Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nutricious Petchous Kutchous

I chose to create my petcha kutcha presentation over the topic of The 15 Healthiest Foods and other healthy helpful hints. I decided to use this topic because I feel that it is so important in our society for people to know what foods are healthy and what they can do to ensure that they live lives that are healthy and happy. I hope that my presentation opens some eyes about what they should eat to stay fit and other tips for living a fit life.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Google Map Screencast

I chose to create my screencast over how to make a google map, add placemarks, create links, and add pictures. I thought that this would be the most useful to future teachers, very simple to illustrate, and something that I felt not many people knew how to do. I created a map to illustrate the places that the characters from the Twilight book series visit.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baby VoiceThread

I chose to create my voice thread over the topic of birth. I collected pictures from FlickrStorm and used them to tell the story of a baby's birth and the excitment for parents. This topic is special to me just because I feel that it is one of God's greatest miracles and I was very happy to have found some awesome pics that for me brought out the happy emotions that anyone involved in or witnessing a new life experiences.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2nd chance for orientation in 2nd life

I thought that this video was especially helpful since I have no experience in second life. I felt that after just viewing the parts of orientation shown on the video I already have a better understanding of how second life works. I agree with the speakers that many users can feel overwhelmed with too much information and will give up easily if they don't immediately feel that they have a grasp on a program. Steps taken to make users feel like they have more control and that second life is workable will encourage them to explore all the possibilities. I thought this video was very informational and it definitely interested me in second life.

I connect with this video even though second life is foreign to me. I know that as computer and Internet user, the more I feel in charge of the technology I am using, the more apt I will be to try new things with that technology. I think that if users can master simple tasks like customizing their avatar, they will feel brave enough to use second life for multiple tasks and possibilities. The only problem I see with second life is that it seems to be a little boring at first glance, in my opinion. This could be the reason why so few of my classmates have experience with it.

I thought that the last speaker had the most effective ideas for orienting users with second life. I know that I can retain information better if I have a chance to experience it in a hands on way. I hope that in my own classroom I can present information and instructions to my students in a way that isn't too wordy and that will encourage them to try it for themselves. An interactive orientation offers information that doesn't bog down the user and also allows them to try new activities which will enable them to remember those tasks.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Survey Says....

I chose to do my survey about movies. The questions covered the types of movies people enjoy, which types of settings they enjoy them in, and whom their favorite actor/actress is. The survey asked only 3 questions and was very to the point. Creating this survey taught me that this particular Google tool could be very useful in helping children convey what they have learned and share that information with fellow classmates. Children and adults can create surveys for any purpose or topic imaginable and these surveys can be as little or as long as needed.

Only 4 people answered my questionnaire which is very disappointing considering the fact that I made sure to answer every survey posted by my classmates. The first question in the survey was, "What is your favorite type of movie?" which was answered with the following categories: comedy, thriller, romantic and The Notebook? Looks like we have a teacher who didn't read ALL the directions. lol. The second question asked how movie viewers would rather experience their movies. The options were in the theater, purchase a film to watch at home, or renting a movie to view and take back later. Three answers went for the theater; the other preferred renting. The last question asked whom was the surveyor's favorite actor or actress. The answers were Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, and Kate Hudson.

This exercise was very beneficial to me. I think that it showed that there are so many ways to use these questionnaires in classrooms. A teacher could give a test, ask students to create their own test or a sample test question, or encorage students to show their creativity buy making a survey after having read a book. I hope to use tools such as this in my classroom to keep things new and exciting for my students so that they aren't easily bored with traditional methods of learning.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

13 is sometimes smarter than 30

Sam is a 13 year old girl who's interest in technology is recognizable to everyone around her. It is especially interesting that her knowledge has mostly come from what she has taught herself. She uses technology to interact with friends, play games, do school work, help others, and many other tasks. If Sam has a problem, she solves it with technology! She is very advanced for her age but seems to understand that she can use her knowledge for things she finds interesting as well as for things that are often viewed as work. Sam's digital portrait reminded me most of myself even though my understanding of the digital world is no where near her's!

