Sunday, April 29, 2012

Final Report on PLN

Wordle of tools to use for your PLN

My Personal Learning Network a list of tools and people to assist me in acquiring the skills to become a professional educator. It is made up of classmates, teachers, and others that I have collaborated with for assistance. I am also using tools like Symbaloo, Facebook, and Twitter. Twitter is one way that I am gathering a list of people to help me in my growth as a professional educator. Facebook is another tool that I have developed a list of people. C4T has also helped me create a list of people to add to my PLN.I have a list of teachers from my previous college that I attended that I have called upon for guidance, even some of my son's teachers have guided me. Since I have been attending EDM 310 I have been learning about the tools that are available through technology that can be a part of my network. I am still in the process of developing my PLN and I know that it will grow and change over time.

Blog Post # 13

No Media sign

Engage in an E-Media Fast

This is a very tough assignment. We are tasked with the challenge of not using any electronic (powered by electricity or batteries) entertainment or communications devices for 24 consecutive hours. If you break the activity by using a banned device, you have to start the activity over again. After the third attempt you are to write about your outcome of the activity. This was very hard because I depend on media devices for school as well as my family.

First of all I am taking an online course this semester as well as three other classes that consist of online applications such as lecture notes, homework assignments, study guides, announcements, special assignments, and grades. In addition I use an audio recorder in all of my classes except for EDM310. At home I am taking care of my father who has health issues and we have a young child so I depend on my cell phone to stay in contact with my wife, sister, and my father. After a long day of work and school I like to relax and unwind by watching TV for 1 to 2 hours before going to bed. This assignment has made me realize how important and how dependent we are on technology. It is not only a luxury it is essential to our daily lives. I don't know how many times I have been told by an agency or business that they have shut down operations temporarily due to computer issues. We now live in a world dependent on technology.

Technology is advancing at an alarming rate. It seems like everyday there is some new device or app that brings another level of advancement to the world of media. A few years from now, when I enter the classroom my students will arrive having lived a life filled with media their entire life. They will not even no what life was like ten or twenty years ago. They will probably be more skilled in the use of technology than I am. It will be crucial that I keep them engaged in the learning process, by using lesson plans that are both interesting and challenging.

media in the classroom

Friday, April 27, 2012

Project #13 Progress Report

Work in progress sign

My group consists of myself, Tina Smith and LaShunda Barnes. We haven't decided on a final project yet. We haven't discussed it because we have been so focused on the Smart board Project 15. My group and I have met via google chat, skype, face time, and oovoo. We had a hard time with the video chat on skype, we could hear one another (sometimes) but couldn't see one another. So we tried face time, and couldn't figure out how to group chat. Lashunda Barnes found oovoo, and so far it seems the most user friendly. After looking at the Mobile County Pacing Guide we decided on 2nd Grade math for Project 15. We used the Smart Board for our lesson. Now that we have completed Project 15 we are ready to begin working on our final project.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

C4T #4

Alfred Ngaro

High Achievers

My Comments For Teachers #4 assignment was to comment on Dorothy Burt's blog. For my first week I read her post titled High Achievers
In her post she discusses how Alfred Ngaro became the first Cook Island member of parliament in NZ. Mr. Ngaro is a local school parent and a Board of Trustee member for the Manaiakalani school. I agree with Mr Ngaro's views that learning and mentoring deserve our greatest focus. Children are our future. We must help them to learn the skills that they will need to keep mankind moving forward. Teachers must be mentors, coaches, leaders, and motivators. The support needs to come from parents, teachers, and administrators. I have included a video of Alfred Ngaro's acceptance speech to the New Zealand parliament.

Since I started taking an educational media class I have learned how important technology is to education. In addition, I have also learned how important mentoring, guiding, and leading is to education. I Thanked Ms. Burt for sharing her ideas and knowledge. I also told her that I look forward to reading her blog again and will share my comments on my blog.

Below are my comments to Ms. Burt:
My name is James Dunnam , I am a Secondary Education Student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I was assigned to read your blog again this month. I have enjoyed reading your posts.Thank you for letting me read your blog. I want to congratulate the Manaiakalani Schools for having one of their own to become the first Cook Island member of parliament in NZ. Mr. Ngaro gave a very good speech. I agree with his views that learning and mentoring deserve our greatest focus. Since I started taking an educational media class I have learned how important technology is to education. In addition, I have also learned how important mentoring, guiding, and leading is to education. Thanks for sharing your ideas and knowledge. I look forward to reading your blog again and will share my comments on my blog.

My Comments For Teachers #4 assignment for the second week was to comment on Ms. Paige Vitulli's blog. She is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of South Alabama. Her lastest post was titled:Edu-301-Birds-Inspired-by-John-James Audubon. She did a follow-up to a Mobile Museum of Art field trip that she did with her students. She assigned her students an art project. They had to draw a bird of their choice using only white drawing paper and traditional crayons. I thought that the results were excellent. Below are my comments to Paige Vitulli.

My name is James Dunnam , I am a Secondary Education Student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. Thank you for letting me read your blog. I really enjoyed reading about your follow-up to the Mobile Museum of Art field trip. I visited the museum last year while taking an Art Appreciation class. I thought the museum was very interesting and informative. I believe that I really appreciated the visit more because of what I had learned while taking the art class.

I think that you gave your students an excellent assignment and they all did a very good job. I think your post was great. You included a complete list of the directions that were given to your students. I also enjoyed looking at the links that you included. I am an avid hunter and enjoy the great outdoors. I really like the works of John James Audubon. Most of all, I thought your photo album with all the student's drawings were really exceptional. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts - Special Post #12A.

Elspeth Bishop

1. Do schools in the United States systematically destroy (or inhibit) the development of curiosity and/or creativity in students?

Yes we are too concerned with students memorizing information to pass standard tests. They are soaking in information, but they are not doing anything with the information. So eventually they forget the majority of what they have learned. They are rewarded with good grades when they do well on the tests and then they move on to the next set of tests. They are not allowed to explore and come up with their own ideas and opinions. As preschoolers we are taught not to color outside of the lines. Students are not challenged to apply what they have learned to solving problems or making something worthwhile.

2. Can a curriculum be developed that increases the curiosity of students?

Yes, the curriculum should consist of things they can relate to in their daily lives. Ideas that they are interested in or could help with challenges that they face in school or at home. Incorporating games or other technology could really spark their interest.

