Friday, June 1, 2012

Things to Know About Google (Part 1)

Gmail icon

As a newcomer to EDM, one of the first things you will do is set up a gmail account. By doing this you are allowed access to most of Google's free services. In this blog
post, I will show you some of those services that you will use in this class. Let's take a look!

As you have already noticed, Dr. Strange instructed you to create a Gmail account even before the class began. With that in mind, you can see how important it is to do your assignments on time in this class. Gmail has several features that are common in most mail services, but Google strives to change their Gmail interface to give you the best email experience. How do I know this? Well, for one thing, Gmail has changed at least 5 or 6 times since I started EDM in the Summer of 2010. So lets take a look at some of the features that Gmail has to offer...


The inbox is something that you are familiar with, but Google has a new way of looking at the inbox. There are currently 5 different ways to look at your inbox in Gmail:

  1. Classic- This is a view that might help you if you are a new user to email or if you have used other mail services.
  2. Important first- In this view, Gmail sees who you are contacting most offen and making that person (or group) appear at the top of your inbox.
  3. Unread first- Again, this is another feature that you might be familiar with if you use another mail service.
  4. Starred first- Google has a useful feature that allows you to select certain emails by "starring" them. To do this click the star that appears on the left of the subject of the email. This feature allows you to select your starred emails to show first in your inbox.
  5. Priority Inbox- This feature allows you to mark your emails that you consider important. When you mark an email with the priority icon (see picture belo
    w), every email from the sender will automatically be marked a
    s priority mail and is separated in your inbox. This is my favorite inbox of Gmail because it allows me to have my starred email and also my priority email separated.

Themes and Display

Gmail also automatically adjusts the view of Gmail with the size of your screen. Look at the picture below to see the different options for viewing Gmail:

If you are using a small screen on a laptop, Gmail will automatically adjust to the Compact Display Density.


This is a common feature among email users, but Gmail has many different ways to keep your contacts organized over your computer, and also some mobile devices.

This is a feature in Gmail that allows you to send a mass email to a group of people without having to select one person at a time. Simply go to your contacts in gmail, select a contact you wish to add to a group, click the groups icon at the top of the page (see picture below), and select which group you want to add to that contact and you are done!
Once you have set all the contacts in a group, you are now ready to email them all at one time. Click on Compose to the left of the screen:

Now, instead of typing the name of each person, type the group name and the email will be sent to the entire group.
Groups shouldn't be confused with the Google Docs Groups that is needed to send a share Google Documents. But, Groups in Gmail contacts very useful in this class because if the group work you will be doing in the class.

Syncing Contacts
There are now features on almost all smart phones that allow you to sync your contacts with your Gmail contacts. This allows you to have all of the same contacts on all of your devices; including your Gmail account. Most mobile phones will ask you for your Gmail account and password, and the phone does the rest. All of your Gmail contacts are then synced to your mobile device so you have all of your contacts in one place. That is pretty cool, right?!
Syncing phone

These are just a few features that Gmail has to offer. I encourage you to continue to explore Gmail and customize it to fit your email needs.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Post, New Interest!

Hey Everyone!

I haven't had a post in a while, so I wanted to add some thoughts about my recent....hobbies.

This semester I have had an Ornithology class here at the University of South Alabama. This class is so much fun to me, and I never realized how much I enjoy learning about birds.

Here is some recent news on a group of birds in Madagascar. This group is called the Madagascan Vangas, which seem to have surpassed Darwin's Finches in terms of evolutionary success. Take a look at this article:

Evolution: Vangas Beat Darwin’s Finches in Diversity

These birds are beautiful to see! Check out some cool pictures here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

.....lmkl/kmHow to create a great prezi on Prezi

Hey Everyone! Today I was in class with Josh King and he reveled to me an awesome presentation tool. As you can see above this has great potential in the classroom. The creator encourage you to use this not as a power point, but a much more creative way of relaying information.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Google Presentation Help!

Hi everyone,

Google Presentation can be tricky so here are some tips:

There are two options that you can do to create your Google Presentation. The requirements are to upload pictures to your slides in your presentation (see page 18).

So, the tricky part is sometimes Google will reject the picture that you upload. The main reason this happens is because the picture is to large in the sense of pixels. So you need to "resize" the picture.

I would suggest doing all your pictures at one time. So, the tool we can use to resize our pictures is Picasa. This is a great tool for someone who loves pictures and is looking for a free picture editing software.

You should already have Picasa downloaded as the requirements for the class. Picasa will automatically find all of your pictures on your computer. The reason we use Picasa is because it is so easy to use as you will see.

Before we start........
1) Create a new folder so you can easily find your resized pictures. This is the folder we will use later.

(Click picture to enlarge image.)

2) Rename the folder: "Resized Pictures for Google Presentation"

3) Now open Picasa and click on the picture you wish to upload.

