Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blog Assignment #2

Mr. Dancealot:
     Professor Dancealot is a humorous video posted on youtube by Kari Johnson that shows how much can go wrong when a course's goals, assessments, and learning activities aren't aligned. Professor Dancealot, who is in charge of teaching a social dancing class, uses PowerPoints to teach his students how to dance. The students are expected to sit there quietly and take notes without participating. As you can imagine, it'd be pretty hard to learn a dance without any hands on practice or experience! When it's time to take the final exam, everyone is confused and doesn't even know where to begin, even though they tried to prepare with the notes they were given. This style of learning is incredibly similar to most classes I've taken in my lifetime!
     While note taking definitely has its time and place, some subjects are best learned when the material is presented in a way that actually engages students. Not all information needs to be taught in the typical lecture based style, especially dancing! Most of the times students are able to take more away from a class when they actually get involved, and have hands on experience in learning a subject! I think Professor Dancealot was created to encourage teachers to break away from this old way of teaching, and to inspire them not to turn into one of those kinds of teachers. In this day and age, we have so many more options to turn to that can inspire us to be able to present material in a new & fresh way to our students! 

Teaching in the 21st Century:
     Teaching in the 21st Century is a Prezi created by Kevin Roberts. This presentation breaks down how the world has changed, and why the way teachers need to approach education needs to change too! Roberts explains that since students have so much technology available at their fingertips to access any information they could ever want or need, the typical role of teachers is now no longer needed. We need to switch the focus from teaching facts and random bits of information to teaching skills that our students will be able to take with them, and use forever! I've created an outline that lays out some of the main points of Robert's argument. This video is powerful, and really makes you think about teaching from a whole new perspective! I highly recommend that any future educator watch it so they can understand Robert's point of view! 

- What does it mean to teach in the 21st century?
     - Teachers only provide facts, dates, theories, etc.
     - This means the role of teachers is now obsolete...
- Students can find information anywhere.
     - Blogs, Youtube, Google, Wikipedia, Cellphones, iPads, etc.
- Teachers are there to be the filter to teach students how to handle this information! 
     - Students need to learn how to:
          - validate, synthesize, leverage, communicate,                     collaborate & problem solve.
- Should we be teaching facts and content vs. skills?
     - Students need to learn how to:
          - remember, understand, apply, anaylze, evaluate,                   create!
- What does this mean for the classroom?
Entertainment vs. Engagement
- It starts with YOU! 
     - See what's out there, start small, collaborate, take a            risk. 
The Networked Student Processes and Tools
 The Networked Student:
     The Networked Student, a youtube video posted by Wendy Drexler, shows just what might be expected of the 21st century student someday! In the video, an important question is posed: "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?" The video goes on to explain that a teacher is there to help their students learn how to build up their own PLN (personal learning network), to help them when they get stuck during their research, and to encourage them to keep striving to put their best effort forward. Not only is the teacher there to do that, but also to encourage students to become lifelong learners! That means taking advantage of their PLN, and everything that they have learned long after they have finished school! So yes, I agree that even though students are becoming more and more independent learners, and even though technology is available to allow them to do this on their own, teachers still need to be there to help guide them along the way as they go through this process.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts:
     Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts is a video post from Edutopia about all of the cool things that Vicki Davis is doing in her classroom. She brings up the point that she thinks every child is capable of learning, but when you only use paper and pencils in the classroom only certain types of learners are going to succeed. Mrs. Davis is able to teach the same curriculum in all of her classes, but customizes the specifics based on her students’ individual interests. Using this method, Mrs. Davis teaches her students how to use new software, how to blog, and how to collaborate with their own classmates as well as other students from around the world. 
     Mrs. Davis allows her students to share their projects and assignments through a website called DigiTeen, which encourages them to communicate and start discussions with other students about the material. One unique thing about Mrs. Davis is that when she introduces a term that her students are unfamiliar with, she expects them to google it and find out! It's important for students to be able to figure out some things for themselves in this day and age, especially when so much technology is right at our fingertips. Not only does she expect this from her students, but they are also responsible for teaching some of the lessons! When a student really understands and grasps a concept, they are allowed to get up in front of the class and teach their fellow classmates what they know. Mrs. Davis believes that this gives them the empowerment that they need to be confident in their skills, and to keep striving to be self learners.

