Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28,2010

Morgan Bayda "An Open Letter to Educators"
Click Here to read her blog post.
Below is the video by Dan Brown included in her blog post.

My experiences have and have not been similar to those of Morgan Bayda. Many of my classes require me to be creative and collaborate with my fellow classmates, even though they are lecture based classes. I do agree with her that my "educational computer class," EDM310, has been different than any other classes I have taken and am in the process of taking. It requires me to constantly use my brain, my thoughts, and my ideas, be collaborative, and connect with other people. It's definitely not conventional where one professor stands up in front of a class and lectures for about an hour or more, and then the student is required to memorize the information and take a test and then go on their merry way while they wait for their judgement or grade on how well they were able to spit back the information. I personally prefer the latter more conventional method but I know that's just me. Many people don't like it and feel they got nothing out of it and I completely understand why. I do however learn by the conventional method and probably prefer because for me it's less work. But, I have the up most intentions of trying to stray away from this method when I become a teacher. I know in my heart that it's better to push myself and my students to collaborate, be creative, and updated with the changes of society.

Also, I feel in a lot of ways that this video said a lot of things that I've been afraid could possibly happen to teachers and the education system; that they won't be needed anymore. Maybe Dan Brown's right, if teachers won't keep up with the changes then who needs them anyway with "liberated" information. Although, I need to be taught by an actual person talking to me even if it's indirectly like, standing up in front of classroom. I know that I can't be alone on that so therefore, I believe there will always be a place for teachers in society. As for information has become free, as in no monetary cost, I don't know I'm inclined to not agree with that statement. One has to pay for the device to get the Internet as well as having to pay to use the Internet. It might not cost the thousands of dollars it takes to get a college education at an institutionalized University, but it's not free. I guess if someone can't afford access to personal Internet, they can go to the library.

The way a person can get information has changed, and the education system does need to recognize this. The way a person can learn information has changed undoubtedly and even though it seems scary, as everything unknown does, it's time to reexamine the system and make changes.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Skype, so far...

Picture of Skype login box

So far this semester I have used Skype to connect with my family and friends whom I hardly ever get to see because they live several hours away. We have all definitely enjoyed it, especially my aunts and uncles who are older, they've been getting a kick out of it. I've introduced my parents to Skype and now they have become Skype fiends! They never use hardly any sort of technology and what they do use, they know the basics. So I've been happy that Skype has been bringing me and my family together once a week to talk to aunts, uncles, and cousins across the country. I also have used Skype to talk to my best friend who lives in Louisiana and who I don't get to see very often, and also to some of my friends who go to the University of Alabama and Auburn University and even though they're not too far away it's fun actually getting to see and talk to them. My class hasn't had the opportunity to Skype any teachers but I have watched all of the Skype videos that have been posted to the class blog.

I've also researched on ways to use Skype educationally in my classroom when I become a teacher, and I came across a great website called 50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom. I've enjoyed using Skype this semester! I had never heard of it before this class and honestly found it useless at first. Needless to say, my mind has been changed and I can't get enough of it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Comments4Teachers-Jabiz Raisdana

March 25, 2010
This blog post was entitled "Last Child On The Web," it was about all the connections technology has brought about for Jabiz Raisdana and all the others who've taken a liking to his daughter, Kaia's blog.
This is what I commented about the post:

Hi my name is Jessica Purvis. I'm in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class and I'll be reading your blog for the next 3 weeks and then posting on my blog about what I've read and the comments I will be leaving.

I really liked how you expressed that technology is a way to share your non digital life digitally, and how it brings about human connection. It's great how your blog about your daughter has brought so many people together and talking.
"We must teach them to look critically at reality and find ways to share what they see with others so as to have a better understanding of the human experience. I see the Internet as the new novel, except that we are all authors and we are all constantly writing the chapters one blog post, one tweet, one Facebook update at a time." When I read this, it just really spoke to me and moved me. A truly inspiring and thought/idea provoking statement.

April 1, 2010
This blog post was entitled "Nature of War". It was about the things he has been teaching and doing with his ninth grade history class. The topic of the class is 20th century warfare and conflict. Instead of learning the who, what, when, and where, he has his students take a more analytical approach of the topic. They have to research and be collaborative. They also made a narrated video of images of warfare the class has collected.

This is what I commented:

Hi, my name is Jessica Purvis. I am a student at the University of South Alabama studying to be an Elementary/Special Education teacher and I am currently enrolled in Dr.Strange’s EDM310 class
Wow, I think it’s great what you’re doing in your class. You really make them think, analyze, and be creative. To do otherwise, I believe, would be an injustice to your students. This is a great way for them to learn, most of my history teachers maintained learning at a who, what, when, where level. No wonder I have a difficult time remembering it all. I also really enjoyed watching the video your class made, the narrator is excellent in expressing the intensity of the subject and images being shown and discussed. You hold your students to high but reasonable standards of learning, and this video shows the great outcomes that have come from that. I believe that this video is only one example of many to come of what your students will be able to do.

