Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blog Post 15 Part 1

This is probably the most difficult post I have made in this class. I am sure that people who always knew they were going to teach would have plenty to say in this paragraph. I, however never thought that I would be going into the teaching field. I've been through a lot of circumstances in my life, good and bad, that have brought me to where I am today. Anyway, without going into details, I started working as a substitute teacher. I found I could identify with high school students the best. This was probably because, my son just graduated from high school last year. My major in college was actually Social Work, but I found out I hated this one class called Policy. I love history especially World War II. I ended up having a lot of the classes I needed for Secondary Education (Social Studies), so here I am.
This class has been helpful in giving me ideas about teaching. I think that we can have all the ideas we want. We really will not know what we will actually be able to implement until we are there. I'm not in my twenties, so it is really difficult for me to have this fantasy classroom in my mind made up of rainbows and sunshine. Especially since I have a teenage son and I have spent plenty of time substituting unruly high school students. I think my classroom is going to depend on what kind of funding the school has, and how on board they are with technology in the classroom. Since, I have no mentors, and I am pretty much on my own, this is just the way I see things.
Probably one of my favorite ideas (all semester) was the idea of flipping the classroom. It was appealing to me, because of the problems my own son faced trying to navigate high school. I really like the theory that it works for all students even the ones who are struggling to understand the concepts being taught everyday. The program is self paced and allows students to watch videos outside of the class to learn the concepts before they get to class. They would be able to email me and other students with questions. This leaves classroom time for actually working instead of just lecturing. The classroom is separated into groups by where they are at in the material. This allows all students to be engaged and challenged. This is appealing to me, because it helps all students even the ones who are prepared to work faster then the others.
I hope with this class under my belt, and at least two more years in school, I will have a better idea of what my class will look like, in the near future. The classrooms I have substituted in are just bare shells. So, there is not much inspiration coming from there. I have also never substituted in a classroom where all students had access to a computer. Don't get me wrong, this class has offered up a lot of ideas, but it is like system overload, because there is so much to take in and commit to memory. With that said, (at my age) I really do not see myself in a classroom for long. My plan is to return to South and get my Master's in School Counseling. So, I will still be in a school setting, but helping students on a more one on one basis.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Eric Langhorst is an 8th grade American History teacher at South Valley Junior High School in Liberty, Missouri. His blog post this week was the subject of a presentation that he was supposed to do for a convention. It was a snow day so it got canceled. He decided to post a youtube video of his presentation titled Best Sites and Apps for Teachers. He used screencast-o-matic to make his presentation which includes a list of 50 websites and apps that might be useful to a teacher. He also includes links to everything. I saved the video to my favorites so I could refer back to it.
In my comments I mainly introduced myself and thanked him for posting such a valuable resource.
For my blog post this week I had to go back to a previous blog post by Mr. Langhorst, because he did not have a new posting. He writes about attending the 2012 Google Teacher Academy. He talks about Google tools,Google Culture, and the GTA network. He talks about what a great experience it was and how much information he took away from it. One of the most interesting parts o his blog post was his description of working environment of Google the Company. _20% time, relaxed campus atmosphere(where employees can bring their pets to work with them), prepared meals in the Google cafeteria, bowling alleys, and massage rooms-Google truly sounds like an innovative place to work for. Mr Langhorst had nothing but good things to say about his experience. I hope that I have a chance to attend one of them one day. Hello my name is Heather Heiskell I am a student in EDM 310, at the University of South Alabama.This was a really interesting post. I have used Google plenty of times, but I have never thought about it much further than that. I hope I have the opportunity to visit Google for myself one day and attend one of these conventions. Thank-you for sharing.

Project #16

Project 13

One of the tools we used to complete our project 13 was Shared Documents in Google Drive.(pictured above)We attempted to use Google hangout, but we had a problems with it. We also tried Skype and it would not link all three of our members together in one conversation. We also used Google Chat, text, and personal messaging through Facebook. We used all of these for several of our projects, not just project 13. They were very helpful, because they allowed us to set up for out projects. This helped us get things done faster once we met in person.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Mrs. Geldes (Megan O) 4th grade Nebraska My student comments were:
Do you know where Nebraska is? I live in Nebraska and I think it is amazing. But don’t take it from me I want to tell you about Nebraska. First there is the state insect and it is the honey bee. And then there is the state fish it is catfish there is also the state drink it is cool ad. The state dance is squares dancing. And Nebraskas state flower is the Golden Rod. Also there is the state and there is the state tree is Cottenwood.and the state grass is Little Bluestem also the state bird is western Meadowlark .and the state fossil is a Mammoth.Then there is a great place to go and that is the Henry Dorly Zoo that is a great place in Nebraska that if you come here you should go to it. There are lots of things that I can name that are in Nebraska. Now I would like to hear some of your thing you have to say hear are some questions where do you live? What are some of the state simbles.are there any fun places that you can visit. If there is I would like to now were they are and if you have other things I will like to hear them.
This was my comment back to her:
Hello Megan, it is great to meet you and hear about the great state of Nebraska. I live in Mobile, Alabama. I attend college at the University of South Alabama. Our state official dance is also square dancing. Our state flower is the Camelia, and our state bird is the Yellowhammer Woodpecker. Some fun things to do are going to the beach (Gulf Shores), and visiting the Gulf Shores Zoo, which was featured on Animal Planet. We also have several museums, including a children's museum called the Gulf Coast Exploreum. Thank-you for sharing your blog with me. Have a great day!
Mrs Kathleen Morris and Ms. Kelly Jordan 4th grade Leopold Primary School, Victoria, Australia Olivia (after Kyle, before Haille)
This was Olivia's comment:
Easter Holiday Writing Wow, how fast did the holidays go? It felt like one day so to me it was nothing. On Monday when all of the students got back from there break, we started writing holiday writing. I wrote mine about the things that I did the most because I went to lots of different places with my family. When I typed up this piece of writing I thought to myself: There are things that I need to work on and I will try to get better a them. What I thought of was writing sentences that aren’t too long so that I can fit more writing in.Well let’s start off by saying Easter is a great thing to celebrate. I like it and so do most other people because you do get lots of chocolate from the Easter Bunny and your family and friends. I made my way up to Melbourne to stay at the RACV. I stayed on level 8 which is the highest you can stay on.. We stayed there for two nights so that means the Easter Bunny had to go to where we were staying to deliver our eggs. On Easter Monday my family and I made our way home in the car and it normally seems to take forever but not this time. When we got home I ate nearly all of my Easter eggs without knowing how many I was eating. It was lots of fun to be with my family all together again.Over the holidays I did lots of blogging on our class blog. It was lots of fun and the reason I went on it was because I had nothing else to do so I did that for about an hour before deciding I had, had enough. I came back to it in a couple days later and had a little look to see if anyone had replied but no one had so I just waited and waited for them but I didn’t get any. I didn’t really mind though because it was the holidays so people must have been away or didn’t want to go onto it. I am looking forward to doing it again in the term two holidays.This time I went to stay at Crown Promenade with my whole family. For dinner we went down to South Bank and watched the flames. It was really fun and I will be going again soon.I hope you like it because I had lots of fun with it, it took me a while and I think that it is really good.
This was my response:
Hello Olivia, it is so nice to meet you. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I have never been anywhere outside of the United States. I celebrated Easter by attending church and having a family celebration with an Easter Egg Hunt and a cookout. It was very nice to meet you. Keep up the great work.
Mr Boylen's 8th grade class Language Arts Colton D
My name is Colton and I am 14 yrs old and in 8th grade. I have lived in Iowa, USA for 4 yrs. I enjoy Skateboarding with my friends (for activities, sports, or other things). My favorite subject in school is study hall. I spend my free time skateboarding and sometime playing xbox . I have a puppy named eli. Almost every summer I go to Wisconsin, Dells, Where I go to amusement parks and water parks. I haven’t been to any other countries. Have you? When I get older I want to be a pro skateboarder. If that doesn’t work out I want work in business. What do you want to do when you get older? What thing do you like to do on your free time.
Hello Colton, my name is Heather Heiskell. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am going to school to be a high school teacher. When I am not busy with school I am a mom to four children. I stay pretty busy with that. I love water parks and amusement parks. Roller coasters are my favorite. I have never been out of the United States. I was born in Mobile, Alabama and have spent my entire life here, except for a few months in Texas. Thank-you for sharing your blog with me.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Final Report on PLN

