Thursday, June 19, 2008


So....always good to get new toys. The Podcasting session we went through today was great. Brian Mull gave us just what we needed. Podcasting is something I have wanted to ingerate on a large scale for some time. The oppurtunities for remediation, or make up of missed classes that it provides students with is incredible. Just think about it for a many times do students tune out during an average 45 minute class period. Some of them do so and not even intentionally. If the lesson has been recorded and uploaded to our CMS (Moodle) then students can always refer back. However we don't want to stop there. What better way to give our students a truly authentic audience than to allow them to create their own podcasts. For example you could ask your students to write an essay on the Cold War, and after they have written their essay ask them to podcast it. During the writting process they may not feel that the work is theirs, but when they are allowed to put their own voice to it, it takes it to a whole new level. You may even consider allowing them to skip the writting part from time to time and simply allow them to research and podcast their findings. Students then become an integral part of the activity. The possibilities are endless. To hear how to easily podcast using Gcast listen to the podcast posted on the right. For direct instructions on how to podcast using Gcast follow this link. For direct instructions on how to podcast using an Ipod follow this link.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Foundation First

Is it appealing to today's generation to come to class? This is a concept that has never had to be dealt with before, but let's face it, we have to deal with it today. We are competing for our student's attention. What are we competing with? Far too many things to name. So how, how do we make it more appealing to get an education in today's society. We can begin by laying blame at every possible doorstep, but what have we solved by doing so? We have to focus only on those things that are in our control, and that is our world. Technology is great. It is fantastic. It is a must in todays educational environment. That much is obvious, but just having the technology will get us nowhere if there is not proper implementation and sense of relevance to the planned lessons. But what I would really like to do at this point is sidestep technology. I know, this entire blog is geared toward Instructional Technology, but let's lay some ground work first. Have you ever read Harry Wong. I was forced to in college. I loved his writings. Give him a chance, I think he has some insight that is very useful in today's learning environment. A portion of his focus is on, what I call, the foundation. Consider for a moment the aesthetic appeal of our classrooms. Do our rooms portray a person in control, or do they scream chaos has ensued. I am not being negative here by any means. I am just throwing an idea out there. How do we feel when we come home in the evening and the house is a wreck, clothes are everywhere, dishes are piled in the sink, toys are strowed from here to forever? If you are like me you feel overwhelmed and stressed. I would imagine that is how our students feel walking into classrooms that may be disorganized and chaotic. Some might say look at the school building, it is old, worn out and ugly. But again, we were talking about the things that we can control. I know you are looking for a point, and the point is before we can just throw technology into the classroom and expect it to solve all attention and intrest problems we must first build a foundation that can support it. A foundation of calm, organization, and respect. Let's face it, if we don't show respect for our room, why would our students respect anything in it. I am interested to hear you opinions on this.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Brian Mull/Alan November

Moss Point School District recently hosted a workshop by Brian Mull who works in cooperation with November Learning. I attended this workshop and felt that the tools he brought to the table were very useful. A few examples of these were Gcast, Wikispaces, Skype, and Ustream tv. He allowed each of us the oppurtunity to personally investigate these tools and determine their level of value in the classroom. I was very excited to try out Gcast. I even put it to work with a group of Beta Club students on our recent trip to our State Convention. It is fun and very easy to use. I also worked some with Ustream TV and really enjoyed that experience as well as saw value for it in the classroom. Overall the workshop was interesting and informative. I would like you feedback on this workshop. What are some of the tools that you found intresting and of the most value? What is your overall thought on the workshop?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Today's Generation and Education

The integration of technology in the classroom is no longer just a good idea. It is imperative that we embrace the fact that education is changing. As teachers we are educating a generation like we have never seen before. This is a generation that does not remember a time before cell phones. From birth they have had interactive toys to keep their attention and entertain them. They are moving from the time they get up until the time they go to bed with one activity or another. More and more of our children have been diagnosed as having A.D.D., my own son included. It is my opinion that the children are not for the most part truely suffereing from an attention deficit disorder, they are suffering from E.D.D. sound strange????? That is because I just made that up. (Hey, somebody made up A.D.D., so why not?) It means educational disengagement disorder. We try to educate today's students in a world they simply do not understand, and cannot relate to.

Student's of today have simply adapted to today's fast paced world. As parents we keep our kids on the go or involved in something almost constantly. I know this is true for me. They are used to moving from one activity, game, tv program, etc.. to the next. But when it comes time for them to get an education, we expect them to sit quietly in neat desks, in neat rows, be quiet, and listen for at least 8 hours a day with very few breaks. How as adults would we react to that. We, like the above mentioned students, have adapted to life in a very fast paced society. We have grown used to living our lives on go. For most of us, doing what we are asking today's generation of students to do would be impossible. I know this for a fact because I personally do professional developments for teachers on a regular basis. I also know this for fact because I have been a teacher asked to sit through professional developments, and maybe you are the exception to the rule, but sitting quietly, and listening while I am getting educated is very hard for me. I take mini mental trips (usually when I needed to be listening the most).

The question is, how do we revolutionize education so that we are able to successfully reach this generation of students?