Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post 16

Final Reflection

In going back and rereading my first blog post, it is clear to me now that I had so much to learn. Before taking EDM 310, I knew a decent bit about computers and technology, but I didn't have a good understanding of how to incorporate this technology into my classroom.

This semester, my eyes were opened to all of the never ending resources available through technology. I didn't know anything about podcasting, blogging, iPad applications, smart boards. After being in EDM 310, I now feel that I am familiar enough with these things that I could successfully use them in my classroom.

In my future classroom, I hope to have enough iPads that my students could each have one, or at least share them in groups of two or three. I will use iPads for research. They could use icurio to find information they needed for any project we have. I will also use iPads in centers. There are so many apps available that are educational games students could really benefit from. I also plan on using a class blog, and I plan to let my children create their own blog if they want (and with their parent's consent :) ). During center time, the students could work on their blogs, writing new posts and uploading new presentations.

Another important resource I will use in the Smart Board. I will use it to teach my lessons with. I will also use it to pull up educational YouTube videos for my students to watch. Smart boards can also be used for interactive lessons. There are smart board apps and websites I have found where the children could actively participate in my teaching. I think this is an awesome thing to use, because it gets the children involved and hopefully will keep their attention more easily. I will also allow my smart board to be a center. I will let the students use to to practice their spelling words or practice their math problems. Since the smart board has all different symbols, shapes, and multimedia objects, it is a great tool for math.

I also had NEVER thought about pod-casting before. I didn't even have a clue what it was before we had to use it in this class. I am so glad I had the chance to use it and learn about how useful it can be. It is such a useful tool for the teacher to use to communicate with students outside the classroom. It would be so helpful for me to be able to just record a pod cast of my lesson to send to student who was out sick. It is also something the students can use. They can use pod casting to tell everyone what they are learning. They could use it to summarize information they learned on a project, ask questions, and share their thoughts.

Lastly, I learned so much about iMovie. I do not own a Mac, so there is no way I would have known about all the things you can do on iMovie. I learned how to record, edit videos, and make a book trailer. I also learned that on Macs you can use iBook author to create your own book. I think this would be an awesome thing to get students into. They could use it for projects instead of just using PowerPoint or Prezi. It would be something completely different and cool for them.

I plan on using all types of technology resources available to me in my future classroom. I also plan on using project based learning. I think it is a great way for students to learn. This way, they are actually making since of the information themselves. It is much more beneficial than me standing up there, telling them everything they need to know. Over the course of the semester, the ideas I had about my future classroom have completely changed. I didn't have a clue when we first started out. Now, I have ideas stirring inside my head, and most of them include the use of technology!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Blog Post #15

Having a Great Time Teaching Mom by: Emma Boren


The iPad has a lot of great tools that can assist blind children in using it. Blind children can use the iPad due to it’s talking feedback. You can use a finger to scroll over all the icons, and it will tell you exactly what you are on and how to open it. It also talks to you while typing. There are two modes for this, standard typing mode and touch typing mode. This way, the children know what letters they are typing, and it helps them know that they are typing the right thing. It also talks to you when you have apps open. If you scan your finger across the screen it will tell you what you are clicking on. This is a useful way for these children to get the same benefits of technology as the children who are not blind. The students would still be able to interact in the classroom with the iPads and not feel left out. They would be receiving the same education. I think this an excellent tool to have in a classroom where there are special education students that are visually impaired. I would use it in my classroom!

Ipad Usage For the Blind By: Shakeya Andrews


Ipads are good tools to use in my classroom because they have what is called VoiceOver. VoiceOver is a resource that students with vision impairment and students who are deaf can use. This gives them the  opportunity to navigate through email, ibooks, itunes u, and more with just the click of a finger. Using VoiceOver on the ipad will help the student become independent. According to VoiceOver Accessibility “VoiceOver is a revolutionary screen reader that lets you know what is happening on your Multi-Touch screen and it helps you navigate even if you cannot see what is on your screen.” Voiceover is built into the ipad therefore, I will not have to worry about buying and installing this application to use on ipads in my classroom. There is also an application on ibooks called ereader that will be helpful for my students with disabilities. You can buy and read books to students to through this application. Students will be able to hear a description of items that are on their screen and from there they can choose where they want to navigate to on their ipad. Students can also use braille and international voices through VoiceOver. VoiceOver is accessible for almost any student.

Teaching Math to the Blind By: Shakeya Andrews

Instead of using the traditional method of teaching math by pencil and paper or using the whiteboard, I can use number blocks as an assistive technology tool. The blocks have braille on the back of them and the visually impaired student will be able use a barcode scanner to identify what the numbers are. All the student has to do is hold the button on the barcode scanner, then place the scanner over the block and the computer will identify what the number on the block is. Math is already a difficult subject to teach so I think it would be wise for me as the teacher to have a one on one session to teach the student math using this method.

By: Tracy Armstrong
Wikipedia defines Assistive Technology as an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process
used in selecting, locating, and using them. AT promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks.

A couple of assistive technology tools that I think will be available when we become teachers are the IPad and the EBook. Both of these tools can be used across all grade levels. Both will enhance learning for both the vision and hearing impaired student by involving them in the classroom assignments and making them feel apart of the classroom community. The IPad is equipped with  apps for communication such as voice over as well as apps for screen reading and navigating.. These features will make learning personal by enabling the students’ independence. The EBook also contains apps that can be utilized for features such as voice-over, text to speech, magnification and large text for all subject areas.

