About Me

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I am a Secondary Math Education major. I transferred from Auburn University (WAR EAGLE)!!! I am originally from Birmingham, Alabama and I miss it up there. I am not a fan of the humidity down here. I cannot wait to graduate so I can give my new baby girl everything she wants (and live to regret it lol)!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

!Adíos mis Compañeros!

Picture of young Hispanic girl running with words adios amigos enclosed in two circles.
I really enjoyed meeting all of you and I know I have a couple of lasting friendships here and there. Everyone take care and have a wonderful break. Ms. Averitt... you are the best! Thank you for not being afraid to admit that you do not know something and that we will have to learn it together. Teachers do not know it all and I salute you for admitting it. I hope you feel better. Until next time...

What I Have Learned In EDM 310 Fall 2009 and How Will I Use It From This Day Forward

Black and white picture of a female student writing on a smartboard.
Blogs are great communication tools. As an educator, if I have any educational issues and I would like any feedback on a particular matter, I can post a question to my blog and watch the comments roll in. I may have information someone finds valuable and I can become a part of his or hers PLN. The PLN enables your learning. As an educator, I can use my PLN to attain valuable and resourceful knowledge I can use in the classroom. More importantly, the knowledge is FREE! As an individual, I can expand my communications' skills. I get to met new people and learn new ideas which is a continuous process. My students can create their own personal blogs,as with the Comment4Kids assignment which I found to be a great idea for students as a starter and an enjoyment for me to make "uplifting" comments, and share their thoughts ans experiences. In return, they gain valuable feedback which encourages their use of technology and writing skills.

Presentations are not my strongest to do but the more I give them, the better my communications' skills build. In the classroom, I can help those students who struggle with talking in front of people little by little. First with group discussions and classroom discussions then maybe I presentation for me and their parents and finally their classmates. Personally, I can attend professional development classes that can help me to become more comfortable with speaking in front of an audience. Since I will be in the education profession, my students are my audience and with simple presentations like the All About Me we did in the beginning, as time goes on, the students will warm up to me and their classmates.

I was exposed to Microsoft Office early in life. The two things I loved most were PowerPoint and Excel. Spreadsheets are so interesting because there is so much you can do with the information from creating comparisons with charts to setting up a grade book.

I had never heard of a podcast nor videocast until this class. Thank you. I especially enjoyed creating our videocast (which eventually simply became a podcast). They are FREE on iTunes and can be downloaded to your iTunes library and iPod for your convenience. From an educator's standpoint, these two resources are great for connecting students with other classrooms with iTunes U and with researchers and experts on a given topic. Listening to the podcasts that were created last semester was insightful because you learn that where you may naturally speak low, you have to speak up and BE HEARD! I know students will enjoy making these because once they find out that they will be available for the world to hear, the will automatically think "Superstar!" Students are a lot smarter than we give them credit for and they know that there are things going on in the education reform. They want to be heard and podcasts and videocasts are an excellent way to get their voices heard as well as creating a video and uploading it to YouTube.

I enjoyed the lesson on html tag modifiers. I wish I could have gotten a chance to either hear what it sounds like when the words are read back to someone or heard some feedback from the gentleman who would be checking for it. Since our classrooms are inclusive and I would love to incorporate technology as much as possible in my classroom, I know I will find this to come in handy for those students who are or who have parents who have a hearing impairment. Even in my personal life, I can use this in an email to someone who I know personally so they can "hear" what is on the page for them. Since we had to do this for every blog, I know I am literate when doing this.

Although we did not complete the assignment for Google Earth, the blog we did on Dr. Christie and the condensed summation of it we had in class was helpful and showed me how useful it could in a mathematics' classroom. As an educator, I can have my students find their home or their relatives' homes and calculate the distances from their homes to the store, their friends' home or a neighbor's home. In my personal life, I can use Google Earth to see the city I left behind and one day hope to return to to educate in our struggling public school system.

ALEX and ACCESS are links that I find useful as a future educator. ACCESS encourages what I think is very important in the classroom...TECHNOLOGY!!! it goes a step further by incorporating distance learning. I think it is vital that students are able to interact with other students all over the globe. ALEX is very resourceful in that it provides educators with links for lesson plans and standards that are given for all subjects including the infamous Drivers' Ed!

