of the point. We should help our students to learn and to learn to learn independently.

A Seventh Grader's PLE was better than my PLN in almost every way. HA! Well, she has been working on it longer, but she still blows me out of the water pretty much. But I do think I'll get better at it. I'll organize more and I'll put more things on there eventually, right now it's just looks a little paltry. It seems like a really great tool though.

C4T 2


The second teacher I was assigned to goes by the name of Kelly Hines, a 4th Grade teacher in Washington, North Carolina. Her first post was an illustration of a pencil and all of its components as a metaphor for the different types of teachers in relation to technology and progression. I told her that I thought the metaphor was well thought out, made a lot of sense, and that the "hangers on" portion made me laugh. In the end, I agreed that teachers need to maintain hope for the future.

Her second post that I commented on was a bulletin about a trip to the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science that was free for North Carolina educators. I told her that I thought this sounded like an awesome place that made me think of when I took a trip to the Smithsonian. I asked her for her take on the experience she had there.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blog Post 6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch was one of the greatest inspirational stories the world experienced in our generation. "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" is what Dr. Pausch is primarily remembered for. It includes personal stories and many touching moments throughout. Dr. Pausch advocated a hands-on learning approach. Dr. Pausch, during The Last Lecture series, was a person who knew that he was going to pass away because of cancer, but understood that more people could learn from him while he still had time.

Dr. Pausch begins the video by speaking about his cancer. How he handles his cancer and his situation is one thing that I took away from this video that I can implement in teaching: dealing with big situations. Hopefully, the things I deal with in the classroom won't be quite as devastating as the things Dr. Pausch dealt with, but I can definitely say that the way he handled his sickness was masterful. By not ignoring the problem, Dr. Pausch took a big step in gaining his audience's attention.

Another thing I learned from Dr. Pausch was that being proud of yourself is a good thing. He explains that he had several goals from the time he was a child, and continues to list how he either accomplished them or did something very close to accomplishing them. Pausch talks about these things because he's proud of them. Some of them he even admits are "mundane," such as the stuffed animals, but he was still proud. I think being proud of our accomplishments is important because, as teachers, we should have a good self image and be proud of ourselves.

The last thing I learned from Dr. Pausch is to treat everyone the right way. He accomplished a lot of great things in his life, but the best thing about his life was that everyone had great things to say about him. He lived his life to the best of his abilities and put others before himself. What I can learn from Dr. Pausch is not just about teaching, but about life in general. We should be the same person in the classroom and out, just like Dr. Pausch.

C4K for February 2012

C4K Post Number One

I didn't do this post because this was when we had the "special C4K" and I was under the impression that THAT was the first C4K... oops.

On Lauren's video, I stated that I liked her video and was very impressed with it. I told her that she did a great job and to keep up the good work. I was very encouraged that someone so young could do such great things through technology. It was an inspirational video because of how great she did and how young she was.

C4K Post Number Two

For the second post, I commented on a boy named Bryan's blog. His blog was very impressive and actually very funny. He embedded an animoto on his blog about a trip to a museum. I told him that I didn't know what an animoto was but he did a good job using it and that it was very funny. I told him to keep up the good work.

C4K Post Number Three

For the third post, I commented on a boy named Jack's blog. Jack summarized a book that he had just read and stated that naming the character Mr. Fleinenstein was creative. I told him that he had a very nice blog and that I looked forward to reading more from him, and that I also thought the book was creative.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Project 8 Podcast

Blog Post 5

Dr. Mcleod

Dr. Scott Mcleod is an associate professor of educational leadership at the University of Kentucky. That's the first thing it says on his bio, and that's already more impressive than about 95 percent of people that I know. He is also the founding director of CASTLE, which is the nation's only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and co-creator of Did You Know? Dr. Mcleod, from what everyone can read on his bio, is one of the nation's leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues. To put his title in the context of EDM310, Dr. Mcleod is an innovator and one of the leaders in educational technology. He is a "doer" and one of the good guys that help teachers make learning easier and better for students.

Travis Allen

I have to say, I was not a big fan of this video. But, it was mainly just because I disagree with Travis Allen's points, not because I think he did a bad job. He had interesting, well thought out points that all made sense (sort of), and his videos looked very nice. But, that's where I think I take issue with his whole point. It just LOOKS nice. It SEEMS like a good idea, but I can't bring myself to believe that buying every student an iPad would SAVE money. Now I'm all for project based learning. In fact, I have already stated, or at least inferred, in earlier posts that I believe it is the best and most fun way to learn. Activity breeds activity, and that's why project based learning works so well. On this end, Travis Allen is right on the money.

