Friday, May 9, 2014

ibook summary-final project

This ibook is a summary of Dubai group's journey as students enrolled in EDM310. Though the road was not always a smooth paved one, we worked together as a group and learned many new and exciting things. Our ibook is a visual artifact that highlights our experiences as EDM310 students.Included is a group picture, each members' brief personal bio,book trailor, my sentence/passion videos,favorite blog post, 10 personal photos, and a group discussion. We hope you enjoy our ibook as much as we enjoyed being students in EDM310.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


For My C4K Assignment I was assigned to the ”Little Voices, Little Scholars” class blog. This class is comprised of 2nd year students from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand.

C4k #4 post 1

This Week I was assigned to Meleona's blog post entitled ”Swimming”. In this post Meleona tells about the 8 swimming lessons that she and her classmates got to experience. They were taught by professional swimming coaches and seemed to enjoy the experiene a lot.

My Response:

Hi Melenoa! My name is Ty Walker and I'm a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Thank you for sharing your experience with the world! You did a great job of explaining the techniques that your instuctors used and of how to execute them. This post could possibly inspire someone who is afraid to take lessons to try something new! Would you like to take more lessons? Do you think you would ever want to compete in a swimming competition?

Monster Truck

C4K Post 2

This week I was assigned to Jarreka's blog post entitled ”Jarreka’s monster truck story”. In this short descriptve paragraph Jarreka descibes her toy monster truck and provides an illustration. My response:

Hi Jarreka! My name is Ty Walker and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed hearing about your monster truck. You did a good job of describing how it looks. There was a monster truck show in my hometown of Mobile, Al last week, I'm sure you would have enjoyed it.

C4T #4

For this month's C4T I was assigned to a blog entitled ”What Ed Said” by Edna Sackson. C4K#4 Comment 1 This Week I was assigned to the blog post entitled ”It’s not about making learning happen, it’s about letting it happen”. The main lesson I gained from this post was that You don't need a teacher to teach you if you want to learn. It reminds me of people who can not afford college and begin to self educate themselves. There is more than one way to accomplish anything and this blog provides many examples of how to do so, with focus on helping students who use English as a second language.
turning learning on its head
C4K#4 Comment 2 This week I was assigned to the blog post entitled ”10 understandings about digital citizenship”. In the post Edna gives 10 keys points about what she feels it means to take part in digital citizenship. She begins her post with a definition, "Digital citizenship is the ability to participate in society online. It includes consuming and creating digital content as well as interaction". When I read this post I immediately begin to think of our previous blog post pertaining to PLNs. In an age where technology is of the utmost important we should all learn to utilize the resources we have available and link up with other educators who can potentially be of assistance to us in regard to providing our students with the best education possible.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blog Post 13

Create your own blog post Instructions

Math seems to have become an area of weakness for many students. Give specifics examples of ways that technology can help to improve or at least make students more interested in mathematics.

This topic is very personal to me because I am an A student but I have always suffered in math. Some time around 6th grade I begin to lose interest in math and as a result my grades begin to slip. Although students are already at more of an advantage because of the shift to student centered leaning, the lack of mathematics skills is still an issue. With the add of technology we as educators can really assist students with improving their math skills and keeping their interest in a subject that can offer them endless employment opportunities.

The first thing I would do is incorporate the SMART board into as many math lessons as possible. When students can apply concepts directly they retain the information longer and become more interested. Instead of giving worksheets or individual bell ringers I would have students demonstrate the problem on the SMART board so that those who may not be able to complete the problem alone but are too afraid to ask for additional help can have the opportunity to grasp certain concepts. The next thing I would do is register my students for websites where they can practice mathematics problems during free time in class. Many of these websites help students to better understand concepts they may not have had enough time to grasp during class. This would also ensure that students who don't have internet access at home can get the extra help they may so desperately need.


I don't think one particular thing can fix the issue that we are having as it relates to mathematics. As a country, we are afforded so many luxuries so it puzzles me as to why we score significantly lower than other countries when tested in the area of mathematics. Although there is no quick fix we must start with gaining and keeping the interest of our students. Interested teachers grow up to be involved and interested teachers and that is where the solution lies.

Friday, April 4, 2014

C4T#3 Summary

C4T #3- Posted March 12, 2014

I had the pleasure of reading Jeff Utecht's blog post entitled ”In 2014”. I can't think of more appropriate subject mattter as it relates to EDM310. This post is a cry for improved technological advances amongst all school systems. In the post many prevelant issues are addressed and in my opinion not a moment too soon.

My response: Hi, My name is Ty Walker and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I can't even explain how refreshing I found this blog post. Technology is such an important aspect of our lives, especially pertaining to education, yet so many people are afraid to take the inevitable leap. Of all the suggestions mentioned, I especially agree that if schools can not or will not provide students with electronic devices for learning purposes that they should be allowed to bring their own. Here in Alabama, the Baldwin County School System is spearheading efforts to do just that. They have provided all of their students, K-12, with a Macbook or an Ipad. I feel that this is the direction in which all school systems should be headed and this post made it obvious that I am not the only person who feels this way.