After watching The Mountbatten, we learned that the students who are identified as struggling learners rely on immediate feedback from their teachers as well as their peers.One of the best things about this type of technology is that the teacher does not need to know Braille in order to communicate with the student because the machine converts the braille text into print. The blind student is therefore able to research, explore and create on his own with the help of this assistive technology thus including him into classroom assignments.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

C4T November

I was assigned to Steven Anderson's blog Blogging About the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom

The World Innovation Summit On Education-#WISE13  

This week (October 29-October 31) I am in Doha, Qatar, attending the WISE Summit. Folks from over 100 countries are gathered to talk about what is working in education, examine current trends and discuss how countries can work better together, to provide kids everywhere a solid education.
After the amazing experience last year, there was no question I was headed back when I was asked to return. The conference is full of some of the brightest minds and best conversations.
But you don't need to head to Doha to participate. You can add your voice to the conversation no matter where you are.

First, what is WISE?

How can you get involved?

Website: Here you will find everything WISE. When the conference gets underway you will also be able to tap into what is happening at the conference.

WISE Livestreams: You don't have to be in Doha to participate. All the major sessions are livestreamed and you can add your thoughts, ideas and reflections too.

WISE Polls: The polls are simple. Pressing questions in education are raised here. MOOCs, STEM education, data gathering, and more. The questions and responses will be shared and discusses at the summit.

WISE Infographics: Who doesn't like a great infographic? The folks at WISE have created some great ones to share. Everything from how money is spent on Education from around the world to more serious issues like the number of children who are trying to get a solid education in conflict zones. These infographics can serve as a starting point for conversations and help us see education is no just something to think about at the local level, it's a global issue.

There will be lots of discussions on Twitter too. You can follow @wise_tweets or the #WISE13 hashtag.

If this year's summit is half as good as the one last year, there is sure to be some great learning and reflections happening. I hope you can join in, no matter where you are!
My Comment
Hi! My name is Emma Boren. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. As a future educator myself, I think this is an AWESOME program. I have never heard of it before, however, I will definitely be looking into it more. Thank you for sharing your experience and for sharing ways to get involved from home!
The @ASCD Arias-The 5 Minute Teacher 

Recently ASCD released several short books that are aimed at packing a big punch in a small package. Each are less that 100 pages but have loads of quality information. Over the next few posts we will look at each one to see what they are all about. Then we will give away 1 copy of each. Sound like fun? In the first post we took a look at Fostering Grit. Then we examined Teaching With Tablets and Grading and Group Work. This time we look at The 5-Minute Teacher. 

In my first few years of teaching I always felt stress on Sundays. That was the day I sat down with all my textbooks and plan books and decided on what I would teach for the week. My classes were divided into 60 min chunks. My stress came from trying to figure out how I would fill each one of those minutes. I had units and lessons I would plan I knew would take days but I didn't have days. On the flip side I had lessons I knew would take only minutes, then what would I do with the rest of the time? 

Later on I learned different methods and strategies along the way that would help alleviate some of the stress of planning (like my adoption of formative assessments among other things.) But it took me several years and trial and error to feel comfortable. 

Enter Mark Barnes and the ASCD Arias Book The 5-Minute Teacher. 

We have just a precious few moments to engage our students in learning. Mark argues that 5 minutes can make all the difference. 

Mark says it best:

"I've learned that the hard way. It's the structure of the student-centered classroom that creates a powerful, exciting learning environment that students actually enjoy. The so called five-minute teacher-who should be nearly invisible-is part of the fun...Five minutes can be the most important part of the students' day. When students are poised to learn something new, five-minutes can prepare them for experiences that open doors and open minds. The trick is making those five minutes count."

Mark goes on to offer suggestions on making those five minutes count. Like the use of video to serve as a springboard to conversation or opening class with guiding questions that get kids thinking. He also explains the concept of being a guide on the side, being a coach rather than a teacher. As Mark points out (and I agree) when you move from teacher to coach you allow for more student direction in learning. 

There is also a great section on helping teachers develop their own Toolkit of Student Driven activities. Mark offers several suggestions for technologies and platforms that can help promote student-centered learning and engage students during and after the five minutes. 

Like the other ASCD Arias books, this was a quick and easy read, full of great ideas and suggestions to turn it up a notch in the classroom. For $6.99 for the digital edition this is a great edition to any professional library. 
My Comment
Hello, my name is Emma Boren. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in EDM 310. Thank you for sharing your ideas on how to create a lesson plan. I am an elementary education major, so I will most likely be with the same students all day, for each subject. I feel like I would need to grab their attention at the beginning of each subject lesson. Any ideas on how to keep young children's attention all day long?


Blog Post #14

The blog post I would incorporate into EDM 310 would be to go sit in a classroom (appropriate to the grade/subject you want to teach) observe and write a post about how that teacher used technology in the classroom.

Blog Post 14

I hope to teach 1st or 2nd grade one day, so I sat and observed in a second grade class.

This teacher used different forms of technology. She used her smart board a lot. She also used YouTube videos, and the kids used computers for accelerated reader.

One of the subjects the teacher used her smart board for was language. She would first pull up YouTube videos on the smart board about the area of speech they were covering that day; nouns, verbs, adjective. She would let the children watch it, and then she would ask them questions about what they learned. She would then pull up lists of words for the students to identify. For example, one day, they were covering singular and plural nouns. The student called on would read the word then come up to the smart board and write whether it was singular or plural. Another activity she did was allowing the students to come to the smart board and change the singular nouns to plural.

