Sunday, May 6, 2012

Project #13

     Projects #15 and #16 require a great deal of teamwork and communication with members of your selected group. In our group, Team Procrastination, we relied heavily on face to face communication because it is the easiest and fastest way to communicate. Occasionally, we did use such apps as Skype and Google Hangout but it was only used if it was late at night and we had a question regarding a project.  For the final video, we used screen captures on the mac to help get images of us using technology simultaneously together.
     We were able to get together on several occasions and shoot various videos and several different locations and even managed to entertain several lab assistants who watched us on several occasions filming material for videos. We were the group that always made people laugh and we tried to bring a solid energy to all our videos to give it some flare.

Blog Post #14 Final Reflection

C4K for Feb and Mar


     The first time I wrote on Liam's blog, he was talking about his first trip to a motorcycle track called Bacchus Marsh Motocross Track. Liam seemed to have a lot of fun and made new friends and even raced in his first race. He raced in a older age group and came in last but still had a smile on his face because as he said, "At least I was doing what I loved."
      On the next visit to Liam's blog, not much had changed. He wrote about going back to the track and getting   better and better with each day of riding. He entered into the same race as last time and this time he placed 4th out of 10. He spoke of wanting to be the best one day and with a little practice, I'm sure he can one day get there.


   On Gloria's blog, she made a short video about a spaceship taking off and visiting all the planets in the solar system. She spoke about each planet in some detail as the ship blasted through space planet to planet.
   Second visit back to Gloria's blog and apparently this girl love the solar system. She did a painted picture of all the planets and again gave such details as Venus being the hottest planet, Jupiter is the biggest planet, and Neptune is the coldest planet.

Project #16 Final Major Project

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog Post 13

  During the assignment we were suppose to try and give up all things technology for a whole 24 hours! Needless to say I was not able to come anywhere close to accomplishing this goal. I set off this morning with the intent to not use anything run by technology at all but failed time and time and time again. At first communicating was not a problem because everyone I needed to talk to was with me (Girlfriend and roommates, etc.). But shortly after my girlfriend left I realized that this was going to be a tough 24 hours without a phone. I tried to put my time to good use and I went for a run which only lasted about a hour or so. I was like okay, 1 hour down, only 23 to go. I proceeded to eat some breakfast which was cheating in a sense because our stove is a electric stove. But I decided to use it anyway and made some scrambled eggs with toast and bacon, STRIKE ONE! 
             A few more hours passed throughout the day I thought to myself, "I can do this!" Little did I know my mom had been trying to get in touch with me all day because she wanted to know if I paid my rent (It should be said here that I had my phone on silent sitting on the desk in my room to avoid temptation of hearing the buzzing or ringing sound of a text message.) So I called her back and told her not to worry because my rent was not due until the 5th of May and that I have it covered, STRIKE TWO! After this second failed attempt at lasting a full 24 hours without technology I was down to 19 hours and it was not looking good for me whatsoever.
             After that I was determined not to use my phone for the rest of the day. In my head, I felt I could accomplish this 24 goal but the odds were stacked up against me. I decided to get out of the house and go to the Rec Center. There I played every sport possible ranging from basketball, to soccer, to racket ball, and even did some rock climbing. I spent a good 6 hours in the Rec Center and here I was down to 13 hours. It felt like I still a eternity to go. I knew today was my girlfriends busied day and that she would be in class til 9:30 at night so I felt okay about continuing the 24 challenge. As I continued on my quest, I realized I had a softball game and 8:30 that very night and felt relieved because it was something else to take my mind away from this challenge. 8:30 came, and I played the softball game which we won 15-13 to advance to the Final Four tonight  at 7:30. After the game it was around 10:00 and I only had 9 hours left, which could be spent sleeping and accomplishing the 24 challenge, but I became weak and missed my girlfriend too much. So I called her up and she came over and we watched a movie on my Xbox 360 and went to bed afterwards, STRIKE 3!
                So in the end I wasn't able to complete the challenge but I did give it a run for it's money! I understand how hard it will be for our future students to give up technology in the classroom setting but I intend to let them use technology where ever, whenever necessary.  Students of today live a media, frenzy world where technology reigns supreme and coming into a classroom without the use of technology will be a boring place for them. But if we can integrate technology into each and every classroom, we can help make life, as well as school, a easier,  fun learning place to be.

