Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blog Post #5 Part B: My Updated PLN

My PLN After EDM 310
By: Noah Armstrong 
group of three teachers standing in front of a blackboard
    My PLN started out including a small number of high school teachers and and even smaller number of college professors. Since I have been in EDM 310 I have been exposed to new people to add to my PLN as well as learned ways to find more. I have since introduced the fallowing to my PLN list: all of the C4T teachers that i have been commenting on, some professors and doctors in the history department that can help me, and even some teachers from my home town that I never had in high school but have reached out to me after hearing I have decided to enter their profession 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November C4K

*Post One*
Hello my name is Grace and I will be telling you about “How am I a good citizen “.
I think that I could try more to become a good citizen by collecting canned foods for people who might not have food on their tables every day.
Just to tell you Halloween is tomorrow and I probably going to use half of my time tricker treating and the other half seraching for cans
and I will be donating the canned foods to the school and then the people would have food on their table for a while!
I don’t think I am a very good citizen because I don’t really try my best to solve all problems but I am trying to get my lazy self 
to get up to solve the problems and try to do my best and like I said I will try my best to try to solve the problems all around me.
So I will try my best to take action and to try.

Hey there Grace, 
I'm studying to be a teacher at the University of South Alabama. This is a great idea to help people out on Halloween. Great blog post, you just need to clean up some small grammar things. For instance, you say "I probably" when it should be "I am probably". Great job though I would give you an "A". Keep up the good work.

Hi Erin,
My name is Noah and I am studying to be a teacher at the University of South Alabama. First off let me say that i love art. I'm a huge fan of street art and graffiti. You did a great job going through the artistic process of changing your design. Your use of black and white photos and color both in your drawing and in the background picture. I like the brightness of the color that you do have. I do a lot of work like this and I love that you using technology, but i wish they could find a way to draw on an iPad that makes it look more like a hand made drawing. I looked at some of the things that you have posted further back and you have great talent. Keep it up!

*Post 3*
The first quarter of the 2014-2015 school year has finally come to a close, but it seemed to be at a faster pace than most quarters. Let’s have a brief recap of this quarter.


After looming ominously in the distance for months, school started. Mondays are just asslothful and repulsive as last year. Fun times.


The initial glow of the school year is beginning to dwindle. We had more breaks this month; the setting of one’s home is much more tranquil than the jarring setting of school. Thankfully, our school is not being too frugal in our use of the chromebooks.

Our first quarter has come to a close, but we still have what seems to be ages to go. 3 quarters. Oh, well, It will certainly be a long year.

Hi, I’m an Education major at the University of South Alabama. This is a great post to answer the prompt. I liked your use of vocabulary, I’m sure that was part of the assignment. I thought that splitting it up into @months was a good touch. 
On more of a personal note: Don’t worry, you’re almost to high school and it gets fun at that point. It just moves faster and faster until you graduate. Then you move on to college and it all changes. Enjoy High school while you can. 
Again, great post! 

Blog Post #14: "Teaching Can Be a Profession by Joel Klein"

Blog Post #14:
"Teaching Can Be a Profession by Joel Klein"
By: Noah Armstrong

1. Unequipped Teacher- Raising the qualifications of a teaching degree to rival those of other top countries

-I agree with this completely. I have had teachers that have no idea what they are doing but they are allowed to teach based on the fact that they have a degree from some rinky dink online school that ill prepared them to handle real world teaching.

2. Anyone with a degree can become a teacher- recruit from the top third of the class

-This sounds like a good idea in theory. A drawback that i can see is that some people are bad at school. It can be as simple as that. You could have a person who is a great teacher and is able to pass on knowledge to students with great skill but they themselves have test anxiety and are not able to be the top in their class. this I think would be fixed by beefing up the requirements. Thus, making it harder to get a degree and raising the quality of anyone good enough to make it through with a degree. 

3.How we reward teachers- Base it on performance rather than seniority 

-This seems like a complete "Duh" statement because that is how all other jobs work, you are better so you advance. The idea of seniority should only apply if you are comparing two teachers of truly equal skill rather than just assuming they all have the same skill level.

4.job security based on seniority- layoff the least effective rather than the newest hire 

-Time served should have something to do with how you are looked upon when it is time to let some one go but not at the sacrifice of skill evaluation. only two teachers with equal skill should be then compared on experience. 

5. there needs to be professionalization including an entrance exam and internship.

