Sunday, March 4, 2012

C4K Summary for February

C4K#1: Omar S
For my first C4K assignment, I got to read about all of the wonderful things that are going on at Omar's school in his blogpost "My Wonderful School NH". At NH, Omar has had the opportunity to learn about many different subjects. On top of learning basic subjects like math and science, Omar has also taken the time to memorize most of the books of the Quran, and also had the chance to participate in the Los Angeles Spelling Bee. Quite impressive for a fifth grader! Towards the end of his post, Omar mentioned that he gets to study music. This immediately sparked my interest because I want to become a music teacher someday. In my comment, I told him how impressed I was with all of the different subjects he's studying, and that I was also impressed with the fact that he got to participate in the Los Angeles spelling bee. That's a big deal! I encouraged him to keep up the good work, and left a few questions for him. When I finally checked back, I saw that Omar had responded to my comment. I asked what Omar and all of his classmates were learning about in their music class, and he let me know that they are currently practicing for an upcoming play, and he also gets to learn about many different musical instruments. It sounds like there are some amazing things going on over at NH! 

Special C4K: Lauren 
For this special C4K assignment, Dr. Strange surprised us with a blogpost on the EDM310 Class Blog. Dr. Strange told us about an amazing little girl, Lauren, who showed great understanding of technology in a project she did on the customary system. Lauren's video "Good Morning Reality" is really funny, and it showed that she had a thorough understanding of the subject in which she was speaking about. Lauren's video shows that a little bit of creativity can go a long way, and it also shows that kids are more likely to remember what they have studied if they take the time to apply it to real life situations, and actually enjoy what they are doing!

C4K#2: Hannah
For my second C4K assignment, I got to read about a student's adventures at a theme park all the way in Australia. Hannah talked about how she spent the day at Adventure Park with her mom and some of her friends over on her Class Blog.  For my comment, I told her about some of the theme parks we have here in the US, and asked if she'd ever heard of the Batman Ride at Six Flags. I also mentioned that no matter how old I get, I'll never turn down the opportunity to ride a roller-coaster! Maybe someday if I'm in Australia, I can check out Adventure Park, thanks to the awesome recommendation she gave in her blogpost! 

C4K#3: Carla
For my final C4K assignment for the month of February, I got to read a cute love letter that Carla wrote on her Class Blog. You might be thinking... "What on earth is a 7th grader doing posting a love letter on her class blog?!", but the teacher actually assigned it! She assigned them to write a love letter using two different inanimate objects that they had to pick from a list. Carla picked peanut butter and jelly. Carla's love letter was absolutely adorable, and she used some clever lines! I suggest that anyone who reads this should go check it out! It was a cute Valentine's Day assignment, and could be used to teach students how to properly write a letter and address an envelope. Since technology has become such an important part of our lives, I'm sure the number of kids who still use snail mail is growing smaller each day. However, it's still something that children need to know. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to comment directly on Carla's blog, so I left a comment on her teacher's blog. Hopefully she got the chance to read it!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog Assignment 4

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Located on his blog, Integrating ICT into the MFL Classroom, Joe Dale provides a video with several reasons why podcasting can be beneficial in the classroom. Class lectures can be recorded to make review time at home easier for students. Instead of reading study guides over and over again, students would be able to listen to their teachers' lectures, and catch any information they might have missed. Another reason why podcasts could come in handy is that absent students could easily access their assignments and other information online. Also, video podcasts could give parents a glimpse of what is going on inside the classroom, and keep them updated on their child's upcoming assignments, projects, test dates, and other important activities they might be involved in. The school's principal, Christie L. Forrest, seems to be very supportive of the idea, and says "It is another opportunity for project based learning." Projects that involve creating podcasts give students another chance to show off their creativity, and students seem to be very excited to participate in hands-on projects like this. The more students are excited about what they are learning, the more they will take away from it.

1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook
This article posted on the Langwitches Blog informs us about an innovative teacher, Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, who created story booklets for her students to read along with while listening to audiobooks in the classroom. She even provides examples of the booklets she made on her blog to give teachers a further idea of how to make their own in case they want to do this project themselves. These types of documents could easily be shared over Google Docs, Skype, or e-mail, which would make them incredibly easy for everyone to access. Her students were eager to follow along with the booklets as they listened to the podcast recordings, and it helped them to become better readers. Not only did Mrs. Tolisano accomplish this, but she also made plans to work with the school librarian to establish a book review library, similar to what Anthony Capps has been doing with his book trailers. Creating a book review library gives students the opportunity to get excited about reading different books, and also gives them the opportunity to share this excitement with students all over the world.

Another way that podcasts could be used as a helpful tool in the classroom is in studying different languages. Podcasts could give students the ability to listen to new vocabulary words, hear the context in which they are used, and practice using them on their own. Students could record podcasts of themselves speaking in a different language, and then listen back to the recordings to hear any mistakes or mispronunciations they might be making. On the Langwitches Blog, Mrs. Tolisano tells us about how her students recorded a Hebrew story on Garage Band. After listening to the clips over and over again while editing, it helped reinforce everything they had learned. When I was taking Spanish in high school, my teacher made us do similar activities by listening to recordings on CDs. The downside of that was that the teacher was the only one who had access to the CDs, so we couldn't practice at home, but with podcasts, recordings can be easily accessible anywhere.

Project #6 [My Sentence Video]

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blog Assignment 1

Hello there, my name is Savannah Rhodes, I'm twenty years old, and a new student to the University of South Alabama. After studying pre-law at Faulkner State for almost two years, I had a change of heart, and realized I wanted to go a different direction with my life. While I enjoyed what I was studying, I couldn't help but feel like something was missing. I wanted to make sure that I was choosing a career path that would bring me happiness each and every day of my life. A few years from now, I want to be able to wake up every morning, and actually be EXCITED to go to work! Is that too much to ask?! 
Music has always been one of the most important parts of my life. I've been singing since I could talk, started begging my parents to let me take piano lessons as early as I could remember, and finally taught myself how to play guitar a couple of years ago. Music is truly one of the things that I am most passionate about. It has helped me get through so many hard times, inspires me on a daily basis, and always puts a smile on my face. Because of that, I decided I wanted to pursue a degree in music education. Someday, I want to be able to pass down the gift of music that my piano teacher shared with me, be able to teach kids a new way to express themselves, and share with anyone and everyone all the wonderful things that music has to offer. If my piano teacher could do it, I can too! This blog is one of the first steps I will be taking along my journey of becoming a music teacher. Hopefully EDM 310 will teach me some interesting ways in which I can use technology to communicate more effectively, and also introduce me to ways that I can incorporate technology into the teaching methods that I will use later in life.

I'll be the first to admit that I can be quite the procrastinator at times, especially when it comes to a task I'm not so excited about. I found it interesting how Randy Pausch equates time unwasted to something as valuable as money. It really put things into perspective for me because if all the time I spent procrastinating was used to get more accomplished, I could have a lot more free time to do the things that I enjoy. It would also eliminate the unnecessary stress and struggle that comes along with rushing to get things done at the last minute. I've always been one to make to-do lists, because let's face it... If I don't write it down, I'll probably forget it. I also really enjoy the process of planning things. Randy Pausch emphasizes the importance of crossing things off your to-do list that aren't so important. He quotes, "It doesn't matter how much you polish the underside of the banister." Focusing on things that are unimportant is one of the biggest wastes of time. Lastly, Pausch speaks about how important it is to tackle the tough things on your to-do list first. Things become so much easier after you get the "ugly things" over and done with.