Sunday, March 27, 2011

Skype Interview Project 12

C4K #2

map of New Zealand

Over the past month, I've had the opportunity to comment on some great blogs made by kids from New Zealand. It's always inspiring to see children learning about technology at such a young age. They are learning to do some pretty great things. I don't even know how to do some of the things that they create! I wish that I had learned what these guys are learning when I was in elementary school. I commented on three different blogs and I really enjoyed what I saw.
The first blog that I commented on was a class blog called Room 14 Explorers. This is a blog written by students in years 5 and 6 in Tauranga, New Zealand. The post that I commented on was a slide show that they created about integrity. The students asked several people to make a sign with a sentence that describes their definition of integrity. Some of the definitions that people gave include "treat people how you want to be treated" and "be truthful". I thought that this was a great project for the students because it taught them how to make a slideshow and post it on a blog. This project also taught the students to think deeper about what being a person of integrity means. I commented on this post and told the students that mu definition of integrity is to always do the right thing, even when it is difficult.
The second blog that I commented on was created by a first year class at Pt. England School in New Zealand. This blog is called the Team One Rock Stars. This blog was really fun to look at because it had a lot of posts with pictures that these students made using paint on the computer. Then, they would describe their pictures to their teacher and the teacher would post it for them. It was really cool to see that these five year old students are already learning about blogging. The post that I commented on was a picture of a boat floating on the ocean created by a boy named Bobby-Jon. Bobby-Jon said that he had seen a boat the last time that he went to the beach with his family. I left the following comment:
"My name is Rebecca Warnberg and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I really like the picture that you made. I went to the beach yesterday and I saw a sailboat! It's pretty cool to watch the boats sail on the water! Good job!"
I hope that Bobby-Jon sees my comment and is inspired to keep learning more about blogging.
The third blog that I commented on Mr. Harris' Year 7/8 blog. These students are from Pt. England School, also. The post that I commented on was called "Good bye books, hello NETBOOKS!"was about the new netbooks that the school gave to each student in Mr. Harris' class. I think that it is amazing that this school is so dedicated to incorporating technology into the classroom. I left this comment:
"My name is Rebecca Warnberg and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am also taking a class where we use computers instead of books to do our work. I think it's great that you all are learning about technology. I wish I could have used a netbook when I was your age! Have fun with your netbooks and remember to take good care of them." The students who wrote this post seemed very excited to have their Netbooks. I hope that this will encourage them to study and learn more.
I hope that I will have the opportunity to allow my future students to create great blogs like these!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blog Assignment 9

flow chart about learning how to use technology

This week I read a post by an elementary school teacher named Mr. McClung entitled "What I've Learned This Year". Mr. McClung wrote about his experiences in his first year of teaching. This was a very interesting post for me because Mr. McClung gave some great advice on things that I should be mindful of when I begin teaching. There were seven great tips that Mr. McClung listed in his post. The first tip that Mr. McClung gives is that teacher have to pay attention to their students recations while they are teaching or lecturing. Sometimes teachers become too focused on their own lesson plan and they forget to make sure that students are understanding what they are teaching. I think that this point is very essential for teachers to remember. The whole purpose of being a teacher is to help students learn, so teachers should always pay attention to how well their students are comprehending material. This way, teachers can slow down the pace of the lesson if need be. They can also review old concepts, if necessary. The second point that Mr. McClung makes is that teachers need to remember to be flexible. Sometimes lessons don't turn out the way that a teacher wants them to. When this happens, teachers need to remember to be patient with their students and make modifications to their plan. It's important for teachers to realize that their lessons will not always be perfect, but teachers need to make the best out of every situation so that students can learn. I hope that I will remember to not become frustrated with myself or my students when things do not go exactly as I plan them. Mr. McClung's third point was that communication is very important. Teachers need to learn to work together with their fellow teachers and support each other. If a teacher has an issue, they should be willing ti share this with their fellow teachers so that problems can be resolved quickly. This way, the school will be a better work environmet for teachers and they will be able to be most effective in teaching their students. Mr. mcClung's fourth point was that teachers need to be realistic when setting goals for their students. Sometimes teachers expect too much from their students. They may feel like their students should behave professionally and stay on task at all times. These teachers forget that children are not completely mature and responsible. If teachers have expectations that are too high, then this will just lead to disappointment for themselves and their students. I think that teachers also need to be careful not to have expectations that are too low either. This can also have a negative effect on students because they will not be challenged enough. It's important to find the right balance. The fifth lesson that Mr. McClung mentioned is that teachers need to embrace technology. Many teachers feel threatened or overwhelmed by technology, but Mr. McClung points out that it is all part of a learning process. Teachers don't always automatically understand the best way to incorporate technology into their classrooms. Teachers need to be willing ti experiment and find what does work. This will benefit their students greatly. Mr. McClung also mentioned that it is extremely important to take an interest in the lives of students. Students need to know that their teacher cares about them. This will help the student to feel welcome in the classroom and give them a more positive attitude. This is also very important because students need to be able to feel welcome to share situations they are going through so that teachers can help them. For example, if a student feels depressed they will be more likely to get help and discuss their problems if they know that their teacher cares about them. Finally, Mr. McClung urges teacher to never stop learning. I think this is a great point because teachers need to learn to practice what they preach. Why should students be motivated to learn, if their teachers do not possess a desire to learn? If teachers are unwilling to learn about technology and new techniques that will better their teaching style, then they are hurting both themselves and their students. I hope that I will remember all of this great advice when I become a teacher. I really appreciate Mr. McClung's willingness to share what he learned with other educators. If teachers follow these tips, they will become more caring, inspiring, patient and effective.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 8

