"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."- Thomas Edison

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Comments for Teachers #4


The final teacher's blog I was assigned to comment on belongs to Mrs. Dorothy Burt. The first post I commented on was titled, Netbook Handover. Mrs. Burt is the facilitator of the Manaiakalani Cluster of schools in New Zealand. She is based at Pt. England School. Room 19 and Room 20 were given the opportunity to have control of their own individual Netbooks after agreeing to the rules and regulations. After each student in these two classes is provided with personal use of a Netbook for a certain amount of time in order to deal with the "teething issues", the Netbooks are expected to spread to multiple schools. The first students with access to the Netbooks will be expected to be mentors to the students given a Notebook in the future. I think it is a great addition which will open up more opportunities to the students and teach them responsibility values.

The second post I commented on was, Wireless Connection. Mrs. Burt took pictures of the actual encounter of the wireless connection going up between two of the Manaiakalani Cluster of schools. She was excited to actually see it happening for herself. I know this will make a big difference in the social networking and progress in the students in Pt. England.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Final PLN Report

This year I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey of individual learning Dr. Strange organized for us. I have added teachers' blogs to my PLN, through whom I have learned about teaching techniques and personal experiences. I am familiar with websites I didn't know existed before, and they are useful for research and social networking. I have found many things learned useful for developing my own lesson plans for my class in the future. I will continue to work on my personal learning network for the remainder of my life as a student, teacher, and life-long learner.
There was not one assignment in this class that was not useful. Each and every blog, video, and tool I explored has impacted me for the better. Most importantly, EDM310 has taught me that learning is not something that can be done simply by completing work. Learning is a personal journey that requires desire, motivation, goals, time management, collaboration, deep thought, and passion.

Comments for Kids #8-11

C4K#8
I commented on Alba Skunkshark's blog. I suggested naming the picture "The Circle Spool".












C4K#9
This third grade student created a Kerpoof picture so that he could remember the order of the planets. I think this is an interesting, fun tool.

C4K#10
I commented on a video created by Room 7, a class in the Manaiakalani cluster of schools in New Zealand. The movie was made for the Manaiakalani film festival, which is held annually. The enthusiasm and dancing showed that these students truly know how to have fun at school.

C4K#11
I commented on Josue's blog. He is a sixth grade student who writes about his experience using video chat in order to talk to his uncle and cousins in Guatemala. Skype is really a great asset to society.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blog Post #13

ALEX stands for Alabama Learning Exchange. It is a project created by the Alabama Department of Education, designed for teachers, administrators, parents, and students to have all of their unique needs met through easily accessible resources. Creating an account with ALEX enables you to store and submit lesson plans and teacher web pages. Lesson plans are provided for all subjects and grades, along with courses concerning character building and counseling. Each subject is separated into categories with numerous web links and lesson plans.

Professional training and grant opportunities are offered. Teaching tools are obtainable through this site, and tutorials and tips are presented to help you gain more insight. It is possible to communicate with colleagues and learn about the latest news with this site as well. An entire section of this sight is dedicated to podcasts, which are highly useful videos created for sharing information. I think that ALEX is an extremely helpful teacher site, which will be a major asset in my journey as a teacher. The materials provided make it simple to be organized and collaborative, all in one place online. I will definitely use this to my advantage.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Additional Assignment #5




The Medium Shapes the Learning
I very much agree with this post, if the message I took from it is correct. When picking a tool to use for educational purposes, I think that it is not so important to focus on the credibility it has for "fun" and "productivity". Although these are important factors in choosing a tool, if the tool does not shape the child's way of learning as is needed then that tool not the best choice. John Spencer clearly states that the intended meaning of the medium and how its going to affect a child's changing life is more crucial than the simple "fun" and "productivity" factors.

He Just Likes the Class for the Pencils
This post by Mr. Spencer follows well after his previous post. Although he does incorporate fun into his classroom, he also enforces strict rules. He does not just stop with the rules and scare the students away, though. He respects them as his equals and helps them to understand how important learning is. Any new tool can be fun for a day, but when it comes down to how learning affects and shapes a child's life the relationship the child has with the teacher is what matters.

Sketchy Portrait: 8th Grade Identity and Pencils
I think it's great the John Spencer understands that sometimes what children say may appear rude, but it is just their way of expressing themselves. I guess many teachers have forgotten what it was like when they were in eighth grade. Throughout our entire lives we are constantly changing. Teachers must learn to accept their students as friends who they are helping out on the difficult journey of growing and learning. It is important that a child is understood as an individual with a changing life life and feelings as the rest of us. Teachers can choose to be either the pencils or the pens. John Spencer is an enlightened pencil, who recognizes the gray area of change in between the black and white permanency of life. He infuses this knowledge of never-ending change and the individual life of each child into his relationship with his students. At the same time, the teachers who are permanent pens feel the best way to teach a child is through discipline and structure through strict, unyielding rules. The procedures of teaching are not to be forgotten, but the relationship with students is a must.

Just Teach Them to Solve for X
I remember distinctly the last time I used metaphors knowingly. I was in the third grade and we had to draw pictures of the metaphors we used, such as "He's got the whole world in His hands". I never understood the importance of metaphors, however. I have realized everything that is learned is important, and how you apply it is what truly matters. Simply learning something isn't enough. The material learned should be explored, questioned, and not taken for less than it really is. Mr. Spencer says that metaphors are our way of making sense of those things in  life that are between tangibility and abstraction. It causes us to truly think deeper about things, which constructs and shapes our growth of knowledge. If we could view other people's opinions  as unique from our own and realize that the metaphor in their mind may not in line with our own, we would be open to more possibilities. We have to be able to form our own ideas apart from the given tangible or abstract  facts. This enables us to be individuals with different ideas, while having a clearer perception of reality.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Final Project #16 Progress

For my final project, I am going to be working with Amani Alloul, Amanda Brewton, Sarah Davis, and Samantha Deardorff. We are not quite sure what we are going to do yet, I am sad to say. However, I am sure we will make the final decision sometime this week and will work hard on using all of our ideas creatively and effectively.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Post #12


Watch the RSA Animate, The Secret Powers of Time by Philip Zambardo and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by David Pink. Write a summary on these videos and explain how you feel the messages described affect the growth in people's education and their drive for success.

