Thursday, May 1, 2014



My group, Nola did our iBook with no theme. Although there was no theme, our hard work and dedication should speak for itself, when viewed. We put in a lot of hard work and long hours. It was a lot harder than anticipated. I personally feel that I learned a lot from this experience and will use this in the future. EDM310, it's been a good semester, and thank you for teaching me so much. Good luck to all those who take it in the future.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blog Post 13

Create an assignment for a Blog Post I should have created in your area of speciality (math, history, elementary ed, special ed, whatever). Write the instructions that I should have put here. Then do it.

Whole Brain Learning
Watch the videos below, and write a quality post on what you think of Whole Brain Teaching.
1. How to Begin Whole Brain Teaching: 1
2. Whole Brain Teaching, First Grade Classroom

Whole Brain Teaching

Whole Brain Teaching is a method that integrates an effective classroom management system with learning approaches that tap the way your brain learns best. This approach is amazingly effective, and fun for both the teacher and students.I think whole brain teaching is a wonderful concept to incorporate into the classroom. It works well with any subjects! It seems to help manage the classroom better than any management tips I have ever heard or ever observed. It might have seemed a little absurd when I was first introduced to this concept, but I quickly realized it was a must to incorporate into the classroom.

C4K April


This week's C4K, I read Quinlan's post, "Plastic Fantastic". She made a slide show using google slides, to tell everyone about the good and bad things that come from plastic bags. She tells us how they are good for carrying food, but bad because it takes 500 years to break down.

My Reply:
Quinlan, I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama, in the USA. I enjoyed your slide show on the good and bad things that come from plastic bags. I didn't know most of that until I read your slides. This is a great and helpful post. Keep up the good work!

This weeks C4K, I read Adrienne's post, All about Haiti. Adrienne talks about Haiti's poverty and the island location. She talks about the earthquake and the tragedy it caused. In her post she says, "It was sad because many people died - over 200 000! Many of the houses got destroyed and fell down and people had no food to eat at all. People were crying and the babies were crying too."

My Reply:
Hello Adrienne, I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in the USA. This is a great post to inform those who don't know what happened in Haiti. It was very sad, indeed.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blog Post 12

By: Amber Harris:
Assistive Technology

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?

After watching, "Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children", the video clearly shows educators that if they utilize the technologies available they can actually change a learning experience for a child with either a visual or hearing impairment. I agree that more awareness should be given to professionals to incorporate these types of technologies for children who not only suffer from sensory impairments,but for some teachers there is a resistance to incorporating new media in their daily teaching for the benefit of all students. More teachers need to be equipped with the skills to use these technologies. As with all professional learning surrounding the use of technology, teachers cannot expect to be handed a 'how to' manual on how to use and implement these technologies.
With some research on my own, I asl found the webpage "Computer Based Assistive Technology." This webiste gives 10 assistive technologies, such as Speech Synthsis Software. "Speech synthesizers are basically screen readers. They read text that is displayed on the computer monitor, allowing students to gain independent access to assignments, books, and research. Teachers or students do, however, need to pre-scan material before they can use it. Speech synthesis allows them to access the print in textbooks, and thereby the curriculum, in a way that would otherwise be more difficult, if not impossible. It may even increase student motivation to read." (Montali & Lewandowski, 1996)
How students can use speech synthesis software:
1. Where text is available in digital form (i.e., on the computer or diskette), students can have text read to them.
2. Some screen readers can read in a variety of applications, including the Internet.
3. Some Internet sites have collections of textbooks available to be read by screen readers.
4. Students can control the pace of the reading and the reading selection, through having the computer read only the words they are having difficulty decoding or a whole paragraph or passage.
5. Students can manipulate the rate of read-back to allow for variations in the speed they process auditory information.

By: Mallory Harris

The driving question for this post was, "What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?"

technology in the classroom clip art

For this assignment, I Googled assistive technology in the classroom. There were some pretty interesting results. The first resource that I cam across was Bookshare. It is a website with a free online library for people with print disabilities. The website help people who have trouble reading.
This website seemed like it could be very useful for me in the future because I am going to be an english teacher and some of my students may be able to get some use out of the site.

The next resource that I found was Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology. This is a website that offers information in its resources section as well as access to the QIAT list serv. The list serv is an excellent forum to keep current with new developments in AT and the latest websites and other resources.

This would be an imprtant website when working with assistive technology because it could keep me up to date with the standards.

I also watched the video assigned by Dr.Strange called Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children. The video was about the different types of assistive technologies that can be found in the classroom and listed some of the reasons why it is important to know about these technologies.

By Sheridan Jones

For this weeks blog assignment, the driving question is, "What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?". To be honest, I have not thought about what technological tools that could be out there to help with special needs students. When I received this topic, I was actually able to put myself in a current teachers shoes and began to think "what if" I have a student that is blind or deaf. The videos that were assigned for us to watch were very useful and relating to what questions I had about this topic.

