Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blog Post 12

For this assignment, you are to create an instructional video using a screen recorder.

Obviously you will need to know how to do a screen recording. Here is a list of screen recorders for PCs and Macs that are fairly easily to use:
Screenr A free screen capture program
AVS Video Editor Another free screen capture program (with other useful functions)
ScreenFlow is available on all the Macs in the lab. For this class, you can download a free trial on your own Mac. It costs $89 for students and educators, but you have to request that price from Telestream; here is the ScreenFlow Instruction Manual
Screenium Available for $29
You may also want to review some other programs found on

Plan the video so that it is interesting, informative, and less than 10 minutes in length.

You will have to post it to YouTube.

You will have to embed it in your blog.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

C4K 10 - Part 1

Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog

I'll begin by saying Mrs. Yollis' blog definitely helped me out at the beginning of the semester. I was brand new to blogging and the "How To" videos and posts made it very easy for me. In one particular video, Mrs. Yollis involved her students by having them explain how to write a quality comment. There are actually several parts to it. As a result of following those tips, I've managed to get a couple of conversations going. :)

Mrs. Yollis and her students love to blog about what they're learning. In order to encourage family members to get involved in the online community, Mrs. Yollis declared the month of November Family Blogging Month. Students invited their family and friends to leave comments on the blog. This is a great way to stay connected with what the kids are learning in class.

Mrs. Yollis also created a Wiki as a resource for teachers interested in starting a blog. In addition to some of the videos found on her classroom blog, you can also find information on why you should have a class blog, what students write about, and things to consider when blogging. Mrs. Yollis also shares a lot of links to other classrooms that blog as well. She says it's very valuable to find like-minded teachers to share and collaborate with. Mrs. Yollis offers a lot of insight in this wiki space.

I checked out the ClustrMap for Mrs. Yollis' class blog, as well as EDM 310's. At the moment, Mrs. Yollis' class blog has been visited 24,371 more times than EDM 310's. WOW! I read on the wiki space that her students actually learn about geography by tracking their visitors and sharing comments with them. Skyping with them also "brings geography to life." Recently the class Skyped with some students in Australia. What a great way to learn firsthand about each other and the countries they come from.

One thing that caught my attention was Mrs. Yollis' 365 Project. Each day a different picture is posted with a little caption or some background information. This blog has so many great and interesting pictures. Each post generates a lot of comments and reactions. I'm trying to figure out where the pictures come from (Mrs. Yollis, her students, subscribers, etc.). I may end up asking if I can't figure it out on my own. But I think this is something I would like to do for my own enjoyment.

Progress Report on Final Project

Our group has been discussing ideas for our final project. After exploring the suggested videos, we think we'd like to plan lessons incorporating technology which are appropriate for each of our classrooms. We are working out the details, but I already think this will be a fun project that will give a little glimpse into our future classrooms.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blog Post 11

Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy

Ms. Kathy Cassidy, first grade teacher

Ms. Cassidy seems like a very caring, enthusiastic educator. She recognizes children are starting to use technology in their daily lives at a much younger age than before. Ms. Cassidy urges the use of technology in the classroom; if you're not using it, she feels you're only "handicapping" you're students.

In the midst of using technology, she understands the importance of her student's safety and takes necessary precautions to maintain that. She stresses to her students that they should never reveal their last name on the internet. Also, they should never post their pictures alongside their names. Keeping the students' identities safe in this manner will put a lot of parents' minds at ease.

Another factor that might please parents is the maintenance of an online portfolio. Instead of waiting for a parent-teacher conference to be brought up to speed with the child's progress, parents can monitor everything online. If they have a question or concern about a particular lesson or assignment, it can be addressed a lot sooner.

Ms. Cassidy also touches on commenting. She tells her students that if they are to leave a comment on someone's blog, they should post something nice. As the old saying goes, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." After all, these kids are just starting out and they need encouragement more than anything, not criticism.

Towards the end of the interview, an EDM 310 student asked Ms. Cassidy if she was ever concerned about current students copying work from students in the past. I thought this was a legitimate question. It's true that so much is accessible through the internet, and many may take a shortcut and "borrow" the ideas of others. I think Ms. Cassidy has a great solution to that. She understands that information is becoming more collaborative, therefore the professor should become more creative in the way they ask to present information so that it's not possible to take just someone else's work and claim it as your own. It's a little reminder that, as educators, we shouldn't become passive in our work. Our job is to stimulate the minds of our students, so we need to be creative ourselves.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

C4K Summary - October

Holland reads Superfudge

Holland is a student in Mrs. Dahl's second grade class. He wrote a blog on a book he was reading called Superfudge by Judy Blume. He was in the middle of reading the book and predicted that it would just get more interesting. Holland found the book to be funny so far, too. I told him that I never read Superfudge before. I left my comment a few days after his post, so I asked if he happened to finish the story yet, and if the story got more interesting like he predicted. Holland has not responded yet.

