29 February 2012

Blog post #5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens).
The blog post "Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?" is challenging the "old" way of thinking in regards to teaching practices. This is exactly what I blogged about in my Blog Post #3 below. The way students are taught as well as the way teachers are taught to teach, has not significantly changed in over 100 years. The ideas and methods of education need to be revamped and retooled - quickly! Dr. McLeod couldn't have hit the nail any squarer on the head with this blog post. The last section in his post is particularly moving:


'cause I'm doing all of it with my kids

can't wait to see who has a leg up in a decade or two

can you?"

We need to challenge the old way. "Because it has always been done that way" thinking needs to be changed. We are the future of education in this country. It is our responsibility.

The iSchool Initiative and ZeitgeistYoungMinds
Travis Allen was just 17 years old in 2009, when the first video "The iSchool Initiative" was made. He received an iPod Touch for Christmas that school year and saw then how powerful it could be if used in the classroom. He now is President and CEO of iSchool Initiative, a group of 25 college students that travels the country and shares their ideas of a technologically advanced classroom. Travis claims that if schools went paperless by way of the iPod Touch, the savings would be around $450 per student per year. That is not pocket change when you consider even a school with 500 enrolled students would be saving at least $250,000 every year!
The monetary benefits are only scratching the surface when it comes to this idea. I have school aged children, and I know how hard it is to keep up with their homework and out of class assignments. We all remember being in elementary, middle, and high school. For the majority of students, keeping up with their assignments is not the first on their list of priorities, even if it should be. As a parent, I would love to be able to access a data base through my phone or computer that would allow me to see exactly, up to the minute (maybe hour depending on the teacher), how my child is doing in their classes and what work they have to do when they get home.

Just saw this on the nbc nightly news this is amazing

This is the most incredible thing I've ever seen.

this is just marvelous...


Is this what Heaven will sound like ........... what a sweet sound all of you make. Perhaps there is hope for us.

I'm a composer. I am humbled. That is all.

I think they did a pretty good job summing that up....

Teaching 21st Century Students

This is an absolutely awesome slideshow presented by Kevin Roberts. I took a mental step back when I read the slide that said "teachers are not the number one source of information any longer. They are the filter." I never thought about it in that respect, but the world is at our fingertips now, and students are using the internet to learn. Everything you could ever want to know is right there. The problems is, everything that is out there is not necessarily the truth. Anyone can find the answer to a question in Google, or any other search engine, online encyclopedia, or YouTube, but how do they know if the answer they received was the correct one? That is where educators fit in to the circle. It is our responsibility to ensure the data that is absorbed by our students is factual. Not an easy task to say the least...

Reading Rockets

This is a one stop site for all of your educational resources when it comes to teaching a child to read. Weather you are a parent that needs to help your child at home or a principal that would like some extra insight on how to raise your school's reading level, Reading Rockets is the place to go.

For teachers, there is an abundance of information. The ABCs of Teaching Reading is a great place to start looking. Here are two topics that are discussed in this section:

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Reading: What it takes to learn to read, the achievement gap in the U.S., and how we can help struggling readers.

Reading 101: What you should know about print awareness, the sounds of speech, phonemic awareness, phonics, informal assessment, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, writing, and text comprehension.

Go to the site and take a look around. You will not be disappointed.
student reading a book

19 February 2012

Blog post #4

iPod in the classroom

100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better
This is a very good article showing 100 ways for students to use their apple device as a learning tool. The mobility of the iPod and iPad makes them the perfect accessory for studying on the go. The ever growing App Store allows the Apple device owner to have a seemingly endless array of tools for everyday life.

rss podcast

Judy Scharf Podcast Collection
This article is, as far as I can tell, a complete guide to podcasting. Weather you are doing a podcast individually or for your entire class, there is a wealth of information on how to get started, what works, and the tools you can use to simplify the process. A must read for those starting to podcast.

podcasting for children

The benefits of podcasting in the classroom
Joe Dale has a very informative post and video in his blog about the benefits of using podcasts in an education setting. I loved the idea about students using podcast while home sick from school so the day's lectures aren't missed, brilliant! I'm sure some children won't see that as a plus, but it can benefit the proactive student and not allow them to fall behind or miss valuable reviews for tests due to illness or unpreventable absences.