The first video, The Mountbatten created by The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, was relating to a device that uses audio/feedback. It can save files, transfer files to a computer, and receive files from a computer. This device is great for a student and/or teacher who does not know brail. Blind students are now not limited to what they can do not but rather be included in projects and be held to a responsibility of doing their part of the work.

The second video, Teaching Math to the Blind by Professor Art Karshmer University of San Francisco, informs us how they have created a touch-pad that blind students will be able to use to learn mathematics. Students will be able to use special (braille engraved) blocks and align math problems in a 2-dimensional way so they may learn as normal students learn. The touch-pad will keep track of the coordinates of each block students can keep up with where they have laid previous blocks. It is a foundation for blind students so that they may learn the basics of mathematics. The picture below is a touch-screen display of graphical mathematics for blind students.

This last video, iPad usage for the blind, I found the most amazing and intriguing. Apple has developed a voice-over for the iPad that enables the blind to use the iPad just as a normal person with normal vision can. Wesley (who is blind) demonstrates this in the video by using the voice-over on the iPad and telling/showing us what all he can do with it. It is amazing technology that expands the blinds capability so far. I love how Apple has created such an amazing tool that not only helps for learning purposes, but also, to help create the feeling of normality to blind students/people. 

By:Tyler Mills

The driving question for this blog post is, "What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?" The video that I found interesting in the blog instructions was ipad usage for the blind. It showed a man named Wesley Majerus who was blind fully operate a stock ipad. He was giving lessons and tips of how to use the ipad as a vision impaired student. Wesley demonstrated how to operate using Voice Over. The system works by simply dragging your finger over items that appear on the screen. The Voice Over systems reads out whatever your finger comes across and makes a ticking noise when your finger is over a blank area. This is extremely helpful for a vision impaired student and helps them keep up with the rest of the class.

Through my own research I came across an ability to dictate what you want your apple product to type. The process is called dictation which is available on apple products. While viewing the video Dictation on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, by Steve Dotto I got an idea of how dictation works. Dictation works by saying anything aloud and your device typing the words out for you. This may help out a student that is born with no arms or hands to type. The system can be used to type papers in microsoft word and other systems. Mentioned in the video by Mr. Dotto, the dictation can not be used in google drive. I still believe this can be a big help to a handicap person. Steve Dotto

C4T 4

Hands Up


This weeks C4T, I read Henrietta Miller's blog post, "Collaborative Meetings". Miller talks about how she often has collaborative meetings with fellow teachers, but she questions what collaboration really is? Here is what Miller had to say about it: "A collaborative meeting will be one which is not about agreement but about creation. From this I am realising that it is no use to anyone if during a planning meeting we all sit around agreeing with each other. As it is only through listening to each other and recognising our differences of opinions, that we will truly create something new. We are not there just to cooperate. We need to grapple with dissent. This is hard for teachers. We are accomplished and experienced, masters of our classroom practice. Secondly collaboration is not about communication. We are not meeting to exchange ideas but to create new ones. We are meeting to share a process and create a shared product. My meetings have a purpose to them. So this purpose needs to be clearly defined with shared protocols and clear goals." To read more from her, visit the link above.

My Reply:
Hello, I am a student at the University of South Alabama in EDM310. I will be following your blog for the next couple of weeks. I really enjoyed your post. I have never though that much into collaboration before. In our EDM310 class, we are required to work collaboratively for some projects. This information will be very helpful. Thanks so much! You can visit my blog, or our class blog at, if you'd like.

For my final C4T post, I am reading and responding to Henrietta Miller's post, "No Hands Up", and It was an eye opener. She talks about having a specific time for questions, where students names will be drawn at random to answer instead of having the students who know the answer to raise their hand. In her post she says, "I have tried really hard to find other ways of encouraging student participation besides ‘hands up’ including a pack of cards with students names on, that I hold in my hands and use to randomly select names. As well as named popsicle sticks which I can draw from a mug that sits on my desk. Again I have had mixed success with these methods. After my PD with Dylan Wiliam though I have been reflecting on this. With determination to get it right this year."

My Reply:
Mrs. Miller, I very much enjoyed your post, but as a student and not yet a teacher, I must say that I like the Hands up for questions. I agree that it is good to have "question time" to see if the students are listening, but hands up for answers allows the eager students to answer. I think having a student who knows the answer, say it aloud can help the students who don't know it. I will be sure to think more of your idea and perhaps use it in my future classroom.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

C4K March

This week's C4K, I was asked to respond to the blog post, Our Visit to Butterfly Creek by room 6 @Pt England School. This blog post is very special because it is by a second grade class, all the way in New Zealand! Teacher, Ms. She has been special friends of EDM310 for almost 5 years! The class made a video of pictures from their trip to Butterfly Creek! They looked like they were having a blast with all those butterflies.
My Reply:
Hey everyone! My name is Amber Harris, and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. This video is awesome! It looks like y'all are having the best time! Did you all enjoy the butterflies? Which ones were your favorite?