Welcome to the Future
C4t #3- Posted March 25, 2014

I was again assigned to Jeff Utecht's blog, but this week I commented on a post entitled ”Flipboard as a Textbook Replacement”. I really feel that this blog is one that I will continue to read in the future because the subject matter is so relevant. In this post Jeff says that he hopes textbooks in the classroom will become obsolete and uses flipboard as an example of a more useful replace. He also gives examples of things that can be accomplished while using Flipboard as a classroom curator.

My response: Hi Jeff, My name is Ty Walker and I'm a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. This is my second time being assigned to your blog and I enjoyed this post just as much as I did the first. The fact that you hope that textbooks will soon be on their way out is a very interesting concept. My professor always speaks about the idea of "burp back education" and without textbooks that way of teaching would be impossible, which is a very good thing. I know it will probably be years before we see a change, if textbooks are ever replaced at all but your idea was very well presented and something that I wouldn't mind trying in the future.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blog Post 11

C4K Summary

C4K #1 Posted: April 9, 2012

This week I was assigned to the Little Voices, Little Scholars class blog where I read and commented on a post entitled ”Butterfly Creek”. These Students reside in New Zealand and documented their trip to Butterfly Creek through pictures they displayed in the form of a video. Below is my response:

Hello Class, My name is Ty Walker and I'm a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I found your trip to Butterfly Creek to be very well documented. It shows other children some of the things they will be able to do if theydecide to visit Butterfly Creek. It seems that the class was very happy to be able to interact with the butterflies! Was anyone in your class afraid to touch the butterflies or let them fly onto their clothes? Did you see a butterfly emerge from a cacoon? I hope you all continue to be little explorers and document every step of the way!

C4K #2 Posted: March 26, 2014

This week I was assigned to Asena's blog post entitled ”Sports at Tamaki College” My response: Hi Asena! My name is Ty Walker and I'm a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Good post! I was not familiar with the college you mentioned so it was great that you provided your readers with background information. I think it is a good idea that they allow you all to participate in group activities for sports because it will prepare you for future work you may to do within a group. I hope you continue to share your experience in your blog and good luck to you and your team in your future challenges.

C4K#3 Posted March 20,2014

This week I was assigned to Pehso's blog post entitled ”Science with Mr. Barks”. In his post Pehso explains why he like science and also some of the experiments they conduct while they are woriing in the science lab.

Hello Pehso, My name is Ty Walker and I'm a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Good post! When I was younger I really enjoyed science as well! I remember when I was 8 years old I made a volcano using vinegar and baking soda, I'm almost 27 now and I still remember how fun it was. I think it was great to mention that you have to concentrate while performing experiments. A sceince lab is not a place to play around because someone could easily get hurt by not following instructions. What were some of the hard things you did while you were in class 1? What do you use the liquid soap and vegetable oil for in Mr. Barks' class?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blog Post 10

There is lot to be learned for Sir Ken Robinson, mainly that he believes there is an immediate need to change the way in which we educate. After viewing ”Bring on the Learning Revolution”. Mr. Robinson stresses the need for a educational revolution because no one way of doing any particular thing is correct and believing so only hinders us. He uses the idea that not landing a high paying job constitues wasting ones life. As an example he mentioned someone he'd encountered at a book signing who worked as a fire/rescue employee, he said he was told by his teacher at a young age that if he chose this as a career it would be a waste of his life. I believe the worst thing we as educators or even as mentors can do is to discourage a child from his or her dreams and aspirations. If we change our way of thinking now, engage in an educational revolution, and shift to a non traditional approach to teaching where a students individual qualities are assessed we will certainly be changing for the better.

Another thing I learned from Mr. Robinson was that many people only exist, they aren't actually living. I say this because of his mention of people who love what they do versus those who just put up with their profession. I would hate to live my entire life doing a job that I didn't truly enjoy or a job for which I did not have a true passion. I have always wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people and one of the most postitive ways to do that is to give them an educational experience they can carry with them for a lifetime and I honestly believe that in order to accomplish this we have to continuously change with the times, not adapt once the change has occured.

PBL #15

gas prices
”Can I afford my wants and my needs?” is a week and a half long project based lesson in which students will become news reporters for a imaginary local news station. Their cover story is how gas prices affect children in their age group and ultimately how people decide to spend their money. They will need to research information thoroughly to report their findings through a group multi-media presentation as well as an individual essay. To begin, I would have a local newscaster explain to the class how reporters investigate in order to gain information related to a particular case. A local gas station owner or manager will be invited to be a guest speaker to help kick off the event, as well. Their presentations will include facts and information about gas, where it comes from, the prices, and how it affects people with the everyday economy.

