Thursday, December 6, 2012

Blog Post # 9


I chose to read What I learned this year 2008-09 mainly because I wanted to compare Mr. McClung's  first year of teaching to his most recent year of teaching in What I learned This Year-Volume 4.  After his first year of teaching, Mr. McClung decided that he would take the advice of his mentor, and start a reflective blog at the end of each school year that he taught. Mr. McClug's first year teaching was in 2008-2009. In his first blog he discuses a few things that he learned teaching. First he learned that the one of the most. important aspect of teaching was checking on students comprehension, and not to focus on what his superiors and other co-workers thought of him. He also learned to be flexible in the lessons that he taught, no lesson is perfect. When a lesson didn't go as planned he didn't get all worked up over his mistake, but take that as a lesson learned and to work out the situation. In his first blog he states that communication is the best medicine. It's the best way to solve any situation that arises in the work place. Mr. McClung said not to be afraid of technology. This really hits home for me. I sometimes get over whelmed with the amount of technology that is available to use. In the word of Mr. McClung, "Technology is our friend and is essential to living in our microwave society of today". The second to last tip that he gives it to listen to the students and to take interest in the students life, this will show the students that you care about them and that you are there for them. Last but, not least never stop learning.

In his most recent blog, Volume 4, Mr. McClung's struggled with how his peers viewed him as a teacher. This past school year he discovered that he had to stay true to himself, and follow his one rule that is to make sure the students are having fun and learning at the same time. Mr. McClung noticed that he had began to get into a routine with how he was teaching, and his creativity was slowly fading. He found out the hard way as to what can happen when you get to comfortable teaching. He began to get lazy with his lesson plans, and the students began to not enjoy going to class. Mr. McClung took the opportunity that he was given to change subjects as a challenge to become a better teacher. I have recently decided to change my major from Education to Psychology, but this blog still hits home for me. I has give me a new look on how to stay focused on my goals, and to not let what other people's opinion of me get me down. I know that as long as I am doing my best then I will be just fine.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blog Post # 7

The Networked Student 


The video, The Networked Student, it talks about using the internet as a learning tool. No books are needed, and a teacher is available for guidance. Connectivism  is a theory that presumes that learning  occurs as a part of social networking and many diverse connections and ties, which makes learning possible through various tools of technology. The students attend class three days a week, and the other two days are done online. The teacher empowers the students to take control of their learning by making new connections with other students and teachers who will strengthen their own learning process. The students search the internet to find creditable website. This concept of learning can be done with almost any grade level. This is something that I did not do in high school, but I have done as a college student. Leaning is becoming more and more less traditional. By using this concept to teach students, it allows them to be more independent in the way that they learn, and it empowers the student to be more confident that they are retaining what they are learning.

 The students use social bookmark sites, which is a place where people share URL's  on a specific topic to gain knowledge about the topic that they are currently studying.  The students also search for blogs to gain knowledge on a specific topic. The students use a reader to manage the blogs that they use by subscribing to the blog. Once the students have a base knowledge of the topic that they are studying, they will create a blog to share, and reflect on what they have learned.  I tunes is another tool that the students; it is a tool where thousands of courses and lectures are recorded by professors. The networked student concept gives the students a different view of how a specific topic can be taught. With different sources available to the students, they can get a better idea of what they are learning.

The question that has be asked regarding the networked student is,  why does the networked student even need a teacher? The teacher is the one who teaches the students how to build the network, and take advantage of the learning opportunity they are given. The teacher also offers guidance, and shows the students how to communicate properly. The teacher also encourages the students to ask for help from experts in respectful way. The teacher also shows the students how to determine the difference from good information and propaganda.  The networked student will be better prepared for a college setting. The student will have been taught all that they need to study, and learn independently. I wish this was something that I could have taken advantage of when I was in high school. 


In the video, A Seventh Grader's Personal Learning Environment, a student is demonstrating her own personal leaning environment. She created her own page that consist of information that she looked up online that relates to her coursed she is taking in school. She visits her page every morning at the beginning of class to find out if she has any videos or assignments due. She is in control of what she works on.  She uses Pocket Assignments to learn to wright a scientific report. She also searches the web for sites that are related to what she is learning in class, and post them to her page. The students also participate in peer review. Peer review is a good way for the students to interact with other students and a professional opinion from other professors. I like the idea of the personal learning environment. It's a good tool that can be used to teach the students to be independent and learn from others. The only thing that I don't like is that this particular course and use of the personal learning environment is that it is paperless. I think that some of the traditional aspects of learning need to be combined with modern day technology.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blog Post #6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

