Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Comments for Teachers Week 10 and 12

At the Teacher's Desk is a blog where teachers collaborate and post things that they are important. Like the post How to Get (and Keep) More Visitors where Mr. C gives advice on how to increase your number of views. His advice is really simple:1. Hits add up 2. Post regularly 3. Use words in your title that are specific and that people often google 4. Comment on other blogs.

Another use of the blog is its a place where teachers can voice their concerns. Like the blog How do I know I am not just being selfish? Mr. C expresses his fears that he is just pushing technology on to others because he is interested. He feels that he is more excited about the technology than his students. The good thing about this blog is his fears don't just sit there.

Other teachers read his posts and tell him their opinion which can help him in his teaching. I think blogs like this are a good idea. Not only are the teachers sharing what they have found to be useful but they also create a support group. A teacher knows they are there and if they need help or advice on something they have a handful of teachers a click away.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Week 12

Dear Kaia

Mr. Jabiz, a teacher in Qatar, simply posted the simple photo essay that his daughter, Kaia, made. It was basically her telling about what she took pictures of while walking outside with her father. From this simple post, they have gotten attention from around the world. Mr. Chamberlain was one of the first to comment on Kaia's blog.

I think this is a stroke of luck. Each thing that happened was by chance but it was a good thing. This little girl is growing up with the world at her fingers and probably doesn't even know it. She thinks it is just fun and games and gets to have new friends from everywhere. I hope she continues to post on her blog, making comments, and just having an opinion to share with the world.

I can use Mr. Jabiz's and Mr. Chamberlain's example and encourage students to (safely) put themselves out there and meet other students from around the world. They say that americans have problems with diversity but noone is really doing anything about it. Why not just allow them to talk with kids from different countries whos culture is so completely different from their own.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Week 10

An Open Letter To Educators: by Dan Brown

I believe it is safe to asssume that almost every college student has had the same attitude and/or experiences as Morgan Bayda at one point in his or her college career. Universities charge entirely way too much money for information I can find for free online! I use my free resources for everyone of my classes! I can even use these resources to get ahead of my teachers lectures! So whats the point? If I can teach myself what I want to know, or what I have to know for a particular job field, whats the point in paying a University thousands of dollars just to sit through an agonizing class where a professor shovels facts down my throat? It's a very well known fact that most jobs out there will teach you what you need to know in order to do well at that particular job. All a college degree does is help get your foot in the door so that you can learn how to do the job you are hired to do. Realistically, college seems almost pointless. ALMOST...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week 9


Alabama has a program called ACCESS distance learning. The purpose of this program is to make scarce resources available to any student in Alabama through technology. (example given was if a student wanted to learn Chinese but his school didn't offer it. He could use the online distance learning to take his Chinese course.) By all students having access to all the same resources and classes it evens the playing field and allows all students to get the best. This program not only gives students access to material they wouldnt otherwise get but it helps teachers also.

The Access program gave out 70 grants to highschools to bring in distance learning into the classroom. A distance learning classroom gets:Codec (A codec is technology for compressing and decompressing data),Cameras, Monitors and/or projectors, Interactive whiteboard (interactive, portable, wireless electronic boards), 25 tablet computers (minimum), Wireless port or router, Installation, on-site service, warranty, technical support, and equipment training and equipment manuals, Professional Development/ Specialized Training. The current goal of Access is to provide a distance learning classroom for every high school in Alabama.

Part of the ACCESS program is ALEX(Alabama Learning Exchange). ALEX is an online resource that allows teachers to store, share, or borrow lesson plans. One of the features is that when you submit a lesson plan it is put of for reviewing. Viewers can critique your lesson plan but can only grade it by the websites criteria. When they say something is wrong with your lesson plan they have to put a comment of why its not perfect and ways to make it better. Also on their website is links to a list of websites that the Department of Education thinks is important. ( websites that provide professional development opportunities, teaching and learning tools, latest news, or best practices)

To me, it seems like Alabama is trying to give students, as well as teachers, all the resources it can. Not only are they giving you ways to further your knowledge but they are making the classroom more technology centered. Making classrooms more technological will help Alabama produce more tech. literate students. There is no way to get around technology so merging it is the best thing. If you can't beat them, Join them.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week 8

Achieving Childhood Dreams

I watched Randy Pausch 's lecture called Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. Pausch is a computer programmer who talks about the importance of achieving your childhood dreams. He doesn't want you to just stop there, Pausch wants you to help others achieve their dreams as well.
Pausch began his lecture in an odd way by saying that he has liver cancer and is going to die, but also says for us not to feel sorry for him. He continues telling you about the child hood dreams he had, which include; playing in the NFL, playing in zero gravity, being Captain Kirk, and being a Disney Imagineer. The first section of his lecture is him describing to the audience how he achieved all his dreams. He ran into walls, but he says that walls are there for a reason; they let us prove how badly we want things. If everything we wanted was just handed to us we wouldn't appreciate the things we do achieve. Now where's the fun in that?
The next part to Pausch's lecture was about how you can help others achieve their dreams. He told about when he first started his course called building virtual worlds. When the students turned in their first projects he was blown away and didn't know what to do next. He called his mentor and he told Pausch to just say that they can do better. Pausch said this was the best advice. That he couldn't put a bar for the students to reach because he didn't know how high they could go. If someone tells you that you can do better your more likely to try even harder and will do more than you ever thought possible.
The last part to Pausch's lecture was Lessons Learned. He went through and listed all the little things that are important. Some of these were: never lose the child like wonder, get people to help you, tell the truth, respect authority while questioning it, be earnest, apologize, focus on others, find the best in everyone no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it.
At first I thought this lecture was way too long, but in the end I'm glad i watched it. It is very inspirational. He was able to accomplish everything he wanted as well as paved the way for others to do the same. I hope I can say the same one day...