In Philip Zambardo's animation, he describes six different perceptions of time we have as humans. He explains how where we live and what is natural in our lives can affect our perception of time and the way we live. One topic he discussed that really got me thinking was that of the lives people create for themselves inside video games, more so now that there are rapid advancements in the designs. After people become accustomed to spending so much time creating their own worlds through video games, it is hard for them to have any drive in an old-fashioned education system where everything remains the same and nothing is under their control. It is apparent that humans need change, excitement, and control in life. If they do not have these things, no matter which perception of time they have, their motivation level for school is surely going to decrease.

Of course the ideal is to be future oriented, avoiding temptations and making your life for a successful future. Any of the other time zones are portrayed to cause almost sedentary lifestyles. However, regardless of an individual's perception of time, one question still arises. What is going to drive any given person to live for success?

As Dan Pink explains in his presentation, scientific studies have proven people are going to become less motivated the more they are required to follow along with a job's requirements and think cognitively. Pink states that it is a fact money is a motivator. However, these studies have shown even if given a greater award, those occupations requiring a higher incentive lead to worse performance. It has been determined by scientists that autonomy, mastery, and purpose lead to better performance. That is why it is important for work places to focus more on a person's self direction in engagement.

The example Dan Pink gives is the 24 hour period of autonomy the Atlassian Software Company is allowed each year. They are given this time to do whatever they would like, but must show their results afterwards with the company. This is done in a fun party setting, and through this method ideas for new products have been developed that would have never materialized otherwise. The other two factors that lead to better performance, mastery and purpose, are fulfilled through challenges to become better at a given task and inspiring work places. The longing for profit can be completely destroyed if the job is in no way self fulfilling or intriguing.

Although Dan Pink is discussing occupation in his creation, I feel what he says about motivation applies to education as well. If schools will begin looking at students as individuals and allowing them to make their own decisions based on autonomy, mastery, and purpose, they will surely be more motivated. Scientific studies and research have proved this. The reward should not just be good grades, but a true sense of self direction and challenging, fun tasks.

Google Form Project #6


After viewing the 17 results for my Google survey, I have come to the realization that the Internet is vital to all 17 students' lives. 41% of the students surveyed spend 3-4 hours on the Internet daily. 29% spend 5-6 hours online, and 18% spend 1-2 hours. Only 6% spend 7 hours or more on the Internet. Overall, though, everyone spends a number of time on the Internet every day.

The most visited website is Facebook with 59% of votes. The best feature of the Internet, according to 41% of voters, is communication. Study references as the best feature comes in line next with 35% of votes. This shouts out the truth of how the Internet has changed the way we communicate and the amount of time we spend communicating.

88% of voters feel they have gained the most insight into current news via the Internet. I feel the same way, and think this proves how very important the Internet is. It is crucial that we are up to date with the world we are currently living in.

53% of voters think the Internet is the cornerstone of technology. 29% of people have never thought about it. 12% feel it is just helpful, and 6% say it is not the cornerstone of technology.

The answers to these survey questions prove that the Internet is a vital tool, which is already pretty common knowledge. However, the voters proved just how important it is and the advancements it has made in our communications with others.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Comments for Teachers #3


The third teacher I was assigned to leave a comment for was Jenny She, a primary school teacher in Auckland, New Zealand. The first post I read included a video of a cultural festival Jenny put together for her class. Jenny worked with Garth J and Helen to put together the dragon's body and head. She also added kung fu and umbrella dance as well. I think children should begin learning about cultures at young ages so they can have a sense of cultural identity. It also helps them to escape from their own reality and visualize how life would be in other regions. I'm definitely looking forward to having my own class and creating fun activities for the students.

Children Are Our Future

The second post I commented on was titled We Should Listen to the Kids! Thank you, Jenny, for posting this video. Adora Svitak's lecture was very enlightening. She is very intelligent and delivered her message well. What she said is completely true. Adults must listen to children. The generation of children we are teaching will be responsible for the world after we are gone. That is the number one fact we have to take into account.

At the most, considering there are great-great-great grandparents living, we have six generations living in the world. We have the children, the teenagers, adults(young and grown) the elderly, the very elderly, and the extremely elderly. However, what is age really? It is a development towards death. In the process of aging, living happens. Children are the ones we should be listening to. They are smart, intuitive, innocent, curious, good-hearted, and pure.

I think it is important for children to be treated as adults to the fullest extent, excluding pornography, drugs, or any other harmful tool society has thrown into our homes. By molding our children to be the best that they can be, we will be able to know we truly helped the next generation. If we continue to steer them so far away from what is wrong and dwell on our own past mistakes, they will become too curious about the wrong things. We have to forget about what we did wrong in the past and focus on what we can do right now. These creative, genius children gain their influence from us.

Of course, not everyone will be a genius. Every single person does have the potential to fulfill dreams and reach their destination, though, if they are encouraged as if they are geniuses, regardless of age, personality, or anything else that may appear to be an impediment in one's journey through life. Adults must ask children questions in order to gain insight into the feeling of nothing being impossible. Adults must take children's ideas and imaginations and build them up and mold them to become exactly what they should be: true, life-changing dreams. Adults have to listen to all children, even if their thoughts are very divergent and seem complicated to put into action at times. It must be remembered that nothing is impossible as long we're alive.  Adults must realize children are our future. As Sir Ken Robinson says, "We shouldn't be putting them to sleep. We should be waking them up to what they have inside of themselves."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Teach Something Project #14

Comments for Kids #3-7

C4K#3
I commented on a post made by a young boy named Miracle. He talks about his favorite rugby player, Rokocoko. It seems rugby is as important in New Zealand as football is in America. This particular class is made up of 5 and 6 year students and their ethnicities include Maori, Samoan, Tongan, European, Cook Island, and Nieuan. These 9 and 10 year olds are very creative and have taught me about rugby, something I had no idea about before reading their blog. They have also created beautiful videos explaining the discoveries of New Zealand and America. They are an interesting, intelligent group of students attending Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand.


C4K#4
I commented on Adrian's blog, a 6 year student attending a middle school half an hour away from the capital of Tasmania. He enjoys car shows, rock music, and video games. In one post he tells us that his favorite animal is a tiger. I thought that was neat because tigers are also my favorite animal. I told him that tigers can be identified individually by their stripes because they are each unique. It is similar to humans being identified by our fingerprints.