-The idea of an entrance exam is a great idea. like the bar for lawyers this would make sure that a teacher is fully prepared when they get their degree and has not been cheating or memorizing for each test to make it through college. It would also give greater credit to the hard work teachers do. 

6. Students should be able to choose from a pool of nearby schools rather than be assigned by neighborhood. 

-This yet again sounds like a good idea in theory. However, I fear that this is resemblance of how some Asian countries run their schools where the smart children are put in a high level school and the others are left in the dust. However, it could also give that kid a chance to choose a better school and given the right surroundings flourish.

Conclusion-  It is no secret that the education system needs improvement. The United States is behind in that category. The US is known for being the pinnacle of a nation yet we struggle in the category that means the most for our future, education. While improving the quality of teacher we put into the classroom does a lot for the problem it is not enough. even a skilled professional can not do a good job with rudimentary and crude tools. Even the most skilled surgeon can't do a good heart transfer with a chainsaw. How can we expect a teacher to teach optimally with a crude education system.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blog Post #13:How Does Your Future Classroom Work? (Create-a-Post)

After watching the fallowing videos, think about where classrooms are currently and one thing you will change in Your classroom to help move your classroom into the future of education.
Is Technology A Threat To Our Education

Microsoft Vision of the Classroom of the Future

Blog Post 13: How Does Your Future Classroom Work?
By:Noah Armstrong 
     I think that the future of the classroom lies with technology and teaching styles coming together to form one thing that couldn't be separated into its points. When technology and teaching style are blended seamlessly we will make a breakthrough into the minds of young students. 
     If you have ever seen a small child play with a smartphone or a tablet you know that they do not need your help to do what they want to do with it. I feel that then technology we have available today is something that can be picked up easily by even the kindergarten age group and can help us to teach them in an engaging way that can be molded to the individual child so that thy get extra help where they need it while others may do well in that area and need help in others. 
    With this technology growing every day as shown in the Microsoft video it is only a matter of time before a teacher and students can seamlessly use all the technology in their classroom so that any hindrance that technology has now (such as not being able to transfer something from one device to another effortlessly or being confined to one screen) are eliminated. 
    Teaching styles will have to continue to evolve alongside and interweaving with technology. Learning to teach in a way that gives the student a feeling of equality with the teacher, where their thoughts and ideas are important is something I also believe will launch us into a new era of learning.  young girl with a clear helmet on as if to absorb her lesson caption: reading, writing,arithmetic then in bold: Science, Sputniks, Space

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blog Post #12: Technology for Handicapped Students (Collaborative)

Blog Post #12: Technology for Handicapped Students (Collaborative)
By: Noah, Missy, Tori, Chelsea, Katy
Noah- Speech recognition software
In my research I came across a few technologies that are designed to help physically handicapped students, but one stuck out because it is something that would help people like me with forms of dyslexia. Speech recognition software was designed to help use a computer without using the traditional mouse and keyboard. Software like “Dragon” can recognize sounds spoken by the user and convert them into commands for the computer. This allows someone with limited use of their hands to operate a computer with their voice. This allows people with limb abnormalities or amputations to be free of the need for an aid to do the typing for them.
Box of Dragon Software

Using this software one can also dictate to the computer what they wish to type. This can help not only the people who find it hard or impossible to type but also those that have problems spelling, like those with Dyslexia. These programs are almost 100% accurate when it comes to spelling and recognizing speech. This allows them to make up for their handicaps.
Speech recognition may not be in itself a learning tool but it levels the playing field so that those with the inability to use a computer normally can have a way to do it on their own without help. This is not only a tool for school work but also for the real world that is now run by computers

Melissa- AT for the Deaf and Hearing impaired student. During my search for assistive technologies available for the hearing impaired or Deaf this disability was often paired with blindness as well. It was explained that both of these disabilities account for the smaller part of the disabled population so maybe that is why they were often paired together. Another reason could be that a lot of times when a person has one disability it can be accompanied by another or sometimes multiple disabilities reside within one person. At any rate I concentrated on the Deaf. The Deaf community and members within consider it offensive to call them hearing impaired or to say that they have suffered a loss of hearing. They consider ASL (American Sign Language) to be their native language and English their second language. Some do not speak by choice however most of the Deaf learn to speak in order to effectively communicate with the general public.

