Monday, June 29, 2009

Wikipedia: Is It Reliable?

Wikipedia is basically a free online encyclopedia that can give you information on just about any topic. There is now much controversy surrounding wikipedia and its representation of accuracy. I am glad I got a chance to read up on these articles because now apparently companies, organizations, even politicians have altering or changing information for their benefit. I myself was wikipedia user and felt it was pretty safe. I have recently been hearing some things though, that it was not trustworthy. I guess this is true and even people can edit this information without giving proper references or names for that matter. I know now that when I research on the web to steer clear of wikipedia, I don't want to have to question if the information I am using is legit.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chameleon/ Lion

Yay! This is very promising for the future leaders of this world. I think it is great that these kids can do these things at their age. How do we get everyone else to climb aboard? Mr. Lamshed is a very exciting teacher to follow. Can I teach these kids right now? Sure, about lots of things. However right now it looks like they can teach me a few things as well! Isn't that what it is all about? I am greatful to be learning about all of this podcast/videocast and feel fortunate for those who get to learn it at such a young age.
In order to be an effective teacher in a class where students are already doing videocast you have to keep an open mind about learning and using the tools available or making tools available to do so. As tough as it may be we just need to try to keep up as best as we can. I think that all of this is fantastic! I must thank Dr. Strange for introducing me to this whole world of technology I didn't know much about. You have certainly opened my eyes and gave me a whole new lookout on my future career. Same goes for you Mr. Lamshed, thank you!

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Let me first say that I think everyone should check this out. My heart goes out to Randy and his family. What a positive thing to do with what time you have left, I am not sure I've seen something so inspiring. In his lecture he talks about his childhood dreams, how he believes he's been able to enable the dreams of others, and lessons learned. It is truly amazing the drive and will power this man has (even now in his last few months with us).
One of these lessons learned is the brick wall theory. We all set goals and want things in life but how badly? That is where this brick wall comes in to play. Either you want it so badly that you knock down this wall and get it or you give up when you hit it. Another point he makes is to help others, however it may be, help others. Randy believes in karma- what goes around comes around.
NEVER GIVE UP! This is universal, however Randy has some great background here. For example he was not accepted right away at Brown or graduate school but never gave up, he wanted it and pushed through the brick wall that was put up and made it happen. Randy also lectures about showing gratitude, don't complain; just work harder (I personally really like this one and try really hard to follow it though it is not always easy).
His most important lesson I think was the "head fake". Have fun when you are learning and you may not realize everything that you are actually learning. Things may not always be what they seem. Wow! The end of his lecture got me in tears! Need I say more?
Thank you Dr. Pausch

Monday, June 22, 2009

Karl Fisch

First off, congratulations to Karl for the award he received for this post. "Is It Ok To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher" is a powerful post written by Karl discussing the inexcusable technologically illiterate teachers in the classrooms today. I agree with the idea that he is discussing, I just believe it is going to take some time for this movement to really completely sweep the country. I don't think that all people who are computer illiterate are "proud" of it just by admitting it. Yes, they can do something about it but it takes time and people have lives and busy schedules that they just can't drop to learn the ins and outs of the internet and all that comes along with it. The comment about parents admitting they are not good at math when they were in teacher conferences like it is ok for their child not to be upsets me a little. I am horrible at math, I admit that but I am not proud of it, I am just honest about it. It does not mean that I won't work really hard to try to re-learn a lot when my daughter is going through it to help her. But it also doesn't mean I am going to spend what little spare time I do have practicing or learning more about mathematics.
Teachers need to be computer literate, hands down. I think it should be a requirement in some sort of a way. There is too much to learn and gain from it not to be.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dr. Strange's Spring Class Podcasts

For our next blog Dr. Strange wanted us to check out a couple of the podcasts done by his spring edm 310 class and sort of critique them and point out what we will do to make ours better. I will be honest, I am new to this so I am not really sure what I can do yet to make it better. I listened to two of his students podcasts from last semester and thought they were very good (especially most likely it was their first time).
The first one I listened to was Pick of the Day: Source Materials for High School Teachers on the World Wide Web by Anne Gardner and Kimberly Hinojosa. No particular reason to choosing this one, it was completely random. I thought for the most part it was a job very well done. I am no podcast critic that is for sure however I will say that one of the ladies was a little easier to follow than the other for whatever reason. That made me more aware of how knowledgeable about my subject of podcast I need to be and to go over it and over it before it is published (and maybe work on my radio voice...jk).
The second podcast I listened to was Facebook: It's in Class! But Can It Be Useful in Class? Basically I chose this one because I am a crazy facebook user. Just like the first one I listened to I thought they did a fine job! It sounded like they had fun with it which I think is good, it is kind of a fun topic.
It is hard to say what "improvements" I will make. I will just say that I need to be prepared, speak clearly, be interested in what I am podcasting about and have fun!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This was the first time I have ever listened to a podcast. Honestly, at first my reaction was this was just people audio recording themselves and posting them for other people to hear. I guess in simple terms that could be one way to describe it but once I took the time to explore and listen to different podcasts, I became increasingly aware of how beneficial and useful these can be.
I used two podcasts from Dr. Strange's list and four that I picked out myself. I first listened to SmartBoard lessons which was pretty cool considering just an hour prior to that I was having a conversation with a good friend from back in Wisconsin (who is a special ed teacher) and after telling her about this class asked me if I have ever heard of smartBoard. I said no because I really hadn't however now I have an idea of what it is about. I then listened to KidCast and listened around a bit and got a better understanding about what podcasting is really about. I liked that he differentiated between podcasts and radio because I was getting the feeling like it was a talk radio type thing. I like how he compared it to TVO because I am a big TVO fan and understand that comparison!
The others that I listened to are the Autism Podcast, The Art of Storytelling with Children, Middle School Matters, and U-TURN Podcast. I chose these because they were of interest to me and I love for instance how parents, teachers, and people in general can share their experiences with autism for everyone to hear. Things like this help us become better understanding of situations in our life and also help others in a similar situation. I have no close ties with autism but think that it is amazing how people gain inspiration and knowledge from sharing and speaking out about it.
We will explore podcasting in Dr. Strange's class and it should be a fun and educational experience. I get more amazed everyday about the limitless sources out there to expand our knowledge of learning and technology.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Things I Am Looking Forward To This Year!

