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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post #16 Part 1-What Would I Change

How I See My Future Classroom
By Secoria Burks 

How I See My Future Classroom By Secoria Burks This class makes me think of The Magic School Bus, a children's show I enjoyed thoroughly in my earlier youth. It featured an unorthodox teacher named Ms. Frizzle, her magical school bus, her class of 7th graders(not really sure what their grade was), and her personified pet Iguana named Liz. Granted in this class we didn't go explore in a magical bus, but we were encouraged to have a different way of thinking. An attribute of Ms. Frizzle I always found very fascinating and admirable.

Ms.Frizz, her entire class, the magic bus,and her pet Liz
My goal is to teach secondary in a high school setting, grades nine through twelve. I remember in high school only going to class when it was necessary. Mainly because my classes were very simple and I had no real incentive to go. This has made me determined to make my classes worth the attendance. I want my classroom to feel how I imagine Ms. Frizz's classroom would feel. Everyday would be something different, and my students would never really know what to expect. I would make projects a regular part of my lesson plans ideally that would be how I end each section. Class would be based on open discussion accompanied by notes and a few lecture points. Another aspect I want to incorporate into my class would be field trips. I can't remember one meaningful field trip after the 5th grade. I feel like high school is a perfect time to go and see things in person. A lot of the things I want in my class are things I feel I was gypped in my high school experience. My dream is to teach at title one or at risk schools. They do not have as many of the resources other schools might have, but I want to teach there because of the students it possesses. The students would hunger for the knowledge of something new. At the very least they would appreciate how different my class is. If I have a class of young adults engaged in any to my subject matter I would feel successful. I understand that for a lot of students History can be boring, but my goal is to make my students see its relevance. There are two tools I would use for sure GoogleDocs and iCurio. Both tools could be shared by my students and myself. I would encourage collaboration amongst classmates through the use of Edmodo, OpenStudy, and in-class debates/discussions. My projects would involve a host of sites such as Timetoast, Capzles, Prezi, and Creaza. While I recognize how convenient online tools are, I also understand the toll that looking at a screen for hours can have on a student. I would like to use podcasts for lectures and post them on our class site, that way they will be there for the students to listen to at their own pace and time. Now when I imagine my classroom I see so much more than what I imagined in my first blog post. This semester has given me the sense to know my ideas are attainable in some aspects. While I still would like to have an interactive dome to simulate historical events, I do realize that it is a bit far fetched. That however wont deter me from making my class interactive, and giving my students some say so in their education.

Blog Post #16 Part 2- Reflection Video

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15-

What Assistive Technologies Are Available To Us As Teachers?
Authored by: Secoria Burks, Jo Davis, and Lindsay Stewart
This blog post encourages us to find assistive technologies that are available for our use as teachers.  There are many tools which can be utilized in the classroom that can assist us in providing enhanced curriculum to our students with disabilities.  These tools will enhance participation and encourage interaction with our students’ peers and environment.


Authored by Secoria Burks

This site consist of blogs for and by people with ADD and ADHD, it is for adults and students in both professional and personal aspects of life. After scrolling through the tabs at the top of the page I found  a page devoted to teachers. On this tab I found the blog “Teacher I Need Your Help”, it addressed some issues and concerns of students with ADD and ADHD. One thing that I noticed a lot of was the need for repeated instruction and to be reminded of the classroom structure. To me this equates to the need for assistance with organization and memory.

I found a site for all types of educational apps with tools for students and teachers with disabilities or challenges of any kind. In the category for organization I found an app for apple called iCommunicate, it offers visual schedules, choice boards, text to speech,and audio recordings. In a classroom setting this could be used to keep students focused on the assignments they have do and keep them engaged. The only downside would be that it requires an iTunes account and there would be no way for students to interact with it on their own. However a teacher could make an account for each class and students could participate in class assignments this would keep students focused. It could be daily reminder of weekly events and double as a visual calendar.

Authored by: Jo Davis

When you hear “assistive technologies” I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind isn’t gardening. I sure didn’t think so! But after reading an article on the Cooke Center’s website in which they used a gardening project as a teaching method for kids with learning disabilities I became very interested in it.