Project 12: Smartboard Part A

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blog Post 9

”Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1”

To hear how Mrs. Cassidy began integrating technology into her classroom with only 5 computers was truly amazing. Many times we let the lack of anything deter us from moving forward with a situation, but instead Mrs. Cassidy sought funding for additional computers and found multiple ways to bring technology into her classroom. Like many other 21st century educators, the key idea that Mrs. Cassidy wanted to convey was that technology is essential and that we cannot effectively teach this generation of students using dated techniques. Mrs. Cassidy stated that she began her webpage over a decade ago and her blog about 5 years ago. Since then she has worked for her students to express themselves through blogs because it provides them with an audience to which they may not otherwise have access. Being able to see how many page views they have is a way to keep the students engaged and encourages them to continue post to their blog. In closing we are reminded that is absolutely essential for teachers to be technologically literate. We are left with these closing thoughts from Mrs. Cassidy, even though some teachers prefer to do things the way they’ve always been done technology is not going away and we should all except the facts and adapt our teaching accordingly.

I think I will most definitely incorporate student blogs into my classroom curriculum, not only does it help to improve writing skills but it is also a fun way to use technology. At some point I'm sure that internet or computer access would be a problem for some students so for that particular group, I would allow classroom time to work on their blogs. I anticipate that some of the benefits would be improved writing skills and an increased opportunity to begin personal learning networks.

”Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 2”

In this video Mrs. Cassidy provides us with ways to incorporate technology into our classrooms and outside lives. Your personal interests should fuel the way in which technology is used in your classroom. She mentioned Flickr, Facebook, and blogging as good entry points. Dr. Strange and Mrs. Cassidy stressed the importance of twitter in expanding PLN's, but also warn not to give up quickly because it may seem like it isn't much help in the beginning. I used twitter daily for about 2 straight years and then I stopped abruptly. Since I have become and education major I see the benefits in using twitter and I would definitely recommend it to all future educators that I may encounter.

”Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3”

In video 3 EDM310 students asked Mrs. Cassidy various questions related to integrating technology into the classroom. The questions ranged from how often she did certain things to how technology could be used for none core curriculum classes such as physical education. Another important concept discussed was plagiarism related to blogs and explained that it is considered collaboration when the information is used to help someone present that same information in a different way. I feel that this was a very important point to discuss because many people wonder how effective blogs can actually be when others can read someone's post and try to use it as their own. Mrs. Cassidy's explanation was very insightful and will help a lot of students in the future. Another important topic discussed was blog safety. She adviced students not to post their last name, pictures of themselves, or venture off into areas not previously approved. I found these videos to be very informative and I would definitely recommend them for future courses.

Blogging 101

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Post 8

As teachers, we have a responsibility to help our students learn to the best of our abilities. Often times, this includes introducing them to new tools that can make the learning process easier and more interesting and it seems nothing can accomplish this more than the use of technology. These tools help students become more self-sufficient and also help with communication skills though collaborations a student may have with others using the same resources. I have found many resources that valuable learning and communication tools but some stuck out more than others.

I really enjoyed the resources provided by Edmodo. The site is open to students as well as teachers and one of its main focuses is establishing a Personal Learning Network. It is a tool that allows teachers to communicate with their students outside of class while providing an environment where students are expected to work independently, collaborate with other students, and exchange information. Along with document sharing options students can view and upload videos and other important documents, for instance a group project. Last but not least, parents can be kept in loop about their child’s learning process and can communicate with the teacher if any questions arise.

Edmodo is one of many tools available to students and teachers but it is one that encompasses many useful things. I think more tools like this are needed to be an effective 21st Century teacher because it keeps the students engaged while also encouraging them to be independent.

PBL Project #14

What on Earth is a Mammal?
"What on earth is a Mammal" is a week long Project Based lesson plan best suitable for grades 3-5. This website will provide learning objectives, a daily calendar and a rubric for assessment. After a brief introduction to the material, students will be placed in groups of 3-4 where they will be introduced to iCurio, Google Docs and Discovery Ed as research and presentation tools. The objectives of this lesson include collaborative research, completing an assessment rubric, and effectively using Google Docs and the SMART board to present the information they’ve learned. The driving question is: What is a mammal?

C4T #2

C4T#2 Summary I was assigned Daniel Edwards' blog entitled “pedagogy first-technology”. In short, I feel that Mr. Edwards set out to expose some of the weaknesses that are prevelant in the field of education. One issue he mentioned that was of particular interest to me was how North American students rank considerably lower than other countires on an international level. He believes that teachers not wanting to accept that technology is a major part of the education process is in essence harmful to the students. He believes that now, more so than any other period in time, is an exciting time to be a teacher. We have more technological advances than ever before and with more opportunities than previous generations were afforded. His issue however, was whether or not teachers are taking full advantage of these opporunites because so many of them are reluctant to leave behind the way of teaching they were taught. Mr. Edwards spent a particular amount of time discussing "flipping the classroom". He speaks of the benefits associated with this concept and also the reservations that some teacher have with incorporating such concepts into their classrooms. I really enjoyed reading this blog, below is my response:

My name is Ty Walker and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. This was a very thoughtful post! Technology is very important to the learning process and so is change. Even now, many teachers are hesitant to branch out from the traditional methods of teaching despite the fact that their students can potentially suffer. I agree with you about the general lack of concern about how poorly students test on a national level and I believe technology has a lot to do with that situation. Some school systems have already began to provide students as young as Kindergarten age with an iPad or mac book which is a step in the right direction. This can improve the learning process and provide students with better opportunities. Change is inevitable and in order to effectively compete with other nations, as far as education is concerned, every teacher should do their part to ensure that we are enhancing the learning process for our students.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Project #13- Lesson Plan

Ferris Wheel of Water – Lesson Plan

“The Ferris Wheel of Water” is a week and a half long project based lesson plan that will teach 5th grade students about the water cycle while providing them with hands on learning objectives. After a brief introduction to the material, students will be placed in groups of 4-5 (depending on class size) where they will be introduced to iCurio, Google Docs and Discovery Ed as research and presentation tools. The objectives of this lesson include collaborative research, completing an assessment rubric, and effectively using Google Docs and the SMART board to present the information they’ve learned. Dubai group’s driving question is: What are the components of the water cycle?
The Water Cycle

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Blog Post 7

After watching ” Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture.” I couldn't help but feel inspired about how I can help perpetuate a child's dreams and aspirations. Dr. Pausch was an excellent professor who stressed the importance of creativity among his students and was very passionate in all that he taught. Amongst other things, Dr. Pausch wanted his students to understand the importance of respecting others, being honest, and bringing their own experiences to different situations.

This lecture made me realize the importance of engaging students in a fun way. So often as teachers we stick to a straight and narrow road, focused only on meeting required standards and learning objectives, not realizing that sometimes we may be disengaging the students. When students actually have fun with learning they are more likely to retain and master the information that is presented.

A main focus of the lecture was Entertainment Technology Center which was in use at Carnegie Mellon University. It required teamwork and out of the box thinkers to get it up and running but it is a wonderful addition to the University. In short, the program provides information about the fundamentals of Project Based Learning. Dr. Pausch also stated that self and peer editing are very important steps in project based learning. There are many things to be learned from Dr. Pausch about teaching and learning. First, a teacher should be innovative and willing to work on teams in order to achieve certain goals. Second, we should recognize the importance of valuing a student's unique set of knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes. Third, we shouldn't be afraid to be criticized or offer constructive criticism. Last but certainly not least, we as teachers should make learning fun!

Learning is Fun

C4K Summary- February

C4K #1 ”Super Bowl XXVII” by Madison posted January 31, 2014

My first C4K for the month of February was a reply to Madison's blog post. Madison is a student in Mrs. Geldes class and seemed to be very excited about the upcoming festivities. She discussed bets people make, snacks eaten while watching the game and asked readers who they thought would win. Below is my reply:

Hello Madison! My name is Ty Walker and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. This was a very informative post. Yes, I have heard of the Super Bowl and although I'm not a huge football fan I often watch the game with my parents. I don't like guacamole but I do eat cheese and jalapenos while watching the game. Do you like cheese and jalapeno peppers?

C4k #2 e books by Robert posted January 22,2014

For my second C4K post I was assigned to Robert's blog which was all about e books. The readers are introduced to what e book are and some of the benefits. Below is my reply:

Hello Robert! My name is Ty Walker and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I think this was a great topic because some people may not have known about e books before your post. I liked paper back books a lot when I was your age, but now my favorite way to read is using apple iBooks. I hope you continue to enjoy reading, knowledge is power

c4k #3”This I believe” by KW7ERA February 5, 2014

My third C4K assignment can't be described as anything less than an ode to football. There are vivid descriptions of the type of contact players have with each other and a description of several different plays that are popular within the sport. The blogger is also a football player and expressed his dreams of one day playing in the NFL. Below is my reply:

My name is Ty Walker and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed your post! Even though I am not a fan, football does seem to be an exciting sport. Also, it is refreshing to encounter a young person who is thinking of taking a passion to the next level. You are already aspiring to play football in college and potentially in the NFL, those are wonderful goals. I wish you the best of luck, because with hard work and determination anything is possible.

C4k #4 ”Color Poem” by Allysa D. posted February 3 2014 This post was very deep and I must admit I was not expecting to read such an intense poem as a part of a C4K assignment. In the post Allysa discusses odd behavior exhibited by her father as well as how they make her feel. In the end she reveals that he has a drug problem. Below is my reply:

My name is Ty Walker and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. This was an excellent post. Your poem was very powerful and it amazes me that you shared such a sensitive topic with your peers. You may not have realized it at the time, but this poem may help someone who is in a similar situation. I can tell from your poem that the situations weighs heavily on you, but it may be best to stop worrying and just hope for the best. I admire your bravery and wish you the best of luck with coming to terms with your situation.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Blog Post #6

Personal Learning Network
In resource number one, ”A 7th Graders Personal Learning Environment” we were given a brief overview of how a 7th grade student uses the internet and her PLN to aid with her science class. Without instruction, she reached out to an Australian scientist to look over the information on her blog, thus exhibiting the true essence of engaging in a Personal Learning Network.