I also observed the smart board being used for math. There would be problems on the board, and the students would come up and write the answers on the board.

During center time, the students could use the smart board to practice their spelling words. They used a program that allowed them to pull letters onto the white space. Center time also allowed the students to get on the computers to take their AR tests. Lastly, sometimes, the students were allowed to use iPads to play educational games on during center time.

While this teacher did not have a class blog, I still think I observed good use of technology. It still played a big role in her classroom, and I believe I got some good ideas to use in my future classroom.

Smartboard Part B- Derain Group

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13

Shane Koyczan by Emma Boren
Number 8 on Ken Robinson’s top 10 ted talks is Shane Koyczan’s To this day... for the bullied and beautiful. In this video, Koyczan talks about his life growing up. He says that he was bullied, and then he became who he did not want to be; a bully himself. Through this whole video, Koyczan tells his story. He tells about his dreams growing up, what he wanted to be. He says that not only was he called names but his dreams were called names too. Stupid, silly, unrealistic, and more. He wanted to be a writer, and when he was told that was unrealistic, he said he wanted to become a wrestler. That was silly they told him. This was his whole life. He lived with his grandmother who would make him porkchops when he felt sad. To Shane, porkchops were the same thing as a karate chop. His grandmother thought it was cute, but it ended up getting them into some trouble. When he fell out of a tree and bruised his whole right side, he and his family life got investigated. When asked Shane told them “my grandmother gives me karate chops when I’m sad.” When the story got out and everyone figured out what really happened, he began to get called porkchop. After telling his story, he goes into his poem. His poem is a story about three different kids who lived their lives being bullied. They are depressed, they get put on pills for their depressed and everyone around them thinks they are pill poppers. They consider suicide. They try to figure out how to be invisible, how to make it stop. This video was so eye opening to me about the issues with bullying. I knew it went on, but I never knew the extremity it went to. Shane Koyczan’s talk can teach people a lot about the way kids feel when they get bullied.

By: Tracy Armstrong
#6 on Ken Robinson's top ten ted talks
One of Sir Ken Robinson’s favorite ted talks is of Mae Jemison addressing the need to teach both the arts and science together. It amazes me that eleven years after Ms. Jemison gave that talk that we are still discussing the fact of whether we should teach art along with the sciences or not. Ms. Jemison says and science that art are manifestations of the same thing. They are avatars of human creativity. They spring from the same source. In other words, we must learn that they cannot and should not be separated. The most profound statement that Ms. Jemison said was that,” science provides understanding of a universal experience and the arts provides universal understanding of a personal experience. Both requires visions that must be put into action. They are both equally important because the actions will be builded upon by future generations. We have a responsibility to contribute to the legacy of our country. We cannot afford to fail to act for the future. We can learn from this ted talk by Ms. Mae Jemison that our understanding of the arts and sciences must be expressed and shared in order to further the growth of our nation.

By: Shakeya Andrews
In A Girl Who Demanded School Kaneya spoke about her life growing up. When she was 5 years old she found out that she was engaged and after that she spent most of her time learning how to become a good wife for her soon to be husband. Kaneya’s mother raised her while her father spent most of his time away working. When her father came around he would abuse her mother and take the money that the family had earned but he never helped his family out. Her mother did not have the opportunity to get an education, which is why she pushed her children to go after their dreams and get an education. Kaneya’s dream was to become a teacher so she worked hard while she was in school to fulfill her dreams, but she didn’t have a chance at continuing her education because she knew that she would be getting married soon. Kaneya teaches us that no matter what obstacle we face, continue to go after what we want because we can do whatever we put our mind to. Even though she did not get the chance to continue school and become a teacher when she wanted to, she still chased her dream . Kaneya asked people to help support her so that she could take a trip to America to finish her education and surprisingly people were willing to help. She persevered because she knew that she had the right to get her education. In spite of challenges kaneya was granted the opportunity to finish her education. I learned that there are four things that we must carry with us when we are trying to reach our goals. In order to reach our goals we must be the best we can be, be confident, be bold, and be fearless. Kaneya says, “If you can change your world, you can change your community” such powerful words and very encouraging.

C4K November Summary

November 10
This week I was assigned to comment on Antonio's blog. The students had to read an article about someone nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and answer the questions.

Malala Yousafzai

She has been nominated for a nobel peace prize

She is from pakistan but is living in england at the moment

Will find out at the end of october if she has W0n

Because she was fighting for education for girls in pakistan


Headline: Malala nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Summary: Malala Yousafzai has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her peace and friendliness. She's been nominated for fighting for education for girls, in Pakistan. She is from Pakistan but she's currently living in England. We will find out at the the end of october if she wins. Shes still fighting for education for girls.

Opinion and Why:
What do you think about this news and why I was very surprised that girls don’t have the same education, and how she's the youngest girl that has been nominated for the Nobel prize.

What are some questions this article has prompted that you may like to find out the answers to
How is the education like for girls in pakistan.

Antonio's Blog

My Comment

Hey Antonio! My name is Emma Boren, I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I am an education major, wanting to teach elementary school. I enjoyed reading your blog, I liked the way that you divided it into boxes to separate the sections. You did a good job at telling us who she is, and what she did. Keep up the good work. If you would like to visit my blog feel free!

November 17

This week I was assigned to comment on the blog post about Dr. and Mrs. Strange's visit to Mrs. Yollis's class on her class blog.

Dr. and Mrs. Strange Visit!

