Monday, July 20, 2009


It is my sincere wish to my fellow classmates that they continue to enjoy their remaining education classes as much as we have this one. The enthusiasm and participation which you have shared with me is greatly appreciated and will long be remembered. You have to understand it has been quite some time since I have been in a classroom and this experience has been quite unique and rewarding.

My thanks to everyone, including Dr. John and best wishes for your continued success in teaching. Remember someone has to keep the fire going and it is up to YOU.


A technologically literate teacher(TLT) should be able to know and understand what technologies do and their potential use in the classroom. Even though it may not be necessary to become proficient in everything there is still a need to know what is most beneficial to his/her teaching needs and become adept at using it. A strong commitment to keeping up with new websites for research on emerging technologies is critical. Websites that can be used in the classroom to study and collaborate with other schools both locally and around the world, is a valuable resource must be explored continually. At The Teacher's Desk is one that I have found to be most helpful.

A TLT must be able to do many of the things we have covered in this class from podcasting to twittering neither of which requires a degree in rocket science. Social networking options should be included like Facebook, MySpace and Linkedin. Collaborating, brainstorming and blogging with students require the ability to use Google docs and blogging techniques. The use of RSS feeds also very helpful. i Tunes University is another excellent resource to draw upon for audio and video podcasting. The list will continue to be endless as new technologies are discovered which is an even more important reason to continue our life long learning experiences.

Last but not least, the TLT 's attitude must be one of wanting to constantly be learning and demonstrating the ability to work with others. It is so true that we must lead by example. The TLT must also have the ability to teach the student how to ask questions by creating an atmosphere in which students want to learn and participate. In some respect this may actually be more important that the answers. Going one step further, the TLT should be comfortable saying "I don't know" but we can figure it out together. This can go a long way towards strengthening the relationship with the student, which is actually our ultimate goal.

Friday, July 17, 2009


In contemplating the plusses of blogging, the following comments came to mind:

Being able to see what is going on in schools locally and around the world.

Ability to raise important issues and receive informational comments and opinions.(CROSS CULTURAL)

Integrate student learning with the ability to cross all disciplines.

Students learn from reading other students work; how they work out problems and observe others projects.

Class does not have to end when the bell rings, the internet can be accessed any time, any place, any where.

Constant communication with students and their parents.

Students ability to participate and contirbute in a multi-media world.

Can be controlled, publically, privately and with limited permission.

Teaching you to think as you write, organize your thoughts and be concise with your words comes to mind.

Right off hand I cannot think of many minuses of blogging, except maybe the opportunity to get lost in exploring others point of view and losing track of time, lack of computer etiquette and security/cultural issues.


Dr. Strange's summer edm310 class has completely taken me by surprise. It is not at all what I had expected and has managed to take me out of my comfort zone into a new world of experiences and a new level of appreciation for today's classroom teacher. The realization of teaching as I new it and teaching today are in two different arenas.

As a product of 'burp back education' myself and out of education for quite some time, it has been difficult for me learning to study and keep up with assignments presented basically in their entirety on the computer. It has certainly been a challenge and one that I have found quite rewarding.

Many useful ideas and concepts have been presented that I feel will not only apply to my future teaching but actually in my everyday work environment. The presentation and use of different social networking skills is an example of one that I plan to explore in more depth and expand upon. Twitter still confuses me but I am convinced it can become very useful to me as I become more adept at following the conversations. Google definitely has opened many doors. The use of it for spreadsheets, presentations and blogging are limitless and inexpensive as well.

Following blogs 'at the teacher's desk' can provide many opportunities to explore other teachers, their students, their projects and cultural differences in education in general. Reading the comments following the blogs has actually become as interesting as the blog to me, as well as being helpful in finding new resources and what actually works and what doesn't. In addition, learning how to find new websites for resource information was very helpful; Alice Christi, Alex and ACCESS learning to mention only a few.

