Sunday, May 4, 2014

Final Reflection

Here is my final reflection video for EDM 510 for the Spring 2014 semester.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Blog Post #12 - Personal Development Plan and Personal Learning Network

My Personal Learning Network has developed in many ways over the last several months. It began with a 10 week internship that I did in the Fall with a middle school math teacher. My PLN continued this Spring by following teachers and other education professionals on Twitter, and through the many blogs I was exposed to in EDM 510. However, I think the greatest impact on my PLN was attending the NCTM conference in New Orleans this April. I attended this conference with a group of graduate students and a group of middle school math teachers. Not only did I get great teaching ideas from the sessions and workshops of the conference, but I also met several math teachers from the area who invited me to visit their classrooms. This development in my PLN is going to help my Personal Development Plan. My main goal is to finish my Alternative Masters in Education next May. During that time I plan to visit many classrooms to be exposed to different teaching ideas from experienced educators. I also plan to spend more time on Twitter to gain ideas for my future classroom. Lastly, I plan to continue to blog and learn more about blogging so that I can incorporate it into my teaching.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blog Post #11 - What did I leave out?

The assignment for this blog post is to create an assignment for a blog post that Dr. Strange should have created in my area of middle school math.

Here is the blog post idea I created:

From this EDM class, the most emphasized topic was Project Based Learning. This is the learning of the future. What makes PBL more useful now is the increase in technology in the classroom, but unfortunately, not all classrooms are 1:1. Search for an example of a PBL (YouTube video, lesson plan, etc.) for middle school math that can be implemented in a classroom that is not 1:1. Explain on your blog post the aspects of PBL in your example.

I found an example of PBL in which middle school students design a building for their academy. The students are in groups so they are collaborating, and they are designing the building so they are creating. They are also given specific standards that the building must meet so they are using critical thinking skills. They are meeting the standards of their math curriculum by calculating the area and perimeter of the building. They also must build a model of their building that they will present so they are having to use ratios and proportions to build their model to scale. Finally, the students are able to share their design.

C4T Chosen By Dr. Strange - April

Dean Shareski at Ideas and Thoughts

Week #9
When Sharing goes Bad, Pithy Quote Fetish and Kids These Days

Dean writes about an image that has been shared on Twitter. The image is of two photos: the first being boys playing ball in the street after school and the second being three kids sitting on a couch with each looking at their own laptop. He writes about how this photo is to promote technology as a negative thing, because he also states that if in the second photo, the kids had books in their hands then the photo would be seen in a positive way. He goes on to state that books are actually more isolating than technology.

I commented that I agree that in both photos that the kids are socializing, but what bothers me is the lack of physical activity in socializing using technology.

Week #10
Who Owns the Data?

Dean writes about students needing more ownership in the assessment part of learning. He believes that students should have a say in the assessment of their learning, and that if a student truly owns their learning they will be hesitant to hand it over unless they have a say in how it is assessed.

I commented that I agree, and if we want students to take more responsibility in their learning in order to become lifelong learners, they need to have a part in the whole process, from the essential question to assessment.

Week #11
Teachers as Artists

Dean writes about how teaching is often called a science but he argues that it is more of an art. He states that artists are seen as performers sharing their work with an audience whereas scientists tend to work in closed labs isolated until they discover something and then publish their work, but often focusing on precision and perfection.

Classroom Teaching

I commented that I agree that there is some science to teaching but it is definitely more of an art that is more developed over time with experience. I gave an example of teachers that tried flipping their classroom using the teacher down the hall's videos. These teachers reported that this way of "flipping" didn't work for them because the students complained that they didn't like watching the other teacher, but they wanted to be taught from their teacher. I referenced another comment that stated an artist has a connection with their audience and that these students didn't have the connection with the other teacher.

C4T Rotating April

Week #9

Peoplegogy by Dr. Will Deyamport, III

Dr. Will recorded a Google Hangout with Jennifer Carey, who is the Director of Educational Technology at Ransom Everglades, for a series of episodes of his Dr. Will show. The focus of their episode was Flipping Professional Development. Jennifer speaks on how she is using short recorded videos to show teachers how to use the technology they have in their classrooms. She serves both the middle and high school in her area and they are about a mile and a half apart so these videos are helping her be in two places at once. She started out by making videos on how to sign up for Google and continued to make videos on how to use Google Docs. She said that she has received great positive feedback from the teachers because they can watch the video on their own time and they can go back to the video if they forget how to do something. Jennifer said that this does not take the place of traditional professional development but enhances it. Her teachers are now less stressed in training because they know they will have access to videos after the training in case they need to remember how to do something.

Flip Learning

I commented that I think this idea of Flipped Professional Development is great! I told him that I imagine the teachers retain more info in the training sessions because they are not as stressed about having to grasp everything that day. I also commented that I am in an online educational media class that uses Google Docs heavily, and I was glad that my professor made short videos on how to use Google Drive and Blogger because these were all new to me. Finally, I commented that like the teachers, I had to go back to them several times throughout the semester.

Week #10

Angela Maiers at

Angela wrote about how to increase learning by securing students' hearts. She calls it the 2-5-2 method. Greet students by name as they enter the classroom. Make a positive remark about several students in the first two minutes of class. Then, commend at least five students in each class period for their contributions to the discussion. Finally, save two minutes at the end of each class to reflect on what everyone learned that day.

I commented that her 2-5-2 method is a great idea! I told her that I will be teaching in about a year and I plan to implement this method. I also commented that teaching is as much about the relationships as it is about the content knowledge, and as teachers, we have to show students that we care.

Week #11

Angela Maiers at

Angela has a guest post from Adam Carroll. Adam writes about teaching young people financial literacy and encouraging financial freedom.

Financial Freedom Just Ahead

I thanked Angela for sharing this post from Adam Carroll. I commented that I firmly believe in this message, and that thankfully I had parents that preached "live below your means," but most kids aren't taught that at home. I continued that I plan to discuss with my students the aspects of financial literacy because I think finances are a great way to show how math is applicable to our everyday lives! I concluded that hopefully, these students will then be better prepared to manage their finances in their adult lives.

C4K April

Week #7

Comment #1
Jorelle in Miss King's Year 3/4 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Jorelle posted a Vimeo in which she reflects on some of the technology tools she has used. She states that HyperStudio is the tool that she has enjoyed learning the most and it is her favorite way to create and share. Google Drive is her least favorite because she says it is hard for her to write.


