About Me

My photo
I am 24 years old and a student at the University of South Alabama. I am majoring in English and Secondary Education. I am currently expecting my first child, due August 10, 2010. I started this blog for my EDM 310 class and I hope you all enjoy reading my posts!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

PLN Post 2


I am continuing to work on my Personal Learning Network. The connections that I am making now will greatly help me as an educator. I have found many other blogs and websites that pertain to my goal as an English teacher. I have even started looking for other student's blogs to add to my PLN so that I can keep up with what everybody else is doing and how they are progressing. I look forward to adding more to my PLN in the future.

Friday, April 30, 2010


I recently interviewed Emily Moore, a first grade teacher at Hutchens Elementary. We discussed her use of technology in the classroom. Please watch and enjoy! (I apologize for the audio)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I have learned so many things in EDM 310. I'll never forget the tools I've used, the people I've met or the instructors I've had. It was truly a pleasure to know each and every one of my classmates and my instructors, Dr. Strange and Ms. Averitt. I hope everyone has a wonderful summer and I hope to see you all again in the future.

Final Blog Assignment

Final Reflection

Since my first day in EDM 310 in January I have not stopped learning. The first class was a little overwhelming. I saw the syllabus and immediately noticed all of the projects I was going to have to get done before the end of the semester. I was a little doubtful that I would be able to keep up. Of course since it is the end of the semester I have obviously survived! I have also learned a lot of useful things along the way. Here are just a few:

Windows Movie Maker: I never created a movie until I enrolled in this class. In week 15 we had a project due that had to be a video/movie uploaded to YouTube. The girls I worked with and I have such crazy schedules that we couldn't get together to shoot our video. We each did our part and then put the bits of video together. Movie Maker made this process so easy. There were tons of transitions to choose from which made our video seamless. The best feature is that it has a way for you to upload your videos straight to YouTube.

Comments4kids: Throughout the semester I was assigned to leave a comment for a child. I left comments on children's blogs, pictures and videos. I didn't even know students their age were blogging! It was a great experience. I was able to let a child know that his/her information was getting out into the world and that people were noticing. I loved being able to give positive feedback to kids on their hard work. This was probably my favorite assignment.

Google Docs: What a great tool! I did not have a Gmail account until the first day of class. It was the preferred e-mail for all of the students. Not only is there an inbox for regular messages but there is a Documents link. This is where all of my comments4kids, comments4classmates and comments4teachers assignments were sent. With Google Docs you can create a document, presentation, spreadsheet etc and choose who you share it with. This helped out so much during the semester.

Technological Literacy: Most people don't even know what I'm talking about. However if you are reading this post you obviously aren't one of those people! One of the first questions we had to answer was "Do you think teachers should be technologically literate?" ABSOLUTELY! Until now I haven't even given it much thought. I had to write a paper this semester, and Ihad to e-mail my professor an electronic file. First of all I had to save the document in an old format because the computer in his office had old software and couldn't read the newer versions Word was saving things in. So that shows how badly we need improvement in the equipment our professors are getting. Another one of my professors couldn't get files off of his USB drive. The entire lecture that day depended on what he had on his USB drive. In this modern age, being technologically literate isn't just a good idea, it's vital!

Google Earth: The most difficult project I had all semester was my Google Earth project. The program is easy to use, I just had a hard time deciding where to go! With so many options, and with the ability to just click or type in my destination, I had the hardest time making a decision. I had a blast looking around. I think I spent more time playing than I did actually working on this project.

2. There is nothing that I can think of that I did not learn in this class that I would like to. I am still learning so that may change.

3. I don't think I'll try to forget anything I've learned. Everything I've been taught has value.

4. As far as excitement goes, the one thing that stands out from this semester was seeing some of the things kids posted on their blogs. It was amazing to see how they were using technology to enhance there education and enrich their lives.

5. I didn't find anything that was too intellectually challenging.

6. I think I've been bored at some point in every class I've ever had. The only reason I was bored in this class was if I was ahead in my work and didn't want to stay for 2 hours.

7. The only thing about the course that I would change is type of projects. I would maybe include more group projects. It's always nice to work with others in a class so diverse.

8. I would like to think of myself as more technologically literate than when I started this course. I would put my literacy at a Good level. I still have a lot of learning to do to be considered Great.