Last week, we enjoyed hosting some special classroom visitors. Dr. Strange and his wife, from Mobile, Alabama, were in our neck of the woods, and the two stopped by to say hello and spend some time learning with us.

Dr. Strange and Mrs. Yollis had never met face-to-face, but know each other through blogging.

Mrs. Yollis "met" Dr. Strange through educational blogging. He teaches at the College of Education at the University of South Alabama. His preservice class, called EDU310, helps teach new educators how to integrate technology meaningfully in the classroom.

As an educator of educators and a lifelong learner himself, Dr. Strange was interested in seeing how young students are using blogging and ipads to enhance learning.

First, we learn a little about the Alabamans. Students asked open-ended questions and our visitors responded. An open-ended question is a question that cannot be answered with a yes or a no response. Open-ended questions require more thinking and are generally more interesting.

After the introductions, the students broke up into groups. Some students worked on typing skills for five to ten minutes. Here we see a student giving a demonstration about how the AlphaSmart typing program works. Look how her fingers are exactly on the home row! Go girl!

Several groups of students were working on a project using PuppetPals Directors Cut. Although this version isn't free, the class enjoys the historic puppets and sets that come with the version.

Mrs. Yollis' Labrador retriever, Buck, is a popular PuppetPal puppet. Here students show Dr. Strange how they can use the iPad to copy the photo of Buck from our 365 Blog, import the photo into PuppetPals, and then trace around Buck to make him a talk show host puppet! Here you can see that Buck will be interviewing Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and President Lincoln. I wonder what the topic of the show will be? The PuppetPal video will be published soon!

Students who weren't creating a PuppetPal project were blogging. Some great conversations are happening in the comment sections.

Alas, it was time for Dr. Strange and Mrs. Strange to leave. We hope we meet again in person or in our blogging online community!

What did you enjoy about the visit?

What would you like Dr. Strange's teacher to know about blogging?

Mrs. Yollis's Class Blog
(The blog post also included pictures and demonstration videos throughout)

My Comment:
In my comment, I told Mrs. Yollis my name and that I was in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I told her that I was really glad they finally got to meet because Dr. Strange had told us a little bit about her class and was very impressed with her students ability to use the 21st century technology. I continued by telling Mrs. Yollis that I plan to incorporate technology, blogging, and other programs like PuppetPal into my classroom. Lastly, I thanked her for sharing the details of Dr. and Mrs. Strange's visit with us.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

PBL Lesson Plan 3

Blog Post #12

Changing Education Paradigms by Emma Boren

Ken Robinson starts off this video Changing Education Paradigms by describing education and the process of how it has changed throughout the centuries. He states that everyone, everywhere is trying to reform the public education system. Education is either economic, trying to teach kids in a way that they will find their way in the economy of the 21st century, or education is cultural; education that gives children a sense of cultural identity while encouraging the process of globalization. The problem is that we are trying to meet our future goals while doing exactly what was done in the past. This process alienates children who don’t see the purpose in school. This is becoming more common since it isn’t really necessary to have a college degree to get a good job anymore. Robinson says that the problem with the public education systems is that they are still designed for a different age of time. We need to raise the standards. Children are classified as “smart” or “not smart” based on their academic ability and this causes many brilliant people to believe they are not smart. Mr. Robinson then goes on to explain the chaos of the fictitious epidemic of ADHD. It is the modern plague he states. However, it is not really an epidemic. He states that children are too routinely medicated for ADHD. These children live in the most stimulating century, and they are being punished for their interest in the modern technology such as cell phones, computers, tv, etc, because it is distracting them for the boring aspect of school. The ADHD “epidemic” has been growing parallel with the importance on standardized testing. Robinson also states that it is shown that the further east you go through the country, the more the children are medicated to stay focused. The main victims of this epidemic are the students of the arts. Art requires aesthetic thinking, when the senses peak, but education is becoming more anaesthetic. This shuts off the sense and deadens the self to what is happening. Education is still modeled on the interests of industrialization. The schools are organized factory lines; ringing bells, separate facilities, and divided subjects. They are also dividing the kids into batches based on age. Robinson makes a great point, who is to say that age is the best way to divide these children? What about how the perform based on time of day, small groups or large groups, individually. Education is conformed to standardization, and we need to be going the opposite direction. This is what Robinson means by changing paradigm. The last thing he talks about is divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is essential to creativity. Children learn to see many different answers to the questions, and a lot of different ways to interpret the question. Divergent thinking teaches children to not think laterally. When kindergarteners were tested on their divergent thinking ability, 98% of them tested in the genus level. This number drops as children get older, thanks to the standardized way of teaching and testing. Children are taught their whole school lives that there is one answer to a question, it’s in the back of the book, but it is not okay to look at it, copy it, or talk about it. This is cheating in school. Outside of school, this would be known as collaboration. This is the direction we need to be taking our classrooms. As Robinson lastly states… “Most great learning happens in groups.”

