Friday, May 2, 2014

Blog #15

For our final blog Dr. Strange asked us to do a student reflection. He wanted us to tell what we will take and how we have grown from EDM310.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


For our final group project Dr. Strange asked us to create an iBook. In this iBook our collaborative projects, individual blog post, and group blog post will be apart of this book. You will also see different pictures from each member of the group. My group Excel chose to do a out of space theme. Working with my group was very easy, our schedules were flexible enough that we were able to meet twice that week. I have really enjoyed creating this iBook, it was a lot of fun.

Excel's iBook

Sunday, April 27, 2014

C4T #4

My last comment for teachers was a Physical Education Teacher. His blog was named just that , The Physical Education Teacher it was created and owned by Dylan Blain. I enjoyed reading his blogpost about technology in P.E., but the last blog post I commented on was blogged on August 5, 2013 and hasn't been much activity since then. Although he hasn't posted his blog about the use of iPads and different technology he used in his classes were quite interesting. Most people think of P.E. as just another credit to finish whatever grade or credit they need to make it out. But just like any other subject, its just as important. Then I read his next blog about using iPads to record different lessons and sending them to your colleagues. I thought that was a very helpful idea, because the best way to reach all of our students and to make sure they are all on the same page is by working together as a team.

Hello My name is Alexis McSwain. I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I think its a great idea to record different lessons and share them with colleagues. The best way to know if something works and make sure we are reaching all of our students is by team work. Excellent job. I think my professor would be excited to know that you are using technology is this way.

Hi! My name is Alexis McSwain. I am a n EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I have enjoyed reading your post. I’m not a physical education major this app is a great tool that teachers should know and use. Being in EDM310 it has taught me to look for things to not only help me, but help my students. This app most certainly does that.
Physical Education

C4K April

The two blog post I had to read were from students at the PT England School. I enjoyed reading their post. Olivia talked about family time being spent together. She had some very interesting pictures of her and her family and friends added in on her blog post. While John talked about a game he played that helped him with math and problem solving. He left a link on his blog and I visited it. The game was really interesting, I truly enjoyed playing it. It took John only 7 guesses to catch the robbers while it took me 9. I enjoyed reading both students blog post and I cant wait to introduce these ideas to my students in the future.

Hi Olivia I'm Alexis McSwain. I'm a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading your post about fiafia. Me and my family have plenty of those. Any holiday that comes around we get together and eat and dance. Great job you taught me something new. Keep up the good work. Olivia @ pt England school


Hi John, my name is Alexis McSwain I'm a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Your blog is really cool. You have to be very smart to only catch the robbers in 7 guesses, it took me 9!! Keep up the great work!

John's Game

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blog Post #13

This weeks assignment we were ask to create our own blog post on what we thought Dr. Strange may have left out. It took me quite sometime to come up with something, but after thinking through all of our post and projects we had I decided that it would be something so simple. When I first started in this class I was against using too much technology in the classroom. I think there should be a post or a project where the students of EDM310 interview future teachers about how they feel about technology in a class before they take EDM310. At first I thought it would be hard to find students who major in Elementary Education who haven't taken this course, but if we can find busy teachers, I'm sure we can find busy college students. I think that this project would be an opportunity for other future educators to give them an idea of what we do in this class before they get there. This class for me has open my eyes to what I would be missing if I didn't use technology in my classroom. I have this debate with a friend all the time who hasn't had the opportunity of being apart of this class. She is completely against the thought of technology, I truly feel like if she had the opportunity to take this course and see all the things we learned and got to explore, she would have a completely different look on the use of technology in the classrooms.
Interview With Students

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blog Post #11

Back to the Future
Blended Learning Cycle
Making Thinking Visible
Project Based Learning
Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program
Sam Pane 4th Grade

C4K March

This week in the comment for kids, I was assigned a class in Auckland, New Zealand. I watched Leilani's video and she talked about where and when she wears hats. Its so amazing to me that all the way across the world s child is doing just about the same assignments that a college student is doing and we're all complaining about how hard it is. No they might not have as crazy scheduled as we have but they enjoy the experience. As much as I'm ready for the semester to end I have learned so much from this class. I enjoyed the kids blogged that I was assigned to every month I am amazed at the work these children do.
Kids Blogging


My teacher blogspot this week was Dangerously Irrelevant. This blog was a very helpful blog, it was one the few I really liked. It talked more about technology and its use in the classroom. This particular blog helped me this week with the project we did on interviewing a teacher. Some of the vital questions I used were things I learned in these post. I have saved this blogspot to my favorites because I believe that it will help me in the future. Scott McLeod who is the owner of the blog made some very valid points on how we should set up rules for our students using the internet. He says we shouldn't be so strict, of course monitor what our students are doing, but don't subject them to just one or two sites to do their research.

