Monday, November 24, 2014

Blog Post #5 Part 2

Throughout this semester, my Personal Learning Network has really expanded. I have subscribed to many blogs that I found through our C4T's, and I keep up with them regularly. I also comment on their blog posts, and pin posts that I really like to my Pinterest board, Pinterest: Teaching by Brooke Allen. Along with pinning their blogs, I have pinned many photo's that I find on teacher blogs as well.  While reading blogs from our C4T's, I have found countless other teachers blogs that I read and comment on. Overall, I would say that blogging and Pinterest are the most useful resources for my Personal Learning Network.

While I do scroll the my Twitter everyday, I haven't found it to be very useful. Social media has never been something that I spent much time on, and I didn't even have a Twitter prior to having to make one for this class. I substitute teach Monday's, Wednesday's, and Fridays, I have classes Tuesday and Thursdays, I babysit 3 days a week in the afternoon, I have homework, I do volunteer work, I need to sleep every once in a while, and I also spend time with my family, friends, and boyfriend. Finding time for things like Twitter and Facebook is just very difficult for me. While I have yet to find Twitter to be overly interesting and useful, I will continue to use it in hopes that I will discover how awesome it is according to Dr. Strange and many of my friends. One things that I do like about Twitter is hashtags. I love being able to see thousands of tweets about something like PLN's all by just pressing a button. I also use hashtags on Instagram. One of my favorites to look at is #teachersofinstagram.

A list of 10 ways to build your PLN.Along with all of the tools online, I think that talking to people in person is one of the best things you can do for your Personal Learning Network. Since I have been working as a substitute teacher, I have met many wonderful teachers how are very interesting in giving me advice for my future classroom and helping me out. I have gotten many wonderful ideas from visiting their classrooms, asking them questions, and listening to their advice. I have several of their phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and having teachers just a phone call away will certainly be useful to me.

I personal think that my Personal Learning Network has expanded quite a bit since the beginning of the semester, and I hope it continues to do so. Being able to connect with other educators from around the world so easily is a wonderful thing, and I plan to take advantage of it.

C4T #4

I choose to comment Primary Tech by Kathleen Morris. Her blog post, The 2014 New School Year, was about blogging in the classroom. She started by saying that she was a new mom, and that she wouldn't be teaching this school year so she could stay with her baby. Kathleen went on to say that even though she wasn't teaching, she planned to stay in the educational loop. She then shared links to older post she had done about blogging in the classroom. In my comment, I told Kathleen who I was, and about EDM 310. I congratulated her on the baby, and then I asked if she felt she had managed to stay in the educational loop through the internet. I told her thanks for sharing her resources and ideas, and that I had pinned two of the links she shared to Pinterest. Finally, I told her I enjoyed reading her blog.

The second time I commented on Kathleen Morris's blog, I commented on her post, Blogging and the Literacy Curriculum. In this post, Kathleen explains that she has been using blogging in her classroom for several years, and that the concept of literacy education is changing as technology evolves. She says that students need to be transliterate, and that teaching them how to read and write on paper is no longer adequate. Her students comment on their classmates blogs, just like we do in EDM 310. She also uses blogging instead of unrealistic writing tasks that won't be used in the real world. In my comment, I told her about EDM 310 and how we have learned a lot about blogging in the classroom. I also told her that I like how she incorporated it into her lessons, and that knowing people from around the world are seeing your work is a great motivator for her students. I also told her I hoped that I could incorporate it into my classroom as well as she did, and that I enjoyed reading her blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blog Post #14

After reading Teaching Our Children Can Be a Profession by Joel Klein, I realize that there are many problems with our school system, and how teachers are viewed by others. In the article, Mr. Klein lists several of these issues and some solutions to the problems.

Problem: Teachers need better training
  • Better academic training
  • Recruit from the top third of our graduates
  • Create a 'national teacher examination"
  • Require a supervised internship for 1 to 3 years
Problem: Seniority should not exist in the school system and teachers should be rewarded based on merit.
  • Create merit based ladders to promote teachers based on specialty exams
  • Grant teachers showing true mastery college graduates to serve as teaching assistants
  • Provide standards to remove incompetent teachers

In my opinion, I think that teaching should most certainly be professionalized. Teachers are trusted to shape the minds of children, which in my opinion, is one of the most important jobs in the world. Teachers are held to a higher standard than most people, however, they are not well respected. Many people think that teaching is an easy profession, and I think that's where the problem starts. Joel Klein makes several good points on how we can work to make teaching more professionalized. 

For starters, he suggest that teachers get better academic training. I agree with him completely. I think that teaching is something that takes experience to become good at, and students should get more of that before they are set free in their own classroom.

Joel Klein also thinks that employers should recruit the top third of our graduates. I think that this is a good idea. Not only would it ensure that only the brightest students actually became teachers, it would also make them strive to do better while in school. I would not want a doctor who had made C's just to get through med school, and I would not want my (non-existent) children to be taught by someone who skimmed their way through school either.

Albert Shaker thinks that we should create a "national teacher examination." I think this is a wonderful idea. Many other professions take exams like these, and teachers should be no different. Being able to pass a exam once finished with school would be an excellent requirement.

In the school system, once you're tenured, it is virtually impossible to fire you. If you're not tenured, it is very likely that you will get laid off if cuts have to be made. Joel Klein suggests that instead of rewarding teachers based on seniority, we should reward them based on performance. I agree with this as well. Just because a teacher is new does not mean she is a worse educator than the teacher down the hall who has been here for 12 years. 