(If you have all of the pictures you would like to open in one folder, select all the pictures by clicking and dragging your cursor over all of the pictures.)

4) Next, click on the "Export" Button at the bottom of the window.

5)Then you will see a new window pop up. Make sure that the pixels are set to 800 or less.
Make sure that your folder that we created in the beginning (Resized Pictures for Google Presentation) is selected.

6) Lastly, click on export. Then, the pictures will be resized and ready to be uploaded to your Google Presentation.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Something else for the classroom

bring words to life
There are so many times I hear these words: "But, I'm more of a visual learner." In many ways I think all of us are visual learners. If there is just something we don't get, and we see it, then it finally clicks. I just came across this tool in my Google Reader, Wordia. This is a new tool that I think will really help younger students with vocabulary. It is pretty much just a big visual dictionary that has the meaning, definition, and a video to go along with the word.

One draw back about it is that it looks fairly new, so there might not be a video for every search you try.

Do you Know Your Elements?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Pages

help button
Hey everyone and welcome to EDM 310! I hope you will find my blog helpful if you need some insight on a certain subject in this class. I have a new page on my blog now called Helpful Instructions. It is a tab located at the top of this blog along with the Home tab. Here you will find videos and links that helped me get started in this class. I will be posting more as the semester progresses and I hope you will enjoy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Google Docs
I know that sometimes we are trying our hardest to find new and fun ways to get kids to learn. Sometimes it is really hard to come up with some really good original ideas, at least it is for me. So, I was looking through my Google reader and I came across this great blog called edtech and I saw a post that I wanted to share. This post shows 10 ways we could use Google Forms in the classroom.

10 Google Forms for the Classroom

Monday, July 26, 2010

Final Blog Post

Words on reflection

I can truthfully say that I have learned more in this one semester than I have learned in any other class.......ever. I know I have discovered some great people that I will look up to from now on having known them as my EDM310 classmates, and how often does that happen in other classes? Not only have I learned to use so many new tools for my teaching, I have learned much about myself. I want to first say thank you to everyone who participated in this class and made this the great class it was.

I never thought that there would be a class that would leave such an impact on my life and ultimately my career. I was very overwhelmed the first day of class because I didn't know what I was doing! I had never created or read a blog before this class so I was not experienced. More that half of the tools and things we use in this class I had never heard about or even used. But, with all the great people working with Dr. Strange, I found that this class was awesome!

New Tools!
EDM310 helped me find one very important part of what was missing from my whole prospective as a teacher. I know that my students have to be technologically literate! If they aren't, then I will have truly failed at being a teacher for my students. Here are some cool new things that I have learned in EDM 310......this is just a sample by the way.
  • I learned that I can use TimeToast to show my students when things happened in science.
  • I learned that I can actually teach someone that I have NEVER SEEN BEFORE!
  • I learned that a PLN can help anyone find teachers that are right for them to follow and continue their learning.
  • I learned how Google Docs can help me stay organized and can also communicate with all of my students.
  • Blogging is something new to me, but it will be something that I want to use in my classroom for my students to experience.
Our Class Participation
If there is one thing that I would say to those who will take this class next semester it would be this: Go to the lab hours! I found that so many people in this class were willing to go the extra mile and find new and exciting things. I sometimes didn't talk much in class because I was busy listening to others tell about what they had found and why it would be useful. I think each of us gave something to this class and it wasn't because it was required, it was because we wanted to learn. It is so awesome to me because so many people want to do what is best for children they will teach, and that is what our classrooms need. I want my classroom to be this way. I want my students to want to learn new things. Thank you to all my classmates for bringing out the social side of me and letting me know that there are many teachers out there that can and will make a difference.

Our Educational Guides
Dr. Strange said to me several times that he wanted to be more of an educational guide and not be known as a teacher. I know we will never get rid of the word teacher but I think he is so right, and I think he accomplished this in our class.

I want to say thank you to Dr. Strange for all the great things I have learned in this class and as I continue to learn, I will still thank him for his class because this is where it started.

Also, I want to say thank you to Jamie Lynn and Anthony for all of their great support and comments on my blog. They really have made a positive impression on me and I want to be as passionate and dedicated as they are about teaching.

What I've Learned About Myself
Where do I start? I guess I should start off by saying that EDM310 made me think about why I wanted to teach in the first place. Somehow that got lost in all of the classes I was taking and all the distractions we have as college students. I wanted to teach because many of my family members were teachers. I saw that those family members were highly respected and everyone loved them. I wanted that. I wanted to have a good relationship with everyone I affected as a teacher. Even now, being a teacher means so much more to me. Now I can make a difference in a student's life by helping them have more reasons to want to learn new things. I can change a students life by showing them the tools that I have learned to make them prosper in a changing world of technology. I think that I will show students my passion of learning and it will be passed to them. I learned that I want my students to teach me things too! I know I will probably never be as technologically literate as some people in this class, but I know that I will be willing to learn as much as I can so my students won't be left behind.

