Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blog Post #14

"Top ten tips for using technology in the classroom"

In our last blog post (I can't believe it's here!) we were asked to check out Mr. Picardo's blog "Box of Tricks" and his video "Top ten tips for using technology in the classroom". The tools he used were very effective and in my opinion, that's the perfect word for the point he was trying to get across. He had a very well organized list in his video that broke down each of his top 10 choices.

His video stressed the importance and roll technology has in the classroom. He went on to say "Use technology only when it helps you achieve your education objectives". I think that quote was very important because technology doesn't need to be forced. We've talked a lot about this subject and in my opinion it has been the focal point of this entire class. Having said that, technology doesn't need to be forced but it should play a much bigger role than it currently is. He also mentioned using iPods, iPhones, Facebook, music, and many other popular ways to connect with students. I hope local teachers and administrators take some of Mr. Picardo's points and find ways to implement them in today's school system.

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Summary Post C4K (covering November comments)

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"My student, Paris' Blog"

C4K 11/20/11

Hey I'm a student in Dr. Strange EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama and I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your blog Paris! Learning about space are some of the most fun times you'll have in school. That's very interesting what they did in the Assembly. They put the teachers faces over the actors faces? Like your teacher's face over Darth Vader's so to speak? Anyways, I enjoyed reading your blog and I can't wait to see how it all went next week! Bye!

C4K 11/13/11

"Mrs. Yollis' 365 Project"

Hey Mrs. Yollis! My name is Jonathan Giles and I'm a student in Dr. Strange EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I love the use of your blog and how well laid out it is. I'm assuming this blog post helps your students learn how to upload pictures to their blogs while also starting up good conversation by introducing a good topic (What kind of tree's we have in our yards). I have pecan trees in my yard! I look forward to checking out you and your student's blogs more and more and I'm truly flattered by how well and professional it looks and feels!

My Summary:

Doing C4K's was like a trip/blast to the past. I loved it. I remember so many that aren't listed here. But like Paris learning about space and what her school and teachers did for the assembly is so cool. It vividly reminds me walking through our gym in elementary school seeing the huge space center for "space week" and my mind was constantly racing about space, the sky, stars, rocketships, etc. It truly was one of my favorite weeks of school and I'm so glad I got to read about a child currently experiencing the magic of a time like that.

As for my other C4K, it's like a trip to the present and future (kind of). It let me know and see what teacher's are doing today with their kids in school. Seeing Mrs. Yollis and what she's done from a teacher's standpoint for her children is phenominal. Then from a professional and parent's standpoint what she's done with her website and how she broke everything down is nothing short of legendary. My mother would have loved a network set up for me at the time. The things she's been able to do are wonderful and I'm glad I got to witness it. I enjoyed each and every C4K and I hope I made that child's day better when they read my comment I left for them!

Summary Post C4T Teacher #4 Post #2

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My C4T from 11/13/11

"This is Angela's Blog I commented on"

Hello Angela, back again! My name is Jonathan Giles and I'm a student in Dr. Strange EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. Another very well written article and one I whole heartedly agree with. iPad's and many other forms of technology belong in the classroom, period. i had the opportunity of substitute teaching this entire past week for my old high school and it frustrates me in so many ways how technology is just so absent to this day.

I don't know exactly how it's going to happen, but I know it needs to happen. Me and my group in Dr. strange class are organizing a survey to send out to all the local schools that asks question about the use of technology in the classrooms and I can't wait to see the results. Hopefully something gets passed in the near future or anything that gets things like the iPad and many other things into the classroom as soon as possible. Your article did a fabulous job of introducing key reasons as to why this kind of technology belongs in the classroom. i'll see you again next weeK! Ha ha.

My C4T from 11/28/11

"Second blog of Angela's I commented on"

Hey Angela! Once again, my name is Jonathan Giles and I'm a student in Dr. Strange EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. Kinect Education seems like an unbelievably awesome idea. I'm assuming it goes hand in hand with how Kinect works for Xbox 360? I've witnessed the technology and I've honestly thought it could be a wonderful tool to use in the classroom as well as gaming. It just seems like such a clean, hassle free, yet effective and fun way of teaching and learning.

If it doesn't have anything to do with Kinect for Xbox 360 (I'd be shocked) then it's still great. They are so much alike and show so many similarities! I also love your points about what your goals as an educator should be. I subbed (substituted for a friend of mine) 9th grade at my old high school a couple weeks ago and I absolutely loved it. I can't wait to have a class of my own, but my only problem was the fine line between discipline and becoming their friend. I guess what I'm talking about is the fine line between knowing when to be their friend and when to be their teacher. I think that's an area I could get better in. I will definitely stress some of your points that I agree with to my students such as learning the material first to help them flourish academically but also I want to get to know all my students personally. It's why I'm getting into teaching.

I love your ambitious style Angela and I hope I'm as good of a teacher as you are! I've absolutely loved reading your blogs and even when this class ends I've bookmarked you and will continue to read your posts. See you next time!

My summary of the two assignments above:

Angela has a way with words. Her blogs were a joy to read. She spoke about things that were relevant and about things that mattered. She doesn't beat around the bush long and gets straight to the point. She's also very interested in finding new and exciting ways for her students to learn, like Kinect and iPads in the assignments above. She's constantly learning herself and that makes it a joy to read her work. She practices what she preaches. Teacher's should never stop learning and learning new technology is a great way to do that. I look forward to keeping up with Angela's work in the future.

