Sir Ken Robinsons' Arguments and My Reaction

I agree and disagree with Sir Ken Robinson. I agree that "to be in your element you have to love it". Passion is the best way to do anything. If it's worth do, it's worth doing right. I also agree that college does not begin in kindergarten, but I also think that you should prepare your children for college before they get there. I do not think that you should start preparing your children from birth to go to college, but maybe around middle or high school they should start thinking about what they are going to do with their lives.

I do agree that we should teach children different subjects than just math/science/language/etc. The arts are just as important as the other subjects. Children need a way to express themselves and the arts are the best way for them to do this. Where would we be without music or art shows. We teach our children to be good at the arts when they are small, but when they get older we say "you should get a real job". Being a musician or artist is not what most parents want for their children, they want them to be a doctor or lawyer doing something that will make they lots of money. Money isn't everything though. What about doing what you love and what you are good at?

My EDM 310 Blog Assignments are Now Complete

Finally, this semester is over. I always feel this way about every semester though. It just seems like they will never end, and then they do and it seems as though they flew by. For most of us our college years are almost over and we will be going out into the workforce. I wish everyone of you the best of luck finding a job in this mess we are in. Hopefully, one day someone will figure out how to handle the taxpayers money properly and maybe we will not be in this mess again. This has been a good semester for me and I hope for you too. I wish you the best of luck in the finally stages of your college careers and in your future teaching careers.

Things I've learned in EDM 310

I've learned alot about blogs in this class. What I've learned the most about blogs is how useful they can be to me as a teacher. No longer will I have to hand out assignments to all of my students who were absent. Now, all I have to say is "go to the class blog". Presentations will always be a good way for students to get used to speaking infront of people. In my field of study though, math, there will probably not be many places that a presentation would be appropriate. Google Docs was a good item to cover. It can be very useful to a teacher, especially since it is free. Google is nice since it is free; however, I do not know how much I will use it because most students would prefer to use word seeing as how they already know how to use it. This in turn will save me valuable time and effort because most classrooms do not have computers for the students to use. Picasa was a wonderful tool and lots of fun to play around with pictures. I see myself using it more in the future. Podcast would be great for high school students. I am going to be a math teacher, so my students could do podcasts/videocasts to help other students learn the material. Personally, I was not all into twitter. It is a great tool for people who like to use this kind of program. It's not just twitter, I have never really been into facebook, myspace, or instant messaging. Contacting other teachers around the U.S. is a great way for teachers and future teachers to get ideas on how to mix up their class. It is also a good way for teachers to tell other teachers what has and hasn't worked for them in the classroom. iTunes is another great tool that I enjoyed even before I took this course. It has a plethora of different information and tools for students and teachers alike.

Something that I would have like to have covered more of would have been spread sheets. Personally, I think that we should have taken more time to cover more about how spread sheets can be useful to future teachers. Seeing as how I do not know much how what spread sheets can do I can not give specific examples. However, I'm sure that spread sheets can do more than concatenate and figure out car loans.

There was nothing in EDM 310 that I would say "no, I never want to learn that". I like to learn different things so that I am a well rounded individual so if someone offers to teach me something I usually do not resist.

Learning about Twitter

The way I learned about twitter is the same way that I learn about anything new. Usually I try not to look at the manual first, not because I think that I do not need the manual, but because I retain the material longer if I figure it out for myself. This is exactly what I did with twitter, so this would explain why I might not know as much about it as some other people who actually "read the manual" so to speak or why I did not tweet as much as others. The first thing that I always do is to go through all of the different tabs. For example there is a home, direct messages, favorites, and following tab.

I personally did not tweet very much because I really just liked to read everyone elses tweets; some of them can be quite interesting. Usually before every class on Tuesdays and Thursdays would be when I would read other people's tweets or occasionally write my own tweets. I never directed a tweet to a specific person because I was too busy reading other people's tweets or exploring twitter.

As a future high school teacher, I do not see twitter as much use to me. This is because twitter is different than a blog. On a class blog the students can only click on the things that I want them to, but on twitter they can write anything that they want. This is why I think that a class blog would be much better than a class tweet. At the high school age, more things than just school will be coming up in the students tweets and it would just put more things on me to have to make sure that they are only tweeting about apropriate school topics.

