Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blog Assignment #5 Part 2


When I first started this class I thought I was in over my head. I was so confused at the assignments and often didn't even know what I was supposed to be doing. Through the semester I learned many things about technology and its use in the classroom. The most important lesson I have learned from this class would be how I can use technology in my classroom as a personal learning network to communicate, collaborate, and learn from other educators.

One of the technology tools that I was introduced to in this class was Twitter. I had heard about twitter and almost all of my friends had twitter accounts. I didn't really know what it was or how it was used so I never bothered to make an account. When I made my account for this class, I still didn't utilize it like I should. The more I signed on learned the ways teachers could use it the more interested I was and the more I used it. I am also enrolled in EDU 301, Ms. Vitulli's class this semester. She also encourages the use of Twitter and uses it almost daily. When I started following her on Twitter is when I started to see all of the resources that can be used in one place.  This a tool you can use for personal posts, sharing your work in the classroom, communicating with other teachers, and getting ideas. I still don't post very much but I do get on there and look around. This is a resource I will definitely use more when I become a teacher.

Another resource that I have included in my PLN is a website called Teachers Pay Teachers. This website is made and operated by teachers all over the world. You can use this website minimally if you are not a member but you can also sign up to be a member for free or pay $59.95 annually for more resources. There are thousands of worksheets that you can purchase or print for free. You can narrow down your search for your particular grade and subject. There are also lesson plans, activities, features teachers, and meet the teachers. The meet the teachers allows you to follow and communicate with the teachers that have participated in contributing to the website. This is also a resource I will use more once I begin my student teaching and teaching. 

I still use my Symbaloo where I keep all of my PLN networks. This helps me to remember them and to organize them. I also use Facebook as a personal learning network. With so many communication resources out there for us, it would be foolish not to use these tools. I feel like my PLN will constantly grow the more I research and teach. This class really opened up my eyes to what resources we have and how they can be used. 

Callie Barton

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Assignment #14

Blog Assignment #14

Teaching Can Be A Profession By: Joel Klein


1. Recruiting teachers - pick from the best
2. Seniority vs Quality
3. Teacher standards

1. I am unaware of the demand for teachers but if they have the cushion to be able to be "picky" then I definitely agree with this problem/solution. I do feel however that most of the top recruiting should be regulated after the teacher has been teaching in the classroom. I say this because I feel you could have the best grades in your class and still not be an effective teacher. Having good grades and knowing the material is important also but it's what you do in the classroom and how you deliver the material that makes all the difference. I have only been in the elementary education program at the University of South Alabama for a semester now but I do feel like I am getting quality training. If they only chose from the top third of graduates then what would happen to the rest of the students that put hard work, time, and money into an education. Just like I stated above, just because you graduate in the top of your class does not mean you will be a good teacher.

2. I definitely agree with problem/solution number two. Just because someone has been at a job the longest does not mean they are better at the job than 1st year teachers. I do believe that veteran educators should be rewarded for their service, time, and loyalty to the job but I believe more that teachers who deserve it should get rewarded. I have witnessed two types of teachers in my grade school and college days. There are the teachers that hate their job and puts little or no effort into their teaching and then there are the effective teachers that are passionate about their students and their job. It is unjustifiable that these two types of teachers are rewarded and get paid the same amount. I also feel that it is groundless that when there are layoffs, in most cases, they have to terminate the most recently hired. Wouldn't teachers try more if they were "graded" on quality? Incentive is also another issue. Everyone works to make a living and the more, the better. If you could make more by doing a better job then wouldn't you try harder? Why would these teachers try harder if they weren't going to get rewarded for it and make the same as teachers who put in more time and effort? Unfortunately that's just the way most people think.

3. I do believe it is a good idea for teachers to establish their own board to police the profession. Who knows better than fellow teachers on who is incompetent and who is effective? I know in every job I have ever had I could tell you who was a hard worker and who did the bare minimum to get a paycheck. I could observe this because I worked side by side of these people almost everyday. The "boss" never had time to actually observe to see who was doing their job and who wasn't. By establishing a teacher board, coworkers could express their concerns and frustrations about their fellow educators. As long as there are established standards and rules I feel like this would be a good idea for all schools.

