Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blog Post #7

Blog Post # 7 requires us to watch a series of videos about project based learning. I will then discuss my strengths and weaknesses in regards to the subject and explain what I have to do prior to graduating to prepare for using project based learning in the classroom. The first video is How to make an audio QR code. The "QR" is short for quick response code. QR codes are commonly used in advertising. If you still aren't sure what a QR code is, this may help . We start the process by going to the site . There, we simply press the record button and record our message. Once the recording is complete, a URL will be generated. Once the URL is genereated, simply copy the code and proceed to the QR code generating site, . Click o n create code, then send it to MSWord. It can then be printed for scanning by students to use. According to the host of the video, Michelle Bennett, QR videos can be used in the classroom as an effective form of teaching. Mrs Bennett gave an example of a kindergarten teacher recording herself reading a story to her class. The students were able to listen to their own teacher read the story instead of a random narrator. The students then were able to replay the story two and three times to hear their teacher if they desired, effectively using her as their own tutor. Other videos in the assignment are: ipad in thereading center, Poplet in the center, Alabama Virtual Library as a Kindergarten Center. These 3 videos are hosted by Ginger Tuck and show different methods of PBL in a Kindergarten setting. Mrs Tuck demonstrates the use of an iPad as a tool for learning in the first video. The student records himself reading and then plays the recording back in order to see if he made any mistakes while reading. Mrs Tuck will also participate in the recording from time to time for encouragement. The second video introduces us to Poplet - a free, downloadable app for use by the students. The students are in a group and assist each other with the assigned project. The project assigned in the video was careers. In Poplet, the topic is placed in the center block on the iPad screen. They then take pictures with the iPad (These are Kindergarteners, mind you!) and place the pictures in the blocks that surround the center topic block. Students will then add a short description of each picture. Our final video with Mrs Tuck shows how the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) is used in a Kindergarten classroom. Once the student finds the subject on AVL, he can listen to the audio and complete a worksheet assigned to that student. We then move on to Mrs Shirley's 1st grade class where we are shown How to use and Build a DE Board for PBL. DE is short for Discovery Education. It is a site for use by students to enhance classroom learning. The best way I can describe what a "board" is would be to take a trip back in time and remember a Science or Social Studies project that involved placing information on an actual project board for display. Instead of using a project board, the assignment is displayed on an iPad with the information for the project collected from the DE website. We then move on to the 2nd grade and to Mrs. Tassin where her students share their board builder projects. Resources were used outside of DE for their board. The students are expanding their use of technology by using outside resources to add to their board rather than using only DE. The second video, again, shows a project board used from DE. This time, however, the students have taken a charity and used a DE board to show the importance of why donations should be made for the charity. Our last two videos were posted by Dr Strange. The first video shows the use of AVL and iMovie in a Kindergarten classroom. Dr. Strange speaks with Elizabeth Davis of Daphne (AL) Elementary School and Michele Bennett of Gulf Shores (AL) Elementary School. Both are media specialists at their respective schools. Michele explained how the students use iMovie and Elizabeth explained how students use AVL. Michele told us that kindergarten students are very eager to produce their own movies and se the technology available to them. She also said that the students are very eager to correct mistakes and edit their productions in order to make them better. Elizabeth told us of the benefits of using AVL and how eager students are to use it. Dr. Strange remarked that Kindergarten students should be used to teach Juniors in college because they are being assigned similar projects. The last video again inludes Elizabeth and Michele discussing the use of technology and PBL in the classroom and the benefits of this style of learning. One of the thing that stuck in my mind was that Michele said "Teachers are teaching students, students are teaching students, and students are teaching teachers". This, to me, is the most important aspect of PBL.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blog Post # 6