In the video, Randy Paush's Last Lecture, Randy discusses three topics: his childhood dreams, enabling the dream of others, and the lessons that are learned when achieving your dreams or enabling others to achieve their dreams. Randy Paush was a very inspirational speaker. He was told that he only had a few months left to live due to the numerous amounts of tumors that he had in his liver, Randy said, "we can not change the cards that we are dealt just how we play the hand". He lived by this quote in his final days. He chose to live life to the fullest, and cherish each moment that he had left. As a child he had big dreams, have something to bring to the table, that will make you more welcome". I think that as a future teacher that statement is very true. Not only as faculty to faculty, but in teaching to your students. If you have something to offer students, they will be more intrigued to learn. One of his dreams was to play in the NFL, although he did not play for the NFL he did play football as a child. In one of his practices his couch talked about focusing on the other twenty one players that were on the team, not just the player who had the ball. This practice taught him how important fundamentals are. Randy said "If you don't have the fundamentals down, because other wise the fancy stuff isn't going to work". I find this statement very true. As an educator fundamentals are very important for a child's learning. If a child doesn't have the basic knowledge of something, they will never grasp the entire concept.


Brick walls are something that we all as individuals are faced with. The lessons that can be learned from these brick walls are that they are there for a reason, they let us prove how bad we want it. Randy demonstrated how we could use brick walls in a positive way  to enable the childhood dreams of others. As a professor, Randy was able to work with students who had dreams, and he pushed them to do their very best. Even when his students did their very best, he pushed them to be better. Randy said the best way to teach someone something is to make them think that they are learning something else.
I was very moved by his last lecture. No matter what he put others first. He is truly and inspiration, even in his last days. He had such a strong passion for life and teaching others to do what he loved best

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blog Post # 5

The iSchool Initiative 

After watching Travis Allen's The iSchool Initiattve, I was very impressed by all of the educational solutions  he mentioned. Technology in the classroom is growing, and is now being more used than books and paper. He demonstrated all of the possible applications that could be used in and out of the classroom. The use of iSchool could drastically change how a student learns. The iSchool could have many advantages for students with learning disabilities. The fact that a lecture can be recorded, and then viewed later could help a student who needed to hear the lecture at a slower rate.  The price of the iSchool could save a struggling school thousands of dollars, or put to a better use.

 I think that the iSchool Initiative would be a great tool for teachers, students, and parents. It seems to be user friendly. It would save time and money in the classroom.Parents will be able to be up to date with everything that goes on in the classroom. The fact that parents, and students will have access to class assignments, email to teachers, and other resources at anytime anywhere will be a huge advantage to the current educational process. Teachers won't have to pay out of pocket for supplies, and schools won't have to pay for books, and other materials. The iSchool can save money that can be put to a better use.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

Wow! Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir is amazing! It is truly amazing that he put this performance together by just using videos of 182 people on the internet together to create a choir. The performance sounded like you were right there in the auditorium listening to the choir in person. None of the 182 people never practiced together, and each person did their own personal recording. That is what makes this performance so special. It's amazing what you can do with technology these days.

Teaching in The 21st Century 
In the video, Kevin Roberts makes some very interesting points for Teaching in the 21st Century.
Kevin states that teachers are no longer the main source for information, and that the role of a teacher is obsolete.  Students use many different ways to obtain information such as Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, and many other internet resource websites. I think as a future educator we need to embrace all of the technology that is before us, and use it to our advantage to be a better teacher. Technology can be a very powerful tool if used in the correct way. In a way I agree with Kevin Roberts in the fact that we as students, and educators both get information and other resources from the internet. I also disagree with the statement that teachers are obsolete. Teachers use the internet and technology as a resource to teach, and guide students to learn differently.  

Flipped Classroom


Katie Gimbar's presentation of the Flipped Classroom sends a very powerful message of how to properly teach a classroom using technology. I wish I was able to have a flipped classroom when I was a student in high school. I think that I would have been more successful as a student if I would have been able to go at my own pace, and to have the lectures available to me at any time that I needed. I really like the idea of the flipped classroom. It gives each student a successful way for them to learn. Each student learns differently, and I think that recording the lecture for the student to review before class gives them a chance to see what they already know, or to prepare questions that they have about the lecture. In Dr. Lodge McCammons's Fizz- Flipping the Classroom, Dr. McCammon demonstrates how the traditional lecture to a class is inefficient, not engaging, and a one shot deal. FIZZ is a program that Dr. McCammon created to teach teachers how to properly flip a classroom. He also demonstrated how efficient the flipped classroom method is for the students, and how the students benefit from learning in a flipped classroom. In  Ms. Munafo's Flipping the Classroom presentation of what a flipped classroom is to the parents and students; she gives the parents and students a great overview of how she plans on teaching her Math lessons in class. I felt that she outlined her requirements for the flipped portion of her class easy for the parents and students to understand.I feel that the flipped classroom will have positive and successful results for the students. I would absolutely use the flipped classroom method to teach.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blog Post # 4