3. Can a teacher's actions increase the curiosity of students?

Yes, by challenging, motivating, and promoting class participation and collaboration.

4. Can a curriculum be developed that increases the creativity of students?

Project-based learning would be the key component to the curriculum. Instead of the teacher giving the student information to absorb, the student is actually performing a task. By doing a hands on type assignment the student will be more engaged in the learning process. The student will also retain more knowledge and will be better prepared for the future.

5. What would help you become more creative?
What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process?

By given me a challenge or a project to complete using unconditional methods. EDM310 has been a challenge. It has not been like any other class that I have taken. I have communicated and collaborated with other students. I have had an audience of my peers, other teachers and even kids. Instead of teachers telling students how something works they should let their students demonstrate how something works. By doing so, they will have a better understanding and will remember what they have learned. They will then be able to teach someone else.

6. What would help you become more curious?
What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process?

Teachers can help student become more curious by making their lessons fun. They can find what their students interests are. They can help them relate to what they are learning and how it can be applied to the real world. They can encourage them to explore and try to look beyond the surface and try to figure out what lies beneath.


Blog Post # 12


Are You Sure That You Want to Be A Teacher?

I think teaching is a very important job. Not everyone should be a teacher. To be an effective teacher, you must have a strong desire to inspire. I know several people who have studied to be a teacher and then gave up teaching after a year or two. I also know several teachers who are not really happy with their job. However, I also know several teachers who love their job.

I believe all education students should make sure that they really want to be a teacher. They should understand all the challenges that they will face as a teacher. Such as, lack of resources, funding issues, discipline issues, support from parents, and students that do not want to learn.

I think that Dr.Strange should create a blog post assignment requiring each education student to interview a teacher that they really like. The interview should consist of the following questions.

1. They should ask the teachers about any question or concerns that they have about becoming a teacher.

2. They should ask what led them to be a teacher.

3. They should ask what do they like about being a teacher.

4. They should ask what do they not like about being a teacher.

5. They should ask what are the requirements to be a teacher.

6. Then give a summary of the interview and your feelings about what you have learned.

Interview with Tara DuBose

Today I met with Ms Tara DuBose, she is an elementary school teacher at St.Elmo Elementary. She was my son's first grade teacher. My wife and I developed a good relationship with Ms. DuBose and we both think that she is a great teacher. We discussed her career as a school teacher. I asked her the following questions;

1. What led you to become a school teacher?

Her answer was I decided to become a teacher for several reasons, I love children and education is a top priority of mine. I also want to take a personal interest in students to enhance their chances for success. I understand that family sometimes affects a child's performance, so I often assist parents areas of need. I am truly interested in the whole child. Their physical, mental and emotional needs. I want my students to know that I have their best interest at heart and I will always be there for them. It lets me know in uncertain terms that I belong to them and that my job is to be there for them.

2. What do you like about this job?

Her answer was,of course you know it's the children. I love watching helping and developing the growth of children. I like seeing the look in the children eyes when they understand what they're doing. Teaching children how to read especially phonics, phoneme awareness, fluency, and comprehensions and vocabulary, in math I love watching my babies add and subtract and use logic reasoning in problem solving. It's wonderful when I know I had a helping hand developing the minds that shape our country.

3. What do you not like about this job?

Her answer was I don't like the politics and bureaucracy that come with the job. I would like the decision makers to ask the teachers their opinions when it comes to things that affects us. Also, over the years the amount of paper work has increased tremendously which makes it next to impossible to do our job effectively.

4. What kind of work experience do I need?

Her answer was, you need to be well organized and the experience will come over time. However, patience is important when it comes to children. You also need great classroom management.

5. What is the salary range? Her answer was it is low and it varies depending on how many degrees that you have earned.

I really enjoyed the talk with Ms. Dubose. I think teaching would be a rewarding career. Not rewarding in terms of a salary. Rewarding in terms of making a difference in a child's life.

Friday, April 20, 2012

C4K Summary for April

Jeff's Blog

This month we participated in the Student World Blog Challenge. We blogged with students all over the world. It is amazing how well these young kids are using technology in their schools. I think that blogging is a great tool for learning. My first week I was assigned to Jeff. He wrote a very good post that addresses some of the issues of water pollution. This is a link to his post Water Pollution

Below are my comments to Jeff:

My name is James Dunnam , I am a Secondary Education Student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I live in Mobile, AL. Thank you for letting me read your blog. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I have a blog as well in my class. I have included a link to my blog. You are welcome to view my blog. I have retired from the US Coast Guard and now I am studying to be Social Science teacher. I did not even know what a blog was until I started EDM 310. I am amazed at how many students like yourself are blogging all over the world.
You did a great job on your post about water pollution. I learned a lot of interesting facts. I never knew that 90% of the world’s diseases are caused by unsafe drinking water. It is really sad that
5000 children die every day due to water related diseases. You really enhanced your post by providing links to websites relating to water pollution. I am inspired by your desire to try to help those in need of safe drinking water.
I like your quote from the movie "Rocky" on your main page. Rocky was one of my all time favorite movies. I see that you play basketball. I have a son who plays basketball, baseball, and soccer. Maybe you can write about the game of basketball. I look forward to reading your blog again. You are doing a great job. Keep up the good work!

Picture of a baseball

My second assignment was Jeff again. This is a link to his post on Baseball.

Below are my comments to Jeff.

Hello Jeff,

It's James again. When I was a kid the game of baseball was my favorite sport as well. I played in Little League and Dizzy Dean for six years. What position to you play? Now that I am older I'm more interested in football. I have a son who plays basketball, baseball, and soccer. I think his favorite is basketball. We have a lot of fun at his games. I see that you also play basketball and soccer. I would like to read about your experiences with other sports. I look forward to reading your blog again. You are doing a great job. Keep up the good work!


Room 9 Pt England School 2012

Vinolia's English Mihi

My final C4K assignment was Ms. Priscilla Lavakula's class. She teaches at Pt. England school in New Zealand. The name of the student I was assigned to was Vinolia and she is seven years old. This is a link to her blog Vinolia's English Mihi.She made a personal profile video. Below are my comments to Vinolia.