In conclusion, I agree with what this article represents. Teachers are underestimated and unappreciated. There definitely needs to be some big changes in the world of educators. Teachers are here, first and foremost, for the students and to provide them with the best education possible. Some regulations and adjustments need to be made in order for this to happen. The students who get the teachers who do the bare minimum are not getting a fair opportunity at their education. It is up to us and our future to actually make a difference.

Callie Barton

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blog Assignment #13


Blog Assignment #13 - Technology in the Classroom

What technology is being used in your local classroom?

Go to a local school in your area and choose the grade you plan to teach (elementary, middle, or high school). You will first have to get permission from the school district, principal, and/or teacher so plan ahead.

Talk with the teacher about what technology they use in the school and in their own classroom. Do they try to incorporate technology in their classroom or would they if they had the technology? What technology is provided for them and the students?

Write the school you went to and the teacher's name that you interviewed. Write everything that you observed in the classroom, classroom set up, teachers and students' technology use, and the teachers thoughts on the questions above.

Blog Assigment #13

Technology in the Local Classroom

College Park Elementary - Gautier, MS

Mrs. Jones - 2nd grade

I went to Mrs. Jones' 2nd grade classroom at College Park Elementary in Gautier, MS. She was more than happy to talk with me about technology and let look around her classroom. Mrs. Jones has 20 students in her classroom and an assistant teacher, Mrs. Fischer. From what I observed in the classroom there are 7 desktop computers and the teacher has an iPad that interacts with a big screen TV that is mounted in the front of the classroom. 

Mrs. Jones said the students only use the computers once a day and that is when they do centers for 15 minutes a day. Centers is when the class breaks up into 4 groups of 5 and they go into different learning centers for 15 minutes and then they rotate. When I asked Mrs. Jones if she would like to incorporate more technology in her teaching she said unfortunately there really isn't the time for more individual technology use. She does use her iPad as a tool to interact with the students on different lessons. One of the ways she uses the iPad to TV interaction is a game kind of like hang man. The screen will display a certain amount of blank spaces which represents one of their spelling words. One student is picked to guess a letter and the teacher puts that letter into the iPad and it shows up on the screen. If the letter is in that vocabulary word then it shows up where it is supposed to but if its not they get a buzzer sound. Although there isn't any student/technology interaction the students seem to really look forward to this vocabulary lesson. This lesson just shows that the teacher can use technology as a tool for any lesson.

I was curious as to why she said there wasn't really enough time to incorporate more individual technology use so I asked her. Her response was that the day is pretty much scheduled to the minute and that there just isn't enough computers to take turns on one assignment. She said if they each had their own computer/laptop/iPad that it would be much more easy to incorporate more technology. She also said they go to the library twice a week where they each have their own individual computers and this is where they are taught how to use and operate the computers. 

In conclusion I found that maybe my local school isn't where they need to be, as far as technology is concerned, but they are making progress. The students may not get a lot of technology use in the classroom but at least there is somewhere where they are being taught and getting more familiar with it. It is also nice to see that the school is providing a technology source for the teacher to use as a teaching tool. I definitely feel like this is progress and as long as schools are adapting to the growing world of technology, even if it is slowly, then it will continue to grow and it is not just something that is being ignored. 

Callie Barton

Friday, November 14, 2014

C4T #4 Summary Post #1 & #2

C4T #4 Post #1

This week we get to choose our own C4T teacher's blog to comment on from the list. I chose Arvind S Grover's 21apples blog.

Arvind S Grover - 21apples

This app, without overstating it, is a game changer to me. It is a game changer because students will inevitably use it. The challenge for teachers becomes that knowing that, how will we assign work accordingly?
The best assignment I could imagine would be for students to design their own app with the same functionality, the ability to solve problems. What would a computer need to be told to do to be an effective problem solver?
I am not sure why, but I am really stunned by the capabilities of this seemingly simple app.
My comment:
Mr. Grover,
My name is Callie Barton and I am also an elementary education student at the University of South Alabama. I found this short video to hold a lot of information. I guess the first thing I would say about this app is where was this when I was in school? This Photomath app is just the beginning of what our future holds as students and teachers. I cannot believe how simple the app is to operate and that it gives a step by step explanation. This app could be helpful and harmful, depending on the student. If the students use this app as a guide when they become stuck on a problem and use it to help them figure out the problem then it could be helpful. On the other hand if they just go through their homework copying the answers then it could be harmful. The teachers could assess this by giving in class tests and not allowing cell phone usage. They could also maybe have the students explain the steps to the problem in words. Like I said before, this is just the beginning of the many issues that we will have to adapt our teaching to.
Callie Barton

C4T #4 Post #2

This week we get to choose our own C4T teacher's blog to comment on from the list. I chose Brendan Jones - Jonseytheteacher: Having a Crack at PE in the 21st Century.

