Monday, December 1, 2014

C4K November

C4K #1:
Aaron chose to write about the ice bucket challenge that recently went viral. He expresses his anger because people are doing the challenge without donating money.

My Comment:
Hi Aaron. I'm Alex from the University of South Alabama and I'm in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. The place where people are suppose to donate is It is feels good to know that kids your age are passionate about this cause. I agree with you that it's pointless to do the IBC without donating. The donations help fund treatments and cures for the disease, and that's with all diseases and their campaigns. Thank you for showing support. I hope you have a good semester.

C4K #2:
Christian W. and his class were told to write a paragraph using signal words (first, second etc.) to explain how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

My Comment:
Hey Christian. I'm Alex from the University of South Alabama in EDM 310. Your post was good, it's clear you are telling the steps to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You have a couple spelling errors, so be sure to check your spelling. You used your signal words very well. Just be sure to slow down while typing to avoid those mess ups. Good job!

C4K #3:
Jess' class was given words they were to use to tell about their quarter of school. Jess used the words forte, ecstatic, slothful, enthralled, and repulsive. Jess did a good job on the post; grammar errors were at a bare minimum and the "challenge words" were used correctly.

My Comment:
Hi Jess! I'm Alex Odell and I'm in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I agree the school year does go by fast, especially the older you get. The words you used were used correctly. You are very humorous also. I enjoyed reading your post. There are only a few grammatical errors in your post. Good job! I can't wait to read more.

Christmas break why you no here yet?!

Blog Post #5 Part B

I did not even know what a PLN was, much less how to start one. After taking this EDM class, I am VERY happy to say that I not only know where and how to set up my PLN, I know who and what to put on it. My PLN on Symbaloo has increased significantly. I not only have the C4T teachers, I have included the teachers I have met during observations. I also have many different websites like ALEX, Pinterest, Edutopia, and other helpful websites. I am very happy to have learn of PLNs, and I will be using them throughout my career to keep learning and to get new ideas.

Some websites given to organize your own PLN:

Here is some information about PLN:

PLN web from

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Project 12B

Our lesson delivered on the Smartboard:

Blog post #13

In this blog our directions were to create a blog pertaining to our area of study: elementary ed, secondary ed, special ed, history, science, etc. that we think our teacher should include for the next class. 

How will you explain to students why they have to learn?

Students often wonder why they have to learn: "Why do I have to learn about something that's already happened?" "When am I ever going to use the quadratic formula outside of school?" "Why do I need to know the bond between Sodium and Chlorine?" or "Why do I need to know the parameter Shakespeare used?" After looking at all the materials provided below, answer and explain the driving question. 

1. Why We Learn Science? by Untamed Science
Andy Griffith's Edition of the American Revolution just for fun and entertainment but with a good message. 


Students often wonder why they have to learn things that they believe they will not use during their everyday lives. This is a question that should be answered and reinforced throughout their school career. Students don't usually know what they want to be going through school, so giving students a survey of lessons will help through out their lives. 

Students explain how things work. Science is constantly changing. You are able to problem solve, collect data, change your views on things, and drawing conclusions. Science allows us to view the world differently, allows us to understand the world better, and also solve the problems of the world. 

Math is one of those subjects that student often wonder why they are learning formulas and theorems. In general, math is useful in all areas of life. Students will need the math to learn creating and designing and precise measurements for jobs in architecture and engineering. They will interpret data on Wall Street and in the medical field. Basic math skills are used for budgeting and financing. Students will learn percents which will be very useful (especially for girls) while shopping and leaving tips at restaurants. While some students will already have credit cards, they will later need home loans and the dreaded student loans. Students don't realize that math is all around them from the desk they sit in to the rotation of Earth around the sun. 

Reading will help you find "your own truth within something else." Not only can we learn about another time we can project ourselves into the lives of the past. Students can learn the art of speaking. This will help in those that will be speaking publicly or writing for public view. Also remember without English, we would be grunting and pointing like cave men. 

History is the basis of all things. Without our future generations learning what has happened in the past, history will repeat itself. At least with the knowledge of what has happened in the world, our future presidents and law-makers will be more equipped to change their approach to problems. Students need to know history because history tends to repeat itself: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989, the BP Oil Spill in 2010, the Stock Market Crash of 1929,  then the Crash of 2008. History and Literature are very similar in the way they both allow us to appreciate multiple views and helps sharpen our critical thinking skills. History helps us apply events from the past to the current issues and helps us to analyze and solve problems. 

So how will I explain to my students why they have to learn what they are learning? I would like to begin my semester by getting to know my students; possibly with an open discussion or a survey (that includes what they want to be). Or I can open the class with this very question, to get the students take on things. By including the students opinions, you can get a sense of how most students feel about learning. By knowing what the students want to be, I will be able to apply the lesson to their professions. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

C4T for November

Mrs. Ripp's post was a Google Presentation on blogging. Her presentation consisted of her students, rules, and reasons her students enjoy blogging. Here is her blog, it is very interesting and helpful.

