Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Math accomodations

Khan Academy provides video instruction in 5 to 15 minute easy to understand concepts. The video lectures demonstrate key concepts that allow students to gain information at their own pace.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Google Vs Apple

google phone

So Google has thrown itself into competition with Apple over phone service. The interesting thing is that Google does not have a carrier designated to be the one stop shop like AT&T and Apple; Meaning that people who are interested can have any carrier they want and possibly google in the near future. Is it worth waiting the six months for a IPhone? I think maybe....Check it out by clicking HERE and see for yourself.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Laptops for Everyone

e-book picture
So I was reading something other than blogs and found an article discussing e-books like the Kindel and read on; turns out that everyone is in agreement that although they are great, the laptop is the way to go because of adaptability and price. Although the E-book was useful they are similar in price to a laptop and can do one job well, a job a laptop does almost as well. So for a few hundred dollars buy a laptop! READ MORE HERE either way you go green and save having to buy a ton of school supplies every semester.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Podcast 10

This is our podcast 10 presentation, Katie did most all of the work (97 %)...go Katie! Check it out by clicking HERE

Father & Daughter Hug

Thank You Class

I wanted to thank everyone for the great information and experiences that you have shared with me. Please feel free to contact me at any of my email or blog addresses and sorry if I do the same...just ignore me if you don't want to be bothered by a handsome git like me. I also wanted to mention that Gov. Bob Riley has posted a competition that you might want to enter. The competition is called "iChallenge Podcast Competition" and can be accessed HERE, so good luck. It is part of the ACCESS/ ALEX initiative and may be something that you are interested in pursuing.ALEX competition Dr. Strange, thank you and the deadline is FEB 1st 2010 so you might want to be part of it.

EDM features on the tonight show

Dave Letterman holding Top 10 list Well guys it is officially the end of the semester and Dave wanted to share the "TOP TEN LIST" of amazing things he has learned this year! So without further ado here they are in descending order.....

10. Itunes/ ITunes U (really quite amazing what you can look up and use in class and your daily life. Free or for very little you can have music, lessons, and lectures from around the world on your subject of choice- take a tour of the Smithsonian or a course at Cambridge.)
9. Youtube/Teacher Tube (This was something I had never used or done until this semester and now have several things on it. I use it to look at various subjects and see what has been made by other- great demonstrations or how to do videos. People like Mr. Needleman really inspired me and without YouTube we may never have heared of Mr. Winkle Wakes )
8. ACCESS/ALEX. (Opened my eyes up to what resources and options Students and teachers have in the State of Alabama that are underutilized. The Gifted class falls under Special Education and being able to show students other possibilities and allowing them to reach their potential is the goal of the teacher, ACCESS and ALEX will help me develop this potential.)
7. Comments 4 Kids ( showed me how people could connect with the basics of reading, writing, and math and improve acceleration or understanding of subjects using technology at such a young age level. Every young child needs the basics and if you can accelerate their learning in anyway then you can make a massive difference in their potential to catch up with the rest of their peers. This will come in very handy in Special Education because they can do things st their own pace and show the best of what they can do. Encouragement and confidence are very important.)
6. Intellectual Trail & HTML (This has just made me aware of what I am posting.. and writing reflects who I am and can be looked up by others. Also, HTML has allowed me to stay accurate, legal, and prepared for teaching because I can site and verify sources-makes updating easier too! Every teacher currently using a powerpoint or projector should be citing their materials and it is equivalent to not citing at the end of a paper- shame on you- yey for me!)
5. Presentation/ Screentoaster (This has shown me were I was and now how I could improve powerpoint or media presentations and make them more interesting. Instant feedback allows me to go in and change what I did and with my new found knowledge I can liven up and make presentations more professional. If this was all I had learned I would have been happy! I now see me collaborating with the science teacher or whoever and making a informed presentation that can be shown to the class while we work with individuals to develop their understanding. I can also emphasize the lecture or notes with media and allow students to do the same. Very Exciting and something that will be used every week and be added to, to make a very rewarding classroom environment as the years go on)
4. PLN (My network of resources and people willing to collaborate is amazing. I can find useful ways of presenting and keep abreast of what is happening in the classroom and with technology. When I struggle with a subject or I am looking to explore grant/technology updates I can and will use my network of professional veteran teachers and local community to help. Looking for a idea on a lesson plan or a problem, just ask the team of willing participants)
3. Students and Teachers ( I have to mention this as a separate item because I have learned something from everyone in my class this semester and can go back and look at it whenever for free and without having to store or keep up with paper. Outside my classroom- Comments 4 Kids, Blogs, Mr. Chamberlain, Joe McClung, Russ Goerend, Jabiz Raisdana, Kiai Raisdana, Dillon, and many others have taught me so much and given me the chance to explore other possibilities. In my class I have learned everything from searching, puppeteering, movie making, news broadcasting, distance learning, international teaching, podcasting, video casting, You tubing, blogging, creativity, while travelling the local and global community by being introduced to gulf coast marketing, San Antonio, Hawaii, Ohio, Grand Canyon, Missouri, Arkansas, San Francisco, Ukraine, India, Scotland, China, and Afghanistan. Dr. Strange and everyone in the class has opened my eyes and made a difference in my life. The great thing is I can look back or contact each person and ask them concerns or solutions to something and we are all local. I have learned as much from Anthony Capps as anyone in or out of the classroom and have been delighted to be in class with each of you. Thank you.)
2. Google Docs. ( What can't you do with google docs? I can do spreadsheets, collect data, exams, presentations, share, translate, email, collaborate, securely from a computer anywhere in the world and know that the information is always there. Google docs. should be one of the most used items in a teachers resource and when used properly is fantastic. Another one of the things that if I had only learned this in a semester I would have been happy. Kids/ Teachers can collaborate ideas and presentations to save time and paperwork, something everyone agrees is in demand)
1. Blogging How could it be anything else but blogging. Dr. Strange has shown the tip of the iceberg and let us go in any direction we wanted to. This means that almost everyone in class has went on to research and find something that is beneficial and as made them/us excited. Without blogging I would never have had a top ten list or access to it. I can look and add to blogs whenever I feel like it and can give anyone or no-one access to do the same. Blogging promotes writing and reading by allowing students to find something they find interesting and discussing it with the world. The ideas that this generates can and are staggering. Blogging will be a great tool in my classroom and is an amazing way of allowing the parents and community to be involved in the welfare of the school and children attending. I intend to use this along with Streaming on a daily basis to enrich the environment I work in and help me improve as a teacher.)