9. I hope to continue improving my literacy as time goes by. I will continue using the tools I've been using this semester and keep and eye out for anything that could be useful.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Google Earth

I have created a Google Earth Tour to show the top 10 volcanoes I wish to see in person. I have always been fascinated by the power of volcanoes, now hopefully you can see why!

Click Here to view my Google Earth tour.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blog post for 5/25


I recently watched a video about a 7th grade science student's Personal Learning Environment. She has got such an extensive PLE. It is very exciting to see students learning how to use all of these tools so early in their education. She has put so much effort into developing her PLE. To be honest, hers is more extensive than mine. I'm going to have to step it up a bit!

Two Questions That Can Change your Life

This video poses two difficult questions. First "What's My Sentence?" It sounds like an odd question, but you'll understand if you watch the video. This really made me think about how I want people to remember me. I still have to figure out what I'd like my sentence to be. This is what I think it is at the moment.
"I am trying to leave my mark on the world, one that is just mine."

The second question is "Was I Better Today Than Yesterday?" What a question to ask! I think that we all look forward to the end results instead of focusing on the day to day progress we make. Please watch the video and ask yourself the same questions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Technology and Its Students

This is a video I made with Brooke and Angela about how young students use technology. We interviewed a college student, a high school student and a middle school student. Please watch and I hope you enjoy!


Brooke McQuillan, Angela Greene and I created a podcast comparing three inexpensive camcorders. Please listen and let us know what you think!

Click here for It's Time for Technology Talk. This is a link to all the podcasts done by EDM students.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Timetoast Timeline

Hurricane Frederic

Google Docs Questionnaire


Most of us started learning how to use proper grammar in elementary school. At first we learned the parts of speech. We learned when and how to use the different parts of speech correctly. But how many of us still use these tools properly? I created a Google Docs Form to find out.

I asked students how they would rate their use of grammar on a scale from 1-5, 1 being poor and 5 being great. 46% of students rated their use of grammar at a 4 while 31% said they would be a 5.
Most students said they use punctuation properly.

54% of students said that they always proofread their blogs before they post them.

I asked if people who don't use grammar properly seem uneducated; Six out of 13 people said yes.

Most of the students who answered this questionnaire said that they did learn how to diagram sentences but said that it didn't really help them.

The last question I asked was if the questionnaire had made them think twice about the way they talk. The answers to that question were pretty much split down the middle.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Blog post for 4/18

Why commenting on Blogs is so Important

Throughout the semester we have been required to leave comments on each other's blogs as well as on the blogs of kids and teachers around the world. I know at times it seems tedious, but when I think about the impact we are making on other people's lives, I realize just how important those comments are. When a child goes to school and checks his/her class blog and sees that he/she has a comment from someone across the globe, I'm sure his/her face lights up. I think about how it would make me feel. By commenting on other people's work, we can give them a sense of accomplishment, and joy in knowing that other's appreciate their work. I have created a wordle to show some the impact a simple comment can have on someone. Please click on the link below to see full size image.

Wordle: Comments

Comments4Kids week 14


This week I commented on Cheyanne's blog. These students are learning how to read and write. She drew a picture of herself and some of her friends.

I commented on her blog using Vocaroo.

Comments4Teachers weeks 13 & 14

You can't get to Outerspace with a Rowboat

Dr. McLeod would like to see every student receive a laptop to further they're education. This will help create a greater learning environment for our students. Overall I totally agree with his point of view. Below is my comment:

"As a future educator I would like to believe that the education institution has moved toward a more technologically advanced way of doing things. The amount of information accessible through a computer is infinite. I strongly think that most teachers, board members and parents are simply afraid to hand every student access to that information. Of course, I understand the financial aspect as well, but it shouldn't hinder us from considering how a change that this could permanently better our students' education. I loved this post, very insightful. My name is Lauren Germany and I'm a student at the University of South Alabama. If you would like to see the comments I've posted about your blog post, feel free to check out my blog. germanylaurenedm310.blogspot.com"

Our mental models are the biggest barrier to moving schools forward into a digital, global era

In this post, Dr. McLeod makes an interesting point. He states that most educators and parents don't know how to prepare students for a technologically-suffused world. Here is my comment:

"In order for us to move toward this idea of education, our current teachers should be able to prepare our students now. Even some of my college professors can't figure out how to open files from their jump drives to start their power point lecture. We pay thousands of dollars to earn a college education and we have professors that can't check their e-mail. How are we supposed to move into a technologically-suffused era?? I am currently expecting my first child, and I hope that by the time he starts school, we will have made significant changes in the way our teachers teach, and our students learn."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Comments4Kids week 13


For my comments4kids assignment this week I visited Room 14's blog from Pt. England School. I looked at Jesiah's page. They had gone rock climbing and although they kept falling, they kept going and made it to the top. It's great to see students this age showing perseverance.