My comment:
"Hi I'm Alex Odell and I'm a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed your presentation. There are so many aspects to blogging that not everyone knows. I like the fact that you included your students in this presentation, I bet they enjoyed it. I also like the rules for the Internet you posted in your classroom. I feel that even if a class doesn't utilize the technology like you are, students should be taught these guidelines because they will eventually have to use the Internet for research. I have enjoyed looking at your students' blog; they seem really excited to be blogging. It's great to see such enthusiasm about blogging. Your students are excited about getting to express their opinion, and I am happy to see you are excited and encouraging it. Have a good semester!"

Mrs. Ripp's post was about her actually doing the work a couple of days ahead of the students. She tells us that she didn't understand why everyone was groaning about the work she had handed them until she sat down and did it herself. She realized her mistake and found a new way for the students to learn.

My Comment:
Hi Mrs. Ripp. I'm Alex from the University of South Alabama. I'm in EDM 310 and I will be summarizing your post in my blog. I think teachers should do the work they hand out. If they do not find it fun and educational then chances are the students may not. I will be doing my part in "practicing what I preach" by doing the work before them. I have really enjoyed your blog! Very enlightening and useful for my teaching career.

Eric Langhorst shares a new app called "Living History." This brings history to you on your smart phone at the Kansas City Union Station. It shows you the events that happened at the station and the likely steps taken by the people in those events. Being from Mobile, a very history rich city, I believe this could benefit our town with tourism and a better appreciation for our city.

My Comment:
Hi Eric! I'm Alex Odell and I'm in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. I hope this app spreads to Mobile. We have a rich history and I personally would love to know whose foot steps I'm walking in. It's amazing what technology is being used for, so I am happy something educational is being created for adults and people that just enjoy history. I have a History bucket list and this is now added to it. Thank you for sharing!

Ken Halla's latest post was about Quizlet. He advocates student use of it to learn vocabulary words. He does, however, he does emphasize the students need to know more than vocabulary. As a Quizlet user, I didn't know about the different learning games available.

My Comment:
Hi Ken, I'm Alex Odell and I am in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I am a believer in Quizlet. I use Quizlet to study now, but I use the vocab to study the who, what, when, where, why, and the significance. If you use the cards right and you know what the teacher wants then you will be studying to your best ability.

Like wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would. -E.V.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blog post 12

For this post our group shows just a few of the Assistive Technologies that can be useful to both students and teachers. All students need to spend time in the general education setting and these technologies help improve their time spent. They allow communication between the disabled student, the teacher(s), and his or her classmates.

Friday, October 31, 2014

blog post #11

Brian Crosby's TEDx Talk, is a perfect example of why project based learning is effective for all students. He teaches mainly ELLs, or English Language Learners. He begins with a survey he gave his class. The questions on this survery: What city do you live in? What state do you live in? What country do you live in? What's your address? What's your home phone number? Most of his students didn't know the answer to any of these questions. They project he talks about is the strato-ballon. They blogged about it, participated in hands-on projects. They were actively engaged and they were enjoying learning. All teacher's must know how to keep their students interested in the subject being taught.

Paul Anderson's Blended Learning Cycle, shows us that students need that driving question, they need to be able to investigate, watch a video on the lesson, a deeper understanding, a review of the material, and a summary quiz. His blended learning cycle can be used for all subjects with a bit of tweeking (I found it hard to put his learning cycle into action for English and literature). I believe his method will help stop burp-back education and the students can be engaged with projects.

Mark Church has his students write down a "headline" that represents what they believe is the reason for the search for human origin. By having the students voice their opinion and work together, each student hears different takes on the subject. This group project is also having the students be engaged, listening, learning, and being opened/respectful to other view points. These skills being unknowingly learned will be helpful throughout their lives.

Sam Pane emphasizes when students' lesson is directly related to them they learn more and want to learn more. Use things the students enjoy to get them hooked. For instance, Sam uses the quote "with great power, comes great responsiblity." His students recognized this quote from the movie Spiderman. His class made their own superhero and made a comic to show a way the superhero helps the student be safe on the internet. His students were engaged and having fun.

Dean Shareski's video shows some of the problems that were encountered in the traditional setting for project based learning. The teachers were unable to effectively teach the students in the amount of time given. After they went to the administration and the time was fixed, they were able to have the students produce work the students were proud of. They received feedback from multiple teachers to perfect their work. The students were able to learn more and they were proud of the work they produced.

Roosevelt Elementary's PBL program allows the students to learn by projects and they begin public speaking at a young age. The parents of these students have nothing but praises for this PBL program. The teachers stress that PBL helps all students because they learn in different ways. PBL allows the students to form questions about the world. The program brings integration, in depth learning, research, and real-world problems into the classroom.