My Personal Learning Network has come a long way. I found most of my resources just by using Google. I searched for teacher and classroom resources. I was able to find two different pages with list of resources and links to the sites. This is just a start. There were so many to choose from. Symbaloo is easy to use and I like the way it looks.

Progress Report on the Final Project

Our group has decided to do the instructional video on EDM 310. We are using iMovie At first we were doing a sports theme, but we decided againt that. We are pulling images from Google. We will be doing a podcasts type video with voice over while showing the pictures. We watched a lot of other final projects from different semesters to help us shape our idea into our project. Despite what my cartoon says I was blessed to end up with a really good group in this class. We have had lots of laughs and everyone has been very cooperative with meeting and working together. We have only lost one person in our group, but it has worked out fine.

Blog Post #14

Teacher knows if you've done the E-reading.
This article was mainly about investigation of whether students are doing the reading and how it affects their grades. The data collected will eventually be used to write new textbooks. The argument is that the data collected, could be manipulated by sneaky students, making it look like they are doing more reading then they actually are. The program,which called CourseSmart not only tracks what the student is doing, but it also affects what material the teacher will present and how he/she will present it. It was found that some students were doing fine on quizzes and test, even though they were not doing as much reading as deemed necessary.
As a Teacher.... 
This might be a useful tool to have in the classroom. Any good teacher knows that not all students learn the same. Just because students are not reading does not mean they are not learning the material. I think it would be a useful tool for me, only because it could help me figure out how to present the material effectively to my students. At least that is what it is claiming it can do. For me to really have an opinion on it I would have to use it first hand.
As a Student....
If I was a student I think knowing they were looking at how often I was opening my book and turning pages, would be a little intimidating. It might cause me to read more, or it might just cause me to open my book more. I might be a student that learns better by watching videos, by visiting a museum, or hearing a lecture. I might be a student who does not comprehend what I read therefor making me feel a textbook as useless.
Questions for the teacher...
My main question for the teacher is How well do you know your students? I am not meaning to repeat myself, but all students learn differently. Your students may comprehend a diagram on the board, much better then reading about it in a book. Some students are visual learners. That is another reason why the internet sources and technology are so important to have in the classroom . We are going to be able to reach out and help students in ways that we have never been able to before.
Questions for the students....
One thing I would have to know is does the student have an IEP(Individualized Education Program), or did they have one in high school.(if I were teaching in college) I would come up with some surveys to try to figure out which learning style worked for them as individuals. As I have already said to be good effective teachers we have to know our students. If you are not going to get to know your students, you should probably not be teaching.
My comments on the article....
My comments would pretty much be what I wrote in the section for what I would ask the teacher. I also have to wonder why on the college level? Why are we monitoring how much the student is reading? Especially when they are considered to be adults at this point of their lives.I could almost understand doing this in middle school and high school. Monitoring the students reading in college seems a bit ridiculous.

Blog Post # 13

Brian Crosby (Agnes Risley Elementary School, Sparks, Nevada)
Brian Crosby's video Back to the Future is video of how his classroom is ahead of the game, by using technology and hands on experiments. His students are at risk students, because they receive free lunch and most are in the category of English as a second language. He explains how one topic which started out as learning different layers of the atmosphere and turned into releasing a hydrogen balloon into the air. The students all have their own blogs, flickr accounts, and wiki's which were also incorporated in with this learning experience. The students also had to pretend they were the balloon taking a trip a they had to write about it. This video got me excited about learning. I wish we could have learned like this when I was in elementary school. The video of the balloon going up was awesome. You can see pictures all the way up above eighty thousand feet. The students were also able to track the balloon in real time on google. Even after the balloon landed the students were still learning through their blogs and wiki's. They were able to share with other students how they did the experiments, so that they could do the experiments in their class. This put them in a position to be the teachers and tell what they had learned. One of the best parts of the video showed how because of technology that home schooled students can be active members in the classroom.

QUIVERS: A Classroom Filled with Learning Paul Anderson is an AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana. His YouTube video he uses the Blended Learning Cycle in his classroom. His foundation is blended learning using the classroom, online and mobile. His learning cycle is an engaging question in which he allows his students to explore, expand, and evaluate. He uses the acronym QUIVERS which is the first letter of each step that he uses to teach a lesson in his classroom.

He uses the Euler's Disc as his example on the video.
1. Question
 3. Video
4. Elaboration
5. Review
 6. Summary Quiz
By using these steps the students are able to expand on what they are learning, and commit the knowledge to memory. People who are wary about technology in the classroom will be pleased to see that a good portion of this is reading material that he that they are required to cover. It also includes, online investigation, classroom discussion, and small group discussion with the instructor to make sure they grasp the information and are prepared to be tested on what they know. They are allowed to re-do the test if they do not do well.
I think Mr. Anderson's strategy represents everything we have been learning about this semester in EDM 310. I would definitely use his teaching method in my classroom.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blog Post #12 Secondary Education/Social Studies

Your assignment is to pick two people that are an inspiration to you. Make one of them a person who you know today, and the other, someone you have studied about in history. Be sure to post a picture and tell why, or how they are an inspiration to you.

Clara Barton was a teacher. After a man was hired to run a school she had established, she went to work as a clerk for the U.S. Patent office.During the Civil War she was known as the Angel of the Battlefield. She was able to obtain camp and hospital supplies, while working on the front lines caring for injured soldiers. She was brave and tireless in her efforts. She convinced the U.S. to sign the Treaty of Geneva, which lead to the establishment of the Red Cross in the United States. She was president of the Red Cross for twenty-two years. She lived her life during a time when men were the ones who called the shots. She is an inspiration to me, because she was a strong woman who made it her business to help others, despite what people thought. Prior to my decision to become a teacher, I wanted to be a Social Worker. More than anything Clara Barton was a humanitarian. The spirit of helping others is still in me, which is why I plan to pursue my Master's Degree in School Counseling

My husband is my second person. We are just different enough to fit perfectly together. My husband does not sweat the small stuff and is a glass is half full kind of person. (I am the complete opposite, which is why our marriage works so well) He went back to school in his forties (proof that you are never too old to pursue a career) and received his A&P license and is now an Aviation Mechanic. He is a definite leader, and knows how to get the job done. No matter what it is, whether it be putting an airplane back together, taking care of out children, doing housework, and or yard work, he gives his all and does his best. I strive to be like him, but I fall very short most, if not all the time. He is my hero.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Blog Post #11

Even a First Grader Can Do It
The first graders in Mrs. Kathy Cassidy's class have made a video showing what they are doing in the classroom at their school in Canada. They have their own blog's, and a classroom webpage where they can find different lessons for class during their center times. These tools can also be used at home. They have used wikis to share information and learn new information, and Skype to talk to other people.
Mrs. Cassidy has been involved with technology in the classroom for about ten years. When her classroom was given five computers, she set them up as one of her centers in her classroom. She was able to get some federal funding to help with setting them up. She has had a classroom webpage for about ten years, a classroom blog for five years, and videos for about two years. It has mainly been her pursuing the use of these tools in the classroom, but the administrative is supportive. To provide privacy to her students she only post first names and if she post pictures she does not match them to the names. The children love it and the parents enjoy the easy access to what their child is doing in the classroom. She advocates continuous learning and having a personal learning network to keep up with what is new. Start with what you are interested in and go from there. She advises all teachers to change with the world and learn as much as you can about what computers can bring to the classroom.I look forward to using all of these tools in my classroom, and possibly many others. I am sure that by the time I graduate that there will be much more available to learn and use.