C4K#5
I commented on Bennett's blog, a 6th grader attending Waukee Middle School in Waukee, Iowa. I read a descriptive story by Bennett. He talked about a pet cheeseburger he had that got sick after a week. After giving the cheeseburger a pill as an attempt to make him feel better was to no avail, Bennett ate the cheeseburger to get it out of its misery. This was a really creative piece that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.


C4K#6
I commented on Alaina's blog, a 6th grader in Mr. Reuter's class where each student has their own blog, Netbook, and Edmodo account. The particular post I commented on was Alaina's review of one week. They finished their biomes projects and she provided a link for some information about the wetlands. She also told us that she was the ecologist in her group. She is going to dissect a starfish in science class. I told her I had just dissected a clam in Biology. She made a 96 on her math test and thought it was easy. She is a very intelligent, enthusiastic child and I enjoyed reading all of her posts.

C4K#7
I commented on Alba Shunkshark's blog. He took a picture of the U.S.S. Alabama battleship and wanted suggestions as to what he should name it. I suggested "Shapes" because the angles of the lines surrounding the circles cause me to think geometrically.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blog Post #11


It was very interesting to see a group of first graders interacting on individual laptops and doing hands on activities on the Smartboard. I think it is great that they are already learning about the world of the Internet and how to be safe with it. I imagine that all of these children will have quickly enhanced reading and writing skills thanks to Ms. Cassidy and her efforts. I also think blogging with other students will help improve social skills. I plan to use these techniques in my classroom. I do realize that I will have students who are non-readers, but voice recordings and videos are handy tools that can be used to give these children a place in reading and writing activities. It will also be difficult for certain children with physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, to move around as quickly as other students. Some may have a hard time pinpointing what to click on the Smartboard or even how to hold the pen. This just means I will need patience and time to work with students that have different disabilities until the best method for each individual is determined. I feel active assignments using technology are probably better suited for special children in many cases. I'm sure it will be hard for many of them to sit still for long. I can see lessons with the Smartboard especially giving them a variety of activities in which they can find their strengths and become accomplished, happy children.

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class!
EDM310 Skype Interview with Ms. Kathy Cassidy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blog Post #10

An Open Letter to Educators: Morgan Bayda
I can definitely relate to what Bayda says in her post. Although education in a university is not free, education itself is free and available for everyone. In my own experiences at the University of South Alabama, we are encouraged to speak in some classes if we have opinions or thoughts on matters. A few of my teachers address questions and are happy for feedback. However, the majority of the classes I am taking are set up so that a certain amount of information can be absorbed, or rather memorized, in time for the necessary tests. A lot of the time this leads to rushing to memorize a load of facts, as Dan Brown says, when I would like to slow down and delve into specific areas that I feel are more significant or interesting to me. EDM310 has helped me to realize that we must venture farther into the world of learning and not rely on school for all of the answers.
Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home!
I thoroughly enjoyed Tom Johnson's post about pencils and the problems they can arise for students. It is important, though, that he focuses on how these problems can be solved, rather than let the problems be the final result. I think this way of looking at things is necessary for everything applying to learning and life, not only the way pencils are put to use. Everything we are given must be used with the most beneficial ideas in mind. This way ordinary pencils can become magical pencils.
Two Questions that Can Change Your Life: Daniel Pink
This video has changed my life in a positive way. To ask myself what my "sentence" is gives me more of a standing purpose that will strengthen my drive to act on the things that motivate me. To ask myself if I am better today than yesterday gives me a straightforward way to reflect on my words and actions as I progress through life. I can then see more clearly where I need to change or improve.
My Sentence:
I will continuously learn in order to break free from the world's holdings and explore life as the beautiful adventure it was made to be.

This class has helped me to realize I have been trapped in a world that appears smaller than it truly has potential to be. It is a huge place with many different societies that have separated themselves from the rest of the world. We are one, and as each day goes by I see this more and more.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Additional Assignment #3


Sir Ken Robinson: Changing the Paradigms
I loved this video more than I can say. It was beautiful. I feel one of the most important topics Sir Ken Robinson discussed is that of collaboration between our students. This applies to myself and many students that I am sure have a tendency to be introverts. I thought deeply of it first before when I read the post about Mr. McClung's first year of teaching, which I have included a link to in Blog Post #9. I have been thinking about how I can find ways to instill creativity and motivation into my students. However, I never stopped to think about the fact that I would not be able to do it alone until I read his blog.

Sir Ken Robinson's presentation along with Mr. McClung's blog post really helped me to realize I have to start communicating if I want to be able to communicate with others and make a difference. Sir Ken Robinson's video, on the other hand, has given me a greater push of motivation to inspect curiosity to the fullest extent. The communication and imagination skills I need can only be developed again by communicating with others in my profession, not just family and friends. I believe this is another important point Sir Ken Robinson puts forth in his artwork. When he tells us the percentage of Kindergarteners who scored as genius and beyond was 98 percent, I was astounded. However, I wasn't shocked after all that I have learned in EDM310, and I know the change that needs to take place to break away from the system we have grown dependent on. We must learn to learn together.

I am now studying the western civilization of Europe from the 1500s on, and it seems very true that not much has changed since the initial Enlightenment Period, which began in the eighteenth century. We have been thinking as individuals with free thought for a long time, but sometimes I feel it is not in the right direction. The reason I say this is because of all of the high school drop outs, and the poverty and unemployment rates. Many children drop out at a young age because there is poverty in their homes, they have a bad home life, or they simply do not understand the importance of school. Times have gotten harder throughout the last century with the introduction of so much new technology and so many corporations. Prices must increase if there is to be any stability in the economy.

This leads to the most important point Sir Ken Robinson arises, the much needed reform our world needs. I think every teacher needs to realize it is not just their school, their community, or their country. It is the world, our world. We must join hands and do what it takes to educate our children in this Internet Era so that they feel like a free bird with numbers of goals and ambitions that can not be limited. We can not scare them into thinking they barely have a guarantee to get a job without a college degree. If they have the mindset to think about that and only that, they will never enjoy their childhoods and true passions. School should be about passion, not the number one association relating to boredom. That is why there must be less focus on divergent thinking and more on creativity. I can not say there was anything I disagreed with in this eye-opening production.