In ”Building your PLN- A Primer for anyone” Steven Anderson discussed the importance of PLN's and taking your connections global in order to improve upon the educational process. Steven is very involved with the global aspect of PLN's and has made contact with many different countries and is especially looking forward to linking up with someone who resides in Antarctica. He talked about the importance of collaborating with other educators and also discussed ways to do so, such as blogging, Twitter and Skype.

Of all the resources provided, I would have to say that ”Developing a Personal Learning Network in EDM310” was the most informative. It is a very clear guide on how PLN's are created, the purpose they serve, and what they actually accomplish. After reviewing this document, I was better prepared to respond to the questions proposed for this particular blog post.

A Personal Learning Network is a select group of people with whom you can consult and exchange information with online. The group can be comprised of family, friends, peers or colleagues. The benefits to having a PLN are endless. PLN's can help you as a teacher by enabling you to seek the opinions of other educators, providing access to academic resources such as lesson plans or PBL activities, and providing links to additional educational resources. They are formed by choosing a subject area or particular questions you would like additional opinions or information about and then seeking out people you want to include in your network. Currently, one of the easiest ways to create a PLN is to join a social networking site such as Twitter or Facebook. These sights enable you to search for people by occupatiion, interests or accomplishments thus enabling you to tailor your PLN to your specific needs. Another way to create a PLN is through blogging. Over the course of the semester many of us will begin to create a PLN consisting of peers and current educators, which will be a great help in the future. By starting a PLN now, it will allow us to cement educational relations and resources that will be very helpful to us first year teachers.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blog Post #5

Project Based Learning
The central message expressed by Anthony Capps in this Video was the importance of Project Based Learning being used as a means of learning and not just as a tool by which learning is measured. After watching ”Project Based Learning Part 1” I learned of the change in the way project based learning is interpreted among educators. In the past, PBL was used at the end of a lesson as a way to measure whether or not a student met the learning objectives. Presently, PBL is a method used to aid students in the learning process. I love the way that Anthony incorporates project based learning into his daily instruction and it seems that students enjoy hands on activities which increases the urge to learn. The project that Anthony initiated that involved his students writing to Congressman Joe Bonnor was very interesting. It allowed students to express their personal opinions about a certain topic and allowed for the incorporation of peer editing. Even though only a certain amount of letters were actually sent off, peer editing and revising allowed all students to feel like they were represented. Overall, I feel that EDM310 really gives us as teachers an advantage over those who may not have had such a requirement to fulfill before they graduate. Project Based Learning is a very important part of education in the 21st century and I will incorporate it in many ways when I become a classroom teacher.

In ”Project Based Learning Part 2” Anthony discussed other projects in which his class participated. He also stressed the importance of not having restrictive instructions, this allows students to be more creative and usually results in projects that are more detailed than what a teacher originally expects. Another important issue in this video was what a teacher can do when a parent has an issue with a particular assignment. We as educators have to understand that no two families raise their children alike and that in certain cases precautions should be taken to ensure that all parties feel comfortable. Allowing the option of an alternative project was an excellent solution.

In video 3 ”iCurio” we are given an introduction to iCurio and ways in which it can be used. It is basically a search engine that provides age appropriate audio, text, and pictures that have been filtered specifically for educational purposes. Students and teachers can also store content within iCurio. I think this is a wonderful resource it allows students access to information they need within the risks associated with random internet searches.

It is evident that Anthony Capps is a big fan of Discovery Ed. He explained the benefits of this tool in ”Discovery Education”. He believes that students retain more information when they have visuals and audio coupled with the information to which they are being introduced.

” The Anthony - Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1” is somewhat of a blueprint for first year classroom teachers. Anthony and Dr. Strange provide a view example of how to make year 1 easier. First, it is important for a teacher to have a love of learning. Second, work should be fun! If you love what you do, you tend to become better at doing those things. Third, teachers should know that things will change frequently and should be able to effectively adapt to those changes. In other words, be flexible! Last but certainly not least, allow time for reflection. It is a very important step in the learning process and should be incorporated into as many projects as possible.

Technology is all around us and there is no way to ignore its prevalence. In ”Don't Teach Technology, Use It!” Anthony describes how important it is to incorporate the use of technology into the curriculum rather than just teaching it. It is a great motivation tool and students are able to gain hands on experience rather than just hearing about the potential benefits. We as teachers can also aid in the process by completing the activities before hand so that we better understand how to respond to questions a student may have.

