Monday, November 24, 2014

Blog Post 5 Part 2

My PLN has definitely grown over the semester. On my first post, Symbaloo was my only PLN, that has changed drastically. Now I have Symbaloo as well as other people in the Mobile County school system. Laurin Tew, is one of the women that give me advice and help in the education world. Mackenzie Easley is also in the school system that has recommendations and advice to go towards my career. Not only do I have people locally to add to my PLN, I also have the educators that I have connected with over C4T's. This exercise is a very good way to help connect. I also have people that I follow on Twitter and Pinterest that give me ideas and new tools to use in the classroom. I am very thankful; for this class and for the opportunities I have had to meet new people and broaden my learning system.

C4T #4

Beth Knittle
Beth's Blog

The first post I read from Beth was about education. This was my favorite post because it is true and it relates directly to an experience I am going through right now. College doesn’t take 4 years like advertised. Another thing she explains is that getting money to go to college isn’t easy. I love this post. It is a must read.
My Comment: Hi. My name is Alex and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I find this a very interesting post. When I was a senior in high school, multiple adults drilled into my head that I HAVE to go to college and it will ONLY take four years to get a good job that pays well. I am now noticing that the further I get in school, some of my peers that didn’t go to college are ending up making more money than me. My major is Special Education and I won’t be making much money at all. I will have student loans for probably the rest of my life because of the tuition going up to build a bigger and better football stadium. I am all for school spirit, but why not help the students out? We must make sure future students know that it is very hard and almost impossible to graduate college in four years. Unless the student takes 18 hours per semester, and takes summer classes, he or she won’t be able to graduate within four years. Colleges have drifted away from helping the students succeed, to helping the school grow. Most colleges don’t care about what is best for the student in the long run, they care more about what is better for the school. In my opinion, it shouldn’t take a teacher 5 years to graduate college. (Especially considering the pay that teachers receive) I hope that generations after me receive more help from the college of their choice than mine did.

The second post that I commented on was a post about connecting. Beth speaks of a story from her past and working with a team. She explains that coming together and connecting in the education world are important.
My Comment: Hi Beth! I agree! When teaming up with each other, we seem to get a bigger and better outlook for education. In my EDM 310 class, we are learning the importance of connecting with different educators around the world. This will better our systems and ideas for the classroom. Best of wishes and Happy Thanksgiving!

College Tuition

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post #14

Teaching Can be a Profession by Joel Klein

1. Giving more school choices to families, using technology, adopting a knowledge-based curriculum, starting education before age 5. (Intro problems)
2. Professionalize teaching.
3. Seniority problems.

1. When asked, “If you could wave a wand and change one thing, what would it be?” Joel Klein answered, “This isn’t an easy question. Lots of things need changing. For example, giving far more school choices to families, using technology to improve teaching and learning, adopting a knowledge-based curriculum and starting education before a child is 5 years old.” These are things that need to be changed but aren’t his main focus nor are they the most important things that need to be changed. School choices are an important thing when starting school. Obviously parents want to put their children in the school with the best reputation and best ratings. Second, technology is an important tool when teaching and learning. As learned from taking EDM 310, technology opens more doors than imaginable. Students can reach out to others from around the world and look up anything they are curious about or need an answer to. Next, adopting a knowledge-based curriculum is very important. With a knowledge-based curriculum students will learn more and gain more experiences through their school years. Starting children in the education system before age 5 is already happening around the world. There are certain day care facilities that offer children with lessons during day care, which is very helpful. This is up to the parents to put them there, but is encouraged. All of these things are issues in the education system today.

2. Professionalize teaching is the main thing that he would change. This would make educators respected just as lawyers or doctors. One example he gave was to pick from the best. He thinks that teachers would be better for educating if the top third of the graduates were chosen to be teachers. He doesn’t agree with just letting people that graduate with a teaching degree to be teachers. He believes only the most striving and intelligent, need to be in the field. I disagree with this. I believe that students that want to be teachers and think they are good for the job deserve the job. Teaching isn’t just about knowledge. A teacher also has to be humble and outgoing to interact with the students. He also states that teacher’s rewards need to be changed.