Food is very near and dear to my heart and I also like hands on projects so this drew my attention immediately. Although gardening isn’t “high-tech” it is still a high beneficial method of education that can be used to teach about health and science. Upon further research on the subject I found a page on Farmschool that stated “Children with learning  disabilities, who  participated in gardening  activities, had enhanced nonverbal communication  skills, developed  awareness of the  advantages of order,
learned how to participate  in a cooperative effort,  and formed relationships with adults.” I know this is a technology class but I really see this implementation of a class gardening project is really thinking out of the box and has proved to be very assistive! This project could also be greatly benefited by the supplementation of technology. Kids could research gardening techniques and important tips on their class iPads and even look up visuals of garden bugs and pests for quick recognition. I think it would also work out greatly if students could document their progress with the garden on a class blog. It is an extensive project that lends to documentation and plenty of visuals. This kind of project that is constant and requires diligence and patience could really prove to be a great assistive education method for special needs learners.

Again I know gardening itself isn’t a technology but I think it is a great project that calls on the use of many various technologies and really thinks outside of the box to assist the teaching/learning process.

Authored by: Lindsay Stewart
This blog is a publication from the Virginia Commonwealth University.  There are many links on the left side-bar that offer specific posts regarding Assistive Technologies (AT) in different areas.  There are links for AT for Math, AT for Organizing, AT for Reading, AT for Writing, etc… I have chosen to focus on AT for Writing as I will be teaching Secondary English.
One post in the blog highlights “Panther Technology.”  Panther Technology creates Apps for use by students with disabilities.  There are apps for math, reading, and other subjects; the app I found would be most useful in my future classroom is the “Panther Writer.  This app has made it possible to have different layouts to the basic keyboard we are all so used to seeing/using.  The Panther Writer has four keyboards; the basic plus, Tom’s keyboard, the vertical fall keyboard, and the high contrast keyboards.  Each keyboard is enhanced by one-touch edit functions, accessible file management, and the ability to email and post to Facebook.  Tom’s keyboard has a two layer keyboard; the first layer consists of keys that make up 95% of all keystrokes, and the second layer contains the infrequently used letters.  This keyboard has the word prediction as well, making it an efficient alternative to the basic keyboard.  The vertical fall keyboard features vertically stacked letters and function keys which can be chosen by running your finger along the base of the iPad and letting the letters come to you.  This keyboard is great for individuals with very limited motor control. The high contrast keyboards assist individuals with diverse motor and cognitive needs with mild visual impairment.  Each keyboard offered by Panther Technologies can be used in the high contrast mode.
Although there numerous AT available to teachers to use in their classroom, I really love the Panther Writer as it can be used in combination with other applications.  Its use on the iPad allows for more efficient use of technology, better note taking, and an opportunity for students with disabilities to interact more easily with their environment.
 decorative picture art saying What is assistive technology

Monday, November 25, 2013

Blog Post #14, What Did You Miss?

The Assignment I Would Have Liked to Do
Explain a historical event that is especially significant to you. Be sure to give specific details like: who, what, when, where, and why it is so significant to society and to you. Present your event as Prezi, Google presentation, anything except a powerpoint presentation.  Include two different types of media.

How I Would Have Done It


Sunday, November 24, 2013

My #2 Personal Learning Network Update





This semester I added Quora and Google Docs to my PLN. Quora is a site/app that allows people to post questions to the public domain and target certain groups for an answer. Even though not all the answers are absolute fact it doesn't mean the opinions are not helpful. When I am stuck on something or can not think about where to begin on a subject I can pose my question, and typically I recieve an answer and it helps me regroup if nothing else. Google docs is a class tool I was introduced to in this class. Since then however I have used the Google presentation, document, and folder. I have decided to organize my network with Netvibe.



C4K November

Comment #8, For Kaitlin 
Hello Kaitlin my name is Secoria Burks. I am a junior at the University of South Alabama; I have been assigned to comment on your post. This is all very new and interesting information to me. It never would have occurred to me that such a large percentage of Soy came from Nebraska. I am from Alabama and one of our biggest crops are potatoes,sweet potatoes and corn, but I don’t believe they have a global impact like soy does.

Comment #9, For Taeshell 
Hi Taeshell,
My name is Secoria Burks and I am a college student at the University of South Alabama. From reading this post I believe you will be a great writer some day. I like a lot of your word choices and you painted a very vivid picture of what your first day of school was like. Keep up the good work.