Final Report on PLN

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I have found that I'm going to be sticking (at least for now) with tabs and bookmarking. For a specific time period like a semester for example, I usually have everything I need "tabbed". When a semester ends, or another season ends that I have tabs for, I delete the tabs and replace them with something relevant that I currently have going on. If there's a site that I don't think I'll visit often enough or I know I'll only need it for a couple of times, I'll just bookmark it. I wasn't used to doing this prior to this semester, but I've gotten better as time has gone along. My PLE or PLN might be simple, but it works and works well for me.

Project #10 - Person Learning Network (PLN or PLE)

Originally I thought I completed this when it was due earlier in the semester but I just realized I did not. My personal learning network started out with symbaoo. But as time went on. I kind of had a network of my own. Here and there I forgot to bookmark a thing or two but I started making my own tabs. Using Safari, I created a "tab" for all of my schooling and learning needs. I have a tab for the class blog, my personal blog, one that takes me to the instruction manual, to blog post assignments, to our project instructions, to our required activities, to twitter, and so much more. This, along with bookmaking has kept me organized and given me easy and fast access to the places I visit the most.

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Final Project #16

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blog Post #13

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"My Teacher is an App" is a wonderful article written by Stephanie Banchero and Stephanie Simon. This article appeared in the Wall Street Journal a week or so ago. There are plenty of interesting facts you can choose from this article but the one that really stood out to me is "Nationwide, an estimated 250,000 students are enrolled in full-time virtual schools, up 40% in the last three years." That quote is awesome and alarming at the same time.

I'm going to the University of South Alabama to get my degree in Physical Education. I plan on also getting certified to teach Health and Drivers Ed, too. But like all the teachers before me, My generation of teachers faces a serious dilemma. We group learning how to use computers and now that we are in college, it's becoming a key ingredient in how our Universities operate. We use them everyday for our personal lives, but at the same time, we were the last "generation" to have that "public school experience" that everyone else before us has had. As a coach, I don't want the next superstar player to never have a chance to showcase his skills because his mom didn't want him in public school and chose online learning instead. One thing no one is touching on so far is how sports are affected by all of this. I hope that if I'm fortunate enough to get a job coaching high school football/baseball that I'll have a better chance at some job security than that of a regular teacher, but I'm starting to get off topic.

I'm in-different on all of this. As a student, I LOVE online classes and online learning. It's getting to a point now where it actually works and I know it's only going to get better in the future. However, and this is a huge however, as a former student and future teacher, I'm scared to death. Scared student's won't get to have many of the great memories and times that public school brings. Forming bonds and lifetime friendships, connecting with your favorite teachers, competing in sports, etc. And from a teaching perspective, My parents and I, aren't forking out all this money, only for me to be replaced by an online teacher only. Everything I've done to this point career wise, could potentially all be for nothing.

That brings me to my last point which is, I think the answer to all of this is a mix of things and choice. Online schooling isn't going to go away just like technology isn't going anywhere. There needs to be physical interaction with other students. There needs to be that big football game on Friday night with a pep rally at the end of day. There's so much public school offers that so many kids might miss out on. At the same time, public school needs to get with it and show that it can offer both physical instruction with a solid online counterpart, while maintaining that school pride, clubs, sporting events, community feel, that almost all of us got to be a part of. Hopefully it will all work out in the end and future teacher's and student's alike will both benefit.

Special Assignment #1: Metaphors

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. Another definition of a metaphor is a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, esp. something abstract.

Project 15: Smartboard Instructional Video

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Final Project: Project Report

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The name of our group is called London Plays. For our Final Project, we've decided to do a survey type project. We'll gather up four to ten questions that we feel relates closely with the use of technology in the classroom and from that, we'll be able to obtain a lot of questions from that main topic. We're planning on focusing on 2 counties: Mobile, and Baldwin. I just got done subbing at Foley High School this past week so I know for a fact I'll get some up close and personal opinions from some good teachers pretty quickly and I'm excited to hear what they have to say. We're going to use an online Survey Software and e-mail the school principals in the area with our survey requesting it be handed down to the teachers. The survey will be anonymous. Towards the end we'll gather up all the results and prepare a report on our findings.

C4K #10: Special Assignment: Ms. Yollis' Blog

After visiting "Ms. Yollis' Class Blog"
I was absolutely blown away. Not so much by the content, because most really successful blogs have relatively the same amount of content. What I was impressed by was the mind boggling level of detail, thought, and layout of the entire blog. The media count really opened my eyes. What was amazing about it was that so many people from so many different parts of the world have viewed it. More people viewed it than our class blog, and that to me speaks volumes considering this is a 3rd grade class, not a college institution. Beyond that, there are just so many things to be impressed with. How about her own personal website to learn more about her? How about showing those newcomers/parents that don't know squat how to comment? How about the activities and games for parents and kids to play? Speaking of kids, you can learn more about them too!

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I think the thing I enjoyed the most about her blog, is the professionalism and the layout. You can tell she knows exactly what she's doing and she put in a lot of hard/smart work so that others (parents/student's) wouldn't have to. The links being easily viewable at the top of the page, her information on how to contact her being in visible spots is how all similar sites should be organized. Then there's the different time zones for the student's and others alike to learn about. Believe it or not, there are 3rd graders out there that struggle with the concept of time, and for them to understand and have a global understanding of how the world works (whether it be time zones or internet in general) will only benefit them greatly in the future. She also has a link for learning about html code. How awesome! You can view it here: "Learn HTML Code". You have no idea how useful and helpful that is and wil be for her student's and their parents. Then there is the facts about learning how to shoot digital images, learning about the state of California, and then blogging resources for teachers! I could write forever about her blog. It truly is the most professional blog I've had the pleasure of viewing. It has everything and more a student, parent, or just casual visitor of the site would want to know about herself and her class, while making it easy to navigate in the process. She truly has set up her student's up to succeed not only in her class, but in life. Saying I'm impressed by it is an understatement. I'm flattered by it.

