Monday, September 24, 2012

Education in Japan

Dear EDM 310 Alum:

Greetings from Ichihara-shi, Chiba, Japan (see red dot).

My name is Leah, and I recently transplanted from Mobile to her sister city around the globe, Ichihara, Japan (for general info, please see this Wikpedia article, and please, don't worry about the Yakuza- I don't). I'll share a brief summary of why I'm now residing on this monocultural (and no, I don't mean the plants) island (although, it doesn't feel like an island), and then, hopefully, get to the point.

I was temping at a magnet middle school  in Alabama's "city by the bay" when I met G. G's daytime job is a traveling gifted educator, but his unofficial post remains as a recruiter for the Mobile Ichihara Sister City Association (MISCA). Every 3 years (now 2) Mobile, AL sends someone to Ichihara, Chiba, Japan, to act as a cultural representative of Mobile, AL and to assist teaching middle school students English. When asked if I'd like to take this wonderful opportunity, all my dreams of traveling the world and teaching abroad resurfaced, as if seeds planted and never watered could grow. This would forever be my one regret if I was scared enough to say no.

So obviously I said yes, and I'm now working as an Alternate Language Teacher (ALT) (more about this position and its pros and cons later) in a junior high school. Now, to showcase the stark contrasts between typical American and Japanese middle schools.

Please click here for the full story entitled The Oddities of Japanese Compulsory Education, originally posted on my personal blog September 3rd.

More to come.

In service,
Leah DiVincenzo

Thursday, February 9, 2012

In Memoriam

Bobbi Jo Nelson

From the South Alabamian February 9, 2012:
Bobby Jo Harris Nelson, age 25, died Feb. 4, 2012 at Mobile Infirmary. She was a native of Clarke County and a resident of Escambia County.

A member of the First Asembly of God in Jackson for many years, she served in a variety of church areas, especially with children. She and her husband, Michael, were both members of Church of the Nazarene in Riverview.

Mrs. Nelson had received an Associates Degree and was currently working toward a Bachelors. She tutored students through the University of South Alabama.

She will be remembered for many good things, especially her big smile that lit up an entire room.

Survivors include her husband, Michael Nelson of Brewton; parents, Debra Smith Harris and Charles Wesley Harris, both of Jackson; grandparents, Margaret Ann Dungan and William E. Smith, both of Jackson; brothers, James “Clint” Harris of Jackson and James “Wesley” Harris of Mobile; sisters, Terrie Marie Harris and Melissa Harris (Michael) Gates of Grove Hill; nephews, Seth, Noah and Harris and niece, Maggi Ann.

Preceding her in death were her grandparents, Mona Sue Smith and Woodrow W. Harris.

Funeral services were Feb. 7 at First Assembly of God in Jackson. Interment followed at Odom’s Cemetery in Riverview with the Revs. E.C. Russell and James Meadows officiating. Arrangements were directed by St. Stephens Funeral Home.

Pallbearers included Michael Gates, Harris Gates, Derrick Nelson, Wesley Harris, Coy Whitehead and Clint Harris.

EDM310 Staff and students express their sympathy to the family of Bobbi Jo Nelson. Bobbi Jo was a student in EDM310 in the Summer 2011 semester.

Monday, August 1, 2011

EDM310 Graduates: You Are Now More Valuable!

Mac laptop

Baldwin County Public Schools Superintendent Alan lee has announced that all students in the Bay Minette High School will have a MacBook starting this September. This is the start of an effort to do this countywide by the 2012-13 school year. "I would like to have 20,000 [MacBooks] in the hands of students by 2012-2013. That would be my goal" said Lee.

Baldwin Register, special insert Back to School... Back to the Future, Sunday, July 24, 2011, p.2.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

William Chamberlain Awards Announced

William Chamberlain Award badge

The William Chamberlain Award of the University of South Alabama was established in 2010 to recognize students in EDM310 who demonstrate "an outstanding interest in and ability to use technology in learning."

The 2011 recipients of the William Chamberlain Award are

Stephen Akins (EDM310Summer 2010)
Allie Howell (EDM310 Fall 2010)
Josh King (EDM310 Fall 2011)

Congratulations Stephen, Allie and Josh!