Hello Vinolia,

My name is James Dunnam , I am a Secondary Education Student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. He is teaching us how to use blogs. I have enjoyed reading your class blog and I am amazed how well you and your classmates are doing at Pt. England school. I watched your personal profile video. I see that you are seven years old. I have a son who is seven years old. His name is Cameron and his favorite color is blue. You said that your favorite food is Burger King. When I was in high school I worked at a Burger King store in Alabama. It's sounds like you have a wonderful family. I would like to know more about New Zealand. Maybe you can write a post about where you live. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. You are doing a great job. Keep up the good work!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Post #11

Picture of Kathy Cassisy

Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher in Moose Jaw, Canada. She made a video of her class titled:Little Kids...Big Potential. Her video was amazing. The first graders in the video were demonstrating their technological skills. They were blogging, using the SMARTBoard, the internet and Skype. I was amazed how advanced they were at such a young age. In the second video titled: Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy she admits using some of her students from the year before, but it's still amazing even for second graders. In the video Dr. Strange and some EDM310 students do a Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy. They ask her questions about her ideas and beliefs on using technology in the classroom. She discusses how she first started out with a website about ten years ago. She continued to develop more and more applications with her class and started blogging with her class about 4 years ago.

She discusses how the parents like her techniques and how much the students enjoy using all the tools of technology. The students like the fact that they have an audience when writing their blogs. They really like it when they receive comments on their post. They are engaged and having fun. The blogging improves their communication and writing skills. She also mentions the fact that technology is here to stay and to be an effective teacher you are going to have to become technologically literate.

Ms. Cassidy is great example of a 21st century teacher. What techniques of hers would I use in my classroom? I would definitely want to use Blogs in the classroom. I think that it is a very powerful tool for learning and collaborating. Blogging would improve writing and communication skills. Blogging would also allow students to learn and share ideas from other students. I think it would also help them to analyze information. I also think that incorporating multi-media into my lesson plans would enhance the learning environment. I would also encourage my students to use the internet for the unlimited amount of resources. The world has changed and it is not the same as it was when I went to school. I think students need to be able to analyze, critique, explore, create, and understand how to apply knowledge to the real world.

Some problems that I might face would be support from other teachers and administrators. If I didn't get the support I would try to demonstrate the effectiveness of all the tools available. My goal is to be technologically literate so that I will be able to demonstrate the benefits of technology. I know that Mobile County Public Schools already have computers and SMARTBoards so there are some tools in place. The challenge will be to make use of all available tools to the fullest extent. Also to keep learning and applying technology to keep moving forward. In turn we will enable our students to reach their full potential.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Blog Post #10

The word Inspire written in sand

Do you Teach or Do you Educate?

Overall I thought that this was a good video. It was inspiring and had some great sound and visual effects. However some of the text was difficult to read because of the colors blending into the background. The main message of the video is that we need to be educators not just teachers. To teach is to instruct students with information or facts. To educate is more than teaching information. Educating is providing instruction to students and making sure that they understand. Educating is stimulating their learning abilities. Educating is inspiring their mental and moral growth. An educator leads their students in their journey of learning by being a teacher,mentor, coach and motivator. A student should be enlighten through education. An enlighten student can understand the world around them and is prepared to meet the challenges that they will face in life.

I want to educate students about history and social studies. I want my students to understand why we study history and social studies. History enlightens us about who we are and where we have been. History can help us to learn from our mistakes and we can also focus on the good things of our past. I want them to understand how our government works. Not only the strengths of our government, but the weaknesses as well. I want them to understand the importance of being an informed citizen. As well as the importance of voting so the voices of all citizens can be heard. I will strive not only to provide my students with information, but I will challenge them to think about what the information means and how it can be applied. I will challenge them to form ideas and opinions, rather then memorizing facts. I will encourage them to participate in debates with their peers on different topics to stimulate their thoughts. I will use multimedia technology to make the instruction more interesting and informative. I will use the internet and any other available technology to be more efficient at providing a stimulating learning environment.

Stack of pencils

Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!

Tom Johnson's post "Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home" was a very interesting and humorous story. It's about a school teacher having a conversation with Gertrude the School Curriculum Instructional Academic Specialist. Gertrude tells Tom that he cannot allow the students to take pencils home with them. He uses satire when he talks about the pencils in the story. The pencils really represent computers of some form like lap-tops or netbooks.

The school administrator cites a journal article that states that students who use computers at home have lower standardized test scores. Tom says, "The only measurement of learning was a drill-and-kill bubble test. How is that measuring authentic learning?" I agree teaching kids to pass standardized tests like we are doing in school is not really helping students to learn. Kids need to be able to analyze, critique, explore, create, and understand how to apply knowledge to the real world. The school administrator claims that the parents in the low income area of the school don't know how to use the computers so their kids will only use them to play games instead of school work. However, Tom says that he met with the parents and taught them skills that they can use to take charge of their kids with the computers at home. He admits that some kids may still play games on the computers, but there may still be some learning taking place. He also tries to find projects that will keep them interested. I believe if teachers give students assignments that are challenging and interesting they will be engaged in the learning process.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

C4T #3


My Comments For Teachers #3 assignment was to comment on Dorothy Burt's blog. For my first week I read her post titled Student Reflections
In her post she discusses how the Manaiakalani students reflect on their blogs. The students reflect about their first year of owning a netbook to do all of their school work. The post was very interesting and well organized. I like how she provided links to the students posts. From the reflections of her students they seem to be very engaged in the writing process. The students also learned how to do research using the internet and Youtube. Having their own netbook allowed them to post on their blog much more frequently. They also liked having an audience to read their posts. I Congratulated her on the success of her students while using their Netbooks. As a future educator I hope that I will have the skills to effectively use technology in the classroom.

Logo for blog2print

She did not have a new post so I went back to the post before which was titled:
Got a Blog? Make a Book! for my second assignment. In this post she discusses how you can make a book out of a blog. By using blog2print you can have your blog printed into a book. That is something I would have never thought about until reading her post. I think that it would be a great idea to be able to print a book of your blog. A student could have a keepsake on projects that they had worked on all year. I think that it would also be good to have a book to show your family and friends without having to log onto a computer. The one downside is that you cannot experience video or sound in a printed book. I agree with her on the fact that you would not be able to enjoy the multimedia aspects in the printed version. However as she said, text and images are a very important part of a blog. I still think that it would be neat to have a book to show all your work as a first time blogger.