You can visit My Blog and leave a comment if you want.

Comments4Kids-Mrs.Goerend's 6th Grade Class

This week I commented on a post written by sixth grader, Kyle B. It was entitled "Drug Abuse is Bad For Your Health". It was a persuasive essay, and I felt that it was very well done and well researched. I was indeed persuaded to believe that basically doing drugs will ruin your life. I commented telling him that I liked the topic he chose to write about and that he did a good job on researching the subject. I also commented about how I liked his style of writing, how he writes in complete sentences and spells very well. Good job Kyle!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Results Of My Questionnaire, EDM310 students have spoken

A picture of a clipboard
Click Here to see the results of my survey in the spread sheet form.

Sixty eight people out of the hundred and fifty people that the survey was sent to responded to my survey. I based my survey on where people stood in the class, what they felt. I basically wanted to see if people felt the same way I did, but moreover I was interested to read what my fellow classmates had to say. One part of my survey was about how people read and what they we're reading. To me, the results were very interesting.

To begin, the majority of people who answered the survey, 18%, were in Class C. More people,17% read the class blog everyday, and only 11% of people read it once a week. 83% of people think the links on the class blog are helpful. For the people who answered that the links were not helpful, they're explanations can be accessed by clicking on the above link of the answers. 100% of people attend the majority of classes, and the majority of people, 39% attend morning classes whereas only 15% are in classes all day. 77% do not have children, and 65% have a job. I asked how old they were purely out of curiosity, the majority of people are in their twenties, but there are a quite of few people in their thirties. Most are taking between 12 and 13 hours of classes. 51% are juniors, and 49% of people spend 1-3 hours working on EDM310 a week. 81% felt that the workload was too much and when asked the question, "have you completed the majority of blog assignments given so far?" the majority 76% answered "other." 51% answered "no" compared to 49% who answered "other" to the question " do you think the blog assignments are pointless?" 69% said they have completed all of the projects assigned so far and 75% believe this class will help them become a better teacher. 81% think the assignments need more explaining and 69% wish that grades would be issued individually one week after an assignment is due. When asked "why?" to the previous question, the main answers were consistently that it helps them know where they stand in the class, if they're doing everything they're supposed, and that grades let them know if they need to improve their work. 87% agreed that they would like to see their grades for individual assignments. 56% felt that they had an A. The majority of people who answered the survey, 61%, read books over any other reading material. But, web-based material came in at a close second of 58%. Although, 41% preferred to read a book over any other kind of reading material. I next asked what was the last thing they had read. I asked this question basically because I was interested to see what my fellow classmates and possible future colleagues were reading. Yet, 34% hadn't read for pleasure for a month or more ago. When learning something new, 65% said that they would rather watch an instructional video compared to reading about it or listening to a podcast. Although, 56% (more than half) answered that they would rather read instructions, when learning something new. 72% felt it was better to be a technology literate teacher, and there were a number of responses that can be seen on the spreadsheet answers on how EDM310 can improve to better students.
So...what does all of this mean?
You tell me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 12, 2010

A picture of the word ACCESS
A picture of the word ALEX

ALEX( Alabama Learning Exchange )
Click Here to go to the ALEX website.

ALEX is a database of lesson plans created and posted by teachers. You can search through the database by traditional subjects, and also by technology education and information literacy. Lesson plans are provided for many subjects at many grade levels. There is an area of podcasts and a place where teachers can create their own personal workspace. There is also a section of web links that contains educational links for teachers, administrators, and students. You can also recommend a web link to placed on ALEX. Additionally, there is a professional learning section that offers resources for teachers to enhance their professional development.

I feel ALEX is going to be a lifeline for me when I become a teacher. At the sake of sounding redundant, the resources in ALEX or undoubtedly resourceful. There are so many things for a teacher to use and benefit from, and overall ALEX is just a good idea. I did not know that this existed, and I am so glad that I do now. The lesson plans are thorough and utterly helpful. I feel that anytime teachers come together to help one another out students benefit.

ACCESS( Alabama Connecting Classroom, Educators, and Students Statewide )
Click Here to go to the ACCESS website.

