About Me

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I am always seeking to make the most of each moment. I love to read, play outside and steal a moment to enjoy my surroundings whenever I can!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Blog Post Assignment 3

In reading a post by Karl Fisch on his blog, The Fischbowl, I gained some insight into the reason he believes that educators should be technologically literate. His writing in this post seems to be rather frank. He is stating that educators should not be allowed to be technologically illiterate and stay employed. He says that students deserve better than to be taught by educators that are not willing to learn to keep up with the material media they are teaching. If technology is to be a part of the future of educating our children then his statements certainly have a ring of truth about them.

I will quote a statement Mr. Fisch makes that summarizes his point of view on the topic:

"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."

He has a point. You can link to his blog here and read it if you like:


I also watched the video below:

While I was watching the beginning of this video I recalled so many hours I have spent in lecture halls just like the one there. I have waited on the professor to write out a word, waited for him to repeat phrases over and over so everyone can copy what he's saying until their hands are cramping. I hated it. Class settings like that really make getting an education more like a chore than a learning experience. If it were a flow chart it might look like this:

Spend 1000 dollars on tuition and a book---->Show up for Class---->Listen to Professor Tell you facts---->Write them down---->Memorize as many as you can---->Take Test---->Forget it all (Oh, and hope you can sell the book for half of what you paid for it).

What are we paying for? Now that I am a sophomore in College I am mostly relieved that many of the prerequisites have been met for my undergraduate studies. There are a few left to trudge through. I hope my children don't face the same experience I have had. Increasing cost for college does not yield increasing value. I only hope that my graduate classes being more specialized will be more interesting.

I read a post by Kelly Hines on the Edurati Review website: http://eduratireview.com/2009/04/its-not-about-technology.html/

In her post she talks about how technology alone is not the solution to our current educational system's problems. Mrs. Hines says we need to change the whole thing. She discusses four major points in her post.

First she says that teachers need to continue to be "learners". She says they need to be self motivated and go above and beyond what is required of them by their employers. She has a good point here. What person in any profession with no enthusiasm for what they do can really excel at it? And don't our students deserve teachers that are enthusiastic? I feel that they do. My kids have had several teachers and we have been blessed with a few that are really great at what they do. Those were some of the best years for my kids in school. When their teacher is excited about getting them to learn they get excited about it too.

Second Mrs. Hines says that Learning and teaching are not the same. She declares that if learning hasn't occurred then teaching hasn't either. This I also agree with. If a contractor is hired to fix my electricity and comes to my house and works on my wires without fixing it, did he do his job? Nope. He sure wouldn't get my money.

The third point she makes is that technology is wasted with out good teaching. I can attest to this. I have been in EDM 310 for three weeks and have finally learned to use my computer! I am really excited about this. Just watching videos and reading articles like Kelly Hines' I have learned things about teaching that have me excited about my future career.

Finally she says that teachers of the 21st century need to first be able to teach important skills without relying on technology. One such skill she addresses is critical thinking. In a world that is more competitive every day with a rapidly changing political climate critical thinking skills are so important. People have so much information to process on a daily basis. In order to be a participant in our global community critical thinking is vital. With out critical thinking how can students make use of the great volumes of information available to them through technology?

The article by Mrs. Hines is worth taking the time to read. I hope that this movement towards improving education continues to gain momentum.

In looking at the figures below, I am definitely convinced that our future educators are going to have to learn to use technology in order to keep up with students. It isn't a bad thing. When I was little you had to have an expensive collection of encyclopedias to do a research project at home. And even if you had them, the material became outdated with no way of refreshing it. Now all information is available in all types of formats to suit all types of learners. It is awesome.

Project 3

Last week I visited Mr. Scott Kemp's blog, The Radical Tactical Shift, and read his post concerning the preparedness of our teachers. He asks the question "What does it mean to be a prepared teacher?" I commented that I felt to be a prepared teacher one must keep an open mind and be ready to learn new ways of teaching and not get set in their ways regarding what types of format information is presented to students in. Of course I am not a teacher yet and am sure that many challenges they face are difficult to take on. I know it must take great dedication on the part of teachers to handle the daily difficulties and keep their eye on the goal. Mr. Kemp ends his post with a question: "Are we ready?" I think we have a responsibility to the future generations to make sure that we are.

double rainbow above trees

I visited Mr. Kemp's blog again today, and the post I read told of conversations. Talking about education between educators. It seems that Mr. Kemp is feeling frustrated at the lack of change regarding education. His post says to me that he is ready to see an education revolution and is disappointed that he hasn't yet. He is wondering about his role in all of it as well. It seems to me that people like Mr. Kemp who are so willing and ready to do their part to facilitate growth and improvement in the field of education are too often not allowed to put into action some of their ideas. What is stopping them? The system? Resistance from others who are not willing to change? I truly hope that teachers with enthusiasm for their jobs will begin to find ways to put it to use before it burns out. It saddens me to see educators questioning themselves when they are trying so hard.
I left a comment of encouragement for Mr. Kemp. I hope that my few words give him encouragement, if only a little.