This week's C4K, I read Shyla Lee's blog post, on her class swimming experience. She talks about her swimming instructor, and their time in the pool. She talks about the type of strokes her class worked on and what she, herself needs to improve on. Shyla ends her post with, "I feel good about swimming. It’s a good and athletic and sports and its good for your health."
My Reply:
Hello Shyla, I really liked your blog post on swimming, because during the summer I am a swimming teacher. Swimming is in fact very good for your body. Did you know it works every muscle in your body? I'm so glad you enjoyed your swimming lesson!

This week's C4K, I read Htawaras's blog post, "Why is the moon upside down?". In this post, he talks about the moons different angles and how sometimes it looks upside down. Also that the moon is different depending on where you are looking at it from.
My Reply:
Htawara, I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I want you to know that I really like your post. I never thought the moon as being "upside down", or that people in other parts of the world see it differently. This is a great post!

C4T #3


This week's C4t, I was asked to read Tom Schimmer's post, Accurate Grading with a Standards Based Mindset. In this post, Schimmer talks about schools different approaches to grading. Schimmer has this to say, "While the standards-based grading movement is in full swing, not every school, district, or state is in exactly the same place. The difference is attributable to a variety of factors including the level of the school within which a standards-based approach to grading is being implemented. Elementary school standards-based report cards often look very different from middle or even high school standards-based report cards; that’s not a bad thing as the application of standards-based reporting at each level needs to be suitable for that level. The point is that schools and districts across the country are at various places along the standards-based grading continuum. While some have implemented fully, others are still exploring." Schimmer thinks that a student’s grade should represent their full level of proficiency and not just the average of where they were and where they are now. Schimmer has a great point with this new grading idea and writes, "A standards-based mindset is separate from how we report grades. With a standards-based mindset you can still report traditional grades, it’s just that how you determine grades is significantly different." To read more on Tom Schimmers, please feel free to visit the link posted above.

My Reply:
Hello, I am an undergraduate student at the University of South Alabama. I am following your blog this week for my EDM310 technology class. Growing up with Standard Based Grading, I really relate to the points you have made. All my years in school, grading has always been the same. If you start off bad, you end bad. This type of grading really puts a high stress level on students. I personally believe that grading should not be based on how a students does on things such as, homework, quizzes, and test. Learning goes much further than than just studying material to remember for 1 test. Students need a grading process that individually fits them. Not everyone learns the same. If you would like, you can visit my blog, Amber Harris and my class blog at, This is a great post!

This week's C4T, I read another one of Mr. Schimmer's blog posts titled, "Most Recent? Most Frequent? Most Accurate?" . As a student I have always hated being graded on my pace of work. In his post, Schimmer states, "What we have collectively realized is that the speed at which a student achieves has inadvertently become a significant factor in determining a student’s grade, especially when determined within a traditional grading paradigm. When averaging is the main (or sole) method for grade determination, success is contingent upon early success or the average of what was and what is will continue to distort the accuracy of the students’ grades. Never forget that every 40 needs an 80, just to get a 60. That’s pure mathematics; the lower the initial level, the more a student has to outperform his/herself in order to achieve even a minimal level of proficiency." Schimmer's ideas on teaching are absolutely brilliant. I advise everyone to click the link above and read more.
My Reply:

Mr. Schimmer, I am a student at the University of South Alabama enrolled in EDM310. I really enjoyed reading your post. It gave me some great thoughts on becoming a future teacher. I agree that the pace someone works should not be how they are graded. In my freshmen year of college, had a class where we had to come in everyday and spend the first 10 minutes on a given topic and write a 7-10 sentence paragraph. Although to others, it may seem easy, but for me, I felt rushed and couldn't think off the "top" of my head. How can I manage this for the writing part of my future classrooms?

Project 10

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Project 12b

Blog Post 11, NOLA

The driving question for this blog post was, "What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?"