In summary, all the videos have the same underlying theme: PBL is the best way to go! While using traditional methods (lecture, powerpoint, etc.) will work for some students, PBL will work for all students. It allows students to explore, learn, and have fun. PBL allows students to produce their best work instead of rushed work. The videos above give the roadblocks they've encountered with PBL and the solutions to those problems.

Explorationis in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.-Carl Sagan

Project #14

For our (HeatherJustinAndrea, and I) project 14 we created a lesson plan for students acknowledge the technologies they use everyday and take for granted. The lesson plan is for 11th grade history students. The students will work in groups and come up with their top 5 technologies. After which they will make and present a Google Presentation of the 5 things.

Happy Halloween

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blog Post #10

In Ms. Cassidy's videos, she emphasizes the children's excitement to be using technology inside the classroom. She states they get excited because they don't have to power down when they come to school. When the students do their assignments, they are excited because it's not just Ms. Cassidy that is reading them it's the world. In her interviews, she emphasizes the use of social media, and gives an example for the student majoring in physical education: "If the gym is cancelled you can blog it...or text them."  I would use a blog and a google site for my classroom. My students would blog about current events or the like. Students respond and stay engaged when technology is used when learning. I would use a google site to post homework, projects, instructions, and more. The problem for me would be if the student is allowed/has access to the internet outside of school. If this were to occur, I would allow the students to complete the assignment in class.

Look out honey 'cause I'm using technology poster

C4K #3 for October

My student only had one sentence:"I think your the best teacher ever and I’m existed for band!(: " Evan was super excited about band.

My comment:
"Hi Evan, I’m Alexfrom University of South Alabama. It’s exciting to see kids excited about school. I hope you enjoy your school year!"

Footnote: I placed my blog link into my name, but I forgot to space after.

Mrs. Morgan's 2nd grade class was assigned to write thank you letters to students who had drawn them pictures. Chloe received a picture of a rabbit and a flower colored by Mikaila and Christopher. She had a few misspellings and some puncuation errors, but her letter could be read for the understanding. It was well written for her age.

My comment:
"Hi Chloe. I'm Alex from the University of South Alabama and I'm in EDM 310. I enjoyed your thank you letter to Mikaila and Christopher. You were very nice, and gave reasons why you liked the paintings so much. Make sure you go back over your work when you finish to proofread. I wish I had nice thank you letters like yours. Good job and enjoy your school year Chloe."

I chose to comment on my kid's previous blog post. Kenny is in the 7th grade and he brought up a subject that my group discussed in our video book conversation. He states he would rather choose what to read instead of being assigned. This is something that I believe in with everything and I will have my students learn through project based learning and have them choose their subject matter themselves when applicable.

My comment:
"Hey Kenny. I'm Alex from the University of South Alabama. I'm in EDM 310 and I plan on teaching middle or high school History. I agree with you on choosing your own books. However, I think that you should get out of your comfort zone sometimes. You never know if you may like another genre. I plan on trying to eliminate assigned things in my class. I want to assign a subject and let my students chose what they want to write about. Your blog is great by the way. Double check your grammar and keep up the great work Kenny! I can't wait to see more of your work. Have a great school year. Oh and my facorite book is "I Have Lived a Thousand Years." It's about a family in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany."

Zachary's Post: "At School I like play jacob"

Hi Zachary, I'm Alex from the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 Class. Be sure not to forget your "filler words" like 'to' and 'with.' It should read: "At school I like to play with Jacob." Good job using the computer.

Our literacy class is learning how to read maps and a saying for NESW N stands for North,E stands for East,S stands for South and W stands for West. The saying for this is Never Eat Soggy Weet-bix.

Hi Toma, I'm Alex Odell from Dr. Strange's EDM310 Class at the University of South Alabama. Learning your directions will be very useful for the rest of your life. Everything will be easier when you travel outside of your town. It can be very helpful when someone else asks you for directions. I learned my directions as "Never Eat Soggy Waffles" or when you look at the compass the West and East say "we." I hope you are enjoying learning your directions. It will be so helpful in life.

Project #12

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog #9

In Seven Essentials of PBL, it is said that the teacher handed out a packet announcing a new project for her students. This teacher's move immediately turns the students against the project. Teachers should engage students by asking driving and open-ended questions. Student's need to apply it to their everyday life; like the project in the above. They live in California near the beach so they did a project on contaminated waters. This directly affects the students.
The seven essentials they give are as follows:
 1. A Need to Know- The students need to feel connected to the project. By getting personal experiences, this engages the students.
2. A Driving Question- The students need to feel challenged and have a purpose to complete a well done project. When the student is given a question to answer it makes for a better and easier project.
3. Student voice and choice- This is the most important essential. If the students chose their topic for the project they may be more apt to participate in the project.
4. 21st Century skills- The students should be practicing skills that will be used in the workplace. They should be working in groups, using technology, and this will help with their social skills.
5. Inquiry and Innovation- The students need to actively search for answers to the question. This can include interviewing people in the project's subject.
6. Feedback and Revision- The students need to know that their first draft is not their best draft. When teachers and peers give helpful feedback, the student's finished project will be and/or should be better.
7. Public Presentation- When the students are given the opportunity to present their project in front of people other than their teacher and classmates, like local politicans and experts in the area, it gives the students that extra incentive to produce their very best work.