Blog Post # 6 is an assignment for EDM310 that requires our class to watch a series of videos and answer the question "What do you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?". In this post I will attempt to answer that question. The first video is titled Project Based Learning Part 1: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher. In this video Dr. Strange interviews former student and current 3rd grade teacher Anthony Capps. From the first video I learned that project based learning is a constantly evolving process. I also learned that project based learning (PBL) allows the student to show what they learn, rather than how they learned it. PBL usually involves the community in a way that it allows the student to applying their project to real world situations. When assigning these projects, however, it is important to meet all standards required by the state or other agency for that particular grade level. The final item I learned from this video was to allow a student's peers to edit and help revise the content. This allows students to assist one another and learn from mistakes. Video # 2 is entitled Project Based Learning Part 2: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher. This video continues the conversation with Dr Strange and Anthony Capps. In part 2, Anthony tells that he doesn't limit his students in the projects he assigns. He says that when they have more freedom, they tend to do better work. I learned from Anthony that usually when students are allowed to make choices and have more freedom on their project, they tend to show more pride in the project. Video # 3 is entitled iCurio. Prior to the video, I had never heard of iCurio, so the video was a learning experience for me. I learned that iCurio is a search program that allows students to safely search the internet for content regarding an assignment. It takes information deemed relevant to the search and displays it for the student.. It also allows students and teachers to add and store important content to the program for later use. I also learned that iCurio has a read allowed feature, which aids vision impaired and learning disabled students. Video # 4, Discovery Ed, also contains a resource I was unfamiliar with. I learned that Discovery Ed is a resource that allows students to gain visual information along with written information. Discovery Ed provides video with experts on topics in wuestion to enhance the learning experience. The Anthony - Strange Tips for Teachers is a "Letterman" type list of things that are important for teachers. The most important thing I learned was that in order to be a successful teacher, I must be interested in learning myself. Hard work was mentioned but I had a pretty good idea that in order to be successful, hard work would be involved. Flexibility was discussed, meaning that a back up plan is a must if things go south. Another bit of information I learned was not to start a project without having an end in mind. Don't Teach Tech - Use It is a video with Anthony and Dr Strange discussing technology in the classroom. I learned form this video not to give step by step instruction on how to use a certain piece of technology. Instead, allow the student to use the technology and learn by trial and error. By using the technology, the student will learn from mistakes made and will improve based on their usage and practice. The last video, Additional Thoughts About Lessons, Anthony taught me that lessons are 4 layers thick. They include the year, the unit, the week, and the daily lesson.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blog Post # 5

This week's assignment, entitled Blog Post # 5 requires us to build our own Personal Learning Network (PLN). I chose to use for my PLN. This site was very easy to navigate and get started. I also found it easy to use once I got started. The first step was to create a profile. I chose the username jgarrett168, as it is it also a form of mail g-mail address. The next step was to simply click on the websites that interest me and can be useful in my PLN. I look forward to using my PLN in the future, as I feel confident it will help enhance my learning experience!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blog Post # 4

Welcome to Blog Post # 4! The purpose of this assignment is to answer the question "What do we need to know about asking questions in order to be an effective teacher?". Though this sounds confusing, it really is important to understand in order to become a more effective teacher. Teachers often use questions in order to invoke a classroom discussion. During the discussion some students will participate and others will choose not to. Choosing the right question to ask during a discussion could be key in getting those to participate that normally do not. It is also important to stay on the subject of the question and not stray from the topic. Regardless of which method is chosen, the goals of student participation and learning are always desired. The Teaching Center offers several suggestions to effective questioning. Among these suggestions are: Keep in mind your course goals, follow yes-or-no questions with additional questions, and aim for direct, clear, and specific questions. Another technique brought up by The Right Question Institute is to teach students to ask the right question. By teaching the students how to ask and answer questions properly, the learning experience is intensified. When all students participate, the learning experience is enhanced even more. Teachers should strive to ask effective questions and teach students the correct methods in order to make the learning process better for everyone involved.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Blog Post # 3