Blog post for 4/11

Why is it important for students to post their work on blogs or in other ways?
This week I watched a video about a group of Elementary school kids singing "Landslide". They were amazing. One reason for students to post their work is to share their talents with the world. These children will actually be appearing on stage with Fleetwood Mac. I guarantee you they never thought that would happen when they decided to film themselves singing!

I have done several comments for kids assignments this semester, which shows me other reasons why students should post their work. It gives them a chance to get positive feedback from other students, even teachers. This way they can learn what they need to work on. Some of the students work has been pictures, while some have been writing assignments. I think students can get a lot out of posting their work.
This is a picture drawn by Judah at Pt. England School.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Google Presentation

Most of us started learning the parts of speech in elementary school. However, even some college students can't identify all 8 parts of speech. Many people still don't know how to use them correctly. I've created a Google Presentation identifying and showing the functions for the 8 major parts of speech. I hope to be a high school English teacher, and I would use something like this to teach my students the parts of speech. I hope this will clear up any questions you may have!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Until I started this class I had never used, or thought about using Skype. I am still a little unsure how I will use Skype in the future, but so far I've played around with it a little bit. I've Skyped one of my EDM classmates. I showed her my 18 week ultrasound photos by holding them up to the camera. I had a blast playing around with it, even though it's weird to see myself in the little box on my screen. I hope to continue using Skype to stay connected to people when I can't see them on a regular basis.

Comments4Teachers weeks 10-12

Ms. Carnevale

For weeks 10 and 12 of Comments4Teachers I have been assigned to follow Ann Carnevale's blog. Her blog is entitled Bits 'n Bytes. The two blog posts I commented on were titled "Website Wednesday". Every Wednesday she recaps the websites that she has found in hopes to help out fellow teachers. I was able to share the information I found in these posts with my sister who teaches 1st grade. These are the comments I left for her blogs on March 24th and March 31st.

"I love the idea of recapping the sites you’ve found. My sister teaches first grade and she loved the Spelling City site you found. I think she’ll start using it to help her students study they’re sight words and spelling words. She’s excited that I was assigned to your blog, since I’ve been able to share these things with her."

"Once again I've found more stuff to share with my sister! I am studying to be a High School teacher, but I have still found a lot of website, thanks to you, that I will be following for when I become a teacher. Thanks for sharing this with us!"

Monday, April 5, 2010

Blog post for 4/4

Dear Kaia

Kaia is a three year old girl in Qatar. She and her father went outside one day to take pictures of everything they saw. Her father was concerned that even though they live in the desert surrounded by garbage and construction, that his daughter wasn't spending enough time outside. She took pictures of everything she saw, including cars, the ground and the sunset. She and her father made a photo essay and posted it on his blog. The video received tons of comments, many from a Mr. Chamberlain's class in Missouri. They were doing Comments 4 Kids and came across Kaia's video. Her father Skyped the classroom and asked that they use voice threads or video to comment on Kaia's page since she can't read yet. The class made her a video of pictures and voiced comments and posted it to they're class blog.

This is an amazing advancement. It's insane to think that a class in our country is commenting on a girls photos in Qatar, and that they are able to communicate so quickly, by a few clicks. If this is the way technology is affecting our world today, I can only imagine how much it will change in the next 10 years. I look forward to my days as a teacher just a little more now. Our children's educational future seems bright!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Comments4Kids Week 12


For this weeks comments for kids I viewed a picture done by Judah. He is a student at Pt England School. He is one of many 5 year olds posting they're artwork on line. In his picture he drew a kite flying in the wind. It turned out beautiful. I hope he continues to be creative, he has a lot of talent!

Comments4Kids week 10


Ethan is in Mrs. Kolbert's Class. His latest blog was a simple question, "What is your favorite car?" Ethan's favorite car is a Corvette, which is also my favorite car! It's nice to see that kids his age have such good taste!