Comment #10, For Mrs. Yollis
Hello my name is Cori Burks ,and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. My major is Secondary Education/ History. This semester I am taking EDM310 with Dr.Strange. We have assignments in this class that require commenting on different blogs. This week I was assigned to yours and it was interesting. I really enjoy all of your graphics.

My plans for Thanksgiving consist of going home to Montgomery ,and spending time with family and friends. I am so excited to see my hometown friends. The holidays are our annual reunion season. It is sure to be filled with laughs and shenanigans. More than anything I plan to cook and eat to my heart's content. It will be weird to cook without my sister this year ,but I know she'd want the holiday to be the same. All in all, I look forward to my Thanksgiving this year.


The C4K I enjoyed doing the most was the last one for Mrs. Yollis. A teacher for twenty-seven years and a constant learner. She has traveled all over the world and in doing so she has expanded her thirst for knowledge. I was also very impressed by the writings of my second C4K, Taeshell. She was very clear and vivid.

C4T for November

Comment #1, Visiting Other Classrooms 
Hi my name is Secoria Burks and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently taking EDM310 and I have been assigned to comment on your blog for the next two weeks. I would like to inform you that I will be summarizing your posts and my comments on my class' blog.

As I stated, I am not yet a teacher but this is one of the things I really look forward to as a teacher. When I am in my education classes I imagine going to schools and visiting people in my classes in their classrooms. Even though I am not a teacher at this point I can relate to how visiting schools can inspire you to try new things. Or in my case to work harder to reach the goal of becoming a teacher.

Comment #2, Come Teach at my School 
Hello Henrietta, this will be my last comment for EDM310 but, not my last visit to your site. Until this class I only had one perception of a how a classroom is run. Unfortunately it didn't include half of what I have learned so far. I am hopeful that once I am a teacher I will be in an environment where I can flourish as well as you have.

This month I was assigned to Mrs. Henrietta Miller from Sydney, Australia. I have read a few of her other posts, and naming this blog the classroom chronicle is more than fitting. By reading at least one post from every year you can follow her journey into knowing and using technology in her classroom.

Henrietta Miller covering her face with a book with her face on the cover

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post # 13 (Collaborative Post)

Some Interesting TED Talks
Authored by Secoria Burks


Teaching through videos allows students to learn at that their own pace. They have the ability to stop, pause,fast forward, or rewind if they need to. As far as flipping a classroom is concerned videos can be vital. Mr. Khan also proposes the idea that videos can make a classroom more human. By using videos as an at home teaching tool. Classroom time can be used for practice, collaboration, and assessment; not instruction. Assessment is one of the topics his online school are attempting to change as a whole. He believes that a one shot test isn’t very productive. Students are taught a section and at the end they have a test. The score on the test indicates what they understood or retained, but no matter what the score teachers move on to the next section. The Kahn Academy has created a system that prompts students to try until they master the skill.

Authored by: Lindsay Stewart


Alison Gopnik explores the decision-making and intelligence of babies.  Alison seeks to answer why and how children and babies can learn so much so quickly.  She suggests that it is due to the amount of time human beings spend being dependent on adults.  Alison points out that the human species has the longest time for “learning” than any other species.  In this “learning process,” babies and children are protected; this gives them time to learn and process all the information that their brains can handle.  Alison states that babies are designed for learning; they are made for learning, and their brains are one of the most powerful computers.  Once the children grow into adults, all of the things learned can then be put into practice.

Alison shows us how children at the age of four can effectively experiment and form hypotheses; often we think children are “just playing around” or “not paying attention,” when in reality, they are experimenting.  In one instance, a four year old was able to experiment with four different hypotheses in less than two minutes.  Why are adults not able to do this?  Alison suggests it is because adults’ brains are like spotlights; they focus on one thing and block everything else out.  Children, however, have brains like lanterns; they can analyze many different ideas from different places all at once.  Children are unable to zero in on one idea, but the number of possible hypotheses is more numerable than an adults’.

Alison suggests that if we desire to become more open-minded and creative, then our goal is to become as children are.  In this video, Alison’s research on the learning process in children and babies showed us that humans have a great capacity for learning, if we only stop and take the time to recognize it.  Alison’s talk reveals that there is much to understand about the learning process, and there is much more to understand about our children.  Overall, this video shows that it is vital to educate our children and give them all the tools necessary to become productive adults; it is our job to “water” their minds, and then watch them flourish in the garden called, “life.”



