Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post #16 (My Final Reflection)

My name is Katlyn Lusker, and I am a elementary education student at the University of South Alabama. At the beginning of the semester, I wasn't too sure what to expect from EDM310. I had received an email from Dr. Strange before school had even started, that explained some of the things required for this class. I felt overwhelmed before the very first day! However, I feel much more confident in my teaching ability now that I have taken this course. I have gained many new skills, and I have learned so much in just one semester.

For our first blog post assignment we were required to imagine what our future classroom would be like when we start teaching. We were also required to list and discuss the methods and tools we would use to teach our students. In response to this assignment I said, "I would use Smart boards, overheads, chalkboards, and dry erase boards." I even said, "I believe technology in the classroom is important." While I may have thought technology was important in the beginning of the semester, I now have a deeper understanding of why technology really IS so important. I have gained and learned many new skills that I wasn't aware of before this course. Like I stated in my first blog post, I still do want my students to be excited about learning new things. I have always wanted my students to be able to do hands-on, project-based learning activities. I think the best way to learn is to actually put your learning into practice. Through the help of this class, I have gained a deeper knowledge of project-based learning, and we have been able to watch videos of students actually putting their learning into practice and seeing the positive outcomes it has on student learning.

I would not change very much of what I stated in my first blog post, but I definitely would add more methods and tools now that this semester of EDM310 is coming to a close. I have learned so much in this one semester, in this one class, than I probably ever have in an entire school year. In EDM310, I have learned how to make imovies, ibooks, work a mac computer, make a podcast, make and maintain a blog, communicate with students and teachers around the world, use Smart boards effectively, leave appropriate comments, work collaboratively, and work and act in a professional manner. In my first blog post I said, "My students will participate in the learning process by answering questions when called on, reading aloud, completing assignments in group activities, and by doing projects." I still agree with that statement however, I will now be focusing more on project based learning activities, and I will definitely use technology more than I thought I would at the beginning of the semester.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

Assitive technologies that are available to us as teachers by Katlyn Lusker, Tarcela Kohn, and Jake Dukes

According to, "assistive technology is a term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them." "Assistive technologies promote greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks." There is great diversity in today's classrooms. It's one of the most remarkable aspects of modern education. Students of all disabilities study in all classrooms from kindergarten up through college now, due to mainstreaming and inclusion policies. This benefits both disabled and non-disabled students. However, this can create challenges for teachers. Thankfully, teachers today can implement many new technologies to assist and aid students with disabilities, whether those students are in a traditional or online classroom (

Assistive Technologies umbrella

Word Talk By Katlyn Lusker

Word talk is also an assistive technology available to teachers. It is a free text-to-speech plugin developed and designed for use with all versions of Microsoft Word. Word talk is very beneficial for people with reading and writing difficulties. Having text reinforced by having it read out loud can be very useful. Children especially who have reading and writing difficulties, benefit when they have text read aloud to them. In schools this may be done by an assistant, however, assistants can be expensive, and their presence may be greatly needed somewhere else. Word talk has special features that include: speaking the text of a document and highlighting words as it goes, the voice and speed of the speech may be adjusted, the speech may be saved as an audio file, and a person is able to choose whether it speaks the entire document, a single paragraph, a sentence, or just a word (

Word Talk

Screen Readers By Tarcela Kohn

Some Assistive Technologies include: screen readers for the blind individuals, or screen magnifiers for low-vision can be used for the vision impaired. Screen readers are software programs that allow blind and visually impaired users to read text aloud that is displayed on the screen in word processor, web browser, e-mail programs or other applications. The user sends commands by pressing different keys on the keyboard which instructs the speech synthesizer to say and speak the text. The screen readers are available for personal computers that are running Linux, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. Screen reader’s benefit the blind and vision impaired, but it could also be used for an individual with vision. This software can be used when traveling and an individual struggling to read text while leaning close to the computer screen.

Hearing Assistive Technology Systems (HATS) By Tarcela Kohn

Hearing Loop Installed
Hearing assistive technology systems (HATS) are devices that help individuals with hearing impairments function better in their day-to-day communication situations. There are several types of assistive listening devices that are available for improving sound transmission for hearing loss. Some of these devices are found in the classroom, theaters, airports, and place of worship and then one-on-one conversations in a small setting or group. The ALD systems for the larger facilities include hearing loops, frequency-modulated (FM) systems, and infrared systems. I will be explaining the hearing loop system; it is a system that uses an electromagnetic energy to transmit sound. There are four parts to a hearing loop system: a sound source, such as a public address system, microphone, or home TV or telephone, an amplifier, a thin loop of wire that encircles a room or branches out of the carpeting and a receiver worn in the ears or as a headset. The sound that has been amplified travels through the loop and creates an electromagnetic field that is picked up by the receiver that is being worn.

Model me Going Places By Jake Dukes

This is an application that can be used on any apple product such as an ipad, iphone, or itouch. This app is for kids that have autism. This app puts the kids in situations where they would have to choose what they do themselves. It puts the kids in social situations where kids with autism would have hard times dealing with. This app can make it where kids that suffer from social awkwardness make it easier for them to deal with being around people. In this app you decide what you say and do in the group of people or wherever you are at in the game. We feel like this is a good idea for kids and think that it would help them out going forward in life. It also tells you things that you should do at every particular place such as restaurants and playgrounds. This is a very useful app.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blog Post #14

In EDM 310, our focus is on using and demonstrating technology in the classroom, using 21st Century skills, and Project Based Learning.

1) Watch this YouTube Video Top 10 Reasons to use Technology in Education: ipad, Tablet, Computer, Listening Centers (5:30).
2) Write a post in which you discuss AT LEAST five reasons to use technology in Education, and explain them.
3) Follow the requirements in Writing A Quality Blog Post.

(This blog post assignment would be most appropriate for at the beginning of the semester, when everyone is still trying to wrap their heads around why technology is so important in Education and why it is so heavily stressed in this course.)

Teacher helping a child work on an ipad

In the YouTube video, Top 10 Reasons to use Technology in Education: ipad, Tablet, Computer, Listening Centers, it lists 10 reasons why we should use technology in Education and in our classrooms, however I will only be listing five of those reasons. The first reason why we should use technology in Education is because students love it. "Whether it be the cool factor, or a genuine interest in technology, student's just love it." Technology in classrooms allow teachers to vary their activities throughout the day and they help in engaging students. In this video the narrator says, "There is no commandment for Education that says thou shalt not have fun!" When students get home from school they spend hours on different types of technology, so why not engage our students by using their favorite mediums? The second reason why we should use technology in Education is because it engages the four key components to learning. The four key components to learning are: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real world experts. The third reason why we should use technology in Education is because it helps in professional development. Using new technologies allows students to learn and practice new skills, which will help them in the future marketplace. Many jobs now require basic computing skills, if not advanced computing skills, so teaching our students through technology is like "killing two birds with one stone." The fourth reason why we should use technology in Education is because it is proven to improve test scores. Through technology and media, students are able to benefit because they are able to work at their own pace. Faster working students would not be held back from those who are working at a slower rate. Technology in Education is also proven to improve test scores because it reaches different types of students who learn in different ways. The fifth and last reason why we should use technology in Education is because it helps gain the attention of students who usually have lower attention spans. By mixing up the learning process with different methods and by doing engaging activities, we can help students with low attention spans stay focused and interested.

Cartoon:How do turn this thing on?

