Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blog Post #2

21st century whose accessories depict certain qualities of a 21st century teacher. Example, books inside of his trench coat and they are labeled information management.
This week I had to review several videos that depict the changes in teaching for the 21st century. The first one I reviewed was Professor Dancealot. In this video students are taking a dance class from Professor Dancealot. Despite being a dance class, Professor Dancealot stands behind a desk and reads off a powerpoint. His examples of the dances are limited, and he has no student involvement. When it comes time for the final his students are lost and are relying on written notes to perform a dance. The point of this video was to show how this kind of teaching style effects students. The video shows students disinterested, bored, sleeping, not paying attention, confused, and all around displeased with how Professor Dancealot was teaching. They might of learned the definitions and steps, but they did not learn how to apply what they learned. This was proven when it came time for the final and all the students were confused and flipping through their notes. I do not agree with the teaching methods that Professor Dancealot implements, but I do agree with what the video is trying to say. Teaching is not just standing in front of some students and talking. Teaching includes involvement and applying what was learned so the students have a better understanding of the subject.

The second video I reviewed was Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts. In this video Roberts discussing what is like to be a teacher in the 21st century. He addresses the fact that students in the 21st century have access to any information at any time of the day. He theorizes that because teachers are no longer the main source of information, it is now a teacher's duty to become a filter for the information. As a teacher in the 21st century, he says teachers should be teaching students how to use the internet as an asset in learning instead of seeing it as a source for entertainment. He sees the ever growing need for technology as a way to engage students in the learning process. By showing them how to google properly, cite correctly, or connect to networks, he sees this as a new way of learning that, we as teachers, facilitate from the background. I understand what Roberts is saying, and yes this is most likely going to happen but, I am still not all gung-ho for completely throwing away the old way of teaching because students have more access to the internet. If Roberts is correct, I will no longer be teaching what I know. Instead I will be waiting for my students to discover this information on their own while I oversee what they learn and how they learn it.

The third video I reviewed was The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler. This video introduces the term 'connectivism.' This theory theorizes that learning occurs as a part of social networking of many diverse connections an ties. After watching this video, and a few others on the list, I had to stop and question why I was becoming a teacher. Because I am a product of the early 21st century education where technology was not the driving force and I had a burp-back education, I am overwhelmed by the changes in the classroom. To me being a teacher means teaching a student an idea or a fact and then expand on that after it has been taught. However, in this changing time, to be a teacher means to put that idea out there and let the student discover what it is on their own. It does bring students to a higher level of thinking and yes that is a good thing, but it's an idea I am not use to.

The fourth video I reviewed was Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts by Vicki Davis. She theorizes that problems within the classroom result from the limitations that are created by using just pen and paper. She sees technology as an opportunity for students to grow and learn more through group projects. I, again, was very overwhelmed with her teaching style. When she openly admitted to not having a slight clue on how to terraform, the first thing I wanted to scream was "How can you teach this then?" It is a weird idea to me for a teacher not to know or being a little informed in what he or she is assigning to her students. It is like telling a student to diffuse a bomb, but not giving them help or being knowledgeable enough to answer a question they might have. Technology is a great asset for learning, but I believe a student must have the basics before diving deeper into a subject. However, the peer teaching, and group learning is a great way to keep students engaged. That can lead to information being retained and remembered further down the road.

The fifth video I reviewed was Who's Ahead in the Learning Race by John Strange. This video depicts the learning gap in technology between elementary and college level students. Strange visits an elementary school that has kindergarteners using google docs and third graders creating rubrics. It shows just how advanced elementary schools have gotten, which does put them ahead in the technology race. However, I believe I am not far behind. I have used most of google's tools that are available to me and I am proficient in several video and photo editing softwares.

The last video I reviewed was Flipping the Classroom Flipping the classroom is not a new phrase to me, but the actual concept is. I have heard that term here and there but have not known what it actually entailed. For those who are like me, flipping the classroom is a new innovative way of learning in the classroom. Instead using class time to explain a concept, a student will get a prerecorded videos of teachers going over concepts. The outcome is suppose to prompt questions and involvement from the students and maximize classroom time for student activities and group engagement. I believe flipping the classroom is a great concept and I will use some aspects from it in my own classroom. However, I do not like the idea of just sticking a kid in front of a computer. I will still teach students in the classroom, but I will also find time to maximize group projects and peer teaching. Will flipping the classroom be useful to me? Yes and no. I will utilize the parts I find most beneficial to my classroom.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blog Post #1

A desktop computer with keyboard and mouse
The first time I heard about EDM 310 was in MA 201, Math for Elementary Education. Everyone who talked about it seemed stressed and confused. They had nothing but horrible things to say. I heard that you HAD to have a Mac or else. It was Mac or nothing. That myth was quickly busted after sending an email to Dr. Strange asking about this. My HP would do just fine in this class. The number one piece of advice I got from everyone in that class was to have someone proof read any blog post before it was posted. I also heard that Dr. Strange was a strange man and rude. If you asked for help, he would be rude and ask if you read the directions.

After the first day of class I understood why everyone was stressed and confused all the time. I walked out of there feeling overwhelmed and under prepared for what I had gotten myself into. Now that I have time to think about everything, I realize that I have nothing to fear. If I stay on top of things and manage my time well, I will be able to succeed in this class. This class is going to take me out of my comfort zone because it’s not a normal class. It is a place to further my knowledge, not just spit out what I’ve learned unlike classes in high school. EDM 310 challenges me in a way that my HY 101, Western Civilization, professor challenged me. It wasn’t a burp back education. He had us thinking about how events in the past have affected us now. It was a challenge because I ready to memorize thousands of dates and random French names.