Skype was a nice assignment. As an educator, my students can converse with students all over the globe. They get to see and hear who they are speaking with simultaneously. It is FREE! In my personal life, Skype can replace the cell phone and telephone because I rather to "to someone" rather than talk "to something."

As expressed in our (Kennavia King who was against technology in the classroom, Ashley Lambert and Alexis Taylor) presentation, technology in the classroom is essential to the development and growth of our students. Technology in the workforce is becoming more and more prevalent and we must produce individuals who can survive in a world that is advancing more and more everyday. I plan to incorporate technology in my lessons so that students can understand that there is more to technology than the computer and more to the computer than games. This class has forced me to use the computer and its software in more ways than one and I know I will continue to use and learn more about what we have learned in class.

As a professional, I advocate for equity amongst our diverse group of students. I want to see our homosexual students not become victims of their classmates nor of themselves. I want to see an END to racism; not only between African Americans and European Americans but also with Muslims, Hispanics and anyone else not born in the United States. As a professional I advocate for an equity in school funding. I do not think a town should be able to keep their money for themselves and shut everyone else out. Why is it that only a certain group of people are able to get ahead while others suffer? As a professional, I believe it is our duties as educators to never stop learning and not be afraid to admit when we do not know!

The one thing I would have loved to learn about in class is how to shorten links. For example, for some of our blog assignments, their were sites we had to go to in order to watch a video or a podcast. Instead of seeing an entire address, the link would begin with http://is.gd/3WXrk for example. When we did our podcasts, we had to give the long and elaborate links but if we had learned how to do this shortened technique I think it would have been easier to capture.

The one thing we did cover that I am either ignorant about or simply do not understand the usefulness of it is Google Docs. Also, what exactly is Foliotek and how is it beneficial to me as a growing professional? All I know is that I submit my work to it and I could possibly fail if my work is not good enough for it.

The class did not necessarily excite me because the things we learned were not difficult to remember or execute. The more difficult something is the more excitement I get when I learn it. I did not find anything to be "intellectually challenging." Once it was explained how to do, I pretty much understood it. I was never bored with the class. I had classmates who kept things interesting and always had questions about something and the instructor gave us time to complete an assignment if we understood the lesson. Our time was well spent so there was no way to get bored in my opinion.

If I cold change anything, it would be the amount of blogs due and the due dates for those blogs should revised. In my class, someone realized that since we came to class on a Thursday and the other class came on a Tuesday or what ever date, they were given more time to complete their blogs than we were so the due dates were changed by a unanimous vote.

I am technologically literate with the information we have learned so far but taking into account all that is out there I do not believe I am up to speed like others. I would have to rank my literacy as Medium to Good. I will maintain my literacy by incorporating what I have learned into my daily life. I will improve it by learning as much as possible and keeping abreast on the advancements.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The List!!!

Picture of cartoon people sitting at a desk.  Female has a long list she is telling the male who is oviously ready to leave!
We had to choose two important points from Doug Johnson's Seven Stupid Mistakes and Seven Brilliant Things Teachers Do With Technology and New Classroom Rules by Education Innovation.

From Seven Stupid Mistakes Teachers Make With Technology I chose Not backing up data. This is so very important and almost second nature. No matter what, I save files to my laptop, to my storage device and I email it to two of my accounts. I know what it feels like to work so hard on something and then lose it. From my first experience, I learned a valuable lesson. I will teach this to all of my students. It is such a headache trying to re-do something from memory. I also chose Ignoring the intrinsic interest of tech use in today's kids. Students love technology; they love computers. As I have said before, if we are not incorporating technology into the classroom, then we are doing a disservice to our students. There are benefits to using technology along with traditional styles f teaching. Times are changing and we should adapt to the new wave.

From Seven Brilliant Things Teachers Do With Technology I chose Creatively find and use resources. We all know that with budget cuts we may have to come out of pocket for many of our resources that we use in the classroom. But there are innovative and less expensive things we can do and also get our students involved in doing to have more in the classroom. For instance, as a mathematics instructor, my students and I can create our own sundials to use in trigonometry instead of buying ONE we can have one for ever student. There are things we can do to make instruction time more fun and interesting. I also chose Accept the role of co-learner. As educators, we never stop learning. Allowing our students to teach us and their peers, their self-esteem rises and they feel more appreciated. Educators should involve students more because we may prepping future educators.