Blog post for 3/28

Morgan Bayda

An Open Letter to Educators is the title of Morgan Bayda's blog post, as well as a video by Dan Brown included in her post. She expresses her views on the education system and shares with us that she sometimes feels cheated. Dan also goes on to say the same thing. He even dropped out of college because he said the University was getting in the way of his education. I can relate to both of these guys! I have classes with 100-something students in them with one professor showing us a power point presentation. Dan hit it right on the head when he said that our education is based on how many facts we can memorize! Most of the tests I have taken in college have been that way.

As a future educator I hope that I will be able to teach in a different fashion. I never want my high school students to feel like they are wasting their time in my class. I hope that education itself can change to accommodate the way students learn. Dan said that the best thing that has happened to the world is that information is now free. With that said, education should be more than just memorizing facts. I want my students to be in love with learning!

Blog post for 3/12


Alex or Alabama Learning Exchange is a wonderful website that offers educators a variety useful links. There are links to courses of study, web links for teachers, administrators and students, as well as lesson plans listed by subject. Alex also offers a search engine, Alex Thinkfinity database. There is even a link to podcasts done by other teachers to help out other educators.

Knowing that this website exists makes me even more excited to teach. I know that my first year or so of teaching will be exciting and maybe a little crazy too. It's nice to know that there is a place I can go for ideas that are sure to make my lessons more enjoyable.


The vision of ACCESS, Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide, according to their website is : The State of Alabama will provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning. ACCESS is all about technology and bring together students and teachers with it. There is also a video where students will tell you why ACCESS is so great!

Technology is becoming such an important part of our lives. This includes the world of education. Having an organization dedicated to expand our use of technology is greatly benefiting teachers and students everywhere. I know for a fact that I will implement the use of ACCESS in my role as a teacher.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Comments4Kids Week 9

This week I had the same student I had for my comments for kids assignment last week. I revisited James' blog and he has written a comment back to me.
He writes, " Thanks Lauren! Yeah organisation helps a lot in wrting through lots of ways like what you just said not making the reader confused. I’m also looking foward to reading your blog."

It is so great to see students give feedback. I hope that James keeps up the good work and I wish him luck with his organisational skills.


For my comments for teachers assignment I was assigned to John Spencer's blog. The first post I commented on was titled "I am still the Teacher." In this post John shares that he dislikes the idea of "co-learning". He goes on to say that teachers still need to be leaders. Here is the comment I left for this post:

"First of all I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly. My favorite teacher in high school was not the one we as students felt was "one of us". Instead it was the one that I could turn to for guidance and criticism when needed. I'm Lauren Germany, I am currently taking EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I am majoring in English and Secondary Education. I will be following your blog as part of an assignment. Here is a link to our class blog: http://www.edm310.blogspot.com/ I will also include a link to my own blog. I will be posting my summary of this assignment to my blog in the next few days. I hope you get a chance to read it! http://germanylaurenedm310.blogspot.com/"

The second Post was titled "Who should we Blame?" and focused on how teachers blame parents, who blame teachers, who blame city officials and so on. We are so busy playing the blame game for why our children aren't successful, that we aren't doing anything to fix the problem. Here is my comment:

"I love your viewpoint. It is true that we blame people for a child's "lack of ability". When I worked in daycare, the parents would blame us when their children didn't do there homework correctly. The children had us to help with homework, but to me, if the parents care so much about it, they should check their children's homework themselves and help their child to succeed. At the end of the day if your students have been able to learn something new, then you have done your job."

The final post was titled "Changing how I spend my time" which focused on how he has had to change how much time he spends focusing on certain things, like grading papers. He says that he spends more time giving feedback rather than just giving grades. Here is my comment:

"Thank you for posting this. I am still working on becoming a teacher, but your change with your time management helps me figure out what to expect. I'll have to keep this post in mind once I start teaching."

I loved reading John Spencer's blog posts. They were enjoyable to read as well as enlightening. I hope you subscribe to his blog and follow him; I guarantee you will learn something!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

This video has been by far the best and most rewarding videos I've watched for this class so far. Dr. Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He is dying of pancreatic cancer. (at the time of the video, 2008) He starts off the talk by saying he has about 3 to 6 months of good health left. He makes it known that he is not moping or spending his time crying about his current situation. He says he is in relatively good health considering what he is going through. He even does push ups on stage!