In Tony Vincent's PBL for teachers video, shares example questions that can help reach today's students. These questions are open-ended questions that will get the students' brains engaged and become more open minded about diferent subjects. He states that Common core curriculum is the 'What' and project-based learning is the 'How.'  PBL meets these common core standards with the personalization and investigation. Like the 7 essentials, it emphasizes that students learn skills: communication, critical thinking, life and career. The video also states technology is a vital role, students should use tools like Popplet or Prezi.

In "What Motivates Students Today" it shows us different students' motivations and the reward systems that they like. This gives teachers a good idea of what works for kids like pizza parties, homework passes, media passes, bonus points and more. Rewards work and this can also serve as motivation to learn. When a student works hard, they should enjoy the satisfaction of being a recognized and complimented.

On this site, it shows the top ten website tools that support collaborative learning. The ones that I have used personally are Skype for education and Google Docs. These are useful both inside and outside of the classroom for collaboration on projects. While the students are in-class, they can be in their groups without talking. The teacher can also monitor progress from their own computer. Skype for education is very useful when students need to work on things outside of class. This tool is also useful for interviewing people that are too far away. Based on the descriptions of the other tools, the one I'd most likely use would be Linoit. This allows students to contribute information without having to log in. This could also be a place to present homework and where students can ask and answer (sometimes) questions.

With PBL implementations at Sammamish High School, they looked for PBL for every class and tried to find one for each lesson. While this didn't always happen in math classes, the students would get to make games, for some lessons. I can remember playing the dice game Farkle for our probablity lesson. The entire class was engaged and we were all having fun. When students are learning while having fun, the lesson is tends to stick.

In conclusion, what we can take away from these videos is when students are having fun, the project is meaningful, they are challenged, and they feel a sense of purpose they produce their best project. Teachers must ask questions that will help the students form their own opinion about different things. Through project based learning, the students learn about the subject and how to apply it to everyday life.

hexagon of Significant Content and 21st Century skills in PBL

Monday, October 13, 2014

Project #9

This is our video book commentary. My partners in the video include Justin Thompson and Heather Howton. We were given topic #2 for this assignment. I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Implications and Teaching Opportunities for Camera Use in Teaching and Learning

With parents getting their children smartphones and tablets earlier in their childhoold, by the time I begin teaching all of my students will have a smartphone, a tablet, and a laptop. With this increasing use of technology earlier in students lives, schools will need to upgrade the technology faster. Education will be and is easier with technology. Teachers also have to stay up-to-date with technology. School systems should hold technology workshops so learning these new tools is available for all teachers. We have to update the technology in our schools in order to keep our students and lessons up-to-date.

In my opinion, students will begin to question why they are in a classroom when everything they are being taught can be found on Google. However, if we incorporate the use of technology in with learning, the classroom will not become obsolete. If we allow the tablets and the smartphones in the classroom, there are pros and cons. Pros: students will be more engaged, they can search questions, do research, take faster notes, and be more organized. Cons: students may be on social media sites instead of paying attention, they may be playing games, and computers can crash. If these cons are happening, it will show in their grade and the use can be modified and monitored.

A few ways to use technology in the classrooms:

  • Record lessons
    • Students can use their phones to record the lessons. This will be helpful for those students who do not take good notes. It will also be helpful for students who miss a class because it can be sent via email or text. 
  • Take notes
    • Students can type their notes instead of writing them. 
  • Research
    • Students will have the ability to search reliable sources for information.
  • Take pictures 
    • Students can take pictures of historical places, markers, or tools for assignments.
    • Students can use these pictures in projects.
  • Communication
    • Students will be able to communicate with me and other students easier. 
I will incorporate technology by doing project based learning:
  •  Mobile, Alabama is a historical city, my students can walk around Mobile (with a parent) and take pictures and use them in their papers about the history of Mobile. 
  • I will have students look at current events worldwide and we will have a discussion on them from all views. 
  • Students can compare and contrast the government forms worldwide (Ex. Great Britain's Parliament, France, Russia, United States government). 
  • Research on the different political parties.
  • A biographical presentation on a president, inventor, general, or woman.
  • A group presentation on a battle.
I'm truly excited to put these ideas to work. If we can incorporate our lessons with technology, we can engage our students and they will enjoy learning. If you want more lesson plan idea for all subjects visit Alex. This site gives you lesson plans and they can be tweaked to your liking. Mine will be tweaked so the students can use technology and they will be doing project based learning. 

Lesson plan questions: Who am I teaching? What am I teaching? How will I teach it? How will I know if the students understand?