On a personal note, I was not a big fan, or did not fully understand or appreciate, Wiki, Picasa, Twitter, Google Earth, Dlicious, or Foliotek. It is not that they did not have value to me or where tough to understand, they just did not float my boat. I am glad that I was exposed to them but need more info on Twitter and especially Delicious, and could do without the others.

I would like to add more presentations, blogging off the subject that allows freedom, and being able to share thoughts and ideas in class rather than being shown the next step in the process. The ability to live stream or UStream should be used more effectively to allow the student to see the lesson before class and then have the freedom to explore and research or collaborate sites of interest. Brilliant class and I plan on keeping up with the class and future class blogs as often as I can in the future.

I am not technology literate and will strive to be well versed in new applications and advances that will help me develop professionally. I have become more savvy than the majority of people around here because I have been exposed to the latest technology and its uses; keeping abreast of what is coming out will allow me to be as up to date as anyone on the subject and proves that someone starting today can be as informed about a subject as someone studying technology for years because they are adaptable. I have a PLN, I have access to the class blog, the future minds in EDM, I will blog, I will find something of interest to me and share it with others. I am becoming technology literate and my students will be better off for it but as things change so must I or i fail to be a lifelong learner.

It's all about the kids

School project made of wood
Check out Vince and Montanas post by clicking HERE .

One of the greatest things I have experienced in this class has been seeing elementary kids throughout the world developing and using technology to fuel learning. At the start of the course I was a "children need to know the fundamentals like reading, writing, arithmetic before they can develop anything else in school!" What I failed to realize was that we all learn differently and express ourselves in a variety of ways. comments for Kids has shown me that I can help inspire children at a very young age using technology and that I can have a effect on them as much as they have on me from across the universe. Schools like Bailey Road and Valley Wood showed me that video casting and pod casting actually improves or accelerates the desire to read and write while being dramatic and creative. Stories such as "Goldie Locks and Little Red Riding Hood" captured my imagination and I could hear the enthusiasm of the children in their voices. Anthony Capps even has a link to a rendition of a math exercise by the famous New York singing classroom that will help solve problems and build confidence in the youths at the school. My opinion now stands firm as it did when I entered the classroom, the only difference is that I can see how to use a variety of sources and technology that I would never have considered. Maybe I am becoming Literate!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ad For College of Education- Project 11

College of Education page at the University of South Alabama

College of Education Ad

All information comes directly from the college website and is a commitment to you the FUTURE teacher and paying student. Sites used to emphasize the ease of changing over to meet the ad content include, Zinio, Screen toaster, Dell, and Smart board.


My PLN consists of the entire online community because I now consider myself able to search, find, confirm, help, learn, or ask anyone online. The key people in my network of friends include Joe McClung, Mr. Needleman, Russ Goerend, Jabiz Raisana, Mr. Chamberlain, Dr. Strange, and of course every student at the University currently taking EDM 310. I have access to students taking EDM 310 for the rest of my life and can see quite clearly what they have been doing and follow their blogs to help keep me abreast of what is happening. The great things about the course is that it will keep evolving and as new people come in with new thoughts and ideas, the possibilities are endless. There are loads of sites specifically for teachers that I can and will use for my learning network but it is my class that I am most interested in seeing what they have done and will do. I am part of that class and live in the same area as teachers going in to the same field, wouldn't it be great to lean on each other? Think what we could do right here in this county. We are the future teachers in the gulf coast area and will make an impact on tens of thousands of children and I am excited. Keep blogging!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Original Presentation from week four......

Click Here to WatchThis is the first presentation I ever did in Google Power Point. We recorded the voice in class during the presentation. Now that I am a somewhat tech literate, I could really improve this and make it special. Still nostalgia is a part of reflection.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lowering the cost of Student Loans

So, in attempt to make you financially better off as a teacher I have found the site that deals with forgiveness, or deferring, of Financial Student Loans for teachers who serve five years.Federal Student Aid logo This means you can have the Stafford loan reduced by $17,500 if you are eligible and make life a little less stressful.

While you may think you will always be poor, between the 50% off homes and the student loan forgiveness, you may find that the 187 days you end up teaching is very lucrative if you use the resources available to you. (((On A side note-I did not look this up in a book or a library, but on the internet by computer. Weird!)))

If you are interested in saving a bunch of money on student loans please click HERE and you will go to the Stafford Loan forgiveness page. The "Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program For Teachers" encourages you to spread the word and download a brochure at Help Me Out for assistance on this or Perkins loans. What do you have to loose?

1/2 Price Homes for Techers!

