Sunday, March 27, 2011



SMARTboard Project

Glad it's finished! I threw in some cartoons for the kiddies!!

Summary Post C4K 4-6

My C4K assignment 4 was Room Mr. Harris room 19 blog; the class is a year 7/8 class in Auckland, N.Z. My students name was Jonty, and his post was very on topic with EDM 310. His post was regarding the new school acquaition of Netbooks. He was very excited at the prospect of not only learnong through this new format, but also with connecting with other students.

C4K assignment 3 was a first grade class from the same school. The really interesting aspect is how well the students comment, even across grades, on other students work.

My final C4K assignment 6 was a very interesting topic. The class was a Year 5/6 in Tauranga, N.Z These students had been studying how greek art was influenced by its culture; in keeping with this theme they had a slideshow of the work the class had done mimicing some of the greek techniques and culture.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blog Post 9

McClung’s “What I’ve learned this year” contains some useful insights into the realm of education; a first year teachers reflections on his experiences allow us to “learn” from his lesser comings. Firstly McClung addresses the way his lessons are structured. By being overly concerned with how other professionals see his lessons and curriculum, McClung is loosing sight of the audience that really matter, his students. The beurocratic environment that surrounds education can be taxing, but if a teacher can remember who he or she is actually there for, perhaps education can be come truly enlightenment rather than indoctrination. Secondly McClung reflects on his inability to remain “open” in the classroom; an obsession with rules and regulations, or in this case an attachment to your own ideas of how things should go, can lead to missing real educational opportunities. When students show an interest in something, go with it; an ability to improvise and work with students predisposed knowledge is a great asset for any educator. He moves on to addresses communication. For me this is speaks to one of the elements of education that has been lost in recent years; as a group, teachers must work together to achieve the maximum potential of the educational environment. Teaching should, and once was, a collaborative medium. We encourage students to believe that “two heads are better than one”, but seem to ignore that anecdote when it comes to our own profession. He also touches on communication, but in regards to students. So many teachers have a need for authority or order that they loose touch with there students, and thereby dismissing any input they might have. McClung points out that such an exchange is important for growth as both a professional and individual. Lastly he addresses that teachers should not be afraid of technology; while more elaboration might have been warranted, especially considering the purpose and goals of edm 310, the idea rings true. So many people are afraid to move technology into the classroom for fear of how it will affect the traditions of “schooling”. Our society, and by association, and our children are changing; if we do not use every asset we have available to make education relevant to 21st century students, considering all the information we could ever teach them is only keystrokes away, we will loose the battle in preparing them for a globalized future.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blog Post 8

The ideas laid out in Miller’s “How We Dream” lecture are the foundations of what education means moving forward; the influx of technology into our daily lives has dramatically changed our world, and that affect has found its way into the classroom. This new digital age has changed many of the ways we view so many of the longstanding methods regarding print media; just simply visit your local big box retailer and you can find their own take on the e-reader, and even traditionally print mediums have made their way into digital prominence.

So what does all this information mean for the students of tomorrow? The predominance of their exposure to literature will be through mediums such mediums, and teachers must have working knowledge to capitalize on students predisposed knowledge. The ready availability to a wide range of texts, many of which are difficult to locate in print, make the movement toward e-readers a logical step for the future of education.

But more importantly than the specific breakthroughs in ways to consume “print” media, the impact of the digital influence on information is without question the biggest impact of multimedia on educators. The ever evolving information that is available to all individuals in the 21st century is astounding; educators must stay abreast of how to navigate this informational thoroughfare in order to better use such knowledge for the benefits of their students as well as their own.

Both “EDM 310 for Dummies” and “Chipper” were well thought out, and entertaining in the educational context of the intended purpose. While I found these videos somewhat informative, other videos regarding the actual process talked about in EDM 310 for dummies would be exceptionally helpful. I personally have no desire to participate in such video related endeavors but will always offer up harsh criticism whenever possible.
That being said, I feel that the attitudes displayed in the “chipper” video shed a harsh light on the attitudes of many students regarding their own education.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn is a video that features educators sharing their thoughts on the change technology has made in the classroom. They begin by talking about the environment of communication that kids of the 21st century participate in daily; this type of environment can be ideal for enriching materials and promoting discussion. They continue to talk about the flaws in the traditional brick and mortar schools, which there are many, and how it needs to become a place for communal projects rather than a confining space that limits the creativity of its occupants.