The first video was Back to the Future, by Brian Crosby. His video was about a project that he did with his students that integrated technology in many ways. He felt that curriculum has been narrowed over the years and that it is keeping students from having real life experiences. The main idea of his project was to send a balloon up into the air. His class did some reading and activities with pressure to get the project started. This got his students excited. He was able to get his students to incorporate various types of technology into his project. They embedded videos into their blogs, wrote about the science behind their experiments, learned to make wiki pages, used their class Flikr account to write stories about what it would be like to be the balloon, used free online software to design book covers, illustrated their stories with Flikr photos, did more work with their blogs, and made trading cards using free online software. Mr.Crosby also had his students write "high hopes," for their community, their school,and the world. Their blogs got many views which inspired them to ask other people from all over the world to write their own "high hopes." This taught the children to develop their own learning networks. The class also used google maps to track their balloon as it went into the air. By putting all of their work on their blogs, the class got to show off their work to other students. They are doing language intense activities which encourage them to read/write, to learn content, to clarify and share, and to tell a story. These activities encourage them to be creative, want feedback, articulate orally, connect globally/aware globally, want authentic audiences, and remember the science.

blended learning cycle
The second video was the Blended Learning Cycle by Paul Anderson. He turned his classroom into a video game. He moved from teacher-centered learning environments to one focused on students. He said the biggest obstacle he encountered was trying to get his students to learn independently. He designed each level of the video game around a blended learning cycle. He believes in the power of learning and questioning. He described blended learning as taking the compelling parts of learning: online, mobile, classroom learning and just blending them together in the classroom and using that technology in a powerful way. He said the five E’s of the Learning Cycle were engage, explore, expand, and explain all of which revolve around evaluation. He had a unique way of combining these methods with his quivars. Quivars stands for question, investigation/inquiry, video, elaboration, review, and summary Quiz. He uses the question part of this process as a hook to get his students interested. Next comes the students investigating by examining what is happening- you let the students experiment. You then use a video which frees you up for other things because the students can watch it independently. Elaboration comes when the students read about what they are doing or make diagrams for it. Then they review. He meets individually or with small groups and asks them questions to check their understanding. They can’t go onto the summary quiz until the teacher is sure they know what they are talking about. The quiz tests them on what they know and if they don’t know it, then they go back. He doesn’t think you’ve learned something until you can explain it to someone else. After they go through about five learning cycles, they have a unit test. The students do all the grading, but the teacher asks really good probing questions.

thinking cap
The third video was Making Thinking Visible by Mark Church. He had his students work in small groups to have a discussion about a video they watched. He wanted them to come up with a headline for what their unit was all about. He asked them to think about how their ideas/thinking were extended. He then wanted them to think about the challenge or the puzzle with the topic in general. He asked them to search for human origins. One of the students described his question as, "How could we sum up everything we have been talking about in just a phrase?" Every group had to have a couple of words to say behind their headline. Once they did their final project, he was going to ask them what the headline is now. He was doing this to get his students thinking how the story has changed and how their thinking has changed.

The fourth video was Building Comics by Sam Pane. He was teaching his students how to figure out what information websites might be after. He asked his students, “What kind of power does the internet give us?” He told them to be specific. They had a class discussion about this. He told his students that a digital citizen is a person who chooses to act safely, respectfully, and with responsibility whenever you are online. He then asked them to build a comic about their digital superhero. His class used a website which allowed them to do this. He showed his class how to make a superhero for about five minutes, and then let them do it themselves. He matched the lesson up with English language standards. The students are able to create a narrative between themselves and the superhero in order to put together a complete story. This project gave the students a sense of ownership. The students were able to analyze the situation that they were in and analyze the text structure of the comic book in order to build a complete narrative. He had his students take what he called a, “gallery walk.” This was his way of having them peer review. The children were very eager to share their comics with the class. The english language standards in his project were to write narratives to develop imagined experiences or events, analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to text, ask and answer questions.

The fifth video was Project Based Learning by Dean Shareski. In this video, three teachers worked together to combine history, English, and information processing and embedded the principles of project based learning to create a unique learning experience for students. Project based learning helps to create engaged learners with deeper understanding. The teachers had to convince their administration that what they wanted to do with the students could really be beneficial for them. The kids use technology as a tool to bring the content to life in their classes. Their idea gave them the luxury of time: time to blend ideas into content, time to go deeper into learning, and time to provide quality feedback for students. They are able to give students multiple perspectives. The students love the projects and enjoy doing them.

The sixth video was Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program. The video described project based learning as in depth learning that integrates thematic instruction based on real-world problems using research based projects and presentations. Project based learning helps to take away the fear of public speaking because children get used to it at an early age. They like to have the students make a lot of decisions on their own to create in themselves a sense of power. The teachers put trust in their students and give them ownership of their work which makes the students accountable. Students learn to work independently, cooperatively, how to solve problems, how to communicate with each other, and to support each other. It also helps children to learn in different ways because it incorporates many different intelligences and learning styles.

what we learned

What we learned from these videos was that teaching with technology can be done in many different ways. These videos showed us that projects should encourage learning from students and that technology can be used to make classroom projects fun for students. These videos really showed us the diversity among techniques for project based learning, but with the same consensus that it is something we should all try with out own classrooms. We all enjoyed getting to see how experiments worked out for these teachers in their own classrooms and hope that we can someday develop such amazing projects as these.

Blog Post 10

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?