Now that I have completed EDM310 I will keep my sentence close by and maybe change it every now and then: "He helps someone feel more positive about themselves everyday."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Final Project!!!

Here is the link to our (Tyler and I) wall. EDM 310 Final Project!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Teach Someone Project

Blog Post 13

These videos are really touching and really show how these kids are feeling about the current crisis of the oil spill. I really haven't thought about the families that have been truly devastated by this spill until I watched these videos. I think that everyone should try to put themselves in the shoes of these families that have been affected and see what they are going through. Here are the videos by Alba Middle School.

Comment on Mean Oil Spill
Hey there,
My name is Stephen Akins and I am also from the University of South Alabama. I am taking a class called EDM 310 and we are assigned to comment. I think your video speaks really true and I know that this oil spill is a "mean" one. I really liked this video and I was glad to hear that the oil has stopped leaking for now! I know that many people will see this video and know really how it has affected all of us on the gulf coast. You all did a great job on this video.

Comment on Just Pray
This is another great way to show others how people on the gulf coast feel and what it really means to them. Like the people shown in the video, many others have been hurt by this spill. This is really another great video by you guys. Keep on making videos and tell others about how this oil spill has affected our way of life.

Comments for Classmates 12

James Marshall's
Hey James,
I think this is a great way to teach the guitar. I started playing the guitar once but never found the time to continue with it. I also like the time line on the different periods. I also thought about doing my time line on the different periods of the earth but I found so many conflicting times for all the periods. This post looks great.

Alissa Logan's
Hey Alissa,
Your son is really getting good at sounding out words. It is so awesome to see how children start off and really surprise us and themselves when they learn something new! You did a great job in keeping him on track. This is a really good video.

Erin Knowles
I think you pretty much said it all. This is a great view of Pausch's video and how he thought life should be lived. I really think you said it most when you talked about how we shouldn't just look at just one student, we should try to help all our students. It wouldn't be fair to any of the other students in the class if we didn't want all of them to succeed.

Like you, I think we should also keep our child-like mentality when teaching. Not only to keep it fun but to remember what it was like to be a child sitting in the classroom.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blog Post 12

Measuring Instruments
What I've Learned This Year

There are many things that Mr. McClung show us in his two years as a teacher. In comparing these two years, we can defiantly tell that there was a big change with Mr. McClung's response to different things that happened. He is quick to admit that his year wasn't so great but he also says that he is learning from that experience. That is the title to his first post (Never Stop Learning). He is really getting to know that there are many challenges to teaching that he didn't see coming. These post are going to be extremely helpful to me as I become a teacher one day. There were a few things that stood out to me as I was reading the post that I wanted to talk about.

Change makes us better teachers.
Mr. McClung shows that he was on the verge of getting too comfortable in what he was doing and his students were not benefiting. I think change is very important for all teachers to embrace.

Class discussions are important.
I haven't really thought about a class discussion being used in my class before because I didn't think it would be useful in a science class. Then I started to think that I know if I was a student and I really didn't like science, then a class discussion would make things seem more relevant to me as a person, not just as a student. If I can somehow make class discussions work in my classroom, I think I can get my students wanting to come and learn something from each other.

Being the Salesmen
I know Mr. McClung talked about selling his way of teaching to his students and making them want to learn. I think this is important because we must have the desire to make our students want to learn. If my students don't want to learn anything then they probably won't. I really think that we need to get our students to buy in to what we are trying to teach them.

What is important?
Should we be more concerned about what another teacher thinks about us or should we be more concerned about what our students are learning from us? This is a question we must ask ourselves when we go into the school and start our teaching journey. I don't think a teacher can do what is best for his or her students if they don't put those students first.

I really have enjoyed your two end of the year post. I think that this post shows how you have really changed and how you have had to change. I think your topics in this post will really help me to become a better teach because you show so much of what it is really like to be in the classroom. From comparing your two post and from you talking in this post, I can really tell that you have grown as a teacher. I think my favorite part of the post is " Don't Lose Sight of What's Important". I know that when I become a teacher there will be many things that will be challenging. Like you I want the students to be number one. We teach so that they might have a good future. Thanks for your post.


Engineering In the Classroom!

These videos show me yet something else I had no idea about. I can really see the reason that this is such a hit in these schools because kids love it, and it is a new way to help them with math, science, and other problem solving skills. I think this is a really great idea to get engineering into the schools because it does more that just makes shapes. It helps students to use the math formulas and really makes them think about what they are doing. Most of all I think the engineering concept makes the students proud because they have accomplished something. What a great way to use something new and cool to help students use their knowledge.