"Being Inspired- Part 1" by Mr. Jarrod Lamshed

It is a fabulous thing that is going on here. Hats off to Mr. Lamshed for his drive to keep learning and experimenting with new things. He is a teacher over in Australia dedicated to expending his and his class's learning capabilities and strategies by collaborating with other teachers and classrooms around the world. The experiences he's had with blogging and collaborating have been an inspiration to him. He acknowledges these fellow teachers in his post and hopefully someone is acknowledging him! How wonderful it is in our world today that we can sit in on a fellow teachers classroom thousands of miles away or even across the world!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mr. C's Biome Project

How awesome would that be to have a teacher (facilitator, sorry) to have such an open way of communicating with his class and allow his children to play an active role in their own education? Pretty darn awesome if you ask me. I love it. Mr. Chamberlain's post "Students Making Decisions for the Biome Project" reflects on his experience with his students when giving them a choice on note taking strategies and projects. Not all children/adolescence/adults learn the same way so what at fantastic way to give children more incentive to learn. Not only will this give them a grasp on how they learn the best way for themselves, but I bet it was fun also!
Mr. C has really taken on the world of technology in his classroom and is not looking back. More people need to jump on the train! Check out his class blog.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"What I've Learned This Year" by Mr. McClung

Mr. McClung post a very insightful and useful blog after his first year of teaching. He seems to really be involved in being the best he can be in his career and I think that is fabulous. He understands what it takes to make it about the children and not necessarily the teacher. We as educators and future educators need to be flexible and figure out what works in our classrooms with our specific children. It is not an easy task. He is not afraid of technology and uses it for sharing his ideas and sees it as a great tool in Education. I like how he closes his post with the importance of continuing your education, however it may be. This is very important because things are changing around us everyday and we need to keep up!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The ACCESS program is essentially what it stands for, Alabama Connecting Classroom, Educators and Students Statewide. It is a program aimed at using technology for providing access to advanced diploma courses, more classes being offered, advanced placement, supplemental courses, and more. Access does this by internet based courses, interactive video courses, and the blend of the two. They have a lot of great ideas and strategies to keep this alive.
To get the full affect of ACCESS check it out at Alabama needs to catch up with the rest of the country in academics, that is a fact. Many low income or rural areas don't have these advanced educational classes and tools the state requires, and should require. There should be no limit when it comes to the education of our children. Current educators as well as upcoming educators need to keep fighting for these programs to exceed and expand.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I think this is an amazing tool out there for educators! Alex can be a powerful tool for not only teachers, but administrators and students as well. It is very simple and straight forward. ALEX is insight to lesson plans created and posted by teachers which is great for sharing ideas and gaining outsider insight. It also has a page where you can go to any subject and any grade to see what basic knowledge should be taught in each grade level. This is just something to look at and explore to see how it can benefit you in your quest through teaching.
Honestly, I don't see how this website can't be useful to anyone in the teaching field. The best part is the collaborating of teachers and administrators from all over. The best teachers are hungry to keep learning themselves. Times change, this is a great way to see how to keep up. I think it can be especially beneficial for new teachers so you have a possible variety of veteran teachers mixed in with newer teachers and gain the best from both.

About Me

Hello! My name is Nicole, I am 25 years old and a junior here at South. Welcome to my blog! This is a learning process for me so bare with me. I am from Wisconsin, I moved here 5 years ago. I have a 4 year old daughter, Hallie who is my world. Besides being a student and a single mom I work two part time jobs. It keeps me very busy but it is for a good cause.
I literally just switched my degree path into elementary education. I am very excited about this but I must admit a little nervous too. Budget cuts are being made all the time and teachers are losing jobs all around the nation. I have hope that things will change and they will stop taking money away from our children and their education.
A few little things about me are that I love to travel (even though I have very bad flight anxiety), trying new things (except foods), bike riding, casinos, visiting my friends and family at home in Wisconsin, and quiet nights home with my wonderful boyfriend and my daughter.

The Fischbowl

Whoa! This was very intriguing. You know, since middle school I have had computer access and learning about it still as I go. I would say it has been a gradual thing for me (I still know squat about this stuff), but to have these fun facts right in front of my face was quite interesting. I believe that the message here is right. School systems and teachers need to keep advancing in world technologies to pass on to the students of today. It is clear where technology is headed and we as teachers and parents need to give them the tools to excel in the 21st century. I wish that I was better equipped for this but I believe I can learn, and am eager to as well. I also wish as a whole our country was even a little more up to speed.
My daughter is a week and a half away from being 4 years old and I do not think it is too early for her to explore on a computer. There is a fine line of exploring and learning about technology at a young age and still being an active child. I don't like how a lot of kids sit in front of computer and play video games all day. There is a beautiful world outside to be explored as well. But when it comes to learning and building a base for the knowledge of technology that will be crucial in her education I am all for it. To tell you the truth I am thinking about getting her her own laptop for Christmas, filled with learning programs (maybe a game or two).

Monday, June 1, 2009

My First Post

I am now published world wide!