Sunday, February 28, 2010

Personal Learning Network

A picture of a circle of people holding hands and in the middle of the circle says Powered by You
So far for the progress I have made on my PLN is making a number of RSS feeds 15 so far, they are Wired Science, Whats new in the world, Twitter for teachers, wikispaces, The Educators Royal Treatment, Lastest Activity on the Educators PLN, Philly Teacher,, Free Technology for Teachers, Edutopia, Connect Your PLN Lab,, and I have also been following a number of Teachers on Twitter, including Mr. Chamberlain and Mr.McClung. I manage my Twitter account using TweetDeck, and I typically read my RSS feeds once a day. I've been searching and watching YouTube videos regarding education which there are many! I have found websites to learn from by using Delicious and have used Delicious to bookmark my own findings for my PLN, and have gone back to find websites that do not have an RSS feed such as TED . There's an infinite amount of information out there and people to learn from it's hard to keep up with. But for me, my PLN helps me keep everything organized, and as Dr. Strange says lets me dip into the flowing river of information out there.

February 28, 2010

A teacher standing up in front of the class teaching with technology while students are at their desk using laptops

Richard Miller: This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2
Click Here to watch the videos

These two videos were very interesting. Richard Miller says that writing has changed from being in books and on paper to word processing, and that research can be found from libraries all over the world, that a student is not limited to their school or library anymore. One can now find information in a matter of seconds, and this should be taken advantage of. Writing exists in two forms, a "dual life" as Miller says, in a print based form and a web based form. The web based form has much more advantages primarily that one can share knowledge infinitely. To me, that statement has so much power behind it because of all the capabilities of learning and growing a person can encounter by having access to infinite knowledge. Technology allows so many benefits to collaborative work, one can now add visuals and sound to their text; allowing a better experience for an audience on the topic being discussed. There are so many entries to sounds and images that one can find over the Internet that can be put together in one unit to make a very solid presentation.

Richard Miller says that "we as educators must be into the idea of sharing information freely." I completely agree with him, when you share your knowledge of things, I think the world can only benefit from it. In regarding technology, he says to not only use it but produce it, see how it's being put together, produce alternate stories, distribute information freely. He states in regards to the limitations and restrictions of technology, we place them on ourselves, but he does recognize that access can be a problems. He wants writing to go beyond word processing, and to produce compositions that are beautiful with audio and pictures. He says that technology is a way to push ideas into culture, and that we need to be at the front edge of that. I haven't exactly thought of technology that way before, so I enjoyed the way he put that. He says in order for all this to happen, the education system needs resources and inspiring teachers, teachers who teach visual literacy. The main goal being not the technology itself, but what technology makes possible; sharing and articulating dreams.

I do not know if I am fully prepared to write with multimedia but I am definitely trying to learn how; hence the purpose of taking EDM310. I'm open to all possibilities of learning; anything that can benefit my students is definitely something I'm not opposed to trying. I think my students will be able to write using multimedia probably better than I will be able to, but I will help guide them along the way and teach them with the best of my abilities how to use the tools to succeed.

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler
Click Here to watch The Networked Student

I love the simplicity of the visuals in this video, they were very effective in the overall message of this video. I believe that the main point as was stated, was connectivism. That the connections that are made and used with technology are more important than the technology itself. Teachers make students responsible for their own learning. A student can make a collection of websites or a Personal Learning Network, for a project or a subject. They can use Google Scholar to find respectable information to use and then blog to express their opinion. They can use iTunes U and have access to the best professors in the world, and then again share what they've learned with the world so others can turn around and learn from them. Students learn information management.

In this video, a question was asked and answered. "Why would a networked student need a teacher?" The answer, the teacher teaches students how to build a network and how to take advantage of learning opportunities. They provide guidance when a student gets stuck and needs help and they teach how to communicate properly. They also instruct how to distinguish between good and bad information, or useful and useless, and they can offer reassurance and make a student feel proud of themselves when they have accomplished a job well done. They also show a student how to be a scavenger of information and how to organize their information, all in hopes that a student will continue on what they have learned and put it to good use. A goal I believe of every good teacher; tech literate or not.