To further explore the issues Sir Ken Robinson takes into account, I must first work to better myself concerning what I talked about earlier in my post. I must have the opinion of others and discussions which lead to creating development in the Education system. However, as a teacher I will try different techniques in order to teach my children how to learn and have fun at the same time. I used to really enjoy reading and acting out Archie comic books when I was young, even before I knew what they said. It would be cool to find some cute, easy-to-read comic books and have the kids pick their parts and "audition" for which part they would like in the play. I plan on letting them listen to good, happy music and choosing their favorites. I also will take them outside a lot to get fresh air and enjoy the the beauty of nature and all the unique creatures. I will make lessons using these simple tools and various ones I will pick up and learn about along the way. Technology will be a huge part of the fun. I can envision Smartboards bringing some smiles to children's faces. I see us making podcasts of plays and other activities that allow them to watch themselves and have some fun. I will also reward children for their good work in ways that make them happy, whether it be candy or anything else they enjoy. Most importantly, I will never give up on them. I will take my stand for changing the paradigm, and if there is more I can do I would like to know.

I enjoyed this presentation tremendously. I feel if I were involved in a presentation like this I would most like to play either the idea generator, narrator, or designer. Being an author would be nice as well, but I definitely can't draw. I think the designer would be best suited for me. If the right random pictures come to my head when I hear of the story, I feel I may be able to form an outline of what the artist draws.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blog Post #9

"What I've Learned this Year"- by Mr. McClung

I really enjoyed reading Mr. McClung's reflective post on his first year of teaching. He states for us the lessons he learned, the changes he made for the sake of his own personal growth, and the issues he realized being a teacher entails. While reflecting on his first year of teaching he leaves behind some very good advice for teachers of the present and future alike.

Mr. McClung tells about his own experience of trying to perfect his lesson plans and the stress that brought him. No matter how much time you put into planning a lesson, the final result will always be different and can never be perfect. This ties in with his important point of audience driven instruction. While attempting to perfect lessons, teachers will overlook the main goal which is student interest and comprehension. McClung learned in his first year of teaching that he could not let mistakes get him down and must remain positive instead. At the top of his reflection he has the words, "An important decision I learned this year is stay positive." I believe positivity is an important aspect of a teacher's duty. There is already enough negativity in many students and it has been mathematically proven that two negatives don't make a positive.

Another major lesson McClung learned is that of communication. He stresses that it is the hardest skill to develop and I would have to agree with him on that matter. Despite the difficulty of communicating effectively, it is a necessity to build relationships with co-workers and students. I feel communication with other teachers will leave you in the open for much needed advice, support, and important discussions. It is also apparent that we must be able to communicate with our students, as we may be the only person they can truly talk to. Mr. McClung says we must be interested in their lives and listen to what they say. Communication is definitely a skill I need to work on building.

The other two important points McClung brings to the table are not fearing technology and continuing to learn. McClung says that as teachers living in the microwave society we can not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed if we fail to master computer skills on the first try. He encourages diving head first into technology. I think technology is just as important as continual learning. We can not truly continue to learn if we don't know anything about technology because it is at the center of our lives today. It is not even a question to me as to whether or not teachers need to be life long learners. We are the ones producing learners, so we must be in the same boat as our students.
I feel Mr. McClung gave some very helpful tips and lessons learned that I will use in my journey of teaching. I am pretty sure many others who read this article feel the same.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Short Movie Project

TimeToast Timeline Part B

Blog Post #8

Richard Miller: This is How We Dream
After watching and listening to Richard Miller's presentations, I am more aware of how much technology has really been a part of my life throughout the years. He spoke of how he used only his own ideas and the internet to write a paper, never stepping foot in a library. I have done this my entire life. All it takes is thinking about your own ideas and collaborating with others' ideas, which are free for all of us. Miller continues to stress the importance of ideas, which don't belong to anyone in particular but to all of us. Ideas are what have shaped technology into what it is now, where the possibilities are endless.

Miller makes the statement, "We as educators must be in the business of sharing ideas freely". It should not be difficult to share our ideas unless we make it difficult for ourselves. I think one of the most important points Miller makes is that we should not only absorb the multimedia, but create our own. I feel this is the only way to truly understand the value of your own ideas and how they connect with others.

I feel that I am able to write with multimedia, but I have a lot of learning left to do before I will be able to use it for the benefit of my students. I also feel writing with multimedia is imperative in today's society. Listening and watching is what we all do much more than reading and writing, so we must go with the flow and learn to fit into the listening and watching era that we are living in. This way all ideas will be heard and contemplated, instead of relying on all of the "whatever" ideas to make a difference. Multimedia is what our society has grown dependent upon. Whether or not the people are conscious to this fact doesn't change it from being a fact. Therefore, we who care about the world and generations to come have to use the resources at hand beneficially and create our own in order to overthrow the "whatevers". I strongly believe two lefts don't make a right, and any good attempt at making a difference will come to light. Multimedia is the key to the difference we can make.

EDM310 is Different
The Chipper Series:
In this video, Jamie Lynn portrays a student who is not willing to do the work she has to do for class, so she decides to take matters in her own hands. She continues to procrastinate in all of her attempts to succeed because she does not want to learn. This sends the message that you have to work for what you want and be willing to learn and change in order to be successful. Otherwise, you will just end up right where you started. This particular video reached the audience through humor, and I feel it worked well.

EDM310 is for Dummies:
I loved this video. While it can feel like you're going crazy upon entering this class, the help of others is always useful. Listening to others who understand better about the networking sites we are required to learn about is a sure way to understand for yourself.
I would like to participate in creating videos that reach people through humor, but I think taking a more serious path would work well also. I think it would be fun to make a movie showing "clips" from eras of the past and how technology has changed the world today.

Smartboards
After reading the evaluations of two men against interactive white boards, I automatically felt their arguments were too strong to be ignored. I searched and found a site which provides a lengthy list of the tools available for a teacher's use of the smartboard. Michael Staton and Bill Ferriter claim that smartboards are just a way for a school to look bigger and better to the competitors, they are too expensive, and that lessons can be taught just as accurately without any help from a smartboard.