The United States Federal Goverment has been giving half price mortgages to teachers, firefighters, nurses, and police. It is not a gimick!!!!
The idea is that the area will be better off for having such outstanding citizens live in it.
You initially apply for a first and second mortgage for the entire value of the home, but after 36 months the home value is reduced by 50% (the second mortgage or silent mortgage is dropped) and all payments made on the mortgage in the 36 months contribute to the debt.governement logo

While this may not be for everyone, it is a great way for you to buy a home and make some money. Plus, the fact that you are only paying a mortgage that is 50% of the cost means homes are affordable for all, and payments are very cheap. Click HERE to go to a link that will take you were you can find more information and contact a HUD representative for area listings and available homes.

Imagine buying a home for $150,000 and after 3 years you only owe $65,000. Things that make you go OooHHH!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The cost of a laptop-RETRACTION !!!!

So it turns out I was wrong and have to make a formal retract on my blog. I had posted that you could buy a laptop for as little as $200, but was way off. Turns out it is only $150, or less than three of the four books I have to buy next semester for class ($520 total for the textbooks.) Although it is not the most amazing laptop on the market it will do the job. If you are interested in reading about it, click $150 laptop HERE to go to $150 laptop information.

Less is More!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Less is More

Jessica and I created a wee advert for the College of Education at the University of South Alabama. We asked many students what they would like to see and improve about their educational experience. Some wished that they had more than the two classes offered online at the college. Lots of people are annoyed at the lack of online choice for undergraduates (currently two choices.) Most wished to eliminate the cost of textbooks and supplies, that they felt were not needed. Everyone agreed that being familiar with smart boards would be a huge advantage entering the job market as a new teacher. If that's what the student demands, then we wondered how hard it would be to make it happen.

So, we began researching and found that the easiest way to do this would be to have a very inexpensive laptop for every student that did not already have one. When students have a laptop they would be able to purchase smart board (or supplied the software) and use the application whenever they wanted. The question was "how could we afford to do this?"

The answer seemed delightfully simple and beneficial to all. Sites like Zinio work with publishers and faculty to convert and manage textbooks into digital print.

Meaning that there is no limit to how little or how many copies the publisher needs to make. Digital print also saves paper, machines, ink, freight, and bookstore fees. (The publicity the University would receive from going green in this way would bring major attention to our College of Education) This allows publishers to make the same profit with textbooks being less then half the price of hardback copies.
Further more, publishers suggest that faculty can opt to purchase a chapter at a time to suit the class, and tailor the entire semester readings, rather than the entire book. At first, I thought this was crazy, but then I remembered ITunes and how I frequently go on and purchase a song from an album, but rarely have I ever thought about an entire CD. The publishers obviously know what they are doing.

Amazingly, this would allow faculty to slowly transition over to having entire text written by faculty rather than the publishers; generating a ton of money for the university while making college expenses less of a burden on students. I would be willing to pay a little extra tuition if I did not need to buy textbooks. I'm not a betting man, but a small incentive for faculty would make this happen quicker than you would think possible.

As a student the average expense for four years of college textbooks is currently $5,800 and rising at 6% per year. The university bookstore only makes a 3.7% average net profit on textbooks. That is only $50 per year per student after expenses. Why not change the process? According to the government agency that controls financial assistance in education, this is the only viable long term solution to making universities and schools affordable. Check out the facts by clicking HERE.

Imagine if all you had to buy was a $200 laptop and a $150 smart board software program instead of $5,800 worth of books.

Students would be better prepared entering the classroom as a result of the laptops and years of using them.
No more back problems carrying and organizing files. No more clutter or lost work. No more textbook frustration. No more printing. No more carbon footprint. Classrooms would be clutter free and would be able to invest in the student and the school. Go to the library and everyone is on a computer!
So the College of Education promises cutting edge technology and innovated solutions to a global community; that is an image I would like to see for me and the University as a future graduate and will impact the entire gulf coast school district. Sometimes, less is more.
Ad For College of Education

Monday, November 9, 2009

To blog or not to blog, that is the question?

Dr. StrangeDr. Strange has shown us how to blog and in the past has found few people have gone on to use blogging. The problem with that is that blogging is a tool that will make life easier for any teacher. Russ Goerend has a class set up that allows children to post essays, revise essays, and improve essays as part of his curriculum. Students, teachers, and visitors from all over the world can comment and help fuel learning with simple dialogue and fresh prospective.
This serves many purposes for the teacher willing to blog; communication with parents is fundamental to a successful student, student development, grant applications, student participation, fresh ideas, creativity, the list goes on and on. The most important thing is that it teaches everyone to be connected and figure out a solution or get advice.

What did you do before email? Before cell phones? Before television? Now you get to write about it, talk about it, and see it as easily as turning on the light. We all evolve at our own pace. but we will get to were we need to go.

stack of old booksI am an advocate of a laptop for every student and the only way to do this, it seems, is to make textbooks digital and accessible to all on the web. Schools are funded by property taxes and Alabama has the lowest property taxes in the nation. While this may be great for home owners and merchants, it means the schools are very underfunded in Alabama. Textbooks cost money, serious money. Paper, pencils, printing, maintenance, equipment, smart boards, all cost a huge amount of money and are not needed with a laptop.

Just today, a news article that I read on my handy dandy computer told me about Google having until Friday for a digital library settlement. At first glance I thought and presumed, that this was the sort of fuel advocates for keeping classrooms stagnant rather than fresh, would throw in my face; I mean it is a law suit issue over digitalizing textbooks. Then I read the article and it is google working with publishers and authors to settle on rights and fees associated with publishing digital textbooks from major universities and libraries around the world. "This is the future of textbooks and printed books," is the real message that the article allows you to expect in the near future.