Hadley Harrington Strange Awards Announced

Hadley Harrington Strange Award badge

Two EDM310 students are the recipients of the 2011 Hadley Harrington Strange Award. This award is to be given annually in memory of my father, Hadley Harrington Strange, to someone who always asks questions and considers all alternatives.

The recipients of the 2011 Award are

Richard Howell EDM310 Spring 2011
Elizabeth Brooks EDM310 Summer 2011

Congratulations Richard and Elizabeth!

Ruth Hart Jessee Strange Awards Announced

Ruth Hart Jessee Strange Award badge

Two former EDM310 students are the recipients of the 2011 Ruth Hart Jessee Strange Award. This award is to be given annually in memory of my mother, Ruth Hart Jessee Strange, to someone who has positively affected the lives of others.

The recipients of the 2011 Award are

Martha Yim
Amanda Bosarge

Congratulations Martha and Amanda!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thank You!

Thank You!

Remarks by John H. Strange upon receiving the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning, College of Education, University of South Alabama
April 29, 2011

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dean Hayes for the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning. My daughter Katharine said to me “Oh Dad, you are the only one there old enough to get a Lifelong Learning Award.” Of course she is also the daughter who asked me about a painting I had bought “Dad, how drunk were you when you bought that?” Now I find the award especially meaningful since I am a firm believer in the proposition that Learning Never Ends and I am constantly saying “I don’t know. Let’s find out.” And I might note that “Let’s” is plural! Learning is a joint venture.

As I thought back on all that I have learned since I began reshaping EDM310, it is clear that my continued learning has been a joint venture, that it has benefitted from many people. Jamie Lynn Miller and Poppy Bednorz taught me how important is is to say thank you as they did with their great movie EDM310 for Dummies. Now I get a chance to publicly thank them! So I again thank you Dean Hayes, Jamie Lynn and Poppy. Tonight I would like to give thanks to everyone who has helped me learn what EDM310 could and should be. The list is too long and the time is too short to do that, however. I will have to do the best I can. In so doing I will identify some of the central ideas I have tried to incorporate into EDM310. My thanks to each individual will be cryptic and lacking in details. I promise will write an extended blog expanding on what I have learned from each. Those of you here tonight who teach undergraduates will recognize many of the names.

I start with

William Chamberlain who teaches 5th grade in Noel. Missouri. He taught me how important commenting on blogs is, and he insisted, along with Angela Rand, that I use Twitter.
Room 10 at Pt. England School in Auckland New Zealand taught me how important Skype could be in learning.
Kaia, a three year old in Dubai, along with her father Jabiz, taught me the power of blogs in connecting diverse groups around the world.
Dillon Rogers, a USA student, thanked me for the freedom I gave her in class and now I thank her for demonstrating how important freedom can be in furthering creativity.
James Fawcett convinced me of the importance of movie making as an educational tool.
Paula Casallo would enter EDM310 for almost the entire semester saying “I hate technology.” Yet she taught me that people can change their minds about technology. Paula is creatively using much of what she learned in EDM310 at her school where is now a librarian
Jackie Gorski demonstrated that the alumni of EDM310 really do want to continue to be involved.
Stephen Akins helped me understand the power of being quite, or even silent. I bet you are questioning whether ever happens with me.
Allie Howell encouraged me to understand the power of enthusiasm.
Joe McClung and Jarrod Lamshed demonstrated that sharing with others is an important learning objective, whether you are in Arkansas, Australia or Alabama.
G Tashbin insisted that we could create a true learning community, and with the help of the EDM310 Lab Assistants, we have!
Dorothy Burt revealed to me what an entire school can do when it fully embraces technology as is the case in New Zealand at Pt. England School.
Paige Baggett continues in her efforts to teach me that change can and does happen without messy revolutions.
And Anthony Capps has taught me how important it is to leave an academic trail worth Googling, how powerful reflection is, and what great teaching can be like in the 21st century.

There are many more people I should thank, but my EDM310 students as a whole have taught me the importance of being brief. I quote them: “One hour, six minutes and 42 seconds in a video we are supposed to watch? And then write a blog post about it? Get real Dr. Strange. Seven minutes at the most.” OK, they all took back those words after listening to Randy Pauch’s last lecture. But this is not my last lecture. So my 7 minutes is almost up.