Blog Post #12

Pick a time period in history and find or create some interactive games/tools for your students to use and learn new information from. Write a Blog Post about what tools you used and how they could be used in the classroom.

I decided to do my post on the time period of World War I and I found some very cool games to help students learn. The games are intended to make learning fun and get the students active in learning.

The first game that I found was a game called "Walk the Plank, The World at War 1938-1940". Here students can create their teacher and put him/her on the plank of  a pirate ship. The object of the game is to answer 10 random questions, that the teacher has made, correctly in order to force your teacher to walk the entire plank and fall off. I really liked this game and felt that you could use it as a effective tool for every new topic each week. homepage

The second game I found was just a quick match game that allowed the students to match each country to the correct Allied or Central Power. In the game, it gives the countries on the left side of a column and the Axis and Central Powers on the right side of the column. Students simply click on the country and drag a line over to the Power  where the country belongs. This is also a effective tool to help students learn because again it allows students to play a game on the computer without the teacher present. Playing a game is the best way to get students to learn because they are engaging in learning without realizing it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Blog Post #11

Little Kids...Big Potential

In this video first graders learn how to use computers and demonstrate the very basic principles that a person can learn while using a computer. They learn how to read, write, and type all at once, increasing their proficiency the more they work at it.Like the saying goes, "practice makes perfect". The students made wiki's where you could click on pictures that take them to links necessary for them to do their schoolwork. Putting pictures up works for people of all ages as statistics have shown that most people are visual learners. Visual learning is a teaching and learning style in which ideas, concepts, data and other information are associated with images and techniques. It is one of the three basic types of learning styles that also includes kinesthetic learning and auditory learning.

Mrs. Cassidy Skype Conversation

Mrs. Cassidy explains how she got started in using technology. I do like the idea of using the Internet in a classroom setting. I feel that we should start teaching children how to use technology at young ages, much like Mrs. Cassidy demonstrates in her video. A child's mind is like a sponge and the more you pour onto that sponge, the more it soaks up. I agree that students and teachers alike have to be technology literate but older people may have more of a problem becoming technology literate than the younger generation. I, for example, have learned how to do all my computer skills in high school. I don't understand the big whoop over Twitter, it's nothing special to me and I feel that there has to be something better than Twitter. Yes, you can get interesting information on Twitter but, Twitter isn't the only place where this information is available. Twitter will definitely not be a part of my teaching lessons during my career. Mrs. Cassidy seems like a pretty, cool teacher and I wish I would have had her as teacher when I was in first grade.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blog Post 10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?

       I think that this is a very, good question that all teachers should think about when becoming teachers. Are we there just to teach or are we there to inspire and educate the students in our class? I would like to think that I am the latter of the two choices as I hope to inspire my students and give them guidance whenever they need it. I hope to be able to answer any questions they have and I want to broaden my students horizon and give them a better understanding of the world around them.
       A good question to also ask ourselves is, are we a teacher or a educator? A teacher would be someone who comes to school each day, covers the necessary material, and meets the requirements of the job. An educator, on the other hand, puts their heart and soul into their calling. It's not just a job, it's a way of life. An educator looks for teachable moments, assesses the situation, and adjusts as they feel necessary. I think many teachers begin their careers with the thought of being a educator in mind but, somewhere along the way it just becomes another job to them. Hopefully, it never gets that way for me and I hope I can be a TRUE educator throughout my teaching career.

