Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blog Assignment #16

EDM310 has been a very long journey, but it has introduced me to several new teaching methods and tools that I will use in my classroom in the future. I will be teaching in an elementary school. One of the methods that I learned a lot about this semester is “Questioning”. I learned from Maryellen Welmer that you must prepare your questions. Writing out a question in advanced helps you to make sure it is clear enough for the students to understand. It helps you to plan things such as, when does the question need to be asked? This way it fits into your lessons and relates to concepts you are talking about right then. Another word of advice that I learned from her is to preserve good questions; good questions can always be kept. It could also be good to write down and keep student's questions that trigger the rest of the class to start thinking. It is important for teachers to ask good questions so that students can learn that questions are important and help us learn and to think critically.

Another method/tool that I have learned about this semester is Podcasting. Doug Saunders explained podcasting in The Benefits of podcasting in the Classroom. Here, Doug starts off by saying how podcasting is an effective way of interacting with students outside of the traditional classroom. Podcasting allows for differentiation in the classroom. This will allow me to record a lecture and the student can simply play it back and listen to it as a review. If a student is sick and has to miss class one day, that student could pull up my lectures on iTunes as a podcast and they could listen to the lesson. I will also have the choice to upload my podcasts on my classroom blog. Podcasting will be good for parents as well because they can hear what is being said in my classroom and help their child if needed. In my future classroom, I think it would be very useful to use podcasting and uploading lectures and discussions to iTunes. This way if a student misses class or is just confused on a certain lesson, it is available for them to listen to again.

When we were told to listen to Anthony Capps, who is a third grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary School, he discussed project based learning. I would have never thought that I would allow third graders to use iMovie. Dr. Strange asked Anthony if his third graders have had any problem using iMovie or learning how to work it and he said absolutely not. I found this very interesting and I will definitely let my elementary school students use iMovie as a creative way to do classroom projects. Technology doesn’t need supplies and doesn’t have to be cleaned up after, such as messes and spills. It is a great way for students to get involved with their assignments in a new, intriguing way.

I plan on using several different tools in my classroom throughout the school year, but one that I personally did research on this semester was Poll Everywhere. This is a website that will allow me to post a question in a “poll” form. I can ask my class a question and they can answer in real time using twitter or web browsers and I can then see their responses live on the web in a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation. When making a poll I can choose what kind of question I want to ask. The options are multiple choice or I can let them respond freely with a written reply. As a teacher I would be able to control when the poll is started and stopped this way I can place time limits on questions. I will use this form of technology for daily assignments, reviewing for tests, and so much more. Plus, it is free!

Blogging will be done in my classroom, for sure. Ms. Cassidy had so much insight on blogging and I learned so much from her videos. I know my students will enjoy it because people will be able to comment back on their blogs and they will get to see their own individual progress throughout the school year. My students will know the rules for commenting and to not say mean things in comments because it could hurt their classmate’s feelings. I also plan on having a classroom blog that the students can go to and it will have appropriate links for them to click on. I will send home a form to the parents that gives the students permission to get on the Internet and allows their work to be posted online. I will put in the form that their child’s identity will be protected. I will make this happen by only posting first names and not putting certain names with pictures. Parents will enjoy their kids blogging because they can go to their students blog and see what they are doing and what progress they are making. Technology is not going away and in this generation, we as teachers have to change because the world is changing. I am excited to take advantage of the new tools in this generation.

Fun at School

I want my classroom to be a fun learning environment. For example, in a 1st grade classroom teaching reading, there are so many different projects and resources to dig into. When you add technology to the picture the variety of activities increases so much more. Having computers and iPads with headphones that could read out loud to the students would be great. They can follow along and hear the words spoken out loud at their own pace. I want my students to know that learning is fun! I want to be able to create a comfortable environment in my classroom so that my students feel welcomed and are excited to learn when starting my class. My students will know I care about their education and want the best for them. Any student that walks through my door will set goals for the year and I will make sure they know that I am there to help them every step of the way. I will introduce all the different resources we have that can help them learn in their own way. I want my students to be able to try their hardest. I won't expect them to do things if I don't believe they are capable of doing the certain tasks. I want them to help their classmates if they notice each other struggling and learn how to work together. Peer editing will be done in my class so that my students learn how to help one another, in a nice way. Hopefully, my students will have access to iPads or computers. The list of activities that you can do on such devices is never ending. I also hope to have a classroom blog as one of my tools. This way if I can get the parents permission, I could post pictures of the students working and playing throughout the day. Keeping the parents updated on what is going on in class and posting newsletters on the blog will also be of good use. This would be beneficial to the parents, as well as to the children because it will mean a lot to them to see their work posted on the web. Another tool I will use often is the SMARTboard if it is available. There are so many games that can help the students learn in creative ways. It is very interactive and helps to keep the student's attention while learning to read. I want my students to be vocal about their learning because, every student learns in a different way. I want them to be able to ask me questions so they can farther their learning, and not feel embarrassed about being confused or needing help.

My new attitude on technology in the classroom:

Since I have learned so much this semester, there are several different changes that could be made to my old ideas of teaching. One thing that I will completely abandon is PowerPoint. Up until EDM310, I still used PowerPoint in my other classes for assignments that were given to me. EDM310 has shown me so many different options such as Prezi, Google Presentations, and even iBooks. The ways that I plan on introducing materials to my classroom has changed dramatically. I had never really worked with SMARTboard before EDM310 and I was not sure I would like it, I had much rather have a dry erase board. Now, I love the SMARTboard and all that it has to offer. Especially the "SMARTexchange". There are so many interactive programs and games to help the students learn in interesting ways.

Time for changes Before I got into EDM310, I underestimated the abilities of elementary students. When I began reading some of the blog assignments, I was amazed at what goes on in classrooms now when it comes to different teaching methods. Children can work iPads, computers, and SMARTboards better than I can. This opens up so many opportunities to expand teaching methods and projects. Anthony Capps was a huge eye-opener to me when he told how his third graders can work iMovie with no problem, and this made me realize the projects and activities in a classroom with technology are endless! Throughout this semester my view on technology has changed because I have had the opportunity to work with different tools and experience them hands on. Although I do not know all there is to technology and how it can be used, I am excited to see what more I can learn about it and how I can apply it to my future classroom.