C4K Summary for March

Hot Spur School Logo

My first C4K assignment for March was Simon McLoughlin's Hotspur School 4th grade class at Hotspur School in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. The name of my student was Betty in class 12 and her link is my first day in class 12 (diary entery on Flapper) by Betty.
They are doing a great job blogging with other schools. Their class is participating in a 100 word challenge. Each week they are given a new challenge to write a creative piece on their blog from a prompt that they are given. The prompt may be a picture or a series of words. They are restricted to only 100 words. In addition to the teacher looking at their writing they also have an audience of their peers. They seem to be having fun while improving their writing skills. Below are my comments to Betty:

Hello Betty,
My name is James Dunnam , I am a Secondary Education Student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I see that your class is participating in a 100 word challenge with another school that is 311 miles from your school. I also see that your class is learning how to use tools like Skype. Your class is doing an amazing job communicating with other classrooms all over the world. I think it's neat that you have a goldfish in your classroom. Flapper is a very good name for a fish. Do you and your classmates like to take turns feeding Flapper? I have enjoyed reading your class blog. You are doing a very good job. Keep up the good work!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Post #8


In the two videos This Is How We Dream Part 1 and This Is How We Dream Part 2 Dr. Richard Miller discusses how writing has changed with all the available technology that we have today. He describes how we can use multimedia to enhance our writing. You can incorporate videos into documents that can be watched and listened to by the reader. He explains how you can use the web to research everything that you will need without even stepping into a library. He says "that now are work-space is the desktop". During this semester while taking EDM 310, I have watched and listen to many videos. This has helped me come to the realization that there is much that can be done right from a desktop.

In the second video he says "We as educators must be in the business of sharing freely". You can create lectures and share them on the internet for millions to view. He admits that there will be inaccessibility issues and other problems that will need to be work out, but his dream can be and should be implemented in the future. I hope that I will continue to learn so that I will be prepared to use tools like multimedia. I think my students will be ready and able to write with multimedia. I believe as a teacher in the near future I will need to be capable of effectively using multimedia technology in the classroom to give my students a great learning environment.

Carly Pugh's Blog Post 12
Carly's Blog Post #12 was excellent. I can tell that she put a lot of thought, time, and effort into her post. In the post, she creates an assignment requiring education students to think about their philosophies on teaching. Her assignment is to create a YouTube playlist with videos explaining their ideas about teaching and how they can be applied. She includes many different videos that explain her visions of being a teacher. Her post is a great example of what Dr. Miller talks about being able to watch and listen using multi-media.
Carly is very excited about becoming a teacher. In her post she states: "Good teachers lead by example" I think that she is very passionate about what she is doing. I also think that she will be a great teacher that will lead by example.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies
The Chipper Series video focuses on the the topic of procrastination. The student in the video tells Dr. Strange' "I want you to teach me so I won't have to learn". She really wants to take the easy way out and pass the course without putting forth the required effort. She eventually drops out of school and tries many jobs and adventures. She soon realizes that there is no free lunch and to be successful requires. She decides to go back to school and start over with a new attitude.

EDM310 is a challenging course, because there is a great deal of work that is involved. The weekly assignments require the student to work on a daily basis in order for them to be completed on time. You can not procrastinate in this course if you want to be successful. The two students in the EDM310 for Dummies video were hilarious. The way they were acting was exactly how I felt the first several weeks of EDM310. The video was very informative and describe how there are many sources available to help you suceed in EDM310. I like both of these videos, because they were done by students like myself. I would like to create a video on time management. Good time management skills would help EDM310 students tremendously.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
This video has a group of educators discusing how the world has changed with all the new technology. They explain how teachers can use technology to help students to learn. Basically saying that the current education system just throws out information for the students to memorize. I agree that we do not really prepare students for the skills they need in the workplace. They need to learn how to find information and share information. They need to know how to collaborate with others and to be creative. The majority of students today are already familiar with the internet, social networks, cell phones, and video games. Students today are communicating through email and social networks. If students can use the tools of technology in the classroom they will have fun and become very engaged in learning. They can learn how to solve problems and make improvements to their lives and the world around them.

Scavenger Hunt
WEB 2.0 Tools is the community tool that I found and I created an account. It is a social network site where students and teachers can connect with their students and their parents. The teacher can assign homework and the students can complete their assignments and see their grades. The teacher and parents can share comments concerning his or her child. Groups can be set up allowing the teacher to make an announcement where all the members of that group can see it at the same time. Polls can be set up on different topics allowing discussions between classmates. The teacher can also set up quizzes for the students. I believe that Edmodo would be a very effective tool for teachers and students to collaborate and share information and ideas.

My second tool I used was one that you can create your very own comic strip. I think that kids would have fun making comic strips. This is my comic strip Elvis the Pelvis I use the tool Make Beliefs Comix to make it.

The third tool I used was Poll Everywhere. I created a poll and asked the question: Which came first the chicken or the egg? This tool could be used in the class room to get discussions between classmates. You could ask students their opinions on subjects related to the class or even what they think about your teaching methods.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Project 10 (PLN) Personal Learning Network Progress Report

Wordle of tools to use for your PLN

What is a PLN. A PLN is a Personal Learning Network. It is your connections that you use in your journey of becoming a teacher. A list of tools and people to assist you in acquiring your skills to become a professional educator. It can be classmates, teachers, and others that you collaborate with for assistance. It can also be tools like Symbaloo, Facebook, Twitter, and many others. Twitter is one way that I am gathering a list of people to help me in my growth as a professional educator. Facebook is another tool that I have developed a list of people. C4K and C4T will also help me create a list of people who can help me. I have a list of teachers from my previous college that I attended that I have called upon for guidance, even some of my son's teachers have guided me in the past. When I was in the military I networked with many different men and women throughout the country. Since I have been attending EDM 310 I have been learning about the tools that are available through technology that can be a part of my network. I am in the process of developing my PLN and I know that it will have to change over time. Hopefully by the end of this semester I will have a very well organized PLN.