In my own life, mostly at work, I have found that because I have been younger than those around me, I have often had more experience with certain types of technology. I know that it is often hard for people to ask others for help, especially if that person is inferior to them in age, but as a society and especially as teachers we need to realize that people never stop learning. We also need to realize that everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach. I also have found that some types of technologies can be overwhelming at first but it is important to always try new things. I also connected with what the college boy that Sam was helping said about wishing he had her knowledge at 13 years old. The more children understand and have experience in, the more likely they are to succeed.

In my own classroom I plan to allow students to do assignments and work that encourage them to think outside of the box and use whatever technologies possible. I think that this will allow my students as well as myself to learn not only about the topics being covered but it will also give us all new ideas about educational mediums. I know that when I was in class, the projects that were well thought out and creative from my classmates were the ones that I not only remember but drew ideas from later in life. I want to help my students be passionate about what they are learning and express themselves at the same time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wise Up about Wiki

Paula White's video about how wiki spaces can be used in the classroom to promote learning was extremely informative! She talked about the numerous ways that students could post their thoughts and questions about subjects covered in class as well as subjects that interested them. Parallel Play or Collaboration showed several pages that Mrs. White and her students had created on a very wide range of topics. I learned from this video that these Wiki pages can be used for entertainment, education, questions, critiquing, and almost any topic under the sun! Mrs. White's knowledge of such resources is very impressive and these tools can benefit teachers and students alike.

Because the video was blurry I was very glad that access to Mrs. White's
supporting wiki, WikiThink, was available. Her site offered a ton of information about Wiki's, how they work, and the possibilities they offer. I can connect with this video because many times I have tried to use a new type of technology and felt kind of overwhelmed because I didn't know what all I could do. Mrs. White offered so many possibilities with Wiki that it would almost be hard to find topics to blog about or ideas. Often times one person can come up with a problem or solution that no other person could come up with and I think Wiki is a good site to truly collaborate the voices of several people into one page.

In my own classroom I hope to offer students access to the pages of others and opportunities to create their own pages to share what they've learned, what they are passionate about, and questions they have. I always feel hindered with technology since I will be working with such a young age group but I think that my students will become excited about what they are sharing and learning if they can use Wiki pages since this is often viewed as a grown up tool. It could also be fun for students to work with their parents to create pages or responses on Wiki so that students can not only build on their knowledge but so that parents can have a sense of involvement and a knowledge of what their child is learning. Wiki as well as many other parallel play and collaboration sites have so many possibilities and potential. I hope to share these aspects with others and learn from other teachers as well.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'll Get You Digital Learners! & Your Little Blogs Too!!

This video provided so many useful tools that it was kind of overwhelming! The video was about some children and a librarian who needed help doing various things that all had to do with sharing or gathering information online. The Wizard of Apps in my opinion offered all the helpful tools that anyone could ever ask for but was a little bit boring. If it wasn't for the slide show that corresponded to the video I would have been completely lost. The new tools workshop is a very helpful idea as well that made the ideas in the video a little easier to grasp since it provided access to the apps discussed. I guess that my most significant take away would be that when you're gathering, sharing, or organizing information from the web you should never be overwhelmed because the best tools are definitely out there, you just have to know where to look.

I loved the idea of a parody of the Wizard of Oz to make a movie about all the applications available for students to use while learning but I felt that the video was entirely too long. I found that I looked forward to the "wizard" portion of the movie and really dreaded the "slide show" portion because the film was so long. In fact, this is the only video that we have watched in this class that I didn't enjoy. I actually noticed that I had to force myself to pay attention through much of it where I hadn't ever had to do that with previous videos in this class. I think the information presented in the video was extremely important and the Wizard of Oz theme was was an excellent idea. I just feel that maybe the information could have been cut down a little to keep the viewer engaged.

I hope that in my own classroom I can present my students with tools, widgets, and applications to help them get as much out of technology as possible. My students will be very very young and I'm not sure that I can offer them as much help as older children because they won't have as many problems with presenting information and filtering through information online but I hope to offer help with everything I can. Classroom blogs are a great way to share helpful sites and tools with parents as well as students. I will try to keep my classroom blog and personal teacher site always up to date with the latest tools and tips to keep even young children safe and their experiences online effective ones. If these lessons can be learned at an early age they can be built upon over a lifetime.

