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.