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blog post #8

Randy Pausch's main point is to follow dreams. While following these dreams you will always hit a brick wall, but what sets you apart from others is what you do at this wall. If you go through the wall or over it, this shows you are determined to achieve your goal. While you may surpass this wall, others will turn back showing they are not as determined. He addresses both learners and teachers because they are one in the same.

As a future educator, I have learned from Pausch's lecture that I must actively engage my students. To achieve this I will have to provide a fun but challenging environment. We as teachers must experiement with teaching and find what works best for you and your classes. As Randy states about the learning head fake, "Have the students learn one thing while they are learning something else." In my opinion, this is a wonderful concept. He also tells teachers not to set standards for students. If all of the students do well, tell them, "This is great work but I believe you can do better." If we set a bar for our students, they will not grow and we will never know their potential. We have to let people be themselves and showcase their personality through their work. If we encourage these students once they hit that "brick wall," we become a cheerleader for that student, and in return this promotes the students enthusiasm for learning.

As a person we are constantly learning and evolving. We can not limit ourselves; if we do that we will be unhappy with our lives. If we can learn to challenge ourselves by setting high goals and being determined to achieve those goals and make newer goals; we will begin a generation that has no limits. This will open up doors for education, because if we do project based learning this will increase students interest in their own education.

Some rules to live by in his lecture:

  • Be loyal.
  • Have fun.
  • Never give up. 
  • Learn from your students.
  • Use "head fakes" often.
  • Never lose your child like wonder.
  • Help others.
  • Be happy.
  • Ask for help
    • Tell the Truth
    • Be earnest
    • Apologize when you screw up
    • Focus on others and not yourself
  • Don't bail!
  • Use a feedback loop!
  • Have graditude.
  • Don't Complain just work harder.
  • Be good at something; it makes you valuable.
  • Find the best in everybody; it takes time.
  • Be prepared.
He goes on to say that the lecture is not about achieving your dreams, its about leading your life the right way. "If you lead your life the right way, karma will take care of itself. Your dreams will come to you." He ends his lecture with the second head fake,"The talk is not for you, it's for my kids." 

Background on Randy: Born in Baltimore, Maryland, received his bachelor's and a PhD in Computer Science, worked for Disney, works in virtual reality, he was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and is famous for his "Last Lecture"
Randy Pausch wrote a book on living while dying. Motivation. Pass it on.

Friday, October 10, 2014


In Pullen's blog he recommended a book. He recommends this book because it has methods in it that can be used whether you are teaching common core or not. He goes on to say the book uses methods such as mneumonics and the practice of answering the question before being taught the lesson. I am a firm believer in these methods because they are the way I learned and retined the information.

My comment:
"Hi I’m Alex from the University of South Alabama and I am in EDM 310. Thank you for sharing this book. As a future teacher, I appreciate people who believe in mneumonics and answering questions before being taught. I have every intention of actually teaching to help my students learn, while maintaining the standards for the school system."

In Pullen's post from November of last year, he reviews a Michigan law being proposed to the legislature. This law states that if students in the third grade fail a standardized reading test they are to be retained in the third grade. He goes on to say that it sounds like the proposal has a good goal to have all students reading by the third grade. However, the bill does not include those students with disabilities that affect students reading capabilities such as dyslexia. He encourages the Michigan people to vote against this bill.

My Comment: 
I’m Alex Odell from the University of South Alabama in EDM 310 majoring in Secondary Ed Social Sciences. Having been through standardized testing my entire school life, I can say I don’t agree with this law. Standardized testing is hurting our students and it promotes burp back education and not actual learning. If we started focusing on the students passions and teach them through this, there would be a new and improved generation. I will be using project based learning in my classroom, more than likely my students will learn and meet the Common Core standards. The legislature had no thoughts of children with exceptionalities. This test would put a lot of pressure on the 3rd grade teachers, not to mention if students are retained the class sizes would probably triple in number."

*In the comment box it has a place to put in my blog site on there which is why I didn't include it in the comment.
Culture of Reading

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Project #13

Our lesson plan for project 13, which is a lesson plan on Propaganda in a 10th grade English class. This was created by myself, Heather Howton, Justin Thompson, and Andrea Fust. Enjoy our presentation.
Rosie the Riveter

Sunday, October 5, 2014

blog post #7

My strengths in technology:

  • being taught at a young age how to use a computer
  • having PBL from a young age caused me to experiment with new tools in technology
  • having used new study methods in college (recordings to study)
My weaknesses:
  • being self-taught and not knowing all the tricks to some tools
  • not knowing which tools are the best for the project at hand
In Michele Bennett's  QR Code this will be useful for communication with parents, but only those with smartphones. However, this recording in the code is very useful for the students. If the student uses this tool to record themselves reading books or study guides, they will be able to listen to themselves saying the right answer. When using this method and recording on an ipad, I've found my grades improved.