Good September, everyone! Blog Post # 3 is our EDM310 assignment due on September 7, 2014. The assignment required us to watch two videos, read a blog, and watch a slideshow. Following our completion of the videos, slideshow, and blog we were asked to write two or more paragraphs detailing what we learned from the resources provided. The first resource given was Paige Ellis' Blog Assignment #12. In Paige's blog, she brings up an interesting question dilemma. She wants to know if she should give unsolicited grammar suggestions while also commenting on the content of the blog post. She mentions that she does not want to seem offensive or pushy with her suggestions and even e-mailed Dr. Strange for advice. Based on her communication with Dr. Strange, I learned that it is ok to point out obvious grammar mistakes. To quote Dr. Strange: "Help him/her. You are going to be a teacher. Get in some practice. We are in a learning community." Two videos were also assigned to us for viewing: What is Peer Editing? and Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes. What is Peer Editing? is a more traditional approach to teaching the proper techniques to peer editing. From this video I learned the basic rules for peer editing. The most important of those rules is to stay positive. Other rules/guidelines to follow are: Give compliments, offer suggestions, and make corrections. Again, the most important thing I learned was to stay positive! In Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes a more humorous approach is taken to teaching the proper ways to complete peer reviews. The video used fifth and sixth graders to give examples of what not to do while reviewing a peer's blog. I learned in this video that different methods of peer editing can cause different reactions from peers. I also learned that I may have to alter my method of peer editing in order to fit the method of learning needed by the peer. Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial is a Power Point slide show that touches on the same principles as What is Peer Editing?. Again, the one major thing I learned was to stay positive. The second pat of the assignment is to answer the question "How can you provide meaningful feedback to your peers?" by using the resources given. Though I had an idea of how to give feedback, I still was unsure about how effective my feedback would be. I have experience in giving feedback, given my position as a shift supervisor with the Jackson Police Department. There, I had to read and review different types of reports that were submitted to me. If a report had an error on it I would simply note the error and send it back to the submitting officer for correction. The main comment I would receive back from officers would be "What does it matter?". I would then take the time to explain to them that you never know where you may see this report again. I would also ask the question "Are you fine with this report being read in open court?" The point was that if you are going to turn an assignment or report in, you need to remember that it has your name on it and most of the time it has your place of employment listed as well. The quality of the document is often times a reflection on you and your company. With that being said, there should also be effective ways to correct errors and ways to also ensure that the same errors aren't repeated over and over. While it is simple to take a red pen and mark through errors, there are better ways to correct mistakes. First, as mentioned in Paige Ellis' Blog Assignment #12 it is ok to make grammatical corrections on a document even when it is being read for content editing. As teachers, we will have a responsibility to ensure that documents we read are correct in grammar content as well. While the author of the document may not normally be receptive to grammar correction, there are ways that we as teachers can show the author its importance. I think the most important part of the peer editing process is to stay positive. Based on experience, I have found that if you approach something in a negative or demeaning manner, either of those methods will elicit a negative or defensive response. People tend to take negative comments personally and will resort to trying to defend something that they know is incorrect simply because of the way it was presented to them. An author is often proud of their work and expects it to be treated as an extension of themselves. By staying positive, it sends the message that you were interested in the document and want to see it improved even more. Along with staying positive, providing compliments also shows the author that you are interested and that he is doing a good job. It would seem that most people react positively to positive comments and compliments, so that too is also important. BY offering suggestions for improvement, the editor is letting the author know that he wants his good paper to become great. It could also mean that the editor may be familiar with the audience that the document is intended and knows that the audience would react in a more positive manner to his suggestions. The last rule is to make corrections. This rule isn't to say the editor should become the "grammar police", it simply means that errors should be noted and corrected. A writer may read his work many times and still not catch simple grammar, spelling or punctuation errors. A fresh set of eyes should always be welcome to avoid simple mistakes. Again, we are all adults and are in the same classes for the same purpose. Feedback should always be welcome from peers as it is given for the betterment of us all.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blog Post # 2