Being a critic for EDM 310 podcasts

One thing that I noticed about the first podcast that I listened to; The Strange Crystal Ball by Jamie Newell, Laura Mackay, and Katie Vadakin; was that there were times when someone would try to talk and another person would interupt accidentally. This tells me that the people performing this podcast were not listening to each other or were not looking at the other people around them to see if they had an idea they were about to say. It is easy to see when someone is about to say something, and if you see this don't try to overpower them by jumping in real quick. However, I do understand that it is extremely nerve racking to perform a podcast.

The next podcast that I listened to; Did you know? Shift Happens by Jessica Prestage, John Dunlop, and Christie Love. Something that came up in this podcast was the fact that it seemed like John was leading the entire podcast with Jessica and Christie just jumping in here and there. I think that everyone should have had an equal part in the podcast. He would ask a question and the other two would give their opinion and this was the only time that you really heard Jessica and Christie. I think that if you're going to ask questions and other people answer them, then you need to alternate who asks the questions and who answers the questions.

The third podcast that I listened to; ACCESS-Distance Learning in Alabama's High School by Megan Morgan, Alicia Baxter, and Angel Jackson. This was my group needed to slow down on their speaking. Especially in the beginning, we talked so fast that it was hard to keep up. Another thing was pronouncing. There were times when the only reason that I could understand what we were saying was because I helped perform the podcast.

The last podcast that I listened to; Pros and Cons of Facebook in the classroom by Peyton Ivey, Kendra Hill, Jessica White, and Jessica Courville. The first thing that I noticed was that when you mess up don't laugh, it is not very professional just correct yourself and move on.

Pluses and Minuses of blogs in a classroom

In my opinion there are more pluses than minuses for a blog in a classroom. One plus would be that the students would have a place to go to for all of their work if they were absent one day. Another plus for this is that the students will not be bombarding the teacher with a million questions about what they missed, all the teacher has to say is go to the class blog. If a teacher teaches 4 classes a day and has 30 students in each class, then if 3 are out from each class this could take precious time away from the teacher getting other work done.

A minus for the class blog with all of the class work on it would be that this is just extra work that the teacher is having to do. Keeping up a blog can be time consuming work. Along with all of the other mountains of paper work and reports that teachers have to do, trying to keep up with even more stuff would be hard. This is especially true for first and maybe second year teachers too.

Another plus for a class blog would be that it would be a good communication device for the students to ask questions about something that they did not understand in class that day. The student could make a post saying hey did anyone understand how to do number so and so on the homework, I'm stuck on the third step. This allows the students to interact with each other and also frees up the teacher, allowing him/her the extra time needed to finish the test/reports/paper work.

A minus for the communication device would be that the teacher would have to monitor this blog very carefully to make sure that it is being used how it is supposed to be. The students might try to cheat and get answers from one another instead of just asking how to do one step. This inturn means more hours of work for the teacher because he/she now has to read all of the posts and comments to make sure that they are appropriate for a classroom.

"Growth" vs. "Fixed" Minds

Student's with a fixed mindset believe that their basic intelligence is just to fix trade. They base their activities on whether or not their intelligence is going to show positively. Other student's who have a growth mindset believe that they can develop throughout their entire lives. They feel they can grow through passion, studying, and education.

Standford decided to teach the growth mindset. They developed an eight session workshop. In the workshop, half of the students were taught the study skills and the growth mindset, and the other half got only study skills. The students with only study skills did not do as well as the students with the study skills and growth mindset because they did not have the motivation that the other group had.

We have always been told that the brain is a muscle that needs to be worked just like any other muscle does. People who work-out don't just work-out until they see results, they have to keep working-out to keep those results. The brain is the same way. If we don't exercise our brains, then what is the use of even trying to learn something. Chances are if you don't exercise your brain in a math subject, in a couple of months to a year you probably will not remember how to do those math problems. This is a very good mindset for a teacher to be in for him/herself and for his/her students. If a teacher does not have a growth mindset, how will their students ever retain what they have learned?