Authored by: Jo Davis

Mae Jemison: astronaut, doctor, art collector, and dancer uses this TED talk to stress the importance of teaching the arts and sciences in conjunction. With a focus on the future, Jemison states that science education needs remodeling. Right away Mae Jemison introduces an idea that we could all learn from. She explains that the driving force behind research and science is curiosity, and curiosity is born of creativity. Creativity is of course sparked by and nourished by the arts; therefore, science and the arts are intertwined. This school of thought that keeps the arts and sciences separate is damaging to progress. She gives the example of the shuttle used to fly her to space and the Buntu statue she brought up with her were both products of human ingenuity and creativity. This is truly an invaluable way of perceiving the world and the things we learn. She even provides the following quote from Albert Einstein to support her view, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” The mysterious of the world we live in invoke thought that leads to evolution in both art and science, so naturally it makes sense for both subjects to be taught in a way that expresses their mutual relationship. Jemison goes on to further explain how arts and sciences are not so different but the main point she  stresses is how one is not more important than the other. Art and science alike are vital in composing and bettering the outcome that is the condition of human life. This disparity between the education of science and art in schools is detrimental to the learning habits of future generations. If only one thing was to be taken away from Mae Jemison’s TED talk it is the fact that the arts and sciences are both key to progress and must be regarded and taught as equals.


 a sign that reads TED talks ideas worth spreading






Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blog Post #12, What We Learned from Mr. Ken Robinson

Authored by Secoria Burks

In this video Ken Robinson addresses problems that we face in education so far. Education as it is alienates certain students, and marginalizes points of value in students. Current school structure was designed during the Enlightenment period and was based around economics and intelligence. This system has created the notion that there are smart and non-smart people and this is not only ineffective but creates unnecessary chaos. 

Another topic he discusses is the misappropriated use of prescription drugs on students and the effects they have on classroom participation. He explains how students of this age are the most stimulated in history. They are being stimulated by their surroundings and more and more by chemical substances.Both of these things make it hard for students to focus on what is usually boring student material. Instead of attempting to make the material just as stimulating students are often penalized for not being interested. The point he really works at is that students are being numbed to experiences that are supposed to make them feel alive. 

School structure is another big topic he discusses. He emphasizes the importance put on student age instead of ability. Also he elaborates on how schools are modeled after factories. There are ringing bells, separate facilities, subjects are divided up, and students are taught in batches determined by age. This is a form of educating that is only conducive to standardized learning. His final topic is divergent thinking, he begins by explaining that divergent thinking is an essential component to creativity and that as children progress in the current education machine they lose this skill.   


The Importance of Creativity with Ken Robinson
Authored by: Lindsay Stewart


In this video, Ken Robinson provides a profound case for the need of our educational system to nurture rather than undermine creativity.  Ken’s talk is very entertaining, and he kept my full attention for the duration.


Ken explains that everyone has an interest in education; it is not only teachers or students that have an interest.  Ken explains that education is meant to lead our children into the future.  However, he also points out that the future is quite unpredictable, and how can we educate for unpredictability?  Ken explains that we must begin with nurturing the innovation, talents, and creativity of others.  He points out that our current education system stifles the creative minds of children; furthermore, Ken states that there is currently an academic inflation.  There is a lot of focus on degrees and meeting education marks.  Ken directs us to see that children are not, by nature, afraid of taking chances; rather, we are educating our children out of creativity.  He argues that if you do not take chances and are afraid of being wrong, then you will not come up with anything creative and original; this is something that education takes away from children.
Ken is passionate about nurturing the creativity of others.  Instead of squandering the talents of our children, we should embrace them.  He shows us that degrees really are not worth much compared to the creativity we are stifling.  We need to change our perception of human capacity, and we should use our gift of imagination wisely and encourage that gift in others. Ken’s talk on creativity brought to life again many points I have read and heard recently through the interaction in my EDM310 class.  There are many passionate educators that want to see a change, and there are people that “really get it.”  But how do we move from pointing out the issues to making the changes to put these great ideas into practice?  There are many guidelines that educators must follow based on where they are employed.  I would hope my classroom would be one that encourages all creativity, but I am concerned about my own limits as an educator.  When will “those in charge” embrace the need to allow more imagination and nourishment of talents in our schools? As Ken says, the future is unpredictable; I hope the future includes many ideas I have in my own imagination.