12 February 2012

My Presentation

Due to the animations in my slides, the auto play feature does not work properly. Please click the "open in new window" button and move through the slides with the space bar. The videos are kind of cool too... Thanks!

11 February 2012

Blog post #3

Fulfilling the needs of special needs
Technology in Special Education

Technology in a Special Education class room. There is a thought! I don't know why it seems like these things take so long to come to fruition, but making it easier for a student with special needs to communicate and complete tasks is a no brainer. I can only imagine the frustration involved with trying to complete a written assignment for a child with a physical disability that makes it difficult to use a pen or a pencil. Let them type, use a mouse to select letters, speak to text, or any number of others programs that allow them to share their ideas and most importantly, learn.
Instead of doing things the same way, just because it is the way it has always been done, we as future educators need to think outside the box and use this great technology that is now at our finger tips. Make the class room more enjoyable. Make the education system more inviting. Allow students to enjoy and look forward to coming to school. We are the future of education. It is our responsibility to continue this transition and wire the classrooms.

iPad Works with Autism

This video shows just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to the advantages of using the iPad or other tablet devices in education. The immediate verbal and visual feedback of the Toddler Counting application is what keeps the child's attention and seems to stimulate him to continue with the assignment. Awesome learning tool!
The ground is just being broken on the technological revolution in the education system. I would imagine that in the next 10 years, we will be wondering how in the world did me make it through school with out the electronic devices we will have in the classrooms then. This is a much needed change, and I cannot wait to watch it explode!

The Apple.com App Store has a myriad of applications that can assist the educator in the class room. One that I found interesting was the Math Board application. What a great way to visualize the math problems and receive instantaneous feed back in the safety of your own desk.

Here is a link to an article that I found in the New York Times about iPads in the class rooms... It has begun!
New York Times

Garys Social Media Count

I absolutely love these types of counters. It really puts the technology explosion into perspective. Far too often, Americans do not think about the vast numbers of people that are on this planet of ours that live outside the United States. According to the CIA, the United States is the third largest country (313 million+) but only 4% of the total world population. The website, internetworldstats.com, has the U.S. listed as the country with the second most internet users (78% of population, 245 million people), but only contributing to 11% of the world internet users. From 2000 until now, the U.S. has had a 206% growth in internet users. Sounds like a lot, right? Guess again. Nigeria had one of the largest percentage increases at around 21,000%. India had a 2000% increase in users, but even more impressive was the number of new users in the last 10 years: 95,000,000! The world as a whole saw a 500% internet user growth rate over that same span. There are now more than 2 billion internet users world wide. These numbers are just remarkable! Gary's counter, in the link above, shows the daily increase of new internet users to be more people than the United States has in population. Never before has it been as easy as it is today for people to close the gap in communication and education around the world.

The following image is a 3D representation of the World Wide Web. It can be found at vilb.us

The World Wide Web
"The Internet is not a thing, a place, a single technology, or a mode of governance.
It is an agreement. "
John Gage, Director of Science, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

This illustrates in 3-D the actual domains and connections of the world wide web. Colors have been added to represent .edu, .gov, .com, etc. domains. I've always seen the web as bubbles - some large, some small - and vectors - thick or thin. This is the best graphic device I've seen to show that connectivity. - George Laughead

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

Michael Wesch, and his anthropology students from Kansas State University, have shared a very powerful video about how today's college student actually lives day to day. I thought the video was very well made and believe it will leave an impression on all of those who watch it who have no real experience with current college aged students. Having children that are college age and currently attending college myself, this video didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but I am not a part of the target audience. This video is aimed at the current educational leaders in the United States. I wonder how many university deans, superintendents of education, senior professors, or department chairs have watched this video? All I can say is that if I were in their position and watched this video, I would be embarrassed. Embarrassed that I was so far detached from the current state of America's collegiate student. Embarrassed that I haven't done more with the technology that is at our disposal. Embarrassed that I sit in an office that smells of old books and rich mahogany and my students sit in desks while their professor writes on a chalk board and lectures in the same style that was delivered over one hundred years ago. Why?

Class room from 1911:
Classroom from 1911

07 February 2012

First mobile post...

So, I'm sitting at my kids soccer practice and found out that Blogger had an app for my phone... not too shabby... might take me a while to figure out all of the nuances, but cool nonetheless.