C4T #3

Karl Fisch A Sublime Disruption The Fischbowl
Karl's Biology class is working on an Ecology project. It was suggested by a fellow student to watch a video she had posted on her Facebook page. The video (A Sublime Disruption) depicts cultural diversity and the beauty of the Earth. One of the things I took away from this was that they were able to make a connection with the original author of the movie (Gareth Nolan) who lives in Dublin, Ireland. How small our world has become because of blogging and a connection to Facebook. The students were able to ask him questions about the film and his opinion on what he thought was a major environmental issue. His answer was deforestation. He has been able to witness it first hand with visits to the island of Borneo. He describes the area as a biodiversity hot spot that compares with the Amazon. Seeing the destruction of an area was heartbreaking for the author.
Hi My name is Heather Heiskell, I a m student in EDM310 at University of South Alabama. This is a beautiful video showing cultural diversity. The Earth is a beautiful place and we do not appreciate it and take care of it in the way we should. It is wonderful that just from a video and blogging your students were able to make a connection with the original author. Thank-you for sharing your post and the video.

What job would you hire a textbook to do?
Mr. Fish attended a two day event called Discovery Education's Beyond the Textbook. The main part of the event was to get together in groups and discuss ideas for a 21st Century Digital Resource aka a techbook instead of the traditional textbook used in classrooms. A techbook would be more than just a digital copy of a textbook. There were many thoughts thrown around within the group. Would it be something that was used all the time, or just sometimes as an additional resource? Some things that his group did agree on was that it should adjust to meet the needs of individual students and teachers. It was thought that for example if it were a very complicated trig problem that it would provide a variety of information and ways to solve and that the teacher could decide how much of the information to provide to her students. The group also discussed problems, exercises, collaboration, and the social component of the techbook.
I think the idea of a techbook is a great idea. Math was and is my worst subject. I can't help but think that this might be just what is needed to help students who might not be so good at math. I can see where it would be helpful in every subject. I may have misunderstood, but more information, or different types of examples could be provided that would be helpful to a student that might not be as strong in that particular subject. Thank-you for sharing.


Laycee R 8th grade Iowa Language Arts Mr Boylen
THis was my students blog post:
What do you think you as a student gain from blogging with students and others outside of the school? Is it worth the time? Why/why not? We get to hear about other people and what kind of sports they are in or even what the weather is like. Yes it is worth the time, it is more fun to talk to people outside of our school, because realistically we already know about the basic things about if you are blogging with your friends.
Hello Laycee, I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am a secondary education major. I am in a class right now called EDM310 where we have our own blog too. I agree with your opinion on blogs, It is very interesting and a great way to show your creative side. I hope that when I start teaching my students will have an opportunity to blog also.
Mr. Paul Hubel Cooper 6th grade Adelaide Australia
If we share what would happen if we shared are belongings. Everyone could have enough there’s enough to go around for everyone to use. Some people have got a lot some people don’t have any if we share with those who aren’t as lucky than others then make those people happy just by sharing your belongings. There’s many people in famine and poverty by sharing a little you can help those family’s with there problems people don’t realize what sharing can do to help these people it doesn’t take much to share you only have to share a little to help others
My name is Heather Heiskell. I am a student at University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. It is very nice to meet you Cooper. I have always wanted to visit Australia. I enjoyed reading your post. You sound like a very wise young man. If more people thought like you, the world would be a much better place. Thank-you for letting me read your blog. Do you do tricks on your bike? My oldest son can do tricks on his. Have a great week.
Ms Lentine's Blog Sam M
This was my students blog post
After watching part of the “Wretches and Jabberers” film, I’ve noticed that Larry and Tracy went through very hard times because of their disability. Larry was born in the late 50′s and he was institutionalized because the people at that time did not know how to deal with autism. Tracy wasn’t given any opportunities when he was young and he wasn’t able to have a good education. But in the 90′s someone came up with the idea to give autistic people the power to communicate by typing. When that happened people found out that these people aren’t stupid, they just can’t speak. They found that even autistic people have human intelligence. And they've been learning ever since.
Hi Sam, my name is Heather Heiskell. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. My step-son and my niece both have autism. One is more severe then the other. I am so thankful that they are young and that there is so much more knowledge about Autism today then when Larry and Tracy were born. I was able to watch some of the what Tracy and Larry are doing to inform people about Autism on YouTube. It is very interesting and I wish I could have found the actual documentary that your class watched. I plan to check my local library for it. Thank-you for sharing your blog.
Mr. Boylen 8th grade Iowa Language Arts Emily H
Hello, my name is Emily and I am 14 years old. I attend MFL Mar Mac and am in 8th grade. I’ve lived in the same small town Iowa in the USA all my life. I spend my free time watching sports all year long, it doesn't matter what sport, I also like playing basketball, volleyball, softball, and exercising. Other than watching sports, I like to so all types of art work, including, painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture. I read often, but also write. I enjoy spending time with all of my friends and large family of 8. I hate to admit it, but I spend a little too much time on the internet, between twitter and facebook. Being outdoors and in the woods and fields that my family own can also be very fun! In the summer I enjoy going to the pool and playing with water. My favorite subjects in school are Algebra and Language or Literature. I’m super excited to begin blogging with all of you! I've become acquainted with a few of you via KidBlog already, but am looking forward to knowing more!What do you enjoy doing on your free time? Favorite school subject?
Hello Emily,
my name is Heather Heiskell. I am a student at University of South Alabama, in Mobile, Alabama. I like reading, photography, and outdoor activities like camping. We are learning about blogs and I have created my own blog for my class. It's exciting to know that students your age and a lot younger are becoming acquainted with blogs and all the other wonderful tools available to us online. I enjoyed reading your blog. Thank-you for sharing.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blog Post #10

