Saturday, July 23, 2011

Final Reflection Video

Dr. Strange, I actually counted the hours.  For me this course required 229 hours (including time spent in class and working on group projects).  I read, several times, to expect 128 hours.

( I failed to thank my team leader, Carly-- a very creative girl, with a tall personality.  Thanks for those creative posts, the suggestions, and helping with our final project.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Final Project

Last year I worked with a group of middle school students to create a school newspaper.  Because of this course, I discovered new ways to involve technology in creating classroom news.  Gemini Sigler, Amy Wilborn, and I worked together to create a digital document on Pages, an Apple software program for page layout.  None of us had done much work on the Mac.  We approached this project, prepared to learn something new, while applying skills we gained in EDM 310.  Although the Pages product is beautiful and easy to use, we met some challenges in preparing the document to achieve our goal.  Our project is discussed in a podcast for this post.

During preparation for this project I learned from Dr. Strange that you could create a newspaper based on tweets. A very fresh idea that I would like to explore. Carly Pugh suggested I look at Transglobal Free Press.  This was another really interesting twist showing how the world's "newspaper" is evolving.  Sharing ideas as a community has been such a vital part of this process.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blog Post #14


I am writing a report about reading 1984 by George Orwell.  I had read only an excerpt from this book in the past.  For blog post #14, I chose to read the entire book.  For my report I will write more about my interaction with reading the book and in context to this course, rather than reporting on the book itself.

Click here for a plot summary            

I "read" the book in a 24 hour period.  I listened to an mp3 audio book.  Not having a great deal of time, I set the speed to read at a fast pace.  These were both first experiences for me.  In doing this, I lost some aesthetic experiences that I love about reading, but I gained having the experience at all.  Reading the book sparked an informative conversation with my husband about some background history.  We discussed Orwell's pen name and the fact that he participated in the Spanish Civil War.  We also discussed fascism, communism, and other related ideologies.  We further discussed how these traps come disguised in our world today.

Although by quickly "reading" this novel, I personally missed some of the things I love about reading itself; none the less, I participated in the things I aim for my students to do when they read.  Make connections!  I imagined myself teaching a chapter of the book [chapter 7, part 2 was my favorite--When Winston has a profound memory of the past--- remembering his mother and sister, and his stealing chocolate] and helping my students make thoughtful explorations of the material.  How does it relate to the past and present?  Do you see any implications in our lives today? (I did.)  I also read some poetry by Orwell today.

I enjoyed the book "like a girl."  I got very bored with the parts where Winston read the explanation of the Big Brother/Brotherhood ideology.  I also know that other readers might absolutely love to pick apart the analogies in these sections.  I loved part 2 because their was character dialogue and interaction. I hated Winston for his defeat in the end, but understood that The Party killed him.  I understand why the book is a classic.  It is current no matter when, or how fast you read it.

Final Report on My PLN....

I am far from having a "works-just-4-me" PLN. What I am gaining on my journey are reasons to build one. I am not always successful at set-up, but understanding the uses and helpful aspects has been a huge step for me. Even in the last few days, I have bookmarked many places on the web for later discovery. I continue to improve at the little skills to help me navigate. I'm building understanding for RSS and Twitter, especially as I have interactions with great contributors.


I visited Larry Ferlazzo's award, award, award, winning blog.  He provided a treasure trove of sites to give his students practice in writing for an "Authentic Audience.".  In working on creating a list for his students he shared generously with others.  His criteria for these sites were that they be easy for students to write short pieces, and that they would find good models of other writings. In the comments, other teachers have also added to the list.  Terrific!

Mr. Ferlazzo asks an important question in his latest blog:  "What Should  Should Teachers Be Doing During Student Voluntary Reading Time?"  He provided links to an article and video discussing how interacting through conversation greatly improve student reading comprehension.