Digital footprints have recently been an interest of mine because I knew so little about them in the past. I picked the site
Pipl that was introduced in the video to check out and work on a little. I searched myself as well as some of my friends. I found that the site went much deeper than a simple Google search and turned up some things that were very interesting. I'm happy to report that I found a clean digital footprint under my personal search and even happier that I had the opportunity to learn more about how everything done online and all the personal information given can show up somewhere so everyone needs to be careful.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Digital Everything!

The DigiTeen video explained how teenagers all over the world can learn, share knowledge and inform others about the digital world. The video clips covered everything from teens making their own videos to talk about the dangers of shopping online to informative clips about the dangers of driving and texting to teens talking about what they learned. Students created wiki characters to interact with each other, interviewed classmates about what they had learned, and created videos to share information about how pictures are stolen online. The video not only taught me about some issues that I didn't know about but it also showed me a world where teens can exchange information. I think Digital Citizenship by Digital Teenagers is an awesome idea who's possibilities are endless!

I'm sad to say that I have never experienced anything like this personally. I feel both lucky and unlucky because the digital world can enhance education so much by presenting knowledge in tons of new ways but I'm also glad I didn't have to worry about things such as cyber bullying or online predators because by the time I had access to these things I was already pretty old. I think that being a digital citizen can teach children not only about academic subjects, but about dangers and advantages of learning online. It is important in today's world for students to be able to use technology not only for entertainment but to learn, explore, share and communicate with others. Digiteens can share so much and learn so much at the same time!

I hope to implement he ideas from this video into my own classroom as much as possible. This could be difficult since I will be working with very early aged students who probably won't have to knowledge to do most of the things that the students in the video did but technology can be implemented anywhere. I hope that I can teach my students at an early age that they can use the digital world to learn anything they want to know. I also want to teach them the correct ways to find information and how to be safe when doing anything online. I thought the video offered great ideas and insight into the world of technology and all the possibilities for today's teen.

Loving Learning

This video taught me about the various ways that students can learn and engage in learning by doing the things they love. Project learning was not only the video's title but also a theme in which educators and getting student involved and excited about ideas and concepts. I learned from watching the video that the more students feel involved in what they are learning the more information they will retain. Everything from building robots to designing blueprints to doing scientific experiments was used to show children of all ages that the things they learn in class can be used later in life and can often be used in ways that are interesting and fascinating. Every child interviewed was very excited about what they were learning.

When I was in 4th grade we were able to do many projects about things we were learning. This is just one of the many reasons that 4th grade was by far my favorite grade. My teacher was truly concerned not only about our educations but about every student she had as an individual. I knew even as a 9 year old that she wanted us to enjoy what we were learning as well as build knowledge. We created our own volcanoes, made robots, traveled to Hawaii (in our imaginations), created crystals, and tons of other things! The excitement that the students in the video had for their projects and educations didn't come as a surprise to me at all because I knew first hand what a drastic difference project learning could do to a child's attitude.

Hands on activities and project learning are something that have always been very important to me as a future teacher but even more so now that I've got a glimpse of how they've effected students around the world. I want to implement as many projects into my own classroom as possible. This will be easy to do since I hope to be a kindergarten teacher and my students will need a lot of activity time anyway. I feel that true learning will only happen when a child is excited about a lesson and the best way to do that is to get their minds working on a project.

Greatest Gift! :)

The Greatest Gift of all to me!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stereortype Slaves

I chose to view and comment a video by a student named Alix titled: Slaves of Stereotypes? The Modern World and Gender. This video was about the ways that stereotypes affect us everyday. Stereotypes not only shape the ways that we view others but they sometimes confine us to how we present ourselves. The video was excellent in my opinion! Alix used good music, graphics, and words to convey the message in a way that wasn't too flashy but still caught my attention. I could tell that the video idea as well as production took some major thought and work.

I can understand why Alix felt that this message was so important because too often I find myself judging others based on stereotypes. I wish that I didn't do this but I know that in our society it is so easy to do. I also find that I make decisions on what I wear, eat, listen to, and say based on stereotypes that I do or do not want to be associated with. I feel that Alix's video would be and excellent video for middle school or high school age students to get them thinking about stepping out of stereotypical boundaries in their schools as well as in their adult lives. This would be a good video to show to adults as well.