John Spencer's Blog Adventures in Pencil Integration puts an interesting spin on the use of technology in the classroom. His post titled Why are your kids playing games? is a conversation between him and the principal at his school. The principal is strongly opposed to using games, or simulations in the classroom to teach. At least that is what I took from the conversation. His focus is on state testing and teaching the students in a traditional manner to make sure they are prepared for the test. It is unfortunate that a lot of us will be faced with this. I will be teaching in the Mobile County Public School System and as far as I can see they are still utilizing burp back education. I see this because I am currently a substitute teacher for MCPSS.
After reading Mr. Spencer's Navigation points and several of his other post. I think I am confused about his views. He describes his principal as someone with an open mind about technology. This is not what I took away from the various conversations he post in his blog. His constant references to pencils has me confused too. I think and this is a guess that for him it isn't so much about the use of technology in the classroom, but the use of creativity and play to get your students learn. If this incorporates technology then that is okay too. His sarcasm and use of metaphors is confusing to me.
Scott Mcleod
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., currently is serving as the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8 in Iowa. He is on leave from his position as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. Dr. McLeod also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognition from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, the National School Boards Association, and the Center for Digital Education. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Education Recoded and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He also just completed his first book, What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media.
Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please? is a post that he made to his blog. It is a post directed to anyone who is opposed to the use of the internet in the classroom. It is nothing but sarcasm as he tries to squash the idea that we should not equip our children to use this tool to learn. He addresses things like porn,sexual predators, and cyberbullying. It pretty much hit the nail on the head when it comes to some of the fears I still have about students using the internet in the classroom. I am sure that these are things that with time we will have an answer to. It may or may not be a problem when it comes to our students using the internet in the classroom. If it is a problem I am sure it will be resolved with time. There is an answer and a fix to everything with technology. We can not and should not try to keep technology from our students.

Project #14 Smartboard Presentation Part 1

Project # 11 Green Screen Movie

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blog Post #9

Joe McClung

Joe McClung began teaching in 2009. Every year he has written a reflective blog post on what he has learned. His first year of teaching he learned to be flexible with his lesson plans. He states that the lesson you plan is never the one you teach. He stresses being a good communicator with your students and fellow educators. Also he says that we should be encouraging and not be so upset when students do not meet our high expectations. We have to remember we are dealing with children. Learning all we can about current technology is also important and we should push ourselves to just jump right in. We should listen to our students and develop good teacher-student relationships. Last of all we should be life long learners and soak up as much information as we can.
His most recent year he talks about how he had found a comfortable spot in teaching. He felt like he was becoming monotonous and rather than just sitting back and staying comfortable he saw his mistake a and decided to make a change. We should challenge ourselves to keep things interesting for our students and not get lazy.
All of what Mr. McClung had to say was relevant to being a great educator. I really liked that he has chosen to stay true to himself rather then worrying about what others think. He uses his own experiences with education (as a student himself) and tries to keep things interesting for his students. No one will learn if they do not like the class they are in. I think it is important that he keeps sight of that when he teaches.
apple chalkboard and globe A+ #1 Teacher

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blog Post #8

Writing With Multimedia
Dr. Richard E. Miller is a professor in the Department of English at Rutgers University. Professor Miller is the author of As if Learning Mattered: Reforming Higher Education (1998) and Writing at the End of the World (2005). His published articles concern developing a philosophy of consciousness that promotes trans-formative teaching and writing practices. He has delivered over one hundred invited talks across the country and abroad on a range of topics related to literacy, technology, and higher education. His current research concerns "the end of privacy" and how education is being changed as a result of the proliferation of hand-held devices that enable instant publication and global distribution of anything that can be seen or heard. He now publishes exclusively on his website, text2cloud.
Dr. Miller's video This Is How We Dream talks about how we are moving away from a solely print based society. We are moving away from pencils, papers, and libraries to our desktop. He talks and shows how accessible information is on the web. He talks about the permanency of text, images and film that will be available forever vs paper documents. With added sound and music it is composed from information on the web and put together to make a suitable document. He talks about how he put together a complete article just with information from the web. We are no longer limited to our libraries for information. We can simply turn on our computers. We can collaborate with other people on the web to gather and share information. In This is How We Dream Part 2 he talks about how Johnathan Harris is composing using the web it self. He uses an aggregating bot to search the web for information. That part of the movie was completely over my head. did not really understand, or comprehend what exactly he was doing.
I believe that I could write with multi-media. I still do not know exactly how to verify if the information I am pulling from the web is accurate and true. We need a class just so I can learn how to verify that my sources of information are viable. I think that is the most important thing to know when it comes to web based learning. It will be one of the, if not the most important skill I can learn and teach my students.

Carly Pugh
Carly Pugh is a former student from EDM310. In her blog post number twelve she shows what I would consider to be part of her PLN. I guess it also qualifies as writing using multi-media. She has created a playlist on YouTube. Her videos focus on things she wants to teach her students. This includes respect for exceptional people, and being an individual.She made her own video, but she also includes other inspirational videos promoting thinking outside the box. She poses some difficult questions, that I believe I would have a hard time answering. 1). describe the kind of teacher you would like to be 2).show ways you can motivate your students 3). offer tips on classroom management. 4). offer tutorials on programs you have learned about in this class that you like so much you would like to use (podcast, iPods, PLN's, etc.) 5). are on topics related to your field of study; for example, if you are going to be an English Teacher, include videos about Shakespeare, poetry, novels, things of that nature. 6). describe what a good teacher is and what a bad teacher is 7). ways to improve modern education as we know it 8). have been used in other blog posts from this semester. It could be a video you had to write about or one posted on the blog of a fellow classmate, teacher, or classroom's blog. 9). center around creativity. 10). advocate challenging, motivating, encouraging, and supporting students (but still maintaining professionalism) Some of these I believe we will only learn by experience. Am I really supposed to know the answers to all of these questions now? If so, I have to wonder if I should be going into the teaching field. I believe you only become highly skilled at something once you are actually doing it, which should sound really familiar, since that is what this class is based off of.

row of zebra's with one turned in the oppositedirectionEDM 310 is Different

The Chipper Series is a video put together to help EDM 310 students to take the class seriously and do the work on time and to the best of their ability. It shows that no matter what, whether it be a class, or an occupation, we have to give it our best. EDM310 is Different is a document of guidelines for this class. It pretty much covers what the Chipper Series talks about. It also talks about the importance of being a professional, being a life long learner, using correct spelling and grammar, and being technologically literate. It also stresses having a positive attitude, organizing your time wisely, and asking questions when necessary. It is unfortunate we had this post to do for our blog this week, because mine is late. :( As for videos I can't really think of anything specific. I know, very creative on my part. I can say that I am game for participating in videos. It would be great to be involved in something that would help future students excel in this class.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
This video is more promotion for online learning vs. burp back education.It is a plea for a change to be made in the way that we think as a society when it comes to learning. Because of the technological advances we have made in the world, we need to change the way we are educating our children. I believe that this makes sense, but not everyone is going to move at the same pace to make these changes. I think it will eventually happen everywhere, because it is happening in some areas. It's more than a little intimidating to think of the changes that are coming and the adjustments that will need to be made. Especially for older people like myself, who are still learning. It will be so much easier for newly graduated seniors who are planning to be teachers. The exposure they are getting (maybe not in the classroom) just from cell phones, iPads, iPods, and other sources are going to put them in a much better position then someone like myself. Children learn things much more easily then someone like myself who is busting at the seams with other responsibilities, like kids and a husband. Despite what I may be learning in college, I know I will be learning from my students too.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Project #9 Progress Report 1

My progress on my PLN is slow. I have watched most of the videos that were provided to us. I really like Symbaloo, because of the way it is set up and it looks pretty user friendly. I am still a bit confused by Twitter, but I think I just need to spend more time using it. I do not know how much my PLN will grow this semester, but I am sure it will get bigger and more organized as I progress in school.