How Schools Kill Creativity: By: Shakeya Andrews

In Mr. Robinson’s video he explains how students are not being allowed to be creative anymore. Students should have the opportunity to express themselves in the classroom without being ridiculed for failing at what they tried. He also says that creatively in education is as important as it is in literacy. Education is what will lead our children into this uncertain future that we sometimes are unable to grasp. In the video Ken says that “No one has a clue where education will take us in the next 5 years,” which is very true. However, being able to use our creativity can enhance the places we are trying to go. Mr. Robinson believes that kids will take a chance in whatever they do without being afraid of the outcome. Society is causing our students to lose their ability to be creative by placing so much emphasis on how well they succeed at attempting to be creative or do things correctly. One of Ken’s famous quotes is “I believe this passionately that we don’t grow into creativity; we grow out of it.” He firmly believes that students are born with creativity. Ken wants our society to live by Picaso’s quote which states that “All children are born as artist; the problem is to remain an artist when you grow up.” Ken also said something that I found very interesting. He said, if you’re not prepared to be wrong you’ll never come up with anything original. Students lose their excitement for being adventurous and when they reach the adult stage because they are scared to be wrong. Watch Ken Robinson explain How Schools Kill Creativity

How to Escape Education’s Death Valley: By Tracy Armstrong

After watching Ted Talk by Sir Ken Robinson, I learned that as a future educator that I should be concerned with educating the whole being of the students. The only way for this to be done is to control the climate of our classrooms by engaging the student’s curiosity, individuality and creativity. We should not just sit back and work off of the commands of conformity and predicated academic ability. According to Sir Ken Robinson, Death Valley was a hot and dry place where nothing grew until the climate was controlled. He also said that Death Valley was dormant until someone took the time to cultivate it. I think that Sir Ken was trying to tell us that in order for our students to flourish in all areas of their lives that we as educators need to give them the necessary tools to stimulate their whole being. Sir Ken also demanded us to stop leading students to believe that it is wrong to make a mistake and to instead help them to become original and prepared to make mistakes. The thought intended here is that learning takes place once the mistake is corrected.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

C4K Summary; October

October 13 
This week, I was assigned to Paige's blog A Unique Perspective on the Past, Present, and Future. She is a high-school senior. Her blog was about politics.

"This has been the first full month of AP United States Government & Politics, and our class has already covered topics ranging from the Constitution and Declaration of Independence to the conflict in Syria. One of my favorite parts of this class so far is being able learn about the political ideas and institutions that this country was founded on, how those institutions and ideas have changed over time, and how the politics of today will shape the life of tomorrow.
 Before anyone can dive into current political issues, they need to have a firm understanding of the Constitution because it sets up our government and provides laws and rights. In Unit 1, we covered the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and Federalism as well as several famous court cases such as McCulloch vs. Maryland, Gibbons vs. Ogden, etc. All of these topics and court cases were touched upon in my AP United States History class last year, but this time I was able to take my understanding deeper and more closely evaluate elements of each topic. Understanding the purpose and the significance of documents such as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence is essential because they are the basis of American government; therefore, politics today always relate back to them. Being able to read different articles, watch a variety of videos, and post in discussion boards with my classmates allowed me to gain a greater perspective and understanding of the Constitution and how it is still used today.
 I love classes that incorporate current events because it is extremely important to remain informed on what is going on in the country and in the world at the moment, and to learn about how those events relate to our lives and to our country’s current political climate. One of the very first assignments in AP US Government was to evaluate the situation in Syria regarding the United States’ involvement and to use our evaluation to form our opinion of who chooses to go to war in a democracy. The government’s response to Hurricane Katrina was also a topic of discussion during Unit 1, and even though the hurricane took place several years ago it was interesting to watch videos covering the damage and response as well as to hear what my classmates thought about the topic. Staying updated on current political news is an essential part of this class because it encourages myself and my classmates to broaden our perspectives and grow to be more aware of the events taking place around us.
 As a high school senior, I am constantly looking ahead to the future in terms of finding the right college, choosing the best career path for me, and learning new things along the way. AP Government helps me look to the future by stretching my mind to think about possible new laws and policies that would more thoroughly protect certain rights, to consider how the needs of minorities and other groups may change over time, and to think of how the gap between these groups and other Americans can be bridged so that there is no discrepancy of rights among them. AP Government has helped me tremendously to look towards the political future of America creatively as well as critically.
 Even in just the first month of class, I have realized that developing a well-rounded understanding and perspective of the political past, present, and future of the United States is definitely a goal that I plan to work on in AP US Government & Politics this year, and working towards this goal will help me inside and outside of class. I plan on majoring in political science in college and to ultimately become a lawyer, and developing a well-rounded perspective on past, present, and future politics before I leave high school will help me achieve my career goals."

My Comment
Hi! My name is Emma Boren, I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I am currently enrolled in EDM 310. Your blog post was very well written! It looks like you are on the right path. You seem very interested in your education, and I am certain that this will help you in your future. You opened my eyes as to how important it really is to know about our countries history, as well as how important it is to be up to date with what it happening now. Good luck with your future college endeavors, it seems like you will do great!! Here is a link to my blog, feel free to visit it!"

October 20
This week, I was assigned to comment on Bryan's blog, Science Blog

"I learned how to do the flash cards.It was a fun experience doing the flash cards.I learn a lot from the flash cards.It was my first time doing the flash cards. I enjoy doing them.I think doing the flash cards was a interesting thing to do.I think  projects makes science fun and a great subject to be in.You can learn a lot in science if you play attention in class.The funnest project is the flash cards.I think this is going to be the best year in science that I will have.I am looking forward for lots of fun projects this year in science.

My Comment
Hi Bryan! My name is Emma Boren, and I am currently a student at the University of South Alabama enrolled in a class called EDM 310. I have to have a blog like you do. I think you did a pretty good job with your blog! Notecards are very effective to me too. I am glad you are excited about your science class this year, that is a great attitude to have! Keep up the good work. Feel free to visit my blog anytime you want My Blog

October 27
This week I commented on Reety's blog; My Hero is my Mom.

