Thursday, December 6, 2012

Collaboration Report

ducks in flight
In projects 15 and 16 our group (Team Yell) used several methods to stay connected and finish our assignments. One of the major ways we stayed connected was by linking everyone to the same dropbox account. This was pivot able in the creation of the IBook. We were able to gather the videos required without having to email them. Email was used to send smaller files like pictures and text. The group text was written in Google docs. This allowed everyone to write on the post without use having to send it back and forth via email. Lastly we used Facebook and group SMS texts to collaborate together.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Final Report on PLN

screen shot of symbaloo page
This is my last report on my PLN. This is not the end of my PLN. My PLN has grown. The major change since my update was that I purchased a Mac. Since I am still unfamiliar with most of the smaller details, I looked up some sites that teach people how to use a Mac. Those sites are now part of my PLN. Some of the other sites I added were using for my personal assignment, and even a few research sites for my hobbies.

Blog assignment #13

view of earth from a weather balloon
Brain Crosby is an elementary teacher at Agnes Risley. In the video “Back to the Future” he shares his teaching techniques with everyone at the Tedx conference. He tells the story of a classroom that in the beginning did not know the name of the country they lived in. He then shows how with just one project he includes an array of different subjects. He starts with science by studying the atmosphere with a weather balloon. As a project he arranged to have a weather balloon carry a camera to the upper levels of the atmosphere. This one activity allowed him to branch out and create many other activities.

The other activities that he incorporated were a writing assignment that required the children to write a story as if they were the balloon, the creation of trading cards that had the hopes of his class on them, and an outreach to the world to ask for their high hopes as well. This shows that each subject has the potential to crossover in the others. The real world is the same way, just because you are a brilliant wordsmith doesn’t mean that you are excused from the sciences or math. Teachers would learn a lot from a video like this.

In the video “If these wall could talk” we are shown a university lecture hall were students are crying out for technological reform. They start by showing us some startling statistics and tell us that it could be better. They discuss the subject material they are learning, and how it doesn’t relate to them. Next the class informs us that they textbooks that they don’t even open, and that is a huge waste of money. Last they drive the message home by saying, “If we learn by doing, then what are we learning?”

I can relate to the students in the video, both as current student and as future educator. I agree that as students we spend a lot more on books than we should have to. I’m not sure I agree with the last question “If we learn by doing, then what are we learning?” The question implies that we are learning to sit at a desk and memorized information. If that is truly what is being implied then it is wrong. In math you do calculations, in science you perform experiments, in English you write papers. This is only true if the students are actually paying attend and doing the assigned work. On the other hand, I do see where the question is coming from. Not all students can learn in this traditional manner and that’s where technology can intervene and keep the students engaged.

Project #15- Smartboard Lesson

C4K November

The first C4K for this month was for a girl named Kylie. Kylie is in Mr. Boylen's eighth grade class. Her blog post was about her recent vacation to visit her cousins. She talks about going to a water park, going horseback riding, and attending a movie party. She goes into great detail about the specifics of her trip. Throughout the entirety of the post she keeps returning back to one central point, she enjoyed spending time with her family.

I responded by telling her that really enjoyed her blog post. I also told her to never forget that family is the most important thing in the world. To boost her confidence about her blog I told her that my favorite part of her post was about the horse riding trip. Next I wanted to set up a conversion with her. I decided the best way to do this was choose one aspect of the post, otherwise she might not have had time to respond. I chose to talk about the horse riding trip. I asked her "what do you recommend to someone who has never been horseback riding?" Lastly I thanked her for sharing her experiences with us.

Next was Charleen from Mr.Cometti's world history class. Her post was about Veteran's Day. She has noticed that some of her peers were not appreciating the significance of the holiday. She also says that she used to be the same way but after seeing the ignorance of her classmates she decided that she would change her ways. She shared the historical context of the holiday and how it came into being.

My response to her was simple Your blog post is very informative. I didn't know that Alabama had such an important role in Veteran's Day. Thank you for sharing this information and supporting our veterans.

The last C4C was for a girl named Amber. Her blog post was about how she likes to express herself. She says that she likes to dress herself to reflect her mood. She also likes to express herself through playing music.

I wrote her back at I think that it is very important to express yourself. I especially enjoy it when people use music to share their feelings. Music has the potential to allow people to express themselves on a very personal level. Every note can be either a shout of joy or a tear of remorse. Thank you for letting me read your post.

C4T #4

people in a circle
My last C4T was for Mr. Marschhausen and Rmcallister. They are contributors to the blog connected principals.

Mr. Mr. Marschhausen wrote a post comparing the postal service to the current education system. He points out that technology such as email has almost replaced the postal service and that they need to drastically transform or they will continue to fail. He says the same is true for the education system as well. If the schools don't start teaching technology the school system will fail.

I wrote him back saying that his blog post is very thought provoking. I'm glad that I am learning how to use new technology. I want my future students to have every possible advantage, and teaching them how to use and respect technology will be the way to ensure this. We all must remember that technology can either harm us or help us. We will either be replaced by it or embrace it. Thank you very much for sharing this information.

I actually received an email response from Mr. Marschhausem. He wrote back saying.


Thanks for dropping me a note. We need courageous, creative leaders in American Education. It is going to take a monumental, collaborative effort to make the necessary changes to our system.

Then there was Rmcallister. He wrote on the effectiveness of presence. He goings into detail how just being there for our fellow coworkers and students can help everyone do there best.

I commented by saying that I may not be a teacher yet but I can still related to the idea of presence. Currently I am a manager at retail store, and the employees come to me and expect me to have all the answers. Other times they want me to be human and understanding. They want a strong leader when things look bleak and a lighthearted one when things are good. Thanks again for the wonderful post.