Blog Post # 7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
large key with the word successThere are so many things that I took away from this lecture. It would be difficult to fit them into four paragraphs. I could apply them all to my own life and use them to enrich the lives of my own children and future students. Randy talks about his childhood dreams. He tells how they came to be reality, even though some were altered slightly. He talks about the importance of enabling others dreams and life lessons he learned.
This lecture was a little over an hour long and by the time it was over I had several pages of notes. I tried to include my favorite things that he said, although there are many that I did not include. i His lecture made me look hard at myself and what I have accomplished in my own life. Here are a few words of advice from him, which should help anyone. Have Fun. You have to decide if you are going to live your life as a Tigger, or an Eeyore. Never lose your child like wonder. I could picture these three and many others posted in my classroom for my students.
Some of his advice I really took to heart and it made me think about what my future students may need to hear from me. I know, if as a child I needed to hear it, my students do too. I will have students are looking to me for advice and encouragement, because they do not get it at home. Some of the advice I would use from this lecture is: Brick walls are there to let us prove how badly we want things; Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want; There are moments that change your life, and the most important thing is to be able to identify them when they are happening; If you do something that is pioneering, expect the arrows in the back.
I really could go on and on about this lecture. He was truly a gifted unique individual. I hope I can teach my students to learn self reflection, to respect authority without questioning it, never give up, and to focus on others and not themselves. The most important advice I took away from this lecture was "Live your life and when you do the right thing good things will happen.

Project #8 Podcasts Video Lighting Their Fires

Saturday, March 2, 2013


C4K #4 Mrs. Miller Baldwin County High (Reece)
My student had written a post on teenage suicide. This is what he had to say. There could be may reasons why a teenager would want to kill themselves. There could only be one reason. And no one really can tell for sure why someone would kill themselves. Only the dead person would be able to answer that question. One possible reason is depression. Maybe the teenager in question has druggie parents who don't give a crap about them. that would emotionally damage the teen and he or she may be driven to thinking suicide and death would be preferable over continuing to live with the drug addicted parents.
Hello, my name is Heather Heiskell. I am a student at University of South Alabama. Your topic is a very interesting one to consider. An untreated mental illness, such as depression could lead to suicide. Teenagers are under so much pressure to conform to what their peers thinks is "normal". The teenage years can be difficult ones, because teens are struggling to find out who they are. It can be difficult to figure out where they fit in. This time in a persons life can be a lot of fun, but they can also be very stressful. Thank-you for allowing me to read your blog. Have a great day.
C4K #3
My student this week had posted an illustration of a dog and talked about her dogs at home. She describes her dogs as bitzers, which means they have a bit of this and a bit of that in them. She called the illustration Maramas dog. I did try to google that and I questioned her as well, because I wanted to know what it was. I have not received a response.
My name is Heather Heiskell. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I love the picture of your dog. I have two dogs. They are both bitzers. Is Maramas Dog a book, or someone you know? I tried to Google it, because I thought it was a book. I enjoyed reading your blog. Have a wonderful week at school.
C4K #2 Baldwin County High 10th grade (Corey)
Corey had a newsletter for his post that week. It was a difficult to read. I think maybe when he used the snipping tool, he may have used it incorrectly.
Hello, my name is Heather Heiskell. I am a student at University of South Alabama. It is very nice to meet you, Cory. I had some trouble reading your newsletter post, but I could see enough to realize that it is about Edgar Allan Poe. I have read a few of his stories, but I have actually watched most of them performed on the stage. What do you think of him? Did you enjoy his story The Masque of the Red Death? Thank-you for letting me view your blog.
C4K #1 Ms. Balestrin 2nd grade West Nissouri Public School Ontario Canada (original assigned person was Kevin, but I commented on Laura W instead)
I am going to a birthday party. It is a sleep over party. It will be fun. My friends and me are going to have so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so much fun.I wish it was my birthday.I am so happy and so are my friends.
Hello, my name is Heather Heiskell. I am a student at University of South Alabama. I have never been to Canada. Were you born in Ontario? I hope you have a wonderful time at your friends birthday party. Thank-you for letting me read your blog.

C4T #2 (Project #3 Part 2)

That Time My Network Didn't Become Trolls
My C4T was a bit complicated this week. William Chamberlain had posted a comment on his blog regarding a comment from a student in EDM 310 here at University of South Alabama. Don Brookover stated his opinion on his blog and it threw a lot of people into an uproar. This ended up on Twitter. I wish I could have actually found the comments on Twitter, but I could not. Don Brookover wants to know why reading  and commenting on other peoples blogs is going to help him be a better teacher. I guess everyone that is taking this class may be thinking that sometimes. I really commend Mr. Brookover for putting his true feelings on his blog. As future teachers we are all different. We think different and we will all have our own teaching styles.

The Lunch Project Day One: Beginning the Project
This week William Chamberlain's students are working on a math project. They are analyzing lunch data collected over the past month. They are looking at what food the students eat most often and on what days it is served on. Mr. Chamberlain picked this over working problems in the textbook. The Students are engaged enough to be thinking of other ways they can use the information to address issues with the lunch program. I think this is so much better then just sitting in a classroom learning problems from a textbook, or from the board.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Project #10 Finding The Right Tool

toolbox of teaching toolsFinding The Right Tool
It seemed like every time I did a search for this project I cam upon most of the sane topics and web pages that this class has required me to visit. I really think the most important tool I will use in the classroom is going to be myself. My students may be researching the internet and talking to experts, but they will still be looking to me for guidance and instruction. I might be just a "filter", but I will still be the person the students are looking to for the final okay. As an edrupreneur and a life long learner, it will be up to me to stay informed and up to date on everything and anything that will be a help to me and my students. Not only will I be an influence on my students, but my fellow teachers as well.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blog Post #6

color coded people connected together by a lined shapeThe Networked Student
The Networked Student is a self starter motivated by his need to learn without the boundaries of a traditional classroom. Rather then sitting through a lecture, the student is using the internet to explore, communicate, and validate factual information. The teacher in the classroom acts as a filter to guide students, so they can learn to research and verify that the information is true and correct. Students learn to communicate with other students, teachers, top professors, and other professionals. This is a skill that will follow them out of the classroom and into the professional world.
I was born in the 1970's and feel like I am at such a disadvantage compared to young students.Most of what I watched in the movie is completely foreign to me. This is the reason I have struggled to write papers in college. In the middle of my life we went from using encyclopedias, textbooks and the card catalog in the library, to using the internet for our research. As an older student, I am still learning how to validate information that I find on the internet.
These skills will be second nature to young students. As educators, we must remember young children are like sponges. They soak up knowledge so easily. Once taught these skills, they will never forget them. They will easily continue to add to what they know as technology changes. It is vitally important that we teach them (and ourselves) to utilize everything that is available, so they can go out into the world feeling prepared and confident.