In ”Additional Thought About Lessons” Anthony gives us his interpretation of a lesson which he says includes 4 components year, unit, week and daily. On each level standards should be incorporated and they all work together to complete a common goal.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Blog Post #4

The million dollar question for this assignment is "What do we need to know about asking questions in order to become an effective teacher". The resources I explored provided many different answers to this question. I'll start by discussing “The Right Way to Ask Questions in the classroom”. The author wants us to know that the way we question students’ needs to change!! After reading the post, I began to think of just how much the dynamic of the classroom is changing. GOOD teachers are beginning to realize some of the error of their ways and are taking the steps to make improvements to the way they ask their students’ questions. The author tells readers that many teachers ask questions to see if students have gained an understanding for what they were just taught. However, he raises an important issue about this method being ineffective because of the fact that some students don’t’ REALLY know if they understand or not. Another questionable form of questioning is the “yes or no” approach. In this approach students have a 50/50 chance of getting the answer correct and can easily guess which way their teacher would prefer the question to be answered. Instead Ben suggests randomly calling on students to answer questions so that the students who identify themselves in certain way (smart, dumb, uninterested) won’t be able to avoid verbally responding to questions just because someone else volunteers to do so.
raised hands

Questions should be specific! This was an important component in the resource entitled “Asking Questions to Improve Learning”. After reading the information provided I found that many different concepts help you be effective when asking questions. For example, teachers should avoid asking leading question. Students often catch on and as a result do not actually master certain concepts. Another way to improve the effectiveness of questions is to ask different types; a mixture. A mixture of questions is more beneficial to teachers in helping with the learning process. If a teacher wants to spark a debate he or she might consider open ended questions. While if a teacher was looking to evaluate how much information a student has retained or how well they can relate material they learned to questions asked, he or she may considered closed ended questions. With this assignment I’ve learned that there is a lot I need to know about asking questions in order to become an effective teacher. Most importantly, be specific in what I am asking!
Be Specific

Thursday, February 6, 2014

C4T #1 Project #4

I was assigned to Mrs. Kathleen Morris' blog entitled “Primary Tech”.

C4T#1 Comment #1

The title of the most recent post was "Blogging and The Literacy curriculum" posted on July 31, 2013. This post provides teachers with information about educational blogging and the effect it can have on student literacy. She also provides information about how to effectively incorporate blogging into the classroom. On the first attempt she found it to be a difficult task but goes on to inform teachers of the benefits of educational blogging as well as ways to effectively implement it into their own classroom. My reply to Mrs. Morris post is written below.

As a future educator I found this post to be very informative. I'm sure all first time classroom teachers have an issue with planning and time management and this post provides guidance as to how to handle blogging. The author states that blogging should be integrated into the curriculum rather than be introduced to students as a way to pass time. This allows the students to make personal connections and become interested in what they are actually completing. Educational blogging is very beneficial to students as well as teachers and the information provided can be a blueprint as to how to incorporate blogging into my daily schedule. Blogging can help students improve their literacy skills and also serves as a tool for integrating the concept of teaching and being taught in the 21st century.

C4T#1 Comment #2

The title of the next post was "Looking Back, Looking Forward" posted June 23, 2013. In this post, Mrs. Morris speaks about her desire to rid her classroom of worksheets. Unlike some teachers she realizes they are no longer and effective resource in instruction and is looking at ways to replace them with resources that involve the use of technology. These changes would save classroom space and enable students to become skilled at using technological resources. My response to Mrs. Morris' post is written below.

My name is Tywondra and I attend the University of South Alabama, located in Mobile, Al. I am currently enrolled in EDM310 and was directed to your blog by our professor, Dr. Strange. This post is a wonderful example of a teacher changing with the times. I am 26 years old and unfortunately many of my memories from elementary school involve worksheets. I'm glad to know that teachers are beginning to phase out this type of instruction. I also like that you provided information about things that can be done in place of worksheets!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Blog Post 3

Always be Positive
The overall message presented in the video “What is Peer Editing?” is to remain positive! It gave a clear definition of what it means to engage in peer editing, while also offering potential suggestions on how to effectively do so. As explained in the video, “peer” refers to someone your own age, while “editing” refers to helping to improve, revise and edit someone’s writing. The video also provides what can be described as the “cardinal rules” of peer editing. First, begin with compliments. More than likely EVERYTHING was not wrong with the post, so it is a good policy to start by telling your peer what he or she did correctly. Second, make suggestions about how your peer can improve his or her writing. The recommendations should be SPECIFIC and should focus on areas such as word choice, organization, sentence structure and topics. Last, but definitely not least is making corrections. During this step the focus should be on punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Once all three steps are completed you should have effectively exhibited how to edit the work of a peer.

The slide show "Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial" informs us about how to remain positive while editing the work of peers. Keep in mind that reactions can vary when engaging in peer editing and follow the proper steps to ensure effective criticism.