How To Escape Education’s Death Valley
Authored by: Jo Davis

In this TED talk Sir Ken Robinson discusses not only the problems that have caused the dire state of education in America but also the problems with the solutions that have been proposed to fix education in America. Firstly he addresses the ironically named “No Child Left Behind” program and the harm that it has done for education and for the flourishing of students' minds. Sir Ken Robinson states that there are three principles that are essential for human life to flourish and that they are all three contradicted by the system of education at present. The first of the principles that Sir Ken Robinson reveals is that human beings are naturally very diverse and vary greatly amongst one another. This nature of diversity is directly contradicted by the No Child Left Behind program that places an extreme importance on conformity and standardization. The forced system of standardization narrows the field of education for students to a small group of subjects that have been deemed necessary. The subjects and material being taught are important but by themselves with all the focus only on these subjects it is simply not sufficient. As Sir Robinson says, a focus on the arts and humanities is an absolute necessity when it comes to a proper education. Along with the cherry picking of subjects, the methods of teaching and learning are also being stifled so all children must learn and do school work in a uniform manner, yet again directly contradicting the diverse human nature. The next principle that Sir Robinson addresses is the inherent curiosity of human kind. He states that children are natural learners and if educators can just light the spark of curiosity the children will learn so much on their own. He attributes part of this problem to the de-professionalization of the teaching profession. Teachers are not meant to only pass along learned information but to rather facilitate learning. Instead, the current system of education in America enforces compliance by having teachers teach and students learn only for the purpose of a standardized test. In this system the curiosity of the students is being quashed and learning is being impeded. It is crucial that this problem is rectified as curiosity is absolutely vital in education and learning.  The last principle Sir Robinson addresses is that of the creativity of humans. He states that education has a duty to nurture creativity in developing minds. This is yet again being stifled by the culture of standardization. Sir Robinson compares this to the highly successful education system in Finland and states that the Finnish individualize teaching and learning, place a very high standard on the profession of teaching, and devolve the power and responsibility of teaching to the individual school level. These methods address the three principles Sir Ken Robinson spoke on to create what diverse, curious, and creative humans need to learn...and organic system of education! With such a system that can develop and aid students in learning, the current crisis in American education would be no more. So much can be learned from Sir Ken Robinson by taking these essential factors for the flourishing of the mind and using them to evaluate the state of education in America. All educators should take his points into consideration because as he stated,” No school is better than its teachers.” America is certainly in dire need of an escape from education’s death valley.

Ken Robinson is an innovator in education, and he pushes others to understand their students and their talents more fully.  We listened to three videos provided by TED Talks in which Ken guides our thoughts into a direction away from the mundane, structural, and predictable educational system. He challenges us to question the current structure of our educational system and pushes us to encourage others in their creativity.

 Dr.Ken Robinson and one of his quotes reading


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blog Post #11, Mrs.Cassidy's Class

First Graders in Mrs. Cassidy's Class While the first video was very interesting and valuable it was similar to so many others that we have seen in this class so far. I did like that in this video however, the students were being taught how to be safe and conscious online. They never put too much personal information online and they are never mean or hurtful online. Children gain from having an audience; blogs and wiki pages give them an audience. The most important thing I want to mimic in my classroom is the social networking. I believe that high school students could benefit greatly from connecting with people from all around the world. As young adults preparing to join the working force it is important that they know how to make connections with people who are different from themselves. The Cassidy-Strange Interviews In her interviews Mrs. Cassidy was very insightful, her opinion of teaching made a lot of sense. Technology is something that is constantly changing. That is something teachers new and old should embrace. The classroom blog and site are definitely things I would want to apply also I would want to continually add to my learning network. As Cassidy stated, she progressed into the use of technology she has now and she is always looking to add more tools. Another the topic she mentioned was reaching out as a teacher to other teachers. The never ending learning process of a teacher. I have had a twitter for about three years and I rarely ever use it. I created a second one for this class and I seldom check it. This is one of the things I would like to emulate from her. She says she isn't really interested in Facebook or Twitter for personal use but they fit her needs as a teacher. As well as using those she has branched out to find other sources. Being a teacher has always been my dream so I have never thought about things that would impede my teaching career. Up until this point, the only thing I could imagine that would interfere with me teaching would a disruptive student. I am now aware that not all teachers or administrators will be accepting or receptive of PBL which I hope to use. At this moment I can not really think of any way to combat that. Hopefully when I begin teaching I will have a supportive system like she did. If not I suppose I will just have to form one of my own.


 picture of a child writing with the caption saying

Saturday, November 2, 2013

C4T # 3

Comment #1,
Hello Mr. Crosby
My name is Secoria Burks, I am a junior at the University of South Alabama. Currently I am taking EDM310 and this week I have been assigned to comment on your post. I will be summarizing your post and my comment on our class blog.

