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