I am not quite sure if I'm ready to completely give in to try all these things with my students. Well, let me put it this way, I am willing to use and teach all of these resources and technology with my students, and I believe that teaching a student to teach themselves should always be encouraged and almost enforced, but I don't feel that it should replace an actual human teacher explaining a subject or topic. For myself at least, there's just something about a person actually talking and explaining something to me that helps me understand what they're trying to say better. So, I just don't feel like I will ever be able to tell my students, today we are going to be discussing the America psyche, figure out yourself what I'm talking about. Of course I do believe that my students could very well figure out for themselves what I'm talking about if I taught them how to use technology properly to do this or maybe even not, considering that the 21st century student can't imagine a world without computers, Google, and technology. If they listen better than read, they could listen to podcasts and if they're more visual they could watch a video or movie on the subject. I know that today's students do this all the time to learn about they're favorite actors or another topic that interests them, and that they could benefit very much from this approach of learning and therefore, teachers should not ignore the advantages of using technology to teach students. But again, for myself I learn very effectively when a teacher, in person, is teaching me, and I feel that I can not be alone on this method of learning. So basically, I don't feel that teachers should only teach students how to use technology to teach themselves the subject, but actually continue to teach students the subject. A teacher could finish a lesson and then pose a question to students and then have them research the answer for themselves. The student could blog about what they found, and use multiple different technological resources to make a project on the topic. A teacher could use technology in the classroom, in person, to teach students, and they are so many ways a teacher could use and should use technology to teach students. I just don't feel the teacher should be replaced with technology.

I don't feel that I am fully prepared to be a teacher of a networked student, but through this class and my PLN and my continuance of wanting to learn how, I believe I'm getting there.

Michael Wesch- Toward A New Future of Whatever
Go Here to watch this video

I am not quite sure what exactly to say in regarding how this video relates to my personal life, current experiences, and future professional work as a teacher, but I am glad that I watched it. I really don't use technology that much to make connections with people, the most I do is Facebook and Twitter; other than that I prefer a more personal method of communicating with people. But that's just me and I do realize that their are a great many of possibilities of connecting with people using technology, such as YouTube. I definitely believe I will use YouTube as a teaching tool in my classroom. Today's generation indifferent, narcissistic, self-absorbed.....never. (Hence, the sarcasm) Actually, I have mixed feelings on this topic. Although I feel that there are people whose priorities are being recognized and getting their five minutes of fame, and will do this at all costs like the parents that pretended their child was trapped in a balloon to be on t.v, and the millions of YouTube videos of people doing outrageous things hoping they will stand out and be recognized, I think there is some real genuine human connections between it all. I definitely agree that technology make a person more self-aware. Wesch says that these forms of communicating create less social anxieties, this I have to disagree with. Communicating through technology gives me more anxieties because I feel like I have one shot to show what I am made of, and since I am not exactly having a conversation I can't adjust myself and what I am saying based on the other person's reaction because I don't even know who exactly my audience is. It's also awkward talking to yourself and I definitely believe it creates "context collapse"

I know lots of people that post videos on YouTube and that use media as a number one way to communicate with others. Humans seek connection with other humans, its human nature to do so. I feel that technology makes this easier to do so, it forms communities of people that otherwise would most likely not have been formed and therefore without a doubt should be used in education.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Alright I'm going to be honest and say for the past 3 weeks I have been commenting on Shelly Terrell's blog, and then pasting what I commented in a draft on my blog, but until today I have just discovered my comments were not being submitted correctly and so I re-commented on her blog today. I want to greatly apologize to Shelly Terrell for this. I have been following your blog for the past three weeks and have really enjoyed it and it has been truly inspiring to me.

February 23,2010
I commented on Shelly Terrell's blog. This blog post I commented on was entitled Goal: Plant A Seed
To read this blog post Click Here.
Hi my name is Jessica Purvis i'm in Dr.Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama, i'm studying to be an elementary teacher, We're learning how to use different technologies and how we can use them as teachers in Dr.Strange's class. Wow your blog is inspiring! You said everything that I've been feeling about believe in the students, to have faith in them. It's really encouraging that someone who is already a teacher believes in believing in students. I've had people tell me to not feel this way, that the children who are falling behind are just lazy, and that I'll burnout real quick if I put my heart and soul into teaching. So it is truly motivating to read that there is someone else out there that believes a teacher CAN make a difference. Thankyou!
My blog is

The EDM310 class blog is

March 4,2010
This blog post was entitled At A Loss for Word-le?!
To read Shelly Terrell's post Go Here.

Hi my name is Jessica Purvis, I'm not sure If I said already in another comment on another blog post you wrote but I am a student at the University of South Alabama studying to be an elementary teacher. I'll be commenting on your blog for the next 3 weeks as an assignment given for Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class where we're learning about how to use different technologies, how we can use them in the classroom, and just how to be tech literate teachers and life long learners in general. I will be summarizing what I have read on your blog and the comments I have left in a blog post on my blog by March 21st.