Use of Technology in the Classroom
Hello Scott, I'm Alexis McSwain. I attend the University of South Alabama and I'm currently enrolled in EDM310. This class teaches us future teachers to open our minds to technology and use it in more ways than one. I think this blog is one of the things our professor is trying to get us to learn, not only help us open our minds but our students as well.

Hello Scott, I agree with you. I don't think we as educators, even as adults know how to explain to our kids that they can make a difference, but that their difference could be that to change the world. As teachers we should be as open minded to change as we expect the world and our students to be, but still we are the ones who are the most stuck in our ways of learning, mainly because we feel as if what we learned is the only right way to do so.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Project #10

I've had the opportunity of discussing technology in the classroom with some friends, classmates, and even teachers. Before I began in this class, I had completely out ruled the use of technology in my classroom. As of know I don't know how I would be able to do so. How can I not expect my students to explore and use technology, when I use it on a everyday basis for my homework. When I'm assigned lesson plans to come up with, my first thought is to do some research on it. I interviewed Ms. Claudia Weems she is an amazing teacher. She told me some of her views on technology and I couldn't agree more with her.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Blog Post #10

This week Dr. Strange asked us to view a video of Sir Ken Robinson Bring on the Education Revolution. I know I have said before that video's before were my favorite, but to be honest this video has to be my favorite video. This is a video that every educator not just future but, every educator should view. Sir Ken Robinson made some very valid points. I like that he said we don't need to reform our schools but that we need a revolution, because reforming our schools is only improving a broken model. That point is a excellent one because why would you improve something that's broken instead you should fix it or begin on a new model. The definition of revolution is a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system. This simply means that we need to start over with our school systems and come up with something new to help our kids grasp and understand the lesson and concepts in which we are trying to teach. Instead of being stuck in our old ways of thinking we should branch out and try new things. When Robinson quoted Abraham Lincoln his quote stuck out to me, I like that he paid close attention to the part about rising with the occasion not to the occasion, instead of waiting for a special event to happen to rise to but rise with an occasion no matter the event. Getting to the end of this video almost made me want to cry, the end of the video is where I learned the most. I learned that no matter a child's dream you should never tell them that their dream is not achievable. As adults not just educators we should tread softly on the things they want to become. No child should be told that what they want to be is stupid and its impossible. I have been told that I shouldn't go after my dream of being a educator because the money isn't worth it. When you have a dream and your passionate about it no amount of money will suffice the love you have for it.

W.B Yates Quote

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Project #15

Dr. Strange asked us this week to create another PBL. I decided that this time I would do science. Here is a link to Habitats of Life

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blog Post #9

Dr. Strange has us watch First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class. The students in her class are very familiar with the internet and how to search for things needed for class. They have a Facebook page, where they use it to read their class books and use it for their resources and homework in their class. They use their class computers in centers and play different games to enhance their learning. This video gives future educators like myself great ideas on how to use technology in our classrooms.

After watching the interviews with Ms. Cassidy, her idea of having a blog, a Facebook page, and using Skype to talk to other classrooms and experts that help expand and explain the process of their different projects. I think the Facebook page is a great idea, this gives the students a sense of freedom and responsibility. Facebook is a site most kids know they're parents or even older siblings are using, this may make them feel like they are on the same level as everybody else and that they are not to young to use Facebook. When I first decided I would go back to school to pursue my dream career, even with the technology that was coming out then, I never thought I would be using it in my classroom. After watching this video it has made me want to use the idea of Skyping in my classroom. To hear from a expert on a particular project your class may be working on will only excite the students to go further and do their best on their school work. What child doesn't like when they can show off their work and get a great response from it? I don't know a child that wouldn't love that.

