About Me

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Currently a student at the University of South Alabama majoring in secondary math education.I have a deep affinity for old typewriters, pens, and keys.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Math is awesome.

I found this awesome piece of text thanks to a recent tweet by @earlsamuelson an awesome math teacher in Alberta. A Mathemetician's Lament by Paul Lockhart. he recommended it as a must read for future math educators and I agree. I also decided to share it since we had so much discussion on metaphors recently and this is just filled with them, especially at the start.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Final PLN report

my desk

My PLN is still growing, but I believe that is kind of the point. The hub of my PLN is now most certainly my RSS feed and the blogs I subscribe to. I have gotten slightly more use to twitter and I am using it more frequently to communicate and seek out resources.I have been finding a variety of educational blogs by reading the suggestions that google reader has for my RSS feed.
As my PLN has been evolving it has been an interesting journey. I have communicated with teachers from various areas of the country and Canada. I have learned a lot and enjoyed the discussions I see on twitter through the hash tags #edchat and #mathchat. The internet is a big place and still full of resources I have yet to even scratch at. There is so much out there to pull from it can be overwhelming at times but as I have continued to streamline how I search, read, and communicate it has gotten much easier. Now when I look for math resources instead of finding childrens games for subtraction I am finding things for high school students and educators. Google has become a precious resource for me with a wide variety of uses.

C4T #4

This go round I was assigned Scott Elias' blog.

The first post I commented on was Engaging Teachers in Instructional Rounds. In this post Mr. Elias talks about teachers having "rounds" like a medical proffessional and attending another instructors class voluntarily. The class is then discussed in a group and the viewing teachers give constructive criticism and are allowed to build on others ideas. This is a wonderful idea because it gives educators a great chance to improve. the observing teachers get to see another teaching style and the teacher being observed gets group comments on ways they can improve and what they are doing well.

The Second post was Air Head which is about Mr. Elias' experience in buying and converting to a Macbook Air. He talks about the constraints of the memory and offers some very helpful solutions on how to manage and back up data. I feel this is a helpful artice even if you don't use a Mac and an example of how you can take advantage of web-based resources so that your work is never left at home/school.

Project #16

Personal Summary:

I found it quite interesting that the younger interviewees seemed a little bit more anti-technology. My own inference on this is maybe the younger ones have had more experience with the trouble technology presents within education or have not had enough experience with its benefits. Most college age students have experienced the frustration of an online assignment not submitting or a key part of assignment being unavailable due to tech troubles, updates, and web upkeep. Perhaps the schools of these students did not integrate education and technology in a manner that was actually conducive to their education.

These interviews cannot show that much but I do believe that they express the great divides of peoples opinions on technology. Even those who similar opinions on some areas saw other areas differently, perhaps this is one of the largest hurdles we face when dealing with integrating tech into education. Everyone has their own ideas of how it should be and even how it works. This is something we will all have to keep in mind when proposing technology, someone might view it differently but still agree with you on some level.

blog 14/ special assignment

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?

This is pretty tough to answer. To start with I'll just say that I expose myself to metaphors fairly often. Most of the music I listen to is full of metaphors, which when taken literally are quite strange. I read poetry on a regular basis, which of course is full of metaphors. I watch movies and read people's opinions on them where they sometimes insert non-existant symbolism which is a lot like a metaphor. For example if you watch SLC PUNK! carefully enough you'll notices that Mathew Lilliard's character Steve-o's hair changes shades of blue throughout the film, some people of postulated that this reflects his mood/maturity and ultimately when he shaves his head and becomes a lawyer, it reflects him accepting adulthood and becoming a productive member of society. Really it's just the simple fact that blue dye fades over time.

As for why people missed the is a metaphor I'm not sure, as I said in my post it was an obtuse metaphor but a metaphor none the less. They were thinking far too literally in some cases and others simply misinterpreted what the metaphor was about. Perhaps they just weren't exposed to metaphors enough before this post. I know that when i was in high school we rarely discussed metaphors and deeper meanings, barely scratching the surface of our reading materials.