Blog Post #12

I decided to do something a little different. A survey. Yes, we've taken a survey or two in this class before, but not one like this. This one will be very useful for us, our university, and for the education field in general. Below our the steps you'll need to complete. When done, copy your URL and post it to your blog for your classmates to also take part in. This will be a good way to see what the class thinks while also getting some very useful data to help improve the future.

Directions are as follows:

Step 1. Create an account on "SurveyMonkey" Make an online survey.

Step 2: Make it relevant. Whether it be about EDM310, how it can be improved, technology in schools, etc whatever it is make sure it fits in with what's been going on in the class.

Step 3: Make it anywhere between 5 and 10 questions.

Step 4: Upload it to your blog for your student's/classmates to take part in.

Below is the survey I compiled. It has some very interesting questions that cover multiple and different topics.

"My Survey Questions"

"My Survey I Completed"

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Blog Post #11

Little Kids, Big Potential & Kathy Cassidy's Skype Conversation

I enjoyed watching "Little Kids...Big Potential" in addition to "The Skype Conversation". It amazes me what all kids, LITTLE KIDS, can do on computers these days. When i was in kindergarten the internet, blogs, etc didn't exist. That to me is the biggest difference between my generation and this generation. We are using the same technology, but they are growing up with it while we didn't as much. I think Mrs. Kathy using Nintendo DS's in the classroom is brilliant. Being a gamer myself, that's something I've thought about doing myself. The biggest issue with it is trusting the student's to use it for it's intended purposes. As long as you keep a close eye on things it could be a true asset to helping your student's learn. I personally think more so than the internet, blogs, etc, that games are the real future. Those who are inventing great learning games that actually keep kids interested and don't bore them to death are ahead of the curve.

The fact that Kathy has been doing this for so long is what surprised me the most. I wish I had her when I was a young student! Based on some of her comments in the Skype conversation, I believe her student's will be ahead of the curve and ready for whatever is thrown at them. She also changes with the times. Something we will all have to do as teachers. I am fascinated by all of Mrs. Kennedy's work.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Summary Post C4T 10/30/11

This was my first post, completed last week on 10/23 at this site

Below is what I had to say:

Hello Bryan, my name is Jonathan Giles, I attend the University of Alabama and I’m currently enrolled in Dr. Strange EDM 310 class.

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on social media in the classroom and also using it with fellow educators. The presentation I watched above your blog was really small and hard to read at times. I’m not sure if this was by design or not but regardless it was extremely well done and the premise was sharp. As a future teacher myself, I hope you convince those who matter to start moving more toward a technological enriched future in the classroom. I can’t wait to see what you do next!

This was my second post, completed on 10/30 at the site

Below is what I said...

Hello Bryan, I’m back! My name is Jonathan Giles, I attend the University of Alabama and I’m currently enrolled in Dr. Strange EDM 310 class.

I enjoyed reading this post on Consensus in the classroom. I think it is unbelievably important that we have our society and especially our student’s think outside the box and express themselves. The Occupy movement is all about accountability and encouragement to be engaged with what is going on around us. It seems our government isn’t up to the challenge, but hopefully education will be.

My summary of the two blog posts:

The first blog was more of a message to fellow educators and a plea of help. Bryan was trying to show/say how we need to get the ball rolling and get technology into the classroom ASAP. More importantly than saying it though, he presented some idea's showing HOW to do it. His slideshow/video was hard to read and I have good eye site so I think he could have done a better job but he got his point across and had it been easier to read I think it was one of the most well done and complex presentation I've ever seen.

The second blog seemed to be more about calling education out. Seeing if they had the guts to do what our government and others won't. Hold individuals accountable while also teaching them to be forward thinkers while also expressing themselves. It asked a lot of challenging questions that I would love to see some answers to.

I think Bryan is a very intelligent person who thinks outside the box as well. He has a vision. One that I share as well. He puts a lot of thought and effort into what he posts on his blog and I enjoy reading his work. He's the kind of person that changes things and gets things done.

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Blog Post #10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?

What a wonderful video. I've always said that if I become a teacher, I'll be so much more than that. A friend, a mentor, a role model, a guide, etc as well as an educator. It's WHY I got into teaching in the first place! I actually get to start that journey on Monday of next week (10/07/11) as I will get to teach a class for the first time in my life. I'll be subbing 9th grade at Foley High School (where I attended) for four consecutive days. I couldn't be more excited about it. I will do my best to be an educator not just a teacher.

The video itself spoke to me because it's something I wish I could tell the world all the time but I fear it wouldn't reach enough people. I'm already around teachers that have simply got into that routine (and have been in it for SOME TIME NOW) and they just go through the motions. While I think that is inevitable to an extent, I hope to be as different, yet effective, as I can be in the classroom. I hope my goal starts to be reached next week!

Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!

Tom Johnson is a very interesting person. This was an odd argument. Taking pencils home? I understand it was illustrating a point but still... I think his response to Gertrude was one of integrity and class. Instead of arguing about the problem, Tom tried to find a solution. He also seems like the kind of teacher I want to be. One that thinks outside the box.

Also, to me he embodies something we did in our first assignment above in Blog Post #10 and that is being an educator, not just a teacher. He's looking at the big picture of what could be best for his students, and not only worrying about test scores etc. Who knows, his method might be better for his student's than Gertrude's in all honesty. I hope I remember what I've read from Tom and be able to apply it when I start teaching!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blog Post #9

What I learned This Year 2009-2010 Blog Post:

Mr. Joe McClung Wrote a very informative blog post . He filled it with tons of information that I'll borrow and use myself when I start teaching. He mentioned he thought he knew it all when he started teaching and that he got a big head after his first year only to be humbled in his second. Sometimes it takes for us to get smacked up side the face before we truly realize we can be so much better. And not better for ourselves. Better for those around us. Those who truly matter. Keeping a humble attitude is huge in my opinion to be the best teacher/person we can be for our students.