"To  me  a   hero  is  a  person  who  is  right  beside  you  for  a   rescue.  My hero is my mom.  She saves me all the time. She is the best hero you could ever have. She always save’s me from bad trouble. When my brother hits  me she says “no honey, that is not  right  for you to do to your best and  biggest  sister.”  And when something  is  hard for me to do  she  help’s  me out. When something  is wrong and my face is up side  down she fixes it and hides my frown away. When she sees some one bullying  me she came over and said, “She is a  hero because she always is right beside me for a  rescue  and  make’s  me  feel  safe  all  the  time . Now  you  see  she is  the  best  hero  you  and  I  could  ever  have.  I will never change  my choice never ever.    She  is  wonderful  she  is  great  she is my hero see she is  my  awesome  hero now she is the best   hero  ever  in the  hole  wide world.  I love  her so  much.  You  can never ever have a hero like my hero.   She is the best hero ever."

My Comment
My comment has not been approved yet, but I believe I told Reety that my hero is my mom too! She is always there for me no matter what, and there is no better hero to have!

November 3
This week, I commented on Harley H.'s blog; Jack-o-lantern.

"Do you like carving jack – o lantern or pumpkins if you do let me tell you some things why I like carving pumpkins.i like carving pumpkins because if your parents let you you can stick your hand and get all of the . How to make a jack -o lantern first you get a pumpkin than draw a face on it and then cut it out with a carving knife and than on Halloween put a candle in it."

My Comment
Hey Harley! My name is Emma Boren, I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I always loved carving pumpkins when I was a kid! I liked to pick out all the gooey insides and the seeds. Then, I liked to pick out a face to carve in it and light it on Halloween. It was a lot of fun, and I am glad you enjoy it too!


Smart Board Presentation Part A

C4T Summary

This month I commented on John R. Sowash's blog, The Electric Educator

The first post I commented on was titled "5 Chrome Setting that will Make Teachers Smile" In this blog, Mr. Sowash stated that he had always chosen google chrome as his main browser. He said it is an awesome browser for the classroom, and then he continued by giving five tips or tricks to get the most out of using google chrome. 

This five things include: 
"1. Launch Tabs on Startup
Most of us spend the majority of our time on the Internet on the same 3-5 websites. For me, it's Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar - my productivity essentials.

You can ask Google chrome to automatically load your favorite websites each time you start Chrome. No need to manually visit these pages. Open Chrome and you're ready to go!

To enable this feature: Settings > Show Advanced Settings > On Startup
Tip 1: Don't auto-load too many pages! I recommend you keep it at three or less!

Tip 2: If you use Chromebooks in your classroom with students, you can set which pages load when a student logs on to their Chromebook. This feature is controlled from within the Google Apps dashboard so you'll want to make your IT director a pan of brownies and ask him to turn it on.

2. Bookmark Sync
Teacher love bookmarking pages. Now you can synchronize your bookmarks across Chrome! You can use Chrome on your PC, Mac, Chromebook, iPhone or Android tablet. As long as you sign in to chrome, your book marks will be there when you need them!

You must sign in to Chrome to enable this feature: Settings > Sign in to Chrome. Make sure you check the box for "bookmarks". You can adjust your Chrome sync settings at any time by going to Settings > Users > Advance Sync Settings
3. Tab Sync
Have you ever pulled up a web page on your home computer, gone in to the office and wished you could remember the web address of the page back at home? With tab sync, you can view any open tab on any of your devices and open them with a single click. Pull up a map on your laptop, jump in the car and open up the map on your phone!

You must sign in to Chrome to enable this feature: Settings > Sign in to Chrome. Make sure you check the box for "open tabs". You must repeat these steps on every device you wish to use the tab sync feature. 
After enabling tab sync, when you open a new tab in Chrome, you will see an option for "other devices" where all of your open tabs will be displayed. The screen shot below is from an iPhone, showing tabs on several other devices.

4. Zoom
When you are projecting something in class and you want to highlight a specific area of the screen you can use the keyboard shortcut ctrl and + to zoom in. When you are ready to zoom back out, use ctrl and - or ctrl and 0.

Nothing to enable here! Just use ctrl and +/- to zoom in and out! 
5. Settings Search
Do you need to reset your pass-phrase, adjust your trackpad sensitivity or delete an extension? Don't worry about remember where that button is, just search for it! Chrome user settings can be quickly searched. It makes adjusting settings super easy!

Nothing to enable here! Just go into settings and look for the search box!"

In my comment to Mr. Sowash, I told him who I was and that I was a student in EDM 310. I also told him that I found his blog post to be very helpful. I continued by saying the most helpful to me was the launch tabs tip because each time I use Chrome, I do go to the same websites each time: the class blog, my blog, and google drive. It would be great if they would automatically open each time. I ended by thanking him for sharing all of these great tips, and I gave him a link to my blog so he could check it out!

The second post I read was titled "Cleaning Up YouTube for your Classroom."

"Video is a powerful teaching tool. As the largest online video repository, YouTube is a popular destination for video clips however YouTube is blocked at many schools and teachers are often hesitant to use YouTube because of easy access to inappropriate content and the unpredictability of when inappropriate content can appear. The good news, is that there are ways to safely and effectively use YouTube in your classroom! Here are some tips and suggestions.

Option 1: Don't use YouTube.comInstead of directing students to YouTube where they could potentially get into trouble, embed videos into your class blog or website. Embedding video avoids inappropriate comments and related videos which regularly appear on It will require some additional work on the part of the teacher to find and embed the videos on a class website, but if the videos are good, it's worth the effort! 