Blog Assignment #15

Group Pissarro:
Jordan Neely, Kaley McDonald, and Brooklyn Rowland

Assistive Technology can help children with learning disabilities find their strengths and work around their specific learning problems. It can provide both routine and access to curriculum in the classroom. Assistive technologists use their tools to extend students' physical and social abilities. These tools help “assist” students with interactions and learning in the classroom environment. Technology in this century is changing the methods in which teachers instruct students and is changing the way the students learn. School districts are required to offer appropriate assistive technology to students with disabilities. The selection of the right device is influenced by the abilities of the student, their family’s culture and value system, the environment in which the technology is used, and previous experiences with devices and strategies. Thorough assessment needs to be done on children in order to decide what devices must be chosen. It is important to have a combination of strategies that will work for a particular student because a single solution will not meet all the needs of the student. Some things to consider would be the following:
-The abilities of a child; his/or interests and preferences
-Family culture and value system
-The environment it will be used in
-The functional tasks for participating in daily routines
-Available materials and technologies
-The barriers of his/her participation
-Ongoing intervention and evaluation

Assistive Technology should be used to help the student academically and should also assist in meeting their personal goals. The student needs to work with their parents teacher, all working together as a team, to monitor the assistive technology that has been chosen. If a device stops meeting the student’s needs, it should be abandoned and replaced with a different method.

In the video, Assistive Technology, Kathy is a special education teacher and she tells how she uses technology in her classroom. Students who can hear and understand, but don’t have the ability express what they want or not, use the “Text-Speak” tool. It is software that has different pictures of phrases they want to verbalize, and pictures of choices they would want to voice. They also use a numerous amount of sign language in their classroom and they also play videos of sign language lessons. Another device they use is “Partner Four," which has four blocks that speak out loud, and it also speaks out simple responses, such as “yes," “no," or “I’m all done." The teacher can reprogram the four squares to say whatever she desires and show students which block represents what.

The next video is Assistive Technology: Powerful Solutions for Success preview, which expresses how teachers are exploring technology in their classroom in order to reach, influence, and inspire their students. Technology can make the difference in a child’s life with disabilities. Assistive technology is the use of devices that increase the capabilities for students with disabilities. It is important for teachers to provide different options for acquiring information and different ways that allow students to express what they are learning. Some students more equipped in the practice of typing since they do not have to focus on paper and pencil. Many students have problems with spelling, so the “AlphaSmart” allows students to choose the correct spelling. “Ginger Software” is a new program that is designed to correct common spelling errors that students with dyslexia tend to make.

The next video is Assistive Technology in Action - Meet Mason . Mason is a first grader who enjoys music and playing the Wii. He is blind in his left eye and he is partially blind in his right eye. Mason is a normal child, but he is required to adapt and be accommodated for in order to learn. In the classroom, Mason uses a device, called the Malpatton, for writing activities. When he types, it tells him what letter he is typing. He uses an iPad at school, which assists in displaying larger letters and other eye sight accommodations, and at home for educational games and activities. Mason also uses the SMARTboard at school; it is great for him because things are displayed big and the contrast on it is easier for him to use and see as well. Technology is constantly changing. Mason will be introduced to new technology throughout his lifetime, but it is evident that he will be prepared to adapt to any type of new situation.

Dell has a video that talks about technology and students with disabilities. Students that are more comfortable learning through technology can still learn social skills by interacting with the computer screen. Whether it is smart phones, iPads, or laptops, technology can make a huge difference in a child’s life. With this current population, we are required to make learning all about engagement. Moving a mouse, or moving a finger on a track pad, can be difficult for the disabled, so finding the right device for an individual is about trial and error. People with disabilities often also have problems expressing their emotions, of which technology can aid them in overcoming.

Monday, November 18, 2013


A Geeky Momma's Blog

November 18, 2013
"Improving Learning With Mobile Technology"

On Geeky Momma's blogpost this week, Lee Kilbert shares an eBook with us. She said that as educators, we all strongly believe in the power of sharing for many different reasons and resources. She shares with us Twitter IDs and blog URLs of 35 other educators to help motivate and inspire us. Each of the 35 educators were asked this question: What are the most effective uses of technology in online and mobile education? The whole point of this eBook is to show that technology drives student-centered learning. At the beginning of the eBook,on slides 6-9, it shows a chart and gives scenarios occurring in a classroom. It tells what the responses would be in "instructor-centered learning" and "student-centered learning" environment. Lee stated on her page that the most effective uses of technology in the classroom are those that are based on real-world problems.

November 8, 2013
"Levels of Social Gaming Acceptance"

Candy Crush
I was extremely annoyed with candy crush invites on Facebook. I had no idea what the game was or why people were sending me all these annoying invites, my brother being the worse. One day, my brother was needing some lives and he talked me into just trying the game out and the addiction began. I am proud to say I have not spent any money on this game (and I honestly never will). I am on level 50 and have been stuck there for a while. I do not ask people for lives or give lives because I do not know what people are actually playing the game and I don't want to annoy people, because I know how that used to feel. This game is definitely a challenge for me, but it is also a fun game to play while taking a break from homework.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Assignment #14

Blog Post 14 iPad Apps in the Classroom

What kinds of Apps are appropriate for an elementary classroom on their iPads? Also, how can iPad Apps help students with special needs?

Several schools use iPads in their classrooms. Although there is not always enough for each student to have their own, a lot of schools at least have one or two per classroom so that the students can rotate using it. It is important for teachers to make sure the Apps on the iPads are appropriate and effective in learning. iPad Apps for special needs students can also be very effective in the classroom.

Using the links and videos provided, discuss what kind of Apps are appropriate and how you may use those Apps in a classroom setting. Also tell one or more Apps that you will use on the iPad for a disabled student in your classroom.

1. 27 Good iPad Apps for Elementary School Students
2. Best iPhone and iPad apps for elementary school
3. How Amy Heimerl teaches with iPad
4. How Chris Bruce teahes with iPad
5. Best educational iPad apps for elementary school aged kids by OHmommy
6. Apples Store: Special Education

1. Just Show Me: 3 educational iPad apps for elementary schoolers
2. See, Touch, Learn - A New iPad App for the Learning Disabled
3. Four Free Must Have iPad apps for Students with Severe Disabilities

Summarize this post while discussing this topic and adhering to standards found in Writing A Quality Blog Post.