He mentioned plenty of other things such as finding a school mom. I was already going to do this ha ha. It only seems smart and natural to try and form friendships with those who've been in the trenches longer than we have. It can only benefit you as a teacher to do so. He then spoke of fluid lesson plans, letting the kids be a part of everyday functions, doing all you can to make whatever subject your teaching interesting. I could go on and on, but I respect people like Joe. He wrote a wonderful blog post and seems like a great person. I would want him to teach my child.

What I Learned This year 2010-2011 Blog Post:

Joe McClung seems like he's progressing nicely through the years and really becoming a successful teacher. I loved this point about not being afraid to stand out. I'm not a teacher yet but I have been working with school kids through sports and I will start subbing soon and I've personally witnessed the naysayer teachers. The ones who are always down, who tell you don't get into education, etc... I've learned not to listen to them. Like Joe said, at one point, they were truly excited and passionate about something. We just have to find a way to bring us back to that spot. It it's important enough, you'll do it.

I like how he talked about how he's getting more comfortable in his routine and everything and that it has made him a lot more effective from a time management stand point. However, he was quick to point out getting comfortable can lead to being that type of teacher we all couldn't stand when we were in school. Know that you work for the student's, not anyone else. They are the ones who truly matter. I thoroughly enjoyed the point he made about letting the kids do the work themselves instead of doing it for them. Sure, it may frustrate us that they aren't picking up the hints we've left for them, but (and I can speak from personal experience) letting them do things for themselves will make them so much more proud of themselves in the end.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Project #12 Book Trailer

Blog Post #8

This is How We Dream

I thought Dr. Miller's video was interesting. I mean, he never really said anything I haven't heard before, but he did a good job of emphasizing his points. I think it's ironic how our world has changed. My Grandmother, parents, and so many others had no idea what the future would bring. Most of those generations when they were young thought there would be flying cars, clones, and all kinds of crazy stuff. They couldn't have been more wrong.

What's so fascinating to me is "how the world has actually changed" over time. Programs built upon programs. Text messaging, the internet, being in a connected world. Those are the main ways the world has changed. Tapping into existing technology but making things faster, more fluid, more responsive, innovative, etc. And it's all happened right in front of us and many of us never realized it was happening and now technology is evolving too fast to keep up? I disagree.

We don't know how 'behind we are' because no one's even tried to start using technology in schools for the most part. For crying out loud, this is the only class i've taken in my life that puts technology at the forefront of the class. I love it. I wish my others were like this. I feel jipped. It's unbelievable that of all the classes i've taken in my life and even now at South, this is the only one that's like this. I'm going against some of the things I've said in the past, but technology is going to pass us? It can't because we haven't given it a chance to. I think it's all hypocritical. When can we expect the public school system to be tech driven when College Universities still aren't?

Blog Post #12 by: Carly Pugh

I don't know Carly but after reading that, she's earned my respect. I thought her blog post was wonderful. She has great idea's fueled by passion. She seems real. I think she would be a wonderful teacher. I thought it was interesting the point she made about how book reports and such are a thing of the past. I couldn't agree more.

Carly and Dr. Miller seem to be on the same page. I think the difference is Carly seems like she would do a better job of implementing ways to make it truly useful and exciting. The points she made about how to connect with kids on their level to make class more interesting is what teaching is all about. If you can do that you can teach them anything. I'm already working with kids at Foley High on the football team and if you can get a good relationship going and get them to trust you, it's amazing how receptive they can become. I loved all of Carly's ideas and work.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies Video's

These two video's got the point across. I think if I were to do a video it would be one that was definitely preaching to the choir. It would harp on procrastination. Something I may never master but I'll never stop trying. Another video I'd make is to not stress out about this class. The work you actually do isn't difficult in my opinion. It's knowing WHAT TO DO. As I said I'm preaching to myself here because I know I could a better job myself of staying connected and asking more questions to those who truly know what's going on (teacher's, aids, etc).

The central message of the Chipper series is don't make excuses and don't procrastinate. And if you do, don't blame others for it. Eventually in this life, if you haven't done it already, you're going to have to start doing things yourself. You can't rely on other people. You might as well start now. On the EDM310 is for dummies It's pretty self explanatory. Don't let it stress you out. It encourages you to read their book but I don't believe you have to. If you put in the effort you'll get the results.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn Video

This video talks about how the school system needs to change and I agree with what they all had to say. As I've said before, I think there is still a place for SOME things but overall the structure has got to be updated. I disagree with a central message, however, that almost all of these video's we've been watching in this class seem to be preaching that education is dead, that ALL the information is out there, you can Google everything so the only thing a teacher is good for is to show them how to do/operate stuff. Yeah that is largely true, but the people in these video's speak as if everything has already been done and there's no where else we can go. At least that is what I'm getting out of it.

They keep mentioning these things and I'm not sure what to think of it. I think there's still a place for original teaching as well as incorporating technology. We shouldn't be told that all we are is the gateway to show kids how to do stuff. That's not fulfilling to me. I believe they are dumbing down the future meaning of being a teacher. How long can you teach a student how to look things up, operate Word or Docs, blog, etc. They all operate similarly and aren't really difficult to learn. The school system needs to change. There is no doubt about that. I may be getting the wrong message from some of these video's, but I call it like I see it. Having said that, I'm really enjoying this class and almost all of our assignments.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

TimeToast Timeline Instruction Project #9b

PLN Project # 10

Short Movie Project #11


C4T #2

summary of both articles:

I enjoyed both articles by Jeff. The first was interesting to me because of the personal attachment to Microsoft Word. I have grown up with it. I understand where he's coming from and in some ways he's right. Google Docs has passed Word. But there are other areas where he's a little off. Plus the new version of Word that's about to come out puts them back on par and even passes Docs in some ways.