This week we were assinged to watch Sir Ken Robinson's video, Bring on the Learning Revolution, and I must say, it was truly inspiring! Such importance is contained in this amazing speech, reminding us on how fast we are moving without giving regard to the qualitative development which is very much needed for mankind. Mr. Robinson speaks on the idea of allowing students to explore and identify their skills, talents, and abilities. I love this thought, because it is too common now a days in society that we do what is "accepted", rather than being and doing what we love. I like his statement on how education should be an organic progress. I like this, because as a student, until recently I have always been conformed to paper and textbooks. I was too scared to write and say what I wanted to. What I have learned from Ken Robinson is to enjoy what you do. My passion is to teach and I believe that I will enjoy it. As a teacher, I will have bigger boundaries than I do as a student. I will be the one to inspire other people, and I'm sure they will inspire me as well.


Project 15

What's on your plate?


Project Overview

Project Calendar

Project 12A

Blog Post #9

What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy?

Kids on Computer

For this weeks blog post, we were asked to watch the videos by Kathy Cassidy. These videos are a fantastic way to show teachers how technology can look within their classrooms. Teachers are often concerned that using technology will isolate students. Her videos illustrate how technology can be used to encourage the social development of our students. I like her use of blogger in the classroom, just like ours in edm310. Blogging is a great way to get students to work for not just a classroom audience, but a world audience! I will definitely use Blogger in the classroom. The parents may not like their children being online so young, but I will handle it the way Mrs. cassidy did, with parent permission forms. I think the students will love to use technology in the classroom. I believe it will improve they way they write and communicate with others. Starting it so early in the classroom will also prepare them for upper grade levels such as high school.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Video Book Project #9

Project #14

Project Based Learning Project 14

In this class of 20 students, there will be 5 groups of 4 students, chosen at random by, me. This project is for second graders, familiarizing them with shapes. Each group of students will be assigned a shape. Also, each student will use an iPad, provided by the school, to take pictures in the classroom of objects, of the shape assigned. Once the students have taken at up to 8 photos of their shape, the children will switch iPads among the group and assess whether or not the correct pictures of the proper shapes have been taken. Once the assessment is complete, the students will use the iPads to upload the pictures to their blogs and write 1 sentence about each picture they took and how it resembled that shape. Finally the students will make a photo story book using Flickr pictures. Once they are done with this project, they are going to present it to another second grade class in the school via Bridgit.

Project Calendar

Project Calendar

Project Calendar

Project Calendar

Friday, March 14, 2014

Blog Post #8

For this post, we were ask to find 21st Century Learning and Communicating Tools. At first I was overwhelmed at the thought of there being more to learn than we already have in EDM310. After taking a deep breath and doing some research, I was able to find lots of great tools to use in the classroom that I hadn't used yet. Technology is such an important part of the education system, so I think its good to have multiple tools to use and teach with.
QR code

The first tool I have researched and decided to talk about is QR codes. QR Codes are very user friendly and would be great for students at all ages to use. It would also make the classroom more interesting and learning more fun. An example of a QR Code is the barcode that is a square with little squares in it.
It is very simple to make your own personal codes for the classroom. In Derral Eve's video, How to Create QR codes, he shows you exactly how to create them. An example of using these codes in the classroom would be having a scavenger hunt around the room. They must find the first code to get the first question they are to answer. They then must go around the room and find the remaining codes and remaining questions. You could also put a math problem with the QR code and have them solve the problem when they scan the code. The students would scan the qr codes with a tablet provided to them by the teacher. There is an app for CQ codes that is free that every student would have to download. Also, every student in the classroom should have access to a tablet provided by the school board for them. This is a very fun way to have your students involved in the classroom and make them excited to learn!

Another tool I came across was planboard. This tool is very useful to teachers, because it keeps them organized. Planboard helps you easily plan and view your academic year. It's quick and easy to add items for each class. It allows you to ensure your students have the knowledge they need to be successful by integrating and tracking standards. You can choose from a selection of Common Core State Standards, Ontario Curriculums, TEKS or create your own custom standards. It allows you to collaborate between teachers worldwide to create the best lesson plan for a particular subject. You can also easily find public lesson plans by searching for keywords or the exact standard codes that they need to meet. Adopting new technology can be difficult. With Planboard Assistance, whenever you run into a problem or need help figuring out a feature, your own personal support assistant will be available to help you, live or via Email. This is a great tool that all teachers should use and get associated with!