Project #2 Final Report on PLN

A PLN, Personal Learning Network, is a set of people and tools that you can call upon for help, consultation, collaboration, or other assistance. It is NOT the method of presenting or organizing your PLN. At the beginning of the semester, we had to give a summary report on our progress in developing a PLN. I created a Symbaloo when I was developing my own Personal Learning Network. A Symbaloo is one example of a PLN. It is a way for you to have fast access to the resources, people, and tools you use the most. When using a Symbaloo, you are able to create your own icons which will take you to where ever you set them up to go, just by clicking on them. I really liked Symbaloo at first, and I have grown to like it even more now. It is so convenient to have all of your resources, tools, and people all together at one place. It is also very easy to navigate and easy to use. Like I explained in my first summary report, on my progress in developing my PLN Symbaloo, I have organized my icons by different colors. My blue icons are located across the top and they are personal links. Including examples like Facebook, Pandora, and We Heart It (a photography site). To the left I have pink icons which are my icons for my own blog, the EDM 310 class blog, and blogger. To the right I have specific teachers blogs that I found very helpful and resourceful. I have continued to use Symbaloo and I have added more teachers and teacher's blogs like Dr. Paige Vitulli, Mr. Brian Crosby, Mrs. Cathy Jo Nelson, and Mrs. Elvira Deyamport. I also added a link to Randy Pausch's last lecture, because I found his video so inspiring and helpful. I will continue to use my Symabloo and I will continue to add to my PLN, even after this semester is over with. I have really enjoyed using this PLN and I look forward to growing my PLN even further. You can visit my Symbaloo PLN at Katlyn's Symbaloo.

Katlyn's Symbaloo

C4T #4

For my fourth C4K I was assigned to Dr. Paige Vitulli. Dr. Vitulli is an educator here at the University of South Alabama.


The first post of Dr. Vitulli's that I read and left a comment on was called "Quilting our way to International Dot Day at USA". In this post she explained what International Dot Day was, how it started, and what she has done with International Dot Day herself. She first began by writing, "International Dot Day is a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration. It began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds' book "The Dot" on September 15, 2009. She then explained that this book is a story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to "make her mark". She wrote, "what begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe." Dr. Vitulli included directions on how to let students "make their mark" and she even included pictures of her own classes "Dot" art work.

I am a student of Dr. Vitulli's and I loved this book so much. It was inspirational, encouraging, and most importantly it was relate-able. I also love how this book can be turned into an activity for students, with letting them create their own "Dot" or having them "make their mark." I know for certain that I will be buying this book and doing this activity when I become a teacher. In the comment I left Dr. Vitulli, I told her how much I loved this book and activity. I also thanked her for providing us with such wonderful ideas that we can use in our own future classrooms. I concluded my comment by telling her she could visit my blog anytime, and then I left the link to my blog.

The following is the picture Dr. Vitulli took of my class and our "Dot marks."

Dr. Vitulli's class Dot quilt


The second post of Dr. Vitulli's that I read and left a comment on was called, Interest Driven Learning. In this post, Dr. Vitulli shared a YouTube video called "Diana Rhoten on Sparking Student Interests with Informal Learning (Big Thinking)." The video begins by Mrs. Rhoten saying, "Every kid has an interest, sometimes he doesn't know what it is, sometimes he can't articulate it, but every kid has an interest." In this video, they try helping kids identify their interests, by museums and other facilities, but they also help them progress their interests. One of their goals is to create new youth networks across the city. Mrs. Rhoten said, "They see kids they work with, want an experience they can relate to personally, they want to relate it in the own context of their lives." One of my favorite things Mrs. Rhoten says on this video is, "Part of the opportunity here is learning the content, which is very much the 20th Century idea around Education, but in 21st Century, it's learning the tools and the skills of remaking that content, becoming the creator and the producer." In the comment I left Dr. Vitulli I told her, that almost sums up exactly what we have been learning in EDM 310. To learn from hands on experiences, and to learn the tools and skills needed in order to learn specific things. I also told Dr. Vitulli other specific things I liked about this video, and I thanked her for sharing it. Below is a picture of Mrs. Diana Rhoten.

Diana Rhoten

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blog Post #13

Shukla Bose’s “Teaching one child at a time” by Katlyn Lusker

In Shukla Bose’s video "Teaching one child at a time" she tells the story of her Parikrma Humanity Foundation that is growing more and more each day. This foundation brings hope to the Indian slums by “looking past the daunting statistics and focusing on treating each child as an individual.” Shukla Bose began her speech in this video by explaining what led to her forming a foundation. She explained that they first walked through the slums of India. Of course, they could not go to all of them, but they tried to cover as many as they could. As they walked through the slums, they tried to identify houses where children would never go to school. They were excited about doing something, to bring them education, and then the numbers finally hit them. She said, “they’re 200 million children between ages 4-14 that should be going to school, but do not, they’re 100 million children who go to school but cannot read, and 125 million who cannot do basic mathematics.” Mrs. Bose also said that one in four teachers in India do not go to school the entire academic year. They have absent teachers, and that is harmful to children's learning. These numbers are overwhelming! She said it is hard not to get worried and scared about them, but instead they should and they want to focus on taking one child at a time. To make sure that child completes the circle of life.

The first Parikrma school was started in a slum where there were 70,000 people living below the poverty line. In this first school, they had 165 children attend. After six years, 4 schools, 1 junior college, and 1,100 children from 28 slums and four orphanages have developed. English was taught, and they adopted one of the best curriculum's possible. The curriculum is tough, some believe it is too tough, but the children actually do very well. Through this foundation, they have also started many programs for the children’s parents, as well. Many of the parents want to learn, and after-school programs have been developed just for them. They have started all kinds of programs just to make sure the kids come to school. Mrs. Shukla Bose started this thinking she wanted to transform the world, however, now she believes she is the one who has been transformed by the impact the children have played in her life. I have learned a lot from Mrs. Bose. She is very inspiring. Her dedication and commitment to helping these children is so moving. “Educating our poor is more than just a number game.” Instead of trying to reach as many children as possible, it may work so much better to help one child at a time, to make sure that what they are being taught is working and it is effective. Many children go to school, but not all of them learn.

Mrs. Shukla Bose TED talks

Shane Koyczan "To this day... for the bullied and the beautiful" by Tarcela Kohn

In the video To This Day… for the bullied and the beautiful by Shane Koyczan, he shares his own experiences in a beautiful poem. This video was very moving, funny, and relatable. The way he opened the floor with “I’ve been shot down so many times I get altitude sickness just from standing up for myself,” was a part of his poetic journey in his video. Shane expressed that we are told- “to stand up for ourselves, but that is hard to do if we don’t know who we are.” However, to do this, he explained that “we are expected to define ourselves at an early age, and if we don’t, others will do it for us.” Shane uses the names "nerd," "geek," and "fatty" as examples of others defining us.

 Dream Big

Shane Koyczan then went on to explain his childhood. When Shane was a kid, he wanted to be a man, and he wanted to shave. However now that he is older, he does not want to shave as much. By the time Shane was eight years old, he thought he wanted to be a Marine Biologist. When he was nine years old, he saw the movie “Jaws” and drastically changed his mind about becoming a Marine Biologist after all. Shane Koyczan had a very rough childhood. At ten years old, he was told that his parents did not want him anymore. At the age of eleven, Shane just wanted to be alone. When he was only 12 years he wanted to die, the next year he wanted to kill a kid, and at age 14 he was told to “seriously consider a career path.” Shane replied that he wanted to be a writer, and the response was “choose something realistic.” So he answered, “professional wrestler,” and the response then was “don’t be stupid.” Shane explained a great point: “We were being told that we somehow must become what we are not, sacrificing what we are to inherit the masquerade of what we will be.” This statement was a beautiful analogy; and is true. We are dismissing children’s dreams, to tell them what they want to dream.