2. What metaphors have you encountered since I asked you to create a log of them?
  I encounter numerous metaphors throughout the day and it is impossible to keep track of them all. To begin with my music is full of it. Mason Proper uses very unclear metaphors to express romance, heartbreak, etc. To quote the song  'Light Off' on the album
'There is a Moth in Your Chest', "So tell me, how much of you disappears when I turn the lights off?" which is mostly a give-away for what the song is about. It's a song all about superficiality and how a person can be externally beautiful but lack inner substance. Screeching Weasel has a song titled 'Your Name is Tattooed on My Heart" which is obviously not literal.  I visit Poets.org at least once a day and read the daily poem, which often contains a metaphor.

3. What other things can we do as educators to help our students to understand and to use metaphors?
  How do we help our students understand and use metaphors? Give them suggested reading, expose them to it in class. Have them break down and analyze metaphors on a regular basis. Send them home with the assignment to find a song in their music collection with a metaphor and interpret its meaning.

4. Why do we use metaphors?
Metaphors can and are used for a variety of reasons. To diguise what is being said, to make a message more powerful, to provide humor when talking about a serious issue, to make something sound better, to make it more intriguing. Metaphors make up life, our music, our poetry, our books, movies, stories, games, just about everything.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blog Assignment 13

The website for ALEX contains a cornucopia of information. In the Webresources section you will fine resources for students, administrators and teachers alike. The site can be used to create lesson plans and research topics to your hearts content. Many sections of it a broken up into subjects to narrow your quests for knowledge further. You can go to the podcast treasury and hear about a variety of topics as well.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Final Project Progress

Our final project is off to a bumpy start but is picking up steam. Thus far my group has been formed (Alex Maniaci, Courtney Bengston, and Myself). We have decided to conduct interviews with students talking about technology and how they use it. We will be meeting throughout this week in person for some collaboration and ironing out of the details as well as working separately while communicating through email. I am looking forward to really getting rolling on this project and interviewing people. We will more than likely check out a flip from the lab and use my camera to take our videos. Our biggest hurdle will probably end up be trying to keep our video length to a minimum. I am already thinking we could possibly do three separate videos as a series, post one per persons blog, and link to the other two. Making each one's focus a little bit different but carrying the same message.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blog Assignment 12

Q: In this class you are asked to comment on one classmates blog a week for C4C. Describe to me your experiences with these comments. How does commenting make you feel? How does it feel about the comments you receive? How do you feel when you do not receive a comment from your fellow classmates? What might you change?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blog Assignment 11

This approach to technology is pretty unique in my opinion. I found it very interesting that they were learning to work collaboratively and read using Nintendogs on the DS, that's pretty neat. I love when she says "...technology isn't going away." during the skype interview, this is so very true. It's great that her students are getting to learn this at such a young age. Once again we see young students using the same approach to learning that we are here in EDM 310, simply wonderful. Blogging and the internet provides an audience and a cornucopia of sources. You get feed back and that is a great thing for young students, I remember always showing off my school work when I was younger, I would have loved doing this and getting comments in first grade. It was also interesting to hear about the evolution of the technology used in her classroom. Going from computers that wouldn't run programs to broadening out to DS systems and laptops.
 Once again we have a post I feel a bit left out in. Being that I intend to teach High school math it becomes difficult to incorporate technology. There's room for it, just not as much as other subjects or with teaching younger students. I do certainly hope to have a blog having to with my teaching once I am in a classroom, with links to helpful resources for my students and I intend to not just point at boards, slides, or transparencies. As tablets are advancing I can foresee useful programs coming about that I will be able to use (maybe help develop, oh my!) I'll communicate with other educators through my blog and possibly twitter.  With how much technology is involved in my personal life I don't foresee it not being in my professional life, that would be an atrocity.

Little Kids...Big Potential

Ms Kathy Cassidy Skype Conversation

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blog Assignment 10

Three typical college students on a typical Sunday night working diligently in silence on their laptops.
Meteorology, Philosophy, Psychology, and Education.

An Open Letter To Education

"If this was 1999 I'd be saying great!"- Dan Brown
In the words of the internet: LOL.