My thanks to everyone, whether I mentioned you or not.

And now my talk.

OK. Don’t worry. It is included it in the 7 minute limit.

I want to thank 3 people for helping me with my talk: Bailey Hammond, Steve Jobs and Stuart Brand, originator and editor of the Whole Earth Catalog:

Bailey Hammond answered the question I posed last week to my students in EDM310: What assignment did I leave out of EDM310 this semester that I should have included? Then complete that assignment. with an assignment and a question:

Her assignment - Watch Steve Jobs’ 2005 graduation talk at Stanford which he ended with an admonition he read in the final issue of Stuart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog: "Stay hungry. Stay foolish."

Bailey’s question: “What does ‘Stay hungry. Stay foolish.’ mean to you and how can you apply that to your future as an educator?”

The short version of Bailey’s answer to her own question was to keep learning, don’t be satisfied with the status quo, take risks, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, be open to inspiration coming from the oddest of places (no, she didn’t say the Strangest of places), leave your inhibitions in the dust, don’t take any day for granted.

She ends her post with the lines from the song I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack,
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder./
You get your fill to eat/
but always keep that hunger...
I hope you dance.

And so I ask you “Stay hungry. Stay foolish” What does that mean to you as an educator?

Thank you Bailey (and Steve and Stuart) for my talk tonight.

Thank you again, Dean Hayes for your support!
Thanks to all my current and former EDM310 students.
And thanks to you, my audience - for not timing me!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Thank You From John T. Spencer

Tom Johnson looking the other way.
Pencil Me In: A Journey in the Fight for Graphite was published today in a
softcover edition ($10 from Amazon)and in a Kindle edition ($4). This book is based on Mr. Spencer's blog Tom Johnson's Adventures in Pencil Integration.

Here is an excerpt from Special Thanks in Mr. Spencer's book Pencil Me In: A Journey in the Fight for Graphite:
I would like to thank Alan Stange for all the formative feedback he offered from the first day I began this blog. I also want to thank Russ Goerend for encouraging me to continue with the blog when it had no real story arc...

Thank you, also, to Dr. Strange and the EDM 310 class who left regular comments, wrote reflections in blog posts and sent e-mails to me sparking in-depth conversations. Your feedback was immensely helpful through this process.

Blogs, comments on blogs and your EDM310 activities do make a difference. Mr. Spencer's remarks reflect the input he received from the Summer 10 and Fall 10 classes. I thank you also!

The conversations continue!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Enter First Gift to USA Video Contest - Win iPad 2

The First Gift USA Video Contest
EDM310, in cooperation with the University of South Alabama Office of Development, is looking for an original video to let your fellow students know how they can and why they should contribute to the University of South Alabama.
For the last ten years or so the University of South Alabama has conducted a Faculty/Staff Campaign in which USA faculty and staff are asked to give back to the University to create scholarship funds for students and to support other activities of the University. Often these gifts have been matched by the University and/or individual members of the faculty or staff. Last year The William Chamberlain Fund was established to provide annual prizes to EDM310 students who exhibit an unusual ability and interest in using technology effectively in teaching.
We would like to expand this annual effort to students as well as faculty and staff. Can you (or a group of you) create a short (no more than 2 minutes) video to encourage USA students to participate in a student fund raising drive through a “First Gift to USA”? These gifts can be designated to support any of the initiatives currently supported by gifts to the Annual Fund, including the William Chamberlain Fund. Or new initiatives can be started.
This effort is modeled after a very successful effort at LSU which ultimately raised over $750 million dollars for LSU. Our goal is not as grand, at least not yet. We want to experiment with a First Gift campaign and, if successful, expand it beyond EDM310 to the rest of the students at USA. Will you help by creating a short video encouraging USA students to make a “First Gift to USA”?

The Contest
You can help by creating video of no more than 2 minutes in length using an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iPod Nano with video, Flip camera, etc. that lets your fellow students know the ways they can contribute to “First Gift to USA”. All submissions that meet requirements (see “Rules”) will be judged by a panel consisting of students, faculty, and staff members. The submissions will also be featured on the EDM310 Class Blog.