Example of the Blog Assignment:

iPads in the classroom are becoming the new thing to have in the 21st Century. But how exactly do teachers use iPads in the classroom, in a way that is appropriate and effective to learning? With iPads comes along the concepts of Apps and which ones are good for learning. 27 Good iPad Apps for Elementary School Students provides a variety of apps that are for digital story telling, math lessons, science lessons, and social studies lessons. Students can create short stories, make up puppet shows, and create story wheels. Although some of the apps on this website are not free, it is very easy to find free effective apps for your students to use.

iPad Math
Best iPhone and iPad apps for elementary school has different interactive app suggestions. "Intro to Letters" allows the students to trace the letters with their fingers. "Math Board" gives the students options of what the answers could be, and has a designated area for the students to work out the problems. "Intro to Geography" is an app that shows pictures of maps and lets the students label them. It also provides pictures of countries for them to drag to the map in the appropriate space. The last app to mention from this page would be "Super Speller". This app is for learning and managing spelling lists. It is great for a classroom setting because it allows the teacher to add custom spelling lists. This way, the app can be used to practice weekly spelling words and it quizzes the children on the words for practice.

The Apple website has two teachers, Amy Heimerl and Chris Bruce, that tell how they use iPads in their classrooms. When Amy was asked how she chose apps for the iPads in her classroom, she responded that she simply goes to the App store and searches whatever subjects she is looking for. She starts broad such as "spelling" and then if there are too many options she will put something more specific, like "spelling sounds". Two other of her suggestions were to make sure the apps you are letting your students use go with the lessons you are teaching that week and to also make use of the free apps because there are plenty effective ones out there. Chris talked about how last year he wanted to spend a lot of time creating things on the iPad but this year he is letting his students be creative and letting them do their own thinking.

On the Apple website there is a section about Special Education. Here you can select between vision, hearing, physical and motor skills, and learning and literacy skills. If you click "Physical and Motor skills", it tells how Siri can be of great help to students who have motor challenges because all they have to do it talk into the device. Dictation is also available where students can talk into the device and it types what they speak. "Speak" is also an option where the iPad will speak out the selected text. iPads can also be used for children who are deaf or that have bad hearing because it provides captions. Another aspect dealing with special education comes from the video, Four Free Must Have iPad apps for Students with Severe Disabilities. This video shows an app that is "water" and it helps with sensory movements. The students can drag their finger through the water on the app and it will move as if real water. There are also several music games that allows the students to "play" the intruments with their fingers and it will make the noises to match their touch.

Project #2 Final PLN


PLN stands for "Personal Learning Network". A PLN allows you to have fast access to tools or people that could be of help to you. Symbaloo is one example of a PLN in which you can organize what you as an individual use online most often. This website allows you to add links such as social media websites, blogs, and any other type of informational website you visit most often. On my personal PLN to the far left I have links such as social media websites, youtube, pinterest, email links, google app links, and Prezi. In the top center I have links to my EDM310 blog, the EDM310 class blog, and blogger. The top right contains any teacher blogs that I have visited and enjoyed. In the bottom right I have a link to google, the weather, an encyclopedia, and the University of South Alabama website. As the semester has progressed I have added all of my teacher blogs that I have been assigned too, as well as a few more resources. I also added a link to "Google Sites" so that I will have easy access to uploading lesson plans or assignments there in the future. It has been fun adding to my PLN the stuff that is important to me and that I visit most often. This is a very convenient tool. I will continue to add to it throughout my college career so that I can use all of these resources as a classroom teacher one day.

Blog Assignment #13

Shane Koyczan: To This Day ... for the bullied and beautiful
By: Jordan Neely

Kids are always told what they are: geek, fatty, slut, etc. At the same time kids are also asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, as if to say, you can’t be what you define yourself as right now. In the video Shane Koyczan: To This Day, Shane goes deep and talks about what he felt at each age. Sometimes he wanted to be alone, sometimes he wanted to die, and sometimes he wanted to kill a kid. When he was 14 he was asked to consider a career path and he said “writer” and was told to choose something realistic so he said “professional wrestler” and they told him to not be stupid. He was told to somehow become what you are not. He was being told to accept the identity that others will give you. His dreams seemed easy to dismiss. His dreams were called names too: silly, foolish, impossible, etc. Shane kept dreaming on being a professional wrestler, but his dreams became crushed. He went back to his love of poetry. He stated that standing up for yourself doesn’t mean embracing violence. Shane discusses the saying, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” This causes kids to believe they will grow up, never be loved, and be lonely forever. Shane quotes a poem to a violin and video titled, “To This Day.” This poem tells about a little girl who grew up being bullied and made fun of. She had a birthmark covering half of her face. She
found love but still never believed she was beautiful. It also tells of a kid who is ten years old and tried to kill himself due to bullying. To this day kids are still being called names. Every school has it happening. You have to see something beautiful about yourself. These kids had to build a cast around their broken hurt and push on. Adults cheer for the underdog because sometimes they can find a piece of themselves in them. Words hurt, of course. Looking back at my elementary through high school years, I can remember words that were said to me that hurt; words about my appearance, certain actions, and just rude comments. It is easy for kids to remember the hurtful things and carry those comments with them throughout their lives. Once they have heard the same mean words over and over, those words become embedded in them and they begin to think they must be true. Shane’s poem about bullying was very powerful and I believe everyone should listen to it.

"Turning Trash Into Toys for Learning" By: Arvin Gupta
By: Kaley McDonald

Arvin Gupta is a toy maker and has been doing so (making toys) for the past thirty years. In this video, he demonstrates several ways of transforming recycled materials into toys which can be used in teaching strategies for the purpose of engaged learning. In the early 70s, he worked as an engineer making trucks for a particular company. He only stayed two years because he realized he wasn’t born to make trucks. He then declared a statement that I most certainly agree with, "Often one doesn't know what one wants to do, but it's good enough to know what you don't want to do." He began working for this great program in India, in which its purpose was to revitalize primary science in village schools. This program began based on slogans of the time, "Go to the people," "Love the people," "Start on what they know, build on what they have."

Gupta and his science toys
In the video, Gupta presented how he creates several types of flexible shapes with matchsticks and pieces of black rubber, which he cut out of a bicycle valve tube. He used this to illustrate the many different strategies of teaching geometric shapes, such as triangles, squares, cubes, pentagrams, etc., and how to integrate the strategies into teaching relative information. For one toy, he took a straw, cut it open and bent it in two places, inserted a small stick in the center, bent both legs of the straw into a triangle, wrapped some tape around the bottom, placed it into a bowl of water, and began to spin it. This was what he called a centrifuge sprinkler. He used old newspapers to create origami birds that flap their wings, and he also told a story with caps made of old newspaper. The story consisted of a captain who wore several different types of caps on his adventures each day. Gupta kept folding the newspaper into the different caps and continued, adding events and enthusiasm into the story. He finally folded the last cap into a ship, and then suddenly, in the story, he exclaimed that a storm came, tore the top and both sides of the ship, so Gupta tore off the top and both sides of the newspaper. When he did this, he then opened and unfolded the newspaper and it was now in the shape of a life jacket, which was the only possession the captain had left and it saved his life.

