Saturday, November 29, 2014

Blog Post 5: Part 2

Image of people in a cicle
Photo by: Innovative PD


Before EDM310, I had no clue what a personal learning network (PLN) was. Over the course of this semester, I have learned so much about what a PLN is and how to use so many different resources. Since being in EDM310 I have gathered my own PLN on Symbaloo. This website is a great way to keep all of my connections organized and in one place. EDM310 has been so rewarding when it comes to connecting from people all around the world. Through my blog, I was able to connect to so many different teachers and students in places that I could possibly never go, but I could communicate so easily via blogging/commenting. I was able to see what teachers and students were doing in their classes, and learn from them. Reading teacher's blogs is a great way to hear and learn from other educators out there. When reading other teachers' opinions and experiences, it's always interesting to hear their perspectives and learn from their words. As a future teacher, I am always open to new ideas and advice. I also didn't think Twitter could offer that much to me as a teacher, but it is a great way to communicate with other educators from all around the world. Youtube is another huge resource I used throughout this class, and it's a great way to share with a much broader audience. I hope to continue to grow my PLN because it provides so much opportunity for networking farther than I can imagine. As a future teacher, I think that adding to my PLN will only benefit me so much throughout my career. I'm excited to see how much I can continue to build my PLN! EDM310 has taught me so much about everything a PLN has to offer and I'm so glad I was able to learn so much that I can take with me into my career.

C4T #4 Summary

Image of the words 21st century learning

Photo by: Educators Technology

11/16/14: Comment #1

I chose Jennifer Ferguson's Blog for my C4T #4. Her most recent post is titled "InfoWhelm and Information Fluency." Her post consisted of a video that emphasizes the amount of digital output we have all over the world. This video was trying to get the point across that our digital output is constantly increasing over time.

In my comment to Mrs. Ferguson, I first introduced myself and told her where I am from. I complimented her on her blog post as well. I explained to Mrs. Ferguson that I thought this video was very interesting to see a visual of the amount of digital output we put out around the world. I told her that the digital world is really increasing with so many sources and educational tools. It does not surprise me that the digital output is increasing and continuing to increase daily. Lastly, I told Mrs. Ferguson to feel free to visit our class blog and my blog, and that I look forward to reading more of her posts in the future.

11/26/14: Comment #2

I commented for a second time on Jennifer Ferguson's Blog. She hasn't posted a more recent post than the last, so I chose one of her later posts. This post is titled "My Learning Journey of Connected Coaching." In her post she explains that this post is about her journey so far with "Connected Coaching." She explains that she is a 'Learning Services Coordinator' and that she needed work with connecting with her colleagues. She continues to write about 4 different pictures and explains how she views them with her "reflective" eye. She says that through her journey she wanted to learn from her "rural" side. She then reflected and contemplated from each picture. She explains how empowered she feels to enact "Connected Coaching" to her to her division. She explains that it is also working well in her online learning network.

In my comment, I introduced myself and told her where I was from. I told Mrs. Ferguson that it was great to comment to her for a second time. I told her that I was really impressed with this blog post and her dedication to her journey. I explained to her that I have never heard of "Connected Coaching" and that it was great to learn more about it. I told Mrs. Ferguson that I thought it was great that she included her online learning network so she can share with so many others. I continued to tell her that it was great to read about her interesting journey with "Connected Coaching" and I wished her luck ahead. Lastly, I again left her the links to our class blog and my blog.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post 14

Image of the words time for change
Photo by: Coach Nancy Lundy's Website

Teaching Can Be a Profession by Joel Klein

From reading the article, Teaching Our Children Can Be a Profession: Column by Joel Klein, there are many problems that are discussed by Mr. Klein and the appropriate solutions he has are explained. The first problem involves better academic training for prospective teachers. The second problem involves recruiting new teachers. The third problem involves job security and seniority. Lastly, Klein explains the views of a teacher-union leader, Albert Shanker.