Podcasts both video and audio are becoming valuable tools for teachers and i tunes University offers a wealth of resources at your fingertips. Other topics/items I found useful include: wikis, social bookmarking, tiny urls, and you tube.

Several thoughts also caught my attention: "in order to teach it, you have to do it" and "don't put a price on what a customer can buy" which is probably even more relevant to me. In closing, it goes without saying that Randy Pausch's talk left a lasting impression on me as has Dr. John.


The podcasts done in Dr. Strange's summer EDM310 class were an example of a 'learning by doing' project. The following paragraphs are meant to be suggestions and observations on these podcasts.

Some constructive observations might include:

1. Introduce and address the speakers in the beginning.

2. Set specified length of time for the podcast which might eliminate the opportunity to ramble. (9 - 12 minutes max)

3. Camera movement to focus on different speakers at the appropriate time.

4. Specific questions or outline be provided to all participants before the podcast. Be articulate, courteous and concise with all comments.

5. Keep the conversations moving among the participants in order to hold the listeners attention.

6. Have a practice session prior to actual taping of the podcast. Voice and body language are very important and should appear relaxed, open and interesting.

7. Use media that fits the message.

This is strictly a personal opinion regarding the use of video podcasts in which the format would include projects being completed, students performing or some type of visuals being presented along with the discussion. Audio podcasts to me are more appropriate for discussion type presentations. The presentation with Angela Rand was most informative and well conducted.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


The comments in Mr. Lamshed's second blog, Finding the Passion, were taken directly from another of Sir Ken Robinson's podcasts in which he states that adults, today, have no idea of their true talents. Building on his theory, the difference is that children have natural talents beginning with some type of natural aptitude and progress, when nurtured, because they love it. This is the lesson we need to learn and the passion we need to harness to take advantage of in their creativity. If overlooked, the same type of mechanical education will continue.

He goes further stating that our lives are not linear and therefore education should not be either. We don't know what we will be teaching in 30 years or 10 years for that matter.

The idea of getting back to basics can only be accomplished through greater education which requires great teachers and greater diversity. I particularly enjoyed his quote "it's not standardizing, but its about raising the standards".


Jarrod Lamshed's "Finding the Passion" dated April 24, 2009, included a video podcast of Sir Ken Robinson, who commented on three desired levels of intelligence: diversity, dynamic attributes and distinct talents, and their importance in the levels of educational hierarchy. Also he strongly suggested that creativity is as important as literacy.

Sharing these thoughts, Mr. Lamshed feels we need to wake up the creativity in our students in order to find their passion, and that once found,it will lead to better learners. He personally stated that when he realized he was indeed, passionate about his teaching, he became a better teacher and a better learner. Re-evaluating current teaching styles and collaborating with other teachers may indeed help us find a way to reach kids and unlock their passion, all the while fueling ours.


Dr. Richard Miller, chair of the English Department at Rutgers University, provides an in-depth view of how the use of multi-media communications in the 21st centruy and its affect on the way our students will learn (or should learn) will result in vast changes to our colleges and universities in the not to distant future.
He first addresses the incremental changes taking place today focusing on how we have evolved from a 'print driven/solo authored' society to one that works on laptops, using word-processing capabilities, researching the worldwide web, collaborating and composing using not only text, but images, film and sound documents collected and shared globally. The availablity of information instantaneously has a profound effect on our ability to mold, form opinions and compose our thoughts as actual events are taking place.
Secondly, he feels that the fundamental change itself, lies within our ability to compose using the web itself. The accumulation of aggregate blogs from around the world allows creation emotional profiles from moment to moment. The challenge to us as teachers is to inspire, provide areas to allow for 'shared labors' among the humanities and the sciences and to understand that our ideas and dreams belong to no one and should be shared in the clouds.
His dream for the future is the creation of a Center for the New Humanities, where space will be provided for collaborations and multi-media compositions regardless of discipline or major. This dream I believe is shared by many forward thinkers who actually see this evolution as enevitable but its attainment our challenge.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