C4T #2

My teacher for this go round of C4T was Angela Maiers, the president and founder of Maiers Education Services. It's an education consulting firm.
I commented on her blog posts Visual Notes: Digital Literacy Week 2 and Chalk talk

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog Assignment 9

In this post Mr. McClung gives some pretty good advice for starting out as a teacher. He talks through many of the feelings that will experienced and things that can be prepared for and those that can't always be helped. In some ways it's a condensed version of everything we talk about in this class.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 8

a picture of a manhole cover with the text at the top, a triangle in the center, and well at the bottom on it.

This is How We Dream

 After watching this video and thinking about I came to a tough decision, parts one and two feel not only separated into two different videos but into two ideas. In the first video Dr. Miller is talking about change in how we express ideas and publish which will be the first issue I tackle. In his second video he is talking more about changing the actual institutions we learn in after about the halfway point and spends the first half talking about how everyone can write. He ties the two issues together but given that he broke it up into two separate videos it breaks up the message, making the connection between them less established in my opinion.

His first issue comes in two parts, we are moving away from print media more and more. This can be applied to magazines, books, pictures, videos (they were once on film after all) and everything else. This argument is focused on the institution of how we write. Publication is now becoming less printed word and more mixed media, which improves on how ideas can be conveyed. He has himself been published in academic papers, published a book, and constructed digital publications as he mentions in his video. However what he does not mention in is video, more than likely on purpose since it would weaken his argument, is that anyone can publish online. There is no filter for digital publication and there rarely is an editor that is not the creator(s), this is one of its inherent short comings. While in the print media there is always something standing between the creator and the final product unless they self-publish. Who would see that as a reliable source in printed media? Why is it accepted digitally? Why should the reader be the only real filter in place? In printed media you have to find a publisher or publication that approves of the work, it is then edited and copy edited and eventually published. If it goes out of print this doesn't mean that copies do not exist anymore, especially in the modern age when digital archives are often made.

Project #13 Smartboard


Sunday, March 6, 2011

PLN Progress Report.

Talking about my PLN seems odd and difficult because it's not something that is corporeal no a single thought. It's an intangible thing that is difficult to explain. I have been trying to expand my PLN as much as I can and to find the best way to streamline and keep it organized. Obviously the central hub of my PLN currently is EDM 310 be it the lab, blog, assignments or tweets. Even just Dr. strange who passed on his links from delicious could be consider the central point at the moment.

The three main tools for my pln right now are:
Symbaloo: I'm slowly moving things from my bookmark toolbar folders to it now that I understand how webmixes work and it has a few good suggestions
My RSS feed: I am trying to add blogs from educators to it, I still need to figure out how to keep my entertainment separate from my education on it though.
My browser: I use Firefox and various extensions. My twitter feed is always in bottom right of the screen ready to pop up and tells me when there are new tweets. My bookmark toolbar keeps track of blogs I comment on, websites I'm saving for projects, various websites, and the classes resources all right where I can see them somethings will stay there and be symbaloo since I don't like having a tab for symbaloo open all the time.

Blog Assignment 7

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
Dr. Randy PauschImage via Wikipedia

C4k Summary #2

An Interview with Silvia Tolisano of Langwitches Blog

This time around I was assigned the blog Langwitches which is written by Silvia Tolisano. This is an educator who obviously loves including technology and the classroom and will do so at every opportunity. Some of you may recognize this blog from last weeks assignments when we were talking about podcasts.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Double Edge Sword of Tech: The loss and gain of information

At one point or another this was all new technology.
 As I have stated in the past I was raised in a way that some may consider a little bit different. My parents are somewhat unique in their parenting styles and have raised me to be very individualistic while trying to remind me I must fit into society.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Timeline B

Blog Assignment 6

The Networked Student

It was an enjoyable presentation and I do believe it is a preview of the impending learning environment and the direction education is turning towards. Even here at South more and more classes are becoming dependent on an online aspect. The movie is reinforcing the ideas that we have seen in other videos: that education is moving towards a more individual experience. Teachers are becoming support units  to assist in learning instead of fountains of knowledge spewing forth facts to be regurgitated. While we still are responsible for passing on information it is now becoming more pertinent that we teach skills of how to gain, filter, and verify knowledge as it is so readily available with a few keystrokes. The video illustrates how easy it is to not only find information on the internet but verify it's credibility. The more connections you make the more become available and the easier it is to gain more and more information and even input from others.