Grand Prize – A 32 gig Wi/Fi 3g iPad 2 (or iPod Touches for up to 3 people). NOTE: Efforts are underway to increase the prize to an iPad 2 per team member. We will keep you posted about whether we secure these prizes or not.

Click Rules and read them. Or, if you are currently enrolled in EDM310, the Rules have been shared with you and you will find them in your Google Docs. Then enter the contest. Entries will be accepted through midnight Sunday April 17, 2011.

If you have an entry which you want to submit, contact Dr. John Strange to how to deliver your video to the judges. DO NOT submit your video to YouTube or any other "cloud storage" that can be accessed by the public until all judging has been completed.

You should take a look at the LSU Contest winner and the top two runner-ups.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Few Points that Need Clarifying...

A video for all teachers everywhere. Thanks do Dr. K in Reading Education for sharing with us.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Few Resources to Share

As I was writing my history lesson plan, I came across a few websites I wanted to share with you. Hope you find these helpful.

This website will create a rubric for you based on what assessment you are using. Very time efficient!

This is a great website for everything Alabama. Great for 4th grade history!
Encyclopedia of Alabama

A great technology blog from Collier Elementary technology teacher, Amber Coggin.She shares so many great Smartboard activities.
Collier Elementary is located in West Mobile, a part of the Mobile County Public School Sysytem.
Smartboard Goodies

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's a Book

This made me laugh.

Monday, March 14, 2011

iPad 2 - Try It out!

i Pad 2
I have a 32 gig Wi-Fi only iPad which I will have in the Lab this Wednesday between 1 and 3. Yes, it is Spring Break but can you wait another week to see it? And you can use it Wednesday.

Cone join me!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sharing - Let's See What EDM310 Alumni Can Do!

Giving hands
Two years ago as this version of EDM310 was nearing completion, I was intrigued by the efforts of @wmchamberlain, @jarrodlamshed and @joemcclung to introduce sharing into their class curricula. Mr. Chamberlain devised a way for his class to contribute to Daraja Academy in Kenya. Mr. Lamshed created an event in which he and others sacrificed their hair for the Australian equivalent of the American Cancer Society. Mr. McClung and his class raised money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

I have wanted to add a component to EDM310 for Sharing. We will inaugurate it this semester for the first time. The University of South Alabama has an excellent program of giving for faculty and staff, but none for students. In fact, the William Chamberlain Fund which awards $500 each year to a student or students in EDM310 for outstanding commitment to and ability in using technology in teaching is a beneficiary of the faculty/staff campaign. I want to support that effort and also to create the possibility of extending the faculty/staff effort to students and parents in all parts of the University of South Alabama.

So.... here is what we are going to do.

I am asking all EDM310 Alumni to make a contribution to the William Chamberlain Fund. To contribute, just click on the link. This is purely voluntary, but we hope you will join us in supporting the fund.

In addition, a number of the EDM310 community (alumni, current students, staff and I) have watched three short videos of LSU students which resulted in a campaign for LSU that raised $750 million dollars. Yes, $750 million dollars.

So another way you can support our EDM 310 Sharing Effort is to participate with a team of 2 or 3 other EDM 310 students in creating a USA fund raising campaign video. The LSU examples will be posted on the Class Blog by Sunday night 3/6. A link will be added here. Videos will be due April 18 at noon.

Now here are the incentives:

We want to encourage participation in these efforts. So if 60 EDM310 students and alumni participate this year, I will match any cash donations. If at least 100 EDM310 students and alumni participate, I will double match any cash gifts to the William Chamberlain Fund up to a total of $2,000. In addition will match the total on top of that!

The videos created as a part of this effort will be judged a team appointed by the USA Office of Development and Alumni Relations. The members of the winning team will receive a special prize which we will announce soon.

What do we mean by "participate" as far as EDM310 Alumni are concerned?
Any person that gives at least $5 to the William Chamberlain Fund.
Any person that participates on a team that produces a video for the Office of Development will count as a participant.

The more participants we get, the more matching money there will be.
If there are 60 or more alumni and student participants, I will match the William Chamberlain EDM310 Fund donation so a $10 gift becomes $20. AND the University will match that so a $10 gift becomes $40!

If there are 100 or more alumni and student participants, I will double match the William Chamberlain EDM310 Fund donation so a $10 gift becomes $30. AND the University will match that so a $10 gift becomes $60! My total is limited to $2,000.