He displayed many more genius inventions and explained that children love to learn by creating these toys. When teachers just deliver science information textbook style, it’s dull, boring, and lacks adventure, but when kids make these inexpensive toys that relate to the science lesson there’s a gleam in their eyes that express their happiness, joy, and thrill of learning what science is all about. The fact that it generates curriculum lessons to "go green" is also a wonderful factor of these inventions. I hope to one day utilize these strategies for my students, putting into practice and proclaiming the slogan, "Start on what they know, build on what they have."

Kakenya Ntaiya: A girl who demanded school
By: Brooklyn Rowland

In this video Kakenya Ntaiya tells her life story. She is a member of the Maasai tribe in Africa. She has grown up in a world where women and men are not equal. Men are able to go to school and men own all property. Her father worked as a police officer and would only come home once a year. Her mother tended to the home and children, milked the cows, took car of the pigs, grew the crops, all to feed the family. When Ntaiya's father would come home he would sell all the crops, cows and pigs that her mother had worked so hard to take care of. Why? Because they belonged to him, not her. Ntaiya went to school until she was in the 8th grade, at that point she was to undergo a ceremony is which she would be officially a woman. After the ceremony she was supposed to marry the boy that she had been engaged to since she was 5 years old. This did not work for her because she had dreams of becoming a teacher. Once she was married though she would no longer be able to attend school. Ntaiya went to her father. She basically gave him an ultimatum. She would go through the ceremony and after return to high school, or she would run away and would not participate in the ceremony. Her father eagerly agreed to allow her to return to school because having a child that did not complete the ceremony was something that would shame him for the rest of his life. So, Ntaiya went through with the ceremony which was a female circumcision. After she was healed she went back to school. While in high school she met a boy who attended school in Oregon. She enlisted his help in getting into a school into the United States. She was accepted to and received a scholarship to an all women's college in Virginia. The only problem now was getting the funds to get herself to the United States. She went to the head elder in the community and begged for his help. She ended up getting the support of the entire community. She came to the US and learned that the ceremony she went through was actually mutilation and illegal. She also learned that her mother did have a right to the property her family had and that she didn't have to deal with the beatings from her husband just because she was a woman. Ntaiya went back to Africa and started a school for girls. She has changed the lives of 125 girls in her home village. They will now be able to follow their dreams and will not have to go through the mutilation or arranged marriages at 12 years old.

This is such an inspirational video. It makes you realize just how much we take our education and equality for granted in this country. We have kids who just drop out of school and in other countries they aren't even allowed to attend school. This woman has over come so much and struggled to attain what we are given freely every day here. We should strive to live our lives with the drive and determination that this woman has. We are given all the opportunities in the world and if we just simply had half of Kakenya Ntaiya's determination, drive and passion our possibilities would be beyond endless.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

C4K Summary for November

Vivienne’s Blog
Week 1, Vivienne:
Pumpkin Vivienne is a 6th grader at Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. Her blog post told us one version of what Halloween is supposed to be about, according to the research that the 7th and 8th graders at her school did. The Celtic Calendar has one light half and one dark half. The Celtic tribe celebrated a harvest festival called Samhain near the beginning of the dark half of the calendar. To us, this is when Halloween Occurs. Several people feared this festival because it was a matter of life or death. If the food they were harvesting weren’t ready, they would starve and die. When it was the harvest time, the days would get shorter while the night were getting longer. When it was time to change from light to dark, a veil was in between life and death was thin so this made it easier for people from both worlds to pass through. On May 13th, pagans would have a celebration called “Lemuria”. This was where Christians would convert Pagans. Romans would go to graveyards and pour milk and offer soul cakes to the Christian souls. The name then changed to “All Saints Day” or “All Hallows Day”. They also changed the date to November 1st to drain the Pagan Samhain. Since the Samhain festival was before “All Hallows Day”, they started calling it “All Hallows Eve”. This soon shortened to “Halloween”. This explanation of the holiday is confusing to me, but this is what Vivienne understood from the upper grades that did the research.

Riley’s Blog
Week 2, Riley:
Riley is Mrs. Cassidy's first Grade class in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. In Riley's blog, one of his most recent posts were a program that I have pictured here. He was able to record himself speaking his numbers and record himself actually writing out his numbers. So as he counted out loud, it showed the actual drawing process of his numbers too. Then he was able to embed it into his blog for everyone to see and hear. I really like this program, especially for younger grades who maybe can't write well. Using this program a child could record their blog post instead of having to type it out.

Riley’s Blog
Week 2, Riley's Second Blog Post:
Riley is Mrs. Cassidy's first Grade class in Moose Jaw, Sakatchewan, Canada. This is the same Riley as mentioned above, just another post by him. On his blog he colored the picture that I have shown and wrote, "I colored happy." I am guessing that green is Riley's favorite color and that it makes him happy. The color green could maybe remind Riley of different memories or objects that he is familiar with.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Blog Assignment #12

Ken Robinson: How schools kill creativity
By: Jordan Neely


Ken Robinson discusses how no one knows how the world will be when kids who start school today retire in 2065. No one knows what the world will be like even five years from now, so it is difficult to teach and prepare kids for the world ahead of us that is unknown. He says that creativity is just as important in education as literacy and teachers should treat it equally. I couldn’t agree more. Kids are willing to take a chance; if they don’t know how to do something they will take a chance and try. If you aren’t prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with something original. Kids become afraid of being wrong. Ken tells us that in education now, mistakes are seen as one of the worst things you can make. Therefore, we are educating people out of their creativity. All children are born artist. This means that we grow out of our creativity as we get older because of the education that is given to us. When Ken and his family moved from England to America, he realized how every education system puts English and mathematics at the top and creativity is at the bottom. Dance is not taught as much as mathematics, and it should be. We educate children from the waist up and focus on their heads. The whole purpose of educators nowadays is to create university professors. Typically, professors live only out of their heads. Our education system was invented before the 19-century so it focuses on subjects that would be useful for work, rather than things we enjoy doing. If what you like can’t get you a job, then you aren’t encouraged to focus on it. For instance, don’t do music if you aren’t going to be a musician. This is not true. Some people, who are very creative and great at music or dance, think they aren’t smart. This is because the thing they were good at in school wasn’t valued. Suddenly degrees aren’t worth anything. Back in time, if you had a degree you had a job. Now you have to farther that degree in order to get the job you wanted. People get degrees and move back home and continue on with their lives playing video games because JUST that degree won’t get you anywhere. Now you have to have a Master’s Degree or more to get most desired jobs. ADHD is labeled on several children now. Some children aren’t made to sit still in a desk and be educated. Some are meant to move, dance, and sing! It isn’t that they are sick and need medicine to help them calm down, it’s the fact they are made differently and have different creative interests. We have to celebrate the gift of imagination and allow creativity in the classroom. Our job is to help children make something of their creative ability.