I have never experienced an earthquake before, the closest experience I can recall is when a plane flew to close to our trailer and shook everything. It is really though cool that you could find a lesson plan in a natural disaster. I'm sure it was really cool for your students, and it was a creative way to pull a positive from something negative.

Comment #2,
Hello Mr.Crosby,
I really like your analogy for this post. As a student in EDM310 I can definitely feel the workout that my brain is receiving. I can also see how by having to do assignments weekly is making them easier. The fact that my work can be and is seen by other people makes me more conscious about the quality of my work.

My C4T for this month was Mr. Brian Crosby, I was really excited to be assigned to him. Something I gained from both of his post were that you have to seize opportunity when it strikes. Any catastrophic natural disaster is can be seen as a negative and indeed usually has negative effects on children socially but Mr.Crosby turned it into an assignment. Another thing I admired about the first post was that he took into consideration the emotional trauma some of his students would have. He made arrangements so those students would be able to learn the same material without bringing up any painful thoughts. The second post was very relevant to my current situation as a student in this class. The first couple of weeks in this class were very difficult, similar to how difficult it is when you work out for the first time. As the semester progressed and I got slightly better at doing things it became easier. Honestly I was very pleased with C4T this assignment.

 A photo of Mr. Brian Crosby

C4K for October

Comment # 1, For Tony at Elsanor Elementary
Hi Tony, 
My name is Cori,Im a student at So the University of South Alabama. I read your post and I never knew the sky weighed anything at all. Thats really interesting but, maybe you could get someone to help you type your posts so its easier to read.


Comment #2, For Andrew Pickle  
Hi Andrew, 
My name is Cori Burks. I am a junior at the University of South Alabama and this week I am assigned to your blog. From reading this post I can tell that you are a very understanding young man. You have a very strong ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes. Another thing I've noticed is that you are very curious. You write your opinion and have a question. These things made reading your blog very interesting. Keep up the good work.

Comment #3, For Josias
Hey Josias
My name is Cori Burks, I am a student at the University of South Alabama. You are a very interesting young man. I think its cool that you like to read, I have been my growing book collection all my life. Seeing how you like weird saltwater fish, I am sure you've heard of a blobfish. They live in the deep oceans off the coast of Tasmania, Austrailia, and New Zealand. Give it a Google if you haven't heard of them already. 

Comment #4, for Manlily 
Hi Manlily, 
My name is Secoria Burks;I am a student at the University of South Alabama in America. You write very well and I think its very cool that you chose to write about your grandmother. It would have been even cooler to know how she is kind to you, but good job on your post.

My C4K's this month were really very interesting, my two favorites would have to be Josias and Andrew Pickle. All of the post had interesting points but these two stood out to me because the post were both interesting and very well written. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Post #10...What I Learned from Randy Pausch!!!

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture 

I can honestly say that I learned a lot from this last lecture. Initially when I saw that the video was an hour and sixteen minutes long, I was tempted to just skim through the video and find five or six note worthy points. Doing that I would have cheated myself out of a great lecture and some much needed inspiration. The most important things I learned from Dr.Pausch were that: Brick walls make us prove how bad we are willing to work for something, criticism is good for students and teachers, find out where the bar is for your students by challenging it, and that sometimes you just have to give people a little more time. Out of the thirty-two points that I took from this video these four are my favorite. That's not to say that the other points weren't as good but these points stood out to me the most because when I teach those are things I would want my students to take away from my class. In essence my entire course would be a head fake, and the real lessons would be those previously stated. Another thing I took away from this lecture is that you can not be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes can be fixed, when Dr Pausch didn't succeed in something he tries harder and persevered until he met the goal that had evaded him. In these recent years of school I have experienced a shortage of childlike wonder when it comes to teaching. This lecture inspired me to remember what made me want to teach. Finally Dr.Pausch taught me that you can be a Tigger or an Eyore, choosing one or the other can have drastic effects on your life. Dr. Randy was a Tigger and even in the wake of imminent death he still managed to be a good and productive person.