He talks about his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and lessons learned. He had some crazy childhood dreams, like being in zero gravity, and being like Captain Kirk. As crazy as those dreams sounded he accomplished almost all of them. He learned an important lesson while playing little league football. His coach said, " Your critics are the ones that are saying they still love you and care." How true that is. Dr. Pausch said that when people stop correcting your mistakes, it means they've given up. He begins to talk about "head fake" learning. This is teaching people something in a fun way, to where learning is fun and doesn't seem like work.

He also talks about brick walls and why they are essential. He says they are there to let us prove how badly we want things. Some times, people can be brick walls. If there was never anything in our way, we wouldn't have to work so hard to fulfill our dreams. He encountered many brick walls trying to become an Imagineer for Disney. Dr. Pausch taught a course on virtual reality that encompassed all of the departments. The students would create virtual worlds and demonstrate it for everyone. This class has become so huge, the program is being created in other universities. That class was his way of enabling the dreams of others.

Dr.Pausch is an inspiration. His entire talk wasn't about childhood dreams, it was about how to live your life. If you live your life for more than just yourself, good things will happen. He has given the world hope, even when he was in such dire need of hope himself. I cried and laughed so much while watching this video. I hope that it will be as much as an inspiration for all those who watch it, as it was for me.

Comments4Kids week 8


This week for my comments4kids assignment I read James' blog about organization. He wrote about how important organization is to writing. If you aren't organized, your readers will be confused. It's so great to see students learning these things early on, it will be extremely beneficial to James later in life.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Update on PLN

To be completely honest, I really wasn't sure where to begin with the Personal Learning Network. So after looking around for a while I found some networks worth joining. So far I've signed up for Twitter, I'm currently following Liveclass20. I've also joined a group on Facebook called High School English Teachers. The group is literally a bunch of high school English teachers sharing ideas with each other. I think these groups will greatly help me out as I continue to learn.

Comments4Kids week 7

Coral Reefs

This week I commented on Terry's blog post about coral reefs. Terry is a part of Mr. Crosby's 4th grade class. Terry shared what is important about coral reefs. He let us know that they need algae to survive, and that all types of fish live in them. I actually was able to learn something from this post. Terry told us that there are different types of reefs. I had no idea what an atoll was until I read his blog. You should definitely check out what these kids are doing!

Blog post for 2/28

This is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2

Richard Miller shows us in this video just how much things have changed. Information used to be found and discovered in books. Reading used to be a solitary event. These days you don't have to go to the library to do research. Everything is at your fingertips on the world wide web. Information can be found within minutes of logging on. One example he used was the past election. Voters could log on and see how the votes were stacking up. No need to wait for a television update.

Mr. Miller's second video shows us the ever changing information on the internet. The information found on the web changes everyday. New information about topics are uploaded to the internet on a daily basis. He mentions the use of iTunes University. Tons of college students have downloaded lectures using this tool. He also says that he realizes that availability of these assets are not possible all over the world, but he definitely sees a time when that will change.

Overall I really enjoyed watching these videos. Mr. Miller has an interesting view on what's going on with technology now, and what could be to come. Technology is gaining ground all over the place, especially in education. I don't know exactly how I'll be able to incorporate technology in my teaching, as far as the availability in my school, but I hope that I will get the opportunity to inspire my students by using the technology I'm learning about right now.

The Networked Student

This video shows us the importance of a PLN, Personal Learning Network. It shows that by connecting with other people and organizations that you can learn just as much as you would in a normal class setting. Networked students are allowed to explore things on their own and find networks that benefit them most. Students, including myself, often get tired and worn out by sitting and listening to a teacher lecture for and hour. A lot of information is often lost travelling from teacher to student. Where as with a student learning on his/her own, they are completely responsible for the information they retain.

When asked, "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?" I actually had to go back to the video. The teacher is needed to guide and direct students in the right direction. The teacher also shows the student how to build the network, how to communicate properly and how to differentiate between useful information and propaganda. Without the teacher, I'm sure the student wouldn't even know where to begin.

I'm really not sure if I'm ready to teach networked students. I'm more of a hands on, old fashioned type of teacher. I have to admit I'm a little intimidated by the concept of the networked student. However I am eager to learn how to become a networked student myself and to learn how to teach other networked students.