I'd like to start out saying that I am thankful I was assigned your blog to read! You have very interesting and useful things to say, and your blog is actually quite enjoyable to read, I look forward to reading it every week, and I have included your blog as a part of my PLN.

I'm only 22, I have a MacBook, Dell computer, iPod, cellphone, Wii, and several different accounts for websites ranging from Skype to Facebook to Classroom 2.0 and Edutopia, and I used to think I knew a thing or two about technology, but I know nothing. I'm finding this class extremely difficult and overwhelming and as soon as I feel comfortable using a certain technology it seems to become outdated and there's something new I need to learn. So I guess I'm also feeling a sense of loss with technology. I feel like I'm struggling to keep up! So it's not surprising for me to hear that twitter could be here today and gone tomorrow. But, I do feel that it is incredibly important that I learn all this stuff and continue to learn and advance to become a tech literate teacher. I agree with you that students should be opened to the world that the benefits of that are enormous, and technology allows this to happen. I think its wonderful that you are using technology in your classroom and that its having positive results. Its inspiring to me that your confident with using new and different technologies because I am not so much; something about the unknown intimidates me, but I'm finding the courage to take it head on and reading teachers blogs like yours gives me the confidence to do so; to see you all tech literate teachers be successful with using technology in your classrooms.

Glad Wordle is working again! We've used Wordle in our class, and it really entertains me, and has given me many ideas on how I could use it in my classroom one day.

You can visit my blog at
The class blog is

March 11,2010
This blog post was entitled Why Do We Connect? Video Project
I did an audio comment on this blog post about PLN's. It was great! She's really doing a lot to promote educators to form a PLN.

Click Here to read the blog post and to also listen to my comment.



I read Sarah's blog from Mrs.Kolbert's class. She posted a question, If you could name one attraction( like Disney World and Universal Studio) what would you call it, and she specified not to use names from books, newspapers, magazines etc. I said I would name my theme park The Lion heart, where everything in the park was based upon and modeled after a great hero. Interesting blog post Sarah!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 21, 2010

A little girl using an iPod
Dr.Christie's Website
Go Here to explore Dr.Christie's site

First off, Dr. Christie's website is jam packed full of resources for teachers! There are so many to choose from it was hard to choose just one. But, I chose her Google Earth Resource Guide. It contains information on what exactly Google Earth is, how much it costs, why to use it in the classroom, examples of Google Earth lessons, Google Earth resources, tutorials, videos on using it, and how to connect with other Google Earth users and educators. But her website contains much more educational technology tools and how to use them in the classroom.

As a teacher, I could use Google Earth to simply enhance student learning. It gives students a way to actually visualize the world, and places that they have never seen or will never get the chance to see. It boosts the skills required for map reading and navigation. It also lets them see where they live in relation to the rest of the world. I feel that it makes learning more exciting and meaningful, and students get a chance to use technology. I could use Google Earth to have students measure things, such as the length of a bridge or the height of a pyramid, or even the length of the country. Another way to use Google Earth as a teacher is to use Google Lit Trips, where students can use Google Earth to learn where exactly road trip novels took place at, novels such as The Grapes of Wrath, Night, and Paddle to the Sea. With all the great resources on Dr. Christie's site, I know I will use it as a teacher!

iTunes University
Click Here to go the the Apple iTunes U website
Go Here to read about the benefits of using Itunes U

As a teacher iTunes University is a way teachers can distribute digital lessons to their students. Many students are already using iTunes to download music and videos to their iPods, iPhones, and computers, so to me it just makes sense that if a teacher wants to put educational information on the Web as tool for their students to put it on iTunes, and iTunes U is an easy way to do this. A teacher can not only put lectures on iTunes U, but also study materials and class announcements. Students and teachers alike can find high quality information in one place, and teachers can get resources for their class from other teachers across the country using iTunes U and easily share this information with their students.

As a student, iTunes University allows students to study at their own pace whenever, wherever. Students can also get lecutres anytime, anywhere. They can replay lectures or parts of a lecture that seemed difficult. They can use iTunes U to study for tests and do homework. Students can benefit from educational information without the limitations of the physical classroom or time-limited schedules. They can experience a class without actually going to class, if the teacher puts classroom lectures on iTunes U. This is helpful if students misses class for some reason, they can get all the information they need right on iTunes University.

iTunes U doesn't necessarily contain solely academic matter. It contains information on underage drinking, bullying, and advice for parents.

