Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blog Post 16



Reflecting back on Blog Post 1 made me laugh. I remember sitting in EDM 310 on the first day and feeling extremely overwhelmed and stressed out. The instruction manual was so lengthy and I had never even heard of most of the programs I would have to use. Eight long weeks later, I am reflecting on how I felt the first day of class and when I wrote my first blog post.

Everything I said in Blog Post 1 was true! I still want my classroom to be fun, enjoyable, colorful, loud and all of the fun adjectives I used to describe it. I still want my students to be themselves and know that it's good to be different. I still plan on using iPads and SMARTBoards. However, I can now elaborate on all of these things. Now that I've experienced them myself, I can say for sure which ones I will and will not use. I can add iCurio, Blogger, iMovie, widgets and many other things to my list of technology tools I will use with my students. I have learned so much this semester and I'm thankful for the technological knowledge I will take with me!



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Post 15


What can I learn from conversations with Anthony Capps?

I really enjoy listening to Anthony Capp’s ideas and advice. Knowing that he once was a student in EDM310, as I am today, gives me hope that I can grow from this class and apply my knowledge in my Project Based Learning Classroom.

Earlier in the semester, I chose to do one of my posts on iCurio. I think iCurio is a great tool for students and teachers. In the video about iCurio, Capps discusses how safe it is and how it can be used for any grade level. Like Dr. Strange, I tend to misplace my notes. This tool can prevent that problem! Students can upload their files into certain folders, search under restricted sites and save their information quickly. This video taught me how to allow my students to search the internet without coming across inappropriate sites. This is really important to me, as a teacher and a parent.

Discovery Education is another tool to be used in the classroom. This allows students to enter key words they are searching for. Like iCurio, this also allows students to search for information without seeing inappropriate websites. I think this would be a great tool for students in elementary school. It seems to be harder to know exactly what to type in the search engine when you are younger. Searching for key words can help students quickly find what they need. I hope to use both tools in my classroom!

The third video I watched was Additional Thought About Lessons. Anthony discusses four “layers” to his teaching strategy. He says there is the curriculum based off of the year, the unit, the week and the day. He compares this theory to a Russian nested doll. It is important to prepare your projects and teachings in all four of these time frames. I agree with Anthony on this! My biggest fear about using Project Based Learning in my classroom is time management. This strategy helped me realize how I need to plan the curriculum. I think this strategy could really help!

I love how Dr. Strange is surprised by many of the information Anthony gives him. This really proves that teachers can learn from students. I enjoyed all of the videos I watched on conversations between Dr. Strange and Anthony!

Jamie Risner


In this video Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange talk about iCurio. ICurio is an online tool that allows students to safely search websites and use other online media. Another great feature that iCurio offers is it allows students to store information that they find interesting into folders and to also create new folders. By allowing students to add to and create folders it gives students responsibility and organization skills. These are skills that students will be able to use for the rest of their life. The feature I thought would be the most useful to teachers is that iCurio has the ability to read text to students with disabilities. This feature will be a great help to teachers who have a student with a disability, because they will not have to read the text to the students themselves.

Discovery Education

In this video Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange talk about the online search tool called Discovery Education. Discovery Education is an online search tool that does not just offer pictures but also video’s of experts giving information on the topic. Anthony Capps stated that Discovery Education does not take the place of reading but helps to enhance it. I agree with what Dr. Strange said “students should not just be consumers of technology but also producers of it”. I think this is a great statement because students should not be satisfied with using the technology they are given but rather the students should want to create and contribute to technology, which allows them to have their voice and ideas heard.