I am currently taking a reading foundations class, and our textbook supports this same practice.  I was glad to have an opportunity to explore this further.  I was blown away with the incredible amount of useful information that Mr. Ferlazzo had added between my previous visit and today.  Wow!  I put a bookmark on delicious because I need some time to spend with the links.  I've included an excerpt and links from his post:

"In an article in the Journal of Educational Psychology, researchers found that teachers providing individual feedback to students during this kind of reading time was, by far, one of the most effective ways to help improve students’ reading ability. It primarily looked at students using their silent reading time to read class text (thought not exclusively), but it seems close enough to the basic ideas of Free Voluntary Reading that we should carefully consider what they found.
You can watch a video about the study, too, at Best Practices Weekly."
student with book

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog Assignment #13


I enjoyed this assignment because I had time to "look and learn." I visited an educational site created by Jose Picardo.  I had never visited a site like it before.  Right away my mind was gleaning ideas to use in the classroom.  One idea I discovered was putting a quiz with a blog post.  I read something and had an idea for using video to teach writing dialogue.  I love when my head reels with ideas.

Jose Picardo also shared 10 tips for using technology in the classroom.  He gave me some ideas for things I want to explore.  I would like to play with game makers.  I am very open to using music and social networking in the classroom.  I had never heard of animotoSo many new possibilities.  My favorite quote from Mr. Picardo:  "Only use media when it helps you achieve your lesson objectives."  We must always guide the tool to target the goal.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blog Assignment #12

In this post I am to create my own topic.  What I have chosen is not something unique.  It is not something creative.  I wanted to write about a topic that has influenced a new perception. 
For this assignment I have asked myself to:
Write about how your opinions of blogging have changed since you started this course.  Explain what you have learned and relate it specifically to using blogging as a tool in the classroom setting.  Discuss this style of communication.  What do you believe makes it effective for students.

Blogging is fluid.  It is words in flux.  Just when you think you've got it, it changes.  When I started this course, I was unfamiliar.  When asked to blog, I was set on completing a task, and every aspect of completion was new.  I was distracted.  After recieving nice comments from Dr. Strange, I "whoo-hooed."    After receiving a comment from a more mature blogger, Denise Krebs, I explained to my kids, "It's like getting a sticker on your paper, and hanging it on the refrigerator." After a while, I began to understand how powerful it is.  It is a new form of communication.  Unlike writing a letter, blogging is immediate and global.

Even today, after reading Larry Ferlazzo's post, I am still discovering its uses.  Students can be engaged and empowered through blogging.  They can be impersonal and very personal.  They can be accountable, creative, and insightful.  Blogging will teach the power of words to communicate, to analyze, to correlate.  It can teach in a way I cannot.  Over these past six weeks, my views of blogging have changed.  Now I see it as a legitimate force to take myself and my students to new learning experiences.

How's the Final Project Coming?

Our group is Amy Wilborn, Gemini Sigler, and myself.  We worked well together on the Smart Board project.  Our idea has been narrowed to creating a classroom newspaper.  We haven't quite decided what the medium should be.  We have researched a newsletter format or a WIKI.  I think this collaboration will accomplish the overall goal for this project:  to use what we have learned in a new way and progress in using media in our future teaching.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Trailer

For this assignment I have created a book trailer for Gary Paulsen's book Woods Runner. I think this is a great book choice for the middle school student.  Woven into this historical fiction tale, are interesting facts that teach about the reality of the American Revolution.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Teach Someone Something

Blog Assignment #11

field and long shadow

Ms. Cassidy's video Little Kids...Big Potential was truly inspirational.  What a joy to see children engaged in "today's" classroom.  Seeing students around technology--computers, Nintendos, video cameras--these are all sights we see continually.  But in the classroom?  Oh, yes! say the first graders in Ms. Cassidy's class.

I know after these weeks in EDM310, I have progressed so far.  "Could I be a Ms. Cassidy?"  I ask myself.  Could I reach a bar this high.  What would it take?  I would love to use podcasts and videos and blogs in my classroom. I ask again, "What will it take?"  My biggest fear is fear itself.  Where is the ever-present lab tech?  You're looking at her.  Frightful!   I would hope that I could relax enough to allow technology to become the teacher's favorite tool.