Blog Post #7

Wendy Drexler

The Networked Student

The networked student video by Wendy Drexler explains what exactly it means to be a networked student. The term network means to be connected with other people, corporations, teams, friends, etc... When I was advanced to a Chief Petty Officer (CPO) in the US Coast Guard I suddenly had a network of hundreds of other CPO's that I could call upon for help or guidance in the performance of my duties. A networked student will have the ability to connect with fellow students, teachers and many others to help them in their journey of learning. They can also share their ideas with others.
How will they do this? They can do this by using all the tools available to them through the internet. They can use tools like Google scholar to search sources right from their desktop. They can use it to find articles, theses, books and court opinions. They can use tools like Skype Expert. Skype can allow them to have video conferencing in the classroom with experts from leading Universities. They can learn from blogs from other students and teachers. They can use a tube reader to help them manage the blogs. All of these tools will be part of their Personal Learning Network (PLN).
So with all of this available technology does a student even need a teacher. The answer is yes. Teachers will still be needed. A teacher will be needed to help the student learn how to use all of these tools and to guide them in their educational journey. A teacher will always be more then just a teacher. A teacher needs to be a coach, a mentor, a counselor, a technical adviser, and a motivator. Am I ready to be a teacher of a networked student? Not yet, but I am learning more and more everyday about the requirements of being an effective teacher in the 21st century.


A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment(or PLN)
The girl in this video did an amazing job explaining what a PLN was and how she uses it in her class. It is amazing that she is so organized and is only in the seventh grade. She brought up a very good point about doing assignments on the computer. She explains how neat and efficient her work is and rarely even needs a pencil. She uses Symbaloo which is an excellent tool. I am in the process of organizing my PLN and I will also be using Symbaloo.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


An apple for a teacher

My first C4T#2 assignment was Mike's Prater's Education blog he talked about how teachers need to listen to their students. He also said that the feedback that students provide to the teacher will help them determine if they are being an effective teacher and if they need to make any changes. He provided the following link 20 Things Students Want The Nation To Know About Education which was very informative and below are my comments to Mr. Prater:

My name is James Dunnam I am a secondary education student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I believe children need good mentors in their lives. First and foremost their parents should be good mentors. Grandparents, older siblings, church members, coaches, and many others can be great role models. However a teacher should be high on the list for being a good mentor. Students typically spend 7-8 hours a day with their teachers, and teachers are very important in a child’s intellectual development.

I agree with you that teachers need to listen to their students. The feedback that students provide to the teacher will help them determine if they are being an effective teacher and if they need to make any changes. I viewed the post you provided by the Innovative Educator which gave students the opportunity to express their opinions on how to improve schools. I found the summary of the top 20 comments to be interesting and informative. Especially what it said about students having a need for an adult to connect with them. I also agree that all students are not interested in the same things and learn at different rates. I believe being a good teacher and role model requires helping the student to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and to accomplishing their goals. I also agree that we need to use more resources of technology in the classroom. Teaching children how to pass standardized tests is not the best tool for learning. Thank you for sharing your comments. They were very informative and will help me in my educational journey.

My second C4T#2 assignment was Dr. Prater's blog post titled Grouping Students For Effective Learning which he talked about how educators shy away from grouping students together by ability level. Mainly because some kids learn faster then others. Also some students will learn one concept quickly and struggle with others. He describes how a lot of schools address this diversity through teacher collaboration as part of their professional learning community (PLC). He states that the schools should use the four questions that Rick and Becky DuFour believe should guide the work of educators. They are:
What is it that we want students to be able to know and do?
How will we know when our students have mastered those outcomes?
How are we going to monitor progress toward those outcomes?
What will we do as a school when students don’t master the outcomes or need extended study?

I think teachers collaborating is a good idea because they can learn from each other and make improvements. Students working in groups together can learn from each other as well. However, not every student learns the same way or at the same rate and adjustments may have to be made. I agree with Dr. Prater that our school systems need to allow enough time for teachers to be able to analyze and evaluate the progress of each and every student. As I am perusing my degree in education, I am learning that teaching is a very important job. I am also learning that there is a lot involved in being an effective teacher. I know that I will face many challenges, but I believe the rewards will be worth the effort.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blog Post #6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

I was inspired by the first video that I watched from Randy Pausch and this video was even more inspiring. Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a motivational speaker. He was truly a remarkable man. He was not only head smart he was heart smart. He knew how to live life to the fullest. Even when he was diagnosed with cancer and giving only six months or so to live, he still had a positive outlook on life. He Said, "You can't change the cards that you are dealt, only how you play the hand." He enjoyed everyday that he had and was an inspiration to his family, friends, and colleagues. Randy Pausch's last lecture is not only uplifting and inspiring for teachers, his principals could be applied to anyone in any profession.

The first principal that I would use as a teacher is his theory about brick walls. If I had a struggling student I would try to instill upon them the brick wall theory. By letting the student know that they may face brick walls in their life when trying to accomplish a goal. However those brick walls are only to stop students who not willing to do whatever it took to reach those goals. Another good point that he made was from a childhood experience that he learned from a football coach. His coach said "When you screw up and no one says anything it means that they have given up on you". So as a teacher I would try to make sure that my students knew that I believed in them and would never give up on them.

The head fake theory was another technique that I would use in the classroom. Randy Pausch said, "Most of what we learn, we learn indirectly."He believed in project based learning just like we are doing in EDM 310. His students were learning while they were having fun. Kids can have fun while learning how to make movies and games. The head fake was the fact that they were learning programming skills. This I believe would be very beneficial in the classroom.

The most impotant thing that I got from Randy Pausch was what he said about the gift of education. He said, "The best gift an educator can give is to get somebody to be self reflective." He created a course at Carnegie Mellon called Building Virtual Worlds. The course would involve teams of students that would work on projects for two weeks. Every two weeks the teams would change and work on another project. In addition, every two weeks the students would provide feedback to their peers on how they worked with each other. The feedback that they got from their peers was hard to ignore. This would make them think about how they were communicating with each other. Being able to listen and reflect to criticism from others is a great learning experience. Being able to get your students to be self reflective is a very good teaching method.

At the end of his lecture he asked the audience if they got the two separate head fakes. The first head fake was not about how you achieve your dreams, rather it was about how you lead your life. The second head fake was that his lecture was not for the audience in attendance, rather it was really for his kids. I believe that he was probably a very good father and it's a shame that his life ended so early.

Friday, March 2, 2012

C4K Summary for Feburary

The comments for kids was a very interesting assignment. I am amazed at how all of these children are using the internet to communicate with students and teachers all over the world. They are learning writing skills, social skills, and technology skills. They are preparing for the skills that will be needed in the future. I applaud these teachers for the great work they are doing keeping their students engaged in the learning process.