 Dr.Pausch standing near podium while giving the last lecture

Project #14 Lesson Plan #2

My lesson plan is called "Twisted GOvernment" and is intended for 12th grade government class. Check out my site "Cori's Project Site" for more details.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post # 9, What Can We Learn From These Teachers???

What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?
Authored by: Secoria Burks, Jo Davis, and Lindsay Stewart


1. Brian Crosby, Agnes Risley Elementary School, Sparks, Nevada, “Back to the Future”


In this video, Brian Crosby discusses how his class learns about hot air balloons, and how his students took learning to a higher level.  Mr. Crosby discussed the entire project of his students building and learning about hot air balloons.  The project was an eye opener in getting students to be involved in the entire learning process.  First, research was performed, then testing, after this, the actual building of the hot air balloon was completed.  In each step, Mr. Crosby’s students are blogging, making videos, collaborating, and connecting and sharing their learning with the entire world. So, what can we learn about teaching and learning from Mr. Crosby and his class?  Mr. Crosby shows us that it’s not about a race through learning or a race to get good test scores.  He teaches us that learning enrichment is part of everyday learning, and through enrichment and project based learning, students learn in their own way the things necessary to not only improve test scores but to also obtain a first rate education.  Mr. Crosby gave an interesting quote from a David Coen on the way schools now handle teaching kids “the basics.” Many schools just drill basics and then move on to enrichment learning afterwards. Using Coen’s quote to support his thoughts, Mr. Crosby says it shouldn’t be this way. “The basics” can be taught more discreetly and the children learn better when taught through more meaningful experiences such as Mr. Crosby’s project. The students in this class thrived from the attention they received from comments and sharing around the world, and the video gave a clear picture of how students are more motivated to learn when technology and collaboration are part of the experience. Mr.Crosby does something in this video that I really admire. He addressed his students presumed handicaps, his students were impoverished, second language learners,who were largely disconnected from the environment they lived in. Making the point that if students don’t understand their role in the scheme of things, that it would be hard for them to find that spark needed to imagine, be creative, and to be passionate. My favorite project was “High Hopes.” This project directly targets the problem with the disconnect by asking the students to include their community and their passions. Another thing I learned from Mr.Crosby is that by building a large learning network students makes learning more interactive and more rewarding.  
  


2. Mr. Paul Andersen, high school AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana. “The Blended Learning Cycle”


Paul Anderson talks to us about the “Blended Learning Cycle” in this video.  Mr. Anderson begins by showing us blended learning combines online, classroom, and mobile settings.  He then presents the learning cycle with these steps: engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluating at all points.  Mr. Anderson combines the blended learning atmosphere with the learning cycle to illustrate the complete “Blended Learning Cycle.”  In the complete cycle students will do the following steps concerning the science lesson/project: 1. Question 2. Investigate 3. Video 4. Elaborate 5. Review 6. Summary Quiz.  He summarizes this process with the helpful acronym QuIVERS. In each of these steps the students explore in depth the lesson being presented through working hands on and learning via the web.  Mr. Anderson gives examples of some of the questions he poses to his students and how they work through them using the “Blending Learning Cycle.”  What can we learn from teaching and learning from Mr. Anderson?  It is good to have a process to use on different lessons/projects, and a way to mark learning via the summary quiz.  The “Blended Learning Cycle” is a tool that can be used in lesson planning to assure use of all resources available. Another thing we can learn from Mr.Anderson is that one really good way to start any lesson is to pose a question. Or that it really doesn’t have to be a question, it should just produce a conundrum for the students. One last thing we can learn from Mr. Anderson is actually how he started his video. He addresses the fact that he evaluated his teaching methods from the previous term and adjusted them according to his desires, values, and inspirations from other educators. The willingness to consider your own work and change it is an incredibly important thing to consider.  