When using tools such as PopletAlabama Virtual Library, and Discovery Eduacation board builder it helps reinforce project based learning. The children are able to research information themselves. These tools combined with the teachers lesson will help the student be there own person by allowing them to choose the subject to be researched, allows the student to be engaged in their education, and preventing the burp back education.

Kid with a laptop

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blog Post #6

While watching the Anthony Capps interview, I learned very valuable information about project-based learning. Through PBL, students can cover more than just one state standard. An example of this is Anthony's letter to the Congressman. His students had to research important females in history and then include their research in their argument of why or why not the women should be in the combat zones in their letters to the congressman. This project covered reading, writing and social studies standards. PBL allows the students to get involved with their education. It promotes research and personal curiosity. Capps also says not to limit your students so that it promotes that natural curiosity.

Icurio is an online search engine that allows students and teachers to search the web for educational materials from credible websites. This site also allows for online storage so the students can organize their researched materials and come back to the information at a later time.

I will be using project-based learning because I enjoy it's freedoms that satisfy my curiosity. I hope to be able to utilize the Icurio at my school. I want to be able to allow my students every opportunity to be themselves but learn at the same time. Self-identity is important at all grade levels. I want to engage my students as much as possible, so that I know they are learning.

Icurio log-in page

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blog post #5 part 1

A personal learning network (PLN) is a network of people and tools that are there for helping you, collaborate, and any other assistance you need. They can consist of fellow teachers, who have ideas that maybe you haven't yet thought about. A PLN is created through means of social media, websites, classmates, and teachers. You can create a PLN by following people on social media and by contributing ideas through blogs. My first additions to my PLN is my College of Education teachers. I will also be adding teachers who teach social sciences. I believe networking is needed so that teachers can expand their knowledge.

Main tools used in PLN

C4K summary for September

My C4K kid, Paige, made a slide show showing sports in the commonwealth from A to Z. She had a few grammatical errors but it was merely her missing a word or misspelling a word. She did her research and the creativeness of the presentation shows well.

My Comment:
"Paige I enjoyed your slide show very much. You are very creative. I like that you challenge your audience to guess which country the games came from. My favorite games are your innovations for Y and Z. You do have a couple grammatical errors, but overall the presentation is very informative. It has even introduced me to some new games."

The 2nd kid,Navaeh, her assignment was to create a new food. She had a few grammatical errors, but overall you get the concept of her short post describing her new food.

My comment:
"Hello Nevaeh. You did a good job on your 2nd post! You followed your teacher’s directions and described your new food. Just be sure to check your spelling. I can’t wait to read your next post Nevaeh."

My student, Evan, was tasked to summarize a story. He did a great job except he had many grammatical errors. He never used quotation marks or commas when someone was talking. But reading his story through the errors, he did a good job with his summary. Had his puncuation been better, his post would have been better.

My comment:
"Hi Evan. I’m Alexandria from the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed your story. Be sure to look at your grammar and puncuation in your story. Overall, you did a great job and I can’t wait to read more from you and your classmates." (I put my link to my blog as my name "Alexandria."

A kid using a computer

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence is...

My Passion is...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Project #15

IFACNet Search- a search engine for accountants for their day-to-day lives. It provides information for accountants for business, foreign and domestic accounting laws, and newly implemented laws and codes. Once you arrive at the page, just type something you would like to know, for instance, I choose to search IRS. It is power by google, so it is very similar. a search engine for people looking for jobs. It provides job openings, the job description, the requirements for said job, and the application or the number to send your resume. You can search by job titles, location, and/or company name. The site is very easy to use and can be accessed from anywhere from library computers to smartphones.

Lexis Nexis Academic- a search engine for those interested in law or current events. This site provides newspapers, law reviews, and state and federal cases. This search engine will be useful for law, history, political science students and teachers. This site is fairly easy to use, but you must be a student or teacher who's school has a subscription to Lexis Nexis Academic. If this is true then you will find it on the school's library website. At the University of South Alabama we have Jag numbers. We put in our Jag number and there is a time limit of 30 minutes. You can search everything from the first newspaper to the current ISIS issue. This search engine can be used by anyone, especially people looking to solve math equations. I searched the term 'quadratic formula' and it brought me to a page where I put in my numbers and it solved the problem and give you the answer, but it doesn't show how it got the answer. So if you are looking to check your answer this is a good place to come. with this search engine anyone can search anything. You can search for search engines. You can search for people, books, and more. Use of this search engine is very easy; you just search what ever you want and it will bring up many results. this search engine does not track you. It's layout is very similar to google;however, it is capable of placing the answer on the first page. It also helps you to clarify your question being asked. This site can be used by anyone for any reason. It is very simple to use. This search engine is one that is useful for everyone from non users to experts in computers and technology. It can be used for searching terminology and for self-teaching of the computer. I searched 'What is RAM?' and the definition was 2nd on the list. this search engine can be useful for people wanting to learn new things. It has "how-to" videos from note-taking to Kim Kardashian butt workouts. Although you can't enter it into a search box, you can browse through the videos by category. This is very simple to use because it is categorized and they have pictures.