I listened to Ms. Cassidy's reasoning for blogging in her classroom. You would never think of how much of an impact it has on not only the students but on the people who stop and read their work. This not only helps students with their social skills but it also helps them with communication and writing. Blogging is something I'm still amazed that I do. Sometimes I think it's the hardest thing in the world, then Dr. Strange shares a video or we have to do our comment for kids and I feel a completely different way about it. If first graders can blog with so much enthusiasm, then why can't I suck it up and do the same. I even get excited when I get my email notifications to say I have a comment. I want nothing but to make my post better, I know if I'm getting that feeling I can only imagine how a child would feel when it happens to them. I think Ms. Cassidy's idea for technology will eventually if it hasn't already branch off and before we know it all schools and students will be using this idea of teaching. I appreciate teachers like her who go the extra mile to make sure students expand their minds to use other things to learn instead of just paper and pencil.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Project #14

Dr. Strange asked us to create a lesson plan using technology and how we would use it in our class I came up with a Black History Month project since history is my favorite subject. Famous African American Inventors

Sunday, March 16, 2014

C4T #2

I enjoyed some aspects of this blog, while some parts of it I didn't. I had the Langwitches blog and while this blog taught me so much, it was also a bit confusing. I loved the project she did with her students using different ways to take pictures and how to incorporate it with the lesson. I like the fact that she commented back when I left a comment on the first blog. I forgot to save my comment and her response, mistake on my part. This blog has a lot of resources on how she helped her students to learn different ways of using technology to their advantage and how to use the things they overlook on a daily bases as learning tools. I would probably go back to this blog to use some resources.

I really enjoyed this post, its so amazing that we use the app Instagram so much and never think that it could be a way of teaching our students photography. I love looking at all the pictures but I would have to say my favorite ones were the forced perspective photos. Those pictures were amazing, please tell your students that all of their pictures were great! I try to do the photo challenge every month on Instagram, because they have a new one once a month. I never can remember to keep it up, but you have just inspired me to start a challenge and finish it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Project #9

Dr. Strange asked us to do a group discussion book report on Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering For Real Learning.. Each group had a topic to discuss and record, our topic was;

: "One of the great opportunities that technology has to bring us is the ability for those who have more, and who know more, to help those who don't. " (p. 190, Teaching Digital Natives ) What evidence does Prensky give in Teaching Digital Natives to support this conclusion? What other evidence would you offer to support it? Do you agree entirely with his assessment? If not, what reservations do you have and what evidence do you offer as an explanation for those misgivings about technology?

Blog Post #8

This Week Dr. Strange asked us to find some 21st century learning and communicating tools. I first thought this would be a hard task to do, because there are so many new things that are meant for communication. Then it dawned on me that I already have one at my fingertips. I had to do 20 observation hours for one of my classes. I had to go to the school and tutor and observe how a teacher taught her class and what kind of resources she used to help her students. The class I was in the students were learning about long division, and they were having a hard time understanding it. The teacher asked me to help find them some activities to get more practice and a better understanding on the concept of long division. Without even thinking I went to Pinterest. Pinterest is a site where you share different ideas, pictures, quotes, and stories. You place things in different categories, and when people search them your ideas come up. They call their categories boards, and they allow you to pin things to your board in order for you to save the particular idea. They have a board completely dedicated to education, thats one of my favorite boards. If you were to type in the search box 3rd grade division, different worksheets, activities and ideas on how to help your students with division, they have ideas for bulletin boards, for gifts for teachers, anything you want to search you are able to find it on Pinterest. I find myself going to Pinterest for just about everything. Most of the ideas are linked to a site where its either a blog, a website, or just a picture. The blogs are a lot of help, because once you click to go to the link it takes you to that blog and your able to see exactly what the person blogs is like. Most of the blogs are from teachers, so you can communicate back and forth with that teacher. You are even allowed to follow that particular board, which allows you to continue to see what that teacher is posting. I think Pinterest is a great website and a great place to keep teachers linked to one another. You can find and sign up for Pinterest at

Sunday, March 2, 2014

C4K Summary #1

I enjoyed reading all of the blogs that I was assigned to. My favorite out of all 4 I did was the last one about sacrifice. I enjoyed the opportunity to see what kids are writing about and how they use blogs in their schools and school work. When I first got in this class I was a little skeptical on how blogs would integrate with school work. The more I've been in this class and have had the opportunity to read and talk with these students on what their using their blogs for, I have walked away each time with a better understanding on how this could help me in my classrooms one day.