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom

In Joe Dale's video of  The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom,  He explains how the use of podcasting is a resourceful tool that can be used in the classroom or outside of the classroom. Podcasting is a tool that more teachers are starting to take advantage of. Podcasting can be used for individual learning centers in the classroom, or for an entire lecture to be played at the convenience of the student at home.  Podcasting can be a very beneficial tool  for students who are unable to attend class. If a student has missed a great deal of in class time and  the teacher has recorded the lecture, the student can view the podcast to not fall behind in class. This is something that I wish I had as a student in school. Podcast can even be done by the student, which is engaging and learning at the same time. Podcasting can be fun and  exciting way for the students to learn and teach other students. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blog Post #3 -- 9/16

Paige Ellis' Blog Assignment #12
      All of the videos and presentations recommended dealt with peer editing. For the most part, I had an idea of what effective peer editing should include. I never really thought to have it mapped out. I like the way that there was a sense of continuity between all of the presentations. There are three simple steps: compliment, suggestion, and correction. I've heard time and time again that one should always prep a person for criticism by complimenting them first. This sort of constructive criticism doesn't only apply to peer editing papers etc., but also applies to every interaction in your life.
     The first video,  What is Peer Editing? was super simple and to the point. I loved the simplicity and directness of the person speaking. I felt like it outlined everything so simply that I could immediately remember it. The second presentation, Peer Edit with Perfection! Tutorial went hand in hand with the first. It was also very straightforward and explanatory. The final video was wonderful. Writing Peer Review TOP 10 Mistakes was adorable. I love the way the students were so involved in the learning process. I'm sure those students learned even more due to the fact that they were so involved in creating a video explaining the worst things people can do during peer editing.

 A Silly Peer Editing Joke

Technology in Special Education
     There are a million more resources available to teachers of special education students. In the video, Technology in Special Education, the teacher shows how helpful technological resources are in her classroom. I was astonished by the ease at which Kris could communicate with technology in comparison to the mode that would have been used just years ago. I believe that these sort of resources should be available to any teacher with a special education student. 
     As a teacher, I would try my best to give students all the resources available to make their learning and communication easier. The only problem I think might arise would deal with the lack of money or funding in the schools. Hopefully, I'll land a job at a school that invests in their special education program. I would hate to have a student constantly struggling with things that could be easily fixed with the right piece of technology. 

Apple Education Apps
     Scene Speak by Good Karma Applications, Inc would be an awesome tool for a teacher to allow a special education student to use. It creates a virtual library that is broken down into categories. In each of these categories, there are pictures and words that can be added and customized. Also, personal pictures can be added. The names and pronunciations can be done using your own recorded voice. 
      For a non-verbal student, categories for each subject could be added. When asking questions or testing, the nonverbal student could use these as a sort of multiple choice/word bank. Also, it could be a simple student tool that allows them to learn in a more engaging manner.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
      Vicki Davis is definitely a master of student engagment. In her video, she talks about how students should be empowered and aware of technology. These sorts of classes really do teach students how to learn and keep learning for the rest of their lives. Every day, our world gets more technology dependent. For this reason, it's extremely important that they know about blogging, wikispaces, virtual worlds to blend and thrive in our society. 
     One of the best aspects of this class is the way it connects the students with the world. These students are from rural Georgia and communicating with others all over the world. This is an international learning experience that will change these students outlook on their place in the world. I wish Alabama would get more technologically savvy educators who were willing to have classes similar to Davis'.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blog Post #2

Did You Know?