 Ouch! Bullying Hurts

Shane said, “at the age of 15, poetry hit him like a boomerang; the one thing that he loved came back to him.” He remembers the first thing he wrote, “I hated myself for becoming the thing that I loathed: a bully.” The words “Standing up for yourself doesn't have to mean embracing violence,” from Shane himself, are very positive and everyone can learn from his statement. Shane Koyczan, then delivered his poem about two kids, one a girl and the other him. The little girl was called names and was made fun of only because she had a birthmark on her face. Shane expressed that because he was adopted, he went to therapy and had a “personality made up of test and pills.” He was called a “popper,” and because of the cruelty, he wanted to end his life and he actually tried too in the 10th grade. He explained that they are not the only kids that grow up being bullied this way , and that it still goes on today. Another great message that we can receive from this video is when Shane said, “I want to tell them that all of this is just debris left over when we finally decide to smash all the things we thought we used to be, and if you can't see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there's something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit. You built a cast around your broken heart and sign it yourself. You signed it, They were wrong.” This video would be worth sharing with students to stop bullying and to show kids that are bullied that they are wanted, and there is something special about them!

Alison Gopnik's "What do babies think" by Jake Dukes

In the video What do babies think by Alison Gopnik, she explains how babies think and how they learn. She explains how babies think as if you were in a new place and you're just trying to learn your surroundings for the first time. In an experiment that Alison conducted(,) she used broccoli and goldfish crackers on a 18 month old child. The first thing she did was ask the baby which one they wanted and of course they wanted the crackers. The next time she did the same experiment but then switched it up. She tried to fool the baby by acting as if the the broccoli was yummy by eating and saying that it tasted good. Then she ate the goldfish and acted as if they were gross and said that it didn’t taste good. This didn’t fool the baby she again asked which one they would like, but the baby still went back to the goldfish. By this experiment she found out that babies already know at 18 months old that not all people like that same things. Alison says that as babies grow, they try to figure out how things work and how the world works. Another experiment she did was done on a five year old boy. This experiment involves a child putting shapes together in a particular order to make a light come on inside of a box. One of the sides of the box was already lit up, to show how it is works. After a couple of tries the kid was able to turn the light on in the other box by just placing the objects through a series of trials.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

C4K Summary for November

Pilgrims of November

C4K #9

For my ninth C4K or my first for the month of November, I was assigned to a student named Makayla from Mr. Mark's 6th grade class at Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. For Makayla's post assignment, they were asked to write about being stranded on an island. In her post "Lost", she wrote about how she got stranded on an island because her plane crashed into a forest. She wrote about how she needed to find shelter to keep her warm and that would protect her. She wrote that she "grew anxious not knowing what would happen next." On the second day of being stranded on the island, she wrote about how she woke up feeling the warmth of sun on her face. She continued by describing how she found a beautiful waterfall and then she fell into a cave, where she found a treasure chest. She concluded her story by writing, "Even though I was stranded on that island, I thought of the positives. I could have that cave as a house, and a great life. A new life. A better life. Being there could be the solution to my problem. I was finally free."

In the comment I left Makayla, I first told her who I was and what had brought me to her blog. I praised her for using lots of vivid imagery and I even gave her examples of the vivid imagery that I loved. I also praised her for having an attention grabbing introduction. I thought she did a great job telling her story. It was very fun and interesting to read. I concluded my comment by telling her that if she wanted, she could visit my blog anytime, and then I left the link.

C4K #10

For my tenth C4K or the last for the month of November, I was assigned to a student named Dawson from Mrs. Cassidy's first grade class from Canada. The first post of Dawson's that I read/watched and commented on was his post Healthy Eating. In this post, his teacher Mrs. Cassidy is filming pictures of his healthy and non-healthy foods. She also asks him questions about healthy and non-healthy foods and he gives his replies. Dawson did a wonderful job drawing and coloring his pictures! He drew pieces of candy, carrots, apples, and many other things. In the comment I left Dawson, I explained to him who I was and I thanked him for sharing his work with the world. I also told him that I loved his pictures of healthy and non-healthy foods. He is a very good artist for being just a first grader! I concluded my comment by reemphasising the importance of eating healthy by saying, eating healthy is important because it gives us more energy among lots of other benefits. Dawson did a wonderful job with this activity, and I praised him for it.

The second post of Dawson's that I read/ looked at and commented on was his post Colours and Feelings. Mrs. Cassidy's class was finishing up their unit on exploring colours and feelings, so her students got to choose the medium they wanted to use, to convey an emotion of their choice. Dawson chose to color madness.

Dawsons coloring of madness

To color madness Dawson chose to use the color red. I first told him that I loved how he chose to use the color red to show anger, or madness. I continued by telling him that when I think of the colors that could represent anger, or madness, I think of red and black so I loved that he chose red. The second thing I told him was that I loved how he colored in different directions. I continued to say that was another great way to portray/ color anger. I told him I thought he did a wonderful job drawing the emotion madness, and that he captured it perfectly. I concluded by encouraging him to keep up the great work and to continue to use his creativity.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Blog Post #12

"LEARNING FROM SIR KEN ROBINSON" by: Katlyn Lusker, Tarcela Kohn, and Jake Dukes

"Changing Education Paradigms"

There were so many things to learn from the video Changing Education Paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson. A few things we learned from Sir Ken Robinson were; “Every country on earth at the moment is reforming public education,” “The current system was designed and conceived for a different age,” “Kids now are living in the most stimulating period in the history of the earth and we because of this we need to make some changes,” and “We need to go in the opposite direction of school conformity and standardization.”

The first thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson was “Every country on earth at the moment is reforming public education.” The two reasons for this are economic and cultural. This video asks the questions, “How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century?” and “How exactly do we do that when we cannot anticipate what the economy will look like at the end of next week?” We think these are two very important questions to ask ourselves, especially knowing how the economy has been going lately. We aren't guaranteed anything, so these questions are valid. Sir Ken Robinson put it best when he said, “One big problem we are facing is that we are trying to meet the future with doing what we have done in the past.” People who went to school a long time ago were told that if you work hard, do well, and get a college degree, you would get a job. Kids now a days do not believe that, and they have every right not to. Sir Ken Robinson said, “You are better off having a degree, but it does not guarantee you a job anymore.”

The second thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson, which is a continuation of our last point, was “The current system was designed and conceived for a different age.” Sir Ken Robinson explained this by saying, “Public Education, paid for from taxation, compulsory to everybody, and free at the point of delivery, was a revolutionary idea.” He also said many people group other people into two categories based on “Academic Ability.” He said those categories are the “academic or smart people” and the “non-academic or non-smart people.” This creates a problem because many brilliant people think they are not because they have been judged on this particular view of the mind. Public Education being made up of economic and intellectual categories has caused chaos in many peoples lives. Some have benefited from it, but most people have not.