Group of young Ballerinas

My first C4K assignment was Mr. Chamberlain's eight grade class at Noel Jr. High school. The student that I was assigned to was Meghan. I commented on her latest blog which was titled 2011/12/my-class-dance-class In her blog post she said that she was taking a dance class and was learning all about the different dance steps of Ballet. This is my comment to Meghan:
My name is James Dunnam , I am a Secondary Education Student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. He is teaching us how to use blogs. I have enjoyed reading your class blog and I am amazed how well you and your classmates are doing at Noel Jr. High school. I noticed that your school is in Missouri. My family and I went on vacation last year to Branson, Missouri and we had a great time. Have you ever been to Branson?
In your last post you said that you are taking a dance class and that you will first learn the basics of ballet. It sounds like you will be learning many different steps including the flap, shuffle step, and the shuffle hop step. Although, I am not that familiar with ballet, it sounds like fun.
Good luck with your dancing and be sure to practice very hard. I hope that you enjoy your celebration at the end of the year. Great job with your class blog and keep up the good work.

Peking Acrobats Performing

My second C4K assignment was Kasey Huebner's 4th grade class in Spirit Lake Iowa and I was assigned to 20SKnapp's Blog
This student talked about how fun it was to attend the Peking Acrobats show. I can tell by the enthusiasm of 20SKnapp's blog post that it must have been a wonderful show. This is my comment to 20SKnapp:
My name is James Dunnam , I am a Secondary Education Student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. Thank you for letting me read your blog. I really enjoyed reading about your experience at the Peking Acrobats performance. It sounds like you had a lot of fun. You went into great detail describing all of the different acts in the show. The performers must have been very talented. I wonder how much they practice for their shows.
How do you think the Peking Acrobats were able to do all of those amazing acts? Do you think that you would ever want to be an acrobat? Thanks again for letting me read your blog. I look forward to hearing from you. You are doing a great job with your blog posts. Keep up the good work!

Pyramids of Giza

In my 3rd C4K assignment I was assigned to Class 5 at East Broadway First school and the latest post was Ancient Egypt. The class was learning all about Ancient Egypt. They were really engaged in the learning process. This is my comment to class 5:
Hello Class 5,
My name is James Dunnam , I am a Secondary Education Student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. Thank you for letting me read your blog. I really enjoyed reading about your learning experiences of Ancient Egypt. Has your class been learning about the Pyramids? I have always enjoyed learning about the history of the world.
I see that your school is in England. I think that I would like to visit England one day. Your class is doing an amazing job communicating with other students and teachers all around the world. Keep up the good work and have fun learning about Ancient Egypt.

Sleepy little girl

Mrs. T.G. 5th Grade
My 4th C4K assignment was Mrs. T.G.'s 5th grade class in Iowa. The student that I was assigned to was 5P13 JL this is the link to the latest post by 5P13 JL I Love Being In Bed. This student really liked to sleep. In addition to reading the post 'I love Being In My Bed" I also viewed Mrs. T.G.'s class homepage and watched several videos. I really liked the video We've got some skills!. In the video the children were doing a great job of jumping rope.
This is my comment to 5P13 JL
My name is James Dunnam , I am a Secondary Education Student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. Thank you for letting me read your blog.
I love being in bed too. I hate it when I don't get enough sleep. Getting plenty of rest is very important. If I don't get 7-8 hours of sleep at night, I feel tired the next day. Make sure to go to bed early and sleep all night, but don't sleep all day. If you sleep all day you might miss out on some fun activities. I really enjoyed looking at your class blog. I watched some great videos. I really liked the video that was titled 5TG Jump Rope Showcase. Do you like to jump rope? Have fun in school and keep up the good work with your blog.

Project #8 - Group Podcast

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Post #5

net savy in classroom

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff Please? By Scott McLeod

Dr. Scott Mcleod uses sarcasm by telling parents, teachers, administrators, and board members not to teach their kids to use the internet for reading and writing. He states "because the pen and paper are not going anywhere." He also says there is no need for them to learn how to make videos, audio, write codes, write blogs, and use social networking sites. He also states "and especially no cell phones."
He also states "it's evil, you know there's bad stuff out there gotta keep your children safe"
At the end of his post he makes it clear that he is going to continue to teach his kids everything he can about technology. He is making a point that yes there can be problems with the internet such as cyber-bullying, predators, and porn. However we don't need to let that scare us away. We just need to be safe with our use of the internet and teach our children how to safely use technology. We need to teach our children how to keep up with the fast advancing world of technology so that they will be prepared for the future.

Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., "is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues." Dr. McLeod is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), "the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens)."
All information was found on Dr. Mcleod's website and (CASTLE's)website.

iSchool Initiative

The iSchool Initiative and ZeitgeistYoungMind's Entry

The iSchool Initiative video was made by a Georgia high school student named Travis Allen.
He first addresses the issues facing America's Public Education system which are massive budget cuts, teacher lay-offs, and increasing classroom size.
He discusses using the itouch, a hand held device by Apple similar to an iphone in the classroom. The teachers will work with the students to complete all of their schoolwork using the itouch. His idea is to replace all textbooks, workbooks, library books, paper,copiers, and just about anything that can be done with the hand held device. This would save the school systems a ton of money and would also be good for our environment. I must admit, this would be a huge undertaking and would not happen overnight. However, I think that it can be done and I applaud Travis Allen for his ideas.

Composer leading a virtual chior

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

The video of Eric Whitacre's virtual choir performing "Lux Aurumque" was truly amazing. There were 185 voices from 12 different countries put together through the internet and posted on you-tube. I really enjoyed listening to the heavenly voices, but the fact that this was done with all the singers being worlds apart was truly incredible. I am just amazed at how for technology has advanced. There seems to be endless possibilities at what can be done with technology these days.

21st Century Teacher Leadership

Teaching in the 21st

In this video I think Kevin Roberts puts everything into perspective. He asks the question "What does it mean to be a teacher in the 21st century." We live in a digital world today and students need to have the skills to survive in the digital world. However, there is more to teaching then just providing computer skills to a child. Technology is a tool that the teacher can use to help facilitate learning. The fundamental skills needed in life cannot be obtained by just logging onto the internet. Teachers will always be needed to teach students how to read, write, comprehend, analyze, evaluate and make decisions. However these skills can be enhanced by the help of technology. A teacher in the 21st century will need to be technologically literate to enable them to use all their available resources to prepare their students for the future. The basic fundamentals of teaching will never change completely, but they can be enhanced with technology.