I will move from older to newer technologies as some of the older ones will still be in use but not for long I am sure as smartphones are getting smarter every day.

In the classroom setting the interpreter was at one time the only way a teacher could communicate effectively with a Deaf or hearing impaired student. The interpreter stands to the left and a little bit behind the teacher and signs what the teacher says in sign language for the Deaf student to see and understand.

Hearing aids can be used by some students with hearing impairment however, do know that the aids amplify ALL of the sound including background noise which could still make it difficult for the student to hear the teacher. Use of FM systems (the same kind as presidential security or McDonald's drive through) where the teacher wears a mini microphone and the student wears a pair of headphones is extremely useful in these cases because the student hears ONLY the teacher.

Sidekick is a mobile communication device that allows the user to receive Instant Messages (IM) and Email. Of course this device is being replaced by the cellphone.

Video instruction and televised announcements with closed captioning can be effective tools. The student can pause or review any forgotten or missed parts of the video instruction avoiding misunderstood questions or answers due to language/communication barriers.

Photo experience books created by the student offer a visual tool to communicate personal experiences with a hearing person without the use of spoken language.

Power point presentations are great for the hearing impaired and Deaf students. It is a computer program that is offered through Microsoft. The program allows the teacher to add pictures and text to slides eliminating the need for the student to hear what is being said.
my computer

A vocalization to visualization tool is available for free through a computer program called Winamp media player. A microphone is used and auditory sound is turned into visual fireworks on the computer monitor. This is used to represent the sound that is going on in the room as well as to teach the Deaf student how to speak.

The top assistive technology by far within the Deaf community is the smartphone and texting. The junior high and high schoolers especially like this because it completely eliminates the need to speak. They can communicate clearly and just as quickly with text as their hearing peers.

All of these technologies can and are used in real world situations and like I said earlier the smartphone is quickly replacing a lot of these technologies as I type.    resources are on next page.

Kathryn Ortmann-AT for the Blind and the Visually Impaired

     Students that are blind or have visual impairments are going to be vulnerable to falling behind in a classroom setting. Meet Mason.  He's a first grader and suffers from a vision impairment.  Mason's parents were worried when he first started school that he would not be able to keep up with others and he wouldn't be able to go to a normal school.

Mountbatten Brailler      To help solve some of Mason's complications, his school purchased a Mountbatten Brailler for him to use during class so that he can learn to write and read Braille.  The Mountbatten Brailler is the complete Braille learning center for children and their teachers. As a professional resource, the Mountbatten Brailler offers exceptional connectivity and software to support flexible teaching and educational needs.  The Mountbatten is a simple tool that can be used to develop awareness of Braille symbols and characters. The clear audio response reinforces learning and tells the student which commands are being entered.  The Mountbatten is the first and only Bluetooth Smart hard-copy Braille device that communicates wirelessly with iOS Bluetooth Smart Ready devices. Mason is able to learn Braille at an early age, so as the grade level increases and the difficulty of subject matter increases, Mason can keep up with his fellow classmates.  

     Mason uses an iPad and the Smart Board to increase his learning.  The iPad allows Mason to participate in fun games and learning exercises that teach him how to read and spell.  There are many apps that allow students to listen to words and spell using the sounds, so that they do not really have to see what is happening to learn.  The Smart Board, since it is so big, allows a visually impaired student like Mason to be able to participate and actually know what is happening on the screen.
Girl using a smartboard

Tori - Today I am going to share with you an app called Proloquo2Go that is available on iTunes. This is an app that gives a voice to people who can not speak through the use of symbols. This is an amazing tool for kids who have trouble with verbal communication. Instead of trying to guess what they want or need, they can click on the appropriate symbols to tell you exactly what they want. When a symbol is clicked, it says the words out loud on the app as well. In this video, you will meet a 10 year-old boy named Nick. He was diagnosed with Autism and has trouble with his verbal communication. The video shows his mother and other people who work with Nick through out the day using Proloquo2Go and they talk about how it has drastically changed the ease in which they communicate. Nick will often try to verbalize what he wants but when/if it does not happen he uses his iPad to press the symbols which make sentences stating what it is he wants, needs, or feels. Most of the time he will also repeat what the app says which is strengthening his verbal communication skills. The app is availiable on the app store for $219.99. That may seem like a lot of money for one app but when it comes to being able to communicate with a child and the child better communicating with the world, I believe it is worth every penny. If you visit Proloquo2Go, read the reviews from people who have bought it. They all have touching stories about having children or students with disabilities of all kinds whose lives have been made so much easier because of this amazing app that enables them to communicate more effectively.
iPhone Screenshot 2