The third thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson was “Kids now, are living in the most stimulating period in the history of the earth and we because of this we need to make some changes.” Kids have so many distractions “from every platform” now that include computers, phones, advertising, and television. We agree with Sir Ken Robinson when he said, “Children get to school and their teachers expect them to focus on ‘boring stuff’ for the most part.” We agree with this because we have witnessed this happen and we can testify to this ourselves. In this video Sir Ken Robinson continued by giving his views on ADHD and how lots of drugs to treat ADHD shut kids senses off, deadening them to what’s really happening. He said, “We are getting our children through education by anaesthetising them, but we should be doing the exact opposite.” We need to wake our children up to what is happening inside of themselves.

The fourth thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson was “We need to go in the opposite direction of school conformity and standardization.” Children have basically always been put through school in “batches” according to their age, but is that really what’s important? Is that really what we want our students to think is the main thing they have in common with other students? One of the most impacting things we thought Sir Ken Robinson said was, “If you are interested in the model of Education, then you don’t start from the product line mentality.” Sir Ken Robinson believes we need to go in the opposite direction of school conformity and standardization, and that’s exactly what he meant by “Changing the Paradigm.” In order to make this change we must first, think differently about human capacity and get over the old conception of academic, non-academic because all it is is a myth and secondly, we have to recognize that greatest learning happens in groups, collaborations is the stuff of growth.

Changing the Paradigm

“How to Escape Education’s Death Valley”

In the TED Talks video; How to Escape Education’s Death Valley by Sir Ken Robinson, there was a lot of information that we found useful. Sir Ken Robinson started his video by saying that the No Child Left Behind is an irony, because approximately 60 percent of kids drop out of high school, and in the native community about 80 percent of the kids drop out. We were unaware that when a student drops out of school, it cost an enormous amount to clean up the damage. With this dropout crisis, it does not factor in the students that are disengaged, that don't enjoy school, and the students who do not benefit from school. Sir Ken Robinson stated “that this is the reason our education is going in the wrong direction.”

Sir Ken Robinson explained that there “were three principles on which human life flourishes, and work hand in hand by culture of education under most teachers have labor and most students to endure.” The first of the three principles that Sir Robinson explained that we learned was that all humans are different and diverse. Sir Robinson made a great analogy, he asked the audience members if they had kids, grandkids, or have seen kids. He then goes on to ask the parents of two or more children and makes a bet with the audience members that the children are different from each other. There is no way of confusing them with each other. “Education under the No Child Left Behind is based on not diversity but conformity.” One of the effects of the No Child Left Behind has been to narrow the focus on the STEM disciplines. Sir Ken Robinson said that the STEM discipline was very important; however, a real education has to give equal weight to the arts, humanities, physical education, and to the kids.
Curiosity in Children
The second of the three principles was curiosity. Sir Ken Robinson explained that if you light the spark of a child’s curiosity, they will learn without any further assistance, very often. He continued by saying children are natural learners, and curiosity is the engine of achievement.
Lastly, we learned that teachers are the lifeblood of schools, but teaching is a creative profession. Sir Robinson stated that “to teach properly; it is not the delivery system that you just pass on received information. However, great teachers do pass on received information, but they are mentors who stimulate, provoke, and engage. We have also learned from Sir Ken Robinson that the role of a teacher is to facilitate learning, and that is it.

"How Schools Kill Creativity"

In the TED talks video How Schools Kill Creativity by Sir Ken Robinson, we learned a lot about creativity. Sir Ken Robinson began by saying, “creativity now is actually just as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” He explains that as kids we are more creative because we are not scared to be wrong. As we grow up we are more likely to be less creative because we are frightened of being wrong. Sir Ken Robinson also said, “we are now running national education systems where mistakes are the worse thing you can make.” This results in educating people out of their creative capacities. One specific thing we really liked in this video was when Sir Ken Robinson quoted Pablo Picasso saying, “All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” Creativity is a good thing because it separates us from the rest of the people in our classes, making us unique. Sir Ken Robinson concluded his speech in this video by saying, “We need to see our creative capacities for the richness they are, and see our children for the hope that they are.” Our task as teachers should be to educate their whole being so they can face the future, and to help them make something of it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Project #15

The lesson plan I created is for 3rd graders. It is also a lesson plan for one week. In this lesson plan, students will be able to describe the life cycle of plants, including seed, seed germination, growth and reproduction. They will also be able to identify plant parts. In addition, they will be able to describe the role of plants in a food chain, understand ecosystems, and they will learn about herbivores. This lesson plan combines 21st century skills, writing skills, and art skills. With the use of a SMART board, internet, YouTube, and other resources, students will have fun with this lesson but most importantly they will be engaged.

The link to my Google site is, Katlyn's Lesson Plan Site.

Children and plants

Thursday, October 31, 2013

SMARTBoard Project 12 A using the SmartBoard Tools

In this video I have demonstrated my ability to: turn on a SMARTBoard, calibrate (orient) one, work with text, work with objects, use object animation to hide and reveal feedback, use the Infinite Cloner and work with digital ink, save items added in ink layer to separate file, and use multimedia objects. These are skills required to make effective use of SMARTboard.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blog Post #11

Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher from Moose Jaw, Canada. Over the past ten years or so, she has incorporated and got her students involved with many different forms of technology. In her video Little kids... Big Potential, she gives us a little insight and overview of some of the ways her students have used technology to learn. She included both pictures and real video clips into this video. She even had some of her students talk about what they had learned and what they had liked about the different kinds of technology they had been using. Ms. Cassidy used many techniques and resources to help her students learn. One technique Ms. Cassidy uses is student learning through blogging. She explained that her student's blogs are online portfolios of their work. Her student's know exactly how to write a quality comment and they know their work will be available for anyone to see. One little girl in this video said her writing gets better every time she writes a blog. Another child said they liked blogging because people can see it and leave comments. A second technique Ms. Cassidy uses is a classroom webpage. They have their own classroom webpage so that her students can find things on the Internet in a safe way. When her students go home, they are still able to access it. A third technique Ms. Cassidy uses is video making. Her student's make videos on the things they learn and then they upload them onto their blogs. Sometimes they get into groups and help each other make the videos. A fourth technique Ms. Cassidy uses is learning through Skype. By using Skype, Ms. Cassidy's class is able to talk to other people in other places. They Skype people from different classrooms and they have even talked to experts. The last technique I will be discussing that Ms. Cassidy uses for learning is by playing on a Nintendo DS. At first I wasn't sure how playing on a Nintendo DS would do anything to increase learning. However, I learned that by using them to play games, it helps students become better problem solvers and they learn about sharing and working collaboratively.

In the video Interview With Kathy Cassidy Part 1, Ms. Cassidy shared with us how and why she got involved with using technology in her classroom. She said she got involved in technology about ten years ago because they were suddenly given five computers in their classroom. She also said when you have five of anything you can turn it into a center, so she wanted to make use of the computers they were given. Ms. Cassidy then explained that she started with making a class webpage which then lead up to blogging and then on to other technological techniques. Her student's parents really like the idea of blogging. They like being able to see their child's progress through the year. Ms. Cassidy likes using blogs for learning because blogs provide students with two things that pencil and paper can't provide; an audience, and feedback through comments.

Skype Interview with Kathy Cassidy

In the video Interview With Kathy Cassidy Part 2, Ms. Cassidy discussed where people should start when they want to incorporate technology into their classroom but do not know where to start. She said, "Do it for what you're interested in and push that way. If you're interested in video, start with using videos, get a YouTube account, and go from there. There is a a different entry point for everybody."