 If I had to state a plan it would certainly be to start small, but surely not to do nothing.  To do nothing would be to go backwards.  I would start small, but add often. I would seek out those who had done it successfully and ask questions.  After all, if I've learned anything it is that the community is large and full of wonder.  When I feel discouraged, I think I'll visit Ms. Cassidy's class again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


nature photos

I visited Denise Kreb's web sight Dare to Care
How do creative teachers spend the summer months? Taking pictures? These  are some of  Ms. Kreb's nature photos [see correction in comment below]. Learn how to manage and post photos through this June/July/and August Project. Born in inspiration from a Twitter conversation, this project has you take one picture a day in June, July, and August.

In her latest post she gives lots of links to resources for new bloggers, like me.  Through her experience, she found it wise to have two blogs.  She has one for her students and one used professionally.

Special Assignment #2

photo University of Auckland

For this assignment we were given the task of discovering three useful tools for education:  Kahn Academy; iTunesU; and TED.  I will summarize and evaluate the importance of each.  I will discuss and share my reactions and what I have discovered.

Kahn Academy:  I listened to the founder, Salman Kahn discuss the beginnings of Kahn Academy with a group gathered at TED for a lecture in March 2011.  He discussed how he began creating tutorial videos in math.  He shared these videos on YouTube; and because of the positive feedback has developed a non-profit academy that has global reach.  He believes that use of these videos has "used technology to humanize the classroom."  The videos help in self-paced learning that provides anonymity and mastery for the learner.  Teachers and students might use these videos in self-guided learning, review, homework assignments, intervention.  The Kahn Academy program also provides important data for assessment.

I was excited to learn that he has topics that teach English skills.  I want to explore more, and yes, I would love to use this in my classroom, especially in teaching grammar.  I am surprised by this tool because it has such humble beginnings, yet such global reach.  Being free, these tools allow education to belong to nearly everyone around the world.
TED=Technology, Entertainment, Design: Established first as a conference in 1984, it is a nonprofit "devoted to ideas worth spreading." I see these collections being used in training or in the secondary education fields, especially in business or science.  I could see myself using TED if I wanted my students to see an innovative philosophy or concept. I think to bring such a global network of successful information is wonderful.  You no longer have to be in an elite group to learn from these highly successful people.  These lectures are available to all.

I wanted to learn more about Daniel Pink so I watched Dan Pink and the Surprising Science of Motivation.  This lecture was directed to the business community where Pink discusses a new approach to motivating employees.  Our social science data proves that rewarding based on outcome puts a narrow focus on a task and chokes creativity.  Pink believes focusing on three elements of behavior can greatly change outcomes.  These elements are autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

The surprise for me came when I couldn't help relating these elements to the use of technology in the classroom.  The more educators give of this kind of motivation, the more students will be in control of their own learning.  Further, the more teachers will see students going beyond expectations.  TED has already given me a great nugget of personal insight.

This was a first visit.  It is my understanding that groups can use iTU to collect their technological teaching materials in one place and can store them for registered viewers and others.  I feel like schools might use this collection for training or conference material.  I'm not really sure how I might use it in the classroom, because I need to become more familiar with it.  I did take note that the interface had a "cooler, hip" feel to it.  I think students would like that, and they would most likely have easy access to it.

I enjoyed watching some tutorials on Pages an app for the iPad.  I especially enjoyed watching this just because I wanted to and was interested.  The beauty and ease of producing a news letter/magazine was inspiring.

Blog Assignment #10

Sometimes it's just feels good to watch something that makes you feel good.  I'm referring to watching an inspiring video on education called
collection of road signs

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?
I'm really glad that I can answer the question honestly, and feel good about it.

My daughter suggested that I needed a break because of all the work I was doing this summer. (I'm currently taking two college classes that indeed demand my time.)  She asked me if I liked school, but disliked all the work.  It was difficult to explain to an almost fourth grader that the work was gratifying.  Why is it gratifying?...because it makes me a better educator.