C4k Summary #1

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blog Assignment 5

Eaglenest Radio and Class Blog

It was interesting to hear these young students expressing themselves in this blog. It's neat that they are creating educational content that can be presented other students. This is a wonderful idea that is done very well, their background effects are well used and not overpowering the speakers. This is a very creative way to get students learning by having them do the research, write a script, and then present it in a form that can be shared across the world.

This podcast shows how you can make an entertaining podcast that is also informative, it's like an old-school radio show. No pictures or video just education. My favorite one was episode two, despite my affinity for sharks I really enjoyed the time traveling adventures.

The Benefits Of Podcasting in the Classroom

In this video statistics were used in the beginning to grab attention. It gave a few examples of how you can use podcasts within a classroom. It talks about how students or teachers can be the podcasters. It also puts forth the scenario of a sick student not missing out on important information because of their ability to listen to a podcast of the lecture at home.

I enjoyed this video, it definitely shows how to use podcasts in the classroom. The benefits are very clear and since it is so easy to do it's not something that would cause trouble for the educator. It's not something that would take a lot of time out of the day like creating a video, you simply record your lecture as you teach the class and post it once your done. The students clearly enjoy.

100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better

This is a solid list of resources whether you are new to podcasts, listening or recording. It's very comprehensive on tools and tutorials that can help you out no matter what the problem. I have already added it to my bookmarks folder. It's almost too intensive with how much it offers, it's taken me quite awhile to just scratch the surface of all this page has to offer.

I already listen to podcasts and have for awhile now, I even remember when people were arguing to call it an audcast or vidcast. I mostly listen to film junk's podcast as background noise when I am doing other things, but I occasionally catch others. I actually currently have three french podcasts, one russian, and a podcast on manners loaded up on my mp3 player waiting to be watched and listened to. I currently don't have any subscriptions on anything educational, unless you count the french and russian,  but I am looking to remedy that soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Personally speaking: A Response

I get extremely excited when it comes to technology and I find it odd that people should fear it. Especially in reading the responses to Dr. Strange's recent post. I do find it rather odd that quite a few of the comments were using the future tense as though it wasn't something happening right now. This was not some theoretical test for the unforeseeable future, it's current news. That is the big point; this isn't the future it's now and if you fear it, well, hold on to your pants because the rest of your life is going to get bumpy.
One of the things that excites me about technology is the whole idea of wetware and BCIs. Integrating circuitry into our bodies for the improvement of mankind, obviously I am a fan of the works of William Gibson and the sprawl trilogy not to mention Philip K. Dick. Even things like Nano Ink are exciting, the possible applications are just amazing. The sub-dermal implantation of RFIDs is already happening and making some people's lives easier The advances we are making in every field and walk of life are amazing and it is all for and because of technology. Great minds are working everyday to make our lives easier and information more rapidly available.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

 A picture of many words arranged in various directions, colors, and sizes

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff Please

I like the style he used to write this it's very similar to E.E. Cummings', his spacing really helps the tone. It was interesting way to put forth his argument, a fine example of creativity being used well. His arguments are pretty valid, if kids are not being taught to use the internet then they are being left behind. There are people out there willing to teach their children and students to use the web for productive purposes which puts them leagues in front of those who are not allowed to utilize the resource. Not only that but it's the whole idea of distrust that surrounds allowing students (K-12) to be on the internet, as if there aren't problems in the physical world. That they won't be responsible if allowed the access to the endless stream of unfiltered information the internet allows. Then again parents and educators could learn how to use filters responsibly.
  Dr. McLeod is a rather interesting man himself, I like that we look at so many interesting and free thinking educators in this class.  To say the least he is an education expert, not just K-12 as his bio implies.