Don't Teach Technology -Use It

In this video Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange talk about the use of technology in classrooms. I agree with the statement Anthony Capps made in the beginning of this video when he said “it does not matter if you like technology or not you are surrounded by it”. Everywhere you look there's technology and it is at our fingertips at all times with smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The most important thing I learned from this video is a teacher should not teach technology but should do it. A teacher can do this by designing projects that starts off with just an introduction to technology, then the teacher continuously designs projects that allows students to build their skills and combine the tools they are learning. I think this is a great idea because it allows students to use critical thinking skills and problem solving skills, which they will use the rest of their life. There are many advantages to using PBL and technology. One advantage is it is cheaper because it is a one time purchase and teachers do not have to keep buying supplies for projects. With PBL and technology students can be engaged with projects all year long. I thought this video was very helpful because now I know that in my classroom I should not teach technology but use it.

Maggie Adkisson

In the video iCurio I watched as Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange discuss iCurio. I learned so much about the iCurio and it’s features. Although I had previously looked at it before, I never realized what a great tool it was. I think it is great that it enables students to use the internet while preventing inappropriate material from appearing in their search results. Not only does it provide safe search engines, but iCurio also allows teacher and students to save information in folders to come back to later. I thought this was great! So many times when working on a project I print a numerous amount of unnecessary information because I do not want to lose it after I leave that particular website. Not only is this a great way to be environmentally friendly, but it encourages organization for both me and my future students. I am very impressed with the capabilities iCurio has to offer and will definitely being using this in my class!

In the video Discovery Ed Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange discussed Discovery Ed. Discovery Ed is a website that offers a variety of tools to assist in teaching particular subjects, such as science and social studies. It offers pictures, videos, and much more to reiterate the subject being taught. One feature that I like about Discovery Ed is that it allows students to listen to an expert in a given field. As a future teacher I understand that I will not be able to answer every question they have, but with Discovery Ed I will be able to point them in the right direction and let them find out from someone who does know the answer. I think this is a great tool to enhance and personalize their learning!

I think The Anthony - Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1 is a great video for anyone who is considering or even on their way to being a teacher. Anthony Capps provides some very great insight to what his life is like as a third grade teacher. Always reading books, always learning new things, and working more than just the school day. Many people think that teaching is one of the easiest jobs, but that is far from the truth. There is so much more to it than just standing at the front of a room talking. There are lesson plans, parent meetings, and so much more that a teacher does not because it is easy, or because teaching pays a lot of money. They do it because they are passionate about teaching children.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

C4T 4

For C4T 4, I had already made my first comment on when I received the updated C4T instructions.

The post was about the app - Motion Tennis. Motion Tennis is an app that allows the iPhone to turn into a "tennis racquet". You will need an Apple TV or AirPlay device to see the tennis game. This is a great tool to use on rainy days or to simply teach the basics of tennis. The app is $7.99 on iTunes. Some may argue that they want a free app that does this, however I think that is a reasonable price for a game this extensive. I would imagine there are many other apps you can download that are similar to this.

The other blog, iPE, is not your regular blog. This is a podcast blog! Instead of just typing out their thoughts, findings, teaching strategies, etc., Nathan Horne and Joey Feith actually blog by using a podcast. This made it much more fun for me to look over their blog. They share ideas and stories from their classrooms. There are many great websites, teacher blogs, tools, apps and general information on their blog. This was my favorite blog I've visit so far for C4T!



I think PLN, Symbaloo, is a very interesting tool. Although I didn't use it very much this semester, it could be very helpful. I created mine, but never took the time to learn how to use it proficiently. It could have been a great tool, especially for EDM310. I am going to work on mine and try to use it more! When I made it, I tried to color coordinate it and put similar links beside each other.

Blog Post 14

Blog Post 14 Interview Due 07/21/13

You are to interview a teacher who uses PBL in their classroom. The teacher should teach your area of specialty. Create a list of questions prior to the interview that include things such as how long have you used PBL?, is there any advice they can give?, how does he/she practice time management skills in their classroom while using PBL?, etc. The interview can be videoed in person, recorded via Skype, Google, whichever is best for you and the teacher. You can just use an audio recording if you'd like. I have provided your specified teacher that you will interview in a Google Doc. It is your responsibility to set up the time and place of the interview.