I hope that in my own classroom I can encourage my students to look outside the box of stereotypes and focus more on who a person is rather than which catagories they fall into. Learning lessons like this can help students throughout their entire lives. I would love to use this video in my classroom although it would be tough for most elementary school students to follow. I hope my students always feel that they are learning in a judgement free zone in my classroom and that thinking beyond things such as stereotypes is what will help them learn the most.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Leading His School, Family, and Friends: Luis

Luis is a high school student who uses his knowledge of technology to interact with and help others. His parents were born in Mexico and don't speak English so he is also able to use his capabilities to help them do all kinds of things that they might not be able to do without him. He also works with his fellow students to create movies and various projects for school. Luis realizes that he knows about things that not everyone else does and he has a passion for sharing his knowledge and ideas with everyone around him. He showed that he could lead in many situations and help others succeed along with him.

I can relate to this video because I am a first generation college student just a Luis hopes to be. It is very important to me, as well as anyone who has a skill that their parents do not, that I teach my parents everything I can. Obviously Luis is able to share much more with his family, but even simple things like telling my parents what I learned in school to showing my dad how to find clips of his favorite sports team are huge to parents and their children. I also thought that it was great that Luis used his love of YouTube and knowledge of making video clips to interact with and entertain his younger brother. He seemed to be able to implement a little technology into everything he did.

Its extemely important for parents such as Luis' to feel that they are a part of their children's education. Newsleters, conferences, and home visits are ideas that I feel will help the parents of my future students not only feel better connected but also learn some things as well. I will also try to let children such as Luis express their creativity with technology as well as their drive to share with others in my classroom. I also thought it was interesting that Luis got to travel to share some of his ideas as well and I hope to provide opportunites such as this for my students whenever possible.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Peek for a Week or A Clear View of Bright Minds

I felt that A Peek for a Week in Room 9 was an awesome tool that could benefit students, teachers, and parents. Using these types of videos, blogs, and other medias lets students know that someone cares about what they are learning which encourages them to learn even more. Not only do things such as smart boards make learning more fun for children but it will present more opportunities for those children to be creative, learn, and express themselves. Technology in the classroom is extremely helpful to teachers because it allows them to break away from traditional activities so that their students will be more interested. The technologies that this particular teacher was using were simple in many ways (taking digital pictures) she transformed them into something that could also teach as well.. Parents benefit from these class videos and blogs because it lets them know what is going on in their child's class. This will encourage parents to be involved when they have a sense of how the classroom is ran.

Obviously things such as laptops and smartboards in classroom was unheard of when I was in school but I found that when I was able to use a technology of any kind it made learning feel more like exploring instead of just completing a task such as a worksheet. I think that the art project that the students were doing was very impressive! As teachers we should always be looking for something else to incorporate into learning that will spike a child's interest level. The children were doing anything technologically mind blowing but at the same time they were engaged and focused more than if they simply were painting a picture. I also liked the fact that the teacher actually used her smart board not only in a was to present information but also to allow students to interact with what was presented.

I think that it would be extremely helpful and informative if I were to have a class blog in my own class. I hope that I will be able to not only share whats going on with parents but also make the children feel proud of their accomplishments in my class. If I have to opportunity to work with a smart board, classroom laptops or any other kind of technology I will use it as much as possible. We are living in an age where most of the information that we read or convey to others is all through technology. I know for a fact that I type way more than I write. I feel that it is important for students to learn to use all technology available to them and its obvious that they have a ton of fun while they're at it.

Nafiza: The Technological Leader

Nafiza is ahead of her time in many ways. Not only is she a bright 18 year old girl who begins using a technology from the moment she wakes up until she goes to bed at night but she also shows leadership by setting an example and helping others to learn ways to use the thing she loves to teach about various topics. I thought it was incredible that this 18 year old girl realized that she could have fun with her technological tools and still share messages about things such as the lives of the citizens of Darfur. I know that Nafiza has more computer and software knowledge than myself or many of my friends but I feel her want to use that knowledge to help others and inform about serious topics is an awesome quality. All in all I felt that the Digital Youth Portrait: Nafiza was a very informational video.