Contributions will be accepted until April 18 at noon. Videos will be due April 18 at noon.

Let's see what EDM310 Alumni and Students can do!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Art at the HeART of Social Studies Wiki

Dr. Baggett and I love researching the integration of art and social studies. We have done several workshops and presentations on this topic and are currently working on some journal articles. So we wouldn't have to try to bring handouts to the presentations, we created a wiki for the powerpoints and resources--Art at the HeART of Social Studies: At this site, you'll find resources for integrating art and social studies, music and social studies, resources for differentiating instruction, and finally just some plain, old social studies resources that I share with my methods' students. These would be great for upper elementary, middle or high school teachers. To access these resources, go to Social Studies Web Resources on the left hand side. Please feel free to send me any social studies resources that you like and have used and I'll add them! Dr. Baggett and I would also LOVE to hear about any art integration that you're doing in any content area!

One of my newer, favorite links is a template for a Facebook Page that students could use for a historical character. This can be adapted for lots of things. I was hoping someone would create something like this and someone did! Check it out!

Even better than Wordle!

I love the Wordle site, but a 340 student (Thanks, Westley) shared the following site today which is even more useful and fun-- I can think of all kinds of applications for this-having students use country outlines and filling in with descriptors of the geography, culture, etc. or using heads of historical characters and again, using descriptors for those characters. When I was teaching in the pre-computer days, when the earth was cooling, I had historical head outlines that students would fill with images and phrases that described that person and this site reminded me of that!

I will say that I love typing in poems, historical documents, etc. to Wordle, then having students decide which poem or document the Wordle contains. It's a fun assessment to make sure they are familiar with specific vocabulary in those poems or documents.

Great Blog for Educators

I LOVE the Blog, Free Technology for Teachers Each time I go there, I find many, many great things. One item that will benefit teachers (and teachers to be) at all grade and content levels is VuSafe which provides a way to organize videos that you download from sites such as YouTube so that you can access them in your classroom. You can also search videos that others have downloaded. My student teachers and methods students are often frustrated at not being able to access YouTube and similar sites in their classrooms, and this site takes care of that. Best of all--it's FREE!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Technology In the Hallways

Kim Holland is blazing the trail for a revolution in Mobile, Co. She just finished her book trailer for a bulletin board at St. Elmo Elementary. A movie for a bulletin board? You read it right. This month, Dina Tillman and I were assigned to a 10 foot bulletin board with one requirement and one restriction-- we were asked to focus on Black History Month figures, but without using celebrities or athletes. So we elected to plaster our board with black, children's book authors and their corresponding book covers.

Okay, so the movie/ bulletin board connection is still not clear? Well, we decided to attach a folder with links to book trailers that are being created by EDM 310 students, and Kim has submitted her exemplary trailer of More Than Anything Else first.

This is just the start. These movies will be shown in the library, and looped on the welcome television in the lobby. St Elmo Principal Fletcher caught wind of our plans and has decided to upload them to the school's closed network, and likely even add one of them to the end of her School Board Presentation as an example of how St. Elmo is pushing the against the borders in regards to technology. What a wonderful place to be a student teacher! Thank you EDM310 for supporting our quest to integrate new learning and producing opportunities via technology in the Mobile County Public School System.

See Kim's thoughts about her book trailer making process below!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Special Recognition

This semester, I have decided to highlight a new EDM310 student blog each week. I believe it is time to really start encouraging y'all to make this learning experience YOURS by personalizing your journey and contributing to all of ours in the same stroke.

This week, I want to give a special thank you to Brandon M. Caten for his investment into his blog. I have learned so much about a wide variety of things. Not only has he shared meaningful responses to the required posts, but he has also exposed his online audience to themes of equality, political engagement, and student life involvement around campus.

It's only week three of school, and Brandon bravely posted a video testimony of a high school student's powerful coming out experience to his blog for all of us to witness the power of one young person's voice. It has inspired me because I too just recently came out online in conjunction with the "It Get's Better" movement for struggling gay teens. This young lady displayed a courage unmatched by most. Please take the time to view and share her pivotal moment of empowerment by clicking here.