Adventures in Pencil Integration
As I am thinking still about the video I watched mentioned above,  I am trying to wrap my brain around the blog posts I've just read.  I am convinced that John T. Spencer is very clear on the fact of educating vs. teaching.  He says in one of his posts, "If my goal is to train students to use a particular paper, then I've failed miserably as a teacher."  I believe Mr. Spencer feels compelled to educate.  He probably sees himself as an educational warrior posted in an environment that chokes free thought..  He even says of himself that he is shy at baring his soul to others.  I think that is a driving force that makes him a writer.  Writing to him I'm sure makes the longing to educate bearable

At times in reading the blog, I was confused about who Mr. Spencer thought of as the enemy in his ongoing, waging war for education.  On the contrary,  he is perfectly clear about the battle for education, creativity, and free thought.  His blog becomes his voice to fuel the continued charge.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Skype Interview

Blog Assignment #9

days of calendar

For this assignment I read the blog of Mr. McClung entitled "What I've Learned This Year."  This blog records the lessons he has learned after completing his first year of teaching.  After just a year, Mr. McClung was transformed forever and in a way that only classroom experience can.  He discovered the importance of seeing the "person" in the classroom.  A "person" is someone who must be heard not just talked to, and must be allowed to make mistakes.  For himself he learned that relationships with colleagues were important.  Problems must be solved.  He also learned to be flexible and not too hard on himself when things don't go as planned.

Last year I took on a different teaching role.  I was a full-time aide rather than a lead teacher.  Before the school year began, I made some decisions about what I wanted to learn.  In looking over an old student file, I came across some evaluation sheets by professors that had assessed me during my student-teaching experience.   (I need to add that these evaluations took place 18 years before.)  I noticed that the opinions consistently agreed that I could do better in a particular area: "understanding pupils as people and as learners."  I made up my mind to make that a goal for the year. I decided to focus on the task of seeing students as individuals.  I continued the year concentrating on the dynamics and complexities of personal interactions.  Needless to say I relaxed, enjoyed the year, and I allowed the students to teach me some lessons.

The fact that Mr. McClung learned to value his relationships early in his teaching career is a wonderful first-year achievement. A good teacher never stops being a student.  After all the most important factor of our teaching is the relationships we influence along the way.  When we make a connection with the people we teach, it is then that we can make real changes in learning outcomes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog Assignment #8

Comments on Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12:
Can I please be as honest as Carly starts out her blog? I started this blog assignment late and with dread. I kind of felt tired. I told myself, "I'm sick to death of thinking about how I "feel" about things and having to write about it. Then I read Carly's blog. Her thoughts came from the purest,freshest heart. It was creation in its finest example. I'm sure this blog post made Dr. Strange glad that he is 70-something and still flinging his philosophies out there.

I know that as educators we become tired. But let us rest, take a deep breath and keep going. (Just like I did about this blog.) And when we need some encouragement, we can go to Carly's play list where multi-media picks us up again and inspires us to keep changing the world one talent at a time. Thanks for sharing, Carly.

Comments on Richard Miller's Video This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2Richard Miller showed us how communication is changing into visual composition--composing with the web itself. In these videos Miller shows us what teaching visual literacy might look like. He says that information belongs to us as a culture, not to us individually. Miller's dream is imagining what technology makes possible. His dream is to embrace what we already know and to allow ideas for multi-media to push into our culture.

In the final video Learn to Change, Change to Learn one of the speakers expressed what today's new literacy looks like. Our students must learn how to:
-find information
-validate it
-synthesize it
-communicate it
-collaborate with it
-and problem solve.

The question for us as educators is,"What does our role in teaching new literacy look like?" And then, at the persuasion of Daniel Pink, we might ask, "How are we doing with that today?