Hello Boden, My name is Alexis McSwain and I attend the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading your blog and looking at your pictures. I remember reading the comics on Sunday mornings, they always put a smile on my face. Are you making comments for a certain class?

Comment #2
Hi Maika, My name is Alexis McSwain. I am a student at the University of South Alabama, you had an awesome chance to travel outside of the country! Even though it rained those first couple of days I am jealous. What all do you see on your vacation?

Comment #3
Hello Alayna, My name is Alexis McSwain. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun. This place sounds like a place I would love to visit, because I love to skate. Good job to Jacob with him being good at the claw game, I can never win anything out of those machines. Is your friend Kaylea's are okay now?

Comment #4

Hello Jeff, I'm Alexis McSwain, I'm a student at the University of South Alabama, majoring in Elementary Education. I liked your idea of challenging your readers to find something to sacrifice. Because of that I myself will take your challenge. Did you sacrifice something as well, if so what did you sacrifice? I enjoyed reading your blog! Keep up the excellent work.

I enjoyed reading all of the blogs that I was assigned to. My favorite out of all 4 I did was the last one about sacrifice. I enjoyed the oppurtnitiy to see what kids are writing about and how they use blogs in their schools and school work.

Project #13

This was a collabritive project. My group Excel, created a project based lesson. We named it the Shapes of Life. Click the link to see what we came up with.ShapesofLife

Blog Post #7

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?
  This is a very resourceful video for when you need some motivating words of wisdom. After watching this video I learned quite a lot from Randy Pausch. The first thing I took from this video was that no matter what situation life hands you, always take the positive outlook on it. After being told that you only have a month to live, you would think a person would be depressed, angry, and more than likely maybe lazy. Instead of letting his bad news get the best of him, he took it in stride and continued living life as if he was to live forever. I liked his list of childhood dreams and how no matter how many no's he got, he never gave up on achieving them. The same motivation he had is the same motivation we as teachers need to give to our kids. I loved his quote about the brick wall and how its only up for those who are not willing to try to get over it. In every story he shared, he took away a life lesson. He was more than open minded to learning new things with each new obstacle he had to take on.

  His statement about not trying to talk to or teach someone when you are mad, or when they are mad with you is something I have witness in person. I recently had to observe a 3rd grade class, the teacher had been teaching time and elapsed time for 2 weeks straight. After she felt comfortable enough to give them a test, once she began grading them she realized that some of the students still didn't comprehend the lesson as well as others. She worked one on one with a particular student and the more he didn't understand, the more she yelled and became irritated. Of course yelling was something she didn't want to do, but it happened. She suggested that he walk away and collect his thoughts, as she did hers. When the student returned he immediately grasped the concept and worked his problems out perfectly. Sometimes as adults we expect children to have just as much knowledge as us, and we forget that we are the ones who teach them what they need to know. I learned that teaching is learning, when we think our students won't surprise us we end up learning from them. As teachers we should realize that sometimes we become the students and our students are there to teach us.

  I took away from Randy that giving up is not a option, even if its a childhood dream. He taught us to have patience with our students. That even as degree earned teachers we still have to be as opened to learning and helping our students reach there goals as well. This was one of my favorite videos to watch so far in Dr. Strange's class. This video even though it was not directed to teachers is a great resource. That brick wall will not get in my way. It will be blown away.

Here's the link to Randy's Video here

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Project #8

Dr. Seuss Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!