Brandon's contribution to the EDM310 experience didn't stop there. He has also posted a call to action in support of the National Endowment of the Arts legislation that is currently running its course through congress. As future educators should recognize the power of the arts in their ability to help us appreciate talent, unite communities, and promote individual expression. We should also realize that testing has all but completely pushed aside arts in the school systems. In Mobile County, students get to participate in art class 5 times a year, and music only five times as well. That is roughly once a month for half a year each. How is this enough to teach our kids the significance of art in our lives as adults? What kind of framework are we building if students think that cramming for tests 90 percent of the time is more important than self discovery and expression through the arts? If we can't enjoy arts in the schools, take up Brandon's call to action and spend 3 minutes filling out this electronic form to let your voice be heard by our legislators. For the survival of creativity, click here to participate.

Just when you thought this future music teacher and life-changer, Brandon, couldn't possibly have time to add one more thing to our learning experience in a week, HE DID! Brandon found a way for you to enjoy yourself locally and simultaneously support our Jaguar Talents by attending the show choir performance (which Brandon is responsible for founding and directing) on Monday, February 7 at 7:00 pm. See his page for me details by clicking here.

Once again, thank you Brandon for all the time that you have invested into your own, and our educational experience. I look forward to seeing more great work from you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book Assignments Completed

Thanks for your support. We now have assigned all books. BUT @mrcapps, @dlt0141 (Dina Tillman) and I will dream up another project for the rest of you who volunteered. We will be in touch soon.

Assignments were made strictly by the time your request was received. All slots were filled by 8:00 pm. I gave the last two people who requested a book at 8:00 a book they had not chosen. If they do not want to do it, then the next person in line will be notified.

Book Assignments:

Jerry Pinkney Back Home Brittany Hamilton
Jerry Pinkney The Nightingale Alexa Howie
Donald Crews Big Mama's Trey Mohler
Christopher Paul Curtis Bud, Not Buddy Bailey Abston
Willie Perdomo Visiting Langston Jessica Brown
Marie Bradby More Than Anything Else Kimberly Holland
Patricia McKissack Porch Lies Whitney Greer
Faith Ringgold Tar Beach Megan Simmons
Mildred D. Taylor Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Hillary Rolin
Toni Morrison Who's Got Game: The Ant or the Grasshopper? Kelly Evans

Monday, January 31, 2011

Do You Want to Be a Part of History?

Book Jacket Porch Lies by Patricia McKissack
Anthony @mrcapps needs 9 book trailers done by February 14 for Black History Month. This is a part of our effort to get the schools in Mobile County using technology.

Here's how you can help:
1. Volunteer to do a trailer.
2. Select one of these books:
Jerry Pinkney Back Home
Jerry Pinkney The Nightingale
Donald Crews Big Mama's
Christopher Paul Curtis Bud, Not Buddy
Willie Perdomo Visiting Langston
Marie Bradby More Than Anything Else
Patricia McKissack Porch Lies
Faith Ringgold Tar Beach
Mildred D. Taylor Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

3. Leave a comment agreeing to take a book. Be sure to specify which one.
4. Watch the instructions for doing a trailer. Trailers are a lot of fun and they are easy to do.
5. Watch a few of the trailers done last semester.
6. Read the book. I have ordered all of them except 1 and they will be in the lab on Wednesday for checkout.
7. Plan your trailer.
8. Come to the lab and you will get help it in doing it. iMovie makes it wasy!
8. Be a part of history. It will be used at St. Elmo School to increase the reading of the books designated for reading in Black History Month. And the teachers there will see how powerful technology is in getting kids to read.

Help get technology into Mobile County Schools! Call, email, SMS or Tweet if you have any questions.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Continuing to Search for Answers, I've Found One!

I just love being connected and connecting! I followed a comment by Dr. Strange on the EDM310 Alumni blog. Dr. Strange provided a link to JoshKing's EDM 310 Alumni Blog. Josh and a fellow classmate created a website using This may be a solution to creating an organized portfollio as Ms. Byrd is requiring. This is a great website!



I found this when investigating whether or not Glogster is going to be the tool for my Math Methods SED454 Class. We are asked to find a way to electronically capture and build a professional portfolio of the work we do during our block semester and student teaching. Dr. Byrd not only requires it for the course, but recommends it as a marketing tool for ourselves when interviewing for permanent placement.