C4T #2

This week's C4T I read Diane Dahl's blog post, What does neuroplasticity research suggest about the potential of all students to master the 4Cs? In this post, Dahl states that, "The discovery that learning changes the structure and function of the brain has the potential to transform education in both profound and practical ways—if we can, once and for all, dislodge persistent misconceptions that obscure this promise." She talks about how the brain responds to what we hear, see, and do. Each brain responds differently, depending on one's experiences in everyday life. All students have the ability to learn when they have the right support and environment. She also talks about what society sees as "natural talent" or "inherited traits." Dahl responds to these assumptions with this, "By taking a constructive view “of genes as phenomena that enable rather than constrain behavior” (Sylvester, 2010, p. 18), we can move forward to create policies and schools that help equip all students with the 4Cs they need to succeed in school and in the workplace." To read more on this post, you can visit the link provided above.

My Reply:

Hello, I am a junior at the University of South Alabama. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. I did not know the brain responded in such ways. I was one of many in today's society that believed in "natural talents" and "inherited traits." I like how you state that every student has the brain power and potential to learn. I too believe that learning never stops, and you can teach an old dog new tricks. I will be sure to use this method in my classroom in the future. I have written a summary and will be posting this response in my own blog if you would like to check it out at,, and our class blog at Thanks for the great and helpful post.

This weeks C4T, I had the privilege of reading another one of Diane Dahl's blog posts. Dahl's most recent post is, Engaging Brains: How to Enhance Learning by Teaching Kids About Neuroplasticity. She writes about enhancing student commitment and has this to say about it, "Explicitly teaching students about neuroplasticity can have a transformative impact in the classroom. A central facet of our work as teacher educators is teaching about how the brain changes during learning. Many teachers have told us that these findings have had a positive effect on their expectations for their students and on students' perceptions of their own abilities." Dahl believes that learning changes the function and structure of the brain, and that it will engage students. Dahl also talks about strategies for engagement, and states, "Lessons and activities about the power of brain plasticity can take many forms for students of all ages." Dahl furthers on with some great points and information on this topic. To read more, visit the link posted above.

My Reply:

Ms. Dahl, your post is very fascinating. You have many wonderful tips and ideas on how to expand education and student achievement in the classroom. I am an undergraduate student at the University of South Alabama, and am reading upon your blog for my EDM310 technology class. I have written a summary and will be posting this response in my own blog if you would like to check it out at,, and our class blog at Thanks for the great and helpful post.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blog Post #7

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

Randy Pausch

This weeks blog post assignment was to watch, "Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams." Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Here in his last presentation, with only months to live upon learning a diagnosis of incurable cancer, he shares lessons from his personal life and professional goals. The driving question asked was, what can we learn about learning and teaching from Randy Pausch. The first thing that really caught my attention was when he said, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." I think he's trying to say that you learn from everything you do, even when things go wrong. I've always heard that we learn from our mistakes and that why we have consequences. Randy also talks about how we learn indirectly or by "head fake," and that this type of learning is everywhere. You never stop learning. What I learned about teaching from Mr. Pausch is that what you teach should intrigue others. Mr. Pausch states in his last lecture, "I think that that’s one of the best things you can give somebody – the chance to show them what it feels like to make other people get excited and happy." Another thing about teaching is that in order to teach, we have to learn from our students. You Cant get anywhere alone in life. Randy Pausch's Last Lecture was truly inspirational and I highly recommend watching it, I promise it will be worth your time.

C4K Summary for February


February 9, 2014
Connor is in Ms. Toal's class. He wrote a post called Sharks. He gave very good information. He stated how many species of sharks there are, and specific facts about a few. Altogether, this post was very well written and informative.

My Reply:
Conner, this is really good information about sharks. I learned a lot that i didn't know before. Keep up the good work!

February 16, 2014
5th grader, Daniel is in Mrs. Caddy's class. On February 5th Daniel wrote a post called, What would you do if someone just gave you $1?. Daniel's response was, "WOULD GIVE HALF TO CHARITY. AND BUY A NEW FOURWHEELER .THEN KEEP THE REST."

My Reply:
Daniel, this is a a tough question, because that is a lot of money. I think you wanting to give half of your money to charity is awesome! This is a great answer! Keep up the good work!

February 19, 2014
Arton is in Ms. Ruiz's 3rd grade class. He wrote a post titled, Family. In his post, he writes about his brother and sister and their dependency on eachother, He also talks about his future spouse. Arton states, "I’m going to have kids with. I’m I positive me and her are going to be together forever, cause I don’t see my self ever having a divorce." He knows what he wants in a family and that is very impressive for someone who is only in the 3rd grade.

My Reply:
Arton, this is a great post about family! I too have brothers and sisters and being able to depend on each other is very important. It's great that you have such high expectations of what you want for your future family. Keep up the great work!

February 25, 2014
Dustin Pfeffer is in Mrs. Millers class. On February 5, Dustin wrote a post called "This I Believe." Dustins post is about night hunting and why it should be legalized. Dustin states that, "Making this legal would save a ton of people from getting in car crashes and on the good side, you get deer meat. It’s a win win for everyone in this situation.I believe everyone would enjoy hunting a night time too."