The most difficult part of EDM 310 is going to be the amount of work that is given. I looked over the checklist and it appears to be an overwhelming amount of activities. I have poor time management skills which has always caused trouble in school and even outside of school activities. To remedy this problem, I am buying a planner. I have free days where I can work on blog post and other assignments which I need to take advantage of.

Although I do not have any questions about EDM 310 at the moment, I know I can turn to my fellow students, professor, or lab assistants for help. This class will be hard but I believe by the end of it, I will had learned a lot and grown as an educator.

Practice Post

Question/Topic: Who am I? Why do I want to be an educator? What does an educator do in his or her practice? What are my passions?

A. Introduction
1. Basics
-a. name, age, where i've lived
2. Family Life
-a. mom, dad, step mom, sister
3. University Life
-a. local, scholarship, commute
B. Teaching
1. My reasons for wanting to teach
-a. I have always loved helping people
-b. I've seen teachers who have made an impact on people's lives, and I want to be a part of that experience.
-c. high school example
-d. I want to be a part of the future in a big way.
2. Educator's work
-a. technology
-b. responsibility in the classroom
C. Fun facts and Passions
1. Fun facts
-a. AOII, Trail Maid, Knitting
2. Passions
-a. photography

Hi there! My name is Emily Rodrick.
my sister and I standing on a bridge with a river and trees in the background
I am eighteen years young and am currently enjoying cruising through life. My family consists of my stepmother, Debbie, my non biological father, Billy, and my adopted sister, Sara. I myself am also adopted from Hefei, China. I was adopted by Billy and Robyn, my dad’s first wife who passed away from ALS in 2005, when I was eleven months old. I don’t remember much about the adoption center seeing as how I was so young, but I am grateful for being adopted. During that time, China had a one child law to control the population. I could have been killed or abandoned due to that. My parents often remind me of how lucky I was to be left in front of the orphanage instead of in a dumpster in a back alleyway. I hold no grudge against my biological mother. She left me to be found, and I believe that means she truly loved me and wanted me to have a better future. My sister shares the same story as I do. However, she was found at a train station near the country. As sad as my story seems, I still live a great life.
Me in my lavander Azlaea Trail Maid dress
I had the privilege of being an Azalea Trail Maid my senior year of high school and because of that was able to walk in the Disney Easter Parade in Disneyworld, the Cherry Blossom parade in Washington D.C, and the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago.

In my spare time I really enjoy watching Netflix or being involved. I am a sister in the sorority Alpha Omicron Pi here at South Alabama. Being a part of sorority keeps me busy, especially now that recruitment week is going on. I have been in a relationship for about two years and some months with a wonderful man named AJ. He is also a student here at South Alabama. He is majoring in computer programming at the moment. When I’m not busy with my sorority, hanging out with friends, or catching up on homework, you can find me watching Netflix or browsing the internet. I’m a kid at heart so the Disney section is my favorite section on Netflix. With that being said, Disneyland and Disneyworld are my happy places. I love going there and I believe that you are never too old for Disney.

As far as picking where I wanted to go for university, it was a no brainer. I knew I wanted to stay close, even though I always said I wanted to go somewhere half way across the country. My top three choices were Auburn University, Southern Mississippi, and the University of South Alabama. All three schools have great education programs which made it hard to choose. In the end, money was the ultimate decider. My scholarship from the University of South Alabama was more beneficial than the ones from Southern Mississippi or Auburn. Being able to live at home and save money that way was also a plus. I am excited to see what the future has in hold for me as I continue my journey of learning here at South Alabama.

I wanted to become a teacher because I saw the impact they had on students’ lives. I have never had a bad teacher. My teachers have been nothing but spectacular even now in college. In high school, I always struggled with math. I don’t know why, but I could never make anything but a B in any math classes. When calculus came around, I knew I was in trouble. I had to kick into high gear and tried my hardest to understand every concept we learned. However, despite my efforts, I still felt like I was not good enough, or smart enough. When test came around, I forgot everything I knew. I’d stare at the problems and think to myself, “What am I looking at? Is this Latin?” I was in a constant state of distress over this class. Here’s where it gets better. Coach Agnew, my calculus teacher, was always supportive of me and his other students. He made sure that we felt comfortable with what we were learning and always offered extra help if needed. I remember one semester my dad came up to the school and Coach Agnew had nothing but good things to say about me. He told my dad that I worked hard and was always helping others. This was the real kicker because I was pretty good at working problems that weren’t on a test and could explain how to work a problem to other students who needed help. Because of Coach Agnew, I continued with calculus and ended up making a three on the AP Calculus AB Exam at the end of the year. Coach Agnew was such a memorable person in my life and I want to be that to someone else. I want to be able to push students to their limits because I know they can succeed. I want to be able to help mold the future and be a part of it. Teaching is more than just getting in front of a class and speaking. It’s getting to know your students and help them become better people. Every student that comes through the classroom is going to be affected by you, the teacher. I want to make a change in a student. I want to be somebody they can look up to. This is my goal, and what I think a teacher's responsibility is.

Teaching is a passion of mine, but it is not my only passion. My other passion is photography. I love being able to capture a moment in time and have it saved forever. My love for photography comes from seeing old photographs in history books. All pictures tell a story, and I want to tell my story through every picture I take.
Me standing in front of some mountains in Tennessee.

source for all photos: Emily Rodrick