Soon I will be able to read Hamlet on my laptop, all because I blog, and that is the answer.

To Blog or not to blog, that is the question?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX) Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide (ACCESS)

apple for the teacher's desk

So I flicked onto these sites not actually having much of a clue what they were about and was pleasantly surprised. First this is is a site that explains the qualifications and standards required of teachers who have the ability and desire to teach online distance courses in the public school system mainly at the middle and high school level .
click here if interested

Basically, the sites provide a way of pulling the resources together throughout the State of Alabama to give students access to brilliant teachers and classrooms wherever they are located. This means that children can fit school into there day or night from anywhere they need. This will allow children and parents to find a class that is tailored to the child's needs. Click HERE to go to the site and read more. Teachers, Administrators and parents can use the sites as a reference and have everything from lesson plans, grant applications, professional development instruction, podcasts, useful links, and searches.

Although it is not really mentioned, it is also a great way for people who believe technology is an extremely viable and valuable tool in the classroom. Local, State, and National groups are what is needed to move education into what is required and demanded for the youths of today. If you want to make a difference you have to unite and help the masses.

ACCESS LOGO ACCESS While visiting the site, take the online survey and give yourself a voice in the education department of Alabama. Your Vote counts!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Tiger Growling
I am amazed at the possibilities with live Streaming. You can show what is happening in the classroom every minute of every day and post the feed to be accessed by individuals anywhere. This means that you can ALMOST be in the classroom as the class is taking place. I say almost because you do not physically need to be there to participate.
Imagine parents with disabilities now being able to see their children perform in the classroom for the first time ever.
Imagine being sick and out of work/school and you have a solution already up and running, at next to no cost.
Communication with the parents and the community is a key to a child's success in school, and this is the easiest way I have seen to establish and connect with them.
Instant feedback on you and the children means that you will improve the lessons and teaching almost instantly.
The ability to be seen anywhere with a computer or phone, allows people to participate and enhance the classroom as never before.

As a future Special Education instructor it is a way of showing and building trust and confidence with all parents because you can actually show them how and what their child did on Thursday; pointing out all of the amazing things that happened throughout the day, week, semester.
I.E.P. meetings or conflicts can and would be resolved without legal expense by showing real life examples of performance and behavior. The possibilities are endless.
Check out Mr. Chambelain's class streaming live from Missouri during class time by clicking HERE or connect to Mr. Chamberlain's class projects and shows by clicking HERE

If you are interested in setting up a classroom with live streaming and are unsure where to go please click HERE and you will be directed to ustream.

Voicethread! Mr. C. I did not get it!

I am glad that I was unable to respond initially to the Voicethread and video by Mr. William Chamberlain.
Initially, Dr. Strange had made comments to the effect that this was the future of education and I just did not get it. I never said I was smart, just good looking!!! Anyway, I was proved incredibly wrong a week or so later when Anthony Capps posted his first voicethread and the penny dropped.

For anyone who has not seen a voicethread please click HERE and you will see someone who understood the possibilities while looking at it and produced his own in next to no time.Anthony Capps
Thanks Mr. Chamberlain, Dr. Strange, and Mr. Capps for showing a dumb Scot the way.


Mr. C you have created an online "Diary" or "Journal" that Kiai will be able to enjoy all of her life. It is really incredible that people will be able to go on and update their thoughts and communicate with a three year old girl across the world. Evolving and adding so many voices and opinions to anyone reading, now or in the future. I can see how this is something that will be beneficial in group projects- visual/audio blogging.


 hand in the dessert

Jabiz asks "What do you think? What is the value in this experience? Is the risk of exposing ourselves and our children online worth the connections that will be made and the lessons that will be learned?"

As the proud parent of a two year old daughter and being first generation Scottish American, I can honestly take my hat off to you. Kiai will not only have the ability at such a young age to have travelled to parts of the world and learn from her experience, but will be establishing memories and connections with people all over the planet. What risk do you have of exposing "Possibilities?" I pride myself on being a great father. I thought that I was progressive by staying at home with Sheridan rather than my wife being the stay at home parent. I never grew up with my mother or my father, and constantly tried to fill in the gaps that plagued my childhood because I couldn't understand. Kiai and you are bonding in a way that most people will let slip past them. Kiai will always know WHO and WHAT she is, and that is the foundation of success in anyone. Unconventional thinking is something that separates most of the great minds of the past and I thank you for helping remove the blinders form my eyes. Ingenious!

To read a little more about an interesting parenting experience and comment for yourself please click HERE

ITunes U

 Cambridge University on ITunes U
I Tunes U is an amazing site that gives you access to various institutions throughout the world and the material they teach. It allows users to cross the boundaries into the rainforest of the amazon (from the classroom) and puts the user in the middle of the subject being taught.
Hands on teaching, visual aids, the latest studies, top academic institutes, willing to give an insight into what the world has to offer and what they share with you is FREE.
Although there is no substitution for real life experience, most people will never have the opportunity to attend Cambridge or visit the Amazon; even if it is your students goal to one day go to Oxford or dig for artifacts in Egypt having prior knowledge of a subject before you go could only make you more prepared and less apprehensive.