How To Escape Education's Death Valley
By: Kaley McDonald

Ken Robinson is an English author, speaker, and international advisor on education. In this video, he begins by informing his audience that he and his family moved to America twelve years ago and he humorously jokes about, and discusses cultural stereotypes and myths of Americans and the British. He had heard that Americans don't understand irony, but he disagrees with the statement based on the fact that the individual who termed "No Child Left Behind" indeed understands irony because countless children are in fact being left behind. In some parts of the country, 60% of students are dropping out of school and the percentage of the Native American community is at 80. However, the drop rate is only part of the problem. The real issue is that students who are in school don't enjoy it, are not engaged, and are not benefiting from education. Robinson expresses that the reason for this is not because we aren't spending enough money. On the contrary, America spends more money than most countries do on educational purposes and is confronted with infinite suggestions and ideas about how to better our education system. So if the problems can't be mended with more projects, ideas, and money, how will we interest the students and inspire them to learn? Robinson declares that there are three principles on which human life flourishes...

DIVERSITY tacked on a bulletin board
The first of three is that "Humans are naturally different and diverse." Education has become based upon conformity rather than diversity. Schools are encouraged to discover what students can do across a slim range of achievement. Curriculum that focuses on only STEM education, which is an acronym for the fields of study in the categories of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, are necessary, but Robinson speaks truth when he says that a real education should provide equality with the STEM disciplines along with the arts, humanities, physical education, and more. Disengagement is blamed abundantly on the disorder titled attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD). Yes, this disorder exists, but labeling it upon every child that seems distracted from school work isn't the answer. Robinson says that the children who display the symptoms of this disorder are, for the most part, suffering from childhood, not a psychological condition. Even as adults, if we are burdened with a continuous, dull task, we tend to become bored, distracted, and fidgety. It is the same, but maybe worse for children. Students enjoy and experience success when offered a broad curriculum that emphasizes their numerous talents and abilities, not just a narrow range of them.

curiosity is the most powerful thing you own written on a chalk board
The second principle is "Curiosity." Everyone is born with a natural curiosity to learn, but sometimes the fire of curiosity can be dull and even smothered until there is not even a hint of the flame that was once present. Curiosity is the force that drives us to keep learning and as Robinson puts it, "it is the engine of achievement." Inspiring curiosity in your students could be the best gift you give to them. When students are curious, they will learn without any further assistance. Independent learners are developed by teachers who teach learning instead of educated memorization and facts, i.e. "burp-back education." Robinson refers to this in a way that teaching is a creative profession not a delivery system. Teachers need not only pass on received information, but mentor, stimulate, provoke, and engage students because in the end education is about learning. The dominant culture has transformed education from learning to testing. Tests are meant to support learning, be helpful, and are sometimes necessary, but they shouldn't control education. Stressing the fact that students need to "learn" an enormous amount of information for the purpose of only a test smothers the flame of curiosity and can develop negative results.

Albert Einstein quote
The third and final principle is that "Human life is inherently creative." What makes us human is that we can create and recreate. We have the power to change anything about ourselves and even the world. Sparking student's creativity comes with the responsibility of the teacher to assess students' interests and their focus of curiosity. Teachers must not simply wait around until creativity is integrated into a particular curriculum, we must make it happen! In order to see and experience creative results in our students we must produce and integrate creative elements into dull curriculum ourselves, such as project based learning assignments.

flower in Death Valley
Robinson ends with the purpose of the title of his video. Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California that is the lowest, hottest, and driest area in North America where growth is nonexistant. He explains that nothing grows in this area because it doesn't rain, but in the winter of 2004, Death Valley received seven inches of rain. As a result of that rain, flowers sprouted and flourished in the area during the spring of 2005. This proves that the area isn't dead, it's just dormant. The potential to be great is right underneath the surface, but it needs the right conditions in order for life and growth to be inevitable. As teachers, we must be the rain to the dry soil, exciting the power of imagination, curiosity, and creativity.

Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms
By: Brooklyn Rowland

Sir Ken Robinson starts this talk by saying that there are two reasons we should reform education. The first is economics. Robinson says that we are trying to educate our students in a way that they can take their place in our economy. The problem with that is that we have no idea what our economy will be like next week! The second is cultural. We are trying to educate and teach our students to have a sense of cultural identity. So they don't lose who they are and have a sense of belonging to their culture. At the same time we also want to be globally unified. As Robinson says, "How do you square that circle?". Our main problem is that we are trying to meet the future and prepare for it by doing what we have done in the past and that's simply not going to work. By doing this we are alienating those kids who don't understand or see a point to getting an education.

Everyone says we need to raise the standards. Robinson makes this a joke saying why would we lower them? Raising them only makes sense! Our current education system is designed for a different age, the age of the enlightenment and industrial revolution. He describes our schools as being structured on factory lines. With ringing bells, separated subjects and educating our students in batches. He poses the question, is the most important factor that students have in common their age? We group them based on their date of manufacture. In a world full of computers and video games, 100s of television shows, and iPhones, we have created one of the most boring places for children to be expected to learn. Then we punish these children for getting distracted and not being interested by saying they have ADHD and pumping them full of medication. Robinson talks about the medication we are giving children at such a young age. He says they are anesthetics, medication to shut you down. In all reality all we need to do is wake our students up! Robinson makes it very clear that he is not saying ADHD isn't real, just that it's not an epidemic. I think he wants us to realize that if we just made school more interesting maybe children would need to be so heavily medicated.

I agree with Robinson. Maybe if we made school as fun and interesting as a video game students wouldn't be so distracted and unable to sit still. Maybe they would be as enthralled in class work as they are computers and televisions! It seems that everything goes back to engaging your students. I've mentioned it many, many times before but it is so important. We MUST engage our students in order to have them learn. Burp back education is not something that will be acceptable in my classroom. I want my students to have a desire and a passion for learning! I want them to leave my classroom smarter not because of their grades, but because they actually learned.