The iSchool Initiative

His arguments start out pretty simple but he also leaves pretty massive gaps in some areas. Schools need to change, frankly I won't argue with that. Furthermore, having come from a West Texas education system I am certainly not going to argue with that. He goes on to list programs already on the market available for the his proposed itouch platform, I guess ipads weren't around yet. He of course exhibits a few of the apps that can be used right now. He then exhibits the future potential if this is implemented, solid arguments there. he addresses issues that parents would be concerned with rather well, such as internet access. However when he gets to the money issue I thought he let it falter a bit. While there is overlap in the items he mentioned and the ischool, there is a big issue. This is something that will have to bought for each kid and obviously by the parents not the schools, which a lot of parents will not like.  The programming also has a major flaw, it would have to transcend school districts. It's something that is hard to cater to certain districts, it's not something that can integrate into existing systems. It's hard enough getting people to take baby steps, this is new ground entirely it might just be asking a little too much at one time.
We certainly need change and this is a wonderful idea but I don't see it becoming a reality until the technology is already outdated and there is something better out there, if at all. It's big thinking and it's kids like this that do get things to change or at least get people thinking in the right directions.

Lost Generation

Oh man, that's harsh. I have to say that I feel this is the most depressing video we've watched thus far. It's definitely trying to get you to think about these problems. It really takes the wind out of my sails honestly because it just has such a pessimistic outlook at the beginning, it really got me thinking inward. That's the point though isn't it? It's up to us, or the current generation, or however you want to say it to make a stand for change. We might necessarily be able to change our world immediately but we can at least make it better for future generations. It's the individuals who become the masses, it's each persons responsibility to shape the world into what they would like it to be. If everyone sits idly by then the future is assuredly going to be an unpleasant time.

Eric Whitaker's Virtual Choir

I've been seeing youtube bands around for a few years now, I guess I've just never stumbled across a choir. this is much more impressive than anything else I have seen to date. It really is a strange concept, to perform with people you may never actually meet. A nice contrast to the extreme melancholy of the last video. It's always interesting to see these groups of people no matter how big or small with the desire to create collaboratively across every boundary imaginable, across states, countries, oceans it's simply amazing. It's simple and accessible as well, anyone can watch this. They are not touring in concert halls across the world, they're  where anyone with internet access can get to them.

Teach in the 21st Century

The video has some good positions, bad style but good positions. For a video about being engaging and creative the color scheme was rather dull and the music repetitive, it was buzzword heavy and seem to get up on using them. For what it was saying it was a little long and dull. Enough bashing because I like the point. People need to know how learn, teachers need to know how to teach, and anything you put towards someone to learn should be engaging. Natural curiosity needs to be nurtured, guided, and allowed to flourish. Resources need to be experimented with and utilized. In the digital world personal contributions should be archived and looked back on to reflect on progress, and can be with out taking up space in your home! A lot was said throughout this presentation, it was a solid piece. It's not exactly something made for the digital world take a bite and run world. It's putting forth that the resources here today can and should be utilized by everyone.
By utilizing every available resource we can improve every aspect of our lives, it's not just limited to education in the classroom. The internet it for everything and everyone, where pretty much any question has at least one answer just waiting to be discovered.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blog Assignment 3

I am going to apologize in advance for how ranty this post gets, I got really worked up and excited and could hardly type.

a blue typewriter next to a silver computer with the words is it really better on the screen

