Monday, November 24, 2014

Blog Post #5 Part 2

To refresh your memory a PLN is a Personal Learning Network. What is a Personal Learning Network? According to Developing a PLN in EDM 310 by John Strange, a PLN is those people, places, organizations, and activities which enable you to learn. When I first started this class I made a Twitter account specifically for EDM 310. I also have a personal Twitter account for my personal interests. If you think about it, my personal Twitter account can serve just as important on a PLN as my class Twitter. Even though one is for school and the other is for my own personal interests, I am still learning from both. I am learning things every day through my personal account. It may not be as useful as educational learning,  but I follow people such as Fox News and CNN so I am able to quickly see the things happening around the world on the go and learn the conflicts happening everywhere. I follow famous people and believe it or not, a lot of them do other things that can be quite beneficial and educational. For instance, Leonardo DiCaprio is a big environmentalist. He has made a $7 million pledge to save the oceans. He has warned that the oceans are in danger of being destroyed by climate change, illegal fishing and other human activities. These are just a few examples of things I learn every day on my personal Twitter account. I do feel that my PLN won't expand much further than this, but you never know. Anything can change. 


C4T Summary #4

For this first C4T we were able to choose our own teacher to comment on. I chose Elementary teacher Joe Bower. Mr. Bower blogged about he had decided to remove rewarding and punishing students to gain respect and get rid of manipulation. He has said that if any of his students or kids tries to bribe or manipulate him to get their way, he is able to say to them that he doesn't manipulate them so they don't need to do the same to him.

I commented on his blog and told him that my 8 year old nephew currently lives at my house and he has a bad habit of manipulating my sister. The reason being because she does the same to him which is her own fault. I am choosing to adopt his method in my future classroom feeling that it may be very useful.

The second thing Mr. Bower blogged about was you can't judge a teacher by their test scores. He compared this to farming. He said he is a fifth generation farmer and is the first in his family to become a teacher. His father and grandfather taught him a lot about farming which included the best seeds to buy and the best conditions in which to plant them. In order to get the best crop, you want the best conditions in which your seeds can grow. The difference in teaching is that you cannot chose your students like you can choose your seeds. You aren't going to have the best students around. In fact, you are going to have some of the most impossible students out there.

I commented on this blog and told Mr. Bower that I really enjoyed his farming metaphor. It made perfect sense and it's true, we really have to put in more timeand effort on those conditions we want those struggling kids to have in order to be successful, but there's only so much we can do.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post #14

In the article Teaching Can Be a Profession by Joel Klein, he first states that teaching needs to be professionalized like law and medicine. How would we do this? We would start by beginning with better academic training for prospective teachers, have a new approach to recruiting teachers, and change how we reward teachers. Second he states seniority should not exist. Have teachers take a "National Teacher examination" and also have them work under supervision to evaluate their performance.

I agree with professionalizing teaching. How do you think doctors and lawyers get their degrees? They had to be taught by someone and that someone is a teacher. Teachers are the reason we have so many great doctors and lawyers in this country, but we are not rewarded for it. Also, I too feel as if anyone with a degree can become a teacher. I have seen certain teachers and wonder how it is that they are teaching children. Also, to be honest, in my classes this semester at South Alabama, I wonder how some of my classmates are going to be the future teachers of America. Several of them have the worst grammar I have ever seen, but yet they are going to be teaching children one day? It's sad. We need to advance our teaching programs. We need to select the best candidates to be teachers. Not just anyone should get in a classroom and teach kids just because they winged it through school and got a degree. Teaching should be much more than that.

Also, teachers get lazy. They create their lesson plans and just ramble on to students with a power point that goes over the material, while their students are playing on their phones the whole time. Teachers need a more professionalized training. They need to meet certain and more strict requirements. So instead of just anyone becoming a teacher, you need to have a high GPA (not a 2.0 like now), be able to pass certain examinations and be under supervision to ensure you have the qualifications and a high level of performance required to become a teacher. You see teachers every day on the news having relationships with their students and it's sickening and this probably has something to do with the fact that literally anyone can become a teacher. With these suggested more strict rules, we can reduce these kinds of teaches and get more qualified ones who will change how people perceive teachers.

A+ Teacher

Thursday, November 20, 2014

C4K Summary for November

The first kid I was assigned to is named Naveen. Naveen blogged about how fast he can run and how he is going to be as fast as Usain Bolt. He talked about him and his friend Adeoba and how they are striving to be faster than a cheetah. I commented and told Naveen that I was the fastest person on both my high school Soccer and Basketball team and that if he kept his training up he could maybe be as fast as Usain Bolt one day.

The second kid I was assigned to did not have a blog so I commented on Sebastian's blog instead. His post was about his Halloween costume this year. He said he wore a black cape, black pants, and a black shirt. His mask consisted of two faces. The face on the outside was a not so scary face and the face underneath it was a scary face so when you pushed a specific button it was revealed. He said the button broke so he had to buy a new mask with devil horns. I commented and told him that his costume sounded very cool and I was sorry that his button broke. I told him that I dressed up as Catwoman and had so much fun doing it this year.

The last kid I was assigned to was Jesse from Minnesota. Jess blogged about how there is an average of 7 insect legs in one chocolate bar and that it is used for protein. I told him that I am a chocolate lover but haven't ate a chocolate bar in a while and that information is gross. I also told him that most things that are manufactured have things mixed in it that aren't supposed to be. Makes you wonder what we're really eating.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Project #12 Part B

Blog Post #13

We've discussed the benefits of using technology in the classroom, but how would this benefit or be useful in a class of kids with special needs?

This class has taught me a lot about technology in the classroom, project based learning, among other things. One thing I think this class should offer for at least one week would be how to use these certain things in a classroom with special needs kids. I am currently tutoring at Augusta Evans which is a school for those with disabilities and they provide Smart boards and iPads in their classrooms. Do the kids use them? Not often. The higher functioning students will have a better opportunity to use those particular items but the lower functioning students will not.

Kids enjoy interactive projects and things that allow them to use those tools such as iPads in the classroom, but what kind of projects would be acceptable and appropriate for these types of students?
Yes, last week we covered assistive technology, but the types of technology I found was for those who are blind or dyslexic. In the video Assistive Technology in the Classroom, Kathy explains a few more tools that I was unaware of to use in the classroom with special needs students. She did explain that those who are able to hear and are high functioning will be able to use most of them and those that aren't will not be able to use most of them. 

This is a topic that needs to be addressed because although special education may not be for you, classes all around the world can include at least one students who is slower than others. You need to be aware of your technology and have the appropriate materials necessary to teach with these particular students.

Assistive Technology in the Classroom