The second article hit home with me because of personal conversations I've had with my uncle who farms for a living. I help him out constantly on the farm and he has nice equipment. Four John Deere tractors that are all fairly new and all he talks about are the new one's that have GPS and how you don't even have to steer. I think it's crazy how fast some stuff is progressing while other things aren't. I enjoyed both of his articles very much.

This was my comment on the first article "10 REASONS TO TRASH WORD FOR GOOGLE DOCS".

My name is Jonathan Giles and I’m a student at the University of South Alabama currently taking Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. I think there is a place for both right now. Google Docs has come a long way and it has many positives over Word. However, Word is still what I use for serious projects and papers and I mainly only use Docs for blogs and less important material. Plus, as you stated, Word is making a lot of changes for future versions. It may take a while, but Microsoft always catches up.

Having said that, I’m very happy Dr. Strange had us use Google Docs. The last time I fiddled around with it was a few years ago in high school and it was garbage. Now, it’s almost right there with Word and as I said, surpasses it some area’s. I thought your blog post was very professional and brought up some great points. I can’t wait to see which one is the preferred tool 5 years from now.

The second post I commented on was "WHERE WAS THIS WHEN I WAS GROWING UP?"

This was my comment:
I can definitely relate to this. I have and continue to help my Uncle Gary Underwood on his farm. He grows and sells his own pecans as well grows his own nursery. He always talks about wanting one of the new tractors that can drive itself and he is going to purchase one in the not too distant future. I really enjoyed your article. You make great points and I think this is making farming look like a lazy job (if you can afford these EXPENSIVE toys) when it has always been viewed as a job for hard workers. It’s kind of funny.

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Blog Post #7

Randy Pausch Last Lecture Video

An hour plus swell spent indeed. I wish I knew more about Randy while he was alive (I was in high school). The way he operated before he found out about his health issues was admirable. How he chose to go about his day to day life after he found out is legendary. He was a one of the most unique teachers to ever live.

I watched the whole video and I got a lot from it. His techniques he used in his MIT class didn't take up a lot of the video in my mind so I'm not sure how to write 4 substantive paragraphs about it but i'll give it my best. One of the things he was highly successful at doing was getting his point across. He knew in order to be able to even teach that type of class (it had never been done before) he would have to go against the grain. The fact that he got the okay to do it, and then executed his vision was extraordinary.

Another thing I'm gonna try to take from him and this video is something I've found out is one of the most important things in life. Execution. He executed his vision. There can be nothing more fulfilling in life than that in my opinion. He had such a unique vision yet he still organized groups, let his student's work with others to create great work. It's all about working and getting along with others. It's what you have to be able to do in the workplace and I think he understood that.

Last, he took chances on student's. He could see the true potential in certain kids but he believed in all of them. He made the comment in his video to a colleague about how his class had done everything he asked them to do and blew him away while doing it. He went on to say that the class hadn't been going on that long and they had progressed so fast the he didn't know which direction to take or what to do. He listened to what his friend had to say and told the class something along the lines of "You can do better". Which they did.

In summary, I think his methods as a teacher were brilliant (and I only listed a couple). His vision of no text books all the way to how he simplified projects in his class were wonderful. I took away a lot from what he had to say but also took away something much more important that has nothing to do with school or this class and that's follow your dreams. Let nothing stop you. My dream is to help kids and be the best teacher/friend I can be. To help change lives. I'll take his advice. Nothing will get in my way.

blog of words

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blog Post #6

The Networked Student Video:

This video really emphasizes what we as teacher's need to be able to do when we start teaching. "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?" On this topic I sort of disagree with the idea that all teacher's will be is an aid to information already out there. I mean, if that is ALL we are going to be good for, then I might need to be looking for another job. Judging by that theory, we wouldn't need half of the teachers we currently have at schools. I mean, how many teachers does it take to just show kids what to do and aid them a long?

I know just about all the information one would need is already out there on the internet to explore, but what about an English teacher who constantly was on my back correcting me as I wrote sentences, math teachers always working with me after school constantly helping me learn new theories and ways to solve problems, etc. Those things won't change in my opinion and they are desperately needed. Also, I'm really glad I'm getting into coaching. Simply because sports are one thing technology can't touch. If you're a good coach, you can get a job. It's all about the effort displayed on the field. And I'm as tech savvy as it gets.

blog of words

Project #8 Podcast

EDM 310 - Podcast - Rafe Esquith's "There Are No Shortcuts" - Ch 1,2,12, and epilogue by Isaac Evans - EDM 310

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blog Post #5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? Post

Again, I love how original the post is. Whether he was being serious or not (I don’t he was) it came across as real. I have extended family around me that somewhat feels very similar to how Dr.McLeod. Sure, we as teachers can teach kids how to use technology and what it should be used for, but as soon as no one’s around they are going to explore the internet. You can only limit what a child (or anyone for that matter) sees or does for so long. Just make sure you’re honest with them about the dangers out there and be smart about what you tell them and what you shouldn’t tell them. McLeod is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He's also the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump and occasionally at The Huffington Post.

From an educational standpoint, more technology needs to be in the classroom and we need to think of innovative ways to use more/relevant technologies in school. Seeing both sides to this is very important. Technology, just like everything else on this planet, can be used for good or bad. Example: We've always had a choice to buy a porno magazine and not to, just like we now have a choice to visit those sites or not. Again as parents and educators, we have to see where the fine line is with kids and adjust.