cheese cake

This Is How We Dream Part 1 and 2- This presentation by Richard Miller is about the change of how we can gain knowledge now as opposed to fifty years ago. Fifty years ago, people relied on books. The internet had not be invented. Knowledge and information was contained in books, newspapers and magazines. The invention of the Internet changed all of this. Fifty years ago, a student that wanted to write a research paper would spend hours at the library looking through mountains of books. Now students can find all the information they need in half the time by using search engines on the internet. This makes learning more efficient in a number of ways.
Obviously the invention of the internet makes learning a lot faster. There is also a lot more information available to students. Mr. Miller makes a great point that the information found in books is all based on past knowledge. However, information found on the internet can be updates immediately and is therefore a lot more accurate. Educators must teach students to appreciate the power of the internet and technology.
Sources on the internet can appeal to all different types of learners. There can be visual, auditory and interactive elements to the information on these web sources. The potential of this multimedia technology is great. It must be seized by writers and educators for the benefit of their students. Mr. Miller discusses the uniting of the humanities and sciences which is very inspiring. It's important that educators in all fields unite together to develop the potential of multimedia technology. This video can be found at
The Chipper Series- This video series has a lot to teach us about how we should approach our class work in EDM310. It also has applications for how we should live our lives. In this video, the audience watches interactions between a student named Chipper and Dr. Strange. Chipper is a lazy student who is resistant to the new form of education used in EDM310. EDM310 is based on networked learning which depends a lot on the work ethic of the students. Students must complete all of their assignments in order to learn instead of following the model of "burp back education" that is used in the traditional classroom. Chipper was unwilling to take responsibility for her own education, so she drops out of school. She thinks that she will be able to succeed in other avenues, but her lack of dedication causes her to fail in everything she tries. This video shows us that as future educators, we should be dedicated to learning and willing to work hard. We should not try to take the easy way out and set the standard high for our future students, too. This video series can be found at
EDM310 For Dummies- This video gives us examples of what a student in EDM310 should and should not do. The first thing that a student need to do is get the right attitude. If a student comes into EDM310 with a stubborn and uncooperative attitude, then they are setting them self up to fail. The video then goes on to talk about the benefits of EDM310 and the programs that we are taught about in this class. This video can be found at
If I were going to make a video about EDM310, I would create a video that discusses how each tool we are taught about in this class can relate to our work as a future teacher, I would create different scenes in a classroom setting where teachers could show the use of tools such as blogging, pod casts, SMART boards, etc. I think this video would benefit the students of EDM 310 because it would help them to make real life connections with what they are learning in this class, I think this would encourage students to work harder and it would make them more likely to use what they have learned in their own class rooms down the road. This video could also be viewed by other educators who do not have the benefit of being enrolled in EDM310 Perhaps these educators would be inspired, too.
Learn to Change, Change to Learn- This video discusses the problem with education and the lack of technology in the classroom. The video starts out with a very shocking statement. Education was ranked lowest in technological advancement. It was ranked under Coal Mining! In today's world, children are being stimulated with technology all the time. This is the kind of learning that they are used to in the outside world. Why not seize this type of 21st Century learning in the classroom? The teaching style in the classroom is not preparing students for their future jobs. So what is their education accomplishing? Very little!This video makes the point that there is a difference between education and learning. This should not be the case. The only way this will change is if individual teachers fight to make a change in their classroom. Someday, if teachers are willing to stand up and make am effective change for the better then other educators will catch on. This is the only way that the system can change. This video can be found at!
The Secret Powers of Time- This video is very interesting because it talks about six views on life which are all related to time perspectives. There are two for past, two for present and two for future. These view points can differ between cultures. Cities and cultures have different paces of life, too. There is a difference between children today and children in the past. Since students today are so focused on present time perspective of hedonism. They like control and pleasure. This has been affected by technology such as video games which has taught children this perspective. Schools today are aimed at people who have future oriented time perspectives. Since this time perspective does not align with that of today's children, many of them can't relate and they drop out. I see problem with both education system and the children that are represented in this view point. First off, school should show students how subject matter taught in school can benefit them in their every day lives. This way students will see value in school and education. Secondly, children should not be taught that life is all about instant gratification. This teaches people to be selfish and lazy. They want all pleasure now with no hard work. They want to do everything that they feel like in the present with no consequences in the future. This is the problem with America today and it should be changed. Teachers can do their best, but ultimately this change should start at home. This video can be found at
Drive: The Surprising Thing About What Motivates Us- This video discusses the idea that money is the best incentive. Studies done at MIT and in India prove that money does not always serve as the best motivation when the task involved cognitive skill. So what serves as the best motivation? People achieve more when they are allowed to create freely with no direction. People do their best work when they are doing things that they enjoy even if they are not getting paid. They enjoy the challenge and they like to master things. They like to have purpose in their life. People are not always motivated by monetary gain. Sometimes there are more personal advantages which can motivate people. This should be kept in mind by educators. Give students a challenge and show them the personal benefits if hard work. This video can be found at