Welcome to my PlE (Personal Learning Environment)
This video just proves "The Networked Student" way of teaching is working. This students organizational skills are phenomenal. I really like how she has to do research on the animals in the classroom, before she can interact with them. She should be very proud that she is able to have a scientist review her work. That is truly an opportunity of a lifetime. When I was her age, we were just lucky to have a teacher reviewing our work. My PLN is non existent compared to hers. I am sure with time, mine will grow to be as extravagant as hers.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Post #5

Venspired and If I Built a School
Krissy Venosdale is a ten year veteran teacher in Hillsboro, Missouri. Her recent blog post "I'm still learning" is so inspiring. As a thirty-seven year old that will be pushing forty by the time I step into a classroom she gives me hope. She professes to believe that even after ten years she has not learned everything she needs to know. She teaches gifted children that are in grades third through fifth. Her creativity and zest for teaching are impressive and make me wonder how long will it be before I feel like I am where she is. Her blog is chock full of everything to make me get excited about teaching.
After reading her post If I built a School it's truly difficult to think about a follow up. I really wish that we would have been asked to do this assignment without reading Mrs. Venosdale's first. Two of my favorite ideas were her library with the tree house, and the cafeteria that was more like a comfortable coffee house. I imagined hardwood floors with plush seating and students swimming with creative ideas. I think schools need an inviting environment that creates a comforting factor for them.
One of her statements is where I keep feeling I am running into a dead end, when it comes to all of these new ideas of teaching. No state test and students moving forward when they are ready, rather then by age, or grade. How are we as teachers supposed to incorporate all of this creativeness in our classrooms? It seems we will be spending most of out time teaching to test, instead of really teaching. I have had so many educators bring this up in conversations. Most have even tried to persuade me to pursue a different career. Is there a way to incorporate this style of teaching? I know I am veering in a different direction, but I am just full of questions about this.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
Music Notes on a Tree Eric Whitacre is a brilliant musician. Wow! He grew up wanting to be a pop star. After much persuasion, he joined choir in college. He did not know how to read music until after he started college. By the age of twenty-one he had written his first concert work called Go Lovely Rose. It is just unbelievable. To go from having virtually no experience, to what he has accomplished, he is truly gifted. As a former choir student, words cannot describe the image and sound of the virtual choir that he has put together. Lux Aurumque (meaning Light and Gold) is a beautiful moving piece. One of the viewers on YouTube described it as sounding like the horizon. Even if you are not a music person, you have to appreciate just the thought of 185 people, that have never met singing such beautiful music.

Teaching in the 21st Century
This video makes me question once again about change. I have not said anything about this in my previous post. I agree with most, if not all of the ideas in EDM310. I just wonder how an overall change is going to be created in the classroom, schools, or even school districts as a whole. Is everyone truly on board, with the idea of change, when it comes to how our children are learning, and how we as educators are teaching. I agree with the ideas in Kevin Roberts video. I do not understand how we are going to implement this into our classroom? Until everyone agrees that this is the change that needs to come about to get our students up and running, it seems difficult to think about. Are there enough people moving in this direction that it will make a difference, not just in the lives of student, but in the school staff too. I think that when it comes to students it will make my job easier if I can move forward with this idea in the classroom. However, it may make my job harder, if other teachers, administrators, and the like, are not in agreement with this teaching style.

Flipped Classroom

Even after my previous comments in this post, I do believe I could use the idea of a flipped classroom. It really hit home with the example being a math class. I was terrible at math. If I could have utilized a teaching video at home, it would have made my life much easier. Students need that application time in the classroom with the teacher. I can remember many nights of being in tears because I just could not figure something out. There just was and is not enough time in the classroom for a lecture and application of whatever we were learning that day. This is a brilliant idea. It puts responsibility on the student to do their part. I really like that it helped those that might be falling behind, and those that needed a faster pace in the classroom. It's a win-win situation for the student and the teacher. You will always have the occasional students that refuse to comply. I think that just goes with the territory of being an educator.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blog Post # 4

The first link that I looked at was The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom. There is a short video, but what I found most helpful to me was the link that went into great details about exactly what a podcasts is. It is perfect for someone that knows absolutely nothing about podcasts. When you listen to podcasts you can pick and choose exactly what interest you. Most are free and they have very limited commercial time and some have no commercial time at all. This is because podcasts are really easy and cheap to produce.
This is a great tool for the classroom. It is easy to use. It promotes creativity and innovation. Students can practice role play and it can be easily accessed by parents and other interested parties. Podcasts also use the higher order thinking skills shown in Benjamin Bloom's pyramid.
Langwitches Blog really put using podcasts in the classroom into perspective. I really enjoyed listening to the children's podcasts It is amazing that they were only first graders. Their interview style podcasts with the characters of Vacation Under the Volcano was fantastic. I could tell that they worked very hard to accomplish a podcast that anyone would be proud of. I especially liked the different voices they used to show the personalities of the different characters. I hope that my own children,and my students, have opportunities like this in school. These same first graders did another podcasts during their second grade year. You can hear them speaking Hebrew on their podcasts. The teacher stresses though that the whole exercise is about writing a script, listening comprehension, collaboration, speaking skills, and fluency in a target language. I can't think of a better way to teach children these skills then through a hands on activity like this.
Judy Scharf's link to how to create a podcasts had a lot of helpful information it. I was able to download the program Audacity to my computer. This will allow me to make my own podcast. It will also edit it and convert it to an mp3 once I download that part of the program into my computer
I really wish these podcasts were available in the 1980's I used to spend hours locked away in my room with my microphone and radio. I would make up my own radio stations. I recorded everything on tapes. They had their own music, weather forecast, and news. I had the most fun as a kid doing this and it would have been even more fun if I could have made a podcasts with them. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a fantastic tool to utilize in the classroom.

Project #3 (C4T#1)

Jon Bacal is chief entrepreneurship officer and founder of Venture Academy, a grades 6-12 NGLC Wave IIIa grantee opening in Minneapolis this August. In his blog he offers sound advice of how to make sure that you have the enrollment numbers you need to have a successful blended school of choice. He breaks it down into three P's: picky parents, personalized learning’s benefits,and perseverance.
Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel’s classic, Picky Parent Guide: Choose Your Child’s School With Confidence.Its definition of a great school is one in which “students of all abilities and types achieve dramatically better academic results than similar students in other schools.” The Guide encourages parents to assess schools on seven Great School Quality Factors, including a clear mission, high and personalized expectations for all students, monitoring progress and adjusting teaching, focus on effective learning tasks, home-school connection, safe and orderly environment, and strong instructional leadership.
Jon Bacal's views on the benefits of personalized learning show that children will be looked at as an individual rather than as a group of children. Each child will have their own path of leaning depending on their specific needs. This means self directed learning, one on one help as needed, and clear direct information to the parents about their child's progress
Perseverance is key when connecting with parents and the community to promote a blended learning school. He suggest parks, community centers, churches, on the street, and even door to door. Another suggestion is to make flyers, brochures,direct mail, advertising and media coverage.He also suggest hands on activities for children and parents and keeping a constant record of who is committing to enroll at the school. One of his major concerns is getting the word out there about the school, because enrollment is key to keeping the doors of the school open.
We have schools of choice within the Mobile County Public School System. I was surprised to read in the blog that these types of schools have problems with enrollment numbers. I jumped at the chance to send my son to Old Shell Road Performing Arts School in Mobile, because I thought it was a good way for him to be exposed to activities like music, dance, drama, and art classes. To be accepted into these schools, you have to put your child, or children on a list and he, or she is picked by a computer drawing. I always thought that this meant that there were a large number of people trying to have their children educated at these particular schools. I have three children that will be starting school in the next few years and we (my husband and I) are considering sending them to Council Traditional School. Jon Bocal's blog makes me wonder (and want to investigate and find out) exactly what kind of enrollment numbers these schools actually have.
Jon Bocal suggest hiring edupreneurs instead of educators. Edupreneur combines the concepts of education and entrepreneur – a person who undertakes any enterprise or venture, usually with considerable initiative and risk. Edupreneurs bring passion, imagination, grit and a sense of urgency in their zealous drive to create and constantly refine optimal learning for young people, organization-wide, and for every learner. He offers five suggestions for picking edupreneurs.
1.Hire edupreneurs who are passionate, versatile, flexible, innovative and entrepreneurial.
2.Select humble, authentic, emotionally intelligent leaders eager to develop themselves and others
3.Choose learning-centered leaders who already live your mission, can build a culture around it, and can inspire and coach colleagues and young people to make it their own.
4.Only pick someone you’d hire in a heartbeat to guide and teach your own children.
5.If you’re not sure whether a candidate meets these tests, keep looking.
As a future educator, I hope that I will be looked at as a edrupreneur. I was born in 1975, so this is a new concept to me. I was taught by lectures, note taking, and the occasional movie (on VHS of course). We had a small computer lab, but our visits to it were rare. I hope to be exposed to this type of teaching through my classes at University of South Alabama, and my experiences in the classroom with other edrupreneurs.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Special Blog Post #1