Peer Editing
The second video,” Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes” , depicted what can go wrong with peer editing in a very light hearted, innocent way. In the video we learned from a group of young students about things that are NOT helpful when critiquing the work of others. These mistakes can occur as a direct result of not following the three steps to peer editing. The top ten mistakes that occur in peer editing were presented in skit form and showed the types of peer editors and responses one may encounter during the process. From “Picky Patty”, whose purpose is to find every single mistake to “Whatever William” who isn’t responsive to peer editing suggestions, peer editing is a sensitive matter and should be approached with a certain level of etiquette.

Everybody Needs Somebody Sometimes
Every resource provided gave me more insight on how to participate in peer editing. In order to be successful, both parties should be patient, positive and open to suggestions. Not only were we provided with steps on how to successfully edit, we were also shown examples of how we SHOULDN’T respond to peer editing, as demonstrated by “Emotional Eddy” and “Whatever William”. If I had to offer advice on peer editing, I would tell others “be open to change”! Remember, your peers may have a better understanding of how to complete an assignment and those suggestions could very well help you in your future endeavors.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blog Post #2

Bored Students
In my opinion, ”Mr. Dancealot” is being a one dimensional instructor. I say this because he is trying to teach his students about dance but he doesn’t allow them time to practice the dances he is teaching them about. He uses PowerPoint presentations to convey how the dances should be completed and expects his students to effectively master the concepts, with no further instruction. Mr. Dancealot then expects his students to reenact what he presented, via PowerPoint, in the ballroom for their final. With no class time allotted for practice, they were left to use only lecture notes to meet the expectations set forth by the professor. During the final, the students expressed how they tried to practice the dances at home but were unsure if they were completing the dances correctly, due to the fact that they received little assistance from Mr. Dancealot. Over the course of the semester, he was not open to suggestions from his students and presented himself as somewhat of a dance instruction dictator. I do not agree with this conclusion, in my opinion, this is NOT an acceptable way to instruct a dance class. The class should have been conducted in an area suitable for dance practice over the course of the semester, not just for the final. Engaging with the students and allowing time to practice would have made the class more enjoyable and would he left the students feeling better prepared and excited about their final.

After viewing ”Teaching in the 21st Century” I gained a new understanding of what it means to teach in the 21st century. Students bring their own set of knowledge, Values, Skills and Attitudes into the classroom and each experience is unique and just as valuable as the next. By placing such a value of the unique experiences of the students, in essence Mr. Roberts is teaching in the 21st century. Long gone are the days of teacher centered education where students were to no more than an avenue by which teachers could dictate. Today, students can offer just as much to the learning process as the teacher and many teachers are inspired by this. If Mr. Roberts is correct it will affect every aspect of me being an educator. Rather than participate in burp back education I would be encouraging my students to utilize the tools available to them to gain the information needed to solve any particular problem. I would be available to answer questions that are not readily available to students but knowing I will not be there to hold their hold will only push them harder to get it done on their own.

With this video, After viewing The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler the author illustrates the need for students to engage in the Connectivism approach to learning. This concept was new to me but it seems as though it is very effective. In other words the author believes that the teacher should not be the focus of the learning process. The concept of Connectivism lets a teacher act more a guide to the knowledge process rather than the education process being teacher centered. Although the teacher is less hands on using this concept the learning process of the student remains a focus. This is evident by the joy expressed when the students encounter new resources on their own. Since Technology is a part of everything we do, it is important to be able to utilize resources correctly and efficiently, which is why I believe this concept is very relevant in progression of the 21st century student. The idea of not using a textbook is not necessarily a new one but has been rare to take courses where text books are not required. This video would lead you to believe that soon, all hard copy text books would be obsolete. Before EDM310 I don’t know if I would have agreed with this approach to learning, but now I am a believer. I personally feel a certain level of gratification when I am able to complete my assignments correctly with minimal assistance from traditional text or my instructor.

The main ideas presented in ”Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts” was that not all students can learn with pencil and paper, not including technology in the learning process would mean excluding many students. Ms. Davis believes every student is capable of learning and she is using technology as a vital link between her and her students. The fact that she was previously recognized for having the best education blog in the world speaks volumes as to what has accomplished with the help of technology. Ms. Davis speaks of many teacher’s fear to explore new things because they have not personally mastered a concept. I think that was an important point to make, because like she said the students can also help the teacher and often feel empowered when they do so. One of the most powerful statements in this video was from Ms. Davis it reminds me on the very essence of EDM310 and the views expressed by Dr. Strange “I don’t have to define EVERYTHING and I shouldn't…they should be thinkers.”