3. Mark Church, “Making Thinking Visible”

In this video Mr. Church challenges his students to create a headline for what the search and puzzle is of the question, “What is human origin all about?”  The students are put into discussion groups to come up with headlines for the question, and then each group creates their headline.  The headlines are displayed in the classroom, and then after learning about the search for human origin the headlines are reviewed a second time.  This allows the students to see if they would change their headline after learning about the topic.  What can we learn about teaching and learning from Mr. Church?  We learn group work and collaboration brings out different points of view, and displaying the headlines helps to create a visual of the learning that is taking place.  This collaborative thinking Mr. Church had his students do is fantastic exercise in critical thinking. Analyzing and thoughtfully discussing with others in this fashion is a great facilitator of learning. Mr. Church employed another great technique when he had the students go back and consider their headlines again to see how and if their thoughts/feelings/ideas had changed. These methods and thinking lead to more actively thinking students. This is a great example how allowing students to independently explore is a necessity. Mr. Church placed a fairly vague and open question. The students had to decide what was important to them, what they wanted to gain from this section. As they go throw this section they will attempt to answer the question, and the banner they made gives them a starting point.

Children spelling blocks placed in a cross spelling out the words Learn and Teach

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Project # 9, Podcast by Lindsay Stewart, Jo Davis, and Secoria Burks

Blog Post #8

Learning Tools for the 21st Century
Authored by: Secoria Burks, Jo Davis, Lindsay Stewart

This week, we explored tools that we could use in our future classrooms; we have listed a few here, and will describe in detail our favorites. Grockit gets your students connected in study sessions on a social site.  Schoology is another site where teachers can connect with other educators as well as their students to stay connected.  Funbrain is a site with educational games, and Knewton is an adaptive learning site that personalizes the students’ learning experience based on their individual needs.  Quizlet is a great tool where you can make your own flashcards, or teachers can make flashcards and share them with the class.  Glogster is a site that helps you gather all data about a topic on an interactive, multimedia poster that can be shared publicly. Evernote is a useful tool that helps you organize all of your resources in one place. Diigo is another tool that assists in organizing all of your tools and resources; you can collaborate with others, highlight important information and keep everything in one place.  There are three more tools that we found very useful; we have described them below.

Edmodo- "Where Learning Happens"
Authored by: Lindsay Stewart

Edmodo is an awesome resource that can be used in any classroom.  Its interface reminds me of Google in the way that is structured.  Teachers can create a virtual classroom for their students by creating an account and providing group codes to each participant.  After the students sign up, they are brought to their personal page that is not only functional but very appealing to the eye.  The site feels like a combination of Google and Facebook (and what student does not like Facebook?).  Students can comment on others’ posts and vote on questions posed by the teacher.  The teacher can share documents and keep track of the progress their class is making.  Overall, Edmodo would be a useful tool in any classroom, but it would certainly be a great addition to my high school literature class.  I cannot wait to use it with my own students soon.  The video below shows an example of how you can use Edmodo in your Language Arts classroom.  


Digital History-”Using New Technologies to Enhance Teaching and Research”
Authored by: Jo Davis

When I first stumbled upon Digital History while looking for online history sources, I almost dismissed immediately as boring and generic. But something about the big empty timeline of the webpage intrigued me. As I investigated the site more I realized it is a fantastic, unique, and easy to use tool. As previously stated, the site at first seems to be nothing more than a large empty timeline of America from pre-1492 spanning into the 21st Century. But upon further investigation i realized that the empty tiles of the timeline were not merely empty tiles but cells functioning as links! On the top of the timeline there are dates and in the background are images that correspond with these dates (which is very visually appealing), and on the left side of the time line are four rows reading: media, documents, textbook, teaching. You use the timeline to find the desired period and then click the cell under the date that corresponds with the medium that you are seeking. Digital History provides an amazing amount of resources on every period available. Having the resources separated into media, documents, textbook, and teaching makes this an immensely useful tool. I will undoubtedly be using Digital History as an aide in the near future.


Timetoast- "Create Timelines and Share Them to the Web"
Authored By Secoria V Burks
Timetoast is a tool that allows teachers and students both the opportunity to build interactive timelines.  Since I plan on teaching history it is comforting to know that I have a tool to help organize and present large spans of time. When first engaging Timetoast, you have to set up an account, there are plans you can pay for, or you can use the free one. To get a better feel of the site, I signed up for a free trial account; I began making my own timeline. This site is great for PBL or anything that requires research. In order to make an accurate and interesting timeline you would have to find precise dates and try to get as many details as possible. Another feature to this site is the ability to view timelines that have already been made by category. You can add groups to your dashboards and interact with them or even collaborate on timelines. While I was not able to use all the features of this site (due to my subscription status) I can say that this site is a wonderful tool for teachers and students of History, Literature, Art, and Science.
students on a globe with different teaching tools above their heads