ITunes not only provides you with the service but it shows you how to access the information in various ways in a short movie that you can revisit at any time. Think you have what it takes to go to Harvard? Find out by taking a course and sitting in on a lecture for free at home. Want to learn about the Roman Empire? Take a course at Stanford at your own pace for free. Want to learn from the best professors teaching your subject? Check out ITunes U right now for free by clicking HERE


Snapshots Screen Capture

a small camera icon that represents the product for snapshots

Snapit is a product that you can download onto your PC that allows you to capture the image on the screen you are viewing and store it. Similar in a way to clipboard but this is a way of storing images or saving information for future use and can be accessed anytime in the future with the click of a button. This will create a small library of information for you and may come in handy for smart-board applications and lesson plans. To check out the link to digeaus snapit please click on the link below.

click here to go to Snapshot Screen Capture

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Intrepid Teacher

Kiai is a three year old girl who has the opportunity to live and travel to various parts of the world. Most adults would be of the opinion that it is wasted and the child will not remember the experience. I know that they are living the experience right now and learning and growing because of it. With the addition of the pictures, comments, voice thread, letter, blog, Kiai will always have a gateway into what she did at such a young age. she will remember because of the technology and the enjoyment she has bonding with her father and the different culture.
My wife argues that taking my two year old daughter to Scotland is a waste and that until she is seven will not benefit from it much. I want my daughter to meet my family, see my home, take pictures, travel because it helps create who she is at such a young age. Our children have a window and should be allowed to look at everything possible through it because that is how we learn. My answer then to your question is "The only thing you are exposing a three year old girl too is creativity and you should be applauded."

click here to go to the intrepid teacher

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dr C

bird pecking a tree
I had the pleasure of viewing Dr. Christie's site and found myself getting carried away with too much stuff. I listened to the information on Dr. Christie and what she has started in her classroom. By having children work with graduate students and teachers to increase both the knowledge of the teachers and the confidence of the student she has created a great learning environment. This is a perfect example of what learning could be. There is children walking throughout the class showing the adults what to do, and everyone is learning. The graduate student is able to put into practice what they are learning by teaching others to become familiar with the technology. This is what is missing from most class environments that I have experienced. The quality of the instruction is great, I learn the information, take a test and loose 50% of what I learned within six months. The old expression is "Use it or loose it." There was a child by the name of Jamie who is doing his sixth summer internship by helping teachers to learn. He will never loose it and the people in the class have more hands on experience in a comfortable environment with many instructors. Who is more qualified than Jamie?

click here to go to Dr. Christie's site.

I started going round other places and found myself on google Earth. I downloaded the latest version and was able to take a visual tour of my home. I have not been able to travel to the place I was born in the past eight years and it has changed dramatically. I was also able to look up building and places that my father has restored. The site has a historical button on it that allows you to look at images from years gone by.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


So I love wikipedia and find it very handy when I want to look up certain information. Information like traveling to a city; what to eat and where, what to expect, places to see, the usual every day stuff. It provides you with a base to work from.
If I type in anything like "soup" then wikipedia pops up and I can learn a little bit about soup. It is brilliant, fast, and fairly accurate.
Now if I want to take my information and make sure that it is the absolute truth, then it is the same as buying a car. You must have multiple quotes before you buy something major. That way you can compare and make sure that you are buying the correct vehicle at the right price.
I'll continue to use Wikipedia for a lot of things, but realize it is like listening to Fox News or any other 24 hour news broadcast. It may be true, but it is usually just someone's opinion and you should not just believe what you hear, or read.
You must have a verifiable source for people not to doubt the information and Fox News or Wikipedia are just not verifiable sources.
If you read it, hear it, or plan on talking about it then you should make sure that it is true. P.S. Did you hear about the car that was released in England that does 189 mpg and is based on the old lincoln town car model. The car will be sold in the United States as of March 2010 and has a price tag starting at $14,500. At least that's what I heard.

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy uses his childhood dreams and goals as a way of explaining the possibilities of what we can accomplish, if we believe and show dedication. He puts a list up at the beginning of goals that most people would see and presume unabtainable. He talks about students wanting to work on the next Star Wars movie years before it is even being considered. The message is clear, let people try to attain their goals. Help them obtain their goals. That's your job!

The common theme that comes up is the brick wall. It shows you that despite setbacks and dead ends you can succeed if you are determined enough. You will fail, you will be told you are a failure, that you can't do it; You have to use that feedback to fuel your desire or you will loose the dreams. Randy is definitely unconventional and that is part of what his classroom was like. The response and enthusiasm he generated not just in his students but in every department throughout the school was amazing. We are entering a profession that gives you the choice to shape many peoples lives.

While we may not all have a chance to go into weightlessness, or to start a virtual reality program known all over the world, we are responsible for helping others. Our jobs as future teachers and parents is to harness the dreams of the children and help them reach for the sky. Showing them, and being shown by them go hand in hand. We are currently looking at blogs all over the world in places like New Zealand where kids are making video casts, radio casts, podcast, blogs, or whatever else. They have one thing in common. Each one is learning, wants to learn and it is fun.

They are not learning to read a book and write their letters in a conventional way, and sometimes boring way, but are learning with another FUN objective in mind. They want to show what they can do on the podcast.
They want to tell the story to people all over the world. Kids that struggle to read and write are actually excited about reading and writing because of this. It also allows them to be creative when so many places are cutting budgets for drama and music and various programs, here is a way to incorporate the arts. They are learning to do something on computers and with technology that many people, including us, never had the chance to do. The amazing thing is that they practice reading, writing, drama, art, creating, interviewing, communicating, or anything else you care to show them again and again at such a young age. They will always know how to do it, and they will only get better and dream of other possibilities. We all have one shot in life, what do you have to loose?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's not about technology

"Teachers must be learners."
"Learning and teaching is not the same."
"Technology is lost without good teaching."