Hello everyone, and welcome to Blog Post # 2! For this assignment Dr Strange instructed our class to watch a series of videos and answer questions about them. Below are the results of the assignment. The first video was titled Professor Dancealot. "Professor Dancealot" is a short, satirical video that is set in a college dance class. In the video Professor Dancealot, the class instructor, sets out to welcome the students into the exciting world of dance. The course begins normal enough, but quickly spirals downhill as the students become less interested and more confused as the semester grows longer. Professor Dancealot demonstrates several dance steps, however, he does so while standing behind his desk. The desk shields the demonstration from the students. When one student tries to mimic and practice the dance moves he is told to sit down by Professor Dancealot. Further into the video we see the students sleeping and the class size shrink. Towards the end, Professor Dancealot tells his class that there will b an open note and open book test coming up. When the students show up to take the test, they are obviously unclear as to what to do. I feel like the central message behind the video is to show that students learn better when students are allowed to be involved in the instruction. The author makes the case for this by showing that the students had no idea what to do for their "test" at the end of the video. They were never allowed to ask questions or participate in any part of the class. I agree with the point the author makes because as a student, I learn better by being allowed to participate, ask questions, or otherwise be involved in the class. The second video is the John Strange version of Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts. Roberts shows us different ways that teaching is changing in the 21st century. His theory is outlined below: I. Ways students can find information without the aid teachers A. By reading blogs B. Social media C. Internet search engines II. Ways teachers can show students what to do with the information they find A. Validation B. Communication C. Collaboration D. Problem Solving E. How to leverage information F. How to synthesize information III.Teaching professionalism to avoid unauthorized or illegal activities A. Plagiarism B. Copyright Infringement C. Slander D. Piracy E. Confidentiality IV. Managing technological tools used by students A. Engaging the students with technology B. Avoiding entertaining in the classroom with new technology Roberts sees teaching as moving forward with the aid of technology but warns that students must be taught the proper way to use new technology. I agree with Roberts that teachers should not be afraid of any new technology, but should embrace it and use it to their advantage. I agree strongly with Roberts about teaching responsibility, caution, and the proper methods of using any new technology to students. I feel that teaching students properly will enable them to use new technology while still requiring them to think on their own and use their own ideas. The third video is entitled The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler. This video, through simple animation and narration, shows the modern student uses modern methods to achieve the ultimate goal of learning. Methods used by the student are: I. Building a network A. Assessment of information B. Validation of information II. Searching for information A. Google search engine B. Library database C. Blogs 1. Subscribe to blogs 2. Post blogs III.Sharing information A. Social bookmarking site B. Other students' bookmarking sites IV. Teacher Necessity A. Guidance B. How to build network The teacher's role in the classroom of "The Networked Student" is different from that of teachers past. The main difference is that the teacher doesn't provide the facts and basic information. Those items are found by using modern technology such as social media, blogs, and search engines. The teacher's role now is to guide the student in the right direction and provide assistance along the way. This method breaks away from the method of providing facts to the student and expecting the student to memorize them. The new method requires the student to think for himself and put forth effort in order to learn. I like this method of teaching because it requires students to learn how to research and puts an end to "spoon feeding" students. This method also enables students to prepare for the real world on a smaller scale and will eliminate the shock the student might receive otherwise. Our fourth video is from the site It is entitled "Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts" by Vicki Davis. The thesis of this video is to teach students to be thinkers. My reaction to her argument for teaching students to be thinkers is to agree 100%. I feel that in the past students expected to be "babied" and "spoon fed" without having to put forth much effort at all. In my opinion, this has caused students to become lazy and suffer from a lack of common sense. By requiring students to become thinkers, it shows them that putting forth effort can be rewarding. The fifth video is by John H. Strange and is entitled Who's Ahead in the Learning Race?. The answer to that question is simple: Elementary! I am currently an undergraduate and from what I can tell, I am far behind the elementary students at Gulf Shores Elementary School. By teaching the elementary students at such a young age to use technology, they are being prepared to succeed later in life. As an aspiring baseball coach, I was allowed to substitute article number 7 for video six. Bringing the Locker Room into the Classroom is an article written by Craig N. Owens. The primary tool I would use would be collaborative learning. Athletic practices often involve team leaders taking other players aside and working with them to succeed. The reasoning behind this is for the betterment of the team. The same principle can and should be used in the classroom for the betterment of the class. Both the classroom and an athletic team share one common goal - success!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blog Post # 1