Thursday, March 10, 2011

SMART Board Planets Project

Here is the video that my group created using the SMART board. This is a lesson plan aimed at third grade students about the solar system. I hope you enjoy it.

I think that our presentation went very well. The audience was very friendly and willing to participate. The audience consisted of four people who are also enrolled in EDM310. They all took turns answering questions and writing on the board, just as a class of third graders would have. The review session at the end of our presentation shows the effectiveness of the presentation because all of the questions were answered correctly by our audience.
After we gave this presentation to our audience, we sent out a survey to gauge the results of our presentation. We asked the following ten questions:
1) What was your favorite part of the presentation?
2) Out of the following planets, which was the most interesting?
3) Did you think that this presentation would be appropriate for a third grade audience?
4) Did you learn anything that you didn't know before?
5) Is there any topic that we could have covered more clearly?
6) Do you have any questions that we didn't cover?
7) Do you feel that our use of the SMART Board was effective?
8) Was our description of dwarf planets easy to understand?
9) Did you learn anything that you didn't know before?
10) Was the subject well presented?
We got very positive feedback from our audience, although not all audience members responded to our survey. The participants said that their favorite part of the presentation was writing on the SMARTboard. Overall, they felt that the presentation was good and the topic was thoroughly covered. They voted Earth as Saturn as they most interesting planets. Although they said that they did not learn anything new, this was to be expected because the topic was a third grade level subject. The audience agreed that our lesson was appropriate for the target audience.
Overall, I feel that our presentation went very well. I learned many things from completing this project. I learned how to use the SMART notebook program which made the process of creating the presentation quite simple. I got the opportunity to actually use a SMART Board which was very enjoyable. I would like to have the opportunity to use a SMART Board in my future classroom. I have learned that students respond very well to being allowed to participate and interact with the SMART Board. I think that this project was a success and I hope that I get more opportunities to learn about SMART Boards in the future.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Project 11- Short Movie


Rebecca and Erin

A PLN also known as Personal Learning Network is basically just a tool which can be used to organize different websites and search engines that a person uses to further expand their knowledge base. Before I started EDM310, my PLN consisted of mainly just Google. Now that I am enrolled in this course, my PLN has expanded greatly. I never realized the possibilities of connecting to an online learning community until I was exposed to it in EDM310. My PLN includes Google, USA Online, the EDM310 Class Blog and blog of teachers that I have discovered through the C4T assignments. I have began using Symbaloo to help me organize all the websites that I use frequently in one place. If I find a website that I like, I can save in in my PLN. I am still working on expanding my PLN even further so that I can learn more!


