About Me

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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, 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!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Food For Thought

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle wakes from his 100 year slumber and is astounded by what he finds. He walks into a business, a hospital and a school and finds that two of those places are extremely different than he remembers. The business and the hospital are full of computers and other machines that frighten Mr. Winkle. These things are different and therefor scary to Mr. Winkle. When he enters the school, he notices that everything is the way it was, nothing has changed. He sees one of the weird "machines" like they had in the hospital but is not afraid because it is covered in dust. That machine is obviously not used here. Mr. Winkle finds himself safe at the school with the least amount of technology.

This video shows how far behind our schools seem to be as far as technology is concerned. I believe Matthew Needleman has hit the nail on the head with this concept. I have visited the elementary school I attended and noticed that the computer lab is the same size it was in the early 90's. Each class still gets to visit the lab once a week. The only difference is that the computers are newer models. There are also no computers in the classrooms themselves. As a mother to be, I shudder to think that when my child is ready for school, the education system will not have evolved into the technological institution it could be.

Did you know?

There are more English speaking people in China than there are in the United States. There are more honor students in India than there are students in the U.S. There are hundreds more children born in China and India every 5 minutes than are born in the United States. We consider ourselves to be more intelligent and more powerful than the populations of other countries. However, the countries on the other side of the planet speak our language better than we do. Most of us can only speak one language, while people from other countries speak at least two if not more languages fluently. What does this mean for our children and our grandchildren? Will we as a society adapt to our ever changing place in this world? Will we teach our children to be able to stand on their own two feet no matter which country they are in? Can you answer these?

The Importance of Creativity

Do our educators suppress the creativity of our children? That is what Sir Ken Robinson wants us to think about. The talk was very entertaining as well as educating. He mentioned kids being steered away from certain arts because they will not be able to get a job doing those things. He also talked about how the hierarchy of education is the same in all countries. At the top are math and languages, and at the very bottom are the arts. Thinking back to my own education, even in the early years, things like music and art were only taught once a week if at all.

If we continue to hinder our children's creativity, how much will they really learn? We try to teach students what we think is important for them to be successful, but at the same time we discourage them from using the creativity they have inside them. In school, we are taught by sitting still in a desk and staying quiet while a teacher mumbles on about stuff we could care less about. By the time children reach high school, their view of learning and of education becomes tainted. If we concentrate more on developing children's creativity at an early age, how will it change the way they view education?

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

In this video, Vicki Davis shows us how she has connected her classroom from rural Georgia with people around the world using modern technology. It is amazing how teaching children about how to connect with other people via the internet has enabled them to learn more effectively and to even be able to teach their teacher. One of the students said that the blog that she was most proud of was one that she worked on with kids from all over the world. I found this video to be very inspiring and very promising.

I found myself a little jealous, wishing that I had a teacher like Vicki Davis when I was in high school. Her class looked like a blast to be in. The students all worked together, and worked hard to accomplish their projects. I believe that if more teachers can teach classes like this, students will be more excited about going to school and about learning new things.