M-Cubed: ISTE Presentation Video

The Classroom Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab)

The Principle of Least Change

The Children's Engineering Initiative

PLN Status

Follow Me

My Twitter account has exploded! Well not really, but I feel such a relief that there are some science teachers out there that use Twitter. I have made some new additions to my Twitter and I am now following: Sandra McCarron, Richard Byrne, Phillip Cook, and Jason K. Suter.
I let them know that I was getting my degree in education and I wanted to teach high school science and here are the Tweets I got back


@akins14 for science you should follow @sanmccarron her blog is she'll have good recs for you too

From: cookp

@akins14 thanks for following! What are you interested in? I can probably suggest some good sites.
Here are the blogs that are now part of my PLN.

Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Free Technology for Teachers

Teach Web

At the Teacher's Desk

Digital Natives in the Classroom

School 2.0 in SA

Science Education on the Edge

Science for All

Reflections of a Science Teacher

Comments for Kids 4

Volcanic Eruption

Night's Cool Animation of an Volcanic Eruption!

I was assigned to comment on Knight's Volcanic Eruption! I think this was a really great way to teach the students how to use their mind and thinking to really understand what a volcano is doing, what it looks like, and how it sounds. I just think this is really cool!
By the way, I think Knight is an awesome name.

Here is my comment:

Hey Knight,

Your animation for your volcano is really cool. It does sound really angry! I loved the sound effects. I liked that you showed the different layers of the volcano because that's exactly what a real volcano looks like. You did a great job.

Comments for Teachers 4,5,and 6

The state of Nebraska

Nebraska Change Agent

My second teacher that I was assigned was Mrs. Beth Still. Just from the first few post on her blog you can see how involved she is outside of the classroom. She has a great deal on her blog that talks about PLNs and various things we are also learning about in EDM 310. If you have a chance read her biography on this blog. Here are my comments on her blog and the links to each blog post.

The Forgotten Ones

Hi Mrs. Still,

This is Stephen and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I have been assigned to your blog by Dr. Strange and our class is called EDM 310. I really enjoyed this post because we have just started talking about PLN’s in this class and I have just started mine. I haven’t really been separated from anyone because of work of course, but college life really has gotten my girlfriend and I distant. So in that sense, I can relate to your situation.

I will be following your blog for a while so, if you would like to check out our class blog here is the link: EDM 310

It Really Isn’t That Simple

Hey Mrs. Still,

I really enjoy your post on the PLN because I really don’t know that much about it. I know that I want to teach so I need to really start working on my PLN. I would like to know your opinion on where should I look for good people to add to my PLN? I have a Skype account but I really haven’t used it yet. How helpful is it to you? I think you have really good knowledge about PLNs and I would love to add you to my PLN. Let me know what you think.


Physical Geography Course

I think google earth would be a great idea. I know you have probably already researched, but there are some really good videos on Youtube that so different ideas on using google earth. Here is a link that you might want to check out. Google Earth

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summary for Questionnaire

Creating Summary Report

Hey everyone, This is a video we created to teach you how to create a summary report from our Google docs questionnaire. Here is a link to the instructions to accomplish this: Instructions for creating Summary Report

Friday, July 9, 2010

Blog Post 11

Ms. Cassidy's class is really a great example of how we can get our students involved in learning like it SHOULD be in the classroom. From listening to Ms. Cassidy's responses, I could tell that she thinks that her students really enjoy getting comments from others on their blogs. This is a cool way to encourage them to continue to learn and be involved with technology.

In the first video, the children talk about how their reading and writing improves every time they write on their blog. This is one way to get children to learn on their own and keep reading on their own.

The Wiki helps the children in Ms. Cassidy's class get a head start in researching and asking others about different things they want to know about. I think this is a great way to get the students really thinking about the subject that they want to learn. The students are learning about things from others and not necessarily by the teacher in the classroom. This is great because I would have loved to be able to ask someone else to review my work and to acctually add to my research. This opens up new ideas, new understanding, and different points of view. With these new things presented, then the children can really begin to learn about things from more that just their point of view and use new found knowledge.

I really think I will take Ms. Cassidy's advice about using blogs. Depending on which grade I teach, I think that my students should have a blog and explore other blogs to find information about different things pertaining to science. Mostly, I really like the idea of have a class blog to post class activity. I think this will be benifcal to the students and the students' parents. I really have enjoyed this blog and I hope to continue with one for all the classes I might teach.