I commented that she is doing a good job on her reflection video, and that I learned about something new from the video - HyperStudio. I told her that I researched HyperStudio and it sounds like a fun way to create and share. I encouraged her to keep up the good work.

Comment #2
Villi in Miss Walters and Mrs. Barks' Year 6 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Villi posted a photo of him and some of his classmates sitting on the edge of a pool kicking their legs. He said they are taking swimming lessons and they have amazing instructors. He also said that he hopes to be able to dive in next time.

I commented that she and her classmates look like they are having a good time at the pool. I told her that I hope she enjoys swimming and that I hope she gets to learn how to dive soon. I encouraged her to keep up the good work on her swimming lessons.

Comment #3
Tamara in Mrs. Jacobsen's Year 5/6 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Tamara's last post was on December 2, 2013. It is a two slide Google Docs presentation. The first slide is a picture of Tamara, and on the second slide she writes that she is in Mrs. Jacobsen's class, she enjoys playing with her sister on the weekends, and at school she likes to write and work on the computer.

I commented that I enjoyed her Google Docs presentation about herself. She wrote that she likes writing at school, so I asked her if she likes to write stories. I encouraged her to keep up the good work on her blog.

Week #8

Comment #1
Lotu in Miss Lavakula's Year 4/5 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Lotu made a Vimeo of the life cycle of a butterfly.
Life Cycle of a Butterfly

I commented that she did a great job on the life of cycle of a butterfly. I told her that I especially liked how she made the butterfly fly. I encouraged her to keep up the good work.

Comment #2
Jasmyne in Miss Lavakula's Year 4/5 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Jasmyne did a Google Docs presentation on the Pohutukawa tree, a native tree of New Zealand.

I commented that she did a good job on her presentation, and that the Pohutukawa trees are beautiful. I told her that I especially like the picture of the tree that crosses over the street. I encouraged her to keep up the good work.

Comment #3
Efa-Lata in Mrs. She's Year 2 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Efa-Lata reads sentences about her trip to the beach at Mission Bay with her family.

I commented that she did a good job reading her sentences. I told her that it sounds like she had a good time at the beach at Mission Bay, and that I like to go to the beach, too. I encouraged her to keep up the good work.

Book Review of Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Here is the video book review that Ramsey Willis and I did on Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Video Book Review of Marc Prensky's Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Learning

Ramsey Willis and I collaborated on our video book review of Marc Prensky's Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Life.

Blog Post Assignment #10: What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?

The assignment this week is to watch several teachers that Dr. Strange has recommended and write about what I learned about teaching and learning. The three that I learned the most from were Paul Anderson's Blended Learning Cycle, Sam Pane's Building Comics, and Dean Shareski's Project Based Learning.

Paul Anderson is an AP Biology Teacher in Bozeman, Montana and he gave a short video on his Blended Learning Cycle. By blended he means that as a teacher you blend online, mobile, and classroom learning while in the classroom. He uses a mnemonic device, QUIVERS, to plan out his learning cycle. QUIVERS stands for question or good "hook", investigation/inquiry, video (podcasts for direct instruction), elaboration, review, and summary quiz. The aspect I like best about this learning plan is that in the review stage, he meets with his students, usually individually, to discuss what they have learned. While they are discussing, Mr. Anderson is asking the pertinent questions to see if they learned the concept, as well as having them tell him what they learned. He requires all students to review with him before they take the quiz. Another aspect I liked about Mr. Anderson was on his Flipping the Classroom video on his blog. In this video he discusses flipping the classroom, but he also reminds teachers that every classroom is different, that teaching is personalized, and what works for one teacher may not work for another. This reminded me that teaching is an art and it has to be developed because there is no exact formula like flipping the classroom that will work for all teachers and all students.

Sam Pane's video Building Comics was a fun way for 4th graders to learn digital responsibilities and safety in order to become a super digital citizen. In this learning project students used a program on their laptops to create a superhero. Then the students used that superhero to create a comic that was a narrative story to teach digital responsibilities and safety. The students got very creative and even included pictures of themselves in the comic. Lastly, Mr. Pane had the students walk around the classroom for a "gallery walk" where they evaluated and commented on their peers' work. This was a great example of PBL because the students learned the lesson while creating with technology as well as presenting their work to the class in the "gallery walk."

Dean Shareski's Project Based Learning was the video that I liked the best. In this video, Mr. Shareski goes into a high school classroom in Canada where History, English, and Information Processing are all taught in one class. The class is three hours and has a teacher for each subject working together. The best part about this learning plan is that the students see how the subject are related which is more like the real world. The teachers he interviewed stated that this class is a better use of time because they are able to blend ideas and content, are able to go deeper in learning, and are able to give quality feedback. They also said that the students' projects are better due to having more time and for the students, better projects produce more pride in their work. I'm not sure how easy this is to facilitate, but I would love to see this happen in schools in my area.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #9 - Things I Have Learned from Anthony Capps' and Dr. Strange's Audio Recording

Project Based Learning

There are several things I learned about Project Based Learning from listening to Anthony Capps' and Dr. Strange's audio recording. The main three topics I learned are how a teacher can begin PBL in their classroom, how students and parents are reacting to PBL, and how administrators can implement PBL in their schools.

Anthony Capps' first advice for a teacher who would like to begin Project Based Learning in their classroom is to pace yourself. He recommended going to the Buck Institute for Education to find the eight aspects of PBL, and addressing one aspect a week. Address the essential question of the project with the students in week one. Then in week two continue with the aspect from week one and add another aspect. Continue to add a new aspect each week until all aspects are covered. This ensures that students do not become overwhelmed with all aspects in the first week and then become disinterested. Mr. Capps also recommends only adding one new tool for PBL a week. Model the tool with the whole class so that students can become familiar with it, then allow them to become proficient with the tool by exploring it in groups or on their own.

For the most part, students' and parents' reactions to PBL are positive. Anthony Capps said that he knows students like PBL because it is exciting. He also said that recently he had to back away from PBL for a few weeks and he feels the difference in his students. He said that "the buzz in his classroom is not there." Parents also like PBL because their kids are excited about coming to school and that their kids have never been more engaged. Although Anthony Capps' experience with PBL has been positive, there is the case of the disinterested student. His advice for the disinterested student is to make sure that the essential question is relevant to the students so they will be engaged. Also, give the students plenty of options to choose from for their project, called "Student Voice and Choice." Lastly, give a reasonable amount of work for each student by breaking the project into small parts and give check-in dates throughout the project to keep them accountable. This also keeps the students from becoming overwhelmed. The major negative parent reaction that Anthony Capps addressed was questions on assessing the PBL. Since he knows that parents aren't sure about the assessments, he is proactive by keeping the parents informed. He said that in this year he has had three parent orientations to inform the parents when he is changing his assessment methods. He sends handouts and rubrics in multiple ways to the parents so that they will know exactly how their child will be graded on their project.