After viewing the other website, Smarter Smart Board Use, I believe that the smartboard is useless if it is being used for the wrong reasons. If they are only there for the school's overall image and are used as a regular blackboard, there is no imagination behind it and the purpose is destroyed. However, if the teachers actually care enough to use the advancements in technology handed to them, smartboards can make a major difference. The smartboard holds numerous resources, lesson plans, and interactive games. This particular website tells how the smartboard provides fun, challenging games for the children. The down sides to a smartboard sound pretty bad, but I think if imagination and collaboration is at the center of the smartboards, there is sure to be an uplifting of the learning environment for teachers and students.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Additional Assignment #2

How Kids Teach Themselves
If anyone is motivated to act on a strong desire, there is not much that will hold them back. Even through difficulties, true motivation and willpower will compel anyone to do whatever they set their mind to. In my opinion, this is true even for those who are passionate learners and want to teach themselves.

If the motivated learners are children, I feel they have an advantage to teaching themselves than those who discover they are learners at a later age. Creativity is at its highest point when you are a child and view the world as a beautiful, perfect place where anything is possible. It was also made apparent by Sugata Mitra's experiments that kids can teach themselves to learn. In order for kids to teach themselves, they need inspiration, motivation, and confidence. I feel they must have either a teacher or respectable adult to push them in the right direction and praise them for their accomplishments. I also think collaboration with children their own age on any project, experiment, or discovery is vital. The same aspects are necessary for anyone who wants to teach him or herself.

Computers and the internet play a major role in the learning process. There are endless sources useful for research, many which are quite entertaining. There are also ways for the children to communicate with children in different parts of the world, teachers, and other mediators. The possibilities are endless if a child is motivated and has access to these tools. I also feel that computers and the internet can instill the motivation to learn.

Unless someone is motivated to learn, learning will be ineffective and nothing will come from it. The individual must have a desire to learn and reach personal goals in order for learning to be of any worth. Otherwise, learning will be turned into all of that extra, useless information in the back of the mind. In the process of learning there will arise problems and questions. In my opinion, this is not an excuse or reason to give up, but adds credit to working even harder to resolve the problem or find an answer to the question. Finding the solution to an obstacle is rewarding enough alone, but to have that extra insight into a situation is a rejuvenating feeling.

Just as I am motivated to exercise in order to keep my body healthy, I am also motivated to learn so that I can keep my mind healthy as well. Anytime I hear of a term or an instance I am unfamiliar with which interests me, I am motivated to know more. I really don't worry about what I will get out of learning more; it is just a natural thrill. I understand that not everyone is like this, and others need someone to spark their interest in more concrete ways.

I am also motivated to learn how to help others learn, especially those with larger difficulties and obstacles than my own. I really do not have a specific reason I can explain for this desire, other than the fact that I feel everyone should be pushed upward to the highest possible destination they can reach. Despite the struggles and need for greater patience and perseverance this entails, it feels my heart with longing to see every child become an achiever of self-obtained goals.
In the present, I motivate others with reassurance that if they set their minds to something they can do it. I share my own experiences in overcoming obstacles in my path, and explain how these defeated blockages have led me to where I am in my life. I try to let my happiness from my achievements shine through to set a good example. Praise for a job well-done and rewards for those who are not naturally motivated learners are a sure way to bring motivation to light. Critique and correction are important in the learning process as well. The promise of rewards for doing something correctly will inevitably build motivation not to give up, especially if the children see that I will not give up on them.

I teach myself every time I feel the urge to learn something more or anytime I am having trouble in a particular subject. For example, if I have no clue how to do a Pre-calculus problem, I will search for the basic concept the problem stemmed from and different examples on how to work the problem. I will attempt the problem using different methods until I find the one that best suits me. I do this because sometimes what works the best for me may not be understood to be the simplest solution to others, such as my teacher or classmates. I also find it more rewarding to make an 'A' on a test or succeed in creating a unique project if it comes from my own understanding and commitment.

A teacher plays an important role in inspiring and motivating a child. He or she is the person who is with the child the majority of the time and is able to see first hand the child's personality when it comes to learning and tackling hardships. Observation should result in guidance, uplifting praise, the trial of different tactics, and whatever else it takes to insure that a child is not left behind.

The most important idea that I gained from watching this video is that anything is possible. With this mindset, anything is possible. Nothing can be impossible if you want it badly enough. I believe this and think it is imperative that we help our students to see the truth in this as well, or rather refuse to take away the imagination they were born with. There are many ways to spark interest and help a child to build motivation in him or herself. One that I haven't mentioned is curiosity. What better way to gain the attention of children in the first place than to confront them with something that makes them wonder? This is what Sugata Mitra did with the children in India when he left a computer in their vicinity, and we were able to see how successful this truly was. There's an old saying, "Curiosity killed the cat", which I think should be altered to say, "Curiosity saved the world". Many good things established came forth first through curiosity, then inspiration and motivation, and lastly perseverance and determination.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Timetoast Timeline Part A

Blog Post #7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch starts off his last lecture with a smile on his face, despite the fact that he has been given three to six months left to live. He remains positive and speaks about the importance in life, achieving your childhood dreams and enabling others to achieve theirs. He gives us a list of his own childhood dreams and continues on to tell us how he fulfilled his dreams. Those he didn't fulfill, such as becoming a player in the NFL, taught him very important lessons which were useful in helping others to achieve their dreams.

When he was on a football team in his younger years his coach was being pretty hard on him, but not because he was mean or rude. He was doing this to inspire Pausch not to give up. Children need critique from others to insure them that they are important and someone does care. Pausch says that once someone stops telling you you're screwing up, that means they've given up. If no one has hope in a child anymore, they have reached the point where they can't have hope in themselves anymore either. This can not be allowed to happen. It is our job as teachers to be honest with our students, show them all sides of the spectrum, and never give up.

I feel if children are taught and showed that no dream is too big or small, they will have a greater hope. However, it is through personal experience that they will discover this. As Pausch points out, even if we don't always get the outcome we want, it is the experience that matters because we grow and learn from it. We as teachers are the final mediators in a child's life. There is no guarantee that parents, "friends", or anyone else is giving them the input they need. They need help to understand that a dream doesn't end with one accomplishment, but is built off of many accomplishments. Sometimes they may feel like they are running repeatedly head on into the brick wall, but they need to be taught that it is impossible to expect to soar over it on the first leap. It is a gradual climb that takes time and patience. If you make it over the brick wall, then it will be known how badly you wanted something.

As teachers, it is our responsibility to guide the children over the brick wall with encouragement no matter what they want or dream of. Pausch says it is important that we don't limit the children so that they can have freedom, but to continue pushing them towards their dream. He believes the most important thing while learning is to have fun. Therefore, he refrains from using books in his classroom, and lets the students work together and take field trips.