A Vision of Students Today
I enjoyed this video it was very entertaining. I do find humorous that it was done by a cultural anthropology class as that was my first really intensive college course. In the course I had to read eleven books, two of which could not be purchased physically and were E-books of two separate formats requiring different reading programs to read, one which had to verify you had the rights online each time you opened it. I have to say it doesn't reflect my college experience but I feel that is mostly because I have not had the usual college experience because I don't necessarily do things the usual way. I attended my first college course as a junior in high school, I petitioned for a free period at the end of the day with the assistance of one of the schools counselors who was a friend of the family and very kind, I then contacted the local college with the help of my mother explaining that I wanted to take Japanese and since it was not offer by any high school in the city I wanted to take it there. I applied like any other college student but they did  have to make a special case since I had not graduated highs school yet and I was currently enrolled at a community college for duel credit courses on top of a correspondence course. This was my first real college course, it was a small class of 12. My teacher, Yuki Kondo, knew my name and situation from day one. By the end of the first semester of the class we had gotten along quite well and she gave me two childrens books to practice my reading skills with. This is just a starting example, I have often been a part of small intimate classes that have been a huge advantage to me as a student. I read my books and I study hard, I go to class and I sleep when I can I try not to waste too much time doing other things.
I listen to music, I watch movies, I write to family, I read the news, I go to work,  but no matter what it's all secondary to my school work.
It's really hard to address everything brought up in this film, it really hits on a lot. It does get at the heart of a lot of the problems with college life. We waste time, we're kids, and the things the universities are doing don't necessarily help. Our books are expensive and often useless, many of us pay for things we never even consider using in our tuition, and we have teachers that sometimes seem to want to be there less than the students which only makes their classes worse. I mean, I have personally only been to the schools library a handful of times. I went once for a course I was taking outside of my regular classes, once to take pictures off the top floor, once to rent movies, and once to check out some copies of Bukowski. I've been to the rec center here twice, it's really just out of the way for me.  It's what is expected of college though, you spend a lot of money to learn some things; including bad habits.
College is a balancing act that's hard to stay on top of, it's not that anybody wants to flunk out. We have our social lives, class lives, study habits, and bad habits. Some times you just need a break, some times you don't but take it anyway. It's the first time in many peoples lives when some people are presented with real freedom to do as they please and it gets the better of them. Not only that but it's the flood of tech, we're surrounded by distractions at every turn. Social networking, streaming video, news sites, reddit, digg, tumblr, twitter, facebook, hulu, gossip, pictures,etc. Is it really any surprise that some people get lost in the tide? I'm ranting aren't I, I apologize.

It's Not About Technology
 That's really the heart of the matter isn't it? Putting the cart before the horse so to speak. We can't expect to make and implement great advances while assuming those who will use those great advances are automatically ready to go. We have to teach those who teach, the ones that are set in their way and pushing the same old stone up the hill only to have roll back down again.
 We can't as educators think, "oh, put this in the class room and kids will learn on their own because of it." We must develop our own learning skills so we can adapt to each new group of individuals that steps into our classrooms and not start spinning our tires as soon as something new comes a long. It is not an automatic thing that comes with being a teacher. We must be able to ADAPT or when tech changes on us we will become exactly the kind of teacher we don't like right now using outdated methods. If you can't teach with current technology what makes you think advanced technology is going to help. When was the last time you encountered a problem and said, "Hey, let's make this a bit more complicated then I'll get it."

Is it Okay to be Technologically Illiterate
 I LOVE THIS POST! Ah, yeah.
The self argument, the points from both fisch and freedman. The internal debate one has to deal with when thinking about issues such as this. This almost throws back to my little rant back on "Did you know", which was actually a bit longer originally. When dealing with the question of technological literacy it can be so terribly difficult to pick a side. When you grow up using tech it's hard to take that step back and realize maybe not everyone is as savvy as you or your not as savvy as you think. You run into people who are proud of their own shortcomings and you have to think to yourself "Why?"
 It's acceptable to not know certain things in society, but why? I myself try to gain as much knowledge as possible and sometimes I can be a strange cat. I have trouble looking at other people who say, "Oh, that's just not me." without feeling like I have a strange look on my face. There certainly are skills that are perfectly acceptable not to know but it's because they are not commonplace in society, neurosurgery for example. As future educators I can't stress this point enough. You can't take what you learn from classes like EDM310 and just drop it. We're not only learning to use technology we are learning the skills to learn future technology to stay on top of our game.

I like that he brought up math too, that hit me in the heart. I've dealt with that exact problem loads of times, not so much with parents of my students but just people in general. I'm going to come back to this some other time, believe me I like this post and I have had an idea that I think I can tie this into rather nicely.The double edge sword of tech, look forward to hearing about it and me soon.

Gary's Social Media Count
Ack, this whole assignment is too exciting I can't contain myself. I really must write the post I want to this week. I can't squeeze everything I want to say in one blog.
Technological growth much like scientific growth is exponential, as soon as one advancement is made it opens the door for even more advancement. The more people working on it the more it grows and the more it grows the more people it draws in to work on it.
We are constantly flooded with information, it's the state of the world we live in. You don't even have to leave your bed for it to happen.
It is certainly not uncommon for someone of our age bracket to use social media. I'm sure many students in our class use things like facebook, a few might even have tumblrs, and a handful use sites like delicious, reddit, and digg. Those who use tools like this are a bit more prepared to handle the amount of information hitting us in this class, for others it's complete culture shock. There are so many ways for anyone to get out and recieve information in modern society that it's ridiculous. You have to be able to adapt to it and know how to filter through all this information without getting overloaded and bogged down by the useless time wasters. There are so many tools at our disposal and we must constantly be prepared to learn how to utilize them, if there is one lesson my father has tried to teach me it's this: ALWAYS be prepared to learn and you'll never stop. He's set in his ways but has slowly been learning about technology not because he has to but because he wants to. He sent his first email two days ago and I found it rather inspirational.