Scott Kemp's blog adress: http://mrkemp.tumblr.com/

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog Assignment 2

I recently watched a video about a teacher named Vicki Davis. This teacher is really in tune with her class. It appears that she is doing something new and it is working. By allowing the students to use the web to access information under her guidance she is not only teaching them the material but is also showing them how easy it is to discover answers using technology. There is no doubt in my mind that the future generations will be working more and more with technology. By using computers in the classroom students are not only utilizing an instrument that can help them learn the most recent material but they are also using tools they will need to know how to use in order to work and function in the world in general.

I also visited Laura Scott's blog (http://scottlauraedm310.blogspot.com/2010/11/blog-assignment-12.html) and followed the link to a post about U.S. students in comparison to students from Finland (http://blogs.scholastic.com/kidspress/2010/09/breaking-creative-myths.html). According to the post by Cecilia Gault, a very young reporter from Finland, Finland's students appear to have a notable edge over students from the United States. It is indicated by the interview Miss Gault conducted with Sir Ken Robinson on how education needs to change for the better. It states that the United States would benefit from integrating more technology into the education of American children.

Robinson says that there are myths regarding creativity that prevent children's true capabilities from being recognized. I took away from the interview the idea that people each have something unique about them that indicates which area that they are gifted in. He suggests nurturing their strengths would foster a development of the individual child. I think that this is a superb notion. How great would it be for me to never hear my own child say "I'm just dumb.." when he isn't able to do school work with the ease of one of his classmates. These unfortunate words have actually come out of my own child's mouth when he felt he wasn't as good at a subject as he felt he should be. I struggled with him through kindergarten and first grade. His teacher would tell me things like "By the end of the semester if he hasn't gotten to this many words per minute he will be behind.." or "He just isn't paying attention." It is frustrating for me as a parent and for teachers as well to jump through the hoops our school system sets up for them. Gabriel, my son, loves to draw. He has literally hundreds of drawings that he compiles into story books. I love to encourage him in this and watching this video has given me some ideas about incorporating things he is learning in school into his "stories". He has infinite patience when drawing. The interview is very worth watching!

More on Robinson can be seen in his video where he discusses how creativity is discouraged in our schools.
The video is of a talk given by speaker Ken Robinson on how children are taught in a single format, primarily, with the focus being on academics. Robinson goes on to discuss particular scenarios when children were given the opportunity to develop their given talents and flourished, really reaching their potential.

He also discusses the idea that our current system of teaching may not only be failing to introduce children to the entire realm of what their potential may be, but even be discouraging them from seeking to expand on their talents and dreams. This video opened my mind to several concepts that I had not previously considered. I found it very informative and recommend watching it to anyone in the education field and even parents.

Following are some youtube videos that elaborate more on the current state of education and the world in regards to technology:

Doesn't this movie speak to what kids are facing in schools? I have taken lecture classes and know exactly how the students this film is referring to feel. The sad thing about it is that much of what our children are learning can be presented in a fun and exciting format. It takes collaboration of many to pool the best ideas. These ideas can then be transformed (with adequate support) into methods for teaching the "same old stuff" that are new and exciting.

The journey of learning can be taken sleeping or awake. Let's not bore our kids to death, just trying to get through one lesson to the next, all with our eyes on the clock just waiting for the bell so real exciting life can begin. Let's bring real excitement into the classroom. Changes for the better require enthusiasm and commitment on the part of our Nation's teachers. I hope to bring that to my students when I get my first job, and keep it with me until the end of my career. I truly hope that when the bell rings it will seem like the day flew by because my students were all engaged mentally in the game of learning.

Wow. This video was very enlightening. I have spent the past 10 years of my life skirting technology and only dipping into the pool of resources on my own equipment when I had to in order to send a message or complete a task. I usually get pulled into using some new gadget due to the need to complete a specified task. After watching this video (and starting my EDM310 class) I am beginning to realize that if I don't get on board with technology and keep myself informed, I will certainly become obsolete in the teaching field.
enlightening in regards to the data about children in India and China. While the United States has been steadily falling behind over the last several decades academically it would appear that other countries haven't been wasting any time. It is definitely a wake up call for the United States.

All of these blogs and videos have a common theme. Educators and educational institutions need to be ready for change or left behind.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Project 2


Blog Assignment 1

About Me
I am Pamela Todd. I live on the Gulf Coast in the beautiful state of Alabama. I have spent most of my life here in Alabama and love it dearly. I am 31 years old and have been married to Adam Todd for 13 wonderful years. We met in the 9th grade and have been best friends ever since. We have two sons. Our oldest, Samuel, is 11 and our youngest, Gabriel, is 7. They are a constant source of entertainment and inspiration to myself and my husband!
I am an education major at the University of South Alabama. I also own a grooming salon in Mobile which I operate full time with my sister. After I graduate I hope to get a job as a special education teacher. My mother has taught special education for over 30 years and she is my inspiration for wanting to become a special education teacher. I remember being in her room as a child and watching her teach kids simple skills that changed their lives for the better and helped them to feel a sense of joy and accomplishment.
I enjoy being outside. I love boating, beach combing, hiking, reading, writing, and being creative in any way. I desire to grow as an individual through knowledge and try to never feel like I have it all figured out. I like to write poems. I have had two poems which I wrote in high school published and would love to add to that some day by compiling a collection of my poems.
pam in a tree