Tip: Utilize Playlists
Playlists help you curate content as you find it. Playlists can be easily shared with students or embedded in your blog or web page, like the example below.

Tip: Instructions: How to embed a playlist.

Tip: Disable Related Videos
Google provides users with the option to exclude problematic "related videos" from displaying after a video finishes. Simply check the "do not show related videos" box when sharing a video.

Option 2: Use YouTube for Schools
YouTube for Schools is a special version of YouTube that only allows students to view selected videos. YouTube for schools must be enabled by a school network administrator.

Setting up YouTube for Schools 30 min. overview of YouTube for Schools
Become a Video Curator - Create Your Own YouTube Chanel
Creating your own YouTube channel allows you to upload your own video content, favorite videos and create playlists. These features are helpful and important if you plan on showing video clips in your classroom or embedding clips into your class blog or wiki. 

Examples of Teacher YouTube Channels
Create a Class Chanel
A Class YouTube Chanel can be used to highlight student work. You will need an email address that is NOT currently associated with a YouTube channel in order to setup a class channel. Students LOVE seeing their work online and can easily share their work with others. Creating a class channel avoids the problems that can arise if you ask students to create their own YouTube channel.

Examples of Class YouTube Channels:

Additional Resources: 

  • YouTube for Teachers - A site designed to help teachers learn how to incorporate video effectively into the classroom. 
  • YouTube EDU - Educational content from a variety of content providers such as Khan Academy, Universities, TED, and Discovery Education. Note: the content of Youtube EDU is what students with access to YouTube for Schools will see. 
  • Harnessing the Power of YouTube - A 30 min. presentation by classroom teacher James Sanders on how he has incorporated YouTube into his classroom."
In my comment to Mr. Sowash, I again stated who I was, and thanked him for sharing these tips on making YouTube safer. I told him that it especially helpful to me as a future teacher. YouTube has a ton of great education videos, but it is also risky because of all the inappropriate things that are out there. I stated that I thought embedding the videos on a class blog or website was a great idea to ensure that the students only see the videos that we intended them to see.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Blog Post #11

For this post, I watches Ms. Cassidy's skype interviews. In these interviews, she explains the ways that she uses technology in her classroom. I enjoyed these because it showed me ways to incorporate all of the things that we have been learning into a real life class. She had a lot of great ideas. Ms. Cassidy uses a webpage, a class blog, and wikis to teach with technology. She adds all of these things into her curriculum. Each of her students has their own blog where they can write posts and post pictures of their work. I think this is a really good way for parents to keep up with what their children are working on in school. With this, she always ensures these children's protection. She sends out a letter at the beginning of the year to let the parents know that the students work will be posted online. She also gives a few tips on ways to keep the children safe, such as, only using first names and not posting pictures of the children with their names attached. Ms. Cassidy also took the time to answer some questions. She gave great ideas about how to use blogs and wiki even in PE classes. She told the boy that a blog could be used to keep parents informed of practice times if they were to change, and it could also be used to keep everyone up to date on the team stats. In all classrooms, however, a class blog is an excellent way of keeping the parents informed of what is going on in the class. This can be a useful way of letting them know what is being worked on in each subject, and what the children's homework is, so they can help their kids with it. I plan to have a class blog for my class. I think it is the best way of communicating with the students and their parents. I also think it is a great opportunity for the kids to have the chance to post their thoughts and work for the world to see. I believe it will help with their reading and writing skills, and it is a good way to open up doors for different relationships with all kinds of people. They will hear feedback on their work. However, I will want to send home a letter at the beginning of the year to get the parents permission because some may not be comfortable with their children using the internet. I am glad these interviews were assigned for us to watch because Ms. Cassidy has been doing it for a long time, and she let us know that we aren't just going through this class for no reason. All of these tools are very useful in the classroom!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blog Post #10

When I first began this assignment, I was not excited to see how long this video was. However, after watching it, I am so glad we did. Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Melon University. Prior to giving this talk "The Last Lecture" he found out he had cancer, and he was only going to live another 4-6 months.

In this video Pausch talks about his childhood dreams. These included experiencing zero gravity, developing rides at Disney World, being Captain Kirk, being an author in the World Book Encyclopedia, and playing in the NFL. He then goes on to tell us short stories about each of these dreams, and how he succeeded to meet or fail at them. He states that there are brick walls for a reason. They are there to show us how much we really want something. While trying to accomplish his goal of being in the NFL, he learned of something called head fake. His coach put them on the football field to practice without a ball. When asked why, his coach told them it was because they were going to work on what the 21 people without the ball are suppose to do. This became a very important aspect of Pausch's teaching.

Paucsh used "head fake" as a way of teaching his students indirectly. His main project is Alice, a way of teaching computer programming. His students think they are just learning how to make video games and movies, but really they are learning much more. However, he did not tell us what exactly. We will have to wait for the next version of Alice. This is part of his never-ending desire for fun learning. It is important for the kids to have fun while being taught.

Pausch went of to explain how the many influential people in his life helped him reach his goals and get to where he is today.

His lecture points out how important it is to work hard, stay loyal, never give up, and receive feedback with understanding that those people are trying to make you better.

The last curve ball he threw was at the end of the lecture. He surprises everyone stating that the lecture was not meant for the audience, but that it was all the things he wanted his own children to know.

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture was very powerful and very inspirational. I am very glad I got the chance to watch it. It will really make you think about what your dreams and goals are, and how you should achieve them.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

Blog Post #9 - By: Shakeya Andrews, Tracy Armstrong, and Emma Boren 
What can we learn from these teachers? 