My Reply:
Dustin, this is a great post and a fantastic idea! Night hunting sure would be a lot easier and yes, you probably would see more deer. I agree that you would have to be extra safe because getting hurt would be no fun. Maybe one day night hunting will be legal!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Blog Post #6, PLN

This weeks blog post was about learning and creating a PLN (personal learning network). A personal learning network is an informal learning network that consists of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from in a personal learning environment. In a PLN, a person makes a connection with another person with the specific intent that some type of learning will occur because of that connection. At first it seemed very complicated, but once I started, I was very intrigued. We were given 2 websites that help you create your PLN and get started on using it. I chose, Symbaloo.

Once I got my account set up, I started adding tiles that I could use for entertainment, school, and things such as travel, weather, etc. Getting set up was the easy part, but figuring out how to connect with other people is still rather confusing. After watching the videos provided, I can see how it will be a helpful teaching tool. I am going to continue to learn and work through my confusion. Hopefully I can get it down and really be able to use it effectively.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Blog Post #5

In this weeks blog post assignment, we were asked to watch several videos and answer the driving question, What do you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?

The first two videos I watched were, Project Based Learning Part 1: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher and Project Based Learning Part 2: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher. The first thing I learned is that students are driven by content. It is best to relate the project on what contents the students are required to use in order for them to learn. The most crucial part of project based learning is for the students to revise and reflect on their work. Student choice is another big aspect in project based learning. It allows the student or originate their own idea so they are less likely to take someone else.
The third video I watched was iCurio. This is a way for students to safely search websites that have been filtered for educational uses. Students have to log in to use it and they use it like a search engine. It has a storage unit so the students can save what they feel is useful and important. iCurio helps students learn how to get organized online, which will help them in the future with other technology.
Other videos that I was asked to watch included, Discovery Education, The Anthony - Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1, Don't Teach Tech - Use It, and Additional Thought about Lessons. These videos provided lots of helpful information.
Discovery Ed is a great resource for science and social studies. It shows videos of what the student is researching. It is also a helpful resource for teachers. Students tend to learn more from listening and watching.
Tips for Teachers was extremely helpful for me to think about, for preparing myself as a future educator. It is very important for me to teach myself the material that I'm teaching my students. Work and play are not separate in teaching. As a teacher, I cant be committed to one way of teaching. When I become an educator I need to make sure that I'm getting what I expected to get out of the course, even if the entire goal is not reached. Also, keep the kids engaged. Make the learning process interesting and something they care about.
Use Tech, Don't Teach it taught me that the students really have to constantly use the technology resources in order to use them effectively. There is always room for learning.
After watching Additional Thought about Lessons, I learned that it has 4 parts. It has to fit in with your year, as in it has to cover all of your content standards. Make units meaningful and connected to your content standards. Devise your week so every day, you can get everything done that you need to. Finally, you have the daily lesson, which is how you deliver to your students on a daily basis.
I am going to continue to research iCurio so I can use it in my future classrooms.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Blog Post #4. What questions do we ask? How do we ask?

What type of questions do we need to ask our students, as teachers?

The Teaching Center states, "When you ask questions in the classroom, you are modeling a process that students can and should use themselves; encourage your students to use the following questioning strategies to assess what they have learned, to develop their thinking skills, and to study for exams." This website gives 7 general strategies for asking questions: When planning questions, keep in mind your course goals, Avoid asking "leading questions", Follow a "yes or no" question with an additional question, Aim for direct specific questions, In class discussions, do not ask more than one question at once, When you plan each class session, include notes of when you will pause to ask and answer questions, Ask a mix of different types of questions. When teachers ask students questions, they are actually increasing their learning skills. When students answer questions, they can create their own ideas about the topic. For more information on this website, you can visit the link posted above.


I also read a great blog full of information about problem based learning. Ben Johnson's blog, The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom is a great resource for problem based learning. Johnson talks about how when teachers ask questions, it usually benefits the teacher more than it does the student. Teachers seem to think that if the student does not ask a question, than they understand the problem or topic completely, which usually isn't the case. Johnson's response to this method is, "The fallacy with this thinking is that sometimes the students do not understand that they do not understand, and if they do not know what they do not know, there is no way that they can ask a question about it." When you can get the students to ask the questions, you can ensure that the learning process is taking place.

This week's question was, what do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher? After reading and researching the articles given, I think that it is not enough as an educator to simply ask the question "Do you understand." Instead of just asking questions, Teachers could make it a fun learning activity and reward the students who answer correctly with things such as, bonus points on a test. Challenge the students to work together and really put their "thinking caps" on. It should always be my job to keep my students engaged in whatever topic I am teaching on.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Project #3 Presentation

Project 4, C4T #1

How do we Teach the Complexity of Truth?