The most important part of the video is the opportunity teachers need to hav a network of proven strategies that work with 21st century students. In order to enable students with the skills they need for the jobs of the future, collaboration is a huge tool in accomplishing such lofty aims. A community of shared interest in education in a technologically advanced way can foster new ways to take advantage of the endless amounts of information that we have at our fingertips.

The Secret Power of Time speaks volumes to me about the nature of future learners. 10,000 hours playing video games by the time a male turns 21; this astonishing statistics has real implications for the future of these students. By placing such interactive participants in their environment into one that is bound by control and power dynamics, we are setting these students up to develop aversions to the classroom environment that we all know. This animated short regarding how the passage of time and the three types of thinkers past, present, and future shows just how we can use technology to aide these different types of individuals when we encounter them in our classroom

Drive was a very enlightening video. I had no idea of the results of any such research, and that was a wealth of knowledge. Basically the video describes the results of multiple tests run by top economist regarding motivation and its relation to monetary incentives. While at first it seems almost implausible, but soon you begin to think about what kind of effects monetary reward systems actually have. Implementing this type of rewards system you have effectively changed the focus from the creative ingenuity that people display naturally to some pressure filled, anxiety ridden game. This information is great for anyone who has to learn how to create an environment that depends on productivity.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Project 11

Project 10 PLN update

My Pln is continuing to grow as the semester rocks on. The C4T assignments have given me several resources to follow via my rss feed that help me in my pursuit to be an educator. Twitter has been another valuable resource; With teacher like Mr. Chamberlin and other EDM 310 students past and present, twitter has allowed me to engage in discussion and acquire insight outside of my educational classes. I am using Delicious and tweet deck to organize all of this valuable information

Blog Post 7

Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" is a remarkable discourse on how one can attain their childhood dreams, but more importantly it is about perseverance and self empowerment. The concepts Professor Pausch outlines are powerful concepts that can be used to help anyone achieve the things they have always dreamed of doing. While glaring his own physical ailments square in the face, Pausch imparts a great amount of wisdom that all individuals can use to achieve their own goals.

We all remember our career aspirations as children; the advent of modern television brought so many worlds into each of our own that we undoubtedly we became fascinated with some unique profession that many told us was unobtainable. Pausch’s dreams reflect some of this same idea. A product of the sixties and seventies, Pausch was privy to an era where anything seemed possible; this generation of human achievement stoked a fire inside Pausch that would propel his creative forces. While many of his goals may seem mundane, such as his desire to win very large stuffed animals, the way he went about attaining these goals is what is truly inspirational.

One of the aspects he discussed multiple times was “walls” and how these affect you pursuit of your dreams. This concept is true to all of us; no matter the numerous professions I sought after, there have always been things that deterred me from continuing. What makes Pausch’s thoughts regarding this so poignant is his attitude; he states that those walls are to keep other people out. While this statement was received with laughter, it is probably the best advice he imparted. This never say die attitude is exactly why he was able to achieve the amazing things he did during his lifetime.

Pausch’s lecture really applies best to teachers when he discusses how to enable others dreams, which he stated can be more rewarding than fulfilling your own. Pausch’s firm belief in the creativity of the human mind is evident. Pausch is an example of many of the principals Ken Robinson discussed earlier in the semester; By growing up in a generation of education that was not solely focused on the standardized test performance, Pausch was able to not only foster his own creativity, but also that of others.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

C4T Summary 2

For this C4t assignment I had the pleasure of reading About a Teacher by Gerta Sandler. This interesting commentary on her personal journey as an educator. Her first post was in regards to blended instruction through blogs and wikis; the post was actually about her presentsation for an online conference for educators. I think it is a great thing for teachers such as Greta, that have personal experiences in the classrooms with integrating this type of technology, to share their experiences with other teachers so they can learn how powerful these tools are.

The second post was a google presentation on creating a safe learning environment. At first the title of the presentation is a little deceiving, the presentation is actually focused on creating more of a nuturing environment. Greta's focus on creating a shared sense of community and clear rules are really great points that every teacher needs to understand in order to provide the best environment for their students.