I don't know what else to add to this as it is perfect.

Why give a $5,000 smart board to someone who isn't going to use it? Why use it for as presentation only? With that cash you could have bought 8 mac mini's and a couple of HD Video cameras. 30 classrooms means 240 computers that are state of the art and ready to go out of the box. Hook it up to your existing mouse, keyboard, and monitor and boom you have six computer labs and a mac in every room.


That is a very good question. I believe that we should all strive to learn, after all that is what you are teaching your kids to do. I think that technology is a huge advantage and not incorporating it into a class puts you at a disadvantage. However, you have clear precise goals that you are trying to teach each day and each lesson. Are the kids meeting those goals and expectations? If they are great, keep improving. If not, what are you willing to do to improve it? Technology may have the answer.

The "teachers 30 years ago not being able to read or write...." comment is a bit far fetched. After all they did not have much technology 30 years ago and have managed to produce every person that has created a technology improvement, come through the school system with that teacher and style of classroom. I'm not saying you don't improve what you are doing, or embrace technology, but some teachers are better off without it and some teachers are incredible without it. So it depends on the teacher, not the students needs, if they need to be tech literate in many cases.

Dr. Stranges Tech Lit teacher

I hate to say it, but I do not think every teacher should be tech literate. I would love to see those who have a passion for learning and creating embrace technology, but it is not something to be mandated. I think all future teachers should be exposed to it and those in the profession should be allowed to develop tech advances easier. The grant system is crazy for one teacher to try and attempt to improve the class or school on their own.

Teacher training should include how to assignments and instructions for all wanting to apply for grants, make interactive learning, or attend summer class one week intensive training for current teachers. We can't change the past or those stuck in it, all we can do is show how easy and give them the opportunity to embrace the improvements.

How do I get 8 cameras, 8 mac notebooks, 8 microphones, 8 sub teacher expenses for my class, for the music department, the drama, foreign language, science, math, special needs, student room......

Vision of student's today

First, let me start by saying that I am appalled. I know some of the advantages of technology and wish to embrace it, so I feel ashamed at the clip. Not for the message that was being presented but for the attitudes of the "adults" in college level class rooms. They seem to have everything, computers, phones, all the gadgets and yet bitch that they have no teachers willing to include technology into their teaching. Does that sound grateful?

I am fortunate, to be fulfilling a life long dream, to go to college and earn a degree that the people in the class at University don't give a care for. Don't show up, don't open the book, don't pay attention, do 49% of the readings and they are bored! Maybe because you have been watching TV since you could see or have everything put in front of you, that gives you a right to throw it away. No education is a waste and you should try to get whatever you can from it. Sorry its not interesting to you but you are paying to be there.......

You chose the course of study, the class, and you made the decision to fork over the cash and time (some of you) to do this. Put the phone down, take the lemon and make some lemonade.....that at least is refreshing. Oh and by the way books allow you to imagine and take you to other places and times without having someone else show the "concept" to you. A book fuels creativity and imagination as well as any technology aid could. 8 books a year but 23,000 messages on facebook is not something to be proud of...savvy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The movie

I have no television, I have no cell phone, I am not computer savvy. I bought my computer for $550 in July. I added no software. No hardware. In fact I don't know what the difference is. I am 37 and have rarely used a computer.

I watched "Did you know, 3.0" & then "Mr. Winkle Wakes Up" and it got me thinking. How could I do that? I remember saying, "It's like having an extra teacher that is really interesting in the classroom with you." I had to know if it was possible. So, I spent a few hours looking around, searching online.

This is why I chose to do this specific project:

I was given a group assignment last week in my EDF 315 class that had to involve two main historical events in history from 1950-1974.

Since slideshows and television was first introduced to the classroom in this time period it got me thinking of a theme. After that it was just a matter of several hours of putting together something I thought was appropriate. I know it is not brilliant but I just wanted to put something together that showed the group I was working with some possibilities. It is very easy to edit the clip once you have it formated. After talking to the group we had our presentation done an hour later. Easy and anyone can do it.

Look on the right hand side of my blog under "Important links" and you will see my first movie. Enjoy.

Monday, September 7, 2009


I just watched a wee step by step instructional podcast that demonstrates how to make a podcast. You can go to Tinkernut.com and it will give you all the information you need. It's free and basically all you need is a ,microphone, and software that you can download for free. It gives links to podcast.com which is a one stop shop for podcasting.
Although the information comes at you very fast and in a non exciting way, you can rewind or pause to ensure you are following the steps correctly. I've tried going to Audacity.com and doing this but have had a wee problem. I will try audio software in a search, which is what they suggested originally. After I try this I will edit my post and let you know how it went.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hello Auckland

I just visited a tremendous site that had young kids using podcasts to read stories and incorporate sound effects. A small team of readers told stories such as Little Red Riding Hood. Adding suspense and drama by creating sound effects that emphasized the plot and kept the listener very entertained. They had many links and various blogs, but are becoming very efficient quickly. Kids are really enthusiastic and take the production and reading very seriously. They are obviously exposed to a wealth of knowledge and are able to be as creative as they can be. Combine Drama, English, Computers, and add a sense of team work builds personnel confidence. Desire, Exposure, Creativity, and Confidence what more could you want for your kids?