The iSchool Initiative and ZeitgeistYoungMind's Entry Video's

I could write all day about Travis Allen's video's. I've always thought it was only a matter of time until we went to a more digital way or learning in schools. For all the reasons Travis states, and more. I'm actually surprised we're not there yet even in High Schools. I think the University of South Alabama's (and other colleges as well) online system is flawed. If it were me designing and orchestrating how an online site works for a University, it would be very different. For one, EVERYTHING WOULD BE IN ONE PLACE. It only makes sense. Having our University Email in one specific spot, our USAOnline courses in another location, and then there's PAWS. It is absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention confusing. There should be on specific hub for a University with links inside that hub to take us to whatever other sites we need to go to. It would be much simpler for everyone involved.

As for Travis, I'm glad to see he is actually doing this. It's one thing to talk about it and another to put it into motion and make things happen. I think it'll be a while before we go to a more digital way of schooling (I don't think we'll ever go fully digital in our lifetime). There are so many benefits as Travis mentioned not to do it. Helping the planet, saving jobs and money are just a few that are extremely important. I enjoyed these video's very much and I'm interested in seeing what all will come from it.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir Video

In all honesty, I don't even know what to think about this. I know that there were a million things running through my head as I watched it. The possibilities seem endless. While watching, I was thinking of teaching an entire classroom of student's as they all looked at me from their room/computer. That just seems so awesome to me.

As far as the actual video itself it is amazing to actually pull off such a feat without practicing in person. I've been in a choir before as well as played other instruments and when you are performing it takes a ton of practice and rhythm. I think it speaks volumes of how well all these singers performed as well as the possibilities using this same technology.

Teaching in the 21st Century Video

Kevin Roberts conveys some very interesting points in his video. He points out something I've been thinking about myself for a long time. There's very little information student's cannot find on the internet. That wasn't the case 12 years ago. So what do we teach them? He really reached me when he said teachers are no longer the main source of information, we are the filter. The information is there to be used and it's our job to teach them HOW to use it and use it effectively.

As far as how it will affect me as an educator, I think there are still some intangibles that can't be solved with technology. Like interacting with other humans in person, forming real friendships, along with the code of ethics and morals students learn while in school. However, I believe it challenges us as educators to not only think outside the box as to how to use technology in the classroom, but also how to be a meaningful teacher when not using technology. We need to be focused on what they can take with them for the rest of their life after they leave our school. To me, that is the real challenge.

blog of words

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blog Post #4

The benefits of podcasting in the classroom Video

I'm very familiar with podcasts. I've done a few of my own over the years as well as a couple with others. I have always been and always will be an advocate of using podcasts in the classroom. It's definitely an effective way of interacting with students that can be unbelievably helpful outside of the classroom. This video shows the things I've known for years and I'm glad you I watched it. Podcasts are a way of learning that students today can relate to and understand making it relevant, new, and exciting way to learn.

I totally agree that it promotes creativity and innovation because very few student's have participated in a podcast before. Amazing things can happen during a student first podcast and it's very fun to see the looks on their faces when you see your student's having fun and learning at the same time. As the video also mentioned, it's great for those student's who miss class for whatever reason. I wish podcasts were available for me up to this point for this very reason. Another plus is creating and participating in podcasts is extremely easy and anyone can do it. There are a ton of ways and different things you can do with your student's to make it useful pertaining to what they are learning. Last, parents get to hear what's going on in class for themselves and I know they will appreciate that. I know my mom would have.

100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better Blog

I think I'm going to thoroughly enjoy the podcast portion of this class. As I said above, it's nothing new to me, and I've been doing this for a while now. It's something I haven't forgotten about, but I haven't used it a ton either. Having said that, there are still quite a few things/programs I didn't know about before reading this blog.

VangoNotes is one I hope to get familiar with and try out. I'm always looking for new and different ways to try out new ways to learn and I'm excited to see what it is all about. I could name 50 more that interest me such as AudioLearn. Any advantage one can use to help them prepare or give them an edge in studying for important tests is student's should eat up. I look forward to trying some of these out and I think this is something every student should take a look at. On a closing note, growing up in school I was always extremely bored with reading the chapters andlooking up answers in the book, reading the chapters, just the old fashioned way of learning, etc. It didn't suit me well. I did it, but things like podcasts make it so much easier for me to learn material. I wish it was around when I was in elementary and middle school. I'm happy for the student's of today and especially my student's, because they will be the best podcasters in the region ha ha.

The Education Podcasting Network Blog

This is a very interesting site and I've long thought about making a site like this myself. There needs to be a central hub (or at least a select few) for teacher's and student's alike to use and help them learn. The idea is genius and I'm sure someone out there has done it already. I envisioned (and this site seems like it's scratching the surface of something much bigger) categorizing thousands of podcasts for their respective field and creating an easy and seamless way of navigating through specific podcasts that reference exactly what you are looking to learn about.

One gripe I have with some certain podcasts regardless of topic, is the length of them. It depends on what you're talking about, but in general I think most of them are too long. Thus comes the idea of cutting audio and pasting together the parts you think are relevant to a particular student. Site's like this are on to something, but I often get frustrated viewing them because of what they could be. Nonetheless, you have to start somewhere. Who knows, maybe if I find the time and money, I'll create such a site that student's from all over can go to and easily choose between the millions of podcasts that pertain to the exact material they need to be studying. It would warm my heart, to know I've helped so many people. Podcasts are an exciting way to learn and I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for podcasting.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

C4T Assignment

"My First Experience With Google Plus!" By: Jenny She

My response is below. 9/11/11

My name is Jonathan Giles and I'm in Dr. Strange EDM310 class and I'm assigned to your blog.

