Sunday, May 8, 2011

Final Blog Assignment

This is my last blog assignment and part of my final. This blog post is also in video form. The short video is a refection on my experiences in EDM310. Enjoy.

Keep Reading!

Hello. I just wanted to put this post here to inform the reader that there are more recently assigned posts after these first few posts.

Kevin White

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blog Assignment #7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's last lecture is the most inspiring video I have watched not only in EDM310 but in my life. To me, that is a pretty profound statement as to the importance of his video. After I watched the video, I saw a related video from CBS news that said that he died a year later; his death hurt me, even though I only know of him from 1.25 hours of his life.

Randy Pausch is a pioneer. He grouped students from different backgrounds together to see what kind of projects they could create. He had students working in teams of 4 for 2 weeks creating projects; afterward, he would mix the groups up and start again. His students learned by doing and by collaborating.

While watching this video, I had trouble focusing on the teaching aspects of the video; instead, the valuable life lessons seemed much more relevant to me. I think that everyone should watch this video because its lessons transcend education.

A lot of the things that Randy Pausch said I wrote down. Not everything, of course, just the thoughts I found relevant to my life. I have an entire sheet of paper with scribbling on it from when I watched the video. I will share them now.

1.) You can't change the cards, only the way you play the hand.

2.) There are two ways to say, "I don't know":a good way and a bad way.

3.) You obviously don't know where the bar should be and your only going to do them a disservice by putting it anywhere.

4.) It's very important to know when you're in a pissing match, and its very important to get out as soon as possible.

5.) Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

6.) When you do something wrong and no one corrects you anymore, it means they have given up on you.

7.) Respect authority while questioning it

The most important thing I learned from his last lecture I won't label as a number, but I will put some asterisks. This will stick with me the longest I believe.

***** Brick walls are there for a reason; they let us prove how badly we want things.

a picture of Randy Pausch

Blog Assignment #8

Hello. Today for Blog Assignment #8 I will be reviewing some movies that I have watched.

Richard Miller, Rutgers University
I watched Richard Miller's video where he talks about writing with multimedia. He talks about a childhood filled with books, and he also talks about his future career in which he hopes to work with books. He was able to do this, and even wrote a book himself. Unfortunately, his book is no longer published and he humorously proves this by stating it is on for 59 cents.

He says that now, an incremental, not fundamental change is occurring in education today. The change involves the sharing knowledge infinitely. There is a new kind of material that is accessible permanently and for free. For example, he talks about the growth of itunesU as a source of academic information.

Richard Miller also talks about sharing ideas and how they shouldn't be kept to individuals. He claims that ideas don't belong to individuals, they belong to the culture. He also says that most of the time, the limits and restrictions we face our placed there by ourselves.

He is also shocked that people can't get excited for this new wave; it is a way to push ideas into our culture. He wants to combine science and the humanities. Ultimately his goals is to articulate his dreams of sharing visibly.

EDM310 Student Videos
The common message of these two videos is that EDM310 is different, but doable. It is a different kind of class that requires skills that some people may not have at all and need to develop. I would like to make more movies for EDM310. I would love to do parodies of popular movies, like the Indiana Jones movies or Star Wars.

Learning to Change, Changing to Learn
I agree with the statements made by these educators. One of them commented that today's students are stuck in a middle world of technology; They use devices and communication methods at home, but when they get to school, none of those resources are available, and most of the time they are prohibited. Teachers have to be the first ones to learn with technology if they are to teach with it.

Phillip Zimbardo and RSA Animate
This video was very interesting and informative. Mr. Zimbardo narrates as the RSA animators animate what he is saying. He splits up people into different categories based on how they view time. He has 6 different categories, 2 each for people that think in the present, past and future. He claims that schools often make their messages for the kids that are future oriented, but not for the people really at risk, the ones that live in the present. Personally, I think you have to balance thinking in the past, present, and future; as for the proper division of the three, no one really knows the right ratios because it is different for everyone.

rsa animate picture

Blog Assignment #9

For Blog Assignment 8, I visited Mr. McClung's World, a blog hosted by Mr. McClung. The particular blog post I am commenting on is a reflection from Mr. McClung about his first year as a teacher.

He came to many important conclusions that I agree with wholeheartedly. His thoughts on reading the crowd is important. Every student won't respond to lessons the way the teacher predicts, so adaptation is important. Adaptation requires the knowledge of what to adapt to, and that comes from reading the crowd/students. I also think that this will help with relationship building with students.

Communication is important to Mr. McClung and rightfully so. Often times people lose jobs because of their inefficient communication skills and not because of a lack of ability to do the job required. Communication skills are required to build relationships with students, peers, superiors, etc.