The last question is how can an administrator implement PBL in their school. Anthony Capps' answered this question by outlining how the administration implemented it in his school, Gulf Shores Elementary. The principal first started with a small group of teachers that volunteered to be educated on PBL and then implement it their classrooms. Then, the administration blanketed PBL over the entire school and required all teachers to attend professional development on PBL.

From this interview I learned that PBL requires much planning for a teacher to begin it in their classroom, students and parents are loving PBL so it must work, and in order for students in a school to get an effective education from PBL, all teachers in the school must adopt a PBL style of teaching.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

C4T Rotating March/April

Week #5

Beth Still at Nebraska Change Agent

Budding Artists Project
Beth Still is a Social Studies teacher in Nebraska who is eager to see her students learn. In this post, she writes about how she requested some art supplies in December through donorschoose. The supplies arrived in February and she gave the students a break from lessons for a few days to create some art. During this time, she was able to spend time bonding with the students while working on their art. She hung the artwork in the halls of the school and dedicated each piece to a different donor.

Donors Choose Logo

I commented to Beth that I liked reading that she took the time to give her students a break from their regular schedule to allow them to create and to allow her to get to know them better. I told her that I'm a future teacher and I like to hear that it's ok to give students a break occasionally. Also, I wrote that I liked learning about donorschoose, and that I will definitely remember this organization when I become a teacher. I thanked her for her encouraging post.

Week #6

Jenny's Learning Journey
Jenny She wrote about a day in her 2nd year class in which a student took initiative and photographed Mrs. She while she was helping another student record a movie of sentences that she wrote. The student did this all on her own.

I commented to Mrs. She that she is doing a great job incorporating technology in her classroom. I wrote that I'm sure she loves it when students like Tatiana take initiative and use what she has taught them to create something new. I told her that I visited her class blog and left comments for some of her students, and that I continue to be amazed how such young students can use technology. I also wrote that I think it is great that students can write, video, and share what they create, even at only 6 years old, and I encouraged her to keep up the good work.

Week #7

Wesley Fryer at Moving at the Speed of Creativity

The Evolution of BYOD for our Church Session
Wesley wrote about how his church board meeting is evolving with the use of technology. The board members are beginning to bring their laptops and tablets to meetings, and instead of printing copies of the 15 documents that they need, they are beginning to use Dropbox to distribute the handouts.

Bring Your Own Device

I commented to Wesley that in my EDM class I am learning about how technology is used in the classroom, but this excites me to see how it is used in church meetings as well. I told him that I'm on a committee at church and although it's a small committee, using technology like Dropbox could be beneficial. I also wrote that this is definitely the future for meetings, even in churches, because as our children learn to use technology in their schoolwork, they will expect to be able to use it in the rest of their lives.

Week #8

Silvia Tolisano at Langwitches Blog

Flipped Writing Videos - Production Techniques
Silvia writes about Emily Vallillo, sixth grade Humanities teacher at Graded, The American School of São Paulo and how she is creating videos to teach writing in her flipped classroom.

I commented to Silvia that this post was very informative to me, as this is my first semester in education classes and the concept of the flipped classroom is new to me. I told her that I think the story about Carol was creative and I like that students can rewind the video if they need to while they are writing. I also asked her a couple of questions, do you know how long it took Emily to create the six minute video? Do students actually go home and watch the video for homework, so that the flipped classroom works? I told her that I ask this because in my recent experience in a middle school classroom, the teacher had trouble getting the students to do homework, and I also commented that it may have just been the school though, because other teachers in the school said the same thing.

C4T Chosen By Dr. Strange March/April

Dean Shareski at Ideas and Thoughts

Green Screen
Week #5

An Oscar Type Moment
Dean writes about a story that Preston Tyrell shared with him at a recent speaking engagement. Preston Tyrell is a teacher at Mother of Providence Regional School in Wallingford. One day when teaching his students about filming and green screens, he videoed his lesson and uploaded it to Youtube. Well, this year at the Oscars part of his video was used for a commercial for Google. Mr. Tyrell gave credit to his former teacher Mr. Fetterman for teaching him how to use green screens in filming.

I commented to Dean that this is a great story of how teachers leave a legacy. Mr. Fetterman made an impact as a teacher on Mr. Tyrell, and Mr. Tyrell has made an impact on Grace, just by going the extra mile in his teaching. I told him that this encourages me to think about the impact I can have on my students.

Week #6

The Thing that Bugs Me
Dean writes about the educational media class that he teaches at the undergraduate level. He is frustrated that some students will not put the effort forth that they need to in order to learn about media so that they may incorporate it into their future classrooms. He feels that the only power he has is in grades but he does not feel like that is enough to make a difference in these students.

I commented that this blog post and it's comments have been encouraging to me. I told him I'm in an Educational Media graduate class at the University of South Alabama, and being an undergrad in Math, this class is so different from any class I have ever taken before. Entering into this semester, I was one of those students that not necessarily didn't like to use technology, but didn't have a lot of exposure to it. My class is similar to yours. I have a blog that I post to every week, comment on several other blogs every week, and do projects using technology like Google docs and link them to my blog and website. While doing all this since January, I have yet to see a single grade on anything that I have done. My professor does leave comments on my blog post, but I am not familiar with not knowing how I am doing in a class gradewise. This class has also required a lot of time and work, but I know I have learned so much that I can directly apply to my future classroom. I concluded the comment by saying that somehow his students need to realize that technology is the future of education and they are not going to make it as a teacher in the future if they cannot put in the work required for his class.

Week #7

Twitter Logo
Archiving Twitter
Dean writes that although a lot of Tweets are just idle conversation, there are some that get you thinking, so being able to retrieve those easily would be helpful. He provides links to Martin Hawskey and Alan Levine who developed an easy was to access your Twitter archive.

I thanked Dean for this post, and told him that I'm new to Twitter and I need all the help I can get.

Week #8

For Dean's 50th birthday, he received over 50 pairs of socks in the mail from people all over the world. They came from people in his PLN. He posted a fun video of him opening all the packages and a slideshow of pictures of him with each pair.