The Kim Kardashian butt workout

Friday, September 12, 2014

C4T summary for September

Summary of Teacher's 1st blog post
In Larry Ferlazzo's blog post, he tells us how useful infographics are to people learning. He goes on to tell us different places we can find these credible infographics.

My comments
"Hi Larry, I’m Alex Odell from the University of South Alabama. I believe that these infographic are a very useful tool for everyone not just students. They are great for summarizing important information like writing papers or tips on driving safely. Teachers should utilize these when able, to keep the kids attention longer. Kids enjoy short cuts, and what better way to do that than with educational pictures and graphs. Do you use these infographics in your classroom? If so, how well do your students respond to them?
My blog"

Summary of 2nd post
Larry shares a 2 minute video about the near future vote of scottish independence. His blog focuses on English language learners, so he believes this video is too swift for a ELL student. He believes this video is very informative to those not familiar with Great Britain.

My comment
"Like you stated above, the video would be too fast for ELL students. However, one could break the video down to make it more understandable. The information it’s self is interesting. If this happens history will be changed. Do you believe this will encourage more countries to break away from their conquerors? What do you think will happen if the vote is against the breakaway? Do you think Scotland will have their “reigns” tightened?"
Larry Ferlazzo

Blog post 4

Asking and answering questions is essential for learning in any field. I believe asking questions furthers your learning experience and reinforces information. In my favorite subject, History, I have asked questions and the answer to those questions usually inspired me to think about the subject in depth. My teacher often asked us our opinions and then would ask questions to move us to think more. Being a future educator, knowing how to ask effective questions will help our students to open their minds to a world bigger than them. I noticed my teachers always asked open-ended questions or our opinions.

On the Teaching Professor blog, Dr. Weimer lists three ways to ask better questions. In this post she gives us ways to prepare questions to make sure they are pertaining to the course material. She also believes that asking a question and leaving it unanswered will keep students engaged. Weimer also believes that the teacher is not the only one with good questions. You can get good questions from your students. I have seen this at all levels of education including the college level. I have a professor this semester who is teaching a class for the first time, she has asked us what we would like to focus on in class. She also takes the questions asked during class and asks them later either the next class or on the quizzes. She will also assign you to research the question and educate the class if she doesn't know the answer.

As future teachers we need to feel comfortable saying "I don't have the answer." I was always told that teachers are constantly learning. I feel that this is true not only for teachers but for every human-being. We as teachers, future and current, need to keep an open mind when asking and answering questions.

Most teachers waste their time by asking questions which are intended to discover what a pupil does not know, whereas the true art of questioning has for its purpose to discover what the pupil knows or is capable of knowing. Albert Einstein

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Blog Post 3

With watching and reading the peer editing materials, I have learned how to approach a fellow classmate without being embarrassed to do so. I have never liked peer review because I was never taught the appropriate way to critize someone's paper. I never enjoyed getting negative feedback, because my papers were being reviewed by people with the same education as me. After learning the steps to peer reviewing--compliment,suggestions, and corrections--I feel confident enough to go to my fellow classmate and address problems with papers, blogs, etc.

If I find mistakes in my peers writing, I will first compliment their work. You can't focus just on the negative or they will feel inadequate. Once we have established rapport, then I can suggest things to make the paper better. These things may include but are not limited to grammar, sentence wording, and organization. Then comes the corrections, the paper must be read over for them. After the corrections are made, another full run through, if possible outloud, will catch any overlooked mistakes. After these steps, more compliments could be used. The self-accomplishment in both peers will be very high in this type of positive outcome of peer review. I am looking forward to showing my future students the correct way to peer review.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blog post #2

In the Professor Dancealot video, he shows what not to do as a teacher. The teacher "Professor Dancealot" teaches a dance class from a powerpoint presentation. He expects the students to learn from the powerpoint rather than physically doing the activity. The video shows us that engaged learning is the best way to teach. The author so this during the final exam when the students have to physically dance their way to an A. None of the students know how to dance. I agree completely with the author that students of all levels need to be engaged in their learning rather than just being taught without interaction.

Teaching in the 21st Century
-Teaching is changing with the years and advancements
-Teachers should teach students how to use the web correctly
-So things like plagiarism doesn't happen and professionalism does
-Teachers should stay up-to-date with new technology
-Examples: Blogs, podcasts, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and more
-By doing this teachers learn new ways to reach out to students, meet other teachers, and find new resources for teaching.