Mr. McClung also says to not be afraid of technology. I agree with this statement. At first, I thought technology in education would just make my job more difficult, but as I learn more about different tools, websites, blogs, and education resources I realized that becoming technologically inclined would actually make teaching easier.

cartoon where the student can't use the chalkboard because it doesn't have any buttons on it

Final Project Progress Report

For my final project We are doing the ABC's of Educational Technology. In it we will assign one of the 26 letters to something that starts with the same letter. For example, google would be G.

I am doing this project with Alicia Robertson and Abby Jordan. They are both elementary education majors.

a picture of all the letters of the alphabet

Comments for Kids #4

I commented on each of these children's blogs. Below is a summary of the children

I commented on Hannah's blog named Hannah's Hacienda. The blog post I commented on revolves around the Persian/Iranian holiday of Seezdeh-Bedar. The holiday is a celebration of the 13th day of the Persian New Year. It is celebrated outdoors, sometimes in parks. The day is spent with family and friends.

Mrs. Yollis
Mrs. Yollis is not a child, but she teaches them. Her blog, "Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog" is a blog for her 3rd graders. Mrs. Yollis puts much emphasis in quality commenting, and rightfully so. It is good to learn the right way to do things, especially when you are young.

Declan's blog was empty when I came across, and Allie suggested that I leave him a comment anyway, and I did. I told him that I thought it was great that he had a blog and it would give him an advantage over the children unfamiliar with it. I also told him he had a significant age advantage on myself in terms of blogging since I have only been doing this since January.

Mr. McClung
Mr. McClung's blog, "Mr. Mcclung's World" is a blog of a teacher in Arkansas. He is also the cross country coach. I commented on his blog post "Tres Cosas Juevas". Although I'm am unsure what that means, the blog post was about collective bargaining rights for teachers in Wisconsin, and the controversy that goes along with it.

a cartoon where the person tell the computer that he needs to update his blog

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Project #16, Final Project

For this final project I grouped up with Abby Jordan and Alicia Robertson. We made a Google presentation on the "ABC's of Technology". In it we assign a letter to a tool, service, or website that is helpful in EDM310 or as future educators. I hope you enjoy.

Project #15, First Gift USA

For Project #16, Alicia Robertson, Abby Jordan and myself made a short movie to help inform people about how and where to make their first donation, a.k.a., First Gift USA.

Unfortunately at this time, we are not able to post our videos because they are involved in a competition; when our video clears and is able to be posted it will be.

please stand by message

Comments for Teachers #4 Summary Post

Today I will be summarized the two blog posts I have read from the blog "Whatedsaid".
It is owned by Edna Sackson a teacher in Australia.

Post #1
The first post I commented on on was titled "How Do You Change School Culture", and it was a response to that question posed by a Tyler Rice. Edna talks about the need for a reference-able set of beliefs that can be used by all teachers to promote homogeneity. She also outlines several learning principles they are worded incredibly well. Below is a picture from a lecture given by Jay McTighe.

learning principles in the design of a house

Post #2
The second post I commented on was about Edna's work in the SOLE project. This week she talked about a student in India she skyped with; His name is Kalpesh and he knows 2 languages well, and is working on improving his English. Her conversation with him was limited by the communication barrier, but it was a connection made. I like the SOLE project and plan on finding out more about it.

Special Metaphor Assignment (Blog Post #14)

I've been asked to answer these questions about a previous blog post for blog post #14. Here are the questions and my answers.

1. Why did you miss the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post, or, if you "hit the nail on the head", why do you think you understood the metaphor and why do you think that others in the class missed the metaphor?

I actually got the metaphor used, I didn't include my understanding of it in my blog post, but it is in the blog post left to him. Here is my post.

Kevin White said...

Hello Mr. Spencer,
My name is Kevin White, and I'm an education major at the University of South Alabama. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. I truly enjoyed your post. When you substitute "computers" for "pencils" it really makes the argument to not use them at home look silly. It is true that students may not use them for the intended purposes 100% of the time, but the leap of faith must be taken; students need to be trusted to be responsible.
Thanks for the post,
Kevin White
11:17:00 AM

I am pretty good with metaphors, and I often make my own. I think some people may have actually figured out the metaphor, but just left a comment on HIS blog and not their own; I assume this because this is what I did.

2. What metaphors have you encountered since I asked you to create a log of them?

I watched a movie about the Iraq War where one of the soldiers remarked someone's I.E.D. wound looked like pizza after the cheese slid off. My dad also told me at work that "time is money". Also, at work I heard the songs "Love is a Battlefield" and "Eye of the Tiger".

3. What other things can we do as educators to help our students to understand and to use metaphors?

I think, as educators, we should use metaphors more often. Every hard subject matter should have a metaphor to go with it to help with understanding of the information.

4. Why do we use metaphors?

We use metaphors in communication to make explaining the unknown to someone easier. A metaphor is used to related two different things together so that the less vague of the two items is able to be understood by relation. Metaphors are used to save time and to make communication more vivid.

cartoon metaphor about a knife in the back