Blog Post #6

This week's blog post is all about setting up your PLN (personal learning network). When I first starting reading exactly what PLN meant, my first impression was that it was like a list of people that you personally knew that could help you get what you needed in your career. After reading and watching the first video A "7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment" I learned that a PLN is a website used to help keep your sources in order. The site used in the video Symbaloo, looks like the home icon's on an Ipad or tablet. The 7th grader in the video taught me how to use this site. She showed us all the different apps she used to contribute to her learning process in the science class.
When I first created my profile for Symbaloo it was a tad bit confusing. After playing around with you I kind of got the hang of it. I like the overall look of it. Some of the tabs I deleted, like the booking websites and some of the social sites. For the most part I kept the majority of the tabs that came with the sign up. I used the 7th grader's idea and put most of my school resources on the bottom. I'm still trying to get the hang of it. One of the apps I've played with the most is the Symbaloo education app. It allows you to share the best of the internet with you students. It has a place for science, chemistry, and writing. Once you click on the subject you want, it takes you to a list of topics to choose from. I chose biology, and then my plantID, it took me to a website where I could make my own site for my students to keep up with the class plant or different projects that involved the plant.
The more and more I played around with Symbaloo, the more I fell in love with it. I think every teacher should know about this site. I believe I will be using this more often. I think it will become very helpful in the future when using it in the classroom.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Project #7

This Is My Sentence

This Is My Passion

Blog Post #5

In the video's Project Based Learning Part 1 & 2, I learned quite a lot. I loved the project in the first video about writing to the city councilman about women serving in open combat. I liked that he made the kids look for women that they knew nothing about. This drove home his comment about project based learning being the key to helping the kids learn more, and helping the teacher know that what was taught, was comprehended. The comment Anthony Capps made in the second video about never limiting your students to what they research. I agree with him completely, no teacher should ever stop a child from learning. In the process of children learning we as teacher learn more. His point about involving the community to allow them to see that this way of learning is meaningful and helpful to the students stood out to me as well. When the community sees that kids are learning and that this way of teaching is helping the students be successful, it allows the community to get involved and this also pushes students more. I know as a child I loved when we had open house and I got to show all my family and my community what I learned and what I created. The passion and the drive Anthony has when he talks about his students and the projects is amazing. I want to one day be that teacher that my students can't wait to come to class and learn. I love that after every lesson, even if he just gives a worksheet his students know that its important and its a reason behind it. He is truly motivating, this makes me want to hurry and finish school so I too can see the passion and the light in students eyes when they learn something new.
I enjoyed the video The Anthony-Strange Tips for Teachers Part 1, mainly because all the tips made were great points. I think the first one, "being open to learning" is the most important one. How can I as a educator expect my students to be excited and willing to learn something everyday when I myself am not open to someone teaching me something. Anthony made the statement that teaching is hard, but its something that is constant. Even when your off work, your constantly trying to find a better way to teach, or talking about your job. I find that very easy to believe, I have the pleasure of sitting in a 3rd grade class and observing the teacher and the students, the first thing I do when I leave the class is call my mother to tell her what I observed and how I am going to use that idea or improve that idea in my classroom.
Teacher Quote

Friday, February 7, 2014

C4T Assignment #1 Comment and Summary

This is an excellent way to get students involved in classroom discussion. This tool alone is stetting highschool students up for college. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. Most of our classes are web blended and most professors require you to participate in the online discussion forum. Not only will you have to create your own place in the forum, but most of the time you have to comment on a classmates, maybe 3 discussion forum. Teaching students early on how to work these forums and how to use them in ways to expand their knowledge, will get them one step closer to being better college students.
I enjoyed reading this blog post, simply because I felt it related to the kids so much. As an future educator I believe that if we make learning fun for the students then they will want to continue to come back more and more excited everyday. I think my favorite game and one I'm willing to try is the stop disasters. I would have never guess to put it with teaching weather. This game will help students to learn what they need when a natural disaster comes our way. Exciting things!

My Teacher's blog is focused on the new technologies that students are using. After the first week has passed and I went back to view what had been updated, and realized that the teacher hasn't posted anything since January 18th. In my personal opinion the blog is an okay blog, nothing really exciting going on. It had vital information about what students could use to better their education experience, but if I was a child I don't think I would be all that interested in the blog. I did like the post about the classroom discussion, especially because we use the discussion forums here at South and we have to comment on atleast 3 sometimes of our peers post. I think that is a perfect way to get the child started and open a child up to interacting with other classmates. I chose to comment on the post about the games because it truly caught my attention. The Natural Disaster game was on of my favorites that was discussed, in this game you had to provide all the necessary things need if a disaster game through your town. The teacher used this game to teach 5th grade weather, that was an interesting way to get and keep the kids involved and entertained. This was one of the many was the elementary schools are moving up with the technology.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Blog Post #4