     I've now learned a wealth of new information after watching  Did You Know - by John Strange January 12 Version as well as Did You Know 3.0. I always had an idea about the large populations in China and India, but never really grasped it until I saw the statistics. The excuse children use about not having a computer in their house has been used over and over again. The high percentage of students who really have computers was amazing to hear about. I'm definitely going to reference that fact next time I hear that excuse... Also, I'm going to pass it on to some middle and high school teachers that I know.
     One of the most surprising facts mentioned in the video was about the current top jobs not being around ten years ago. Also, the jobs that will be in demand in ten years have most likely not been created. This means that educators aren't only teaching students what they need to know based on the jobs around now, but they are also responsible for making students able to adapt and learn quickly throughout their lives.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

   Mr. Winkle goes to sleep one day, and wakes up a 100 years later to a very different world. . As Mr. Winkle wondered through the city, he began to see how his world had advanced greatly by the use of technology.  The use of technology frightened him. Every where he went computers were being used for everything. Mr. Winkle was very confused on how co-workers could talk to each other from half way across the world. He was in shock over the fact that pictures were being printed on paper instantly. This overwhelming feeling started to make Mr. Winkle sick, so he went to the hospital. while at the hospital, he noticed the same type of computer were being used. Still he didn't feel any better, so he left.
    After he left the hospital, Mr. Winkle came across a school. When he entered the school the first thing that he noticed was that there was only one computer in the class room, and it wasn't even in use. Mr. Winkle felt at ease when he saw that the students were reading books and the teacher was in front of the class giving a lecture.  It made him so happy to see that the children were still being taught the way that he was taught a 100 years ago. No matter how advanced technology will become, sometimes doing thing the good ole fashion way can be just as important as the use of technology.

The Importance of Creativity 

    Ken Robinson gives a great view on his opinion of how public schools are killing the creativity in children today. He stated that present day educators are educating children who will be retiring in the year of 2065, and that educators have no idea of how life will be in five years much less fifty three years from now.
    Ken Robinson gave a great example of how full of creativity children are as he told the story of the little girl in art class who drew the picture of Jesus. The teacher asked the child what she was drawing, and the child replied "I'm drawing a picture of God." Then the teacher said " But no one knows what God looks like." As the child is drawing her picture, she is taking advantage of been given the chance to be creative. The little girl replies to the teachers statement with "They will in a minute." That child saw her opportunity to be creative and she ran with it. Ken Robinson makes a great argument when he stated that educators are educating people out of their creative capacity. I agree with Mr. Robinson when he said that he "believed that we don't grow into creativity, but we grow out of it. I remember how creative I was when I was a child and my imagination ran wild with ideas, and now that I have grown up I find it harder and harder to be creative in anything that I try. 

A Day Made of Glass 2    

    In this video, it demonstrates the amazing advances that our future holds for technology. Technology is  a very powerful learning tool that is currently being used in classrooms across the world. If the technology that we currently use today was present when I we were in school as a child, as adults now we could be so much more advanced than we are now. I think that it is absolutely fabulous that children who are currently in school will be able to learn so much more in the amount of time spent in class than adults now.
    As I think about how the growth of technology is on the rise; I can't help to think of the possibilities that technology could be a danger to some if it is not used in the correct way. Technology is a very powerful tool that can be used in very good ways to better everyday living, but it could also change everyday life to the point that a human is no longer needed to preform certain task. The number of factory jobs have decreased dramatically mainly because of advanced technology. Computers are now taking the place of a person who once ran machinery in factories such as car manufacturing production lines. I think that we as a whole need to appreciate technology, but not let it consume us.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Project # 1- Wordle

About Me

My name is Erin May, I grew up in Hurley, MS. I lived there until this past year. I now live in Mobile, AL. I attended East Central High School, and graduated in May of 2002. After high school I decided to start working full time. I eventually started working at The Learning Tree; which is a residential school for children with special needs. I have an older brother who was diagonsed with Autism at the age of 3.  He was a resident at The Learnig Tree for 14 years. After working there for 3 years I decided that I wanted to go back to school to teach Special Education. I attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College,  where I obtained an Associates degree. I transferred this Fall to USA as an Elementary Education major. I chose to attend USA, so that I could stay close to my mother.

I  am passionate about helping others who are in need. My dream is to have a preschool for children with special needs. I have seen first hand how important it is for a child with any mental disability to receive early intervention. I would like to attend Auburn University to obtain my Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. I am currently working part time at Hampton Inn as a Front Desk Supervisor.  I like to enjoy my time away from work and school by taking my dog to the park, and spending time with friends and family. I have a nine month old Yorkie/Schnauzer mix named Jax.

Time Management

The time management video that was presented by Randy Pausch made me realize all the things that I have been doing wrong, such as waiting to the last minute to get things done,  not making a "to do" list,  and that I am making things harder on myself. The main thing that stood out to me was " Failing to plan is planning to fail." I now realize that to be successful in anything I have to have a plan. I also have to have a check list to make sure that I didn't forget anything.  I always seen to put the hardest thing off till last minute and rush to get everything completed on time. It seems like it would be much easier to get the hard part out of the way first.