I can't make a definite argument, I haven't looked into the total cost of everything, and I don't own an iPad. I have an iPod touch, and I like the interface, but I can't say that I would ever use it for learning as opposed to play. That's my first point: giving students access to something that is marketed for, one reason, fun and entertainment is taking a huge gamble on productivity. Textbooks aren't prisons, and someone who cares can make teaching from a textbook interesting. On the other hand, iPad could be great resources for learning, but are also one of the most fun things on the planet. If I had an iPad in high school, I would have been on Garage Band in every single class. My other point is that I don't believe that buying everyone an iPad would save money. Someone would have to literally show me the receipts and the difference in costs of an iPad and all of the apps that would be needed vs. Textbooks and pencils. If the cost difference isn't very significant, I can't see a reason to take the risk of buying iPads. iPads would cost way more to replace when they break anyway. You can always print out sheets of paper or make copies of a textbook, but you can't just make a copy of an iPad.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

I thought this video was very cool. Being involved in music, I'm always interested in how a group of people can come together and make something sound so great. I think the fact that this was done over the internet sheds further light on how far we as a civilization have progressed. I loved it.

Teaching in The 21st Century

Watching 21st Century Students is an important video and resource to all future, or even current, teachers. The more we know about younger generations and their interests and learning patterns, the better. Even as a young adult right now, I don't learn in the same way that even younger people do, and it is always important to understand differences in any way.

This video helps one to understand the fact that there is no shortage of technology that can be used for education. Probably the most important point this video made to me was that we live in an ever-changing society. Nobody knows what the "next big thing" will be, but we, as teachers, have to be ready to adapt to whatever change may come.

Reading Rockets

I really enjoyed previewing the reading rockets' website. I thought that they had a lot of good and fun information to share. As an English major and future English teacher, I really liked the fact that this website had tons of English resources. I really liked the fact that they had Free Reading Guides.

Another thing I thought was cool was that they had shows on PBS. I have been watching PBS since I was born (probably, I don't remember because I was really young when I was born), and I am a big fan of the educational aspect of the network.

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Sentence Video

Blog Post 4

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom

I enjoyed this post very much. I think that the more advocators of podcasting in the classroom there are, the better. The video starts out by stating the fact that we will be teaching a generation that has never known a life without personal computers and other technologies. Later in the video, Kourtney Bostain states that podcasts allow students to demonstrate higher order thinking skills. I think that the most interesting part of this video was when the student had to miss class because she was running a fever, but her teacher uploaded all of his material for students to download. That is so awesome! I only wish that I had that kind of resource in high school, or even some classes in college.

1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audio Book

I really enjoyed reading this post because it reminds me a lot of my little brother. He's the youngest in our family of seven kids, but he's been reprogramming all of our remotes since he was 6 years old. It's interesting to see; my dad has been a computer technician for almost thirty years, but Isaac, my brother, is the only one who knows how to work the remote! That's what this post reminds me of, not necessarily that the generation that precedes us is at all technologically inhibited, but that the next generation of students seem exponentially more inclined. A small fact got lost on me as I was reading this post and thinking, "Well, I could do that" : these students are in the FIRST GRADE! It's absolutely incredible.

Listening Comprehension

I think that this is a very important post. Silvia Tolisano repeatedly makes great points about reading comprehension and the teachability of young students. Ms. Silvia starts out her posts by quoting a somewhat surprising statistic: "In order to internalize a new vocabulary word, you have to hear it at least 70+ times... not only the sounds of the letters that make up the word, but also the context the word is embedded in." I believe her! At first I thought maybe that number was a little bit inflated, but when I really thought about it I realized that we hear new words all the time through various forms. I've never really kept track of how many times I hear a new word and it's contextual meaning, but I do want to try now. What I find even more interesting though is that the Ms. Tolisano had her students record parts of a story they had learned on Garageband and placed the parts out of order. Then, the students were to go to the Smartboard and rearrange the parts of the story so that they were in order. Simple enough, but did I mention that they told the story IN HEBREW? That's right. These students worked with the Jewish Studies teacher to learn and record their parts before having to rearrange them from start to finish. Mind blowing. I tweeted this story.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

C4T 1

The teacher blog I was assigned to was maintained by Justin Tarte . The first comment I left on Mr. Tarte's blog was about how helpful I found the resources that he listed. I told him that I particularly liked the "Don't be afraid to act" blog because I thought that was a very important lesson for any prospective teacher. I liked Mr. Tarte's blog very much and was very excited to read it again.
In his first post, Mr. Tarte listed 12 motivational websites that might be useful for teachers. I thought that each of the websites had something important to offer, but a specific one stood out. I really enjoyed the "Don't Be Afraid to Act" blog.