Pausch tells us that his lecture was a head fake, which is when a teacher is teaching one thing, but tricks the students into thinking they are learning about something else. He says we should cherish what we have learned in life and use it to enable others' dreams. In order to do this, we also have to achieve our own childhood dreams. I think Pausch definitely made an impact on others throughout his life, and although his speech was actually for his children, it spoke to all of us alike. Whether teachers, parents, or another type of mentor to a child, enabling dreams in the children is beyond important. When children are young and innocent, anything is possible. It is our job to help them to maintain that frame of mind, no matter what obstacles life throws out there.

Comments for Teachers #2

For my second comments for teachers assignment, I watched two videos posted on Michael Fawcett's blog. He is a primary school teacher in Hamilton, New Zealand to a year 4 class. Both of his videos revolved around the internet. The first one concerned the possible nomination for the internet to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The second video talked of the current Web 2.0 and the soon to come Web 3.0 and the changes it will bring. HERE is the link to his videos and my comments.

PLN Progress

When I began this class, I had no clue what PLN stood for. After finding it to stand for Personal Learning Network, it became pretty obvious. The difficult part was figuring out where to start. That issue was resolved for me thanks to this class.

Although I do not have my Symbaloo account organized as thoroughly as I would like, I have created a Twitter account where I am a follower of Dr. Strange, Anthony Capps, Jamie Lynn Miller, Stephen Aikens, and all of the teachers whose blogs I have been assigned to comment on. I find it effective to read previous students' blogs so that I am able to hear others' opinions on the topics I am learning about. I also enjoy reading Jerry Webster's Special Education Blog. He has 18 years of experience teaching special needs children and supplies the reader with new findings, tips on teaching, and personal experience.

YouTube is a useful tool I have found myself using more often. It is more intriguing to watch an informative video about something than to read about it. I love to read, but I do find it easier to learn something when I hear someone talking and explaining about the particular subject, especially if they are well-organized and creative. I will continue to build up my PLN so that I can perfect my own organized creativity, which I know is a necessity for my becoming a great teacher.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

All Children are Special


Whether special needs children are facing psychological, physical, or a combination of both problems in the disorder they have been diagnosed with, they are each unique. All children are special individuals and have the desire to be accepted, and just because some children have more difficult problems to face does not take away from their desire to be accepted as well. It is important that we treat them with the love and kindness we expect to be treated with. We should also never give up hope for them, as we wouldn't want anyone to give up hope for us.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blog Post # 6

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler
In Mrs. Drexler's video she introduces the concept of Connectivism, which is the theory that knowledge is based off of social connections in the world as a whole and not only through one individual. I totally agree with this theory. We must venture out of our own personal worlds and into the real world, which mainly consists of interactions with other people. Although you may feel your ideas are enough and what you believe is good enough for you, it is not. If you don't take the opportunities to listen to others' opinions, you are stuck in the dark. In other words, you are ignorant. You are not helping yourself to stay ignorant, and you are certainly not helping anyone else. To hear others' reasoning behind matters and compare and contrast their reasoning with your own is the beginning of Connectivism.

However, I feel listening and absorbing different viewpoints is only the first step. In order to grow in your walk through life and change the world for the better, the application of newly learned information and skills must take place. There is really not a purpose for learning if you have no desire to do anything with what you are learning. It is also pointless to stop learning once you feel comfortable with what you have learned thus far. The world is constantly changing. It will not stop changing, and that means we can't either. We have to stay up to date on current technology and issues we are facing. We are all in it together and depend on each other everyday.

We as teachers should all believe in Connectivism because we are the ones who will send children into the world with the knowledge they need to continue growing. I see much too often that after high school many young people are just fine with being through with school. Where do they go from there? I know it would have been different if Connectivism had been instilled in every teacher's mind and used for the children's advantage. Unfortunately, this is something that only began to be applied to teaching very recently, along with technology. A student who learns about what it means to be a networked student will surely have his or her mind opened up, but a networked student with a teacher for guidance will go even farther.

Although in my particular career I will not be working with students that will have the ability to understand much of the things other students can understand, I see why it is so important to be led to the acceptance and acknowledgment of diversity. I believe that through Connectivism I can apply various ideas I have obtained to help my students understand better even something as natural to us as decision making and the outcome of particular decisions, even if they may not be able to understand the "why" behind it. Using others' professional experiences, I can try different methods and observe what works the best for each individual student, along with forming my own new opinions based on experiments.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)
I watched this video a while back, but it was more amazing to me this time than the first time. The second time's the charm I suppose. This 7th grade girl proves through her PLN that she is very motivated and diligent. Her demonstration of how she uses her PLN shows the endless possibilities Connectivism creates.

At a very young age she is already gathering information from many sources and sharing her own ideas. She is able to form her own opinions on different matters and receive feedback along with giving her own output on others' views. This will cause her to question her thoughts and the views of others her own age or those who are more experienced. I think this is an extremely healthy start for her growth in whatever career she chooses. Not only is she learning firsthand the numerous ways she can learn, but she is discovering how to apply them to best suit herself. Most importantly to me, she is learning how to have have fun learning. Learning shouldn't be "boring" or "stupid". Learning is meant to be fun, and this 7th grade girl has discovered that already. This speaks volumes of the possibilities that exist today in the hands of our children.

In comparison to my own PLN, I feel that this student has outdone me. I am disappointed in myself, but it just means I have to step up my pace and look more deeply into things I have skimmed through or overlooked completely in the past. I have found a few helpful blogs of special educators who have some positive output on their own experiences and specific techniques they have found to work well in their classes that I anticipate experiencing for myself.

The Machine is Changing Us
Dr. Wesch did a fantastic job summing up how drastically the machine (television and the internet) has changed our world. His speech really spoke deep to me. We are becoming more and more self-centered each day. We want to be noticed, we want to have a voice, and we want to be loved. However, because of MTV and other faulty television shows that influence our feelings, we have sadly allowed our cares for ourselves to become narcissistic. At times, it's hard to decide whether someone is putting on a front to look good or truly being sincere.