In the video Interview With Kathy Cassidy Part 3, Ms. Cassidy answered questions from Dr. Strange's class of students. One student asked Ms. Cassidy about how often she used blogging. In her reply she said it depends on the year. Most of the time her class blogs once a week, and occasionally twice. She said it also depends on how things are running in the classroom, there isn't just a set number of times. Another student asked about using Face Book in classrooms. Ms. Cassidy said that Face Book would be a great technique and tool to use in a classroom. She suggested that in order for Face Book to involve educational learning, students would need to set up a separate Face Book account for a specific class. Face Book would be a great source for posting of information, posting of assignments, and for other resources.

Out of the different techniques Ms. Cassidy uses in her classroom, I would highly consider using Skype and blogging in my own classroom. Although she did not specify that she used Face Book in her classroom, she did say that it could be a great source to use when she was asked about it from one of Dr. Strange's students. I would also highly consider using Face Book in my own classroom. I would use Skype in the same manner as Ms. Cassidy used it. I think that it is great that her students are able to chat with different classrooms and experts from around the world. I think my students would really enjoy it and they would also learn from it. I would use blogging in my classroom also as an online portfolio of my students' work. I will give my students specific topics to write about. They would be using writing skills along with 21st century skills through their blogging. By using Face Book as a tool, my students would be able to learn how to use Face Book and they would be able to turn to it as a source of information. By using these techniques and resources, my students will be able to combine educational work with 21st century skills. They would become more familiar with Skype, blogging, and Face Book in an educational manner.

Ms. Cassidy's class Skyping

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

C4T #3

For my third C4T I was assigned to Mrs. Cathy Jo Nelson. Mrs. Nelson is a school library media specialist with twenty eight years of experience. She is also an educator from South Carolina. Mrs. Nelson says her blog, Professional Thoughts, is "Designed to offer helpful hints, tips, and tricks to teachers and library media specialists who are modeling the integration of technology in an authentic and ethical manner in the name of increasing student engagement."

Photo of Mrs. Cathy Jo Nelson


The first post of Mrs. Nelson's that I read and left a comment on was called Connected Educator Month: DEN. She says "Connecting educators is what I think of when I think Discovery Educator Network." I liked how she explained a Discovery Educator Network as "A way for those looking for connections, and worried about online weirdos" to come together and exchange ideas in a safe way. I also liked how she described it as a "Safe place to seriously look at becoming a connected educator." I think a Discovery Educator Network sounds like a very helpful resource that can be provided to teachers, that want to make differences in their classrooms.

Discovery Education Banner

Mrs. Nelson said herself that she went from lurker to virtual friend to a full blown PLN member. She said "Reading or listening was enough... initially." However, eventually her true "connected-ness" started. Her blog, born October 1, 2006 over the Google Blogger Platform, then transitioned to Edublogs, and finally came to rest as her own domain and has become a place for her to publicly share her thinking, interact with others, and most importantly extend her learning. As she grew in these online circles, both in friendships and learning's, she began to dabble in other online circles. Through her interactions with her PLN, she began getting asked to make contributions. Mrs. Nelson said she likes to think of Discovery Educator Network as a "GLOBAL group of educators who come together periodically, some more than others, to learn from each other or learn often together about best practice in education." It is often centered on educational technology though not always on Discovery Education resources. One last important thing Mrs. Nelson's says about a Discovery Educator Network is "More often than not it is a virtual group meeting via social networking resources, but there are state levels, national, and even international opportunities to come together as a group."

In the comment I left Mrs. Nelson I told her that we briefly talked about Discovery Education a few weeks ago in class, but that we did not spend a lot of time on it because we have been so busy learning about other resources as well. So after reading her post, I’m glad to have a better understanding of some of the things it has to offer. I also told Mrs. Nelson that I think it is so great that they’re teachers and other people in this world that step out side of their comfort zones, and try all different types of resources to gain benefits for learning and for teaching. I then thanked her for being an inspiration to young students like me who want to become the best teachers they can be. I concluded my comment with a link to my blog and a short sentence saying that I would be summarizing what I have learned from visiting her blog soon.


The second post of Mrs. Nelson's that I read and left a comment on was called SC Voices to Inspire. In this post she began by saying "I can't speak loudly enough the power of connected learning." Mrs. Nelson thought about what inspirational voices come from local flavor (the South Carolina variety). She was asked by one of her connected voices to provide a list of feeds and people she subscribes to in her current reader of choice, "Feedly". When putting together those lists, she realized there were some "Twitter" voices that impacted her daily practices as well. Although there is no blog RRS feed to show them, she did include a link to her Twitter list of SC voices in her post. She then created a few lists of voices from South Carolina who have inspired her. I'm glad to have read this post because sometimes I catch myself wondering who else could I use as a resource and who could I follow that is inspirational when it comes to Education. From there, I don't know where to look, besides my assigned C4T teachers. So I'm glad she provided lists of people and sources that I could gather more information and ideas from.

Her lists of people are separated into categories including: "South Carolina School Librarians," "South Carolina Teachers/Educators Across the Curriculum," "South Carolina School Administrators," and "South Carolina- Other/Interesting." I checked out a few of the blogs listed and they really are a great source to look to for information and ideas. Mrs. Nelson also concluded her post with providing a "How To" video on "Feedly."

In the comment that I left Mrs. Nelson I told her that once again I found her posts very helpful and resourceful. I also said that as a young college student who hopes to become a teacher some day, I’m always looking for resources and other people who have experience in Education. So I thanked her for including lists of people and resources that she found inspirational to your blog.

Monday, October 28, 2013

C4K Summary for October

Children of October

C4K #4

For my fourth C4K or my first C4K for the month of October, I was assigned to a student named Charles from Mrs. Pernille Ripp's 5th grade class located in Madison, Wisconsin. Her class was assigned a challenge in which they tried to solve two brain teasers with a partner without speaking or writing. They had to be completely silent for twenty minutes. After doing this activity, they were supposed to write a blog post and answer a few questions. How did it feel to do this? Was it frustrating? Was it hard to communicate? They also read a book called "Out of My Mind." In this book, the main character melody has cerebral palsy leaving her unable to speak. They were also asked to answer the questions "How do you think it feels to be her?" and "Would you like to not be able to speak?" My assigned student, Charles, did not respond to this challenge so I chose to read and leave a comment for a student named Alex who is in the same class.

In Alex's post The no talking challege! he responded by saying that it was pretty hard to communicate without words or writing words down. He said he would go insane if he couldn't talk to other people. I told him that I would too! Alex also wrote that he respects people like Melody who have cerebral palsy. In the comment I left Alex, I told him that when we try stepping into other peoples shoes for a few minutes, we often look at life a whole lot differently and we sometimes see how blessed we truly are.

I told Alex that I thought he did a great job responding to the challenge. He was honest and he answered each of the questions very well. I concluded my comment by thanking him for sharing his thoughts with the world and then I left the link to my blog.