The second comment I left on his blog was about Boy Meets World. Really, it was. I talked about how the lesson in Boy Meets World could help to understand that the idea of testing over and over is not necessarily a good thing. I stated that just studying the bottom line and "need to know" things can inhibit interest and limit research that students do on their own. On Mr. Tarte's second post that I commented on, he used a video clip from Boy Meets World to illustrate his point that testing can kill creativity and passion. He asked the questions, "Why do we insist upon having students take tests to show their mastery of the content?" "Why do we knowingly and willingly kill the love of learning that students possess?" "Why do we continue to use outdated strategies that diminish motivation rather than increase?" and, "Why have we spent the last 18 years not changing what we knew was wrong in 1994?" I thought the questions were very pointed and I really enjoyed this quality blog post.

Project 5

Blog Post 3

Technology in Special Education

This video stood out to me simply because I have never realized how much technology can help out with Special Education. It makes sense though; I believe it is important to utilize technology in such a way that it benefits those who need it the most. As with most students, special education students are able to learn better and faster with the aid of technology in the classroom.

I think that the use of technology can sometimes be thought of as a welcomed commodity, but not something that everyone could use. In our society today though, while most of the newest phones and laptops can be outrageously priced, helpful softwares that are used in the classroom should be readily accessible. I think that with how far we've progressed, using technology for special education should be something we're excited about, but not content with. I believe that, while we've already made progress, progress can still be made.

My App For the Classroom

I chose an app called "Shakespeare in Bits: Romeo and Juliet" as an App that I would use in the classroom. I decided on this app because I plan on being a high school English teacher and know that sometimes, even though he was one of the greatest authors ever, Shakespeare can be confusing. This app adds a visual element to a difficult to grasp period in literature. It would be perfect for a middle school or ninth grade class.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

After visiting this website, I was reminded of the video that we watched at the beginning of this course. Though I am from this generation and deeply imbedded in many types of social media, I can't even come close to understanding how much information goes out per second, even though I was looking right at the numbers.

As a teacher, it was interesting to note because it definitely highlighted the fact that our society is becoming more and more technologically inclined. I still believe in the power of books and that sometimes it's just better when reading a hard-cover book as opposed to an e-book, but I do recognize the obvious rise of technological techniques in teaching. It interested me that Facebook was still at the top of the list, though I sort of expected it, I like the simple side of Twitter better.

A Vision of Students Today

This video was one of the most interesting videos I've seen in a while. I think that painting a picture of the "current student" is an ever-changing project and an almost impossible endeavor, given the complex and diverse nature of our society. With that being said, I think that Wesch did a great job.

I think it was a great contrast, using the chalkboard as a symbol of the "old way" of teaching against the computers and the new way. Students are going to be on the internet, on computers, playing games, texting, and tweeting, it is up to us to use the avenues that the students most easily use. We need to adapt to the direction that the learning environment is headed.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Project 2: Wordle

about me wordle

Blog Post 2

Did You Know? 3.0

I thought that this video was a great watch for this class. The introductory parts about China and India in relation to the United States were, at first, surprising. I think the fact about China and their English speakers was more surprising because the video stated that 300 million people in China were learners of English. That's amazing! I don't know how many people in the United States are learning Chinese, but I'm sure the percentage is far less than people in China learning English.
The next few slides in the video were about technology. Specifically the internet, including Google and YouTube, and cell phones. Even though the statistics were from two years ago, they stood out to me. If you really think about how much information is put out through social media sites, sent across SMS messages, or looked up through Google or other search engines, I think it makes an impact.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

I really enjoyed watching this video. The video starts with Mr. Winkle waking up after being asleep for a hundred years, an allusion to Rip Van Winkle. Anyway, Mr. Winkle wakes up to find that most things in the world have changed, with one glaring omission: the classroom. Mr. Winkle discovers that though technology has enhanced, the classroom has remained stagnant.
This video makes a good point because though media, and social networks have flourished, adapted, and increased exponentially in number and type, our classrooms have remained the same style throughout this century. I think that our classrooms could see drastic improvements in the near future. Already teachers have adapted and used creative ideas like the worldwide classroom. I believe that the classroom can be made better with the use of helpful technologies and open-minded teachers and administrations.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