Toward A New Future of Whatever

This video is so great! Michael Wesch is able to show us the difference in generations. He starts off by talking about the MTV generation. Then he went on to talk about the invention of the word "whatever". In the 60's the main phrase was "I don't care. Whatever (you think)." Then in the 90's it became "Whatever (I don't care what you think)". I say the word "whatever" quite a few times a day. When he started talking about this, I had to start thinking of which meaning of the word I was using.

He goes on to talk about YouTube. He shares with us that everyday there are 1 billion videos uploaded to the site everyday. I have used YouTube to look up funny videos on occasion, and now to look up videos for school. I have never been the type to spend all my time on a site like that. He showed tons of funny clips showing us the type of videos on YouTube and what people might use it for. Tons of people have used the site for political videos, or just to be heard.

At the end of his video, he is again talking about the word "whatever". In the future, he wants the phrase to be, "I care. Let's do whatever it takes...by whatever means necessary." I hope that we get there one day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Comments4Kids Week 6


This week I watched a video about Casey. He is one of the students in year 7 at Point England School. Casey shared his goals for the upcoming year. He wants to become a better student and to work on his writing so people can understand him. I think these are very reasonable goals and I wish him the best of luck with them!

Blog Assignment for 2/21

Alice Christie

Alice Christie created a website to help educators with what she has learned over her forty years of teaching. This website is full of information for future teachers as well as current teachers. There are many different links to information that could be very helpful to teachers.

The link to her publications is what I would use the most. It would benefit me as a teacher greatly. These help to integrate technology into teaching as well as get a sense of how to teach a certain subject. I would suggest this site to all teachers and future teachers out there

iTunes University

Can iTunes U help teachers? Actually yes! I am studying to be a high school English teacher. My students will likely be 14 to 18 years old. Kids that age are in love with the technology we have available. You can't walk in the mall without seeing dozens of kids that age playing or surfing the web with their iPhones, or iPods. Why not use those devices to help you teach?

I think that iTunes U can definitely help me as a teacher. Colleges across the country have used this to educate their students. Students learn more effectively when they are enjoying what they're doing. So I think that adding this technological advancement to my curriculum would benefit myself and my students.


Thought iPods were made just to listen to music? Think again! Duke University held an experiment to see exactly what students were using their iPods for. All of the incoming freshman were given brand new iPods free of charge. Their use of the iPods were documented. Many of the students actually used them for academic purposes. Some people downloaded a calender feature to keep track of class times and exams. Some even used the alarm clock feature to wake up for class.

With technology becoming more and more prevalent, it's not unusual that students would use something made for entertainment as a study tool. Almost every college student owns an iPod. So with that being said, how many of them will be using their iPods for more than just listening to music?? I would imagine that more than half would get the most out of their purchase.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Comments4Kids Week 5


This week I commented on Jordan's Picasso painting. In his art class they have been learning about monochrome paintings. Jordan's painting was so impressive! The web site is amazing, you can scroll through all of the kids artwork. I suggest you visit this site and check out what these kids have been up to!

Lauren's Trip Around the Sun

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blog Assignment for 2/14


I know that most Internet users go to Wikipedia for a lot of information. However, is that information always accurate?? According to the posts I've read and the podcast I've listened to, the answer is no. The NPR blog on Wikipedia plus the podcast on the same site both tell us that this site can not be trusted for accurate information. Anyone, anywhere can edit or alter any article found on Wikipedia. That's kinda worrisome if you ask me. I hate to think that the information I look up on a trusted site is false.

Virgil Griffith, a graduate student from CalTech invented a way to trace the edits on Wikipedia. Apparently the people editing the site aren't just your average people. Even congressman have made changes to articles on this website. With Virgil's creation you can find out exactly who edited what article, and what exactly they edited. Isn't that a handy tool?! This way we can see who is tampering with the website. I don't believe that as of right now Wikipedia can be a trusted site. Maybe in the future people wont feel as comfortable altering articles since they can be traced. If Mr.Griffith's creation hinders people from making edits to articles, I think that Wikipedia may be able to be trusted sometime in the future.