Ken Robinson goes on in his talk to dicuss the fact that our education focuses too much on standardization. He says we need to go in the opposite direction. The direction of divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is, as Robinson defines it, the essential capacity for creativity. His example for this is the question "How many uses are there for a paper clip?". You ask this question and normal people might come up with 10-15 ways. But someone who is good at divergent thinking might come up with 200. How? They would say is it a normal paper clip? Can the paperclip be 200 feet tall and made of rubber? They would move outside the realm of the normal paper clip. He talks about a book called Break Point and Beyond this book is a test on divergent thinking that was given to 1500 people, kindergartners, to be exact. Out of these 1500 students 98% of them scored in the genius level. Five years later they tested these same kids, they scored significantly lower. Five more years go by and they test again, and again they scored even lower. This tells us that we all have the capacity to think divergently but we lose it. Why? Because of our education! We are taught that there is only one answer to every question. Only one. Whose fault is this? The teachers? Robinson says no. He says that it is a problem within our educational gene pool. We need a change. But how?

One, we must think differently about human capacity. Robinson says we have to move on from this academic versus vocational way of thinking. It's a myth that some students are academically able while others just can't do it. I think he is right. We are all completely capable of achieving the same level of intelligence. We just have to be shown the way. We are all different and we all learn differently. Our education system is just simply not created equally, because that's not possible. It's not possible for every student to receive an equal education and for them to be expected to get it the same way. We have to change the way we see the learning process.

Two, great learning is done in groups! I think it makes sense to have children learn in groups. Is it not true that students are usually more comfortable with their peers than with adults? So why wouldn't we let them learn from each other whenever possible. Students absorb more from their classmates and friends than they ever would from their teacher. We need to allow them to explore this option and teach them collaboration and teamwork! After all isn't that how things work in the real world, in teams? I don't know of a job where you do not have to work with someone at some point. We need to prepare our students for the real world and life outside our classroom.

Finally, we must change the habits of our institutions and the habitats of them. We can not change education if we do not change the schools. School needs to be stimulating and engaging, not the most boring part of your day. It needs to be a place students want to be, a place they feel comfortable and at home. Most of all it needs to be a place they love. If we can make school a place that our students love to be then we are most definitely on our way to reforming education.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Project #15 Lesson Plan

Link: Project #15 Lesson Plan

Pilgrims and Indians

While participating in online activities, students will learn to use technology tools to access, explore, and synthesize information on the Mayflower, Pilgrims, Plymouth colony, Wampanoags, and the first Thanksgiving feast. They will develop an understanding of the Pilgrims' experiences and hardships while traveling to and establishing a settlement in the New World. Students will participate in a couple of blogging activities. At the end of the week, they will present a poster of the Mayflower that they have created, as well as a Prezi on everything they have learned throughout the week about the journey to America.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

C4K Summary for October

Olivia's Blog
Out of my Mind book cover
Week 1, Olivia:
Olivia is in Ms. Eppele's 4th and 5th class in British Columbia, Canada. Ms. Eppele's assigned the class a detailed assignment on a story they were reading. The is titled “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper. This is a story about a little girl named Melody who has a photographic memory and is the smartest kid in her whole school, but no one knows it. A lot of people think she is not capable of learning. Melody cannot talk, walk, or write. While reading this story, they were told a specific website to go to in order to learn more about service dogs. They were asked what types of jobs do dogs do for people? What are some things you can do to help when you see a service dog? They were also asked questioned that relate to the story, such as “How do you think Melody will react to have a new sibling in the house?” and “What themes or big ideas do you think that Sharon Draper is trying to get us to think about as we read these chapters?” For Olivia’s blog, she simply wrote, “I feel bad for melody but i love love love love pups i have one of my own”. I told Melody that I was glad she could relate to the story with the fact that she also loves dogs and has one of her own. I encouraged her to write more details on her next blog and to explain more about what happened in the story. I told her that it would have been good for her to explain why she felt bad for Melody and what kind of situation she was facing.

Addie's Blog
Week 2, Addie:
Addie is a 4th grader in Mrs. Schroeder’s class. In her most recent blog post, she told all about her week. She had two guest speakers come and talk to her class. One spoke on nutrition and the other spoke on fire safety in the home. They read a book called “Tanya’s Reunion” and took a test on it. They were able to do a fun activity in geometry by going around the school and taking pictures on different angles and lines that they could find. Then they got to make a slide show of all of their pictures. On Monday they did not have school but once they got back on Tuesday, it was test time for her geometry class. After the test was over they got to learn some more fun geometry terms in math and then they learned about run on sentences in Language. I told Addie that it sounded like she had a very busy week full of learning and activities!

Alarzea's Blog
Week 3, Alarzea:
Alarzea is a 6th grade student in Mr. Somerville’s class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand. I began by viewing Mr. Somerville’s Class Blog. At the time of his blog, he has links to his class website, math lessons, math problem solving, math talks, movies and photos, and Kent’s teaching. The class website that he provides a link to contains a weekly schedule, links to the blogs, learning activities, and so much more. The “Kent’s Teaching” tab is where Kent (Mr. Somerville) shares how he uses Google Apps to facilitate an individual learning program for his star students. Alarzea hasn’t used her blog too much, but her most recent post was an Animal Questionnaire. She posted 9 specific questions so I tried to answer the ones that I knew.
farmer and animals

1.Why do cows sit down when it is raining? I was always told that cows lay down when it rains in order to keep a patch of grass dry to eat later.
2.When is it a good time to farm? I think this depends on where you live and what you are planting. Probably during the warmer weather when there is lots of sunlight to help things grow!
3.Why are animals so important? They provide us food.
4.Who might be the right person to farm? Some one interested in crops and who has the land and time to do it!
5.Which animal is the most important? I suppose this depends on a persons individual needs and what they need from what animal.
6.How do we know when to feed the animals? They are alive just like we are! They like to eat and snack just like us, if not more!
7.Where could a farm be? Anywhere that has the appropriate weather and land with good soil.
8.How long to farm animals live? This depends on the animal and if they animal is going to be used for human's food or not.
9.What kind of animal brings out milk that turns into cheese? My guess would be a cow or goat.

The Express movie
Omar's Blog
Week 4, Omar: Omar is in Mrs. Horst's 7th grade Language Arts in Oakville Ontario, Canada. He recently wrote about a football movie that he watched with his mom. He doesn't really enjoy football but he said this movie was great. I told him that he made me curious about this movie and so I had to use Google and do some research about Ernie Davis. I read where he was from New Salem, Pennsylvania and was the first African-American man to win the Heisman Trophy, which you told us! He was also the first black athlete to be chosen first overall in the NFL Draft. Ernie Davis was diagnosed with acute monocytic leukemia during preparations for the 1962 College All Star Game. Treatment began immediately but the cancer spread. He died on May 18, 1963 and never got to play a professional football game. Today, Ernie Davis is remembered for his great sportsmanship. He had great courage in facing the disease he got and handled the racial struggles of his time. He is a legacy and I’m sure this movie that Omar watched was great! He asked at the end of his blog what movies we liked or could suggest to him. I told him that I enjoyed the movie “Remember the Titans” when it comes to football movies! If Omar hasn’t seen it, I’m positive he would enjoy it!