I wished him Happy Birthday and thanked him for showing me how important and effective a PLN can be.

C4K March/April

Week #4

Comment #1
Punaiuru in Mrs. She's 2nd year class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Punaiuru wrote some sentences about going swimming and she read them on a video she made using Vimeo.

I commented that I liked hearing about her swimming day, and I told her that she did a good job reading her sentences. I also encouraged her to keep up the good work on her reading and writing.

Comment #2
Jarreka in Mrs. She's 2nd year class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Mrs. She posted a picture of the girls in her class waiting for their turn to swim in the lake.

I commented that Jarreka and her classmates are doing a good job patiently waiting for their turn to swim. I asked her if she enjoyed swimming, and if she had fun with her classmates.

Comment #3
John in Mrs. She's 2nd year class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

John's 6th birthday was in February and Mrs. She posted a video of the class singing happy birthday to him while he blew out the candles on the cake that his grandma brought to the school.

Happy Birthday

First, I wished John a Happy late Birthday! Then, I commented that I watched the video of John's classmates singing Happy Birthday to him. I told him that it was nice of his grandma to bring a cake for his birthday. I also wrote that my birthday is almost the same day as his, and told him that mine is on February 16. I encouraged him to have a good year at school.

Week #5

Comment #1
Isaaka in Mrs. Lagitupu's Year 7/8 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Isaaka wrote about his day at the park with his dad, little brother, friends, and cousins. It was Movies in the Park day and they watched "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2."

I commented that Movies in the Park sounds like a fun time. I told him that I like "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" too, but I like the first one better. I asked him if he has seen the first "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", and if so, which does he like better, the first or the second?

Comment #2
T.A. in Mrs. Lavakula's Year 4/5 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

T.A. labelled the parts of a bee.

I wrote to T.A. that she did a good job labeling the bee. Then I asked her if she likes bees, and I told her that I like the honey the make, but I always run from them because I am afraid they are going to sting me.

Comment #3
Deserae in Mrs. Nua and Mr. Barks Year 7/8 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Deserae wrote a biographical poem. She wrote about the things she loves and hates, the places she wants to visit, the people she would like to meet, and the things she is scared of.

I told Deserae that she did a good job on her biographical poem. I commented that I learned a lot about her, and like her I like to laugh, too, and I'm also scared of snakes. Then, I asked her why she wants to go to the UK? I also asked her if there is something special she would like to see there?

Week #6

Comment #1
Ariana in Mr. Goodwin and Miss Garden's Year 6 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Ariana wrote a post about a book she is reading, The Brain Sucker by Glenn Wood. She has only read two pages but she wrote that it is excellent.

I commented to Ariana that the "The Brain Sucker" sounds like an interesting book. Then I asked her if she had read anymore of the book, and does she know why it is called "The Brain Sucker" yet?

Comment #2
Michael in Mr. Goodwin and Miss Garden's Year 6 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Michael posted an audio recording of a lesson on speech marks that he and other students had with Mr. Goodwin.

I commented to Michael that this is a good lesson on speech marks. I told him great job on knowing that speech marks are called punctuation, and I encouraged him to keep up the good work.

Comment #3
Juliet in Mr. Goodwin and Miss Garden's Year 6 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Harakeke tree
Juliet has posted a Google Docs presentation that she has started called Native Trees of New Zealand. She is focusing on the Harakeke tree.

I commented to Juliet that she has a good start to her presentation on native trees of New Zealand. I told her that I did not know about the Harakeke tree so I learned something by looking at her presentation. I also told her that the Harakeke tree sounds like a very useful tree, and I encouraged her to keep up the good work on her presentation.

Blog Post Assignment #8 - 21st Century Learning and Communication Tools

There are several 21st Century Learning and Communication Tools that we have already addressed in this class such as Google Docs, Khan Academy, and PBLs, but there are still plenty more available for use. In this post I will address Flipping the Classroom, Edmodo, and VoiceThread.

Flipping the Classroom
Flipping the classroom is the term used for instead of teachers using 90% of their time lecturing to students, teachers record their own video lessons or use other teacher's recordings and assign these videos for students to watch for homework or on their own time. Then students come to class prepared to use class time as application of the lesson. This allows students to learn at their own pace with the ability to stop and rewind a lesson if they need to. Parents like this because they can watch the lesson too which allows them to better help their children at home. Here is a video of Katie Gimbar, an 8th grade Math teacher in North Carolina who flipped her classroom and saw great results for all types of learners.

Edmodo Logo
Edmodo is a site for students, teachers, and parents that is a free and safe way for students and teachers to connect and collaborate. Students like this site because it resembles a social network, and teachers like it because it is an effective way for them to connect with students. It has a calendar where teachers can post lesson and assignment dates so students can always know what is happening in their class, and it has an app for the iPhone so students can link the calendar to their phone. Teachers can post links to sites they think might interest their students, and they can engage students outside of class by continuing classroom discussions on their Edmodo site. Students can also submit assignments online through Edmodo which can better help teachers stay organized. Another benefit is that teachers can give polls through this site to check for student understanding, and award badges based on performance or behavior. This site also allows teachers the ability to measure student progress by tracking grades. Lastly, not only can teachers connect to students and parents through Edmodo, but they can also use it in their PLN by connecting to adminstrators, other teachers, and publishers.

VoiceThread is an online tool that allows presentations to be more personal by enhancing them with audio. Students can use VoiceThread to create a slide presentation with written comments or recorded audio comments or a combination of both, and then they can share them with their teacher and peers. Then the teacher and peers can leave audio or written comments on the student's slides. When leaving a comments, users can also draw on the slides to make their comment more effective. The best thing about VoiceThread is that it is free for up to a three minute presentation.

ALEX Project

ALEX stands for the Alabama Learning Exchange. On this site, there are many helps for teachers, including course of study standards for subject and grade level, lesson plans, and even a personal workspace to save lesson plans. If you visit my site, you can see the course of study standards for 7th and 8th grade Math, as well as two lesson plans for middle school Math, "Becoming a Wise Consumer - Comparison Shopping" and "The Golden Face."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blog Post #7 - Alabama Virtual Library

Here is the presentation that Ramsey Willis and I put together about the Alabama Virtual Library.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PBL Learning Plan #2 - Statistics and Food

I created a PBL on statistics and food for 7th grade Math students. You can find the learning plan, rubric, and peer evaluation form on my site.