After the interview, you must summarize it and tell us what you have learned from the teacher. Then, upload your interview to YouTube and post the interview and summary to your blog.

I came up with this idea because I thought it was cool how Dr. Strange and Anthony share ideas and learn things from each other for their classrooms, such as certain tools to use on the web. My friend, Katherine, has been a teacher for ten years. She teaches fifth grade. Just a couple of years ago she started hearing about Project Based Learning and became interested. Last year was her first year to make some changes in her classroom. Although she is nowhere close to knowing everything there is to know about PBL, you have to start somewhere! She admitted that she was comfortable in the way she was teaching, but knew it wasn't fair to the students once she started seeing all of the other possibilities. I know my first year as a teacher is going to be stressful and scary, but I hope that I can at least have some courage to introduce PBL to my students. She told me that it was acceptable to learn from my students. I agree with this! There are many children who know more about technology and apps than adults do. Why not engage with the children and allow everyone to learn something?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Project 15

Blog Post 13


Are you thankful for the education girls AND boys are given in our country? You should be! I know that I am after watching the TED video on Kakenya Ntaiya! I highly recommend everyone watch this video!

As a child growing up in Kenya, Kakenya Ntaiya was not promised an education past twelve years old. Her father was away working most of the time, and when he was home he was selling the crops her mother had worked on all year and drinking with his friends at a local bar. Her mother, her siblings and herself were to do exactly what her father demanded or the mother would be abused. She was arranged a husband to marry once she became a woman. When she was thirteen she was mutilated as a female, like the all of the other girls her age. Since her mother was denied an education, she emphasized how important an education was. Ntaiya told her father that she would go through with the “celebration” of becoming a woman if she could continue her education. He agreed.

Little did she know how her world would change! She went to high school in Kenya then received a scholarship to college in the United States. She went around to all of the men and collected enough money for her plane ticket to America. Once she got here, her eyes were opened to: SNOW, rights, laws and many other things that had been stolen from her back home. After receiving her Master’s, Ntaiya went back to Kenya to repay the community for helping her receive her education. She started an all girls school and not only kept 125 girls from being sexually mutilated, but helped them transform into educated young ladies with chance at life!

It is so important to realize how lucky we are to have our education handed to us. For me, it was known that I would attend school all the way through college. But, for others it’s not that simple. It’s amazing what you can do if you really want something and fight for it. In another TED video Sugata Mitra emphasized how amazing it is to see what children can do if you give them certain atmospheres and tools. Once she made it to America, all it took for Ntaiya to be successful was an opportunity. We should teach our students to be motivated like she was and not just expect things to be given to you. We are truly lucky to live in this country and be given the education opportunities that we have.


Jamie Risner

Shukla Bose: Teaching One Child at a Time

I enjoyed the video “Teaching One Child at a Time”. In this video, Shukla Bose talks about how she started the Parkrma Humanity Foundation. This foundation helps the children in India who live in the slums get an education. Bose started by going to the slums and identifying houses where the children who would never go to school lived. She would then talk to the parents about sending their children to school. The parents wanted their children to go to school, because they wanted their children to have a better life, but the parents still had to be convinced that change was possible. The Parkrma Humanity Foundation started with one school that was located on the top of the building and had 165 children. The Foundation grew to four schools and a junior college, which all became successful because the schools taught the best curriculum possibly. They even taught English to get the students ready for a globalized world. I think it is great that the children are not just being taught basic skills but also skills that will help them have a better future. The main reason the schools became successful is that the schools and teachers operated under the idea of "one child at a time", which means they would educate students through school and into college by focusing on treating each child as an individual. I believe more schools should operate under this idea, because not every child learns the same or at the same speed. This idea means students are more likely to understand the material taught rather than just being passed along to the next grade.