Ms. Cassidy also talked about the importance of Twitter and Skype. I know that Twitter will be very important in my PLN and in finding teachers to add to my PLN, but right now, my Twitter account has really accomplished nothing. I know that Ms. Cassidy talked about how her Twitter wasn't doing much for her the first time she used it so I will keep an open mind about Twitter.
Skype has really great potential with me and my learning of the diverse ways in which we can communicate. I have used Skype very few times but I know that it can be useful in the classroom. It would be so great if I could use Skype to talk to teachers in a higher education to talk to my classes about sciences and different subjects that I choose. Also I think it would be awesome if I could communicate with other classes with my class and have a two class discussion on different topics. These are just a few ways in which I can use Skype to make my classroom seem to reach out and grab information from individuals or different groups of people.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Comments for Kids 3


I was assigned the blog post on June 14 for Mr. McClung's blog. In this post he showed that his blog was feature on another website called Edublogs. Here he talks highly of those who run edublogs and he is grateful that his blog was featured on it.
Edublogs is a host for blogs specific for teachers and students. This type of blog lets the teacher easy control and manage their student's blogs. Here is a link to Edublogs

Comment: Mr. McClung,

I think that it is really cool that your class blog was featured on I’m sure that this is one of the better blogs I have visited so far. I am from Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class and I was assigned to comment on your blog. I really have enjoyed reading some of you post over the last week.


Blog Post 10

I think my PLN is starting shape up pretty good. I like the symbaloo that she used and I think I might look into converting my PLN information to the symbaloo page. I think it is really cool that she was speaking to a scientist about her information. I think it is amazing how we can get our information reviewed by someone who is an expert in what we are researching. I hope this will be useful in my classes so when my students want to have their project reviewed, they can contact someone near or far.

I think her PLE is really good and I hope I can get more contacts on my PLN. I really think it would be cool to get a biology teacher that has some experience in teaching and add that teacher to my PLN. I've been searching for several weeks for a good person to follow on twitter.

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

I really enjoyed this video because I think these two questions can help EVERYONE not just teachers. I really do think that a single sentence can describe someone and help motivate them through everyday life. From being the president of the United States to a teacher in a classroom, we all have a sentence.

The second question is the question we ask ourselves every night when we go to bed: Was I better today than I was yesterday? You know, I really don't ask myself this question and I think it can make all the difference.

I know that my sentence isn't as profound as the ones in the video but here's mine: "He helps someone feel more positive about themselves everyday."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blog Post 9

An Open Letter To Educators

What a very interesting post. This post is something that we have all been talking about this semester and something that I think Dr. Strange has been wanting us to know. I know that most of us have had those teachers who just talk about the subject and make you memorize facts and that's it. Is this what we really NEED to be learning? If it isn't, then how do we change it?

I commented on this post and the main thing I talked about was the whole reason everyone goes to make money. This is why we learn the facts that don't really help anybody and facts that really have nothing to do with anything we want to know. What would happen if we had the attitude: I want to get a job because I have a purpose in life to make a difference. Or maybe with the attitude that we want to accomplish something to improve ourselves. With this attitude, we go to school and we get these facts that we don't want and we wonder what in the world is this? How is this going to help me get a job? In a lot of cases, the facts pay off and we get the job. So now we have a job that took about 4 years to accomplish. Now what? We go through the motions of work and everything is the same everyday.

We can make education better by one way. We have to change. We have to change our attitude of work, our attitude of what it means to have a job, and our attitude about education. I was raised in a home life that really showed me how your attitude dictated everything you were told to do and everything you wanted to do. So the reason I say we should change our attitude of a job is because so many people in this world do not have jobs and would do anything to have one.

All this change starts with us, the educational guides. Like Dr. Strange says, teacher is not always the best word. Thinking back at all the videos we have watch, one thing keeps coming back to my mine. This is that we are teaching these students and preparing them for jobs that haven't even be invented yet! That is so amazing to me because I am responsible for getting these students ready for something that is years ahead of what they are learning. So how can I get this information in to their heads? Should I give them a load of facts and say "Memorize this for your test tommorrow"?

I know this is a very broad subject and isn't going to be easy. I know that it probably is as significant as I may see it, but think about what would happen if more "educational guides" used new tools and tried to make their job worth it. What would happen to those students? How much better off would they be?

Here is my comment:Hi there, I am from Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. I want to talk about why we go to get a degree in the first place. It’s because we want to get a job and make money. I really think that this is an important post to everyone considering a degree and what it really means to get a job. It all boils down to what you are good at, and what your interviewer thinks about your resume. So many people go through school thinking about getting the job and not thinking about if they are learning what they need to learn to get that job. I have been in that situation, and since a have started read post like this one I have found that everything that I have been taught may not be good enough. I may not be as successful as my interviewer thought I should be because my resume showed that I could do so much more with the education I have. So, many jobs are lost everyday that I don’t think we should take our learning for granted. When I apply for a job, many employers will be skeptical to who they hire. I can’t just go through the motions of learning anymore. We need to be more serious in what we want to accomplish.

ALEX-Alabama Learning Exchange

ALEX is a website for all teachers to explore and find things for their classroom. ALEX stands for Alabama learning Exchange. This is a place where teachers from Alabama can log in and create lessons and publish them in the lesson plan library. This is also a good place to search for new ways to teach your students and find new ideas.