C4T #1

My assigned teacher was Kim Cofino who is a very interesting and productive person. I think everyone should take a look at her blog not only because it is extremely interesting but it's very tech centric. You can learn more at her in the about me section on her blog.

Engaging the Parent Community
In this post on her blog Mrs. Cofino talks about a little something called Parent Technology Coffee Mornings, where questions parents may have about technology and what students are learning can be answered. It actually seems to be something extremely relevant to our class as a lot of our students are a bit uneasy at the amount of technology and all the terms that come with the web presence required for this course. It definitely sounds like something to be a part of as an educator, especially one teaching abroad. The input Mrs. Cofino gains from these types of meetings is very useful. I think that is very advisable that anyone in her our class and incorporating technology into their future classroom read this blog since it offers wonderful insight.
 It reflects the importance of not only engaging our students but their parents, especially when technology is involved. Parents may not be up to date on technology and if they don't understand something they may hinder the student from using it for leaning purposes for fear of it being misused.

Planning a year of Technology PD
 I actually got a bit lost reading this one because I kept clicking through the links and clicking on links that those posts led to and so on until I forgot where I started.  Back to the point though. This post offers great insight into planning  just about anything. It's really inspiring to see someone working so hard to get those who teach learning. It has very lofty goals that I certainly hope can be accomplished. I'll definitely be sure to check back on this to see how this plan pans out in the future. It's so exciting to get a glimpse into an educator who gets to travel and teach in so many interesting environments.

Project #5

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blog Assignment 2

at the top in red the words can schools adapt to the times, at the bottom in yellow will creativity be killed in our lifetime, the center of picture is an open pocket watch and stranger things have happened handwritten

1 Did You Know

I honestly think I may have missed the point of this presentation. It threw quite a few numbers at me some of which had very little relation to each other in my opinion. I am fairly certain the main point was the rate at which our society is currently moving and the exponential growth of technology, which if you are alive today is something you should already be aware of. The first computer I ever owned had a five gigabyte hard drive which is less than the amount of ram I have in my computer currently. When the first terabyte hard drive hit the market I was blown away it was unimaginable and now almost standard in desk tops. Even at my young age I have witnessed the exponential growth of tech and seen the direct effects of it so I saw this to have little value. Science advances, tech advances, and the more people drawn to these areas the faster it will advance. The world changes and I believe this is a pretty widely accepted fact.
Now, if the point was to make you aware of the exponential growth of tech I believe there are much better ways than shock and awe combined with throw away statistics. Price, availability, specific examples and a human voice go a long way. While it is true that a person should stay informed and up to date with technology and communications this is certainly not the way to inform. It may convince some people to seek out the information and spark their interest to learn or it may scare them away with the intimidation of the amount of information that just assaulted them in rapid succession. The presentation is actually a fairly good example of one of the major problems with technology today, that we can so easily be flooded with so much information that we simply cannot filter and process it all. Once you fall behind it can be terribly difficult to catch back up.
I feel I am being rather critical of this presentation because I did grow up in the age of technology. My home had a computer almost as long as I can remember and before that it was word processors and electric typewriters. I still appreciate "the old ways" and like to read real books and turn the pages and I am sure my children will laugh at my bookshelf as they carry more volumes than can be read in a lifetime in their pocket.