Monday, October 28, 2013


Teacher Tom's Blog
I have enjoyed Teacher Tom's so much. He is so real and passionate about helping kids learn in ways they NEED to learn. He truly believes that kids need to be kids and they are going to mess up, make messes, and get in trouble but that is how they learn. He disagrees with the Common Core State Standards because they are set standards and do not allow kids to get curious about their own questions. Teacher Tom makes such great points and I agree with just about everything he says. I throughly enjoyed my C4T#3 assignment and will continue to follow his blog posts.

October 15, 2013
"Without Some Grown-Up Yelling At Us"
Teacher Tom is a Preschool Teacher from Seattle, Washington. He is the author of “A Parent’s Guide to Seattle”. He has been an employee at Woodland Park Cooperative preschool for 11 years. He has the kids as 2-years olds and keep them until they turn 5-years old and leave for kindergarten. On October 15, 2013, Teacher Tom wrote a blog titled “Without Some Grown-Up Yelling At Us”. I loved this post and couldn’t have agreed more with what he was stating. He stated that there is way too much nagging, drilling, and coaxing instead of playing for these younger grades. Children should have the chance to let their imaginations go wild, get dirty, and even get in a little trouble playing with neighborhood kids because that is what being a kid is all about. Yes, kids need structure and discipline, I COMPLETELY agree with that. Kids also need time to play and be a kid though. This is how a child figures out their hobbies and their favorite activities. This is how a child becomes an individual. Schools and parents are so worried about their children failing at something, that they forget to let them just be a child. I very much enjoyed his blog post and thanked him for reminding bloggers to let children be children, because that is what they are designed for. Tom ended his blog with this, "When we take away their free play, we take away their ability to learn life's most important lessons: to take responsibility, to persevere, to create, to make agreements with others, and yes to get back up when we fail without some grown-up yelling at us for having fallen."

October 22, 2013
"Out Of The Box Curricula"
Board Game
Teacher Tom had a surprise shipment one day from a stranger. It was a random board game that he had never heard of, had been previously used, and contained no instructions. He put it up on a shelf and forgot about until he shared with us this blog post. One day, he simply gave the game to the kids and told them to figure it out. Once the game was sat down, curious kids came to see what it was. A rotating group of children put their heads together for an hour working on this game, They discussed, debating, experimented, and struggled, but eventually, had some “ah ha” moments. One child even came up asked for tape to make some repairs to some game pieces. When it was time to leave, one child had devised a set of rules for actually playing the game the next day. The children spent one hour engaging with one another on creating a game, and hadn’t even gotten to the actual playing yet.

Teacher Tom stated that people ask him about his opinion on the Common Core State Standards, and he doesn’t not like them simply because they are standardized. This does not give children time for the type of learning they experienced while working together to create rules for this board game. In most classrooms, students are expected to learn specific skills and bits of knowledge. If students don’t learn these standards and the level and time that they should be, then it’s just too bad and they are made to feel inadequate. Maybe these particular students who “misbehave” really are eager to learn but maybe not this way, at this time, or in this certain manner. By letting the students figure out this board game, Teacher Tom was showing that he trusts the students with their own education that allows them to learn exactly what they are curious about learning, when they are curious about it, and in the best way the satisfies their curiosity. Education is just easy when it is based on the children’s curiosity because education through play is the most efficient way to grasp their attention and make them be interested.

Blog Assignment #11

 kids blog

’Little Kids, Big Potential’ Video
Ms. Cassidy’s first grade class is from Moose Jaw, Canada. This first grade class has individual blogs. They enjoy it because people comment back on their blogs and they get to see their own individual progress throughout the school year. They know the rules for commenting and to not say mean things in comments because it could hurt their classmate’s feelings. Ms. Cassidy has a classroom blog that the students can go to and it has appropriate links for them to click on. They can even pull up their blog at home, which they think is very neat. They used Wiki’s in the classroom as well to find out what rituals and traditions were. They made their own Wiki’s about the Alphabet. This class made all sorts of videos together to help them learn different things. They made videos of themselves counting and learning the ABC’s that they could go back and watch. This fist grade class Skype’s different teachers from around the world to learn about different subjects. Mrs. Cassidy's classroom is equipped with Nintendo DS, which is a hand held gaming device that contains educational games. Ms. Cassidy’s first grade class is a very good example of using Project Based Learning in an excellent way.

Skype interview with Mrs. Cassidy

Ms. Cassidy got involved in technology about ten years ago when her classroom was given five computers. These computers could not have programs put on them so all she had was Internet access. She started using these computers for center time and wanted to learn how to make them useful for six-year olds. Ms. Cassidy began learning how to create blogs and webpages that she could use in her classroom. She was able to get some funding through the Federal Government at the time to get some professional development and to get some release time to work on things. It takes Ms. Cassidy’s students the whole school year to fully begin to understand technology. She started her webpage about 10 years ago and started her classroom blog about five years ago. Technology in her classroom is a process and she is always trying to add to it. It is mostly just her figuring it out, but they do have a technology coordinator that supports her in their district. The administration in her school does not discourage her from using technology but isn’t very much interested in it either. They are always willing to let her continue doing it though because the technology coordinator helps put good words in about using technology in the classroom. All the kids have a form go home with them on the first day of school for the parents to sign. This form gives the students permission to get on the Internet and allows their work to be posted online. It also lets the parents know that their child’s identity will be protected. Ms. Cassidy makes this happen by only posting first names and not putting certain names with pictures. Parents enjoy their kids blogging because they can go to their students blog and see what they are doing and what progress they are making. The children love it! Technology is part of their world now. Ms. Cassidy tells us that technology is not going away and in this generation, we as teachers have to change because the world is changing. You must take advantage of the new tools in this generation. She also tells us that blogging neat because a child can have an audience. Children like to write knowing others will be able to read it and comment about it. Each child can see the amount of page views that they have and they find this very cool. EDM310 classes here at the University of South Alabama comment on her student’s blogs, and she also is paired with other universities that comment to her students throughout the year. Skyping is also used in her classroom to other college students and teachers. There is also a first grade class in Gadsden, Alabama that communicates with her class. Some teachers struggle with change and haven’t started to incorporate technology in their classroom yet.