I am looking for a way to not only organize my materials for this class in a poster format, but I want to be able to search for information I may use down the road. Blogs are great, but it's different to pull up information easily unless I know where it is. Blogger can be divided into 10 pages, which is how I may organize the material for now.

Does anyone have any recommendations for programs that may help me here?


Jackie Gorski

Direct Instruction

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Continuing to Blog

Josh King is just one of may EDM310 Alumni continuing to blog. Keep up with Josh on Josh King's EDM310 Class Blog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A light bulb moment

I had a 'light bulb' moment when I saw this video and had to share it. This video is a great picture of the type of teacher I want to be. I want to be the musical stairs, not the plain stairs or the escalator. I don't want the students to take the easy way, nor do I want to teach the easy way (the escalator). I don't want to be the hard, boring teacher teaching things the same old way (the original stairs). I want to challenge and engage my students by presenting the same old things in new and creative ways (the musical stairs).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tools for Mac and iPhone

Recently an App Store has been added for all Mac computers. Available at the App Store is Whiteboard Collaborative on the Mac and also for the iPhone. The whiteboard on both works simultaneously. There is also an app on the iPhone called TouchMouse, and you can download the app for your Mac from LogiTech. Your iPhone becomes a mouse to be used for your Mac. Both the WhiteBoard and the TouchMouse could be great tools for a classroom.

The Bosarge Daily: All Bout EDUCATION

Amanda Bosarge
Have you seen the Bosarge Daily? Do ckeck it out. Amanda Bosarge was an EDM310 Superstar in the Fall 2010 term. Via Twitter.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

EDM310 Class Blog Nominated for Edublog Award

Nominated for Edublog Award
You can VOTE for EDM310 as Edublog selects the Best Use of a PLN 2010.

Click on the link above and VOTE. EDM310 would appreciate your vote, but you should also seriously consider voting for Comments4Kids. If it had not been for Mr. Chamberlain and his insistence on commenting on kids' blogs, the world (and EDM310) would be very different.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Luidia eBeam

Check out this link for a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment to make the whiteboard in the classroom interactive : e Beam.

If you have any experience with the Luidia eBeam in the classroom, could you post a few comments? I was interested in knowing more about FREE applications available to use with it to support the variety of subjects. My daughter's school has purchased a few and the kids love it! I am currently trying to raise funds to purchase one so that both third grades have a dedicated eBeam rather than sharing.

Thanks for your input!

Happy October everyone!

Jackie Gorski

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Creative Product from EDM310 Alumnus Dillon Rogers

Alcohol is a drug

Dr. Strange! ~
I made this for an LP on Alcohol Awareness in one of my health classes.

I absolutely could not find an appropriate video on YouTube or for free that would get the point across to younger students about the basic ideas of alcohol (K-3rd graders). So, I made this video Alcohol is a Drug.

This took me about 1 1/2 hours to make between editing photos and making it look perfect in my own mind, but is the most simple video I have ever made and anyone could definitely do this as a theme for several different units. I used iPhoto, made a slide show and pulled it up into iMovie. I edited it just a tiny bit more, but then I uploaded it to YouTube and stuck it in my LP! Now I can share it with anyone. :)

I will literally jump at any opportunity a teacher gives me to do something creatively. I haven't had as many opportunities this semester (it makes me miss EDM), but don't worry, I'll never give up!

Please feel free to share with the class or anyone else you know and critique for what you will!
Thanks again,
Dillon Rogers

Monday, September 27, 2010

On The Lighter Side

Such serious stuff on here all the time...I thought I would lighten things up. This is what we have to look forward too!!!
Click Here!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mr. Chamberlain Needs Some Help!

Third Grade Class Noel Elementary (Missouri)Mr. Chamberlain sent via Twitter "I would love some #comments4kids on this third grade singing post It's A Grand Old Flag! (1:30) and Boo (:35)"

OK EDM310 Alumni. Let's leave some comments on Mr. C's Blog. Just click the link above, listen, leave a comment. Thanks!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Classroom Hack: Creating Postcards Using Student Work

Here is a quick way to let your students show off their artwork and get in a quick lesson on writing postcards. The picture above is a postcard I made in class from picture a student drew to go along with a media history assignment. I took the pictures and printed them onto card stock and cut them out. Then I had them write a postcard explaining the assignment and had them mailed. Soon the parents will get a surprise in the mail!

