Saturday, May 7, 2011

Final Blog Post: A Reflection of EDM310 in Under 10 Minutes!

This is not everything I could or would have said, but it is a honest reflection of what I learned or found great about EDM310 with a few of the struggles of the class. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Comments for Teachers Last Summary

This month I was assigned Beth Still's blog Nebraska Change Agent. She teaches in Nebraska at an alternative school. It was really nice being assigned to her blog since my first teaching job was in an alternative school.

Beth Still
The first blog of her's I read promoted Twitter for connecting educators. What a perfect post for an EDM310 student to read, right? She discussed how Twitter helps her connect with more people since her potential "face-to-face" collaboration pool is small. She also mentioned feeling obligated to teach people she introduces to Twitter how to use it because it is not the easiest thing to pick up on. She mentioned giving them and "instant PLN list." Of course, she received some flack for this. However, I do not know that I would have gotten anything out of Twitter if Dr. Strange had not started us off with a "Who to Follow" list. I had tried Twitter a few years ago, and quickly grew tired of it.

The second post was as real and honest reflection I have read so far this semester. She gave a great analogy of cheering for the underdog at dog races in Florida and how her students are underdogs because so many teachers have bet against them. She went on to reflect on how she had dropped the ball on really learning who are students are this year and what they needed. She made a commitment to do better from here on out. I think she said it well here, "Underdogs rarely start off strong and many times the game they play is not all that pretty. The only thing that should matter is what the score is at the end of the game. "

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Final PLN Update

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase     My PLN is still does not have nearly the number of high school science teachers I thought I would have at this point. I think this is a good thing however. For me, the purpose of teachers using social media sites to collaborate is to meet people they would not normally meet with or share information. Perhaps that is just my liberal arts degree talking though! I settled on Diigo as a bookmarking program to store all of the wonderful links shared on Twitter by the experienced educators I am following. I truly have been converted to a tweeting educator! I still need to learn to read faster, but I have added several great hashtags: #edchat, #ntchat, #K12, #spedchat #scichat, #midleved. I am following well over 100 educators at this point, so I will not list them all here, but I have shared a Google Doc of "Who to Follow on Twitter" started by one of the educators I follow. It is much like the one provided by Dr. Strange, but is continually being updated by people who have suggestions for who to follow.
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Blog Assignment 14: Special Assignment on Metaphors

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...Image via Wikipedia

Well, bless her heart!
               There's more than one way to skin a cat.
I haven't seen you since you were knee high to a grasshopper.
Jesus is the Lamb of God.
I haven't seen you in a coon's age. 
A mighty fortress is our God.

     I believe I picked up on the metaphor used in Tom Johnson's post for a few reasons. I grew up in the country where metaphors are used DAILY! My Dad's favorite parting metaphor is "I'll let you get back to your rat killing!"  Also, I have studied the Bible my entire life. Every parable told by Jesus is a metaphor. "It would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven." (Paraphrased) 

     Aside from having students detect metaphors in written works, having them listen for, write down and explain metaphors in their favorite television shows or movies would be a great way to help them become aware of metaphors. I still get confused between some metaphors and similes. Learning to really distinguish between the two would show mastery in my opinion. 

     My favorite use of metaphors would be for sarcasm, with a close second being to relate a difficult concept in a way people can more readily understand. Students need to study metaphors for many reasons. Metaphors make life more interesting, complex, beautiful, entertaining, and meaningful. If a student can find, understand and explain a complex metaphor, they are exercising reasoning skills that will benefit them throughout life. It's hard to think understanding something like "Love is in the air," could improve one's mental abilities, but I believe it does since you have to understand and compare multiple meanings. 

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What Technologies Are Teachers REALLY using? (Final Project)

A huge THANK YOU to the 51 people who responded to our questionnaire. We wanted to see how much of the technology we have spent so much time learning about this semester was being used by current teachers. We only had 5 students respond, and all were studying to be teachers. Therefore, we did not distinguish their answers from the current teachers answers. We hope you find this information helpful in figuring out what to use in your own classroom someday!

Lisianna Emmett, Michelle French, Tracy Hunt and Jennifer Silcox