Roberts believes that in order to teach in the 21st century, a teacher should be up to date with new web resources. He also believes that teachers should teach students how to use the internet properly to prevent plagiarism. I agree with Roberts; that teachers should be technologically up to date and teach students the web. Most high school and middle schoolers have a "Technology" or "Business Tech" course; however, in my own experience, we sat in front of a computer learning how to type without looking at the keyboard. Typing is a life skill in the 21st century, but students should be taught how to find proper sources. Roberts is right, the way teachers teach has to keep up with the latest social media among other things to capture the attention of students in the 21st century. This affects me as a future educator, but not as bad as those who are already teaching. I've grown up learning through technology, although I'm learning new things in this EDM class. I am confident that I will learn how to teach and engage students with technology with ease.

The Networked Student Video was very informational. I don't know if I could trust my students to actually use networking, but I would teach them and encourage them to use this tool to go further in life. I appreciate the answer to the question,"Why do I even need a teacher?" The teacher is there for support and encouragement. I'm wondering though if we as future educators will learn how to network? He stated that "blogs are mostly opinions," but is this not a form of networking?

Ms. Vicki Davis doesn't believe you have to know everything about the internet to teach students about it. This video answered the question in my previous paragraph. I can learn how to network with my students, and sometimes my students can teach me. I noticed that she allows her students to teach; I learn by teaching someone else. This is why I will enjoy this EDM class, because I will be able to learn and teach at the same time.

Dr. Strange's Comparison of Technology by grade levels
Well I'm an undergraduate and after watching this video comparison I feel I'm not adequately sufficient in the tech world. I'm jealous that these kids get to learn through technology. When I was in elementary school the only thing we did on computers was take our Accelerated Reader tests. I do feel by the end of this EDM class, I will be more on these elementary school children's level of knowledge of technology.

Flipping the Classroom
This method is new to me. I have heard the phrase but was never explained exactly what it is. I believe it will be very useful to both the teacher and the students. Attempting problems on the upcoming lesson will help the student know what is coming. If they have problems with the questions, they can be more apt to ask the teacher for help or research the method to do said problem. By doing this, the teacher can pinpoint the problem in the classroom and help.

Keep Calm and Love Computers

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blog Post 1

After asking my friend about EDM 310, I began to get a little worried about how my semester was going to end up. She explained to me that the class was entirely paperless and informative but a lot of work. I was hoping my worries would be minute after the start of the semester. It is a lot of work; however, I know that I am going to be using the information as a future teacher. My biggest fear coming into EDM 310 is that I will get behind on my work and fail the course. I've done pretty well keeping up so far.

EDM 310 is so different from all of my other courses. In EDM 310, we actually learned how to write these blogs and write a bit of HTML format. Although I haven't had to, I feel completely comfortable asking a question. In other classes, we just sit there, listen, and take notes. In EDM, we have a hands-on approach and I benefit from being shown how to do something more than being told. In EDM, we have to basically teach ourselves by reading instructions and it benefits us. If we have questions we can refer to the instructions. In other courses, we are given information and have to memorize or learn the information. THis course is like no other!

I think my biggest problem is going to be keeping up with Dr. Strange in class. I get lost sometimes while he's showing us what we are doing, but I can always refer to my instruction manual or ask for help. I am also going to have trouble getting my posts done on time because I will forget. Because of this I have set up an alarm on my phone (since I always have it) to remind me to start writing.

I honestly can't wait to see what other things about technology we learn.

smiley face

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Practice blog post

About Alex Odell

I. About me

a. Where I have lived: Satsuma,AL

b. Major interests:Dance,History, music, hunting, fishing

c. Why I attend USA: close to home, affordable,and Education program

II. Major

a. Secondary in Social Sciences

b. Why I want to teach: Make History fun again.

II. The 21st Century Teacher

a. Teach to learn

b. Order over class

c. Know the material

d. Adaptation

All About Me

My name is Alex Odell. I am a 24 year old mother to a soon to be 3 year old. I have a fiance and his 11 year old daughter that I live with in Satsuma,Alabama. We have 7 dogs: 5 beagles and 2 blue ticks. I enjoy hunting and fishing. I have been dancing for 20 years. I also enjoy many different genres of music. To forget about my troubles in life, I put on music and dance until I lose myself. It doesn't have to be a choreographed dance, it just has to be you moving. My favorite subject growing up was always History. I enjoy learning about old things, and knowing that someone who participated in a major event walked where I walked is so exciting to me.

I chose to attend USA because it is close to home, they have a good education program, and they are affordable for the most part. I am majoring in Secondary education with a concentration in Social Sciences. I chose Social Sciences simply because I love it. Throughout school, I've had fantastic History teachers, who made learning fun. I want my students to have fun, and not look at History as a boring, dry subject. I want to put more emphasis on Social Sciences because without History class we wouldn't know what to do in the future. We learn from the past.

The 21st Century Teacher
I believe a teacher's job is to teach students in a manor that the students will actually learn the material. Teachers have to keep their classes in order. They must know the material to answer questions and if not then be willing to find the right answer for the student. I also believe part of teachers jobs is to adapt to the environment. If a student has an IEP, the teacher must accommodate this student's needs.

Jay and his fishMe and my beagle TraumaSatsuma High School Dance Team 2008