Flipping the Classroom:
     Before I watched Ms. Munafo's video about Flipping the Classroom, I had heard about this idea before, but forgot what it was all about! I think this idea is pretty brilliant, especially when it comes to teaching math. To be able to use technology to introduce new lessons at home, this gives students more time in class to actually work at mastering those skills instead of spending so much valuable class time taking notes. Students can arrive to class already prepared with their questions, and with an idea of what they will be learning next so that way their teacher can begin to help them figure things out instead of wasting that time introducing the material. This idea also comes in handy because it gives students who need extra help some videos to look back on for review! Since I have my own Macbook, and I'm able to record videos pretty easily, I'd love to do this with my own math class someday! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blog Assignment #1

• What are the things (if any) you have heard about EDM310?
    Whenever I first started taking classes at South Alabama, one of the first classes I heard a rumor about was actually EDM 310! A friend of mine who helped me register was quick to let me know that EDM 310 was very tough, and very time consuming! Other than that, I hadn't really heard anything else about it. Of course whenever I heard someone stress how it difficult it was, and then when Dr. Strange emphasized that we needed to put in 9 hours a week to be successful in this class, it intimated me a bit at first! 
     As I mentioned in my last post, I've already had the opportunity to take EDM 310 before. Unfortunately, I didn't get to stick it out for the rest of last semester because I had some stressful things going on in my family. I still remember those first few weeks in EDM 310 though! I remember it being a lot to take in at first, but staying on top of things and taking the initiative really helped me out throughout this course, and as the semester continued, it became less & less intimidating for me. I've also had some experience with blogging, and creating videos + other music projects on a Macbook before so those projects were quite easy for me to follow along with!
    As the semester progressed, EDM 310 became one of my favorite classes! I like how Dr. Strange expects us to take things into our own hands, and I love the challenge that comes along with this class. I love feeling involved with what I'm learning instead of just being expected to show up to class and take notes. Plus, I know that I will actually use the things that Dr. Strange teaches us through the projects he assigns so it made all of that initial stress worth it in the long run! From my experience, I can definitely say that after the first couple of weeks go by, it gets easier, and I definitely felt more comfortable and confident that I could succeed too. I'm excited to see how the projects this semester will differ from the ones assigned last semester! 

• What fears (if any) do you have about EDM310?
   Right now, I'm actually pretty excited about taking this class again. EDM 310 is a challenge, and I like that. I like the responsibility of working on my own, and learning things for myself. The only fear that I have is about the group aspect of some of our projects! I hope that I am lucky enough to get paired with people again who actually take pride in their work, who want to turn things in on time, and put in a good bit of effort. The one thing I hate about group projects is getting paired with people who just don't want to put any effort in! I don't like for that to reflect on me, nor do I like the stress of working with people who don't want to work, so I usually just prefer to work on assignments on my own. I realize that this won't always be an option in life though so its important to be able to figure out a way to work with people even when the situation isn't ideal! Hopefully I won't run into any major problems with people in my group being irresponsible, but if so, hopefully I can be a good leader and help us get through it! 

• Compare and contrast EDM310 with other courses you have taken in college or high school.
     EDM 310 is definitely unlike any other course I've ever taken before! The biggest difference that I've experienced with EDM 310 is "no burp back education". Out of all of the college classes I've been to, EDM 310 has been unique in that I'm not expected to just show up to class, take notes, and then repeat the information back on a test or by writing a paper. In EDM 310, Dr. Strange expects us to take the initiative, and to learn how to become lifelong learners. While I've had a few really good classes at Faulkner and South Alabama, most of them disappoint me in the way that they are set up. The only thing that really prepared me for a class like EDM 310 in the past is having good writing skills. Also, I've always been the type of student who enjoys learning things on their own so that really came in handy for me. 