The technology and programs that Nafiza and her fellow classmates were using were nothing like anything that I worked with in high school. This can make sure programs a combination of scary and intriguing. This is another reason that I think students like Nafiza can be such a big help. Most students have enough knowledge from simply playing video games and creeping on Facebook that if they could only be guided just a tiny bit they could do so much more than they realize. I think teachers, especially very intellegent teachers can often be intimidating and students find that it is easier to ask a question of a friend rather than their teacher. It's important that students know that they can help each other as well as the teacher and that learning involves reteaching sometimes.

As a teacher I hope to be able to use as many technological mediums as possible. They are beneficial to student who are enjoying what they learn, helping others learn, and getting a hands on experience with learning. These mediums are beneficial to the teacher as well because he or she is allowed to interact on a different level and the mediums help the teacher convey subjects of all kinds to students who might not have caught on the first time.

Week #2 Links! :)

K-12 Student Blog Comments:

I chose to follow the blog of a Mrs. Blakely's Kindergarten class in IL. Their blog is called Kindergarten Tales and they always have a lot of fun while learning and post some awesome videos and pictures.

I am also becoming "blogging buddies" with Mr. Kootman's class. This is a 4th grade class who's blog is written by a different student everyday.

T4T Student Blog Comments:

I also read some awesome T4T student blogs and commented on them as well. Our class has some great ideas and I'm excited to be learning with so many nice, smart and excited future teachers! I left comments on
Darlene's T4T Reflection, Sammy Speaks, and Adrian Rosado T4T Blog although I think all 3 comments are still pending.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and now....Cameron!

This video was very informational! I personally had no idea that elementary age students had technical knowledge anywhere near as advanced as Cameron's. It is exciting to think that there are so many different ways to present information to students and that they already know a great deal about new technologies. I think technology allows children to be better involved in what they are learning and keeps them engaged.

When I was in elementary school little to no technology was involved in the classroom. There were no computers in any of the classrooms but one lab that each class would visit once a week. I think that the lessons presented to me would be much more interesting and easier to understand if there was some sort of technology used. Technologies also allow teachers and students to interact with each other.

I hope to use some of the ideas in this video in my own classroom. It has always been important to me to present information in numerous ways so that children of different backgrounds and learning styles all have a chance to have a connection. I also feel that if students could help present information to their fellow classmates that they would better understand them selves since the best way to learn is to teach others.

1st graders & college studens learn from each other!

This video was very informative! I enjoyed the video very much and learned a lot about how blogs can serve as so much more than just a space for people so spill their thoughts. I thought that the idea of connecting elementary school children with college students in order for each to lean was wondeful. This aproach worked better than the student observations I have done before because the college students got to work with individual children one on one and it seems to me that this would also allow college students to work around their busy schedules.

I had a reading budy as a child that essentially worked the same way as blogging buddies. This was just a program where a first grade student was paired up with a fourth grade student. They would meet for about 45 minutes once a week. Half the time would be spent with the first grader reading to the forth grader and then the second half the forth grader would read to the first grader. I experienced the program from both points of view and found it very beneficial both ways so I'm not surprised that blogging buddies was so successful.

I hope to someday use this technique in my own 1st grade classroom if possible. I would love the opportunity to be a blogging buddy to an elementary school student but that probably won't be possible since I'm so close to finishing my degree and I haven't heard of this program at UCO. The program could also be used with high school technology students instead of college students as well though in case a college class won't work.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

About Me :)

My name is Kirsti Parsons. I'm 20 years old and a Junior at UCO but this is my first year here. I was born and raised in Stigler, OK and attended college at Carl Albert State College in Poteau, OK for 2 years. I have a huge family (4 sisters and 2 brothers) who I love to spend time with when I'm not at school or babysitting. I also love to cook, scrapbook, and do anything outdoors! I'm an Elementary Education major and hope to some day work with kindergarten students but I would love to teach elementary students at any age. Even though I've switched majors a million times, I have always known that I wanted to work with children in some way. My fourth grade teacher was the best teacher I've ever had and she's the reason that I want to teach!! She showed her students that she could be a teacher and friend while still having their respect.