The first problem that Klein addresses is that teachers need to be better educated through their academic training. He discusses recent reports have identified that in 23 states, the teacher education programs do not provide solid math preparation or adequate reading instruction. The solution addressed by the NCQT Teacher Prep Review involves applying a new ranking system for preparing teachers. This blows me away because if we do not know curriculum such as these, then why are we going on to teach young minds? Therefore, I agree that teaching programs should be equip with a more challenging curriculum, so pre-teachers are learning everything they must in order to be a better academic leader. I do think a new ranking system would benefit school systems because the teachers would be held accountable for their academic standing.

The next problem is about recruiting new teachers. Klein says that there should be a new approach in "picking" the best teachers. In order to do this, Klein states that teachers should be recruited from the top third of the graduating class. I think that this is a great idea. I don't think it's fair to overlook the top outstanding students, but instead recognize them. I think that if students are top in their graduation class, then through their hand work they deserved to be "recruited" in the teaching field. According to the Washington Post, countries such as Singapore, Finland and South Korea only pick the top third of the graduating class, which is no more than one out of every seven or eight. I agree with the fact of choosing the best and brightest of the graduation class, but perhaps a wider range other than one third should be applied. That way, it wouldn't cut off those who are just under one third and who are still equip at being in a selective program. I do agree that the program should be more selective, but maybe at a ratio of the top one half of the graduation class instead of one third. This way, more people would be recognized for their hard work and not cut off at one third. This scenario has both a positive and a negative view.

The third problem involves job security and seniority dictating our school systems. Klein explains that when a school has layoffs, the most recently hired teacher is laid off instead of the least effective teacher. The solution to this problem is acknowledging all teachers performances. According to Klein, this type of change would be radical but necessary. This type of radical change among school systems would most definitely benefit students, and also improve the status of teachers. I agree with this solution. I think that it would be unfair to layoff a great teacher just because he/she was hired later than another teacher. Teachers should be evaluated by their skills and not by how long they have been in a school system.

A highly known influential teachers-union leader, Albert Shanker, has some intriguing views as well about the education of teachers. Shanker called for a "national teacher examination" and a supervised internship of three years. I think that both of these policies would benefit pre-teachers. I think that all of these solutions would radically change the way people view teachers, and in a positive way. For example, I think that teachers would be viewed as more than just an "elementary teacher," but instead a "powerful educator." Although, this radical change would take time to apply to teaching programs around the States, I think that it would be worth a try.

Overall, this article by Klein was very eye opening and intriguing for me. I think that these issues are very important, and as a future educator, I want teachers to be "professionalized." I think that so many people out in the world think that "anyone" can be a teacher. This is so undermining to people who work so hard to become a great educator. I think that teachers should be better recognized for their knowledge and accomplishments. I hope that one day more people will realize how much hard work pre-teachers put into learning the skills to be a great educator.

C4K Summary for November

Image of a child at the computer with an instructor's hand

Photo by: Kids Learn to Blog

11/2/14: #8 (under moderation)
I was assigned Cameron I's blog. He is in Ms. Stabler's 5th grade class in South Africa. Cameron I's post is titled "Poetry." In his post, Cameron says that in class they have been working with similes and metaphors. He has a poem that uses a simile and another poem that uses a metaphor. He also gives the definitions of a simile and a metaphor.
In my comment to Cameron I, I first introduced myself and told where I am from. I also mentioned how awesome it was that we were able to connect considering our distance from countries. I complimented Cameron I on his post and told him that his poems were very original. I also told him he did a great job describing what similes and metaphors are and why they are used. I continued to say that I look forward to being able to read more of Cameron's posts in the future. I wished him luck in his school year ahead in Ms. Stadler's class, and also to keep up the good work! Lastly, I told Cameron I to feel free to visit our class blog and also my blog.

11/9/14: #9 (under moderation)
I was assigned to Jaida's Blog. She is from Waverly Shell Rock Middle School in Iowa and is in Mrs. Myers 8th grade class. Jaida's blog post that I commented on this week is of 3 photos displaying an art project she did. She also wrote a sentence under the photo slide show saying, this particular project was by far her favorite!