3. Seniority in the education system is a major problem. I agree that this system needs to be changed. Just because someone has been in the school system for a long time, doesn’t mean they are supposed to be. I believe the more equipped teacher should receive the job position, not the one that has been there the longest. I don’t think the education “police” system would be a good idea that Shanker talks about. That would just give people jobs based on opinions and tests. I don’t believe in the tests he explains either. Tests aren’t good ideas. I think instead of tests, we should have in class evaluations to see how the teacher relays the lesson and treats/teaches the students.

Conclusion: I think some of the ideas that were proposed were good ideas and some of them were bad. I believe that the education system needs to be worked on. I believe that teachers are overlooked as a serious profession because of the pay. Many intelligent people don’t consider being teachers because the pay is so low. The only people that want to be teachers are people that love teaching. The seniority rule is something that absolutely needs to be changed. When competing for a position, the most qualified individual should receive the job.
Tenured Teachers

Thursday, November 20, 2014

C4K November

Amber, 5th Grade, South Africa Amber's Blog
1. Frogs are first tadpoles.
Then they grow legs
They eat flys
They have long red tongs 5.
They stay in and out of water. As well as a picture of the frog lifecycle.
-My response: Hey Amber! My name is Alex and I am a student in college at The University of South Alabama, in Mobile, Alabama. What a great post. I like to fish with frogs sometimes. I like your picture you included in your post. This helps the reader understand the frog lifecycle. Have a great day!
Frog Life Cycle

Dillon, 8th Grade, Iowa Dylan's Blog
Dillon posted about his alter ego. I assume they added this post on to a previous lesson done in class. He had pictures changing like a slide show, it was pretty cool.
-My response: Hey Dillon. My name is Alex and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. What a cool post! I really like your pictures and the way they change in and out on the main screen. I don't even know how to do that! Keep up the good work!

Ethyn, 7th Grade, Kingsland MN Ethyn's Blog
Ethyn wrote a post about how well her second semester was going.
-My response: Hey Ethyn! I am a student at the University of South Alabama. A great strategy for school is to stay on task. I always turn my assignments in on time and I am well prepared for class. Keep up the good work and you will go far in life. Best wishes, Alex

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Project 12 Part B

Blog Post #13

List 5 Assistive Technologies that can be used in the Special Education classroom. Explain how a child can use them during class. Include source or sources that were used.

1. Speech recognition software: this technology converts talking into typing, making it easy for children struggling with movement or visual conditions that find it tough to use a keyboard. Ex. This can be used for a child that is blind for writing an assignment on the computer. The child can say what he or she wants written.
2. Talking calculators: this gadget relates mathematics via audio. This can help with visually impaired and learning disabled students. Ex. During math class a student that has a learning disability or is visually impaired, can use this tool to check previous math problems or use it to work math problems.
3. Switches: switches are usually attached to the hand. They allow students access to computer controls instead of using the mouse or a keyboard. They come in different structures to provide the best fit for each individual. Ex. A student with cognitive impairments can use this device to work a computer during an assignment.
4. Audiobooks: books that read the story aloud. This is not a new form of assistive technology but it will always be used. Ex. For students that have trouble reading, he or she can read along with the audiobook that reads aloud.
5. Ipads: small touchscreen computer. I always knew that Ipads were a popular tool in the special education world but after reading this post I knew they will become a must in my classroom. “I had a students with Cerebral Palsy who only has proficient access to one finger. The Ipad comes along and in 35 minutes after opening it from the box, he wrote his name for the first time.” This is so touching and uplifting. Ex. Ipads can be used for anything. As we read a second ago it can be used for writing, or learning games in apps during any subject.

Sources:1-4 5