...And MY response to what I'm dreaming about...
person with umbrella on Paris street

My personal responses have yet to be imagined. I know I enjoy "changing to learn"
however daunting the task. Last year I helped a middle school elective class write a traditional class newspaper. (All the while, I knew how newsprint is currently changing from what the world has always known it to be.)  After a few short weeks of immersion in learning technology in EDM310, I woke up one morning with the ideas of transforming that "newspaper" into being something technological. Why not blog, create radio podcasts and interactive surveys. The video that I want to make is next year when I can say, "I DID it! Let me show you some of my success, so you can do it too."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Creating a PLN: Getting Started

I chose to use "symbaloo" to help manage my bookmarks and create a personal learning network. I was really inspired by the 7th grader's video showing her PLE (personal learning environment) also managed by symbaloo. Previously I have used a list of bookmarks on my home computer. I really prefer the open organizational style rather than a long list. A big plus is that my bookmarks can be accessed from any computer. I am taking another class this summer, and I added a bookmark to Delicious with the link given by my professor. I have added so many bookmarks in the last few weeks and this helps me get to where I'm headed quickly and easily. That saves me time!

English Language History Timeline

Personal Timeline

Podcast: Team #10

Here is a link to the statement mentioned in our podcast:

Short Movie: Book Unit

Blog Assignment #7


These are my responses to Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: REALLY ACHIEVING YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAMS:

I believe my professor, Dr. Strange, really felt like the hour and 15 minutes of time it takes to watch this lecture was time well spent. In fact, I heard him say just that in class a couple of weeks ago. While watching the lecture on youTube, there was much that I didn't relate to. The family of academia gathered in that room to hear this famous lecture was not a group I belonged in. Pausch made many references that I would never understand, and if you asked me to define VR, I couldn't do it. So I had to think a little deeper, sit and concentrate on the message that was really pouring forth.

After listening to the lecture, I watched an interview conducted for ABC by Dianne Sawyer. I really appreciated having to put a personal side to Randy Pausch, his beautiful wife and his children, to truly be impacted by his words. I do believe that the picture they painted of their lives was genuinely "real."

The angle I took in processing Pausch's words was how they related to leadership. It was so obvious that He had allowed life to teach him more than a few things. (I might add at this point that he was only eight years older than me.)

I want to put in list form some of the nuggets of gold that I heard during his presentation. After all gold does exist at the the bottom of the crap pile!! I feel certain that I might read over this advice again.
-emulate those who you aspire to be like
-Don't be afraid to ask, but bring something worthwhile to the table
-Allow others to blow past you, and be glad about it
-Help people become self-reflective about their progress
-Give people freedom, and watch them really surprise you
-Help people have fun while learning something really challenging
-Find someone better than you to take over
-Share success with others, and don't miss saying "Forgive me"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blog Assignment #6

cartoon:boy at chalkboard

Am I prepared to be the teacher of a networked student??...What a loaded question. Especially as I am still discovering what a networked student is. As a lover of all things communication, how can I possibly not be intrigued by the possibilities of "connectivism."

This response is after watching the video The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler. As an educator, I am further discovering that the teacher must be the "influencer." Drexler's video posed a question, "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?" The video further defined the teacher as a modeler and architect of learning opportunities. The the twenty first century teacher will be a guide as the learner navigates through his own learning experiences.

One of the comments left on Ms. Drexler's blog expressed fear that the teacher might become obsolete. I believe the teacher will never be obsolete. Without an architect the dynamic classroom will not have infrastructure. The content changes, the connections increase, but the principles of learning remain the same.

Comments on A 7th Grader's PLE (one of Wendy Drexler's networked students):
Please allow me to take a break from all this intellectual conversation for just a moment and tell you how I really feel.

A seventh grader, Wow!! Here are some terms that are newly defined for me over the last three weeks:

In a word,

Critiques of Smartboards:
I am glad that I did not have to be fed a one-sided argument. I have never taught using an interactive whiteboard. I know I will have the opportunity soon. As part of this assignment I read four articles on the cons of these smart boards. I also read several articles with the opposite side of the argument. One article I found was particularly good because it described the usefulness in many different subjects.