Don't Let Them Take The Pencils Home

      Well it seems that the principal had a problem with Mr. Johnson's students taking home pencils because she said, "It lowers test scores." The principal argued that people from low income areas, like theirs, use pencils as a toy which I thought was absurd. Mr. Johnson developed new ways of teaching that involved getting the parents to do work that the students were doing in class at home. That way everyone could get hands on about learning both in the classroom and at home. The principal brought up the question that we as teachers can't supervise them at home and thus it was pointless to let them take the pencils home by stating, "They'll just use the supplies to play Hang Man.  Such a sick and twisted game!"  Like Mr. Johnson, I always found that even when students doodle or play games on paper, that more times than not, it is class related. I know when I was in school, I used to draw graffiti all over my binder and notes but it was always subject related about whatever the teacher was talking about. I would draw equations and helpful hints but always in graffiti form and it actually helped me remember information better. It's like Mr. Johnson said, "But if they choose to play Hang Man or go on the pen pal networks, I'm okay with it. There's probably some learning that's taking place that we don't realize." And that is what is important about this post by Mr. Johnson. Don't stifle your students creativity but instead run with it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blog Post #9

What I Learned This Year 2008-2009

        Mr. McClung certainly did a lot of growing up in his first year of teaching. He learned many great techniques along the way that they don't teach you in the classroom. The one that stood out to me was learning how to read the crowd. I definitely understand him saying that he was used to it being all about him in college because, it really is. We as learning teachers are drilled and drilled and drilled again and we get so caught up in everything we are doing. Is our delivery right? How are we delivering our lesson to the class? But what Mr. McClung learned was to be flexible and be able to communicate with both his class and his teachers.  I would say that communication is probably the most important thing that Mr. McClung to talk about. Communication can get you a long way in the teaching as well as life. Being able to answer questions and ask for help are important roles in communication. I like how he Mr. McClung talked about actually listening to your students. We might be the only people who do listen to them and this can make the students really open up to you and this is a great way of developing a rapport with the them outside the classroom.

What I Learned This Year 2010-2011

Year 3 of Mr. McClung's teaching and he's doing better than ever. The first thing that Mr. McClung talked about is knowing who your boss is. His message to us was to not forget about the reason we are teaching in the first place, the kids. The students should always be the focal point in our career and we need to keep them as the number one priority. He is not saying that we should totally forget about pleasing our fellow colleagues but it is important to be as helpful to them as possible but he is just simply saying, don't get caught up in helping so many colleagues that it interferes with helping your students. Mr. McClung also talked about not being afraid of change. He spoke of being a versatile person who is always open to new ideas and new ways of teaching. I think this is a important fact that we should all take to heart. Teachers and students alike must always be open to change and be able to adapt to the ever changing world around us. If we can both adapt to change, we will be able to conquer anything that comes our way in and out of the classroom.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blog Post #8

This is How We Dream Part 1 & 2

Mr. Miller talks about how now, more than ever, is the most important time for reading and writing in today's society. During the video Mr. Miller shows various ways the Internet can be used in education. He combines hundreds of apps together like iTunes and Nova to make it easier to access information from a students standpoint.  He foresees a time when books will be obsolete and students will strictly use the Internet to do schoolwork. He and his colleague are working on such programs for the future that he hopes to release in the near future.

I do agree with Mr. Miller about books becoming a thing of the past. In the past, students would have to go to their school or local library to obtain information about a certain topic or topics. This was by no means a fast way of locating information. You would have to sift through hundreds and hundreds of pages in order to find one specific detail that you were looking for. Now, in modern time, all you have to do is simply type in the information on google (for example) and bam the information is displayed into almost, pinpoint accuracy for you. This leads into the second video of sharing ideas via the internet.

In the second video he talks about how we, as educators, must be in the business of sharing ideas freely.
He brings up how could we not be interested to make sense of the world that we live in? Educators can help each other make sense of the world through sharing our ideas and be connected globally. The internet has helped connect us and has already helped us spread our ideas across the globe.

Blog Post 12 by Carly Pugh

Carly happens to be a friend of mine who graduate in the same class as me in 2008! It was really cool to get to read about her perspective on how to change the teaching community for the better. She challenged her readers to imagine what they will be like as teachers and whether or not they would inspire those around them to do good or bad in the classroom. She offered many tips on how to improve our time management skills by showing us videos that could help us keep track of our daily assignments in and outside of the class.

My favorite video was "The Teacher Rap" video! It was so funny and made me laugh so hard! In the video the teacher showed the students that he can be cool and hip and still teach in the old ways.