Back to the future 
We learned that there are many teaching styles that we can use to help students. In ”Back to the future,” the students in the video were in the 4th, 5th, and 6th, grade and they lived in poverty. The teacher realized that the students were not very knowledgeable of where they lived and their phone number after giving them a survey. Brian revealed in his survey that the students lacked knowledge by no fault of their own but because of the narrow curriculum. Even though the students lived in poverty, there were still opportunities for the students to receive a valuable education, which was proved in Brian’s video. As future educators we should know that not all of our students will have knowledge of the things that they should know that’s why It is important to allow our students to be creative in the classroom and to be interactive with each other. When we allow students to interact with other students they will be able to think on their own and share common thoughts. In the class the students learned to create by hands on experiment which is what we plan to do in our classroom. We also learned that students can be empowered and motivated when collaborating on their own. 

It seems that a good teacher is one who empowers, motivates and includes every student in the learning process. We learned that as future educators it is important to use various tools and resources that will spark imagination and creativity to build passion among our students. Brian used tools such as skype, class blogs, and videos to connect his students globally, to gain an audience, and even to include the students sick classmates in the learning environment. The requirements of the ACCRS were met when students tied into a learning network with a school in New Zealand and shared what they learned through reading and writing. Also, students invited their community and inspired other students around the world by blogging about their “high hopes.” By watching the video our group learned that students can benefit from real world experiences like the students in Brian’s video did when Brian brought in an engineering graduate student to talk and work with them. The students were engaged by actively building a boxcar of their own. One of the most important lessons we learned from this video was once students were given the opportunity to build schema for the world, they were empowered and motivated to teach other students. as we so eloquently witnessed through the teaching of the can crushing method to other students by Brian’s students via skype. 
Back to the Future 

Blended Learning Cycle 
There are 5 E’s to learning science, which are engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. The five E’s can be blended with online resources and classroom instruction. The video instructs us that it’s okay to stop and make sure we have an understanding of what is going on. In fact, the teacher says he doesn’t allow his students to go on to the next level until he is sure that they can summarize and understand what they have learned. He doesn’t encourage burp back education and neither should we. We want our students to be able to take what they have learned and apply it to daily experiences. 

Mobile, online, and classroom learning blended together is Paul Andersen’s definition of The Blended Learning Cycle. Two things were presented in this video. One was the power of the question and the other was the power of learning. Andersen explained that learning begins with a question that really gets the students attention. He went on the explain the acronym, “QUIVERS.” “QU” is for the question or the the hook to begin the learning process. “I” is for the investigation or experiment that the class will conduct. It also stands for inquiry. “V” is for the use of videos in place of lectures. “E” is for elaboration through reading the textbook in order to gain more depth and to practice problems. “R” is for review of the lesson by meeting with each student individually to ask them question to test their understanding. Last but not least is “S,” which stands for summary quiz. We also learned that another tool that can be used to teach students it live data.
Blended Learning Cycle

Making Thinking Visible 
After completing assignments students worked in small groups to talk about what they learned in a previous lesson. We learned that we should ask questions that will challenge our students after they have done a project. The students seemed to be more interested and involved when they were asked to think about what they did in the previous lesson and it also helped the teacher know who was really involved in what they were learning. 

In Mark Church’s video, Making Thinking Visible,” we learned about the power of collaboration. It seems like this works best when students work together in small groups. The students were able to come up with their headline by bouncing ideas off one another through brainstorming. 
Making Thinking Visible

Sunday, October 13, 2013

C4T Summary

Connect Educators
This week I comment on a blog post by Kevin Bennett, Connect Educators: Putting Aside Politics for Practice. His post was about the negative feedback teachers can get from the press, or from outside people in general. He states that it is important to stay focused on our job at hand because we shape children's lives, and it is the only K-12 experience that they will ever get. He says that there are three ways for teachers to get connected and feel empowered. These three things are to join a professional learning community, go beyond your profession, and keep moving forward. These three things will help you to get new ideas from other people in the teaching profession, nourish your soul and help you make a commitment with yourself, and help you find ways to step out and push forward.

In my response I told him who I was and that I was an education student at South Alabama. I thanked him for his insightful post. I think it is a great thing for future teachers to read, as well as present teachers, because it gives you a good outlook on our profession. I do think it is important to stay focused on the children because like he said it is their only chance!

Science Notebooks
The other teacher blog I commented on was by Jane Fung. This blog was about way to make the kids "think like scientists". Ms. Fung uses notebooks with her children keep up with their information and become more complex thinkers. She uses hers for science. She gave us tips on four different ways to use these science notebooks. The first was to get students to use them as reference sheets. This just means getting students to copy down a definition or a diagram or pictures to use for later reference. The next way is for recording discoveries. This means that the students will write down there own understanding of different concepts. The third way is to capture evidence of learning or understanding. This means the teacher checks the students notebooks to see if they are understanding. The last way to use these notebooks is to watch the students progress over the year. This just means that at the end of the year, you can go back to the beginning and see how much the child grew with their entries throughout the year. Ms. Hung thinks that this science notebooks are very powerful resources in the classroom. Read her blog on the Teacher Channel, Ms. Jane Fung.

In my response,  I told her that I was majoring in education. I also told her that I thought this was a wonderful idea. I think it is a great idea for science, and I think that it could be incorporated into other subjects also! I told her that I hoped to use this idea in my classroom when I have one because I thought it would be very helpful to the children.