ACCESS is a statewide distance learning initiative that allows schools help other schools by offering advanced level courses and electives that might not otherwise be available. It combines video conferencing and distance learning and is available to all Alabama public high school students. This program is so beneficial to student achievement. They can accomplish courses or classes they would never have been able to do before in a way they most likely have not done before. They get to use technology through distance learning, and it has become by understanding that kids enjoy using technology in classrooms. A quote from one teacher on the ACCESS website was “My students think that they have reached heaven. One student said that he wanted to live in that lab . . . the other student next to him told me that this was his favorite class ever!”
Adina Stone, Latin I IVC and Online Teacher, Sheffield High School, Sheffield

ACCESS provides access to advanced diploma courses, dual enrollment courses and dual credit courses, remediation and supplemental resources. It also provides teachers with multimedia tools to enhance instruction. I'm sure how useful ACCESS can be for me when I am a teacher and to the students I will teach, because I'm going to be an elementary school teacher and ACCESS, as of now, is only available for high school students.

Timetoast TImeline

A picture of the word timetoast

I did my timeline on famous American Artwork from 1830-2000. The information I used in the timeline comes from The Philips Collection.

You can view my timeline here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Comments4Kids-Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog

Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog

This week I commented on Mrs. Yollis' Blog. Her students are third graders, and the blog post I commented on was about how they are learning all about different triangles. They had a video posted about equilateral triangles and different pictures posted where the students are making different triangles out of their bodies. How fun! I'm actually taking a class right now where we're learning complex geometry so we'll be able to teach it better to students such as these. I found it great how I could see the connection between learning geometry and using technology to help children understand it. I see why this blog was first runner up for the best class blog award in 2009, and if you visit it you will see why too.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010

Picture of Randy Pausch, a man in his 40s wearing a polo shirt and khakis standing at a podium with a microphone giving a lecture.Randy Pausch giving his farewell lecture.

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Click Here to watch his speech

I have to say that even though this lecture was over an hour long, it was not painful to listen to, and even though I had a hard time understanding all of the technology stuff he was talking about, I took away learning important life lessons about being honest, the power in helping others, and that brick walls give you a chance to show how badly you want something. He discussed three things; his childhood dreams and how he accomplished them, helping others, and lessons learned.

He is a professor and works with virtual reality. He's done things with Disney, such as The Aladdin Project, and teaches virtual reality classes where students make a virtual world. One of them was Hello. World. It was hilarious how the world didn't want to move on so another world could be presented. The audience could also participate and control something on the screen. I would love to take a class where we did something like this! I think it gives students pride in that they did something amazing, quite cool, built friendship and had fun doing it. Always having fun was something Pausch pushed in his lecture, and I agree with him. You only live once, so have fun doing it.

He described his virtual world course as a pioneering course and a course about bonding. He said he knew if a groups virtual world was going to be good or not if when the people got up to present the world were standing close together and seemed connected. I agree with this cause if people work hard together, are comfortable with each other and had fun it shows in the presentation. He discussed the Dream Fulfillment Factory; the Entertainment Technology Center or ETC I believed he called it. There is no book learning, they made things, and they took field trips to places such as Pixar. Sounds magnificent to me! A field trip to Pixar, I'm jealous!

In his lecture, he also explored edutainment and a project called "Alice." Edutainment is where they taught using gaming technology and how it as become a global phenomenon. He showed a bar graph on the results on what college students thought of how easy each other were to work with. He claimed that this taught students to be self-reflective and if you can teach students this you've taught them a very powerful thing. He also discussed his project "Alice" where kids make movies and games, and the head fake is that they are actually learning how to program. He gives an example on virtual reality by saying how people can see the promised land without actually stepping foot on it; experiencing something without actually experiencing it. I would love to have my students and myself be apart of something like this. Pausch calls himself the "mad hatter" in that he wants this to be infinitely scalable, where tens of millions of people can chase their own dreams. He's done great things in his life and I honestly wish I could've had the opportunity and privilege to participate in one of his classes.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Survey for EDM310 students

Please fill out this survey I would greatly appreciate it! I will post a summary of the results in a blog post later on after it has been completed by enough people. Thank you very much!

Click Here to take the survey!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I commented on Roberto's blog. I searched the class blog trying to figure out what exactly Roberto's assignment was for his blog post but, I had no luck. He wrote:

"Outdoors is scary

When there's bears attacking

I could feel them stalking

And that's why I camp in my backyard"

I think it might be a poem. I really enjoyed reading it and thought it was very creative! I commented telling him that I enjoyed reading his blog post and that I liked how the topic was about camping. I also said how I used to camp in my backyard when I was younger as well. I also told him that he did a good job using imagery that I could really see the bear stalking and could feel the fear that would create in someone. Additionally, I asked what exactly the assignment was about. I thought his writing was very expressive and I have really enjoyed reading these students blogs its my favorite assignment we're doing in EDM310!