Mr. Ferlazzo

This month I was assigned to comment on a blog by a teacher named Larry Ferlazzo from Sacramento, CA. Mr. Ferlazzo teaches class for ELL (English Language Learner) students. This blog is called Larry Ferlazzo's websites of the day. Mr. Ferlazzo posts blogs that focus on a particular topic. These blogs have links to good sources that he has researched pertaining to these topics. Most of the topics are related to history, technology, teaching or current events. I commented on two different posts made by Mr. Ferlazzo.
The first post that I commented on was all about the history of Mardi Gras. There were several articles and video clips that were embedded in this post which provided a very extensive history of this holiday. I left a comment and shared my own information that I have learned about the history of Mardi Gras. Many of the articles that Mr. Ferlazzo posted were focussed on the Mardi Gras festivities of New Orleans. However, I informed him that Mardi Gras actually began in Mobile! It was very interesting to learn more about the historical background of this very important southern tradition.
The second post that I commented on was an informational post about a website that Mr. Ferlazzo had discovered called is a website which can be used to create slideshows with both images and videos. I checked out this website and it looked very easy to use. Here is an escerpt from the comment that I left for Mr. Ferlazzo: "I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strage’s EDM310 class. In this class we learn to use different forms of technology which we can later utilize in a classroom setting. Recently, we were assigned to make a slideshow using Google docs. I think it would be beneficial to use this website, as well. It might be even better! I look forward to checking this site out and seeing what it has to offer. Thanks for the helpful posts!" I appreciate the fact that Mr, Ferlazzo makes an effort to inform his fellow educators about useful tools which can be used in lesson plans.
If you would like to visit Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day follow this link:

Blog Assignment #7

This week I watched a video of Randy Pausch's Last Lecture which is titled "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". Pausch worked as a professor for many years at Carnegie Mellon University. Pausch discusses his life, his work and his accomplishments. Pausch gives his audience inspiration that they can accomplish all of their dreams, too. He gives several great tips for people to follow in accomplishing their dreams and he also includes suggestions for teachers who would like to inspire their students. I enjoyed watching this video because I had already read the book written by Pausch that was based on this lecture which is entitled The Last Lecture. I highly recommend the book because it includes more interesting stories and information about Pausch's life.
Pausch states that people should make specific dreams and goals for their life. People will be more motivated to accomplish things if they have a specific direction and purpose in life. Pausch asserts that dreams really can come true. They came true in his life and in the lives of his students. However, there are no magical fairies or genies that will grant these wishes. People have to be willing to work hard for success. Pausch discusses how often people are inhibitted when they reach a "brick wall" that prevents them from attaining their goals. However, Pausch states that "brick walls are there to stop people who don't want it badly enough." Pausch proves through his own personal stories that if you push hard enough, you can overcome these brick walls which come between you and your dreams. As a teacher, I will motivate my students to outline specific goals fpr their lives and do my best to give them the skills they need to achieve their goals.
Another piece of advice that Pausch gives to teachers is to stress the fundamentals. In his lecture, Pausch tells a personal story about how his childhood football coach would make his team practice without a football. This coach showed him that he first had to learn the fundamentals of football in each position on the field before he could actually handle the football. The same advice can be applied in an academio setting. It's important for teachers to ensure that students learn all the basics so that they will be fully prepared for more difficult tasks in the future. This will make students more successful in the future and closer to achieving their goals.
Pausch discusses "head fakes" or indirect learning which is a tool that teachers can use to teach kids without them being aware of it. An example of indirect learning is an educational video game. Kids are enthusiastic about participating because they enjoy playing games. However, they may not realize that these gamnes were created with the purp[ose of teaching them reading or math skills. I think that I would be able to incorporate indirect learning projects in my classroom so that the children will have fun while learning. Pausch surprises his audeince by stating his whole lecture was actually a "head fake" because he really gave this lecture in order to teach life lessons to his children.
Pausch encourages educators to remember that they can never giove up on their students. Pausch states that people will come up with astounding results, if they are given enough time and encouragement. Pausch also says that it is important never to set the bar for how much students need to achieve. This will only serve as a limitation for students. Pausch encourages teachers to challenge their students. Pausch gives examples of amazing that students his accomplished when he continued to challenge them to reach their full potential.
Randy Pausch died of pancreatic cancer in July of 2008. His legacy will forever live on as he continues to inspire people to believe in themselves and accomplish their dreams.