This blog post is entitled Project 1. The purpose of this blog post is to answer a number of questions relating to EDM310.
Prior to taking EDM310 I had not spoken to anyone who had previously taken the course, so I had no idea what to expect.  Although I am somewhat proficient with computers, I was somewhat apprehensive because it has been many years since I have taken a computer course.  One of the fears I have about the course is not being able to keep up with the younger students.  The last college computer course I took was in 1997, and it was basic Microcomputer Applications.  Lots of changes in technology have been made since then!
In high school I took a computer class as an elective. We began by learning simple computer commands, computer language, and even learned about resistors. During the term, Windows 95 was released.  We then began using Microsoft Excel and Power Point as those programs were beginning to become popular.  The computer course i took when I first attended college was similar to the one I took in high school.  We had a manual and did projects throughout the manual as assignments.  In some ways, EDM310 is similar to that because we still have a manual and projects to do.  The major difference now is that it is paperless. The previous two courses focused on basic computer operation.  EDM310 expects the student to already be familiar with computers and build upon that knowledge.
If I had to pick a single most difficult thing that I will face in EDM310, it would be dedicating the 9 hours needed per week for success.  I am married and have three children, one of which is a special needs child.  I also work about 25 hours per week.  Most of the time, I work until my place of employment closes and I do not get home until 11:00 p m.  I do realize, however, that it essential to dedicate a minimum of 9 hours per week for success.  In order to do that, I will have to cut down on wasted time doing non-productive things and spend that time focusing on EDM310.
I have a general idea about EDM310, however I still have a thing or two that I am not sure of.  For instance:  What is the purpose of blogging?  What are appropriate topics to blog about?  I think the best way to answer those questions is to be thorough in my work and trust where the instructor is taking me. The first part of the journey may confusing and even scary but it will eventually lead to an exciting conclusion!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Practice Blog Post

photo of josh garrettI.  Introduction
    A.  About myself
    B.  Past career
II.  Education
    A. Why I wanted to be a teacher
    B.  Being a teacher in the 21st century

My name is Josh Garrett.  I am 36 years old.  I am married and have three children - Aubrey, 12;  Michael, 6, and Mason, 3.  I am from Jackson, AL and have lived there my whole life.  In July of 2013 i made a decision to leave my job of 16 years and pursue a different career.  I was a Sergeant, employed by Jackson Police Dept.  During my career at JPD i received multiple awards, including Officer of the Year, Life Saving Award, DUI enforcer, Drug Buster and multiple other commendations.  I was even featured in the FBI publication "Law and Order" along with my partner for our efforts in saving the life of a citizen.  I also received a Resolution passed by the Alabama House of Representatives recognizing the same incident.
During my employment at JPD I was involved with the local schools and also taught several classes at the department's Citizen Police Academy.  That is where i realized I wanted to be a teacher.
Some of my hobbies include:  Photography, playing golf, and watching sports.  I am also a Class II baseball umpire with the Alabama High School Athletic Association.  I enjoy listening to music, such as White Stripes, Nirvana, and Green Day.  My favorite tv shows are Family Guy, Deadliest Catch, and Pawn Stars.[term]=family%20guy&filters[primary]=images&filters[secondary]=videos&sort=1&o=5
I decided to attend USA because of its reputation for educating teachers and its proximity to my home.  To me, being an educator in the 21st century requires more than just creating a lesson plan and throwing facts out to students.  Now, educators must embrace new technology or the students will suffer.  Also, teaches must now take into account the individual ways each student is able to learn.  One thing i also learned from my experience as a police officer was that each student's home life affects their ability and drive to learn.  Those differences should be considered as well.



Monday, August 18, 2014

My Test Post Title

This is my First Post.  I clicked the HTML button which I should always do in EDM310.  I am now a Blogger!