Here is some information from the school they attend, taken directly from the school website:

The school's computer suite has 33 Apple Mac computers all networked to a server. Classes have timetabled lessons in the computer suite. Groups of children also have supervised access to the internet. A data projector allows teachers to facilitate teaching and learning in the suite. Programmes such as Appleworks, Kid Pix 3, iPhoto, iMovie, Keynote, Pages are used in lessons from Year 1 to Year 8. All staff on site as well as students and parents must sign an agreement before access to the internet is allowed.

Our intermediate students (Years 7 & 8) have specialist technology lessons in:
- food technology
- biotechnology
- structures and mechanisms
- electronics and control
- production and process
- materials technology
- information and communication technology

Costs are subsidised by the Ministry of Education, but children need to pay for materials. Projects children make are very worthwhile.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I want to make a movie but I only have a video camera and a computer, Can anyone help?

So I am really wanting to make a small animated clip, or add animation to a video that I have. I have a video camera and can format the disk to play as a DVD and such. I have a mac mini but little in the way of software. I know I could download a bunch of stuff that I have found so far that might help, but I don't want to download a bunch of stuff if I don't have to.

So any suggestions?

I loved Mr. Winkle and wondered if anyone knew how to go about this type of thing.



Class Podcast

Well I watched the class podcast and learned a great deal about it. First, It is a very nerve racking thing to do so please forgive my comments.

The assignment asks "How we could improve it" not me.

The first thing I would recommend is the set up or positioning of the people and camera. I would suggest: All on the long side of the table with the camera facing each persons face. It is a visual learning experience and people facing the camera more might help. The sound and visuals are what we are paying attention to.
Second, I would probably try to find out what was to be asked before hand and revise or do a run through. The idea of a improve is great, but it is designed to be informative (that should be as clear as crystal.) Although the improve brought up very good points, I bet there was one or two the panel wished they had added afterwards.
Lastly, each person knows who they are and what they have done/doing with there lives. Yet at the very start when asked to introduce themselves, they all looked at the paper or desk and not the audience.

On the flip side......

The suggestions the panel gave regarding knowing something well, and doing something well one thing at a time is great, and possibly the only, way to go with restrictions on time and budget. Technology can be extremely overwhelming and with a busy work life, social life, family life, it is extremely difficult to devote a lot of time to Blogging, Tweeting, Skyping, Networking, Podcasting, especially when you have to maintain a face as gorgeous as mine. War Eagle.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So I now know what to listen to if I can't fall asleep or think my life sucks. Seriously, I have enjoyed every little thing that I have seen or learned until now. I'm trying to stay positive so I don't think I'll comment on this as it is just not my cup of tea. Over the top talk about technology that I have no clue about or know anything about. At this moment it is out of my league.

I did find a useful link to a video on mac animation (on the page that highlights podcasts that they subscribe to) and am currently downloading it. Hopefully I'll find everything I need to make an animated movie....at least that's what she said. I mean that's what they say.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Teaching with smartboards, Lesson 60

Click here If you want to go to their actual web site and see lessons

I went to a different cats to see if I could learn a little more about the smartboard and found this podcast above. It is a step by step interactive lesson on the smartboard that shows you various different things that can be done. The instructors give lesson ideas such as grouping kids together and having them come up to the board to solve the problem. I've never seen a smart-board and just wanted to know what the heck it was and does.

I could see how you could have the course content and lesson plan on hand and do a presentation for the smart- board would be really handy. It's like having an extra teacher in the class because the info is on the board and audio can be put in place to allow you to walk the class room checking and making sure no one is getting lost. Kids interacting with the board seems cool and can easily be changed back if need be. I still need hands on experience but this was Educational.

Smartboard podcast

Could you imagine going to Barcelona, Madrid, Athens, Amsterdam, Paris, London. Edinburgh, Rome, Egypt, Africa, Australia, Argentina, or anywhere else in the world. Now you can go while being in your own home. Sounds a little sad at first but then when you think that you could be learning Spanish and seeing a class in Spain going about their day it starts to make sense. You could pair the kids up so that they could chat and learn to communicate together. Pen pals never had it so good. Visual aids would and real life situations right on your doorstep.

Show your kids how to make a iDVD, digitalize their face, make a class year book on video or class trips. The possibilities are endless and easy to do. I have tried looking up the "Animateo.com" thing but can't find it. Anybody have any suggestions? I really want to try this and attempt to make a quick wee home movie for my daughters B-Day.

Hello Kids

I thought this was very informative because it gave great examples. "Video is the media of today" Is exactly the point. It is difficult to capture peoples attention and by giving them visual aids, and something they enjoy, they will pay more attention. "The picture is worth a 1,000 words, so video must be worth a 1,000,000: comment really hits home what you could do if you became organized and had resources. I like the developmental stages for building confidence and hope to transition into a few little clips rather than the standard over head projector or presentation with power point. I Think it would help the student, the teacher, and the audience to practice with video and audio. I still get nervous standing in front of the class at University for some reason and this is a great lesson preparing anyone how to get comfortable.

I realize it is a lot to take on. Learning the uses and editing. Worrying about lights and stuff but really you learn as you go. Not attempting it is tragic. I want to learn how to make a wee animation and post it NOW.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Be prepared to be wrong, not frightened"

The first thing I noticed was that this video was available in 24 different languages! Unbelievable to think that people all over the world could enjoy the show and be inspired by Sir Ken. The entire clip was extremely funny while getting the message across. Refreshing really. "Be prepared to be wrong, not frightened" was a great quote that he uses that was a similar philosophy to the teacher in Georgia. As an educator you must realize that you know very little and other people have a great deal to offer or we would all be exactly the same. Think the same, do the same, want the same and lack individuality.