Blog Post # 6 - What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

After watching Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, I was inspired by the teaching methods he used and his evident love for teaching. In his lecture he spoke about how he used project based learning in his classes and how to have fun while learning something hard.

Randy Pausch's classes on building virtual worlds are a prime example on project based learning. He began the semester by dividing the class into groups of five and giving them two weeks to complete the first of five projects for the semester. Two weeks later when the students presented their projects, he was blown away by their work. He didn't know what he was going to do in the next four projects because they had done so well in the first. This teaches me that as a teacher I can't put a bar of expectations on students. I have to keep pushing them to go as far as they can. Randy also taught that students need an audience. He found that on presentation day, he would have extra students and even parents in the class. His students were excited about their projects and wanted to share them with their family and friends. This shows me that when there is an audience, students work harder, have pride in their work, and are excited about sharing what they created with others. Randy also believed that as teachers we need to make our students become self-reflective. For each of the five projects, he divided the students into new groups, so for each project a student would work with a group of students that they had not worked with before. At the end of each project, he would have the students evaluate their group members so at the end of the semester each student would have 20 evaluations on their self. I think working with new people for each project is great preparation for group work in real life. Also, the evaluations allow the students to become self-reflective so that they will know the areas that they need to work on.

From his experience with project based learning, Randy Pausch knew what project based learning was all about. He said, "Most of what we learn, we learn indirectly." The students in his classes were learning how to build virtual worlds, but most importantly learning how to work with others. He also taught that the best way to teach someone something is to have them think they are learning something else, and he called it a "head fake". This reminds me of this EDM class. Dr. Strange is having us learn about technology in the classroom by using technology. I'm learning about teaching in this course, but more than that I am learning how to use technology by creating and maintaining a blog, by using Twitter for my PLN, and by working with others by collaborating on Google Docs.

This lecture taught me about teaching but most importantly it inspired me. One of the quotes that Randy Pausch kept reminding the audience was that "brick walls are there to show us how badly we want something." This inspired me that there will be brick walls in teaching but I must be creative and innovative so that I may reach every student. I must pass this on to my students as well, so that they know you must work hard to achieve your goals.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

PBL Learning Plan

CAD design
Ramsey Willis and I collaborated on a PBL for Algebra I students.

You can find the learning plan, rubric, and peer evaluation form on my site.

Blog Post #5 - Asking Questions

Question marks
Questions are the heart of learning. Without questions how would we discover or invent, much less learn? The question for this post is, what do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher? I will address three topics in order to answer this question: why do we ask questions, the type of questions to ask, and the process of asking questions.

Teachers ask questions for a variety of reasons. Teachers will often ask a question to begin a lesson, or several questions to be answered over a unit. A good teacher will ask questions throughout a lesson to check for understanding. Questions are also asked at the end of a lesson to encourage students to delve into the concept further. But the most important reason teachers ask questions is to get their students thinking.

There are several types of questions that a teacher can ask to engage their students and to encourage them to think. The first type is a closed-ended question. This type of question has a direct response that is correct or incorrect, or it has a yes or no answer. Closed-ended questions are good questions to ask to check for understanding. It is best to follow these types of questions with another question asking for an example. Another type of question is an open-ended question. Open-ended questions have multiple answers and encourage discussion in the classroom.

The process of asking questions is equally as important as the type of questions to be asked. In Maryellen Weimer's post Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom, she emphasizes that preparing questions is the key to asking good questions. Questions will come to a teacher's mind while teaching a lesson, but it is best to think of and prepare questions when preparing the lesson. Maryellen Weimer also wrote that teachers should play with placement of questions in their lessons. Instead of asking all the questions at the end, ask a question at the beginning of class that will be answered throughout the lesson or even in the next lesson, or have students work together to come up with an answer. An article from The Teaching Center of Washington University in St. Louis, Asking Questions to Improve Learning, states that questions should be asked throughout the lesson, and questions should be specific and direct. Also, only one question at a time should be asked so that students are not confused about which question to answer. When asking a question, a teacher should wait 5-10 seconds for the students to think before accepting a response, and if no response is given, then the teacher should not answer the question but rather reword the question and ask it again. When responding to a student's answer, a teacher should encourage their students to keep thinking by following up with a question to the student to explain their thinking.

The motto for this EDM class is Questions are More Important than Answers. Questions are what drive learning and discovery. As a teacher, I must continuously ask thought provoking questions to my students while teaching, but ultimately I need to teach my students to ask thought provoking questions in order to be good learners.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning

Teaching has made a total change in the fourteen years since I graduated from high school. This change is in large part due to how the world has embraced technology. Every time I read a teacher's blog about how they are using technology in the classroom I learn something new. To hear that students as young as kindergarten are blogging and tweeting amazes me! After watching Anthony Capps' videos with Dr. Strange, I have some observations to present and questions that to ask about how to use technology as a teacher, specifically for project based learning.

From the Anthony Capps interview, Don't Teach Tech - Use It, I learned several benefits of and tips for using technology in the classroom for project based learning or PBL. The first benefit is that today's students have been around technology all their lives so they understand how to use it quickly and they enjoy using it. This answers the question of how will I teach students how to use technology when I am not very good at using it myself. Dr. Strange added that teachers should not worry about spending a lot of time to teach technology. The next benefit is to use technology for PBL. Project based learning is the concept of constructing a project while learning a concept, instead of the old way of using a project to assess whether a concept was learned. Teachers should give students the opportunity to use technology to learn about a subject and to construct a project on that subject. With this being said, Anthony Capps said to not expect perfection when using technology. He said from experience that students will make mistakes while researching but a teacher needs to build in time for the students to reflect on the project and learn from their mistakes. Lastly, Mr. Capps pointed out that using technology for PBL is a low cost, clean, and shareable way of learning.

While watching the Anthony Capps interviews, I had a few questions about what kind of technology to use for PBL. I wondered how do third-graders do research on the Internet in a safe way, and specifically, what websites does he use for PBL. He answered my questions with iCurio and Discovery Ed, which both are used in Baldwin County. iCurio is an online tool where students can safely search online media because it is filtered for educational use. Students have individual logins and they use it like a search engine. I especially liked the feature that Mr. Capps mentioned about organization. iCurio allows students to organize their research by topic in virtual folders. By doing this, they are learning valuable skills of digital/virtual organization. iCurio will also read the text aloud to students that may need help reading. Anthony Capps referred to Discovery Ed as bringing text to life visually. This allows students visually learn about a subject after they have read about it. He uses it for Science and Social Studies.