After reading the postThe Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom I took a step back and realized that I am one of those students who sits back and lets someone else answer the questions, just because I know they will. I know the feeling of being one of the "not so smart" students. I like the point the author made that we as teachers get up in front of students and pretend as if we know everything, when we are the one asking all the questions. The question Ben Johnson asked at the beginning of the post was " What does a teacher asking questions of a class expect the class to learn from the questioning process?." What he means is what do we as teachers asking students who already don't know much about the subject expect the students to get from us just asking does everyone understand. This question is a question that many teachers ask all day everyday. What exactly do we want our students to understand, instead of just being so simple and asking if they do understand, we as teachers should know what it is we want them to get. I got some creative ideas to do in my future classroom from this post. Instead of asking the question to the entire class, pause to give students time to start thinking then randomly call a student to answer it. Even though some students may be happy you didn't call on them, at least they participated in the thinking process of the question
This post not only made me open my eyes, to become a better teacher, but to also become a better student. How can I expect my students to want to ask questions and want to learn, if I as a student right now can't do the same. One thing I have taken from the post Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom is that instead of letting a question be as simple as do you understand?, instead prepare the questions you want to ask our students, this will help them know and learn the important things to take from that lesson. I like the idea of playing with a questions, instead of letting your students know right off hand that they are right, make them think more about the question. This process allows every student even the ones who don't like to participate the opportunity to maybe want to join in on the class discussion. Being able to ask the type of questions to get our students involved should be a very big goal as a teacher. No teacher wants a boring class who only answers yes and no to the questions, but we as educators cannot blame the kids, we too must take responsibility.
In the video Asking Better Questions in the Classroom Part 1 Joanne Chesley teaches us that we need to be more open ended with our questions, what is an open ended questions, a question that needs more than a yes or no answer. If we ask more of these questions students will learn more, and think harder about the answer needed for the question. The first thing I took for the video Question Style and Strategies was to ask questions that students want to answer, he started off by asking the students how they envisioned what they say as they read the book. These students got the chance to use their imagination, all while doing classwork. Afterwards the students got to compare with their classmates their answers, which what better way to learn than to get students involved with one another.
In all we as future educators have to do better when trying to ensure that our students know and understand what we need them to know. Instead of using closed ended questions, and not involving every student we have to be just as open as we would want them to be.
Child Raising Hand

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing
After viewing all the information that was given in the instructions. I made some notes on what to look for while reading my group members blog's. I enjoyed reading everybody's different ideas on the last blog, I enjoyed reading what fears and questions they had about EDM 310, but most of all I enjoyed reading the post they made about themselves, and how great teachers they want to become. My one of my group members in particular had a few errors, nothing that reading over their blog wouldn't fix. I believe that each of them had clarity in their blogs, I understood the point they were trying to get across. I do not think I would share with my group members publicly their mistakes, just because in my opinion I cannot stand someone who calls people out for their grammar. I've never known a teacher who publicly announce a grammar problem with a student out loud. for the most part if you write a paper your teacher makes comments on what they believed to be wrong on your paper, privately and not for everyone to see or hear. If I had to use our rubric our group made to grade my group members, they all would receive good, because we all are not perfect and some mistakes were made.