Most educators agree that the Smartboard seems to help many different learning styles. They also agree that the Smartboad is "wow" technology. The biggest argument is that having the technology does not negate success in learning. Schools should not buy a whiteboard so the teacher can simply do something she already has a cheaper tool to do.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Special Blog Assignment #1

world globe

1. Did you know about WolframAlpha? No.
2. Did you know about Google Squared? No.
3. What percentage of China's population is the population of the United States?
Less than 1 in 12500 people (0.008%)
4. What percentage of India's population is the population of the United States?
Less than 1 in 7519 (0.013%)
5. Now what do you think of the facts reported in Do You Know? I had never heard of Google Squared. Very fascinating.
6. Do you think WolframAlpha and Google Squared will be useful for you? for your students? Why or why not?
I think I need to have more time to discover the uses. But these tools are so amazing. I can see it being extremely useful in science and history. I think the students who love to discover would really appreciate the uses.

Blog Assignment #5

Comments on PODCASTING:
I remember when I was in junior high school, I had an English project where I used a tape recorder to produce a mystery story. It was done like an old radio drama complete with bad sound effects. What I remember enjoying about that assignment was that it was interactive. I got my family members to portray the character voices.

Well, recording capabilities have sure changed since then. After listening to Mrs. Edmison's third grade podcast "Roamin' with the Romans," I realized the enjoyment of producing something that was collective was still very much the same. I enjoyed seeing how audio production is being awakened by students using so many forms of technology. As a language arts teacher the possibilities are exciting, but the teaching opportunities are so vast. Podcasting involves, organization, reflection, articulation, collaboration among many other skills.

Some things I noted from the podcasts I listened to were: using a host with personality; appropriate background music and sounds to keep interest, articulation and fluency is most important. I also want to get acquainted with Garage Band.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blog Assignment #4

Comments on #1:
Scott McLeod uses strong sarcasm to express his views on using everything technological in education. Scott McLeod is a associate professor at Iowa State University. His blog is entitled "Dangerously Irrelevant." I was also surprised at all he was doing as early as 2003.

I don't always like the "in-your-face, my way or the high way tactics", but honestly his are creatively spoken. And I loved the name of his blog. If an educator had no knowledge of all the computer approaches he mentioned in the "Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please", I suppose that would be the exact audience he is directing his sarcasm.

I would love to run into him in the NEWBIE LOUNGE at the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION. This conference takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 26-29, 2011.

Comment on #2:
Travis Allen, a high school senior in Fayetteville, Georgia, has posted a YouTube video entitled "The iSchool Initiative". His Initiative encourages school systems to purchase iTouch devices for each student at the cost of $150.00. He believes the savings for the school per student would be at least $600.00. The cost would be due to eliminating costs for paper, copying, scientific calculators, homework calendars to name a few.

Thanks to Travis for articulating so well his goal to improve educational technology and student-teacher-parent communication. I think I could agree with him on many proposals. I heard recently that a nearby school system was buying notebook Mac computers for all high school students. I felt this was an expensive undertaking--a huge chunk all at once. I liked Travis's 150 dollar/per student budget much better. It sounds so currently doable.

Comments on #3:
As I said in an earlier comment, I don't always like the "in-your-face" approach. In Darren Cannell's YouTube video "You Can't Be My Teacher" he literally uses his son to speak into your face through the camera. Honestly, the child's tone seemed somewhat disrespectful to me. However, I took note that the video had 60,173 views and 124 likes. I thought Mr. Cannell's message was clear. He believes that the internet is not a fad, and teachers should not continue to ignore its presence.

I do agree. Technology can enhance learning. It is a catalyst not a fad.

Comments on #4:
As I blog, I'm currently listening to Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir sing "Lux Aurumque": 185 voices; 243 tracks; 12 countries and the internet. My response: "Can I join the choir?" What an amazing product of creativity and possibility.

I am continually astounded by the closeness of our present world. We are no longer
confined by walls, borders, or distance. The internet allows us to inter the virtual world and reach each other in a profound way. I am already a member of the choir!

Comments on #5:
This is my second viewing of Kevin Robert's video "Teaching in the Twenty First Century." This time I purposely noted the vocabulary carefully used by the author. First of all, I noticed the words are positive and inspirational. Some of the words are: possibilities, relevant, collaborative, and engaging. Teachers were called upon to help their students be: problem solvers; question posers; and creative, higher thinkers.