The ALEX website includes several different options at the beginning. There are 8 different links on the home page: Course of Study, Web Links, Lesson Plans, Search, Personal Workspace, Professional Learning, Podcast Treasury, and ALEXville. The Course of Study link shows the Alabama courses of study for all grades and all subjects. The Web links are a place to find different websites that will help with the courses of study. Lesson Plans are great lesson plans for different grades and all subjects. The Search link lets you search within the ALEX database for lessons and resources. The personal workspace is where you log in your account with ALEX. The professional learning link is where you can use useful tools to get you started with ALEX. Podcast Treasury is a link where different podcasts are posted from schools about certain subjects. The ALEXville link is where the updates and different activities that are coming up associated with ALEX are located.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Comments for Kids 2

For my second comments for kids I was assigned to Siabhaon's blog. She is new to the class. She has some cool posts up about herself and about where she is from.

Welcome to Siabhaon

On my first comment I introduced myself and found out about Siabhaon's name.

Hi Siabhaon,

This is Stephen and I am from the University of South Alabama in the United States. I have just started blogging and I have been assigned to comment and explore your blog. You have a very interesting class and I have really enjoyed your blog. I have never heard the name Siabhaon. It is a very cool name. I hope you have as much fun blogging as I have these past few weeks. Keep up the good work! If you are interested, here is a link to my class blog: EDM310

ABOUT ME (Siabhaon)!!!

My next comment is one the post where Siabhaon tells everyone about her interest and what she likes.

Hey Siabhaon,

It is me, Stephen again and it looks like everyone who commented, including me, loves chocolate! I really think my most favorite kind of chocolate is dark chocolate! I live somewhere very similar to a farm out in the country. There are not many farm animals, but I have had dogs, cats, and even horses. I think my favorite animal is the otter. I’m not sure how many otters are around this part of the world, but many of them live in rivers and close to the shores of the ocean.

Your blog is looking very nice! Keep up the great work.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blog post 8


What I've Learned This Year

I found this post to be so interesting and so helpful and I haven't even taught a class yet. I love how this is a post on Mr. McClung's first year. I think I will learn so much in my first year too. I think the key to his success is a picture at the top of this post. The picture says:"An important decision I made this year is stay positive." I have been told by so many people that I look up to that staying positive is very important in keeping your focus on the task at hand. I know it is easier said than done, but I truly believe that a positive attitude is really important when you are teaching a class that is full of children who look up to you.

One thing that he highlights that I feel like I should work on is being flexible. I totally see what he means when he talks about how he wants things to be a certain way. Even taking this class has made me realize how one tiny thing can change everything I want to do. I really do want things to go one way but I understand that being flexible is very important in the classroom.

Never stop learning! I really think this is the most important thing that a teacher can do when he or she is teaching any grade level. How can we be expected to be a good teacher if we don't learn new things about what we should know? In this class I have learned that things are changing so fast that we must stay on track to keep up with everything. I think everyone should read this post and try to follow this advice. I know that it is a great reminder to me so I can be a better teacher.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Second Timeline

Blog Post 7

I can say that this lecture is one of the best ways to really look at yourself and try to understand how you want to live your life. Many people don't know how to really be the person they want to be, or they don't know what their purpose is in life. In this video Randy Pausch shows us how his life was effected by others and how his ways can be a guideline to all our lives. He talks about the importance of dreaming and how our childhood dreams make us strive to become good people. He talks about leadership and how it can create such a good thing for everyone that is connected with you. He also talks about the importance that we can't do everything by ourselves.

I think one thing that Pausch said that really made me think was fundamentals. I really think that the importance of fundamentals is really something you have to experience to really know why it is so important. Students who are going to the next grade and don't remember the fundamentals of math shows me the importance of fundamentals, because how can they learn the more involved things if the fundamentals are not there? I really want to make sure that I teach fundamentals as much as i can so that my students don't have to be burdened with relearning something they should already know.

Leadership is something that I lacked in high school and for most of the time I've been in college. I really think that leadership is something I need to possess while I'm a teacher as well as all teachers. Just as he pointed out, Captain Kirk wasn't the smartest on the ship but he was the one who had the most leadership. If I can show leadership in my classroom, I think that it will rub off on some of my students. If my students can show leadership where they work, or whatever they decide to do, they can pass that on to the next person they met or accompany.

We can't do everything ourselves! In this video, Randy Pausch talks about how he couldn't have done anything he accomplished without someone's help. I know I couldn't have gotten into college without the help of all my teachers and of course, my family. I know as a teacher, I will not be able to have a successful career as a teacher without the help of my peers or my families support. I know that everyone has their own way to help others. Maybe my way of helping others is to teach my students so they will learn the little things in life from me. I hope I can also be the person that helps someone else.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

PLN Status

My PLN is coming on slowly but surely. I have several blogs I am following that seem to be very good in showing new teaching and technology strategies. Here are some of those.........

Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Free Technology for Teachers

Teach Web

At the Teacher's Desk

Synthesizing Education


I recently contacted Bryan Phillips to ask him some questions about teachers. He is not a teacher anymore but he said he would refer me some teachers to get in contact. I haven't heard from him yet.

I commented on Mrs. McGeady's blog and this was here response:
@ Stephen,

Thanks for another great comment. The blog looks great! Unfortunately I only teach primary so I’m not the best person to ask about secondary teaching but I do write a blog for teachers that you may find interesting. This is the address

Best wishes,
Kathleen McGeady

Comments for Kids

I was assigned the 2KM's blog at Leopold Primary School. This school is located on the Southern end of Victoria, Australia. This class blog is so amazing because I see how children can interact with the world and spread their new found knowledge to other children and even older people like me. Recently, 2KM had a reading day which looked really cool.

On the newest post on 2KM's blog they talk about what happened on reading day. The teacher, Mrs. McGeady, got the idea form a school in Connecticut. Here is a slide show of the class on reading day.


Mrs. McGeady,

Wow, I wish I could have had a reading day when I was in school! Maybe I would like to read more than I do today. I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I am assigned to your blog. I really have found this blog to be full of information that so many classes can use to make their classroom better. I am studying to be a high school science teacher so if you have some ideas on how to get started on class activities I would love to hear from you. Here is a link to my class blog: edm 310.

Another part of the post was when Bianca created her first Guest Post. Here is the post....

I found this to be very cool to see how beautiful the places were she visited.

Dear Bianca,

This is very impressive! I have never been to the 12 Apostles but it looks like a very interesting place. You did very good on researching and you really do have beautiful places to visit. Keep up the good work.


Last, we have stories from Clancy and Tom. They used Five Card Flickr
to make up a story. They picked five cards and used the pictures from the cards to make up a story.

Carnival Time by Clancy from Kathleen McGeady on Vimeo.

A Good Life by Tom from Kathleen McGeady on Vimeo.


Hey guys,

You did a great job on these stories. I love how you used the cards to make up a story and then used your imagination do the rest. I hope to hear many more stories from you guys.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Blog Post 6

Picture of Network
This is How we Dream

I knew since I started this class that English and Literature classes would be dramatically changed. Watching this video, it quickly showed me how little I knew about this new age of learning and "writing". I like how he points out that now we can communicate instantly all around the globe. That is so amazing to me that I can look up anything that someone wants to share. So many things are happening with technology that is so hard to keep up. It was amazing to me how he created a whole article just by using his computer.

Right now, I know that I am not ready to write with multimedia. I am so eager to learn how to use this because I think this can make research so much more easier and more organized. I hope that my class will be willing to learn how to do this, and I hope they will realize how much this will help them in the future. I hope that my students will also realize that they really don't have the option to not use technology anymore. Sometimes I think about how I will cope with all the things that are changing and this video shows that so many more things are changing at a very fast rate.

This video really shows how books have taken a new step in making itself available to everyone. Its really cool to think about how he talks about how things are updated right in front of our eyes. He also talks about how we as educators should be in the business of sharing ideas and sharing discoveries. I hope people in education will really try to keep ideas and keep updates on all the new ideas that can help EVERYONE be better at what they are training to become.

Wendy Drexler: The Networked Student

This video really clears up some of the understanding I didn't have about networking and my personal learning network. I can really see how this is an important tool these days in researching. I've said this so many times before that I wish I would have known about this when I was doing research papers about a year ago. I could have used the PLN to get some incite from people who where much more connected to the subject than I.

As someone who is just starting to use videos to help others learn and understand, I really like the way that the video was shot. The cartoons make it interesting and simple to follow as the narrator speaks on how to use and the example of the networking. The tools listed in the video are really cool and it amazes me on how much more information we can cover by using these tools.

Over all, I really enjoyed this video because it is informative and it really helps to clarify what a PLN is and how it is used. Many people can use the PLN to research anything they want! In a way, using a personal learning network can be a hobby. I think with practice I can use the networking tools to help improve my searches on specific subjects.

Toward A New Future of Whatever-Michael Wesch

Here is another great video on media communication and what it means for us today. Youtube is one of the highlights in this discussion of media and how it affects all of our lives. Professor Wesch talks about how Youtube has changed our communication and how people now see themselves and how they are expressed to others. I've been conscious of this when we did our videos for this class. It is very interesting to notice how we see ourselves as apposed to how we thought we looked and talked with face to face conversation. I think that this video is a wonderful way to learn why media tools are so important and how these tools can change the whole world in an instant.

Vocaroo Recording

I sent this recording to Martha Yim............