Brendan Jones - Jonseytheteacher: Having a Crack at PE in the 21st Century


Evolution - The Ride
creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by kevin dooley:
I was reflecting the other day on why I hadn’t written a post for so long. Partly, I realised, because I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and construct something. I also acknowledged something that had been a nagging thought in the back of my mind for some time about what I do on this site was and why I do it.
When I first started off, I was just sharing things I had tried in class. And that’s fine – I think that there has to be a space for practitioners to showcase their ideas, their success,their failures and the journeys they take. It was often based on a need to share the excitement of something that worked in my class, or to maybe share an idea that may give someone else a boost in their classroom. Or showing that something was possible and worth persevering with.
That sustained me up to my last post, but the nagging thought broke through recently when I was reflecting on my year. My work as a teacher and leader has evolved to beyond just the sphere of PE teaching – my job has many more facets to it now, and while I love my job as a PE teacher, I’m becoming more a thread woven through the whole school.
My thinking has change a lot. Seeing PEPRN and PEPLC has given me a much greater appreciation of the need for research to underpin my work – I’ve been guilty of sprouting platitudes that only carry aspirational weight, with little else to justify why they should be used than the “it works in my classroom” refrain. If I am to remain critical of others that do that, then I need to change my position to remain  honourable to the partners I have in learning, and to myself.
To be honest, I don’t think I do anything in PE that’s cutting edge – I see myself as adapting and deriving the knowledge and ideas that are already out there to fit my particular locals needs. Many other people like Ash CaseyAndy Vasily and Jarrod Robinson (to name a few) are the real innovators in the PE world and I love to lurk and read their latest exploits with a sense of admiration and a tinge of envy.
I have to also admit that the world of #pegeeks has changed a lot since I first started and this worries me. I see the many genuine contributors to the community being leeched and drowned out by personal brand builders that dilute the richness of what used to be there and this has made me want to withdraw more and more from it. It seems it’s become a one dimensional parody of what it used to be. Maybe I’m getting old and cranky, maybe I’m reading it wrong, but I know that I’m feeling the urge to change and expand my horizons.
So I can feel an evolution coming on
I’ve change the tag line at the top of my blog page to better represent what I think and do now. PE, my first blog love, won’t be my sole focus now – the way we as educators and learners do our job has a definite impact on shaping tomorrow. This doesn’t just happen in my PE classes – it happens in many contexts that I have some influence over. So that’s where I’ll be.
My Comment:
Good afternoon! My name is Callie Barton and I am an elementary education student at the University of South Alabama. I am enrolled in a technology based course this semester and we were required to choose from a list of blogs to comment on. I chose your blog because I feel like every teacher should have this revelation. I hope that when I graduate and become a teacher that I keep this post in mind. I want to be an innovator and not just a teacher who "rides the coat tails" of the innovators. Evolving and adapting is key to being a successful educator. Good luck in your journey and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
Callie Barton

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Project #12 Smartboard Instruction Part B

Project #12 - Part B: Delivering A Lesson via the SMARTboard

W6 - Group 5

My other group member, Jennifer Flowers, and I found a cute little lesson plan on the Alabama Learning Exchange for kindergartners teaching them about their five senses. We got some ideas from the lesson plan but didn't use it as it was written. We also found a lesson from the SmartBoard Exchange which is where we got our outline for our presentation. We bounced ideas off of each other and came up with a simple lesson plan that we think kindergartners would learn from and also have fun with.

Callie Barton

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Project #10 Interview Movie

Project #10 - Interview Movie

I interviewed Kennon Barton who teaches English Comp 1 at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gautier, Mississippi.

Our topic was technology in the community college classroom.