Despite this, I know that if we would all put our many fears aside, we could accomplish so much more. Instead of watching people on YouTube videos and distancing ourselves from face to face discussions and critique, we should be joining together to find a solution for the world and the peace and love we all hope for. Nothing will come out of putting pretty pictures with the word "peace" written on your hand on Facebook. In order to gain something we desire, we have to work for it as has been proved to us since the beginning of time. It's also obvious that we can not save the world by ourselves. We have to join together. A multitude of creative minds working together creates one massive creative mind with so much potential it's almost impossible to imagine. However, we have to realize that nothing is impossible, and do what we have to do to get where we want. Most importantly, we have to try.

Honestly, I've always been a really shy person. It's just who I am. I can't let a little nervousness when speaking to new people hold me away from my passions to get out there and make a difference. I just spoke to myself in saying that we can not do it on our owns. I have to get over my fears and do everything I want to do, that I need to do. Overcoming fears is something we all have to face, and this is what Dr. Wesch's video said to me over everything else.

I know it will be worth it to help those sweet, innocent children who are in this big, scary world just like me. I want to help the needy in third world countries, whether it's simply giving money or actually traveling somewhere and making a difference in their lives. It would thrill me to put a smile on someone's face who I know has a really hard time in life, to teach them about God, and to give them a big meal, new clothes and shoes, and toys to play with. Another passion I have is foreign languages. I wish it were possible for me to speak every language there is. I am currently in Spanish 1 and I would love to learn Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin. I know it will be a lot of work, but if I could travel and teach children in other countries, I wouldn't feel the least bit of remorse.

Now that I am in Mobile, a 200,000 population town compared to the 5,000 population town I grew up in, the opportunities are so much greater. It all comes down to searching the community I live in for ways to interact with other people in bettering the society we live in. The idea of recognition is exciting to me, and overcoming my shyness is the step I am taking in order to hear those other ideas from other people that are just like me. Since I recently cut back on my hours at my part time job at Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, I plan on doing just that as soon as possible. Actually, I'm going to start searching now using the wonderful tool, Google.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Comments for Kids #1 & 2

For my first Comments for Kids assignment, I viewed Francisco Hernandez's class blog. He is an eighth grader in Mr. Chamberlain's class at Noel Elementary.

In his About Me, Francisco tells us that he is fourteen and has many hobbies including outdoor activities and watching TV. He states his least favorite subject is reading, and math is a challenging subject with great experiences for him. His post is very well written and he positively states that he wants to become successful to make life easier and fun. He knows that this means he has to make good grades and study hard in school to get ready for college, but seems determined to do it. It is great to know he has already decided that he will go to college. He even talks about his older brother who is going into college, thus setting a good example for him. I feel it is very important that he is able to have an older role model to look up to.

In Francisco's Student Learning Manifesto, he writes a few actions he will take to become a better student. He was only required to write three or four, but wrote seven instead. He appears to be a motivated boy, and I know if he sticks to his goals he will do great.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blog Post #5

Eagle's Nest Radio
Eagle's Nest Radio is a pod casting project run by a group of third graders. I feel this is a very effective way of learning. Instead of taking notes on lectures, the students are able to interact together and explain information creatively.

This is a great tool for practicing speaking skills and learning how to learn through various methods at a young age. I definitely see myself using pod casting in my classroom.

The Education Pod Casting Network
This website gives information and ideas about creative illustration for web design. This enables information to stand out and have it's own special attributes. Something that may normally be overlooked would be given a second glance thanks to illustration. This is important in learning because sometimes in order to spark the mind's attention we have to see that which is pleasing to the eyes.

This is another very effective part of teaching students and holding their interest so that they can focus. Pictures are always pretty to look at, and it's even better if they have a story to go along with them.
 
The Benefits of Pod Casting in the Classroom
This pod cast about the benefits of pod casting makes an excellent point concerning the fact that Millennium babies or anyone born after 1980 have never known a world without technology. It is what they are comfortable and familiar with. That is why pod casting is so beneficial.

It enables students to learn through a tool that they already understand via television advertisements, radio shows, and cell phones. They learn by doing, seeing, and hearing for themselves, and what better way to make this happen than through pod casting? Pod casting helps children to think rationally about what they are seeing, hearing, and learning. Parents can learn at the same time as their children simply by getting on a computer. Pod casting sounds like a genius idea to me.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blog Post #4

Don't Teach your Kids this Stuff. Please?
Mr. McLeod's poem outlines the problems children face when their parents try to "protect" them from the internet as if it is some evil place. While there are plenty of predators online, children should not be left in the dark about something that will play a major role in their lives. They should be taught of the differences between good and bad internet use, and if the parents feel it is necessary safety blocks should be installed. They should be taught that games are not the only thing the internet is about and that it is a place of knowledge, creativity, and experience.

Scott McLeod is very experienced with technology, and this has shined through with his numerous award winnings for technology leadership work. He also created a graduate program for technology-savvy school leaders and the first group blog written by school leaders for school leaders, LeaderTalk. His blog should be consulted by every prospective teacher.

The iSchool Initiative
A high school senior narrates this video to point out the problems with schools and how they can be solved. He asks the audience a question to answer themselves after watching his video: "Does technology belong in our classroom?" He then moves on to demonstrating the available iSchool applications.

All core subjects are available just at the touch of the screen. I feel this could help teachers to stop wasting so much time saying something and waiting for the student to write it down. Instead, it would already be at the student's disposal and there would be so much more time for discussion and individual help. There is also a graphing application, which would throw away the need for a 100 dollar calculator most high school math teachers require. There are note taking and memo recording applications, which can be E-mailed to other students. There is an entire bookshelf inside of this small device that you can choose various classic books from. So much more can be achieved between teachers and students when all of the basic information is all in one device. Apparently, parents can even monitor their children's progress from any phone. In turn, approximately 6,000 dollars will be saved on the finance of each student's education.

Not only will iSchool broaden the path for learning and save money, but it will help to save our world that is being destroyed more and more everyday. The paper we use so often comes from our very oxygen supply, and we can preserve the planet if we use this alternative method of note-taking, reading, and more. This is a great invention and the answer to Travis's question is yes. Technology belongs in our classroom.

The Lost Generation
In this presentation, the speaker is using reverse psychology. She reads a poem about how our generation's future will be, which is very undesirable but possibly true with the way things are going. She then reads the same poem again backwards, and it is written so that it says the exact opposite of everything she just said with a positive outlook. I feel this poem would have been just as effective if she had not read it backwards. Anyone who has a heart would think about how they are treating their loved ones and the world they live in and hopefully change their ways, even if there are still many heartless people who don't and won't care. However, the ending statement that she can change the world and refuses to believe that she is a part of a lost generation should be a shout out to all of us. If we all look at ourselves and others as failures, we will be failures. If we aim to succeed and don't give up, we will be successful.