Many Students Misinterpreted the Data in the Did You Know Video

Using WolframAlpha I was able to compare the population of India, China, and the United States. India-1.21 Billion People
China-1.35 Billion People
United States-309 Million People
In the movie, Did you know?, it states that 25% of the population of India with the highest IQ's outnumbers the entire population of the United States. India has 901 million more people than the United States. Without knowing this information, one would assume that India is further ahead of the United States when it comes to education.
It is estimated that 18 million Chinese speak English now and 300 million are learners. If we add these two numbers what do we get? So a total of 21 million people will be English speaking as compared to 309 million people total in the United States. I guess the lesson learned here is that when certain data is presented I should investigate further to do a comparison of numbers before I make an incorrect observation.
I just did a comparison search of Alabama and Mississippi. I got information on population, demographics, education, income, voting, school finances, along with graphs and charts. I know I was supposed to do a second search, but I decided to click on examples on the main page. This website does so much. You can ask pretty much anything and get some type of information. You can get information on weather, statistics, people and history, places and geography,music, colors, and transportation. This is just a partial list. It does not include the other choices available within each of these categories. There is a wealth of information available on this site. This is a wonderful site for students, or really any curious individual. I like that it does all the math for you when you are doing a comparison search. It's good for me, because I am not very good at math. I wish I would have known about this site before now. It is something I will definitely put to use in my classroom.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count Change

Gary is an award winning multi-platform producer, author, educator and Director. He is currently Senior Producer and Manager of Product Development at ABC TV Multi Platform responsible for delivering new editorial formats against ABC TV shows including dual screen, social TV and mobile. His Social Media Count gives numbers down to seconds. It includes numbers related to Social, Games, Mobile, and Heritage. The numbers are constantly changing. This includes Facebook,ipad purchases, music downloads, and money spent to make movies. There are too many categories to name. You can get numbers per week and monthly. There are several ways that he has broken down the information.

As a future educator it is more than a little intimidating. It allows one to see just how quickly things are moving and it will only get faster. There is some real truth to life long learning. To keep up with the world I will have to constantly be learning and updating what I have learned. This will be a benefit to me and my students.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blog Post #3

Critiquing A Classmate's Blog

Paige Ellis's blog was very informative on how to successfully and professionally critique another person's work. In my case, as a student, it was helpful to be given the information in a simple form with added information to supplement the three easy to remember steps. Her best advice to keep in mind, is to be positive, and offer constructive criticism. Do this in a way that benefits the person you are critiquing without saying anything that could be discouraging for the other student. Both suggested short movies and the slide show reinforce her statements in her blog. Keeping this in mind, we should offer compliments, suggestions, and help make corrections.

When I make my comments to a blog, I am going to use both public and private comments. My first reaction to that question was that I would definitely use private comments mostly. I know what it feels like to feel stupid, because I did something wrong, and other people saw whatever it was. So, I can really identify with Paige's comments about shying away from offering criticism, because it can upset, or offend someone. I am sure that other people can identify with that too. I then thought that my public comments might help the individual, but they may also help other people (including fellow students) who might be reading them also.

The Mountbatten 
Made by The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
boy using Moutbatten
The Mountbatten is a tool for the blind. It looks like a small typewriter. (hopefully everyone knows what that is) It types braille, while saying the letter for the student out loud. This provides immediate feedback to the student and appeals to their tactile sense. It can connect to a PC, save files and transfer files also. The video was very short and only provided a small amount of information about the Mountbatten.I did some searching on the internet and was able to find more information than what was provided by the video.
Reinforces recognition of Braille characters - utilizing speech output to enable and promote experiential learning.
Allows pre-Braille activities and play for young children long before they are physically able to use traditional mechanical Braille writers.
Develops technology and Braille as Life Skills - concepts of using files and editing documents are introduced at a basic level, all in the context of learning Braille.
Introduces organizational concepts such as planning and time management - using the built-in clock and diary functions. Removes attitudinal barriers by taking the "mystery" out of Braille - sighted teachers, peers and family can connect a regular PC keyboard and write in Braille.
Assists with inclusion and participation - the student's work is displayed on the Mimic screen.
Literacy through Braille opens up the world of communication and expression - essential for living successfully. Braille fulfills needs that cannot be addressed by verbal and audio methods. The MB Learning System is the ideal platform for launching children into the world of Braille literacy. (http://www.mountbattenbrailler.com/)
This little machine could give me and the student a connection, by allowing us to work together. If it connects the student to the teacher, it could also be a tool to bring the students together too. Many students might feel an awkwardness at trying to connect with someone that is not like them. This machine could help with that. It is not only important for students with special needs to learn in the classroom, but they need to feel accepted by their peers also.

Technology for Special Needs Learners
Teaching Math to the Blind  was created by Art Karshmer at The University of San Francisco, is a demonstration video. He has created a machine that helps set up math problems for the blind. This machine allows them to set the problem up just the way a sighted person would. It looks like a really old version Scrabble. There is a grid with wooden blocks. Each block has a written number and a number in braille. When placed in the grid the blocks number is said aloud. I wonder if this tool could help sighted people too. Everyone has a different need when it comes to their own learning style. So, I am curious as to whether this machine could be beneficial to other students in the classroom also.
iPad Usage For The Blind
This demonstration was done by Wesley Majerus. He is an access technology specialist with the International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind (IBTC). His main focus was on the benefit of having voice over on the iPad. He showed how the reader feature worked. I personally did not care for the monotone voice of the reader and it was a bit fast for my taste. In my own classroom I would probably prefer to use books on CD. I grew up listening to books on records, tapes, and eventually compact disc. The voice of the author , or someone who has a good reading voice, is much more pleasant to listen to verses the robotic voice of the reader.
The last video (created by Denise Robinson)was another demonstration of the iPad. It was designed to teach parents what their deaf/blind children are learning with the iPad. It was a little easier to follow than the previous video. Having never put my hands on an iPad, it was easier to understand what the voice over was saying in this video. It also added some humor to the mix, because the mom was having trouble following the persons instructions about how to use the iPad itself.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
This video shows a true classroom of the future. Vicki Davis has stepped away from traditional teaching. She is leading her students to opportunities that other traditional students will unfortunately be missing out on. She is using wikis, blogs, podcasts, virtual worlds, and other new media tools to connect students in rural Georgia to the world. Rather than giving them all the answers her teaching methods empower the students by making them research and learn while they learn. She understands that not all students learn the same.
This video excited me to the very point of tears. As a substitute teacher, to see these students excited about learning, gives me hope. Mrs. Davis's students are taking on leadership roles in the classroom, and through teaming, they are reaching out to help others. The school must really know the importance of having technology in the classroom. Every student was sitting behind a computer. Some of them were utilizing phones in the classroom too. Everyone was engaged and actively learning. I hope that all schools are moving towards this method of learning, or I hope I am lucky enough to be teaching at one .