• What do you think will be the most difficult thing for you in EDM310?
     One of the most difficult parts of EDM 310 for me will be making sure that I stay on top of things. This is always easier said than done for me! I usually do pretty good job of staying on top of things at the beginning of the semester, but I need to make sure that I do not let procrastinating get the best of me. EDM 310 has a lot of big projects, and in order for me to get the most out of them, I need to make sure I have plenty of time to put my total effort in! I don't want to find myself giving 50% towards the end of the semester because I waited too long to start my projects.
Procrastination Cycle

• What is the best way for you to address this “most difficult” aspect of EDM310?
     The way that I can prevent those things from happening is by planning ahead! I'll definitely make an effort to check on what will be due plenty of weeks in advance so that way I have time to do my research on what all is involved in a project so that way I can put my best foot forward. I usually do a pretty good job of this at the beginning of the semester so I just need to remember this, and stay on top of things as I go. 

• What questions do you still have about EDM310? What ideas do you have about how address those questions? 
     Since I've already taken EDM 310 before, I don't really have many questions about what to expect. I feel confident going into this class this time around! However, after filling out the questionnaire, I realized that I'm not 100% sure about all of the specifics of plagiarism. Yes, I have a general idea of what it is, and I feel like I have a good idea of how to avoid using plagiarism in my work, but when it comes down to the specific little details, like how many words it takes before something technically falls into that category, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not an expert! That's something I would love to hear Dr. Strange go into more detail about during this semester. I've had teachers and professors touch on this before, but I haven't really studied all of the specifics about what is actually considered plagiarism or how to properly cite things since high school! I always try to write with my own voice, share my own opinions, plus express things in my own way, but I'd like to learn more about this so I'll be better prepared to teach my students about plagiarism, and how to properly cite things in the future.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Practice Blogpost

Hello there,
     My name is Savannah Rhodes, and I'm a junior at the University of South Alabama. I've lived in Mobile, Alabama my entire life, and for now I'm happy here. I'd definitely love to move to a bigger city with more things to do, and more opportunities sometime in the future, possibly even after I graduate! I've had quite an interesting journey through college thus far, and I'm proud to say that I've finally found a major in which I am truly happy. I started out not knowing what on earth I wanted to do with my life, and just started taking basic classes at Faulkner State Community College until I was 19. After a few years doing that, I transferred to South Alabama, and decided I wanted to do something with music! Music has always been my biggest passion, and I want to be able to share that gift with other people someday. I enjoy singing, I've been playing piano since I was 5, and I was able to teach myself guitar a few years ago! I also enjoy attempting to play other instruments too (like drums & violin), but those are the main ones I've been playing for a while. Whenever I started out at South, I was a full-time music major, and I enjoyed that while it lasted, however, being a band teacher wasn't my true passion, and the only other degree South Alabama offered was in Piano Performance. Because of that, I decided to switch to Secondary Education so I can teach middle school math someday, and I can always teach music on the side, especially during my summers off! I'm happy that things are working out where I can finish out with a minor in music because I truly enjoyed my time studying music over at Laidlaw. Dr. Holm is the most amazing piano teacher I've had, and I hope to take choir again sometime if my schedule will allow it! Besides music, my biggest love is spending time with my family and friends. I'm lucky to have the most supportive mom & dad in the world, and an amazing boyfriend too! My dad is a captain, and we love to spend our free time taking the boat out, and going fishing! I love being out on the water, and that's one of the reasons I'm so happy living in Mobile, Alabama for now. We're so lucky to live close to the beach! After spending most of the holidays out in Tucson, Arizona visiting my grandpa, it definitely made me miss being back at home. 
my pianomy dog

some piano music i am currently working onsailboats at a local dock
     I've taken EDM 310 before in the past, but unfortunately I didn't get to finish out the semester due to some stressful things going on with my family. EDM 310 was one of my favorite classes last semester because of the challenge, and I loved actually feeling involved in the class, and with what I'm learning. I'm excited to see what Dr. Strange has planned for us this semester, and I know that I will use the things I learn in EDM 310 for the rest of my life! I want to be able to use technology & a class blog to help my students, and I can also use some of the things I learn through EDM 310 to help build my own business teaching piano lessons someday! I would love to use technology to its fullest potential with that too! I'm looking forward to this semester, and I'm proud to say that I'm finally in a place where I'm completely happy with what I'm studying.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Test Post Title

This is my first post for my EDM 310 class blog! I made sure to click the HTML button, which is something I should always remember to do in EDM 310. I am now a blogger! :)