From New Classroom Rules I chose Come to class everyday. It is so important to be present in class; whether it be online or in an actual building. It has been very hard for me to attend one class because I have an infant at home. I have missed so much but it is my responsibility to get notes from my classmates and stay in touch with my professor. Communication is key if you are not able to show up for every class meeting. Although I get notes from my classmates, it is nothing like having my own because I know what is and what is not important to me. I try to get everything that is told to me where someone else may be able to remember more and not write that down. I also chose Complete all assignments neatly and on time. This goes hand in hand with my service learning I have completed in another class this semester. I was at a private school and in a competitive honors class one student did not complete her homework. She went ballistic and became angry with the instructor. We should teach our students the importance of being on time and apply this to real world situations. The same is true for neat work. If students have a problem with handwriting, we should help them to correct this problem and also, if it is too severe, have them type all of their assignments. Technology...isn't it great!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

At the Teachers Desk

Picture of a teacher's desk with an apple on it along with a book and writing utensil.
The importance of having a collaborative blog such as the one found on At The Teacher's Desk is that, once again, it adds to our PLN and helps to give ideas to others and get us to thinking about different things.

In the post I read titled,
Scary Statistics, I found a few surprises. The number of males who attend college and graduate with a bachelors and masters was significantly lower than I expected. It seems that I hear more about males who are the dominating force but women seem to be the ones who are excelling. Huh? As far as males bing suspended and expelled more, I can believe it. Not discriminating, but from experience in elementary and secondary school, more males were getting in trouble which resulted in either of the being the form of punishment. What intrigued me more was that more males were diagnosed with emotional disturbances than females. Females are more emotional than males. This blog ends with: What can we better do to help our boys succeed? Good question but how do you go about solving this problem? The only alternative I can think of is something similar to boarding school or military school. But then the downfall would be the lack of socializing with the oppostite sex. Which may or may not be important to some but I think it is important for children to be around those of the opposite sex to learn how to co-exist with them.

The next blog I read was Fundreds. This blog raises awareness of lead-containminated soil in the major U.S. cities and those who contribute to the pollution. It is an art-based project called the Fundreds project. Students are given templates to creatively designtheir own fake hundred dollar bill. It is an artistic project which I think is great since many schools who are lacking sufficient funding have to eventually cut their art program. The funds raised and collected help support New Orleans. This project goes beyond art; it helps students to realize that we as a nation must come together to help one another out in desperate situations. No one's problem is theirs alone.

I also read
Teachers Need to Become Social Networking Experts. In this blog the scenario of a teacher who is out sick has another teacher to step in to take over the class. Well this class is ahead so the teacher must find something for them to do. The teacher turns to Twitter. In a matter of minutes people the sick teacher does not even know has given ideas to the teacher who Twitted them. I think this is another way that shows those who are tech illiterate how technology can be useful in the classroom as an educator. The more people you know and are connected to, the more ideas you have access to.

In the blog,
How Do I Know I Am Not Just Being Selfish?, the question of whether or not technology use is being asserted too much was asked. I really do not think it is. Once upon a time it was easy to find a job not having any knowledge about technology. Now it is asked on job applications how much you know and how fast can you type. I think it will become more of a determinant in the future. I do not think that the technology agenda is being pushed too hard. For our nation to be so "powerful" we are behind in so many ways. The last blog post I read was Using Technology for Effective Communication. The matter adressed was being able to effectively communicate with parents. I think it is very important to be able to communicate with the parents of all students especially those who speak little English. What the blogger made a good point about was the use of teh mobile phone. What I think about is it is good for parents to have access to teachers if any confusion needs to be clarified and the reverse is also true for teachers? However, what about harassment? Or, as an educator, will you have time away from the job?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

CommentKids: Rachel

Picure of two trumpeter swans in the water.
I read a blog about Rachel's field trip to the swamp to see a trumpeter swan get its wings clipped. She explained how the men used a big net and a small boat to catch it. In his attempt to catch the swan, he almost fell into the water. The reason for them to clip the swan's wings is so that it will know that he is at home and will not try to fly away. The DNR is trying to increase the swan population in the swamps and according to Rachel we must all do our parts to help.

My comment to Rachel was that she introduced me to words I was unfamiliar with until now. My experience with an animal with clipped wings was with my parakeets and I have never sen a swan in person. I gave her positive feedback on her story. I enjoyed reading it.