In my comment to Jaida, I introduced myself and told Jaida where I am from. I explained to her that I was assigned to her blog to leave a comment this week. I started my comment to Jaida by complimenting her on the art work that she produced. I told her that I am glad that she had so much fun with this project she has done. I also told told her that I thought the pictures of the art were awesome! I told her that I enjoyed being able to be a part of her blog, where I can see her creativity. I wished her luck on the rest of her school year and told her to keep up the good work! I told her that I look forward to reading more of her posts in the future. Lastly, I told Jaida to feel free to visit our class blog and my blog.

11/16/14: #10
No C4K this week due to Veteran's Day!

11/19/14: #11 (under moderation)
I was assigned to Lindsey's Blog this week. Lindsey is in Mrs. DeBuhr's 7th grad class in Kingsland Middle School, Kingsland, MN. Her most recent post is titled "First Quarter Tourcher." In this post, Lindsey describes how the first quarter is the toughest quarter of the year. She explains that teachers should give students more time to become familiar with the classroom, instead of "drowning" them in homework. In her post, Lindsey also highlights different vocabulary words that she had to use in her post. These words include: novice, repulsive, ecstatic, and winsome. Lindsey also explains that she was very excited to be in class with her friends, but the though of her homework is repulsive to her. She ends with says that in her opinion the first quarter is the hardest, and the second semester will come too soon.
In my comment, I started out by introducing myself and telling Lindsey where I am from. I also started by complimenting her on her great work for this post. I also wanted to give her some motivational lifting to let her know school is also fun and not just about homework. I told Lindsey that it is great that she was also able to insert a few vocabulary words that she was learning. I told her that all of her homework must have really paid off! I ended by telling Lidnsey that she presented great thoughts in this post and that I look forward to reading more of her future posts. Lastly, I gave Lindsey my blog link and also our class blog link.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blog Post 13

My Created Blog post

What can we learn from Paul Andersen about teaching?
Watch the video: Paul Andersen: Classroom Game Design.

Image of Paul Andersen teaching a class
Photo by: Bozeman Daily Chronicle

From the video,Paul Andersen: Classroom Game Design, I learned about how Paul Andersen relates video games to the classroom. Andersen explains that there are techniques to pull from video games and that can tie into the process of learning in the classroom. He explains that video games are something fun that kids choose to do and he says that the classroom should be just as fun and engaging. Instead of just listening to a teacher lecture, he explains that kids benefit more from interaction and hands on learning. Next, Andersen discusses how it is okay to fail. I think that so many teachers and students try to do everything right the first time, but really it's okay to attempt something 100 times before you get it right. It's all about the learning process and working towards a goal. Next, Andersen says that "leveling" is important. Just like a video game, reaching new levels is important for our students. We want to teach in a way that allows our students to essentially "pass" these levels of our classrooms. I think this is a very interesting way to look at the way we teach. If we keep in mind these sort of "levels" it's a definite motivator for teachers and students. Andersen continues to say that he wanted to re-invent his classroom by applying the elements of a video game to his classroom.

Andersen mentions that he wanted to try something new when it comes to grading his students. Many teachers start out in the beginning of the school year by giving students a 100 average, and then the students either maintain that or fall below that grade. Andersen says that he invented the "experience points," where his students start out with 0 points and from there they can only build up points instead of lose points. I think this is an interesting teaching strategy that will motivate students to succeed and work hard.
Paul Andersen really had some interesting thoughts and ideas about his classroom. Even though he mainly focuses on Science, I think that his teaching techniques could be used for other subjects. His main goal is to make learning fun and enjoyable for students, and I think by relating the classroom to a video game is something engaging for students. Using certain methods from video games, such as leveling, is interesting to think about in the classroom. Another thing that stood out to me in Andersen's lecture is his explanation of the importance of reading. I totally agree with reading being a huge part of learning. Reading is something that students must do throughout their day in the classroom and also out of the classroom. Reading is something that will be done every single day.

Overall, listening to Paul Andersen share his thoughts and ideas was very engaging for me. Once he got started, I wanted to listen to what he had to say. The idea of incorporating elements of a video game to the classroom is one that will hold your attention!

SMARTboard Lesson Plan: Part B