2 Mr Winkle Wakes

This was a pretty cute little film. It made it's point pretty clear, schools have fallen behind times with an undertone that technology can be frightening. Mr Winkle has emerged into a world that he would view as chaos and things that he could never have imagined. What great advances will be made in the next hundred years? How will medicine, transport, business, and yes even our home lives change in the next fifty? Will we be frightened of the things our children want us to buy them or will we understand it as well? Will schools ever adapt to society or will they be relegated to the past to gather dust once civilization has realized they are too far gone to be salvaged.
Schools need to adapt to the times and if they don't how can they expect students to succeed. How can they be booted out into a world where tech is common place and taught in a chalk dusted environment! Schools must learn to incorporate technology, it simply is not something that is optional. Students should not and are not interested in sitting uninvolved in the classroom while some authority figures spouts out facts then expects them to recycle these facts into tiny little dots to be fed into a machine.

3 Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Robinson raises some pretty good points. It makes the subject feel very light even though it is very serious. He does a very good job uses techniques to put forth the information he wants to get across in a fun and interesting manner. He understands that the arts are important too. It makes students well rounded and gives them more than one method to look at things. It encourages thinking differently to achieve a desired goal. He points out many of the flaws in our system today and ways that we should look at things.
We simply cannot deny creativity even though many schools are doing just that. The arts are extremely important and should not be abolished. Creativity should be allowed to flourish especially in modern society. As technology advances we need to have people who can find ways of using it. Our society is dependent on creativity and education. We do not live in a colorless world and it will never go back to the way things were.

4 Cecilia Gault

Cecilia asks Sir Robinson very good questions for anybody to ask. This was a good video and article and really showcases the talent that is available out there. It's good that she had the opportunity to do this.
Schools do need to encourage creativity and not stifle students abilities to learn by staying with tradition and refusing to adapt. They also cannot get rid of or ban the things that can make learning fun and exciting for students. No one wants to be bored to death all day only to be sent home to stare at pieces of paper and make scribbles. Learning must be interesting at least a portion of the time or else there is no point.

5 Vicki Davis

This was a wonderful example of how teaching should be done, there is really very little more to say about it. Vicki Davis is obviously someone who has a good head on her shoulders and gets it. Learning shouldn't be boring and neither should teaching. Teachers also are not the only ones who should teach, why else would you have someone give a report aloud other than so the whole class can benefit. Schools and classrooms are communities that everyone within the community benefits from everyone else. As soon as one piece is weak then the whole system gets clogged up. If a teacher is not allowed to use adequate tools to teach how can they be expected to teach adequately.
I really like that she was using second life to teach. I myself have never had a real learning experience in second life but I have used it and explored around on my own. It, just like any other program available, can be used as a learning and teaching tool. It can be used in many ways and a variety of subjects, you could even have students give reports or a presentation which they filmed with avatars. Those of us in EDM310 are using these blogs and our twitters as tools to learn or even teach others in the class. It's things like this that can draw students in and make them want to learn.

My own say.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blog Assignment 1

My name is Nickolas Sullivan, I was born in Lubbock, Texas. I have two sisters, Wendy who is a tax lawyer in Wisconsin and Mindy who is currently persuing her MBA and works with the cross country and track team here at south. My family moved to Colorado City, Texas after my parents divorce where we lived until a brief stint in El Paso, Texas finally moving back to Lubbock. After I graduated High school a year early I attended my freshman year of college at the University of Hawaii Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. After my first Year I moved back to Lubbock for eight months before moving to Sidney, Ohio to be closer to my extended family. After eight months in Sidney I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota which I is where I moved here from. I decided to attend south because my Sister had just moved here, it is a good school, and I was wary of harsh winters.

I have held a variety of jobs over the years and have worked as a camp counselor for the Boy Scouts of America teaching merit badges. I have always thought of being  a teacher and flipped back and forth between a desire to teach, translate, or enter the medical profession. I finally came to the decision to teach after a rather recent discussion with various members of my family over where my interests and strengths lie.

 I have always enjoyed artwork, music, poetry, and photography. I love going to museums and one of my favorite things about the time I spent in Minneapolis was that I lived a block away from the Walker Arts Center and Sculpture Garden. My favorite artists are M.C. Escher, Man Ray, and Salvador Dali. My favorite writers are Nicholson Baker and E.E. Cummings. I am an amateur photographer and I use a Pentax Super Program 35mm currently since my other camera broke awhile back. I also have two digital point-and-shoot cameras that I use occasionally. I write letters to friends and family occasionally on my blue portable Olympia typewriter because my handwriting can be indecipherable at times.