Kids With a View - Room 3

surf boards on the beach
In this class, I was assigned to Jack. What stood out to me was Jack's avatar. I was curious if he liked surfing since his avatar was on the beach with two surf boards in the background. I told him a good place to go surfing here in the United States would probably be in California. However, the waves are nowhere near as nice as the waves where he lives. I found it a little confusing to navigate through Room 3's site though. I was hoping to view everyone's comments to the kids, but I couldn't figure out how. Is it even supposed to be viewable?

Brynne Michelle

I was assigned to comment on Brynne's blog, which at the time concerned fingernails and what they're made of. She knew they were made of a protein, and in my comment I specified that that protein is known as Keratin. I also confirmed that she was right in that Keratin is the same protein found in cow's hooves and horns.

I also read her "All about me" post, so I went further to say I noticed she plays the trumpet. I told her I played the trumpet as well for four years and that I loved being part of a band. I truly wish I never stopped playing because making music is a lot of fun. I told her that I'm trying to pick up the piano right now. She also mentioned she has a drum set and would like to learn how to play. I hope she figures out how to play the drums very soon.

Peyton's Procedures

Peyton was chosen at random by the Fruit Machine. In his blog, he defined what "procedures" were. He also mentioned his group in science class created an experiment listing all of the procedures involved. His experiment included Pull-Ups, diapers, water bottles, and buckets. The experiment tested whether the Pull-Ups or diapers held the most water. I thought the procedures he listed were great. I asked if he already conducted the experiment, and if so, what the results were. He said they did, and the result was the diaper held more water.

Dr. Decimal: Removing Decimals from the Divisor

In Mr. Avery's math class, his students have been learning all about decimals. They’ve learned how to add and subtract with decimals, multiply decimals, and divide decimals. The main concern of this blog was how to solve problems that had decimals in the divisor. Thanks to the talents of Dr. Decimal and Nurse Negative, solving these problems was made a lot easier. Check out their public service announcement that shows us how to deal with such decimals.

I honestly forgot what to do if there was a decimal in the divisor. It's been quite a while since I tackled a division problem like that by hand. Before the video, I probably would have just reached for a calculator and have it solve the problem for me. Now I know it's as simple as moving the decimals over, and I should be able to solve it on my own!

The Maple Leaf of Canada

Canadian flag
In this short video, one of the students, Faith, spoke of the maple leaf. She said it is found on the Canadian flag. She also mentioned syrup is made from the maple tree, and the syrup is typically eaten with pancakes. It was kind of ironic that I happened to have this blog. Canada is our very own "neighbor," and the same day I read the blog, I fixed pancakes with syrup for breakfast! I thought Faith did a good job with her description, and she spoke very clearly so that I could understand every word.

Blog Post 10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?

Before this class, I honestly never considered the difference between teaching and educating. I now see how significant that difference really is. I looked up the words "teach" and "educate" in the dictionary. To teach is "to impart knowledge or skill to." And to impart is simply "to make known, tell, relate, disclose." On the other hand, to educate is "to develop the faculties and powers of a person." I think we can agree that the latter seems the most powerful and effective of the two.

In my very first post, I gave a brief description of myself and why I entered the field of education. Although I used the phrases "I've always wanted to teach" and "I think teaching would be a very rewarding experience for me," I did conclude the thought with "I'm entering the field of health education with hopes that I can influence young adults to make informed decisions among all of the pressures in society today." So perhaps I did grasp the concept of teaching versus educating, but I didn't realize it. In any event, I'm surely aware now that educating is the key to success. I don't want to just "tell" them what I know from what I read in books. I may only be 26 years old, but I have some experience in the world, and I want to be able to use those experiences to help guide my students towards happier, healthier lives.

Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home

Along with Dr. McLeod's post, Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?, I thought this was another clever way to address the "issue" of technology in the classroom. It's a shame, however, that so many people missed the message again. If you think about it, we're in a class emphasizing the use of technology to aid in the learning experience. Is it really as simple as where we should use our pencils and how? Or is the pencil just an object used to represent something else? Something more relevant to the purpose of our class? We need to think outside of the box a little.

The excuses for not allowing the use of "pencils" could be endless. This post mentions the paradigm of the poor. That the "pencil" would be used for entertainment purposes. While it is true that "clever marketers tailor 'pencil' use in poor areas toward entertainment," it is up to us to change that outlook. And it's certainly not solved by taking away the "pencil." As educators, we must explain the different ways the "pencil" could be used for learning. Not only that, but give the students assignments that will keep their interest. And if they stray from that, and use the "pencil" in other ways, that's okay! There's no limit to where or how learning can take place. Let's not fall in that trap of limiting our students and taking away their creativity. Let them explore and see where their "pencils" take them.