In this video, Sir Robinson speaks about the importance of creativity and nationwide schools' failure to recognize it. Sir Robinson states that because schools are so caught up in core subjects like Math, English, and Science, they forget the importance and impact that art can have in a student's life. The Arts, Sir Robinson says, are as important as the core subjects.
I tend to agree with Sir Robinson. The reason that the core subjects are so emphasized, I believe, has a lot to do with standardized tests and the average scores of the students taking them. I realize that being a good test taker is a great skill to have, and that it is important for students to have a firm grasp of the aforementioned core subjects, but I do also think that the arts help foster creativity, and creativity is important in problem solving. Knowing what reverse osmosis means or what the square root of Pi is is not really going to help anybody in the future; at least not in terms of most workplaces or determining creative solutions.

A Vision for 21st Century Learning

One of the arguments this video makes is against standardized education and how it is structured today. The speaker in the video recites that students are in a learning environment that was created as a response to the industrial revolution at the turn of the 20th century. He states that students are memorizing facts, getting filled with information, and listening to lecture after lecture from one grade to the next. Even though students are getting exposed to technology during or before kindergarten, technology is not used for learning as much as it could be. The speaker further states the importance of technology in our global society as it pertains to everyday life and global connectivity.
He then offers a solution: video games. Not in the traditional sense, but studying different cultures and civilizations through game based learning. I think the speaker is right on the money in this video. I, personally, have learned more about things like football, basketball, and baseball from video games than from written text from any books or even websites that I've read. It makes sense, we learn by doing, seeing, and hearing. Though reading comprehension is another factor involved, sometimes it is simply best to see or hear it done and learn through interaction.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

I thought Vicki Davis' video was very well put together, as well as educational and valuable for prospective teachers. Davis shows how useful technology can be in the classroom by coupling computer technology with literacy and life skills. One of the best things Davis does is let her students communicate with other students internationally and worldwide. She implements new social networks and utilizes technological communications very effectively.
I think that Vicki Davis is a great example of the way that the classroom is heading. I believe that by using these new networks, technologies, and ideas, she is creating a better and faster learning environment. I think that this video is incredibly valuable for teachers who either have trouble implementing technology or are just starting out. We could all learn a lot from Vicki Davis.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blog Post 1

My name is Levi Seymour. I am from Burnet, Texas and as of right now, I am a 20 year old Junior at the University of South Alabama who is majoring in English and Secondary Education. I am the third born of seven children, and was home-schooled until my freshman year of high school. At the age of 8, I accepted Christ as my savior. My relationship with Him takes precedence over any other aspect of my life. After graduation, I attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas for two years. In the summer that separated my first and second year, I met my girlfriend at a church camp. She has lived here in Mobile her whole life, while I lived in Texas. But, an opportunity to transfer opened up and I moved to Mobile in August of 2011.

The reason that I am an English and Secondary Education major is, firstly, to teach English in a middle school somewhere. Secondly, I have a passion for counseling and plan on getting a masters in that subject. My ultimate goal is to be a middle school or high school counselor. A second interest of mine is sports, particularly Basketball, Soccer, and Football. Many people would and actually have called me a "sports nerd." This last year was my first year to participate in a Fantasy Football League. At the end of the season, I had 23 teams, 6 of them had won the league championship, four teams placed second, and all but three were in the top five. Hm... When I write it out like that, I think I might be a little bit of a sports nerd.
 Another one of my major interests is in leading worship. At the beginning of my junior year in high school, I started leading worship for my youth group at New Covenant Church in Lampasas, Texas. Another reason that I moved to Mobile was the opportunity to lead worship for a youth group at Friendship Baptist Church in Grand Bay, Alabama.

Dr Pausch on Time Management

I thought Dr. Pausch's video on time management was very helpful. Personally, I have always struggled with managing my time; and with work, school, and church, this semester figures to be a test of my time management skills. I thought that the point he made about completing the most difficult task on your list first was very valid and made a great deal of sense. One thing I do know about Dr. Pausch was that he was a very brilliant proffesor who was diagnosed with cancer and had a series of lectures called "The Last Lecture."