Ms. Cassidy believes that every teacher should be able to use technology. Using a spreadsheet and Word Processor is not technology today, that is twenty years ago. She believes you need to keep up with what is happening in technology. Twitter is a great way to build a network of people who will point you towards new things and help you to keep learning. Ms. Cassidy does not use technology in her personal life. She suggests that one should start using technology in what you are interested in. If you like video, get a YouTube account and see how you can start getting involved in it. If you like to write, begin blogging. She encourages you to find you interest and follow it. When Ms. Cassidy began using twitter, she didn’t enjoy it. Overtime, she found new people to follow and found new links to use in her classroom. She began learning a lot through twitter by the people that she follows. Ms. Cassidy uses blogging about once a week when they go into the computer lab. In her rotation for guided reading, she sometimes has blogging as part of their center time. She also allows her students to blog from home if they would like to.

Ms. Cassidy gave so much information that I will take with me when I become an elementary teacher. I would love to involve technology in my classroom one day by using websites and/or blogging. A classroom blog will be great for parents to know what is going on in the classroom during each day. They will also be able to see their child’s creations. I loved that Ms. Cassidy pointed out how to teach students about safety while blogging. Not using their last names, not posting pictures with their names, and not saying mean things in comments. All of these are important points that our future students will need to understand. I loved how she Skypes people who can give her class some insight on a certain lesson. I think it would be so neat to be in unit that is covering weather and being able to Skype an actual meteorologist. This will keep the students very interested in what they are learning about. One thing I would like to ask Ms. Cassidy is if she has ever had a parent who did not allow their child to be a part of the blogging/internet process and what she would do for that student instead? Especially when you have a first grade class so you are dealing with much younger students. I believe there are so many benefits to Ms. Cassidy’s approaches to using Technology. Her first graders get to write their own blogs for people around the world to view and they get to Skype different people to learn more about certain topics. I think Ms. Cassidy is an excellent example of using Project Based Learning in the classroom.

Project #10 Interview Movie

I interviewed Heather Cates for my Project #10 teacher interview. She tells us how technology is used in her Kindergarten classroom throughout each day. Heather has a Class Website that parents and their children can use. This website provides a daily class schedule, lunch schedule, and mystery reader schedule. She also provides a links tab that has games and websites for the students and parents to visit at home.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Project #14 Lesson Plan

Link to "Project #14 Lesson Plan" Website

This lesson plan is for 4th grade Science and is a one week long for one hour daily. In this lesson plan titled "Habitats with ePals", students will learn about different habitats from doing their own research and learning from their ePals ,that are assigned to them, by emailing. Students will be able to identify the characteristics of different habitats and describe the plants and animals most commonly found in specific habitats. Students will explain why certain animals and plants live in specific habitats and describe the geographic and climate conditions of specific habitats. Each group of two students will be assigned and ePal to email with on habitats in their surrounding area. They will find out specific animals, plants, and weather conditions in their ePals environment. Students will create a Prezi with the information they have collected on their own and through their ePal. They will email their ePal their final project when they are done, as well as take a test on the habitats discussed in class from their classmates Prezi's. The link posted above will take you to the Google Site that contains tabs on the left hand side reading: Calendar, Lesson Plan Overview, PBL Checklist, and a grading rubric. Each tab contains preview of the document as well as an attachment of the official document.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Assignment #10

"You just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore."

I watched Randy Pausch’s last lecture video as well as read the official transcript on his lecture. This way I was able to have a better understanding of what he was discussing. I really enjoyed the lecture that Randy gave. He opened his lecture with a great attitude and audience engaging humor.
He talked about how you should always be a Tigger in life. By saying this, he meant to never loose your childlike wonder and to have fun with every aspect of your life. Although Dr. Pausch only had three to six months to live, he didn’t let that stop him from living his life to the fullest. By him keeping a positive attitude and having his childlike wonder, he was able to keep his dreams alive and strive forward to the things ahead. For children, they believe they can do anything and set their goals as high as they can imagine. We should always try and let the child inside of us come out so that we don’t set limits to our dreams. Pausch taught a class at Carnegie Mellon University that was a project based learning class. He said that "The best way to teach somebody something, is to have them think that they're learning something else." I think this is a great view for teaching students.

In Dr. Pausch’s lecture, he also spent a lot of time discussing dreaming. Everyone has dreams, especially when we were younger. Dr. Pausch never gave up on his dreams, though. By bringing in life stories, Pausch was able to keep the audience interested in what was being said. He describes all the dream that ran through his head as a child such as: Being in zero gravity, playing in the National Football League, authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia, being Captain Kirk, winning stuffed animals, and being an Imagineer.He stated that it is important to have specific dreams to go after. He continued to reach for them until he experienced each of them in a way that satisfied him. When you have a dream, you have to have the mindset that one day they will actually happen and you must keep striving for them, even when the going gets tough. As a teacher, we will have students come to us with dreams that only they could imagine. We must encourage them to never stop chasing their dreams and to never give up on them. When assisting students in reaching their goals, we are helping them take knowledge outside of the classroom and chase their dreams in the real world. We can help them to turn their dreams into reality. Dr. Pausch also talks about a “head fake”. This is the concept of teaching you students a certain game or activity, but in reality they are learning life lessons from it. In these situations, the task is not really about the activity but more about learning teamwork, social skills, or anything else that could be helpful to a child as they grow up.

I learned a lot from Randy about teaching and learning. He let his students create and learn in a way that they enjoyed what they were doing. He gave his students an interesting project and let them be in control which lead to amazing results for the projects. We must learn from our failures and mistakes in order to learn to do things correctly. One example in doing this would be to learn to take criticism well and improve with the advice that is given to us. As teachers, we have to know the right way to give criticism so that it still encourages our students to improve. I thought Randy Pausch did an excellent job delivering his lecture by keeping the topic light and by keeping the audience interested in what was being said.


This lecture was very inspiring to me as a future teacher. In my life, I have had several teachers, friends, and family members encourage me to never give up on my dreams. Without them, I wouldn’t be here at the University of South Alabama on my way to becoming an elementary teacher. We have to teach our kids to follow their dreams and allow them to learn by doing fun tasks that let their imaginations go wild. Dr. Pausch reminding me how important it will be as an educator to do the same for my future students. This lecture was given on September 18, 2007 and he lost his fight to cancer in July 2008. He gave so much encouragement through this lecture and will continue to make a difference in peoples lives through it.

"The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough."