- Lauren Germany
- 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!
Friday, April 30, 2010
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.
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
Saturday, April 24, 2010
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
Monday, April 19, 2010
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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!
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!
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.