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blog Post #2

Did You Know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version

As I have said in my previous post, I am a substitute teacher. When I start my day I always hope, I am not going to have a run-in with a student regarding any sort of electronic paraphernalia. I am pretty lenient when it comes to the students use of these items, as long as they are respectful with their use of them. I was beginning to wonder how I was going to handle this, once I stepped into my first class as a "real live teacher". After watching Did You Know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version, on YouTube, I am beginning to question why we are trying to remove these items from the classroom.

This video helped me to see what a benefit these tiny computers could have within the classroom. It makes complete sense that we are going to have to embrace these gadgets and utilize them for the students benefit. John Strange's video opened my eyes to some surprising numbers when it comes to the use of different technologies. I am a cell phone user, but I do not even own a smartphone. It has not been that long since I started texting. His statistics show that the United States is falling behind, when it comes to educating our children. Things like texting , YouTube, Google Searches, and personal computers in the home, are on the rise. The message I received from this video, is that we are, and should incorporate these things as learning tools within the classroom. Gone are the days of dusty chalkboards, and boring lectures. It is going to take some pretty special people to get their classes attention and hold on to it in this day and age.

Mr. Winkle Wakes by Mathew Needleman

This YouTube movie's character Mr. Winkle wakes up after sleeping for a hundred years, only to find a new and changed world. Sound familiar? Technology is everywhere. He visits an office, hospital, and a school. During his visit to the office he is confronted by computers, printers, fax machines, and the use of Skype as a business tool. Uncomfortable, and sickened by it all, he visits a hospital hoping they can help him feel like his old self. There he sees machines and lasers at work helping the sick and keeping people alive. Finally he finds the comfort of a school. It is a teaching environment without the use of technology. There, he finds peace as he realizes that school has not changed in the last one hundred years.

This video shows how businesses, and even hospitals are on board when it comes to the use of technology. It shows that schools are slow to change. In my previous post, I came to the realization that these technological devices are not going away. They are in our face daily. They are here to stay. How are we going to train our children for the future, and the best jobs, without the use of technology in the classroom?

Heather Heiskell's little girl wearing Sombrero

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
Sir Ken Robinson who coined the phrase,"If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original",presents the idea that schools kill the creativity of children. During his presentation he cracks plenty of jokes which are really funny. As funny as he is, all of his stories have a point. The heart of his talk is focused on the plight of our children. They are born with such creativity and without the fear of being wrong. The institution of school, and I believe, life itself squashes children's creativity by making them conform to the standards that society has deemed normal. This in turn leads to the fear of being wrong. He ends his presentation with a story that brought tears to my eyes.
Sir Ken Robinson touched my heart with the words he spoke in his video. My son was diagnosed with ADHD. He will be nineteen in a few months. It was a long struggle to see him graduate high school. I really wish that schools could focus more on what a student is good at vs. what they deem needed to survive in today's society. Sir Ken Robinson makes me fear not only for my own babies, that will be starting school eventually, but for every child who might not fit within the mold that they are expected to.


I had a Pinterest account prior to EDM310 coming into my life. It is wonderful, and I have to say I am slightly addicted. I have mainly used Pinterest for home project ideas, recipes, music, and people that I like. I have to say I would use all four of the ideas presented for the classroom. (Lesson Plans, Sharing Ideas, Organization, and Student Use) I will be the first person in my immediate family to have a college degree. Unfortunately, I do not have a mentor, that is also a teacher. So I feel as if I am floundering helplessly sometimes. I am looking for anything that will give me ideas about what to do with my students to keep them engaged in learning within my classroom. The idea of having students use Pinterest for group projects, and using it to get parents involved is wonderful. I will be teaching high school, or possibly middle school. It seems like a lot of teaching tools are geared towards elementary students. I must admit I followed all twenty of the suggestions on the link. It looks like there are plenty of boards and pins that could be used for high school students too.
I looked at several of the boards and pins that I decided to follow. The crafts look like so much fun. It has me questioning why I am becoming a high school teacher.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Blog Post #1

My name is Heather Heiskell. I am pleased to say that this is my first blog. I look forward to lots of constructive criticism from you. This is all very new to me and I want to learn as much as possible. Please pepper me with your comments and feedback.
About Me
I was born in Mobile, Alabama. I have four children and three step-children. My children range in age from eighteen years to sixteen months. I work part time as a substitute teacher for the Mobile County Public School System. My husband is an Aviation Mechanic. During my spare time (which does not happen often) I like to read and listen to music. I love visiting the local thrift stores and going to yard sales. I take Zumba classes three days a week and work out at the gym.
I graduated from Theodore High School in 1993. I grew up thinking I was gong to be a veterinarian. That was until I figured out that I absolutely stink at math. After high school I attended Faulkner State Community College on a music scholarship. I did not stay however, because I got married when I was eighteen and had my first son shortly after. I have attended college when I could for the last eighteen years. I never could seem to make up my mind what I wanted to be when I grew up. My plan when I came to University of South Alabama was to get my degree in Social Work. It has only been recently that I decided to get my degree in Secondary Education. I love history and I thought it was a great idea since I have been substituting at local high schools for several years. After I finish my Bachelors Degree I plan to get a Master's in School Counseling.

My Classroom
I have to be honest and say that it is difficult for me to imagine my classroom in the future. I can not even compare my experience with substituting to having my own classroom of students. Most, if not all high school classrooms that I have ventured into have been pretty bare. I know that I would like for my room to have an inviting and warm atmosphere. I want my students to feel that they are in a safe and comforting environment, despite what may be going on outside of the classroom or in their homes.

My favorite former teachers have always been the ones that pushed me to do things that I thought I could not do. I want to have a close connection with each of my students, but I will expect their best efforts on everything. Rules and respect have taken a back burner to wanting to hand our children everything on a golden spoon. Students are looking for(and need)guidance and boundaries rather than someone babying them through everything.

I want to really get my students to be as engaged and interested in history as I am. It would be wonderful if my classroom had its own set of computers for the students. I would also like to have a set of maps. So many people are lost when it comes to knowing where certain countries are located and how they interact and affect one another. I plan to use visual aids, such as maps, movies, documentaries, and field trips along with information from the internet. All of these will hopefully help supplement traditional textbook learning.

I will obtain more ideas for my classrooms during my internship and hopefully through the people I will meet within this class. Pinterest is also a favorite site of mine. It offers a plethora of ideas for classroom learning and decorating. I also hope to have a close camaraderie with my fellow teachers. We can exchange ideas and work together to turn out the best students that we possibly can.

Randy Pausch on Time Management

I am very familiar with stress due to procrastination. I am the worlds' worst at getting things done, especially when it is something that is not interesting to me. I also procrastinate when it is something that I have never done before. I am trying to change that when it comes to all aspects of my life.

Randy Pausch has some good ideas of how to go about getting things done in a timely manner. Most of it seems to be common sense and something anyone could do. He suggest knowing exactly why you have to do something, setting goals, making list, and planning your life from your day all the way up to your semester. None of his suggestions seem very difficult. It is just about me making the changes in my life to be more organized and using my time wisely.