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blog Post 5

Part 1
Why Smartboards are a Dumb Initiative

I think this post was focused on the side that Smartboards are really expensive and not worth the money. Even though I've never used a smartboard in a classroom for a class, I do see so many things that the smartboard can do. I might change my mind one day, but I think just by my research that the smartboard is well worth the money. I think why i disagree with the point that we can use our mouse and pointer to interact is because kids don't want to use a mouse. They want to go in front of the class and write on the board. I think children really like to be the one drawing on the board instead of the teacher.

Why I hate Interactive Whiteboards

I think this post is just something that I've always known, everyone is different. Some people just don't like certain things. I'm sure the person who made this post was someone who is very smart and likes to use technology, but this is just a reminder, not everyone likes interactive whiteboards. I encoarage you to read the whole post and make up your mind yourself but here is something I want point out. Here is a quote from the post: "I ask you: Do we really want to spend thousands of dollars on a tool that makes stand-and-deliver instruction easier?" This to me says that this person thinks that smartboards only make instruction easier. Is that really all we could do with this? I'll let you decide.

Smart boards in the classroom

This website has some very interesting comments on why smart boards in classrooms help children learn. I encourage you to look at this and read the comments on this page. I like the comment from CreativeRachna. She has an ancient Chinese proverb that says: "I hear and I forget,I see and I remember,I do and I understand." I think this is a great way to explain the way so many teachers and students feel when they use the smart board.

Smart Boards are hands on, minds-on

This is a link to a website of the Wilmington news journal in Ohio. I like to see that this kind of achievement is in the news. This is just another piece of evidence that suggest that students want to use technology to learn. Another part of the Smart Board that I think is important that was stated in the article is this: "The technology utilizes lessons and templates — templates that can be used and adapted to suit a teacher’s needs for specific grade levels." I think this is important because ANY grade level can use this in their classroom.

Part 2
Edm for dummies

I think one thing I would like to do in Edm for dummies is how to use a Mac! I recently did a video with Anthony and Jamie Lynn and I got to use a Mac computer. I really liked the different things about it but I had no idea what I was doing. I think it's important that I learn to use Windows and Mac because who knows; if my student has a question about something on their Mac computer and I have a dfferent computer, how will I help them?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blog Post 4

A microphone
First of all I want to say that I really enjoyed listening to all of these podcasts. I think what was most interesting is how the children really want to act out the part that they have because it is something exciting. Before, if they didn't podcast, they would probably think these things were very boring and probably not important.

Now that they can act out a specific part and they look at history, or any other subject, with such a different view. How can this help a student pass a grade and learn? Well, I think that sense they are really much more involved, they will know or retain so much more of the information they receive.

Eagles’ Nest Radio Episode #2: Totally Terrific Time Travel with Explorers

I really like how the students in this podcast express themselves. They have so many things going on with sound effects, dialog, and acting that they are really preparing for so many other things later in life. I like how they are all part of the podcast in some way. I think this is a great way to get the kids involved and want to learn.

I liked that in this podcast they have the vocabulary words in the cast. Man would have loved to have that when I was in elementary school! I really struggled in spelling and vocabulary. I think if I would have been able to listen to the words over and over, I would have had a better experience in that subject.

Episode 1a: Eagles’ Nest Radio: A Shark-tastic Interview

This is a very cool podcast where the students are interviewing a shark guy who dives with sharks and knows many things about them. I think that the children really like when they get close to something they are learning about. Even though they are not actually seeing a live shark, they are talking to someone who has been there, and I think that interests them.

Again, this is a great way to get the children involved in the subject and get them thinking about what they are learning. I like that the teach lets one of the students do the interview and the class had lots of questions. Normally, children would read about this in a book and not really want to know more about the sharks. Now they are excited, asking questions, and you hear them yelling "Wow!".

Practical Principals 23 – #EduconEnvy, Ten Things, and the iPad

This podcast shows us how cool podcast can be. I like that they start off with music and all of the introduction stuff. This is also really cool because she is not even there! She is using Skpye to talk to him and do a podcast at the same time.I really think that this could be the part of technology that I uses to comunicate with the parents of my class.

I could set up a podcast that is like a review of what will be going on in the class that week. Therefore, the parents wouldn't have to wonder what their children are doing in class! I really think the parents would really enjoy know what their children are doing every week.

It’s Not About the Tools. It’s About the Skills

I like this post because it explains from a teacher's point-of-view on how a podcast helps students learn and why they choose to use podcasts. The teacher goes on to talk about the different tools in using the podcast and explains that the children are not just learning to use podcast and other tools, they are learning the regular subjects also.

Another cool thing is that toward the bottom of the post there are pictures of the different things that the children use in the classroom. Around the pictures there are the different skills that each tool helps and I encourage everyone to look at those! It's really cool to see the different things that each tool helps the child to learn and practice. My favorite one is probably the podcasting skills because I can find a few skills that I would have loved to have developed when I was in grammar school.