This weeks C4T I was assigned to How do we Teach the Complexity of Truth? by Beth Knittle. In her post, she talks about how one mans truth is another man's fiction. In her post she states, "It is one of those funny terms we all know what it means yet we don’t seem to be agree on what is true, just watch the nightly news." She believes that an individual’s reality is different, therefor their ‘truth’ is different. Due to school's lack of time, it is easier for educators to guide us to the most acceptable ideas of the day. In other words, it made those ideas as widely accepted because other view points are not exposed.

My Reply:

Hello, my name is Amber Harris and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in EDM310. EDM310 is a required course for all education majors. It teaches us about new technology that is already in, or will be in schools. In your post, you talk about the complexity of truth. I agree with your post, and also believe that sometimes what is fact isn't always what is true to us. I think schools and teachers are use to teaching the most "acceptable" ideas, rather than expanding opinion. I think teaching opinion rather than fact could get messy at times though. If every teacher taught off of opinion rather than fact, than who would really know what the truth is? I like the way Wikipedia defined truth, in the manner that truth has to have fact. I think that students should have to state opinions in their assignments, but they need a little fact to provide support. Your post was very helpful to me, by making me think outside of the "fact box". If you would like, you can read my blog: Amber Harris or any other students from our class blog: EDM310 I will also be summarizing and replying to this post and posting it to my blog if you would like to read it.

How to Change Education

The first C4T I read was How to Change Education by Beth Knittle. In this post, she focuses on dealing on the changes in curriculum. In her post, she states, "We are still adjusting to the new evaluation system, evidence collection and district and state determined measures of learning progress." Knittle provides a link to a video by Ken Robinson that reminds us that teaching is a form of art, and what is important is where the teacher and student connect to each other.

My Reply:

I really enjoyed your post and i thought the video you linked was very helpful. I'm glad you brought up the topic of new technology in the classroom. I am actually in a class at the the University of South Alabama where we are learning all about the new types of new technology in classrooms. I liked the way he talked about helping your students learn. When i become a teacher i will appreciate these things and take them into consideration.

technology in classrooms

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blog Post #3

After watching What is Peer Editing, Writing Peer Reviwe Top 10 Mistakes, and reading Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial, I now have a better understanding of what it means to 'peer edit'. I learned that peer editing can be more fun than stressful. Sometimes its easier to point out what we don't like or what is wrong with the paper, rather than the positive side. It's ok to give feedback, as long as it's positive. Positive feedback is commonly known as constructive criticism. Just make sure when you correct someone, you aren't being a "Picky Patty", or a "Mean Margret".

I think this will not only benefit me as a teacher, but will also be an advantage to my future students as well. It will teach them to catch mistakes on their peer's papers, and their own. By having students edit and evaluate other student's work, they learn to train their eyes on what they don’t want to do in their own essays. As students see and evaluate essays that are missing essential elements or are full of errors, they can see the reasons behind avoiding these errors. The worse the essay is, the more students can “catch.” The more they do this, the more they realize that their own writing “isn’t so bad!” That does not mean that students should be exposed to another student’s “bad” essay. Instead, allow the students to use essays of past students (with no name of course), that way no one is embarrassed.

Question Marks

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blog Post #2

1. The central message of this video is that not everything can be learned or taught through technology. In order to dance, you have to learn the steps by doing and practicing them. He makes his conclusion by showing that even though the students attended class, and took notes, they still could not actually do the dance, because they did not learn hands on. I agree with his conclusion because it is true that not everything can be done on a computer. You have to practice something, such as dance, with hands on activity in order to learn it.

2. I think Robert thinks there will be more resources and ways to teach with in the future.
-More sources for information
-Develop research skills
-Challenging students to look beyond what they already know
-Keeps students engaged rather than entertained
-Teaches students problem solving
-Teaches Creativity
I feel that Robert is right. Teaching is going to keep developing and it is going completely change the way people learn in the future. I think it will effect me as an educator because not only will i have to teach in a new way but i will have to learn how to due it myself first.

3. Today i watched Networked Student by Wendy Drexler. Drexler is trying to move away from the ordinary ways of learning and teaching. In this video, Drexler is showing connections with content, synthesis of information, and knowledge management that arguably could combine multiple learning theories depending upon the individual learner. I think Drexler's idea is brilliant. I hope that our educational system can move away from 'traditional learning', and make better use of the social media tools out there to create a more engaging learning experience.

4. Davis's thesis is to teach in a technology enhanced learning environment. I think technology is an advantage to the students and it will allow them to explore options and actually become the teacher, not just the student.

5. I have heard of "Flipping the Classroom", and used it some in high school in my math classes. I do think it will be useful as a teacher because it allows the student to teach themselves and come in with questions and ideas about the assignment. It will also show the student and teacher what kind of way the student learns.