Eric Whitaker's Virtual ChoirEric Whitaker's Virtual Choir
This is absolutely amazing, and possibly one of the most astounding collaboration projects I have ever seen put together using that wonderful thing called technology. More beautiful than the 185 voices harmonizing together was the fact that they were able to harmonize perfectly even though they had never met or performed together. The possibilities for creations using the internet are beginning to appear limitless.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Additional Assignment #1

Pitcairn Islands map

Thanks to Dr. Strange, I am now aware of two helpful educational searching tools, WolframAlpha and Google Squared. I did not know of either of these before this assignment, and I am glad I can now extend any research I do using these tools.

Using these websites, students can narrow or broaden their research to focus solely on what they need to know. Google Squared provides columns of different categories of information pertaining to the subject that can be deleted if unneeded, and additional columns can be added. With Wolfram, maps and graphs are available to be viewed in comparison to the statistics. I also learned that Wolfram can be used as a graphing calculator. You simply put in the function and click compute. Students can learn so much more using these websites without having to read more than a few sentences.

After reading back over my "Did You Know" post, my thoughts have changed. While I was astonished that India has more honor kids than the United States has kids, I did not realize the major difference in population. I now understand that statistics have more to them than just numbers. There are many different areas that affect the statistics, and from now on I will research more thoroughly before allowing statistics to blow my mind.

The Stable Boy and the iPad- To learn it is possible for a 6 year old illiterate stable boy to naturally understand how to work a computer brings tears to my eyes at the possibilities technology provides for those who are less fortunate.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Comments for Teachers #1

For my first Comments for Teachers project, I was assigned to comment on two of Mr. Brian Crosby's posts. Mr. Crosby is a teacher of 30 years in Sparks, Nevada. Education in Nevada is funded 50th out of 50 states in the United States. Mr. Crosby currently teaches at an elementary school with "at risk" students. He teaches a class of fourth graders and goes on to teach them through the sixth grade. Poverty causes him to lose many of his students and after three years he only has a little more than half of the class left.
Mr. Crosby is knowledgeable in outdoor education and educational technology, which he uses in his technology classroom to connect his students to the world. Besides having a class blog, wiki, and hands-on activities available to them, Mr. Crosby oversees his students' participation in community service. He is truly an excellent addition to the teachers today; he is giving these children experiences they desperately need and persevering despite any financial difficulties he has to face.
The first post I commented on was titled: A “Forgotten” Best Practice – Making A Difference In Students’ Lives. Mr. Crosby originally wrote this back in 2006, but thought it was a topic he needed to bring to light again. It concerns students struggling with poverty, domestic abuse, or other issues outside of school who are disruptive and/or make poor grades. Instead of being shunned, they should be dealt with as individuals who need attention and care. Counseling and other programs should be offered in more schools that help them for their own specific problems. Not everything should be based on scan trons and behavioral write-up sheets. More time should be invested in students, our children of the future. Sometimes the concept of time is a hard thing to grasp, but the effort should be put forth nonetheless.
Here are our comments for this blog post:
Tara Watson:
Hi, I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. I will be commenting on this post and another one two weeks from now for a blogging project.
I found your topic to be not only intriguing, but a subject all teachers and prospective teachers should be aware of and further observe. When I was in high school, there were not any programs or counseling groups to help troubled children or teens. Many simply took the “easy” way out and quit when they reached the age of sixteen. These students who act out and make poor grades are not failures, but are suffering from domestic abuse, poverty, depression, or other problems outside of the classroom. I believe this dilemma desperately needs to be put to more teachers’ attention.
The link between low-scoring students and domestic abuse or poverty are apparent and can be solved in schools everywhere if teachers and staff will only understand the importance of “No Child Left Behind” and take the initiative. It will open a world of opportunities and create ambition for these children if their lives at home and very different personalities are put into the equation.
Brian Crosby:
Hi Tara – I think you are right. Perhaps we would get a pretty big “bang for the buck” if we invested in the kinds of programs you describe. I also wonder if we could effect the drop out rate positively if we transformed our schools to make them places more students wanted to be. If we offered a more varied curriculum that appealed to more of students’ talents and areas that they might become passionate about. Just like a student that is good at and loves basketball, and makes the school team and because they love playing they are willing to put greater effort into their schoolwork and get the help they need so they can keep their grades high enough to get to play even though school or certain subjects might be very difficult for them. I wonder how many students would stay in school if the activity or topic they were passionate about was offered? Art, graphic arts, more varied music, fashion design? What activities or subject beyond sports could you see not only getting students excited about school, but making it a place they are willing to do the hard work to continue on in even if they have the kinds of lives you describe?
Tara Watson:
That is a difficult question to answer and would require much thought and surveying. I think the first step to focus on should be how to counsel these students even if they are good at hiding their problems. Many students will never come forth on their own with issues they are facing for fear of rejection or embarrassment. They should probably not be singled out at first, but the entirety of the school should be given assignments designed to discover personality traits and interests. Programs, activities, and subjects can then be derived from these findings. The primary subjects and sporting teams are all that seem to matter in most schools. While they are definitely important (sports not so much…I feel they are overrated), I agree with you that it is more vital to help children find their passions in life so they can feel confident and know what they want to accomplish. Another factor I believe would help is simply giving more rewards for good behavior, such as being allowed to dress out of uniform once a week (appropriately of course). I wish I had more ideas right now, but this will definitely be something I will think more about.
The second post I commented on was titled: What Do Teachers Need From Administrators? This was a post written in response to Scott McLeod's request for Mr. Crosby to contribute to his "What do teachers need from administrators?" week of posts. I would suggest clicking the link and reading the post as Mr. Crosby is very well-spoken.
Here is my comment:
Mr. Crosby,
I respect how firm you are in your beliefs and knowledge as a 30-year teacher. After looking at your class blog and students’ work, it is obvious that you have enough experience and creativity of your own to help your students without interference from administrators. You ask first of all for more time to plan your lessons which would probably mean more money. Well, this would be possible for you if the administrators would quit forcing new ideas that they can not understand into your curriculum. I hope that the administrators over your school read this and at least hear you out. You deserve it.