Technology is not the "source of negative behavior." We as teachers should allow the classroom to be a "filter." We should steer our students to find the right path using technological skills. My favorite quote: "Entertainment is passive. Engagement is active."

My Sentence Video

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blog Assignment #3

Michael Wesch is the author of the video "A Vision of Students Today," a project video through Kansas State University. A student cleverly uses the environment of an average auditorium-style classroom to present current statistics. These statistics capture the status of most college experiences in 2011.

I graduated from college in 1991. How was my reality different than most college students today? Actually the differences are drastic contrasts:
-Internet was not present in the classroom (few computers even had access)
-students used notebook paper instead of notebook computers
-most college students didn't recycle

-I still typed on a typewriter
-I didn't own a cell phone
-I had never imagined social networking

In classrooms your teacher might have used:
-a filmstrip
-a slide carousel
-a ditto machine

Today, I had a vision of yesterday.

Comments on #2:
After reading the blog article by Kelly Hines, "It's Not About the Technology", I wanted to share My part of a threaded discussion I had in an on-line class I'm taking this summer. One of my classmates told of an experience of panic when she substituted in a classroom with lesson plans written for a smart board. She was not at all familiar with a smart board. I then related my own conversation I had recently with my husband:
"I had an interesting discussion with my husband, whose degree is in communications. He reminded me about the novelty of new technology verses content of the message. He expressed that while new technology may capture a students imagination for a time, ultimately it is the content of the message that is important. This is not a new discussion. In the 50s and 60's the debate was focused television. Marshall McLuhan, the communication researcher, coined the phrase, "The medium is the message." With any new popular technology this is true. The novelty of the medium may have us convinced that we are using the tools with great effectiveness, but the real test comes as the newness diminishes and students come to expect certain technology to be present in the classroom. Having access to iPads, streaming media and the like is wonderful in that it gives the teacher tools to use in facilitating the learning process. It also presents the teacher with a new set of problems, the least of which is learning how the technology works. The real challenge for teachers is the same challenge we have always faced; tailoring the instruction using the tools available to best influence the students ability to

Comments on #3:
Karl Fisch shares his views in "Is it Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?" on his blog Fischbowl. Oh how I wish he could have been a guest in our classroom when Dr. Strange posed this question during the our second class day. I was proud of the two or three students who were bold enough to answer "no." Not because I agreed with them, but I believed them.

How would Karl Fisch have responded to these few? Well, I certainly could relate his views by reading his blog post. But I truly miss the joy of spontaneity in live conversation.

Comments on #4:
Gary Hayes developed a social media counter. While watching the counter spin, what did I discover? THE WORLD IS TALKING. As an educator, I am desperately trying to learn this banter language. What are they saying, and how are they saying it?

I recently applied for a twitter account. I said to a few people my age, "This is like passing notes in high-school." It really is. The arena has just gotten so much bigger than the last row in the classroom. The arena has gone global.

Kim Summers: Educator; Community Leader; Coach

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blog Assignment #2

question mark

Comments on #1:
I just watched the YouTube video "Did You Know? 3.0" by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. This video blows out bits of information for the purpose of telling watchers how much the world is changing: in population, media, and communication for the future. The exponential speed at which our world is changing is staggering. I think that people such as Fisch and Mcleod get "it" and must feel a great sense of responsibility to bring others along.

Being apart of a summer college course targeted to future educators, the leadership is desperately trying to "help us KNOW." I'm slowly struggling to catch up with the race. I know I can't possibly feel as passionate as the authors just yet, because I just can't wrap my brain about it. But I am open to learn, and because I am passionate about education, I am willing to learn.

Comments on #2 "Mr. Winkle Wakes":
In this humorous YouTube video posted by Matthew Needleman, Mr. Winkle (an animated character) wakes after 100 years. Mr. Winkle takes a walk into a very different world. He visits a city street, an office, a hospital, and eventually a school. Mr. Winkle is very overwhelmed by all the technological changes; but as he visits the school room, he feels much more at ease. The children are sitting quietly listening as the teacher gives lectures.