C4K #5

For my fifth C4K or my second for the month of October, I was assigned to a student named Emma from Ms. Eppele's class in British Columbia, Canada. For Emma's post assignment she was asked to answer a few questions. The first question was "Right away in Chapter 7, Melody talks about how she dreams she can do anything. Think about a dream that you have had. How can you make that dream into a reality?" The second question was "Why do you think it is hard for teachers to stay with Melody and her class?" The final question was "Why do you think the episode with Mrs. Billups is important to the story as a whole?" In response to these questions Emma said she had a dream before where she turned into this thing that was half donkey and half goat. She said "It was weird." Emma also said, "It's hard for teachers to work with Melody because she can't speak and walk and she can barely move her arms." In the comment that I left Emma I told her that her dream does sound weird but very interesting! I continued by telling her that I have also had weird dreams like that before but that thankfully, they will never become reality. I told her she did a great job responding to the second question and that I thought she gave an honest answer. Once again I thanked her for sharing her ideas with the world and I left a link to my blog just in case she ever wanted to visit it!

C4K #6

For my sixth C4K or my third for the month of October, I was assigned to a student named Evan from Mrs. Mclean's class in Alberta Canada. In Evan's post The levels of the Alberta Forest!, he compared the levels of the forest to a house. For example he said, "The sub-floor is the basement part of the forest..." and "The canopy is the rood of the forest..." He used a great picture of a bear with a fish in its mouth to go under his paragraph explaining which animals are present in each level. He also included a picture of his own drawing of the different levels! His picture is so good, and you can definitely tell he knows his levels of the forest.

Evan's drawing of the Alberta Forest

In the comment that I left Evan, I explained what EDM 310 is and what we have learned to do so far. I told him that I loved how he compared the forest to a house because it is a great visual and it really helps to understand the different levels. I also told him that I loved his pictures. I ended my comment to him by giving him the link to my blog and I told him that he could visit my blog if he ever wanted to.

C4K #7

For my seventh C4K or my fourth for the month of October, I was assigned to a student named Alex from Mr. Warren Grieve's 5th grade class at Medbury School for Boys Christchurch, in New Zealand. Alex's last post was published on Wednesday, September 11, 2013. In his post What makes us Kiwi (speech), he asks the question "What makes us kiwi?" Throughout his whole post he gives great details on what makes him kiwi and why. In his first paragraph he tells a story about when his family came down a ski field one day. He said, "We saw a green kea pecking on dads car tires. Dad started going wild, he ran up to the car and waved his arms and shouted to shoo it away. I started laughing and my little brother spilt his juice and started to whine."

In my comment to Alex I explained who I was and what brought me to his blog post. I told him about how I was new to blogging at the beginning of this class, but that I am grateful for now having been taught to blog. I also told Alex that I loved his first paragraph because he used great descriptive details and I almost felt like I was there. I wrapped my comment up by telling him to continue to keep up the great work, and that if he ever wanted to visit my blog he was welcome at any time, and I left my link.

C4K #8

For my eighth C4K or my fifth for the month of October, I was assigned to a student named Lauren from Mrs. Horst's 7th grade Language Arts class, located in Canada. Lauren's last post Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper was published on Monday, October 28, 2013.

In this post, Lauren described several reasons why and how she could be a good friend to a book character named Melody. In the book, Melody has Cerebral Palsy. Lauren has a big heart and you can tell that by reading her post. In this post, Lauren began by saying, "People seem to think that just because she has a disability she won't be a good friend. I don't agree, if I saw Melody while I was on my recess I would talk to her and laugh with her. I wouldn't just go over to her because she has a disability, I would go over because she seems like a really good friend." She also said, "If I talked about my problems with Melody, I would try to make her feel like she is not alone. She is the same as all of us inside, and someone like myself should remind her of that."

In the comment I left her, I explained who I was, and what brought me to her blog. I continued by telling her she did a wonderful job on describing the reasons why and how she could be a good friend to Melody. I also told her that she sounded like a very sweet young lady and it is so great knowing they’re children across the world with hearts like hers. I told her a few specific things that I liked about her post and then I told her, I hope she continues to have a big heart for the rest of her life, and to continue the great work! I also left a link to my blog at the end!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blog Post #10

What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He had cancer and was told he only had three to six months to live. Not letting that news bring him down, he continued to be positive and inspirational up to the day he passed away. His video, Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, has really made an impact on my life. There is so much to take away from this lecture.

Dr. Pausch taught a class at Carnegie Mellon University that was all about project based learning. He said, "The best way to teach somebody something, is to have them think that they're learning something else." He was also the kind of teacher that always encouraged his students to never stop chasing their dreams and to never give up on them. In this lecture, Dr. Pausch told the audience about his own childhood dreams and how he worked hard to make them come true. Just listening to him talk about achieving his own dreams and wanting the same for others was very inspiring. One of the things that I have learned from watching this video is, teachers can inspire and encourage their students in more ways than they think. Dr. Pausch let his students create projects in a way that they could enjoy what they were doing. I think this way of teaching would really help inspire and bring creativity to children. It lets them be in control, and it can increase their self-esteem. Giving children some freedom in what they produce could actually surprise you.

A man named Andy van Dam told Randy to get his P.H D and become a professor after he graduated from Brown. Dr. Randy Pausch questioned him at first. In repsonse, Mr. Andy van Dam said, "Because you are such a great salesman that any company that gets you is going to use you as a salesman, and you might as well be selling something worth while like Education." You could tell from his voice that when Mr. Andy told him that many years ago, it impacted his life forever.

From this video I have learned that when it comes to teaching children we should encourage them to never give up, and we should inspire them to go after their dreams. We also need to set examples of helping others. There are a few quotes from this lecture that I think are too important not to be shared. So here they are:

1) "You have to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn't going to work."

2) "When you're screwing up and nobody's saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up." -Dr. Pausch's Assistant FB coach.

3) "Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and they still care."

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

5) "The brick walls are there for a reason. They aren't there to keep us out. They are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people that don't want it badly enough."

6) "Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you." -John Snoody

7) "When you have something for a long time like 10 years, that you hold so precious, it's the toughest thing in the world to hand it over. Find somebody else that is better than you to hand it to."

8)"Don't complain, just work harder."

9) "Get a feedback loop and listen to it. The hard part is listening to it. Cheerish and use the feedback."

10) "Be prepared. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity."

Dr. Randy Pauch Portrait

Randy Pausch ended his lecture by telling the audience, "This talk wasn't for you, it was for my kids."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Project #14

In this lesson plan for project based learning, our fourth grade students will learn about the Solar System. This lesson plan includes the subjects: science, reading, writing, and art. Our group made this into a two week lesson plan. This project is intended for our students to grasp the concept of our Solar System including asteroids, meteors, and comets. They will create a science/art project to show their understanding of the information after one week of the lesson. On Friday of the first week, they will present their projects in front of the class. During the second week, they will write a descriptive paper titled "My Trip in Outer Space." Then they will peer edit their papers in small groups of four students. After peer editing each others work, each group will choose/vote one paper that they think is the best and should be read to the class. The next day, Thursday, the presenters will read their papers and then when our students are finished reading, everyone will hand in their paper. On Friday of the second week, our students will have a multiple choice/ short answer/ and matching test on the Solar System that is made up of about 10-15 questions. This lesson plan includes resources such as iCurio, YouTube, Smart-boards, and Mac laptops. The driving question for this lesson plan is, "How do we characterize and put into order the planets of our solar system?" This is the link to our site.