Flipping the Classroom
Although the concept of ”Flipping the Classroom” is new to me it seems to offer many advantages to students. It introduces them to advanced technology concepts at a younger age and also encourages critical thinking by allowing the students to watch prerecorded information at home so that their questions will be well thought out when they return to the classroom the following day. Although it is only being used for math, it can be useful for all core curriculum subjects. I don’t know about anyone else but as a child when I asked my mother for help with my homework I was often torn between accepting the help she could provide and following the instructions just as they were given to me by my teacher. Flipping the classroom would enable parents to have access to the same information their child is learning in school, thus making it easier to assist him or her. I think this approach would be very useful to me as a teacher. Especially taking the No Child Left Behind Act into consideration. No two children learn at the same pace so flipping the classroom could serve as a backup tool for those student who may not understand something learned in class.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blog Post #1

Before this semester began I was told by other students that EDM310 is a very time consuming class. How it was explained to me, EDM310 focuses on self discipline and your grade will be a direct reflection of your efforts. Finally, I was informed that there was zero tolerance for late assignments and that the lack of regularly recorded grades is also an area of concern for many students. Although I was apprehensive about the course I decided to register and find out for myself.

I am apprehensive about many things pertaining to EDM310 but the lack of a structuralized grading system seems to frighten me the most. As college students we are often trained to obtain educational achievement by reaching the bar that is established by the professor. After reading the syllabus and other course related documents it seems that rather than reaching a bar set by someone else we are required to set the bar for ourselves with no regard to anyone else, that in itself can be a bit overwhelming. There is also a fear of being judged. A blog is very personal and is available for everyone to see, that can place an enormous amount of pressure on someone who is new to the concept.

EDM 310 is similar to a few courses I have taken at the University of South Alabama, for example EDF 315. Both classes provided very detailed course information and set very clear expectations for perspective students, especially a zero tolerance policy for late assignments. EDM310 is also very similar to EPY355 in that they both set expectations that a certain amount of time needs to be set aside each week to complete the course work presented to students. My first Bachelor's degree from the University of South Alabama was in Criminal Justice so I have been exposed to a variety of courses. Each course provided a unique set of guidelines and expectations. For instance, attendance was not required in CJ390, alternative dispute resolutions but it is mandatory for certain dates in EDM310. In MA202, Math for Elementary School teachers, all assignments are promptly loaded into Sakai and our current average is always available for review, vastly different from EDM310 where grades are not the focus of the course.

I personally feel that time management will be the most difficult aspect of EDM310. I am a full time student, mother and part time employee with the Mobile County Public School system so it will be challenging to ensure that EDM310 gets AT LEAST 9 hours of my time per week, but it is very possible.

Planning my weekly activities in advance will be the best way for me to address the "most difficult" aspect of EDM310, which is time management. By keeping detailed notes and properly documenting assignment due dates and exams days I will ensure that I can devote the required amount of time to EDM310.

Since grades are not considered important in EDM310 I would like to know how a students knows whether or not they are not meeting the required expectations by the add/drop date. I would also like to know if throughout the semester any extra credit assignments will be available. The best way to address these questions is to ask previous students or directly consult Dr. Strange.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Practice Post

My name is Tywondra Walker but my friends and family call me Ty. I'm 26 years old and have resided in Mobile, Al most of my life. Over the years I have lived in Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia. My major interests include traveling, shopping and learning new things. One could say that the sequence of events that led me to become a student at the University of South Alabama are far from average. I began my freshman year of college in New Orleans,La at Dillard University the same week that Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the city. As a result, I was forced to move back to Mobile, Al and the rest is history!

I am the oldest of two children who are the result of a 27 years marriage. My younger brother, Tommie, is 21 years old and is a Junior at the University of Alabama. My mother is a graduate of Alabama State University and owns a medical billing company here in Mobile, Al. My dad recently retired from the US Navy after 30 years of service and now enjoys a life of leisure. I spend time with him daily and it is something I have come to enjoy very much. Aside from being a sister and a daughter, I am also a mother. I have 2 children, Tiyana who is six years old and Tylan who is two years old. They are my primary focus at this point in my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I want to enter the Education field to make a positive impact on the youth. I originally graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. My goal was to become a Juvenile Probation Officer but after many years of no work in my field I decided to return to College. Although it was not my first field of study I feel that I can accomplish just as much in the field of Education as I intended to accomplish in the field of Criminal Justice. I believe that character is molded at a young age and I want to be a part of the very critical years that can make such an impact on a child's future choices.

Shopping seems to be what I am the best at right now, simply because it is so easy to do! However, I like traveling more than I like to do anything else. I will have pictures available from my favorite pastime ,traveling, in the near future! I would like to get better at learning new things. It is a broad category but for me it includes incorporating reading into my day to day activities and that is something I really want to accomplish.

Although I have lived a pretty interesting life I didn't take my first flight until I was 24 years old! It was a trip to San Diego with my parents and I guess you could say a warm up, because three weeks later I took a 14 hour flight to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I really enjoyed traveling outside of the United States and if given the opportunity I would live outside of the United States up to 3 months out of every year!

Welcome to my world!

My Test Post Title

This is my first post for EDM310. I am officially a blogger!