I'm getting used to Google+ as well. As you can see where I commented on your blog above, I hadn't yet signed up for it, but last week I did. The circle aspect as well as the Huddle feature have really spiked my interest. I think the possibilities are endless with G+ and I can't wait to see where it's at a year from now. I've enjoyed reading your experience with Google Plus more so because I'm using it for the first time too. Keep blogging!
Jonathan Giles

"Would Google Plus Be Useful in the Classroom" By: Jenny She

My response is below. 9/4/11

I've personally never used Google+ but I've heard many great things about it. I believe if it attracts a huge following it will be another great way of using technology in the classroom. The example you mentioned of being able to connect with students via video conference from their own household is just amazing. We must put things like this to use. I enjoyed reading your article very much.

My Summary of the two comment's I left above: 9/11/11

I've enjoyed reading Jenny's post a lot so far. I like that she's up to date with the latest technology and I like the idea's she has and how she expresses them. As I mentioned above, I love that I'm also experiencing Google Plus myself at almost the exact same time as she is. It's almost as if we are going on this journey together.

I look forward to continuing to read her blog and reading about all of her journey's. I believe we are a lot alike and that's amazing considering how far apart we are. It helps doing these assignments when you're paired with someone you can relate to. I'm looking forward to more of the same.

Jonathan Giles

Blog Post #3

It's Not About the Technology

This article is very insightful and one in which I agree with in many ways. I also believe technology needs to be pushed and we need to find new ways to use it in the classroom. However, in my time in school, some of the best teacher's I had that had the most impact on my life were the old school teacher's that had been around since my parent's were in school. They taught me about the most important things in life. About family, values, honor, how to be a man, etc. Technology isn't needed for these things. I hope as future teachers, we don't lost sight of what some of the old school teacher's brought/bring to the table.

Kelly hit some key points in her post citing teacher's must be learners and that technology is useless without good teaching. While I stand by my first paragraph above, I believe this is where I think new teacher's such as myself, can have a greater impact than those from the last generation. I hope to be somewhat old school in how I interact with my student's (when I'm not using technology) but i love technology and it fascinates me so I plan on bringing the best of both worlds to my future students. I think it is very important not to forget the teaching we received, the principles we learned as student's, and how they're still relevant today. Once we can do that, then we can move forward by making our own mark in new and exciting ways for our student's of the future. I look forward to doing both and eagerly accept the challenge.

Is It Okay To Be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

I can completely understand why Karl Fisch won the award for the most influential post of 2007. That blog entry was definitely ahead of its time. I agree a lot with Fisch in how far technology has come and how it is a part of our daily lives. My father is 60 years old and is more active on Facebook than me. I'm 22 years old and it's amazing what all has taken place just since this article was written and it's only going to continue. I depend on technology and I love it. Not only for my personal life, but there are plenty of ways I hope to utilize it more and more when I become a teacher.

The time we live in is changing rapidly and I think Karl hit the nail on the head when he said "If a teacher today is not technologically literate - and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more - it's equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write." That's a bold statement but it's one that is so true. I encourage everyone to embrace technology. Not run from it. One thing that I tell those i encounter who say they don't know how to use technology and never will is that it's not that difficult. I see a future where you almost have to know how to use it and use it well, or your future may not be a bright one.

Social Media Count by: Gary Hayes

This really opened up my eyes. I love statistics so this is right up my alley. It summarizes just how fast everything is changing. As a future teacher this screams to me many things. The longer we wait to get our student's involved in using technology for their own benefit the worse it's affecting them and their future.

Also, it tells me that if you're planning on getting into the teaching profession, you better get ready to adapt and roll with the times. Either be committed to it, or get out. With technology, social media, etc becoming more mainstream, you have to know how to use and learn to use future technology as it comes out. I believe GOogle+ is becoming the next Facebook. I believe the groundwork for how student's will learn in the classroom has recently been layed. Now we just have to learn how to incorporate it.

A Vision of Student's Today Video

This is a wonderful video. It highlights so many issues we as student's have to deal with today. "If these walls could talk, what would they say." "I buy $100 textbooks I never read." This video describes student's lives as they are right now. There is no telling how many textbooks i've bought and never really used. I think this video points out many flaws of our educational system.

If those walls could talk I think they would say that "Not much has changed." As I've pointed out before, that is good and bad. Good in that school for the most part has remained a constant in a world that changes too fast for most to keep up with. The negative side to that is that if there is one thing that should have changed with the times more so than anything else, it is school.

Project #5 Google Presentation

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blog Post #2`

Did You Know? 3.0 YouTube video

This video really opened my eyes. China becoming the #1 speaking language is unreal. It makes sense with them having so many more people, but it's just something i've never really thought a lot about. The part about 25% of India's population having higher IQ's than the total population in the U.S. is unbelievably alarming. Growing up in our educational system, we've always been told how much smarter China and India are, but I had no idea the gap was so huge. The individual with internet access no longer has to ask the people in their lives personal questions to find out the answers. They can just google it.

The biggest thing I took from the video though, without nitpicking through each stat it gave, is that our world is now evolving at such a rapid pace. And it's able to do that because of the equipment/machine's humans have created and their capabilities. I think it is imperative that, as a society, we don't let the world evolve at such a fast pace that we can't keep up anymore. It makes one wonder what direction our world is heading in. And with all that goes on every second,minute,hour,day,week,month,year,etc how long will this world last? As teachers I believe we need to do the best job we can at staying on top of our profession as much as we can with how fast everything changes. These are exciting, but also scary, times we are living in and one of the reasons I'm excited about being a teacher is because I can help shape the future generations leaders and make a difference.