One of the main issues I wonder about when incorporating technology in the classroom for PBL, how much time does this involve for the teacher? Anthony Capps answered the question by giving some details about his first year as a teacher. He started the year by working sixteen hours a day for the first three months and then cut it down to ten hours a day. This tells me that he is a hard worker! This also tells me that using technology in PBL requires a hard working teacher. Hard work is one the tips that Dr. Strange gave in the videos for being a good teacher. He also included being a learner, being flexible and creative, and having the ability to reflect. The role of the teacher has changed with the change in technology. They are no longer the main source for knowledge in the classroom, but they are more of the director of a child's education.

In conclusion, I will definitely use PBL in my classroom. Students often times have a negative attitude towards math because they feel that it doesn't have application in their lives. I hope to use PBL to show them that math is in their everyday lives they just have to look for it.



C4K Wk#1 Comment

Jake W in Ms. Toal's class - 4th/5th grade Boys Scoil Fhursa in Dublin, Ireland

Jake wrote about a class trip to the library to meet the author Kevin Stevens who wrote The Powers. It's a fun book about a family named The Powers. He suggested visiting the website to learn more.

I commented that I visited the website like he suggested and that the book looked like a fun book to read. I asked him if he liked to write stories and if he could write a book one day, what would it be about?

C4K Wk#2

Comment #1
Jacob in Mrs. Reuter's Class - 5th/6th grade Wisconsin

Jacob wrote about an outing he took for a friend's birthday to a ski resort called Sunburst. They went tubing down some hills and had a blast!

I commented that it sounds like he had a lot of fun in the snow at Sunburst. I told him that in Alabama we do not have snow very often but that it snowed here in January for the first time in over ten years. I also told him that instead of tubing on the snow, we go tubing on a lake or river. Then I asked him if he had ever been tubing or skiing on a lake or a river?

Comment #2
Cooper C. in Mrs. Gelde's 4th grade Class in Nebraska

Cooper was asked to write about if he could have a super power, then what would it be. He would like to be able to fly because then in kickball he could just fly around the bases.

I commented that I think flying would be a great super power, but I would like to be able to read people's minds. Then I would be able to know what people are thinking without them having to tell me. I commented that he did a great job on the picture he posted of showing how he would fly.

Comment #3
Buckets_4 in Mrs. Miller's Class - HS English Baldwin Co

She wrote about karma and how she was ugly to someone and the next day she hurt her ankle. She also wrote about how she would like to go to college one day and make something of her life. It was difficult to read because of poor grammar, all lowercase letters, and no punctuation.

I commented that I think karma is real but most importantly I liked it when she wrote that being horrible to people gets you nowhere in life. I told her that ultimately we can only control our own actions. I also let her know that I liked reading that she would like to go to college and make something of her life. Then I asked her which college would she like to attend and what would she like to study.

C4K Wk#3

Comment #1
It's Me in Mrs. Miller's Class - HS English Baldwin Co

The student wrote a short story titled, David and the Crystal Eye. It's a story about a man named David who reads about the crystal eye in book and then becomes obsessed with it. The crystal eye gives the power that know one can pierce you if you have it. David becomes so obsessed with obtaining the crystal eye that saves up enough money to leave his family and travel to Australia to get it. Before he gets to the island with the crystal eye, the plane he is on crashes on the island. After the crash, David goes on a search for the crystal eye. When he finds it, he has to fight the pilot of the plane to keep it. Then he quickly escapes the island on another plane. When David returns home, he has the crystal eye put in the Smithsonian for safe keeping.

I commented that I read his story about the crystal eye. It was very intense! I told him that he had me wondering to the end if David was going to get the crystal eye. Then I asked him if likes to write short stories and was this story inspired by another story he has read.

Comment #2
Cordell in Mrs. Long's 10th grade class

Cordell wrote about the movie Shawshank Redemption. It's his favorite movie because of the "amazing plot." He also likes how it was filmed in a real prison in Maine.

I commented that I like the Shawshank Redemption too. I told him that I think it is a cleverly written story about determination. Then I asked him if he likes any other Stephen King books and/or movies.

Comment #3
Kylie B. in Ms. Frahm's 7th grade class at Bode Middle School in St. Joseph, MO

Kylie wrote an argumentative assignment on Athens. She wrote about the schooling of boys and girls and how they differed. The boys were sent to school to be educated while the girls stayed home to learn.

I commented that I read her assignment on Athens. I told her that I found it interesting that only boys were able to go to school to receive a formal education. Then I asked her how she thinks life would be today if this still occurred, only boys could go to school and girls had to stay home to learn.

C4T Chosen by Dr. Strange

Ideas and Thoughts by Dean Shareski

C4T Wk#1
"I Couldn't Agree More" is Meh
Dean writes that people should read the comments of a blog as well as the blog. This is where conversation and debate can occur. Comments like "I agree" are nice but not helpful. Bloggers are wanting to initiate conversation. If you want to increase your critical thinking, don't always read blogs that you agree with.

I commented that I agree too. (But I have to leave a substantive post because this is a class assignment!) I also wrote that this post is very helpful as I am new to the blogging world. I told him that I've read many blogs in the past but never commented because I didn't feel the need. Now that I've had to create my own blog, I see the importance of substantial comments. I agreed that blogs are about conversation. I also wrote that I would think that most bloggers create their blog to have a way to share their thoughts and ideas, but even more they want to hear the thoughts and ideas of others. In conclusion, I commented that to truly benefit from the conversation, we can't just consume but we must produce as well.


C4T Wk#2
The Digital Divide: Live with It
Dean writes about how the increasing use of technology in education is opening up so many opportunities for learning, but educators still put a ceiling on the top learners. Educators have introduced technology to students but are still assessing students like they did before the technology, just to see if the achievement gap is smaller. He says that with all the doors that open to learning with technology, educators cannot continue to use the same assessments. Students are learning in ways that aren't always easy to assess and if we continue to do assess the same way as when there was not technology, then the students are being held under a ceiling.

I commented that when talking about closing the achievement gap, the lower-end students are usually the focus and this often leaves the students on the higher end of the spectrum stuck under "the ceiling". I also commented that all students deserve to be challenged regardless of where they lie on the spectrum. The increasing technology that is available for education opens up a world of opportunities for all students. I agreed that technology should be used to benefit all students, but this leads to more work for educators because it requires tailoring the lesson to meet the learning needs of all students. That's where the ceiling comes in.