Educational uses for the iPod
Click Here to learn some educational uses of iPods in the classroom.
You can also go here to learn about Duke Universities findings on the benefits of iPods in the classroom

So far I have learned that there are a vast array of uses for iPods in classrooms. A teacher can not only use them in conjuction with iTunes to record lessons, but many other things. An iPod can be used to record a students progress in reading comprehension or their just plain understanding of a subject. The iPod can be used as an enclyopedia by putting Wikipedia on it , you can get the iPod ebook creator which converts web pages, copied and pasted text, rss feeds, and text files into iPod notes and then can be read on the iPod. Go here to learn more. The iPod is a great study tool, its compatible with Sparknotes, and can hold studyguides, ebooks, practice tests, classic books, and charts.

Duke University found that the iPod's eductational uses are transportable access to lectures, music, historical speeches, foreign language content, podcasts, iTunes music store, and Blackboard tools. It can be used as a classroom recording tool as well as a field recording tool. The iPod can also be used to transfer and back up file storage. Duke University also found that iPods reduced student and teacher dependence on physical materials, reduced dependence on lab and library location and hours, iPods increased student participation, and heightened individual learning needs and preferences.

An iPod plus iTunes makes for a great educational tool. A teacher could use audiobooks to enhance interest in reading, podcast classroom lessons, have students create a digital story and share it with others, use podguides where students can explain a project, have students make a documentary that includes recorded interviews with images, and students can use iPods to record themselves to see how they are progressing in reading or language comprehension.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Comments4Kids-Year 4 Divers

The Comments 4 Kids blog I read was entitled "Endless Ocean." All of the posts were so interesting. The students are learning about the ocean using technology to have virtual tours of the sea! On one virtual dive, when returning from the ocean to the boat they were greeted by a walrus on their boat, a virtual walrus. That is so awesome to me. I think if my teachers would have used this method to teach science, I might be more interested in it. What a great way to learn! I commented on a post regarding parental engagement week. I commented saying how great their blog is and to keep up the good work, and how I loved the virtual walrus blog post! Kudos Year 4 Divers!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

February 14, 2010

A picture of a piece of paper with writing on it saying I will be a good teacher "I WILL BE A GOOD TEACHER" or at least I'll do my best! I think my future students deserve that from me....

Wired Story
Click Here to read the Wired Story.

I believe that as long as Wikipedia can be edited, and its information does not come from educated scholars interested in solely facts, Wikipedia can never be a trusted source of information. Granted not everything on Wikipedia is misguided information edited by CEO's of companies or politicians to make themselves or company look better; Wikipedia does contain honest facts. But, how do you know what "facts" are true and which one's are modified lies? I'm not sure I want to play the game fact or fiction when I just want to find quick, short, factual information on a topic or person. So, I think it would be better to just go ahead and choose a more credible site or encyclopedia for information. Even though, Wikipedia Scanner has made these people who are editing information in Wikipedia with false facts more accountable for their actions, I still do not believe companies or politicians will quit changing things on Wikipedia to improve their image, or will stop anyone for that matter changing whatever they please on Wikipedia.

"What I've Learned This Year" by Mr. McClung
Go Here to read Mr.McClung's Blog

I really enjoyed reading this blog! Anytime I can read or hear free teaching advice I love it and am completely up for it! What I've learned from reading Mr. McClung's blog is a number of things. He emphasizes on seven important principles: how to read the crowd, be flexible, communicate, be reasonable, don't be afraid of technology, listen to your students, and never stop learning. First off, as a teacher make your lesson student centered, constantly assess student comprehension, and your audience ( your students) should always direct the instruction. You should be flexible. There is no perfect lesson, and you shouldn't kill yourself over mistakes. Just the make the best you can out of every situation. Secondly, communicate, communicate, communicate. "Talking things out" is probably the number one way to resolve workplace drama. It builds rapport and practicing communicating makes perfect. Also, be reasonable. Don't have too high expectations of students and definitely do not get upset with students when they do not meet these unreasonably high expectations. Personally, I believe if a student does not understand something a teacher has taught them, then it is the teacher's fault that the student does not understand, and should try a different method to reach to that student. Every teacher should encourage students to keep trying if they fail, and not scold the student for not understanding., Thirdly, don't be afraid of technology. I think this speaks for itself, technology is essential to our daily lives and therefore is necessary to learn and to teach to students. Lastly, listen to your students and never stop learning. You need to know your students to build a respectful relationship with them. Teachers should take interest in their students lives. I can not understand why someone would want to be a teacher if they do not care what children have to say, and I believe that one of the biggest ways to show someone you respect and care about them is to truly listen to them. As for regards to a good teacher should never stop learning, I completely agree with this. A teacher should continuously keep learning and WANT to have ongoing learning.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I read Keiana's blog from Ms. Cassidy's class, they're learning how to read and write, and I really enjoyed reading every one of her blog posts. I commented on her most recent post where she wrote how she does all sorts of dancing, such as jazz and tap. I told her how much I enjoyed reading her blog and how her writing gets better and better with every blog post she writes and what a good job she's doing!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7, 2010