Solar System

Friday, October 18, 2013

Blog Post #9

By: Katlyn Lusker, Tarcela Kohn, Jake Dukes, and Alex Hopson

"Back To the Future" by Brian Crosby

Brian Crosby is a teacher from Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks, Nevada. In his video Back To the Future, he explains that 90 percent of his students are second language learners. His students are at risk because they qualify for free lunch, meaning they are students of poverty. On the second day of school, Mr. Crosby gave his twenty-four students a survey to find out where they stood. After gathering the results he found out when they were asked "Which city do you live in?", only nine children gave the correct answer. When they were asked "What state do you live in?", twelve gave the correct answer. When they were asked "What country do you live in?", only three students answered correctly. When they were asked "What is your address?", only seven students were able to answer correctly. Mr. Crosby then poses the question, "Why such a disconnect for these students?"

"We do not want to have a narrow curriculum for these students, but these students have had a narrow curriculum since they were born." Mr. Crosby also said, "They haven't had the experiences and the inputs to build the schema for the world." One of our favorite quotes from this video was when Mr. Crosby said, "It's hard to be able to imagine what could be if you don't know anything about what is. And if it's hard to imagine, where does your creativity spark from? If you don't have a lot of imagination and creativity, where do you build your passion from?" Those few sentences are very powerful. They make you think deeper and you start to ask questions.

In this video, Mr. Crosby's students did a balloon project where they created "high hopes" cards and then they created a place to put all of the cards, their pictures, and cameras for filming the process. Once they created a place for all of these objects they tied it to a balloon. After the balloon went out of site they went back in their room and tracked the balloon. They were able to watch the balloon in real time. The students were also instructed to come in and write about what they saw, what they did, and then they swapped pictures with each other. It didn't even stop when it landed because they were in a learning network. They are tied into other students from across the world, and they started getting messages about how some students wanted their own teachers to do some of the same projects as they had done.

They would Skype different classes and the students from Mr. Crosby's class (that had already articulated these projects in writing) showed the other students exactly how to do them. Mr. Crosby said, "When you're working/ dealing with second language learners, articulating it in speech is a whole different ball game, and by practicing, they are reviewing the material, and most importantly they get to shine. They get to show off what they know."

By doing projects like these, language is at focus. They learn to read and write to learn- content, they use writing to clarify and share, they write to tell a story, they use creativity, they learn to give and receive feedback, they learn to articulate orally, they connect globally, they become aware globally, and they have an authentic audience.

Mr. Crosby says, "This is active learning. This is empowering students to become learners. Now we are empowering kids to learn on their own. To use a lot of these 21st century tools like; connecting, empowering, being active, including, motivating, and collaborating, allows them to do just that." We agree with Mr. Crosby that by using these tools, we are connecting students to the world. He said it best when he said, "We can't just keep racing kids through school, it can't be a race. We have to keep making sure that we are giving them opportunities to build schema for the world."

"Blended Learning Cycle" by Mr. Paul Andersen

The Blended Learning Cycle video was made by Paul Andersen. Mr. Andersen's video was actually a podcast to discuss and inform others about the "Blending Learning Cycle". Mr. Andersen explained that last year he presented at TED Talk on "Classroom Game Design" and how he turned his classroom into a video game. He said last year " was a great year, however, it strayed a little from what he knew about the power of the question in his science class." Mr. Andersen depicted an image that we found humorous. The image below, is from the "Blended Learning Cycle" video. It is from 19th century France, predicting what students will look like in the year 2000. We agree with Mr. Andersen, our classrooms do not look like this, however, our classrooms have changed tremendously.

A 19th Century painty that predicting what students would have looked like in the year 2000

Mr. Andersen made a great point, he had a great year, but the class strayed. So over his summer, he assessed himself and became more inspired about his classroom. He then explains what he found during his rethinking process. He came up with a way to incorporate "The Blending Learning Cycle" into his Science Class.
The Blended Learning Cycle

Mr. Andersen defined Blended Learning as taking compelling parts of online, mobile, and the classroom, then blend them together using technology in a positive way. The next part of the cycle are the 5e's: Engaging, Explore, Expand, Explain, and Evaluate.

Blended Learning Cycle E's

When starting with "Engaging," you as the teacher want to engage the students with an opening question. Mr. Andersen explained it as the "hook." The second "e" is "Explore". After you have given the engaging question/opening question allow for the students to explore/investigate/inquire on their own with books, technology, etc. Next, is to "Expand." Here, Mr. Andersen uses videos or podcast. He says it allows to free up his time to assess his students. Now for the fourth "e," Mr. Andersen said his students "Explain" by elaboration with diagrams, reading, etc. Lastly, "Evaluation" was covered. Here Mr. Andersen assesses his student's understanding of the content. It is here that he will use a video or podcast that students can watch, so he is able to have individual time to ask questions to his students before his students have to take their Summary Quiz at the end of their lessons. Mr. Andersen then finishes his podcast by explaining that when you combine the Blended Learning and the Learning Cycle you get a "Blended Learning Cycle."

"Making Thinking Visible" by Mark Church

In the video Making Thinking Visible by Mark Church, Mr. Church has his students work in small groups to have a discussion about a video they had watched the day before, concerning the topic of early human beginnings and the origins of human society. In order for his students to capture the "heart" of what the unit was all about, he asked his students to talk about the "puzzles" in their small groups and to come up with a headline to capture what the "puzzle and challenge of the search for human origin" was all about.

One of Mr. Church's students asked her group, "How could we sum up everything that we have been talking about in one phrase?" We agree that through communication and collaboration, the thought process among these groups become visible. After discussing each groups headlines, Mr. Church then puts the headlines up on bulletin boards to be displayed. After two weeks more of the same unit and when the kids do a final project, Mr. Church is going to ask them "What's the headline now? How has the story changed? How has your thinking changed?"

This video was a great example of seeing thinking become visible. Communication and collaboration are some of the 21st century tools that we have been studying and to see children work and think together definitely proves that they are important tools needed all throughout life.

Making Thinking Visible the book

"Super Digital Citizen" - Building Comics by Sam Pane

The focus in the video "Super Digital Citizen- Building Comics by Sam Pane was "How to become a super digital citizen." Mr. Pane is a fifth grade teacher at Wilson Focus School in the Omaha Public School District in Nebraska. He teaches all curriculum's which include: reading, math, science, and social studies.

In this video, Mr. Pane asks his students "Who is really in charge of using the internet safely?" The video in this lesson is about how to be a good digital citizen and being able to evaluate when you go to websites, what kind of information they might be after. Mr. Pane brought up a quote from Spider-Man which was, "With great power comes great responsibility." He then asked his class, "What kind of power does the internet give us?" They had a class discussion and then they talked about what it means to be a digital citizen ("someone who chooses to act safely, responsibly, and respectfully, whenever they are online").

The project Mr. Pane gave his students was to build a comic showing safety, responsibility, and respect. They were to design a digital super hero that would step in, in order to save the day. The website that these students used is one that allows people to build their own super digital character. They were allowed to pick from three basic designs and then they were able to modify and customize it as much as they wanted. These students did their projects on Mac laptops.

A student creating a super digital citizen

Mr. Pane said, "Matching up with English, Language standards is a huge deal in this lesson because the students have to create their super digital citizen and then they have to actually take that and put them into a imagination situation." They are creating a narrative between themselves and their super hero. They also use pictures of themselves along with their super hero characters, which creates a sense of ownership for them. Mr. Pane said, "Building comics are a great way to do a visual presentation of learning and of text. We can also use this as a way to teach dialogue (text bubble)." When the students were finished creating their comic, they got up and walked to a different laptop to read someone else's comic. Then they had to determine if the person used examples of safety, respect, and responsibility. Mr. Pane said the bottom line is that "Students are going to be exposed online to all sorts of opportunities, and he wants his students to know that they're choices they will have to make, and that it's going to take a super digital citizen to make these choices."