C4T Wk#3
Do What You Love: A Selfish and Misguided Message
Dean writes that doing work that you love is selfish. He writes that doing work that you don't love or have a passion for is what work is and that's real life. He also writes that college should not be pushed on every student. He suggests that we should celebrate the students that go to work after high school, too.

I commented that I have worked with people who dislike their job with a passion and since I was not in a management position that could change things for these people, I ultimately had to leave the job because of their attitudes. Before I left, I spoke with one of the young workers on a personal level and told them that if they didn't like what they were doing, then why don't they look for a job that they do like. They have since moved on and hopefully to a better situation. The main reason my coworkers disliked their job was not the task itself, but the management. I heard more complaints about the people they worked with and for, than the actual job. This leads to the fact that the people of a job are the most important aspect of a job.
I also commented that I don't think any high school student should be discouraged from going to college, especially in today's workforce. However, having went to college immediately after high school, and then a few years after college realizing that I didn't like that profession, and now in college again going a different route, I don't think it is always a bad idea for a student to take some time after high school to work while deciding what they would like to study in college.

C4T Wk#4
Another Reason Why You Don't Blog
Dean writes about why people shouldn't stress about blogging. He links back to a post he wrote in November in which he wrote that "clicking publish" through blogging is not the same as publish meant in the past. He gives an example of how someone sent a link to one of his blog posts to a non-educator and because Dean misspelled a word in the title, the non-educator would not read it. He also links a podcast that he recorded and in it he reminds his listeners that blogging is not about formal writing but about conversation. Therefore, even though we may revise our posts several times, there still may be grammatical errors. He encourages his readers and listeners to not be afraid to blog about their ideas just because it may not be entirely grammatically correct.

I thanked Dean for this post because it was encouraging. I commented that I just entered into the blogging world two months ago in this EDM class and I have struggled with writing "publish worthy" blog posts and required comments on other's blogs. I also wrote that in this class I have read a range of blogs from elementary and high school students to college students and educators. Of course, all these blogs are not grammatically correct, but these people are writing about their ideas. Like he said in his post, publish doesn't have the same meaning as it did in the past. These students are learning a new definition of publish.

C4T Rotating

C4T Wk# 1
Blogging through the Fourth Dimension by Pernille Ripp

In her post "Is there room for slow readers in your class?", Ms. Ripp writes on the different reading paces of children. In her classroom, she sets a goal for her students of reading 40 books. Well, some students achieve that goal and some do not. Some of the students that do not reach their goal get upset because they are slow readers. She has changed her thoughts on this goal and just reminds the children that as long as they read more than last year, then they are doing great.

I was not able to comment on her blog, but this is what I would have said. I think it is great that she is looking at the children individually instead of just focusing on reading 40 books. I'm not the fastest reader because I like to thoroughly understand what I am reading. But, because I am goal-oriented, I would have been a student that sped through the books to achieve the goal without benefiting from the reading. Also, praising the students for increasing their speed of reading is good because it allows them to continue to enjoy reading while they are improving their reading abilities.

Teachers make all other professions possible

C4T Wk #2
Teacher Tom's Blog

Tom is the sole teacher at a preschool in Seattle. In his post "This Is Child Abuse", he writes about the subject of standardized testing to kindergarteners. With NCLB and Common Core, students as young as kindergarten are taking standardized tests. The kindergarteners take them on a computer and often with a parent guiding them. One comment that was posted reminded parents that they can have their children opt out of taking these standardized tests.

I commented that this is all news to me. I was not aware that students are being tested so early. Also, as I have preschoolers that will be entering kindergarten in a few years, I was glad to know that parents can have their children opt out of the testing.

C4t Wk #3
Kindergarten Life

Tweets, Tweeting via Twitter @vermontkkids123
Sharon Davis teaches kindergarten and in this post, she writes about using Twitter in her classroom. She uses Twitter to help them learn about community and how to properly converse with others. She also uses it to give them a global perspective.

I commented that I am encouraged by her blog. I found that it’s great that kindergarteners can learn so much from Twitter. (They probably know more about it than I do, as I just signed on a few weeks ago.) I also commented that I’m going into secondary education but her post has encouraged me to try to use Twitter with my own young children.

C4t Wk #4
Kindergarten Life

The Value of Conversations
Sharon writes about her experience on a panel at the Dynamic Landscape Conference at Champlian College in Burlington, Vermont. Here is a video of the panel discussion. Through this experience she learned about the value of conversations with her students, and writes about how she is using technology to spark conversations. She is using Twitter, Skype, Google Hangout, and blogging in her class.

I commented that I watched one of the panel videos, and I liked her open-minded attitude toward change and how change can give us more tools for learning. I think it is great that she is incorporating so much technology in a kindergarten class. I told her that I especially like that parents are tweeting questions to the class. I commented that it's great when the parents are involved in their child's learning, and I thanked her for her encouraging blog.

C4T (Continuous chosen by me) Authentic Inquiry Maths

Authentic Inquiry Maths
Bruce Ferrington is a middle school math teacher in Canberra, ACT, Australia.

C4T Wk #1
Math in Sports - Miranda Carfrae
This post is a series of posts he did of interviews with athletes in January 2014. Miranda Carfrae is an Australian Ironman. He asked her questions about her experience with math in school and about how she uses math in her training and racing. She responded that she did not have a great experience with math in school and she only took classes that she needed for what she wanted to study in college. Although math was not her favorite subject, she does use it everyday in her training and racing. While racing, she has to do quick mental calculations of her time so she can pace herself.

I commented that this was a great project for him to do to show students how math is used in their everyday lives. He interviewed several athletes during this series so I commented that he spent a lot of time on this project and hopefully the students will have a greater appreciation for math as a result.

math symbols

C4T Wk#2
The Laws of Math - The Associative Law
In this post Mr. Ferrington writes about the lesson he taught on the Associative Law. He writes that he explained to the students about the Associative Law and how both sides of the equal sign must be the same. Then to make the class more interesting, he asked the students to think of a way to display the associative law. Some students used the number line, some used blocks and a scale, and one student got creative and drew two sets of three men of different heights standing on top of each with both sets equaling the same height.

I commented that I love to look at his blog for ideas for teaching in my future classroom. His students seemed to like doing something different than solving math problems on paper and they are very creative.