elementary age kids podcasting Kids Podcasting

What Podcasting is All About

I listened to Eagle Nest Radio Click Here to Listen and "The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom" Click Here to listen and watch this vodcast.
Each showed me a little bit about what a podcast exactly is and how they should be done. So far I've gathered that podcasts are like a radio-style talk show where music can be added and there is typically a host. It seems almost like acting. It can be purely informative or done as an interview or you can incorporate a little of both methods. If more than one person is talking in the podcast, there needs to be an organized conversation. A script is useful for keeping the podcast organized, it makes it easier for listeners of the podcast to follow the conversation. If music is going to be incorporated in the podcast, then it definitely does not need to be overbearingly loud to where the listeners can't make out what the speaker is saying, and it needs to be appropriate and relevant to the topic being discussed. I also found it helpful when the speaker would say what they were about to talk about and what they had just finished discussing. It just helped keep me on track.

I think the use of podcasts in a classroom are such a helpful tool. I wish all my teachers would use podcasts for lectures and assignments and put them up on the Internet for students to listen to. Podcasts are instruction that can be listened to anywhere, and i just think the benefits of a teacher making a podcast of a review of whats going to be on an upcoming test far outweigh the negatives (if there are any). I could listen to the podcast not only at my computer at home, but on my iPod in the car on the way to take the exam. Brilliant. The elementary students seemed to like it and they get to teach what they've learned to others, and when you have to explain something to someone else you retain the information better, at least I think so. The students on the podcast and vodcast I watched and listened to, seemed to me, that the making of podcasts excited them about learning, and it helps encourage the honing of their creative skills. Its also useful when kids are sick; they don't have to miss any school work, and the parents can see what is going on in their child's classroom, something I think most parents can appreciate.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


For my Comments4Kids Assignment I read Savannah's Blog from Ms. Deyenberg's Class. Her blog post was entitled "The Grade Five Lie". It was HILARIOUS! She wrote about how her mom bought her an ugly shirt to wear for picture day and normally she wears the ugly clothes over the clothes she wants to wear, takes the ugly clothes off for school and then puts the ugly clothes back over the clothes she actually wore without her mom finding out she didn't wear the clothes she had picked out for Savannah. Absolutely BRILLIANT. Savannah came into a dilemma though when it was picture day, she would have photographic evidence that she did not wear the clothes her mom had picked out for her. What to do? What to do? So she put on the ugly shirt her mom had bought for her for picture day, the day before picture day claiming she wanted to make sure it didn't have any holes or stains in it, she kept it on during dinner. As she was eating her pizza, she "accidentally" dropped her plate of pizza all over her new shirt, she ran to the bathroom to pretend to get the stain out of the shirt when in all reality she was rubbing the stain deeper into her shirt! Her mom took the stained shirt and cleaned the stains out by the next morning when it was time for picture day. Her poor mom. Savanna, thinking she was stuck wearing the ugly shirt, put the ugly shirt on, went down for a breakfast consisting of chocolate milk and peanut butter toast, thought to herself, Why don't I do the same thing I did last night? So she "spilt" her breakfast all over herself and did not have to wear the ugly shirt on picture day.

I told her how great her blog post was and in the most kindly constructive way possible that honesty is the best policy.

Savannah is so hilariously clever! She reminds me of myself when I was her age, this is definitely something I would've pulled, but I probably wouldn't have been as savvy as she was . She's very impressive. Not only is she funny and smart, but a remarkable creative writer. If you ask me, she writes as well or better than some adults who attend college, and I'm not just saying that to be nice. She can tell a good story and keeps you interested. She kept me on my toes as I was reading it wondering what would happen next, would she get in trouble?! would she have to wear the ugly shirt?! Reading Savannah's blog post reminded me why I want to be a teacher. I love kids and the amazing things they do. I think kids are a lot smarter than some adults give them credit for and a lot smarter than some adults period. I want to help feed into these capabilities of children and help them learn something along the way. Whether its 2 + 2 =4 or the difference between an adjective and a noun or even how to blog. I would even be happy if they just learned something about themselves, like that they actually do like to read and that they are good at math if they have self-determination.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Adding audio to blog

A message for readers of my blog