We really liked this video because building comics is a great idea to use in classrooms. It used many of the 21st century skills including communication, creativity, collaboration, and it was also very engaging. The students looked like they really enjoyed this project and any project that promotes learning but is also fun at the same time, is always a great project.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Post #8

Evernote by Katlyn Lusker

In the video Dr. Lodge McCammon's Fizz- Flipping the Classroom, Dr. McCammon said, "Too much of the time, Education today looks like students in the classroom and teachers just lecturing to the students, which is inefficient, not engaging, and it is a one shot deal." He continued saying, "Then we send our students out of the classroom to apply their learning individually which is also not engaging." To meet the needs of all students we need to make drastic changes. In the video Why I Flipped My Classroom by Katie Gimbar, she explains the importance and effectiveness of flipping the classrooms. In flipping classrooms, students are able to pre-load content, getting information they will need for class. They are able to pause, rewind, and re-watch videos. They can also post any questions they have, which enables the teacher to plan and prepare answers specifically for the class time. This is a self-paced program so students are able to go back and review former topics or they can even work ahead. Because of this process, the whole classroom has now shifted. The students come to class with the information already and now the teacher is the center of the class. The teacher can now work with the different groups that are moving on their own pace. Ninety percent of the class time is now spent on application of content by flipping the classroom.

So, as more teachers move into blended environments that focus on anywhere/ anytime learning, the need for practical tools increases. But how can we and our students best save, share, and manage content? Evernote can help (About Evernote).


Evernote is available in both free and paid versions and at its most basic level, it is designed to help teachers and their students take notes and access those notes wherever they are and whenever they want. The notes can be simple or they can be complex, from simple text to notes containing images, video, and audio clips. They can be just about anything also including lectures, to-do lists, clips and text from websites, or even essay rough drafts. A great things about Evernote is that it can be installed as software on a desktop, used as a web-based tool accessible through a browser, and as a mobile app.

In my own classroom I would definitely use Evernote. I think this is a great resource for teachers and their students. I really like how students are able to go back and look at information whenever and wherever they would like. One of the reasons why I chose to explain and research Evernote is because it is a great organization tool. I am a very organized person and I am always looking for other great ways to organize as much as possible. I would use this resource as a way to provide my students with all kinds of information. They would be able to prepare for class and they would be able to review for tests. I think Evernote would be a very beneficial tool in classrooms.

Evernote notes

Promethean Planet by Tarcela Kohn

I have found a resource that is similar to iCurio. The website I found was Promethean Planet; it is a free interactive community that is created by teacher for teachers. With Promethean Planet, there are many links that teachers can use on a daily basis to assist in the process of making lessons and bringing technology into the classroom. One link that I particularly found useful that iCurio did not have was a Blog and Forum tab at the top of the web page. Here teachers can communicate and open up their networks. If a new teacher, like I will be, this is a excellent way to talk to other teachers, ask questions. The various methods in which you can talk about are Products and Curriculum, News and Events, Blog, Technical Support, and Special Interest Groups.

Promethean Planet
Secondly, in the resources tab, educators can share their resources, collect resources from publishers, pick lessons and activities based on themes and classroom assessments, but most importantly you can search by state standards. Another thing that I found that unique about the website, Promethean Planet educators can find a topic for; Fine Arts, Math, Reading/Language Arts, Science and Health, Social Studies, Vocational Educational, World Languages.

Powerschool by Jake Dukes

Powerschool allows teachers to manage attendance, grades and show a class schedule for everyday of each week. It also allows your parents to check your progress in every class. Your parents would be able to access your grades, attendance and be notified if you were not showing up for class or you were not completing your work on time. Powerschool shows what your child is going to be doing everyday in class and what he/she should have done by a certain date. It also shows an online seating chart of who your child is sitting by and a picture of the student that your child is sitting by. On each assignment they(the student) turns in the parent will be able to see a comment by which the teacher is talking about your child's grade. Which I think will help the parents stay on top of their child's progress in school, which will benefit the student so they won’t get too far behind and your parents will know how you've been doing every step of the way in the classroom.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Project #9 Podcast

For our podcast we discussed topic #8. We discussed how we should connect technology to the curriculum and how we can teach for the future. We used the book "Teaching Digital Natives" by Marc Prensky and Mrs. Kathleen Morris's blog as sources.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

C4T #2

Elvira Deyamport "Language Journeys"

For my second C4T I was assigned to Mrs. Elvira Deyamport's blog "Language Journeys." Mrs. Deyamport is a Gifted Education teacher in grades 2-6. She also has a specialist degree in Reading Instruction, a masters in Gifted Education, and a dual bachelor's in Elementary Education and Spanish. Prior to Gifted Education, she taught second grade and elementary Spanish.

Mrs. Elvira Deyamport's portrait


The first post I read and commented on of hers was "Research Meets Podcasts." Mrs. Deyamport had to teach for her district's enrichment program. She said "I love teaching this program because it gives me a time to test out some methods and projects that I normally don't get to try during the school year or like in this case, haven't tried in a while." She sounds like a wonderful teacher, one that will try anything for her students. She said "I admit, I am a little weary of throwing tools at my students without trying them out myself, but this summer has taught me to do the opposite." She continued saying, "This time around I took a leap with my basic skills and knowledge and jumped right in." She wasn't at all disappointed in her decision to do so as well. I told Mrs. Deyamport in my comment that I wanted to be the same kind of teacher as her. I don't want to let my fear of not knowing how things work to keep me from trying new things with my future students. She encouraged me to want to jump right into things that could have a very positive outcome in students lives. Technology shouldn't be something we fret about. I need to start looking at technology in a different way.

Mrs. Deyamport was assigned as the "Activity Teacher" for their program and she decided to focus on exploring one tool and creating a product with that tool. I think that was a very wise decision. She "choose podcasts and narrowed their final product to a talk show where they would interview other scientists." The students had fun with their podcasts and she said "another reason why I love this tool- it captured my students' personalities best." I loved watching/listening to some of her students podcast videos. They were very creative!


The second post I read and commented on of Mrs. Deyamport's was "Real Life Math and Other Enrichment Activities." Mrs. Deyamport started this post by saying she had been struggling with ways to make Math more engaging and relevant for her gifted learners. She said, "The drill and skill approach is not sufficient and worksheets are not going to cut it either." I told her in the comment that I left, that I totally agreed. She continued by saying "That's when I came to the conclusion that they needed to explore concepts and apply what they have learned to real life settings." With the help of her PLN, she was able to come across several resources to help her transition to projects and better manage them in her class. By doing this she said that "Now instead of feeding information to my students, they are solving problems through trial and error, communicating with each other on the best strategies to reach a conclusion or solution, and most importantly, making sense of and even justifying what they are learning."

She included some of the projects her students have done. The projects that she included in this post were "Decimal Designs," "Math Movies" which demonstrated their understanding of place value, and thanks to their school's PTA they were able to have a "Math Party" to apply estimation and computation skills. The students planned a themed party with a budget of $100. In the comment I left Mrs. Deyamport, I told her that I loved how she gave her students the opportunity to learn with hands on projects. The projects looked fun but also engaging at the same time. I concluded my comment by thanking her for sharing these great ideas.