Maggie Adkisson

In the video "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful Shane Koyczan raises his voice against bullying in a poem. As a child he was picked on and torn down everyday because of his weight. This video was made to raise awareness, put a stop to the cruelty, and most of all give hope to those who feel different and alone.

With his combination of words, music, and pictures the audience is sucked into the lives of the different characters. Feeling their pain with every word. Watching the constant insults break them down. Allowing the names to define them, because after hearing it for so long they are no longer able to see themselves as anything else. Watching this video is like watching a train wreck waiting to happen. It is dark and depressing, but you just cannot take your eyes off of it. My words alone cannot even begin to explain what a nerve hitting masterpiece Shane Koyczan has created. I believe it is only appropriate to share a couple verses.

she was eight years old

our first day of grade three

when she got called ugly

we both got moved to the back of the class

so we would stop get bombarded by spit balls

but the school halls were a battleground

where we found ourselves outnumbered day after wretched day

we used to stay inside for recess

because outside was worse

outside we’d have to rehearse running away

or learn to stay still like statues giving no clues that we were there

in grade five they taped a sign to her desk

that read beware of dog

to this day despite a loving husband

she doesn’t think she’s beautiful

because of a birthmark

that takes up a little less than half of her face

kids used to say she looks like a wrong answer

that someone tried to erase

but couldn’t quite get the job done

and they’ll never understand

that she’s raising two kids

whose definition of beauty

begins with the word mom

because they see her heart

before they see her skin

that she’s only ever always been amazing

People says "kids are cruel" like it is an excuse not to stop bullying. That bullying is okay because it is coming from a child. We ignore how badly the bullied child's feelings are hurt and what the possible repercussions could be. This teacher just moved them to the back of the class hoping they will become invisible. Unfortunately, time and time again we have learned that ignoring the problem does not work. That is why we have kids bringing guns to schools to kill other students, harming their own bodies so that they can feel a moment of relief, and overdosing on pain killers just to get away from reality. By leaving them alone, without support and trying to make the them invisible we are doing nothing, but helping to create their own personal tragedy. We need everyone, not just children, to come to a realization of how their words and deeds can affect others. On his project website he says, "Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. We can give them a starting point… A message that will have a far reaching and long lasting effect in confronting bullying". His original video has received over 9,000,000,000 views on Youtube. I believe that we had found a plausible solution. If we could show our students something like this video, we could teach them what their words can do to others. Everyone has compassion and I think when they realize the outcomes a change will be made.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Project 14

Blog Post 12

I really enjoyed Sir Ken Robinson's video How To Escape Education's Death Valley. He discusses learning in America and how even though we put enough money and time into teaching, it's not the most successful way of allowing our students to learn. I was literally laughing out loud when Robinson was discussing ADHD (not because I think the diagnosis is funny for any child to have, I just couldn't agree more). He says that he knows it exists, but that just because a child is hyperactive doesn't mean they should be put on medicine to be calm. I agree with him: any child that you make sit in a classroom for hours at a time is going to get bored and lose concentration! With that being said, why don't we make the students' learning exciting and try not to let them get bored?

Another analogy he used was curiosity being like the engine of a jeep. I learned that curiosity is so important for the teacher to possess as well as the students. Students can thrive off of curiosity and therefore willingly learn more. I never thought about it, but learning and education are two different things. Robinson says you can talk about education without talking about learning. Just because a teacher is in a classroom "teaching", does NOT mean the students are learning. We've been talking about standardized tests in a lot of my classes lately. There is a time and place for standardized tests. They should not be used on a daily basis; just for diagnostics. I agree with this for many reasons, but especially because not all students are good at taking tests. So, just because a student doesn't do well on a standardized tests means they don't understand something? FALSE.

At the end of the video Robinson describes what he means in his title by "death valley". Death Valley is a desert by his house that nothing grows on. It doesn't get any rain, therefore it has no grass, trees, flowers, etc. But, when it did rain, flowers grew! Death Valley is like our students' learning. If we don't teach them anything and give them a learning atmosphere, then they won't learn anything. If we do, then they will grow in their education and learn. I can't wait to have a classroom and try to apply the things I've learned in EDM310 from people's blogs and videos to my own students!