What I've Learned This Year

Mr. Mcclung, an elementary school teacher, wrote a blog post about what he learned his first year of teaching. He writes about plenty of important topics concerning new teachers and teachers to be. One of those topics is how to read your students. As teachers we can't just teach the way we want, we have to make sure our students can understand what we are trying to teach them. He also talks about being reasonable. All of our students will not be straight A students. Some will not do as well as others and we should expect them to, and shouldn't punish them for it. These are just a few of the things Mr. Mcclung has learned.

I am so glad I was assigned to read his blog. It has helped me to realize that even though I'll be nervous and apprehensive about teaching, that through it all I will learn right along with my students. The only difference in my case is that I am going to be teaching high school students. I have actually learned something from this post. I know what to expect when I start teaching. The lessons he's learned can teach us all.

Sunday, February 7, 2010



For my comments4kids assignment this week I reviewed a blog by Danilo S from the Avoca School District. This particular post was a book review. The post was very short, sweet and to the point. Danilo wrote about the parts of the book he liked. Overall I thought he made a great review. Its very refreshing to see students using technology to build communication and writing skills.

To Podcast or not to Podcast?


Almost everything in the country today is run by technology. We owe a lot of our success to it. Still some people are afraid to change and adapt to the technological world they find themselves in. The main question people are trying to answer is, "Is teaching with technology helping students learn more effectively, or is it a waste of time?"

I recently read a blog about such a topic. A lot of parents apparently think that podcasting is a waste of valuable learning time. The main point of this blog was to remind parents why they podcast. Podcasting teaches such things as collaboration skills, writing skills, speaking skills, story telling skills and many other valuable things our students need.

I believe that podcasting can be an amazing teaching tool. I am looking forward to creating my own podcast in the coming weeks. It's more rewarding to know all of the skills that can be improved by podcasting. There are certain things that even I need to improve on.

As always, thanks for reading!

Here is the link to the blog about podcasting.

Sunday, January 31, 2010



I recently listened to six podcasts. The first one I listened to was by Ben Hazzard. His podcast was on using Smart Boards in education. His cast was very laid back, and seemed very improvised. He was talking about this topic while getting coffee. I like the spontaneity of it. It seemed like it was a last minute decision to create a podcast while he was ordering coffee. I like this approach to podcasts very much, it makes it seem less like work!


The next podcast I listened to was by Dan Schmit. His approach was a little more serious, more focused. The introduction had music which made it fun to listen to. He was talking about why video podcasts are good for learning. Even though his podcast was an audio podcast he made it obvious how important he thinks video podcasts are to learning. I like the fact that there were no background noises to deal with in this podcast as there had been in the SmartBoard podcast I listened to earlier.

Connect Learning

I listened to Episode 92 by David Warlick. In this podcast he was talking to Chris Lehmann. There was music in the introduction, which like I said before makes it more fun to listen to. In this podcast Mr. Warlick was located in a school. He had been visiting classrooms most of the day. This seemed to be more of an interview than just one person's thoughts or ideas on a subject. Mr. Warlick asked the questions and Mr. Lehmann gave his responses. They both seemed very comfortable talking to each other and prepared for this podcast.

Ed Tech Talk

I also listened to episode number 62 of EdTechTalk. In this podcast they were talking about their favorite devices, such as an iPod Touch and iPhone. They were all female, one was from Australia. I like the fact that the podcast included women from different areas of the world. They were very laid back, just talking to each other but being informative at the same time. I like this approach a lot because it's not boring, just friends talking to each other.

MacBreak Weekly

This podcast seemed to be the most professional podcast of them all. The introduction was definitely different than the others. There was music but also mention of the underwriters of this specific podcast. There were several different people discussing certain AT&T technologies that they liked. One in particular was the iPad. This was the longest of the podcasts I listened to today. It definitely seemed more like a radio or television talk show than just a normal podcast.

This Week in Photography

This is the last podcast I listened to. This one also had intro music as well as an announcer. The introduction was very similar to the MacBreak podcast. The men and women were talking about racist cameras. To me it was just them discussing which cameras they use and why. They also talked about a new compact flash card that just came out. All the people involved in this podcast seemed very comfortable with each other, it's obvious that they are used to talking with each other. I like this cast better than most of the other ones. Again I thought it sounded more like a television or radio talk show.