You can do the same thing with pictures of the students as well. Why not take a picture of the science experiment they are doing, the activity they are doing in their PE class, or them working on a computer? There is something special about receiving handwritten mail and it is even more special when it is from someone you love!

Please note: If you are using a laser printer you need it to heat up before running card stock in it. I print 25-30 blank pages first before I run the card stock through so it heats up enough that the toner sticks to the paper.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Universal Design Tool:

While I have had the VozMe code on my blog for several years, it has just been brought to my attention that VozMe can be used in two other wonderful ways.

VozMe allows text to be read aloud. One way to do this is for the publisher of a site to add html to the site that allows a button to be placed on the site. You simply highlight the text you want read aloud and then hit the button. The text is then read to you.You can also download the audio as an mp3. This is great for accessibility when the site owner has the technical skill to add the code. 

Another way to use VozMe is to copy the text you want to have read to you and go to the VozMe website. Paste the code into the box and hit the Create MP3 button. You can even choose between a male or female voice. Very simple to do and the audio can also be downloaded this way.

The third way, and in my opinion the best, is to add VozMe as a favorite or bookmark to your browser. You will need to find the instructions for your preferred browser on this page. Once you have the bookmark, all you have to do is highlight the text and click on the bookmark. It will open a new page and read the text too you. You can again choose from a male or female voice and download the mp3. How cool is that?!

Special thanks goes to Ira Socol for pointing these functions out to me. If you are interested in Universal Design (and you better be!) read Ira's amazing blog SpeEdChange

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A New Me On the Horizon

In response to Elo Martin's Blog Post 2:

From working for Dr. Strange with EDM 310 students, I have learned couple valuable lessons about myself which relate to your comment. The first is this-- I enjoy the struggle to find new information most days. I have not always been that way, but I am now. Many students do not know what it means to be confident in their struggle. It is important to let them DISCOVER the value in the battle to find an answer/solution/reason to their problem. You said that you to appreciate learning things by "doing research for yourself"-- I wonder how many people in EDM would honestly agree.

The second thing I have learned, is that it IS A CHALLENGE, not to just do something for a student in need. After you have explained something five times-- its easy to kneel down, go through the motions in 2.5 minutes and say, "okay, now you try." Instead, I should begin by asking, "what have you tried so far? Why hasn't it worked? What are you going to try next?"

This little reflection has set me on a mission to evolve, I hope you're ready for the change!


Notes from Alba Middle School

To find out how you can become more involved scroll down to find our invitation to you!

Additional information to come, including: The USS Alabama Project, The 30th Parallel Project, Operation Educate Judy Stout...

Dr. Strange committed us to:
1.) Sending an EDM team to help teach blogging in order to create a public place for Alba students to display their work to an authentic audience.
2.) Create a Youtube Channel for the affiliate high school to publish their videos. (does anyone have any suggestions for places to publish and view videos that are not ban from public school systems?
3.) Invited them to display their work at the University after their PTO display.

Hagler Projects
1.) Ms. Hagler and her associates are working on a documentary from their book In the Path of the Storms.
2.) They are also taking strides to "SOS, Save Our Ship" by taking pictures of the USS Alabama as well as teaming up with a high school teacher who is contributing a mural to the effort. They are planning to display this at the battleship site and beyond.
3.) Lastly, and possibly most relevantly to EDM, they are embarking on an adventure that has them connecting to classrooms around the world located on or near the 30° parallel.

Ms. Hagler and all those involved, we would love for any corrections, additions, comments, or new ideas that you have to contribute-- any edits necessary are welcome!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


So here I am finally starting all of my education merged curriculum is crazy! Thankfully I am a good student, but unfortunately I worry way too much. To the EDM 310 students now, just do your work. Plain and simple. If you can't/won't do your work now in school then why/how would you teach in a school? See my point? So do your work and I promise you will be fine!! You will learn a ton! I am not even in PreSequence yet and my classes are already killing me and I just needed my alumni blog to vent to.
So thank you all! :)