Jamie Risner

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?

Changing Education Paradigms

In the video Changing Education Paradigms Sir Ken Robinson he asked two questions. The first is "How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century, given that we cannot anticipate what the economy will look like at the end of the next week?" The second question he asks is "How does a country educate children to also have cultural identity while also being part of globalization"? I enjoyed this video very much. It shows how public education became what it is today. "The current system was designed and conceived for a different age. It was conceived in the intellectual culture of the enlightenment and in economic circumstance of Industrial Revolution." The current system divides students into the academic and non academic categories, which makes many brilliant people believe that they are not smart. I believe this is very true. If a student does not make good grades the stdent often believes that means the student is not smart. If a student is discouraged they begin to shutdown and do not want to go to school. Sir Ken Robinson makes a great point that the school system needs to get away from standardization and go to divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the essential capacity for creativity and to see multiple answers-not just one. I think this is a great idea because divergent thinking teaches students to use their minds and their creativity rather than just using their memorization. Sir Ken Robinson also gives a great example of how the public education system is failing. In his example, 1500 kindergarteners were given a test to measure divergent thinking. 98% of those students scored in the Genius level. The same test was given the the same children when they were 8-10 years old, and again at age 13-15. The results were that the scores continuously deteriorated. I was amazed by the results of the test. It shows that as children get further along in their education their divergent thinking skills begin to suffer. This is because they have been taught that there is only one correct answer. This video opened my eyes to the problems of how students are being taught in the education system. I think any person that is wanting to become a teacher should watch this video.

Maggie Adkisson

Ken Robinson is an author and educator. He led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, and was knighted for his work. We can learn so much from Sir Ken Robinson in his 2006 TED talk on The Importance of Creativity. Although he talks on a variety of points, one in particular caught my attention. He said,

There isn't an education system on the planet that teaches dance everyday to children the way we teach them mathematics. Why? Why not? I think this is rather important. I think math is very important, but so is dance. Children dance all the time if they're allowed to, we all do. We all have bodies, don't we? Did I miss a meeting? Truthfully, what happens is, as children grow up, we start to educate them progressively from the waist up. And then we focus on their heads. And slightly to one side.

After hearing this, I began thinking of all the schools I attended throughout my life. That is twelve schools to be exact. I came to the conclusion that not one of them encouraged me to get up and dance, do something creative, or anything else outside of academics. I thought why is this? Who decided that math, science, and english were the most important subjects? I later learned that our educational system was made to suite the needs of the industrial revolution. A time when people were focused on manufacturing. Public schools began preparing students for jobs by focusing on math, science, and other subjects that were deemed important. Likewise, little time was spent letting students use their creativity in art, drama, or music. Society did not care at this point in time if you could paint or do something extraordinary with your creativity. They wanted someone to be able to work machines and understand how to fix them.

Even today, our education system remains much the same as it was during this time. Students spend minimal time in classes such as art, drama, and other creative thinking based classes. Sir Ken Robinson is absolutely correct when he says that schools are killing out creativity. As young children we probably look like this little boy a lot, or at least I did. Covered in head to toe in whatever I was doing. Most time it was dirt.

Then we start going to school, where teachers only want one answer. The textbook, burp back answer. It does not matter if you see a color as being salmon, but if a teacher says it is pink then you are supposed to see it as pink as well. We tell children they are wrong, when in fact they could very well be right. Who is to say their perception is wrong? Instead of accepting their ideas, we break them, and turn them into robots by teaching them only to see what we want them to see. I learned from Sir Ken Robinson that we need to stop this negative stigma of being wrong, and let children discover and learn through their own eyes. Allowing them to keep their creativity and imagination.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Blog Post 11

Ms. Cassidy, a first grade teacher in Canada, is taking advantage of the technology provided. About ten years ago she was given five basic computers. That's where her journey began with incorporating technology into her classroom. In the first video I watched, Little Kids...Big Potential, it is clear that her students enjoy using technology in their classroom. They use computers for their blogs, websites and wikis. They also use videos and pictures. They were even allowed to use a Nintendo DS for a specific lesson. Her students are communicating and sharing ideas with other students around the world, including places such as China. I'm 24 years old and I think that's awesome; I can't imagine what a six year old would think!