In the article, it says that teachers who show true mastery should have college graduates assist them with teaching in their classroom. Extra help in the classroom is always nice, especially when it's coming from someone who is so well educated. I think that this would be great motivation for teachers to do their best and it would also be very beneficial for students. 

Lastly, it said that standards should be in place for removing incompetent teachers. As I stated earlier, it is very difficult to remove a teacher once they are tenured. However, I agree that if a teacher is not performing to standard, it should be easier to have them removed.  

 I found this article to be very informative and interesting. I agreed with every point made and think that it would be wonderful if some of these things actually happened. 

Newspaper titles Education News.

C4K Summary for November

In week 11, I commented on Clayton's Blog from Mrs. Horst's class. In his post, what is a citizen????????, Clayton said he was going to explain what a good citizen was. He started with a global citizen and then said he wondered why people declared war over silly things. He said that some kids have to go to sleep hearing gun shots, and said that it would be scary. He wrote about several other things but I had a hard time determining what he was talking about. In my comment, I introduced myself. I told him that I enjoyed reading his blog, and that it was thought provoking. I also said that I often wonder why people declare was over some things as well. I told Clayton to keep up the good work, and too keep blogging.

The second blog I commented on was My Art Blog, by Alanna, who is in the eighth grade. Her blog contains pictures of her artwork, and I commented on a picture of her dog, Patches. I told her that she was a very talented artist, and that I enjoyed looking through her work. I also asked her how she created the picture, and told her about an app I use, Waterlogue, to edit pictures of my dog. I told her who I was, and where I went to school, and told her to keep posting her work. I let her know that I was very impressed by her artistic ability and that others would be too.

For my very last C4K, I commented on Justin's Blog from Mrs. DeBuhr's 8th Grade Blogs. In his post, My Achievements and Goals for Q1 and Q2, Justin talks about how he had met many of his goals in first quarter, such as making the basketball team, staying on top of his homework, and getting better grades. He also said that he got glasses and the teachers were happy that he could see the board better now. In his second paragraph, he talks about his goals for second quarter. Some of them are to continue to do well on homework and to improve his grades even more. He wants to become a better typer, and to participate more in class as well. In my comment, I told Justin who I was, and where I went to school. I went on to tell him that I enjoyed reading his blog, and that he had some awesome goals set for himself. I said that if he strives to achieve them, he should do very well in school. I told him congratulations on doing so well last quarter, and to keep up the good work!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blog Post #13

We've discusses why technology in the classroom is a good thing, but are there any problems with it? Read the following articles and discuss what you  learned.

Negative Effects of Using Technology in Todays Classroom

5 Problems with Technology in Classrooms

Issues with Integrating Technology in the Classroom


During my time in EDM 310, I have often found myself thinking back to my days as a student. Technology was used some when I was in Elementary school. We went to computer lab, took AR test on the computer, and would often use the internet to search things. SMART Boards weren't introduced until I was in Middle school, and between 6th and 9th grade, nearly ever teacher in Mobile County got one in their classroom. It was really exciting for everyone to have this cool piece of technology in the classroom, but it was more of a distraction than anything in my opinion. This may be because it was new and exciting, but other technologies were often distracting as well. In high school, everyone had to take Business Tech, which is a computer course. Nearly everyone in my class spent the time they were supposed to be working looking up games to play, instead of doing their work. While technology is always evolving in the classroom, I think that problems will always exist.

Negative Effects of Using Technology in Todays Classroom
After reading this article, I learned that there are several problems with using technology in the classroom. One is that it takes away from learning time. People often have technical difficulties, and this can delay lessons. In my interview with Katie Beckmann, a former teacher, we discussed this. It's a good idea to have a backup plan, because you can bet at some point your technology will fail you. This article also explains that many students have a game mentality when it comes to technology. Because of this, students can get easily distracted when using computers.

5 Problems with Technology in Classrooms
This article explained that some schools may not be able to keep up with the rapidly changing technology. It can be difficult for schools to provide computers or iPads to all of the students, or even just to each classroom. Providing internet for everyone can be a problem too. Another problem with technology in the classroom is that technology can make finding the answers too easy. There are many apps that supply quick accessible answers, making cheating possible and finding answers too easy for students. According to this article, some schools who are completely immersed in technology have lower test scores than those who are not. Teachers from these schools worry that while technology is engaging students on a creative level, they may not be grasping basic concepts such as math and English.

Issues with Integrating Technology in the Classroom
After reading this, I learned that many schools may just buy new technology because it's a good deal. Each district and school has a set amount of money they can use on technology, and it may not be that much. Good deals may lack the application necessary to be translated into useful learning. Lack of money and time may also lead to teachers not being trained in how to use the technology. If they don't know how to use it, the technology will be useless. Lastly, I read that instructional time will be cut short since teachers have to spend time teaching students how to use technology. I know that teachers across the bay say that their students know how to use technology very efficiently and that they don't have to spend much time explaining it, but that is not the case for the teachers I have talked to. I substitute teach three days a week, and I also had to get observation hours for one of my classes this semester, so I spend a lot of time in schools and I have talked to a lot of teachers about technology in the classroom, two of which are Dr. Strange's former students. According to them, their students do not know how to even log onto their AR Reader accounts to take test, even after being shown multiple times. These teachers don't seem to think that the classroom should revolve around technology.

Clip art depicting problem that can occur with tech in the classroom.

I found it very interesting to read why technology can be a bad thing. I think both sides of the argument are very good, but I still plan to use some technology in my classroom. I think the pros outweigh the cons. 

Project # 12 Part B

Project: The 4 Seasons
Grade Level: Kindergarten
Standards: SC(K)9 Identify Seasons of the year. Describe seasonal changes in the weather.