C4T Wk#3
89 and 98
During a lesson on the Commutative Law, a student realized that if you reverse two numbers that add up to 98, like 57 and 32, then the answer will be reversed, 89. He encouraged him to test this out with other two digit numbers that end in 9 and also with three digit numbers, and then look for a pattern.

I commented that it's great to see that his students are thinking creatively in his lessons. I told him that I'm sure he loves his job on those days! Last week, I asked him if he uses textbooks in his teaching. He responded that the short answer is no, so I asked him if he uses the Khan Academy, and if so, how?

C4T Wk#4
The Laws of Math - The Associative Law with Multiplication
Mr. Ferrington is finishing the unit of the Laws of Math. In this post he writes about his students' displaying the associative law with multiplication. They use colored discs, blocks, and tiles to demonstrate (2x4)x5 = 2x(4x5). Some students understood the concept better than others so this was a good moment to evaluate and discuss.

I commented that he is still having fun with the laws of math. I also commented that I continue to enjoy reading his posts about the different ways of teaching math. I liked reading about how he uses tiles and blocks to informally assess whether the students understand the concept. I also let him know that I look forward to learning more about teaching math from his blog.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Khan Academy

Khan Academy
The Khan Academy was founded as a nonprofit organization by Salman Khan in 2006. He began the organization after creating math videos to tutor his cousins in New Orleans while he was in Boston. It is a website where anyone can access lessons on subjects such as Math, Science, Economics and Finance, History, and Art History for free. These lessons are in video form created mostly by Khan. After the lessons there are problems to assess the knowledge learned. These problems provide immediate feedback for correctness, and the site also rewards badges for doing well. Here is a video of Salman Khan on TED in 2011.

There are many positive aspects to the Khan Academy. It is a great supplement to subjects, especially math, that students are having trouble in. The more times a student is presented a lesson by different approaches, the more likely they are to understand the lesson. This student in the Caribbean was at the bottom of her math class and was recommended the Khan Academy by her mother. She used it to help her pass her Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exam (CAPE) in Pure Mathematics. The Khan Academy is also an opportunity for students to explore a subject further than their grade level. Todd Borden, a parent and high school teacher, wrote as a guest in the student newspaper of Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, CA, "I don’t believe it will be possible for teachers, or administrators, or school boards, or state boards, or colleges to tell students what they need to know and when they will learn it anymore."
Teachers can use the Khan Academy in their classroom and track students' progress in the lessons. This would be beneficial to know where each student is in their learning and at which lessons they had the most difficulty.
Khan Academy is great for preschoolers, too. Watch this video of a four-year old using Khan Academy.

While the Khan Academy has many benefits, it definitely has some weaknesses, too. Tony Bates, a consultant in e-learning and distance education, presents a criticism in his critique of the Khan Academy.
"As someone who struggles with math, the Khan Academy would seem perfect for me. My problem though is I don’t know where to begin. Just jumping at random into a video suddenly makes me aware that I need lots of prior knowledge before I can understand this video, but there’s no help on that. Also, where’s the feedback? If I still don’t understand after watching the video several times and doing the exercises, what do I do?"
In Sal Khan's intro video on the Khan Academy homepage, he states that teachers have told him that they are assigning the videos for homework and have the students work the problems in class that they normally would have assigned for homework. This sounds like a great idea, but it cannot become widespread use until there is equal access to technology for all students. Even if a public school system puts a tablet or laptop in the hands of every student, all students still do not have Internet access at home.
Another downside of using the Khan Academy is that there are glitches in technology that cause it not to work at times. When I first tried to access some of the video lessons, the website was down and it stayed down for almost two hours. As with all technology use in the classroom, it's great when it works but there always needs to be a backup plan.

In conclusion, I believe that the Khan Academy is a useful tool for education. I do not believe it should replace the classroom teacher. There is much to be said about face-to-face learning and discussion for a student with their teacher and their peers. I think it is a good supplement to classroom teaching and would provide excellent remedial help. From it's website, many of the success stories were from adult learners who needed to brush up on their math skills before returning to college. The Khan Academy is another resource for the motivated learner to expand their opportunities in learning with technology.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Search Engine Review

search engines
Search engines are a very useful tool, but not all are created equal. I will review the following search engines for this post: WolframAlpha, Bing, Duckduckgo, Dogpile, Yahoo!, and Yandex.
1. WolframAlpha
WolframAlpha is a search engine for educational use. I took the tour on it's website and found that is is a "computational knowledge engine" that "computes exact answers." Being a future math teacher, I find it useful that it can compute answers to mathematical problems. Also, WolframAlpha does not have ads, which makes it even more beneficial for educational use.
2. Bing
One of the differentiating factors of Bing is that you can earn rewards for your searches. Rewards are earned in a range of amounts for different searches, the rewards build up over time, and then they can be redeemed for prizes such as coupons, sweepstakes entries, and gift cards. My favorite is the $5 Amazon gift card for 475 reward credits. Of course, Bing must have ads in order to provide these rewards.
3. Duckduckgo
Duckduckgo has the slogan "Search anonymously. Find instantly.". This search engine does not track your searches from topic to topic. This is beneficial because you will not be bombarded with ads of links in the margins based on previous searches.
4. Dogpile
Dogpile is a search engine that produces results by searching within other search engines. Dogpile uses Google, Yahoo!, and Yandex to find it's results. By using this search engine, you can search within three different search engines at the same time.
5. Yahoo!
Yahoo! is a search engine like Google. It provides users with email ability, streaming news, and it even has links on its homepage to the top ten trending searches. Yahoo! is also powered by ads so deciphering the search results can be difficult sometimes.
6. Yandex
Yandex is a search engine run by a Russian company. It is one of the top five search engines in the world and number one in Russia. It's homepage reminded me of Google because it has its own email and images, but the best feature I found was the translate link. The translate link can translate to and from in 36 languages. This would definitely be helpful in education.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


prevent plagiarism
Plagiarism is not a new issue, but with the increased use of technology in education, the ability to plagiarize has grown significantly. Therefore, educating students on what constitutes plagiarism and how to prevent it, is key. I think students should be taught early that when they use someone else's work, they need to give credit to the author. They should be taught that this is done to respect other people's work and that they should expect the same for their work. If students are taught about plagiarism and the correct way to give credit where it is due from the first time they do research for an essay or project in elementary school, then they will have a good foundation on how to prevent plagiarism. This will help them in their higher education where they will be doing much more research.

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Test Post Title

This is my first post. I clicked on the HTML button like I should always do. I'm a blogger!