2. The Chipper Series & EDM310 for Dummies

Mr. Strange says in the video himself, "You know I'm old fashioned, I don't like to change a lot." Education takes that same approach in our schools of today. I've actually heard teachers say, "It's my way or the highway." That is such a narrow minded way of teaching students. Everyone is different and everyone has their own way of learning so don't you think that teachers should accomodate their lesson to try and get the most out of their students? I do. It is important that we broaden of ways of thinking and not let ourselves be cast in a solid way of thinking but instead we should be like play dough, always and willing to change to any situation that comes our way. If we can do this, we can take on and overcome anything standing in our way!

EDM for Dummies was kind of funny. I have felt frustrated at times with this class but powered through my frustration to find apps that could potentially help me one day as a teacher. Skype will be a big help because lets say a student is sick and can't attend school. They can Skype me, as their teacher, and listen into the lecture that way they don't miss any important material. Facebook/Twitter could also be of use because I could post important notes on upcoming lectures or test that way the students could be prepared well before hand!

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

This video is so true! Technology has totally shifted our world as we know it! I remember sitting in school and thinking how will this help me in the real world and I'm not really learning this information. School has always been a monogynous place where creativity and free thought went to die. But with the birth of technology we have been connected in a whole new way and can keep in touch in what one teacher called a "near now" world. Facebook, Twitter, and other various networks such as these have intertwined us and allowed us to spread our creative wings and enabled us to do things that were unimaginable 20 years ago. And the cool thing is that we have only begun to scratch the surface in what we are capable of and with the birth of new technology everyday, the sky is the limit.

Scavenger Hunt

1. Locate a Tool similiar to Facebook/Twitter

I found this site called Edmodo which is very similar to Facebook but is used more in a teacher/student way. This site allows teachers to post notes, alerts for upcoming quizzes or tests, assignments for class, and even put up polls to ask the class questions which could engage the students as a whole in discussion. This would be a very helpful site as teacher because it could eliminate a lot of paper usage because everything could be online and this would in turn save the teacher a few bucks.

As a student, this is a great site because everything would be available to you whenever you need it. If you are sick, you can get the schoolwork right from home or if you wanted to study the material one last time before the test, simply get online and review it. It's that simple. I think this could be a great site for both teachers and students alike.

2. Locate the Tool that most likely created this presentation.

I think the tool that they used to make this video was Animoto which is a video tool that allows you to bring lessons to life for all your classroom needs. I clicked on the pricing tab and found out that they have 3 different options available to you as a teacher. The 1st option is Animoto Lite which is the free version which allows unlimited 30 sec videos and 600 music tracks. The 2nd option is Animoto Plus which cost 30$/Year or 5$/Month. This is probably the best option, in my opinion. It allows unlimited full feature-length videos, dynamic video themes, 600 music tracks, HD upgrades and you can download to your computer or DVD device. The 3rd and final option is Animoto Pro which cost 249$/Year or 39$/Month. This version is the most expensive but allows for teachers to do so many things. With this option you get unlimited full feature-length videos, dynamic + exclusive pro video themes, over 1,000 tracks licensed for use with your videos, HD on all videos, white label option so you can customize your own videos, and downloads available to your computer or DVD device

3. create a comic

I created this using

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blog Post 7

The Networked Student

        The first video that Mr. Miller talked about dealt with how the world today has changed. He described two types of change, a incremental and fundamental change. He also stressed that we, as teachers, must be open to the idea of sharing any and all information that we have. He emphasized the importance the Internet has made in the teaching profession and he seems to like how easily you can attain information. Hopefully, his ideas will continue to progress and books of the future will be a big hit in the future.
       Why does the networked student even need a teacher? The answer is the networked student doesn't need a teacher that much. If a student wants to learn, they will learn on their own and learn freely from everything around them and then make their own assumptions about the world around them. Students can learn from each other by sharing ideas with each other and like the video said, the only way a teacher is necessary in this form of learning to answer in questions the student has about a topic but again you could just easily ask a student and eliminate the need for a teacher all together.
       I can tell you from my experience that the best way to learn is to do it yourself and I often did not get any help from teachers showing me how to do things. A lot of teachers, especially old teachers, are set in their ways and believe there is only way way of doing things. The old "my way or the highway" way of thinking, which is a pretty stupid way of going about teaching if you ask me. As we know, there is more than one way to solve a problem and many ways you can reach the answer and I will encourage my students to use free thinking skills and use whatever means necessary to get to the conclusion. I will give them help when needed and show them many different ways of working out problems and try to cater to their strengths to make them successful in the classroom.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment

This was a pretty cool video. The video showed how easy it is for students to find and do school work via the web. She went into detail describing how she has her PLE set up and showed us various things she could do while using it. I think this is a pretty, sweet, little video and when I become a teacher, I intend to set up my classwork online like this that way the kids won't have to write as much and it'll also save some paper. Going green as they would call it.

Blog Post 6

In this video Mr. Randy opened up talking about his cancer and then went on to talk about his childhood dreams. He described in detail each dream and how he wanted to accomplish his dreams. He talked about his dream of being in zero gravity and how he wanted to be a Disney Imagineer. After he worked with the Imagineer's they offered him a job and he, to the surprise of him and his dad, turned it down.

He then talked about how he could help others achieve their goal and he decided to become a professor. He became a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and he started a new class where students would create projects instead of use books. He showed some of the student projects and talked about how blown away he was with their projects.

The last part of the video he talked about dying happy. He said we should set goals for ourselves and strive to reach them. Once we reach our goals we should then try and help others reach their goals. I loved how Mr. Randy used comedy in his presentation. I like him believe comedy is great tool in keeping the audiences interest and also to keep them awake. Giving a presentation is all about making a connection to the audience.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Blog Post # 4

1st Graders Create Their Own Podcast:

   I thought this was a pretty, cool podcast. I read about how all of it was put together and found that the teachers were able to be successful because they broke the students up into groups so they could better focus their attention on a smaller group of students. The students were also very enthusiastic about the whole project which is very apparent about their voices in the podcast itself. I believe the skills being taught here are without a doubt teamwork and unity. Together a entire class of 1st graders came together and made a podcast and I think that is very cool.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom:
   Ok one useful thing I saw in the video is the use of podcasting in the case of a student being sick. No one likes being sick and when you have to miss school, you feel doubly sick due to the fact that you know you are missing something important. Podcasting is a way that allows the teacher to post instructions via the Internet and Itunes so that any student around the world can get on and access that information. Another useful function to podcasting is that it sparks students creativity and allows them to role play which makes their learning more enjoyable.

Podcasting Collection by Judy Scharf:

   On this post I decided to focus on the tips provided by Mrs. Scharf. The first tip was give students a choice on topics and the second tip was to allow the students to pick their own group members. Doing this would allow the students to "be their own boss" ,in a sense, and make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Another important tip was allow plenty of time so that the students can finish their project. Mrs. Scharf said everything will take longer than expected so it is important that the students be given time to make corrections and perfect their podcast.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blog Post #3

Page 1

Paige Ellis' Blog Assignment #12, What is Peer Editing?, Peer Edit With Perfection TutorialWriting Peer Review Top 10 MistakesWriting A Quality Blog Post.   All of these videos are focused on the importance of peer editing and the do's and don't involved. Peer editing is where one of your peers critiques your work and decides what needs to fixed. It is important to be courteous when critiquing and not be a Mean Margaret like the video. You must always stay positive and don't beat around the bush when giving directions to fix the problem. 

Part 2 

 Technology in Special Education   is a video describing how the use of technology has improved teaching in special education. I agree that technology has made life easier on all teachers both in special ed and in general classes. With the use of technology teachers can captivate the students attention easier and get them to stay focused like never before. Thanks to technology the old "paper and pencil" way of teaching is becoming a thing of the past and we are only progressing in technology. Hopefully in the near future all classrooms will have computers accessible for each and every student.


I would use the Geography App that allows students to pull up the location or locations being discussed in class. This app would allow students to explore in real 3D worlds the cities in their readings like Ancient Rome or East German in WWII time. I think this app would help the students learn and remember information better because they would actually get to see the places being discussed.