Reading Rockets

I agree with Anthony Capps this is a very valuable website for teachers. There is a very significant amount of information and I have not completely viewed the entire website. This is one website that I will be looking at again. It has a wealth of information for teachers and parents. One section that I thought was very informative was the "Helping Struggling Readers." I was shocked to find out that learning to read was a challenge for almost 40% of kids. In this section there are links identifying why kids struggle. There are even links on how to find extra help. It has information on how to have a child evaluated to identify any potential problems. I think that it is very important that a child develop strong reading skills early on to help them with the rest of their education.
If they can't read well then they can't learn well. I strongly believe that everything cannot be left up to the teacher. Parents need to be involved in a child's education early on. My son is in the second grade and either my wife or I go over his reading and homework assignments every night.

The "Video and Podcast" section was another section that I thought was very beneficial for teachers, especially new teachers. That are links to videos and podcasts that you can download from itunes and they are free. There are a wide assortment of podcasts that you can listen to from experts in the field of reading. They provide strategies on how to identify reading difficulties, the importance of early reading skills, and the role of using phonics with reading instruction. Phonics was used in my son's 4K class and it really helped him to prepare for 5K. There is also a "Reading Rockets Dadcast" series for fathers who want to learn more about their child's literacy development.

My Time Toast Timeline Individual Project 9a

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog Post #4

Learn to speak French

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom By Joe Dale

In this video it clearly demonstrates why podcasting is so beneficial in the classroom. The video brought out some very interesting points that have helped me to realize how podcasting can be a very effective tool for education. I learned a new term that I was not aware of and that was the term Millennial. A Millennial is typically anyone born after 1980. All the students born after 1980 have never experienced a world without technology. These children have used computers, video games, T.V., phones and so much more then children prior to 1980. Children today are very accustomed to modern technology and podcasting is a form of learning that would be very exciting to them. I know that my seven year old loves to steal my iphone to record his voice in different ways and then listen to the recordings.

I also learned that a vodcast is a podcast with video. In addition to the teacher using podcasts, students can also create podcasts. Creating podcasts would be more of a project based type of learning instead of memorizing information from a book. Creating podcasts would allow students to increase their thinking and creativity skills. Podcasting is an effective way to interact with students outside the classroom. For example if a student is sick and can't make it to class they can listen to a lesson plan at home. Also the parents can listen to the podcast and be more informed on their children's education. I know as a student myself I would like the fact that you could play the podcast over and over again to pick up anything you might have missed. In a classroom that has a limited amount of time you may miss out on some important information from a lecture, but being able to replay the podcast you could ensure that you understand everything completely. I think podcasting will have a very important role in modern education.

Children making a podcast

Judy Scharf's Podcast Collection
The information provided by Judy Scharf on this link was very informative. She explains what a podcast is and how it can be listened to on a computer or an MP3 player. She also makes a point that podcasting can be used to share information to large numbers of people via the internet.She also explains about the equipment that you would need. She also provides a link How to Create a Podcast which shows you step by step instructions how to make your own podcast.

I listened to some podcasts on the website made by students in grades 6-8 and all of them were really good. I think podcasting would be a very good learning tool to use in the classroom and I think students would have fun doing it. When kids are having fun they are motivated. Keeping students motivated is very importatnt in the classroom. Before I started taking this class I did not even know anything about podcasting. I think that Judy Scharf's Podcast collection will help me tremendously in my upcoming assignment for making a podcast..

100-Ways To Use Your Ipod To Learn And Study Better

Several years ago I bought an ipod shuffle and I loved using it while exercising. It was amazing that something so small and lightweight could hold so much music and have such great sound quality. Now that have read the article 100 ways to use your ipod to learn and study better I want to go out and buy one for school. I was amazed at all the different things that you can do with an ipod. This article also included several links to learn how to do podcasts. The Learning Podcasting tutorial gives you detailed information that you can use to to learn all about podcasting. I will use the information from the link to help me with my upcoming podcast assignment.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blog Post 3

Special Education sign on chalkboard

Technology in Special Education
This video was inspiring to me. I watched these special needs students overcoming tremendous obstacles with the help of a great teacher and some excellent technology. This video really demonsrates how technology can be applied in special education. The students in the video seemed to be very engaged in learning. The teacher explains how the technology that she is using keeps her students attention which helps them to stay interested and eagar to work. Technolgy not only helps the students it also helps the teacher. A special ed teacher faces tremendous challenges and by saving time he or she is able to teach so much more material.


How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism

I was very impressed in this video with the young boy using the toddler counting app. He could easily see and hear as his fingers were touching the i-pad screen. I have included a link to an app from the Apple store that I think I would use if I were teaching a Special Ed class.
Letter Reflex-Overcoming-Letter Reversals is an excellent app from Apple. It helps children with directionality. Some of the first concepts in early childhood that need to be understood are directions from left to right. It is common for many young children to have letter reversals. This problem may continue for longer periods of time for a special needs child. Letter Reflex helps children overcome letter reversals in a game format. It claims to be very user friendly. I think that children would have so much fun playing the game that they would be very engaged and would really learn in the process.

Do You Have A Face Book

As I watched Gary Hayes Social Media change every second is was just amazing. The counter itself is an example of how far we have advanced in the world of technology. How it can track so much information at one time is hard to comprehend. The numbers that it represents is astonishing. The amount of people using Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube just to name a few is unbelievable.

It really tells you how much of our daily lives are joined together with social media and with the use of technology in general. As a teacher we will have to be a part of this ever evolving trend. Not only will we need to keep up with all of this new technology, we can also use it to our advantage.

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

This is another video that has enlightened me on how outdated our current education system is today. We as teachers need to be able to help our students to work smarter than harder. The students were holding up some signs with interesting facts. These are a few that i remember. Only 26% of what they are learning is relevant to what they will need after graduation. Only 18% of the teachers know their names. The average class has 115 students.

I know from experience being a full time students requires a lot of effort. I also know that I waste a lot of money on textbooks that I don't fully use. In the video the teacher writes on an old chalkboard: (What is missing?). He then writes: (videos, photos, animations, and networks). I think he trying to tell us that as educators we need to learn how to use technology to it's full potential. Today's technology offers unlimited tools and resources. We need to learn how to use those tools an be able to teach our students how to use those tools. Doing so will help them to be prepared for the future.


My first C4T#1 assignment was Matthew Tabor's blog Education for the Aughts. I enjoyed reading his latest post which was titled Recommend Me- Or Not- For a Ph. D. in Education Policy/Reform. Mr. Tabor is applying for a Ph.D. Program in Education Policy. In his post he talked about how the application process for a Ph.D. is flawed even for the most selective schools. He states that the process does not reveal accurate and complete information about the candidate. He talked about how written content on the application is usually edited to the point that it does not reveal the student's actual abilities. He also talked about how transcripts do not reveal much information and that the institutions looking at the applications have to make decisions based on a very limited amount of information".
Mr. Tabor is using a very different approach in his application process. He attempting to seek references from all of the hundreds of professionals that he has conversed with in the education world through education sites. He is asking them to share their comments on whether to recommend or not recommend him for the Ph.D. program. I believe that he has a lot of very good ideas and is using all of the great resoursces of the technological world that we live in today to his advantage. I am just beginning my education courses and I admit that I am not that familiar with the application process for a Ph. D. program. However, I would imagine that it would be a very lengthy process being that it is the highest degree awarded in a given field of study. With that said, I think that his idea of bringing the whole team to the playing field through the education blogosphere is a great idea that would bring a wealth of information to the table.
In my comment to Mr. Tabor I indicated that I thought his idea of using his vast amount of contacts throughout the education world to help him was a great idea. It is truly amazing how modern technology can be applied in so many ways.

The second post of Mr. Tabor's that I commented on was titled best-education-sites-maps-college-web-design-utility In this post he talks about how colleges today are using the internet for marketing to students. He includes a link that rates colleges and universities throughout the U.S. on their web presence. I recommend checking out this website Best Education Sites. It is very interesting and has a tons of information. It shows how colleges use the web and how they are even using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media like You Tube in their marketing strategies.Some colleges are more successful then others with the use of social media. The top ranked schools academically are also the schools with the best web presence. I think that the internet is a very powerful tool and the colleges that make the most use of that tool will lead the way in education. They will also be able to provide prospective students with valuable information. In my second comment that I left for Mr. Tabor I said that I thought that the use of Twitter, Facebook and the internet in general was a very productive tool for colleges and universities. I also told them that I thought that a college's website can be very helpful for students.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blog Post #2

parent reading to class

Did You Know ?

I was truly amazed after watching this video. It was a very good presentation of just how far technology has progressed in a very short time and how fast that it is growing everyday. I have always been amazed over the last several years how fast kids are learning compared to when I was a kid, but this video has taught me that it is even faster then I ever imagined. It is amazing that students in grades 7-12 are texting an average of 189 SMS messages a day. I would have never imagined that every minute of every day there are 48 hours of video added to You Tube accounts.
This video also demonstrates how the world is constantly changing in the job market. Students of today will average 10-14 different  jobs by the time they reach the age of 38. This video also demonstrates the tremendous challenges that we face in trying to educate our children for new jobs and technology that do not even exist.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
classroom using computers

This video reminds me a little about the way I felt on my first night of class in EDM 310. Mr. Winkle wakes up after 100 years of slumber to find out that the world had certainly changed. He was not comfortable with all of the new gadgets surrounding him in the workplace and the hospital.
He eventually finds himself in a school classroom where everything was just like he remembered and he was very comfortable and happy. In my opinion, I think this video uses satire to get the point across that the education world needs to keep up with the technology of the working world. Schools need great teachers, but they also need great resources like technology.

The Importance of Creativity
This video was outstanding. It was fairly long, however Ken Robinson keeps your attention through humor. He was very funny while making some very good points about problems with modern education. He said " Creativity is as important as Literacy" and he is right. He used a lot of good examples about being creative. He said " If you're not prepared to be wrong then you will never have any originality"
We tend to focus too much on passing tests and preparing for academics especially in math and science. I remember taking an Art Appreciation class and the textbook talked about as children we are taught to color inside the lines in coloring books and that is when we first start to lose our creativity. Ken Robinson illustrates that when he said "We educate the creativity out of students". We need to let children explore their interests and learn from their own creativity instead of teaching them how to pass a test.

A Vision for 21st Century Learning

This video is interesting and brings out some really good ideas about learning. I agree with the argument that the video states about our current education process that was brought on by the Industrial Revolution. We teach mass standardized testing from memorizing facts from textbooks and this process is not preparing students for the modern workplace.
I know that my seven year old catches on very quickly with video games.  I think the idea of teaching children through 3-D technology will not only be entertaining, it will also be very informative. I believe children would have so much fun learning that they would continue to thirst for more and more knowledge.

Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts

This video is about Vicki Davis a teacher from rural Georgia who uses very innovative ways to help her students to learn. I like what she said about teachers not having to know everything before teaching and that she also learns from her students. She is doing an excellent job of preparing her students for the digital world. I can tell that her students are having fun. I can also tell by the video that her students are very engaged and having a great learning experience.
They are increasing their digital smarts that will help them in the future. They are also learning how to connect with other students around the world. They are learning how to work together in teams. They are learning how to think and be creative. This video demonstrates how using technology in the classroom can create a very positive learning environment.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blog post # 1

About Me
My name is James Dunnam, I live in Mobile, Alabama and I am happily married to Tammy Dunnam. We have one son name Cameron and he is a second grader at Saint Elmo Elementary. I am originally from Mobile, Alabama and my wife is from Grand Bay, Alabama. I have  served 23 years in the U. S. Coast Guard.  We have lived all over this great country and now after retiring from the U S Coast Guard we have moved back home to Mobile.
The last two years I have been attending Bishop State Community College and I have earned an Associate of Science degree in General Education. I transferred to the University of South Alabama this semester and I am majoring in Secondary Education (Social Science). I have a passion for History and I would like to teach young minds about History and Government.

Time Management
I watched the video of Randy Pausch on Time Management and I thought that it was very informative. He talked about managing your time effectivly by setting goals, planning, and setting priorities. He emphasized that your plan can change as long as you have a plan. You can't make any changes to your plan if you do not have a plan set in place. He discussed how to make your plan work by making a to do list and organizing the list into steps such as daily, weekly, and even by semesters. I beleive that his ideas can be applied to students, teachers, and anyone else to help them make more use of their time. I also watched other videos of Randy Pausch and I discovered that he was a terminally ill cancer patient and this video was his last farewell lecture to a group of people at the University of Virginia. I was very inspired by his courage and his positive outlook on life and how he wanted to make the most out of what time he had left in this world.