<b>Assistive Technology for Students with ADHD</b>
By: Chelsea Power
<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-txwQt2mLS4M/VF_81pCDckI/AAAAAAAAAaU/uWUfiQ6J33Q/s1600/adhd.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt= friendshipcircle.org Title= ADHD border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-txwQt2mLS4M/VF_81pCDckI/AAAAAAAAAaU/uWUfiQ6J33Q/s320/adhd.png" /></a></div>
In todays classroom there is a growing rate for children with ADHD. This can be very difficult for a teacher, parent, and other classmates. It also requires a lot of patience, I say this speaking as a mother with a child that struggles with ADHD. I chose to find assistive technology for students with ADHD. I also use some of the programs and strategies at home to help with his homework. There are a bunch of resources for students and teachers in the classroom that I have listed below.

A word-prediction program that requires a few keystrokes to generate word lists can help students with severe spelling problems, who do not benefit from spell-checkers. Graphic organizers, on the other hand, can be helpful to students who can't generate ideas and organize their thoughts. Such as this website <a href="http://www.aurora-systems.com/pages/learning.html">Aurora Systems</a>

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--01yqishLFI/VF_7Yg89T5I/AAAAAAAAAaA/7pQsxAI0BWc/s1600/clickers.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt= und.edu Title= Clicker border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--01yqishLFI/VF_7Yg89T5I/AAAAAAAAAaA/7pQsxAI0BWc/s320/clickers.jpg" /></a></div>
<a href="https://www1.iclicker.com/">Clickers</a>
Clickers are remote control looking items that record student’s
answers to questions.  They can be multiple choice questions or polls. It is a great way to get immediate feedback and data on student’s knowledge of the material.  Clickers are engaging for all students especially those with learning disabilities.  They provide instant feedback for the student and involves technology It engages the student while maintaining focus on the lesson and task at hand.

Text to speech programs
The programs and tools that create text to speech are great for students who are auditory learners, struggling readers, or have visual impairments.  This allows the students to listen to the text while following along with the reading.  The student is no longer focused solely on word recognition but now focused on the content and main ideas. WordQ is another program that helps students proofread their work.

project #10: Teacher Interview

Project #10 Video Interview with Gina McCarly 
By:noah Armstrong
Sorry for it being over 7 min long but I had so much good material i couldn't edit it any shorter.
This is Gina McCarly the Technology teacher at my old high school Lawrence County High/

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blog Post 11: What can we learn from the teachers provided in this weeks list?

What did i learn from this week's teachers?
By: Noah Armstrong
One teacher teaching a group of teachers

1. Mr. Crosby seems to be an amazing Science teacher. He is taking a non-ideal group of students, most of which are learning English as their second language, and using technology to not only cover his Science criteria but also teach reading, writing, and oral skills through blogs and building a global learning network. he reinforces the need for technology in the new age of teaching by showing that it can really bring children to want to learn.

2. Mr. Anderson has come up with a great new spin on the Scientific Process that he calls Qu.I.V.E.R.S. that is a great representation of blended learning that really brings technology into the classroom with his daily videos. This technique not only frees up some of his class time with a uniform lecture video but also makes sure that everyone is getting the same information. He then makes sure that his students understand the concepts they have researched in their text books before they attempt the quiz. I like this style because he uses technology but he doesn't just hand his students the concept on a silver platter but makes them read from an actual source and learn to pull out information, a skill that i think is dying with Google. 

3.   Mark Church demonstrated one concept of project based learning quite well in this video that jumped out at me, and that is the concept of coming back to an aspect of the project at the end to show the change in it. He did this by making each group come up witha a headline that summed up the main idea of the project. this not only makes the students bring together their thoughts but also allows them to compare how their thinking has changed after finishing the unit.
Mr. Churches Video

4.Sam Pane addressed one of the main problems I have with the use of so much online learning in today's schools and it is that of online safety. I like how he used super heroes in his lesson to bring his students' attention in while actually using technology.
Sam Pane's video

5.This project based learning video brings forth a concept i have never really thought about. the ideo of combining classed to allow for more time but also teach two things at once. this chaneles the more substantial subjects like in this case History through the other tool and skill based classes like Literature and Computer Science. I think it is a wonderful idea but like in this video I'm sure that it would take a lot of work to bring to reality.
PBL video 