This was a really cool counter that allows you to see what goes on in the world every second of every day. It was interesting to see how much technology is used every day across the United States and the World in general. This just goes to show that we are truly a globally connected world and will hopefully only improve as we progress in the future.

"A Vision of Students Today"

 I think that this video is a pretty accurate account of what students of today go through. I know from experience that classes can get boring and sometimes they leave me questioning why I even bother to attend classes when the information is something I have already learned. When I get to feeling like that, you can usually find me on cellphone browsing Facebook.
Another thing I saw in the video is where one kid help up a sign that read, "I pay hundreds of dollars for books that I don't use." I had to laugh at that because that is exactly how I feel. Books in today's educational world have basically become nonexistent and rarely used by both teachers and students alike.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Blog Post # 2

Did you Know?

This video is a bunch of cool facts that, in my opinion, show how bad the U.S. is lagging behind in almost every category. It's a known fact that the U.S. doesn't have the smartest people or the hardest working people, but at least we have freedom so that's a win. We are however, a very technology aware society and we use technology in every means necessary to make our daily lives easier. Whether that be searching the internet via the web or sending a text message across the country.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

It was kind of funny. Mr. Winkle awakes to find a new world but the one thing that stayed the same is school. This is a little bit of a fib because we all know that school has changed drastically over the years. Sure it is still some of the same problems but trust me, kids today have new homework and tests that our parents couldn't even fathom of doing in their time.
So, I get what the author is trying to say in the video but I just disagree with the video as  a whole and feel that it is a misrepresentation of our scholastics of today.

The Importance of Creativity

School does kill creativity at times, especially if the teacher is very old and set in their ways. I have had a math teacher give me a failing grade on a test even though every answer was correct. When I asked him why I got these wrong? He simply responded,"You didn't arrive at the answer the way I wanted." Isn't that one of the stupidest things you have ever heard? I mean if we all thought the same and worked things out the same way the world would be so dreary. I bet Einsteins brain worked differently too and yet he was one of the greatest minds in the world.
I love this video. I love how he mixes in comedy with knowledge. This is a very effective way of connecting with the audience and keeping them awake. I always love having teachers like this.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

I absolutely love this video. This is what we should be teaching kids in school. In fact I believe we need to teach them this at a early age because the brain at younger ages is a sponge so why not send them information and let them soak it up.
This video shows how even rural places like this small town can, with just one click of a mouse, be connected to the entire world. Isn't that crazy to think about? One person, one town, connected to everyone in the world?

A Vision of the 21st Century

Ok, if they can do this in the near future, I would be one of the first teachers to implement this into my teaching. I always said learning first hand is way easier than reading a book. If the students were able to see the things I am teaching it would be able to click in their minds more because they would not only be receiving the input through auditory stimulation but also through visual stimulation. I also think that this type of learning will get the students excited about learning and actually make them want to do schoolwork. I can't wait to use this!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blog Post #1

Hello, my name is Matthew Rodriguez and I was born and raised in the small town of Jackson, Alabama. I'm the first person in my family to attend college but my little sister soon followed two years later as she now attends the University of Auburn. I'm a Senior here at USA and have loved being here. I'm currently going to school to receive my degree in Secondary History Education where I hope to one day be a coach of either baseball or softball by the school that hires me. I love sports and played varsity baseball and ran track in high school.

I love to play sports and do so whenever I have free time. I participate in many intramural sports here at south such as football, basketball, volleyball, outdoor soccer, and this year for the first time indoor soccer. I am also currently doing the Everest Challenge at the rockwall in the rec center. The Everest Challenge is where you climb 324 times to the top, which equals up to the distance of scaling Mt. Everest (29,029 ft). I'm currently at 23, 720 ft, just 100 climbs to go before I reach my goal.

Randy Pausch Response

In this video Mr. Pausch stresses always doing the right thing adequately instead of doing the wrong thing beautifully. What he is basically trying to say is that is better to try and do it correctly, even if you struggle, than doing it wrong and acting like it's right. He also talks about how things take time and not everything can be attained immediately. This poses a problem for many Americans because we always want results quick, fast, and in a hurry with as little effort as possible. This just brings to mind a quote I know, "Everyone wants to be famous but, nobody wants to put the work in."