What Have I Learned
This wasn't the first time, I've heard of peer reviews or editing. This is not the first time I have had to comment on a peer's post. Although this isn't a first for me, taking my time and actually thinking about what to review and how to properly do so is. After reviewing the information given to me in the instructions, I have learned that in order to help someone become better at whatever it is they are striving to do, some positive criticism is the correct way to go. I learned the rules in how to properly editing a peers post, paper or work. I know now that there are 3 rules to doing so, 1.) Give compliments on your peers work, state what you liked, what you thought was interesting, and even how you related to it. 2.) Suggestions on how they could word a sentence better so that the consistency of their post continues on. 3.) Correction, although nobody likes for their work to be corrected, we all make mistakes and who better to help you then someone your age, possibly making the same mistakes as you.
I really enjoyed the video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes I loved the examples they gave. I too have been a Whatever Warren, and a off-task Oliver. The students in this presentation touched on all the things not to do when peer reviewing. The students taught us how to approach different situations when editing. We all have had to work with someone that we didn't want to work with. Sometimes we all can be rude and think we know it all when it comes to grammar, especially those of us going into the education field. I like the examples the power point gave about how to tell a peer to correct a sentence. I can understand how Paige felt after reading someones post, you don't want to put yourself in that position of correcting someone and you don't know how that person will take it, or if they will be offended by it. I feel like now I have a better understanding on how to edit and review my peers post, I know that if I word my opinion in the correct way then it will only be received as help. I still don't think I would be able to publicly let someone know that they have grammatical errors, I think I would do better informing them privately through email. Nobody wants to be a negative Nancy, or to be known as the person who is always correcting someone on their grammar. I know people like that personally and hate to be around them.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Blog Post #2

Mr. Dancealot

I took an education class last semester where we learned how to square dance. The instructor began by only giving notes on how to do the dance. I’ve never square danced in my life so just telling me how to do so was a no go for me. Before I could even ask if we could be shown an example, my teacher got up from her desk and took one of my classmates as a volunteer and gave us an example on how the dance should be performed. After practicing the steps and us working close together, me someone who has never performed this dance, was able to do so and teach someone else the steps. The central message in this video was that, you not only have to give out the facts of a lesson, but be also teach your class the skills to use with the facts. The instructor in this video simply gave his students the facts, and only demonstrated the skill from behind a desk where they were not able to see him. How can you teach someone anything that you are not willing to practice with them yourself? We as teachers have to understand that teaching is not just giving someone the steps, but also performing these steps with our class, and practicing these steps with our students. I cannot stand to be in a classroom with a teacher who only reads the notes they made, I would rather have a teacher whom will hold my attention and make learning this skill fun for me. The author in this scenario makes his case very clear, because at the end of the video or in this case “class” when the time came to perform for the final exam none of the students can do the dance. How can I perform an action that was only read to me not practiced? Instead the steps should have been read off and then practiced with each student. The conculison of this video in my opinion was very head on. The conclusion was that if you don’t teach the skill behind the facts of a lesson, then your class will never be able to use this skill out in the real world.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Kevin Roberts

When I was a child, the most interesting thing to do was go outside, ride a bike, play with your friends, and watch TV. Now the most interesting thing to do is get on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Now let’s be clear, I’m addicted to all three of those social sites, but should our kids be. In this video, I think Roberts is trying to teach us that the very things we shame kids for being on are the very things to help them learn. I watched this video twice, the second time around I learned more. The one thing that stuck out to me the most was the quote “Teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge, we are the filters” was something that made me think. When I first saw this quote, I thought to myself that this isn’t true. The second time around it more sense, with all this technology in the world we aren’t the only ones teaching our children, but we filter the things they learn somewhere else. Roberts is simply teaching us that children learn in so many places, they can learn and access knowledge anywhere, any place, at anytime. With sites like Google any question or any word you don’t know you can simply Google it. Roberts points this out in the very beginning of the video. We as teachers have to learn how to teach our students to use these different resources, because who doesn’t Google. When we have questions as adults about things we don’t know the answers too we simply pull out our phones, or computers and Google the question. We should be able to teach our kids the same thing, we should teach them how to research questions they don’t know the answers to on their own. Roberts teaches us that we need to rethink the tools we use on a daily basis and how could they become a helping tool in the classroom. I think that what Roberts is debating is true, with all the technology in the world today why not use it to our advantage. This again touches on teaching skills, not just facts. I think that this will affect my teaching future in many ways, I as a teacher will need to be able to teach my students how to use their devices they have at home to be creative and solve problems given to them. Not just look for the answer but research and know why that is the correct answer with the very things and websites they use on a daily basis.

The Networked Student
Wendel Drexel
In this video the question asked is, why does a student who knows how to use every resource given to him needs a teacher. The answer to this question is that his teacher is the one that, guides him in the right direction, pushes him when things don’t seem to make sense anymore, teaches him how to determine what information is useful and what information is propaganda. This answer takes me back to the quote made in Teaching in the 21st Century, “Teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge, we are the filters. The teacher of this students allows him to use his resources, gives him guidance on how to use these resources but doesn’t just flat out give him the answer. The student sees the passion in how his teacher wants him to be able to use the facts that she gave him and turn them into a skill for him to use in his future. I believe every teacher should have that same passion and effect on their students. Your students should be able to tell others that you pushed them to be the best and do their very best in the long run.

Harness Your Student’s Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis
In this video Davis’s main idea or thesis is that, if you only use one way of learning only one type of student will learn. I would have to say that I absouletly agree with her. This in my opinion high fives the statement that you cannot just teach facts, you have to teach skills to go along with those facts. This teacher has gone above and beyond the simple ways of teaching to inspire her students to come to school each day and want to learn. I think she made a very valid point when she stated that students find it more interesting when they are able to figure things out on their own and teach a teacher. She stated that most teachers feel like they need to know everything before they begin teaching, when you should be open minded and learn along with you students. Anybody who has the attitude that they know it all, won’t be able to help those students who don’t learn the same way they do. I’ve learned along the way that not all people learn alike, while some of us need notes, there is always that one student who can remember by simply listening. If we don’t learn the same as our peers why should we teach our students all the same. Davis allows her students to research what they don’t know on their own, she says she shouldn’t have to tell them everything, she wants them to be able to use the resources available to them and determine the correct answer all on their own.

Flipping the Classroom
Flipping the classroom was new to me, I had never heard of it. After learning exactly what it was and how it works, I am a little stuck in the middle. In one way I think this idea has been around sending home instructions with a student and having a parent go over it with their child and the child then coming back with questions to ask has been going on for years. Even the students who don’t have computers at home but, are able to use the computers in the classroom does that not defeat the entire purpose of it not being flipped. The statement that its less boring and more fun to watch your teacher at home instead of in the classroom to me isn’t true, there are more distractions at home then there is at school, but that’s just my opinion. In other ways I can completely see how this will work, students will be allowed to use different resources to answer their own questions before they come to class. Even if the students still don’t understand then they will have time to ask the questions and properly use the resources in the classroom along with their teacher to help determine the correct answer to their question. To some students it may be exciting to see their teacher in a video and use their devices at home to see and do their class work. So you see where I’m stuck, I don’t think as a future teacher I would use this idea in my classroom, but I don’t see why someone else’s would it may just in fact work for them.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Practice Post

I was born on August 12,1987. My name is Alexis McSwain, I am the second oldest of 5, yes 5 girls. My parents are Stanley and Cynthia McSwain. My sisters are Ashleigh, Ariel, Alisha, and Adrienne, if you think because all of our names start with an A is confusing, just wait till you see us and figure out we all look alike. I have lived in Mobile, AL all my life, I absolutely love my city and I feel like it has so much to offer. When I first began thinking about college teaching wasn't my major, I think I was afraid to go after my dream.

After I graduated from school I attended Remington College to get my certificate in Medical Assisting. I finished school and went to work in a office for a week and figured out that this wasn't where I wanted or needed to be. I decided that it was time to put all those summers of playing school in my backyard to use. The day I started at South was one of the proudest days for me I felt like I was finally making progress on my life long dream. I picked the University of South Alabama because I didn't want to leave home and because my sister Ariel was already enrolled there. My passion for teaching has grown so much over the years, I want to be that teacher whose students want to come to school because learning is fun. I believe in teaching skills not just facts, because even though you know all these facts what are they of good use if you don't have a skill behind them.

People say to me all the time, "a teacher doesn't get paid a lot," to me it isn't about the money, it's about the effect I have on my students. I struggled in school, I know how it is to have a teacher who pushes you because they see and know the potential you have. I was blessed enough to have 4 very great teachers who did just that. My parents, who believed and supported me no matter what career path I chose, my 3rd grade teacher who is the reason I want to teach the 3rd grade, she made learning and school so much fun for me, my 7th grade language teacher who made me realize that English is my favorite subject and pushed me to write to the best of my ability, she also believed in me when I doubted myself, and my high school math teacher who with her helped I passed the math part of the graduation exam. Without these people in my life my passion for teaching would probably still just be a dream.

Teacher quote