Mr. Needleman presents a very obvious argument, (in a very clever story, I might add) that our schoolrooms are starkly behind the times. Our school practices are stagnated as the world around makes great technological advances. I would agree that we have elevated the lecture-style information delivery to the greatest level when it is the least effective form of instruction available presently. Even the dusty computer that Mr. Winkle found in that classroom has found great company: cell phones, smart boards, i-pods, web cameras.

What if Mr. Winkle goes to sleep for another two years? As he again visits the classroom, I hope he would find the students engaged and busy with all kinds of interactive learning gadgets, and a teacher right is the middle, motivating, cheering and guiding.

Comments on #3:
Sir Ken Robinson expressed his voice for creativity in the online video "The Importance of Creativity" from His argument is that we are "educating children out of creativity." He believes that education around the world places a hierarchy of value with the artistic expression being at the bottom.

Children are born with a "capacity for innovation," says Robinson. He believes that creativity is as important as literacy. As future educators, we must indulge the wealth of human capacity. We must see children as the hope of the future.

Comments #4:
Can U.S. students compete with the innovation and creativity expressed from other cultures around the world? I believe that in the past we have been severely handicapped and our current status does not meet with standards around the world.[I'm remembering the statistics seen in the video "Did you Know 3.0"] Cecelia Gault wrote a blog for Scholastic in which she interviewed David Livermore from the Cultural Intelligence Center who expressed that students could increase cultural understanding just by traveling.

I whole-heartedly agree with this belief, having traveled more than the average American. Students in the United States are typically ethnocentric. I believe this unfortunately limits them. They have little beyond their current sphere to draw conclusions. As a teacher I love to expand thinking and help break the boundaries in the little ways that I am allowed. I do this through encouragement and bringing in links to history and experiences from other places.

Comments on #5:
Vicki Davis is an IT teacher at a high School in rural Georgia. Her teaching vigor is infectious. In the video "Harness Your Students' Teaching Digital Smarts" found at "Eutopia" the viewer is invited into her classroom. She expresses her ability to customize learning to fit her students. She creates rich experiences so her students are responsible for their own learning. She believes that when students are given only pen and paper, only certain students will succeed.

I was struck by the fact that this video was two years old. This high school classroom was different than any I have in my memory. Ms. Davis won an international award for her teacher blog. And I'm just learning to blog. I also noticed her extended definition of literacy. Students are responsible for searching and finding meanings to new and sometimes very technical terminology.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Time Management

I just watched Randy Pausch's  YouTube video on time management.  I think of "eating a frog" like cleaning a dirty room.  My kids will spend all day(s) looking at it, instead of cleaning it up. Once you get started, it really isn't so bad.  And, do it first!!

What an inspiration this man is.  He TIME-managed his "last TIME" on earth and spent it making a difference.  For some it takes a lifeTIME, but he left a legacy in a very short amount of TIME.

My Story

Hi!  I am Kim Summers and this is my story:
I graduated from the University of  South Alabama as a language arts secondary education major in 1992--yes, almost twenty years ago.  I am currently enrolled in two summer courses (this one and and an online Foundations of Reading.)  I am being wildly thrust into the "cloud world"--- kicking and screaming I might add.  But I"m discovering  I am excited about the new challenges.

My family roots are in Mobile, Alabama; but I have lived in Missouri and Central Florida.  I also lived a year and a half in Brussels, Belgium (doing some missionary work.)  My teaching experience has been in a variety of settings. Most currently I have taught elementary classes at Covenant Christian School where my children aged 9 and 12 attend school.  Covenant is a great private school.  It is small, but built on such strong educational foundations and leadership. I love teaching, but most of all I love partnering with families to raise great kids.  When we get the parents on board, we're most effective. 

I am taking these classes this summer to update my teaching certification in hopes of entering the secondary education field agian.  The technological tools have changed so drastically.  I am truly embarking on a journey to a wild new world.

I enjoy gardening, cooking and traveling; all of which I won't have time for over the next eight weeks.