Mr. Winkle Wakes Video

This was such a wonderful video to watch. Poor Mr. Winkle. It's amazing how much the world has changed in the last 100 years. It's frightening to think what our world will be like 100 years from now. So many things have changed that it's hard for people to keep up with everything that goes on around them. It makes total sense to me that older people don't understand the internet, how it works, etc and their fascinated by it and technology in general but most of them don't know how to use it themselves.

Mr. Winkle depicts this in the video. One glaring thing that the video points out however, is how school operates for the most part has not changed in the last 100 years. I believe that's good and bad. And regardless of what I believe, it won't be that way much longer. College has already changed. Everything is online. Just about everything is there for everyone else to see, like, or comment on. School doesn't need a total revamp, but it does need to be more modernized and take advantage of the tools that are out there for better learning.

The Importance of Creativity Video

Education means a lot to people. It's a very personal subject. As teacher's our job is to educate our students and help prepare them for the future. But one thing this video pointed out is we don't have a great idea of what the world will be like 5 years from now much less 20 years later and beyond. The video also mentioned that music and arts have always been viewed as not as important as the other main subjects. It's usually the last two in order of importance. I've often wondered that myself and this video rekindled some old thoughts. I don't exactly express myself through art or sing in music, but the few things that I do in each are very special to me. They are a direct reflection of who I am. I agree that a bigger emphasis needs to be placed on music and art.

Another thing the video talked about, and I agree whole-heartedly with is how the entire curriculum is designed strictly for the ultimate goal which is to determine what you will do. Where you will work. It classifies human's as grades. It shows our mistakes. We're educated to limit/eliminate mistakes which ultimately kills creativity. We must find a way to place a bigger emphasis on how people express themselves and stop funneling everyone down a path that limits their creativeness.

Cecilia Gault Assignment

I think in order to make the U.S. more competitive we have to think outside the box. We have to push creativity to the maximum. In my opinion, and judging by the article it would agree, that we need an overhaul in how we judge success in the United States. Grades are important. In my opinion they need to remain as the most important aspect in judging someone's educational success. However, creativity, arts, music, ways that people express themselves should be right up there with grades.

We need to find intuitive ways of incorporating technology in the school system. Find ways to use this technology and make it actually useful for students in the real world. I believe in order for the U.S. to get on par with the other elite academic countries we have to practice what we preach. I think to get there, the leaders who orchestrate our system have to do exactly what I'm talking about right now. Think of creative ways to achieve the success. Creative ways to express the educational ability of our country. Be innovators, not followers.

Vicki Davis Assignment

This video is exactly what I've been talking about throughout this entire post. What the teacher was doing in the video I believe is only the beginning. What she did with her students was awesome. I think it's crucial that we show our student's the world and connect them to it. I think it's helpful for them to know how to do this and beneficial for them as well. It opens up the mind. There are many, and I believe I belong in this group, that learn so much better by working on a computer, doing things ourself without a pencil and piece of paper. It allows us to flourish where maybe before, we weren't being reached.

I personally believe video blogs are next and they'll be a huge way of the future, as well as video conferencing. Perhaps in Spanish class in America for instance, speaking with a student that's fluid in Spanish wanting to learn English, connecting them via video conference, partner each with a teacher beside them to help each student out and I bet each student would progress so much faster in each study. That's just a starting point. The possibilities are endless in ways you can integrate technology in the classroom and what the teacher did in this video is wonderful and the start of it.

Wordle Project #2

words describing me

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blog 1

My name is Jonathan Blain Giles.  Throughout my entire life, i've lived in Summerdale, AL.  I graduated from Foley High School in 2007.  I went to Bevil State Community College in Fayette, AL out of high school and lived there a short while and also a short stint in Tuscaloosa after i left Bevil.  After that I came back home to Summerdale.  I then went on to Faulkner State Community College and graduated from there.  That has lead me here to South Alabama.  My dream was to attend the University of Alabama, but that didn't work out.  Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise

In my immediate family, i'm the youngest of 4 children.  The oldest, Jeremiah Giles, graduated from South Alabama and went on to become a lawyer.  My other older brother Josh, and older sister Jodie, both graduated from Alabama with Josh becoming an assistant manager at Walgreen's and my sister, having just graduated, still looking for a job.  My mother is also a graduate of South Alabama.  She got her degree in accounting and has ran her own firm in Summerdale, AL for over 25 years now and my father has worked at Kimberly Clark Paper Company in Mobile, AL my whole life.

My major is physical education and I think the main reason i want to get into education is because i'm great with kids.  I always have been and i'm also great with sports.  I originally went to school for accounting, but i feel like this major suits me better.  As far as my passions go, i'd say i have 4.  My family, my girlfriend Kristen Phelps (who's also taking this class this semester), sports (mainly football), and my hobbies.  I'd like to learn more about football, which is why i'm getting my degree and helping out my high school this season and learning the fundamentals of coaching football right now.  In my spare time, I like to watch sports, make highlight video's, play video games, ride four wheeler's and hang out with my friends.

Randy Pausch Video Thoughts:

On the video regarding Randy Pausch, i learned quite a bit.  One of the weakest area's of my life is time management.  I can't stand doing things that I do not want to do.  Thus, i usually get behind in certain area's of my life and sometimes, i don't catch back up.  He offered up some good points about making a list of the things you want to do or accomplish in a day, week, month, and semester.  Then ask yourself why you're doing these things and the con to not doing them.  I think it can be beneficial to me to learn a thing or two from the Randy's video.  I don't know much about Pausch, except that he had cancer and he died from it.  I know he tried to use his remaining days being productive and doing seminars on time management.  I think the world of the man.