As individuals we must learn differently, have different skills, have different abilities, have varied contributions that should be encouraged.

The Picasso reference that "children are born artists, and grow out of it" shows the rigid mentality of every day life all over the world. We work to earn cash to allow us to live. We seek training or an education to allow us to be employed and earn cash. Reading, Writing, Math are the corner stones of a good education. People need the ability to read, write and do math to survive. The arts such as dance is something that in every culture is only done when they have leisure time and finances to pursue those activities. It is therefor understandable that science and math teachers are in such demand and dance instructors are not. No-one knows what the future will bring but most people are unwilling to send there kids to dance class, trade school class, art school class when they could be doing Chemistry or Physics. We all have bills to pay and unless you end up being the next producer of "CATS" or become the next "Picasso" then the safe bet, the logical bet is math, reading, and writing.

No child left behind means no "Phantom of the Opera."

Harness your children

Excellent classroom for people to grow and enjoy creating something new and exciting. Catching people's attention allows them to follow and be interested. In turn this makes people try harder and more often accomplishing goals and practices that they may never have been able to find or know. Allowing students to interact and show off there abilities can only improve their confidence and outlook in school. I never saw one bored kid in the classroom and that says a great deal. I think it is great that a teacher is willing to put the time and effort as well as putting aside her ego for the good of the kids.

I also saw very little in the way of minorities, special needs students, or lack of equipment. Each kid seemed to have full access to their own computer, devices such as iphones and never realized that this was a normal public funded school. My high school never had a computer in the building that I was aware of. Obviously, Georgia has funds in abundance compared to Alabama if it is able to pay off each teachers student loans and outfit the classroom with enough technology for all students to have this kind of opportunity. My wife has one computer and a smart board. The smart board was installed over the summer and is facing the side view of the class instead of the front of the class. The cable is too short to go from her desk to the smart board and moving the desk to the side is not a option because of lack of room. Yet, the school can't give her a new cable that is long enough rendering the "new" technology useless. Baldwin County is bankrupt and trying to lay off teachers who are tenured, so I don't think there technology is going to improve over the next few years.

Add picture

I love the pool even although I look kind of crazy.

Wake Up

We tend to take a great deal of things for granted in life. Mr. Winkle forces us to wake up and look at what we have. In a very funny way, it shows how we have evolved our daily practices over the past hundred years in art, culture, architecture, medicine, music, while failing to change the public school system to the world we now live in. Mr. Winkle is not used to technology and is afraid , much the same as the majority of people today, like myself. However, technology allows us to improve how we can deliver vast amounts of useful information. Being able to project and gather information is a powerful tool.

As an educator it will be my responsibility to constantly learn and teach to the best of my ability. Regardless of funding and capabilities in the public school system there are various systems available to the educator. A lap top, smart board, projector, screens, field trips are main components but cameras and cell phones are used by most kids on a daily basis. Allowing kids the chance to use and often explain various things that can be done should only benefit the class a whole. Information is knowledge, and anyway that you can get knowledge in a kids head is great. By the time I graduate and become a teacher I hope to gain as much knowledge as I can, but I know that I will continually strive to grow and this is the greatest tool...so far.

What does it all mean?

While watching the "Did You Know?" post on YouTube, I quickly realized that I knew very little of the rapid change in technology and where I stand. The deliberately fast paced, fly-by, try to keep up images and information left you disorientated and perplexed. Highlighting the evolution of devices and information being sent to an ever increasing population, leaving me behind. Notions that I had of Japan and the United States leading the way in the world, are thrown out the window by places like Bermuda. Making me question and doubt makes me at least able to attempt to jump on the ride instead of watching it go by as I have.

My family was the first to have a color television in the neighborhood, my first phone number was 247, Long distance calling was unheard of, and I am only thirty seven. Sadly, I thought my family was cutting edge because we have a Mac not a PC. While new information on technology doubles every two years, while 210 million phone calls can go through a single fiber optic cable, our education system and fellow Americans use very little. I realize that I know very little. I am also aware that others are more capable and have a greater knowledge that I. If I am to educate I must be wiling to learn continuously myself because two years from now it will be irrelevant what little I now know.

Me, Myself, and I

Hello readers,

I am originally from Scotland (Glasgow) and moved to the United States when I was twenty years young. Most people looked at me like I was crazy when I told them that I was moving to Alabama because they are unfamiliar with the great state. First, the people are as friendly and laid back as anywhere I have ever been. The state is one of the least developed areas in the US and outdoor lovers can hike, climb, cycle, canoe, swim, fish, hunt, ski, inner tube, golf, and do many more activities every day of the year. Surrounded with wildlife, sea-life, and nightlife makes Alabama a great place to live. Where else can you walk on a cruise ship or an airplane today and for $300 travel across the country or to another one? Yet hardly use them because the state offers almost everything you want. Thank you for making me welcome in the state with the best beaches, cheapest seafood, and friendlies people.

My parent moved across the pond this year to reside in Rockcreek (making it a little easier to play golf) after traveling all over the world and love it. I love to play golf and live in Fairhope. I am begging to play as much as I can but have a beautiful two year old daughter and thirty five year old wife to consider. I shoot around the 80 mark on a regular bases and have had a best round of one over par. Never shot a hole in one but I plan on doing so every time I play. I am attending school to become a special education teacher at the high school level. My wife of twelve years is currently a high school forensics and zoology teacher. I worked with special needs people when I originally came to live in Alabama and now have the opportunity to gain a degree and do what I want. Life is good.