The Edible Schoolyard and A Night in the Global Villages represent just two video podcasts of children participating in a Project Based Learning series (PBL). The Integrated Studies and Social and Emotional Learning modules are only two categories offered in this program provided through the website. It was very interesting to see the interest and enthusiasm exhibited by these children when put in an learning environment in which they controlled the experiment and outcome based on their participation. It was obvious that some students excelled in one or more particular skills, but how they put it all together in a collaborative effort was the most astonishing aspect for me.

Also interesting were the comments on the website that PBL has actually been around since the 50's. Boy was this a kick in the teeth! But then I started thinking about my high school Science Fair projects and I guess they were right. This was actually the original platform for PBL. Why then has it taken so long to actually see the results of what it is capable of doing today?

Other interesting comments relating to the best use of PBL were at the high school level, where the students have completed their core curriculum requirements and can now focus on real life situational projects and its effect on their future, not only in our communitites but in society as a whole. This is where I think I could use this type of learning to really benefit my students. Thank you Dr. John for exposing me to this.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"GROWTH" VS "FIXED" MINDS produced a video podcast on a discussion of "Growth" vs "Fixed" Mindsets by Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford. This podcast stresses the need for improvement in public education in order to teach both types of children, less we fail to measure up to other, more industrialized nations. The result being: 1)failing our children and 2) widening the gap between those who will succeed and those who will fail.

The concept "fixed" mindset refers to children who feel they have a certain fixed amount of intelligence. They try to impress others so as to hide their inadequacies, thus trying to always 'walk the walk', without being discovered. The other "growth" concept is the polar opposite. These children feel that their intelligence will continue to grow, therefore, they need to absorb as much as they can, as fast as they can.

I'm not sure that I agree in entirety with this theory. Interesting as it is, I don't feel we should try to attach a label our kids. I'm sure we could find many more reasons for this gap if we tried a little harder. That said, education should work on being more individualized and tailored to reach each student. It's our job to meet the needs and provide the opportunities for all of them: to grow, to expand their minds and become productive citizens in this world. Maybe it's the teacher's mindset we need to work on. . .


These podcasts were produced for the Teachers Domain which provides a free library of digital resources from public television (WGBH)and other leading media producers, designed for the classroom and professional development.

First I watched two video podcasts for grades 9-12, one on the Greenland Glacier and the other on Sleep. These were both most interesting and very technical. Second, I decided to view one podcast on the coral reef for grades 9-12, and one on the same subject for grades K-5. To my surprise they were both very similar in interest level and content, with just a little more depth provided for the older students.

I can see how these would be very helpful in certain cirriculum, but I am still trying to figure out where I might apply them in business education. I have found several podcasts on our economic situation but am still searching for accounting and typing for instance. My guess is this is exactly what Dr. John wanted us to do!

iTunes University

Not only is the site amazing, but the doors it opens for education is mind blowing. The opening remarks "Today's students expect constant access to information in the classroom and beyond" is about as accurate as it gets. Teachers, now, are able to record and distribute lessons to students over cellular and wifi networks through iTunes University by way of the iTunes Store.

Access to the web for information, email, directions, lectures and even keeping up with their buddies is commonplace for students. This access is available anywhere at any time. Classroom presentations by way of students ipods or iphones can be downloaded instantly thus allowing them to study at their own pace.

iTunes University allows teachers to 1) manage and control a protected site, as well as, 2) contribute to an open site which can be used for recruitment purposes and/or public relations, to mention only a few. Many schools use both areas.

During my exploration of this site, I discovered countless museums, PBS locations, cultural/art resources and Universities which enable students to follow specific topics, listen to and even download these classroom presentations. Thousands of tracks are available with new ones being added constantly. Therefore, I conclude "there is no limit to what or where you can learn.