They are First Grader's! Are you Ready?
Media Literacy In the First Grade
These first graders are so impressive! They speak very well and know so much more than I did at their age. These kids can tell the difference between fiction and non-fiction books. Also they can show us how to get to their class blog, how to comment and what to say when you comment. It's wonderful how even 6 and 7 year olds know how to post comments that are positive and uplifting. I plan on teaching high school after I graduate, and hopefully the children I will teach will have this wonderful of a background.

Ms. Cassidy's Class
This video shows the types of technology that these first graders are using to learn. They blog and love getting comments from their families. The children stated that they sound out words better and that their writing improves. They can use their class webpage to review their sight words. They also use wikis and skype. They are even allowed to play Nintendo DS in school, it has taught them how to be better at problem solving and sharing.

All of these technologies are teaching these children valuable lessons at such an early age. It is amazing how different education is now compared to when I was in first grade. I am excited to know that teachers these days are able to teach children in this way. It shows serious promise for our future leaders!

iPhone baby!

This video makes me feel very technologically illiterate! This little baby is using an iPhone. He can turn it on, get to the pictures, and scroll through them. He can even zoom in on the pictures he's viewing. When my sister first bought her iPhone it took me forever to figure things out. When my baby is one I hope he or she will be able to do things like this. Wow, that's really all I have to say!

Until next time. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


A Vision of Students Today

This video shows how students are expected to learn by sitting in a classroom with over one hundred other students while they listen to a professor talking across the room. Most of these students will be severely in debt by the time they graduate. Many of them are preparing to work in a position that hasn't even been invented yet. How many of the reading assignments students are given are actually beneficial to the job they are training to have? Is their education worth the amount of money they are spending?

I can relate extremely well to this video. I am a sophomore in college and I am already over $20,000 in debt. I am taking a full course load this semester while working part time. I am a multi-tasker like many of the students in the video. I work, go to school, study, do homework and spend time with family and friends on a daily basis. Being a student is only one aspect of my life. The only thing I would add to this video would be a view of the professors. Of course there are plenty of great professors out there, but I would like to showcase the ones that simply lecture and expect us to repeat everything we've heard on a test. Education would be more rewarding if it seemed like half of my professors actually cared how much I learned from their class.

It's Not About the Technology

Kelly Hines makes perfect sense with her post "It's Not about the Technology". In this century we are trying to include technology with learning. The technology is not what is going to help children learn. It is a tool that can be used, but it is ultimately up to the teacher to make it successful. As Mrs. Hines said the teachers have to be learners as well. What can we as students possibly learn from a teacher that doesn't want to learn the way she is teaching us? She also touched on a point that I think all teachers should be concerned with. She stated that learning and teaching are not the same thing. How true?! This is true for anyone that has tried to teach something to someone else. I tried teaching my nephew how to play the piano and he just wasn't getting it. I was teaching him the same way that I learned. That was the wrong approach. Teachers need to find the ways children learn and teach them accordingly. We can't teach all children in the same way, it will not work.

Another great point in her post was the statement that technology is useless without good teaching. We can come up with a million new ways to teach children, but without teachers that are willing to change and teach in new ways, education will not change. I am excited to know that her post has been and will be read by many current and future teachers. I hope that they take as much from it as I have.

Is it Okay to be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

I recently read Karl Fisch's post on technologically illiterate teachers. There are some excellent points in this blog post. Some people don't think that it's a big deal to "not really get computers". However, if you are a teacher, or a parent or someone in a position to help children learn, you need to be able to adapt to the way education is changing.

I agree with what Mr. Fisch wrote about technologically illiterate teachers needing to be willing to learn more. How are we as students supposed to learn things in new ways if our teachers aren't willing to change their teaching habits. Every person is different and learns in a different way. Today's society is dripping with technology. Children today are capable of using very advanced pieces of equipment. We as future educators need to be able to keep up with them. If they use these technologies everyday, why not teach them vital things with the same technology?

Social Media Count

I was asked to click on a link and watch the social media count change with every second. It is astonishing that in a little over a minute there were over 1700 new blog posts. What does this mean for my professional career as a teacher? It shows me that even now technology is extremely prevalent. By the time I become a teacher I suspect those numbers to go up even further.

As long as we as teachers can adapt with the growing technology of this world I think that we will be better equipped to teach our students. I will continue to learn as much as I can on how to effectively use technology to teach others. Hopefully my future students will be able to learn along with me!