I think all of her techniques have potential to be used in my classroom. First of all it depends on what resources I'm given. Hopefully by the time I have my own classroom, each of my students will have an iPad. I thought it was interesting that Dr. Strange brought up the students' parents in the interview and what they thought about their students not only being on the internet, but their pictures and work being posted as well. I have babysat children before whose parents did not want their children's pictures put on Facebook. I loved Ms. Cassidy's response though: she only uses first names and she doesn't post their pictures with their names.

In my opinion, Ms. Cassidy's approach would be very beneficial to the students, parents and the teacher. Imagine if your students were having fun, being creative and learning while people around the world were looking at their work and their parents could see their process at their convenience! Sounds pretty legitimate to me. I think we need more teachers like this, not just in early education, but all the way through college. My daughter is 3 and she has her own iPad. She can work the iPad better than I can. I can't imagine what she could do if she had a little academic encouragement once she's in school!


Project 13

Collaborated by: Kaylee Diegan, Maggie Adkisson, Jamie Risner

A Day In The Life Of Worker Ants

Duration: 225 to 250 minutes

Subject: English, Science

Grade Level: 3rd

Project Idea Summary: Students are to do online research about worker ants. Students are to use the research they found online to create a short story, and illustrate as if they were the worker ant for a day. They are to write about what they would do, what problems they might encounter, and how they would solve those problems. Students are to then get into groups and read over each others stories. Each student would receive and give feed back from their group members. Students would then revise their stories and illustrate them. All the stories would then be compiled into a book called A Day In The Life Of Worker Ants. A podcast would then be made of the book with each student reading their story. The podcast would then be posted on the individual, as well as the class blog page.

Content Standards:

ELA(3) 9. Compose narrative text using an introductory paragraph, specific time frames, clear sequencing of events and conclusions.

TC2(3-5) 8. Collect information from a variety of digital sources.

ELA2010(3) 24. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear events sequences.

21st Century Competencies To Be Taught and Assessed:



Critical thinking

Creativity and innovation

Entry Events:

Show YouTube video about worker ants.

Formative Assessments (during the project):

Rough drafts

Summative Assessments (end of the project):

Written products by using a rubric

Oral presentation by using a rubric

Resources Needed: Computers with internet access

Access to class blog page

Pens, crayons, markers, paper


Reflection Methods:

Group discussion

Class discussion

Writing in a daily journal

worker ants

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

C4T 3

The PE Teacher is a blog written by Dylan Blain, a PE teacher in the UK. In the first blog I read Dylan Blain is looking for a website that provides research on physical education. He found one; Physical Education Matters. However, like many other teachers he was looking for one that is free. He also found one of those; Dr. Ashley Casey's blog. PE is being overlooked. It is not seen as an important aspect of school and learning. I happen to disagree with this. I’m not sure exactly what research is saying about physical education, but now I’m interested and want to search and find out.

The second blog post was about department developments. Instead of sharing lesson plans by paper planners, Dylan Blain and his colleagues are using their classroom iPads to share video footage of their lessons. I think this is a great idea. He also talks about using Google docs to share information and have separate folders to put specific information in. Google docs has worked well for my group in this class. I’ve enjoyed using it because it is simple and works quickly. Using technology can make things easier in the classroom by freeing up time and allowing for creative opportunities.

Here is a video that discusses reasons that physical education is important for students!