6. Roosevelt Elementary's PBL starts kids out young learning how to work together in a team as well as teaches them skills that are harder to master later on in life like public speaking and for that aspect it is a great system.
RES's PBL video

Sunday, October 26, 2014

SmartBoard Project

blog post #10

What tools and techniques discussed in this weeks video interview could I use in my class room?
By: Noah Armstrong 

Well as far as people who Dr. Strange has shown us who use blogs and technology this week's was one that I actually found a good bit of insight. being a secondary education student I see a lot of the projects we do based more toward small children. Therefor, I sometimes have trouble seeing its application merit in a high school History classroom, but as I said this week was better.  
I found a few good ideas I think would transfer over well. I have been playing around with the idea of a biweekly blog post by my future students of around 500 words on a history topic that fallows what unit we are in and the sights mentioned that this teacher uses to find college classes to comment on her students blogs seems like a good idea to give some real world credibility to their work rather than just the idea of doing it for me as a teacher so they get the grade. 
The tool being used that caught my eye the most however, was not in the interview. It was in her class video where they were using Skype to talk to a geologist about rocks. I think if I could find a professor that would take some time out of their schedule to just field some questions by my students that might insight a true debate and actually get my students interested and taking sides on issues of history it could really be a turning point in the year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blog Post #9: "What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning?"

"What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning?"
By: Noah Armstrong 

Teachers- Teachers are how we learn anything as teachers. This isn't like the subjects that we as teachers plan to teach. In math or science or history there are facts that have been proven or recorded. In the art of teaching these facts we learn from the experimentation of ourselves and others. This is how we learn what works and what doesn't. 
From the videos we were assigned for this blog post I learned how to break down a project to make sure that it follows PBL (Project Based Learning) principles. The point is to engage the students and empower them to develop real life applicable skills as well as learn the coarse material, apposed to the traditional project that encourages the attitude of just doing something for the teacher or just to pass a test. 

Students- Students and their reaction to and performance in PBL is really the merit of PBL. You may not get it right the first time or at least not to your satisfaction. Like every new thing you introduce you may have to make some tweaks to your pet project to make it realistic or to get the exact results you want as far as preference and attitude.
Seeing the video of what motivates students and what they like as rewards was not only amusing but also informative. Some of the ideas for rewards like "classroom money" seemed like creative new approaches. To me it seems like a bit of bribery. The idea of edible rewards by the older student made me laugh because it sounds like something I would say. 
It surprised me that some of the smaller kids had some of the same motivations for doing well in school as I do. Elementary school aged children are already thinking of grades as ways to get into good colleges and provide for their families. 

This would be the smartest guy in class!
Man carrying many pizza boxxes

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blog Post #8: "What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?"

"What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?"
By: Noah Armstrong 

Randy Pausch

     First of all let me start with how inspiring this man is. Anyone who can stand up in front of a group of people with that much confidence and energy when he has only months to live has my undivided attention. As far as what we can learn about teaching and learning from him it is hard to know where to start. Firstly teaching, I found his example of asking to take his sabbatical to Disney amazing in showing the importance of good communication. Two people can say the same thing and it can be perceived in completely different ways. This is critical to keep in mind when talking to students. They already feel intimidated by you to begin with. Why speak in a way that makes them even more intimidated and afraid when you can calmly figure out a solution. Secondly learning, Mr. Pausch's story of his old football coach riding him at practice is not only completely relate-able to me but also a good thing to remember when dealing with stress in the classroom as a student. If a teacher rides you to fix your mistakes or not make them the next time it is because they know you can do it not because they don't like you. On the other hand if they just let you keep on making mistakes they have given up on you and will ignore you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Blog Post #7: "How Do We All Become Learners?"

Blog Post #7: "How Do We All Become Learners?"
By: Noah Armstrong 

1. What I Need To Do.
     As far as learning different approaches to teaching go, I think I am on the right track.This is my first education class in college. As my classes progress I'm positive that I will learn more teaching techniques to better reach a higher percentage of my future students.
    When it comes to the "Best Technology" (debatable with Apple products) I have some learning to do. I can do the basics but that doesn't seem to be enough anymore. This class (EDM 310) has become a resource that is teaching me more about technology than any class I have taken. However, I don't know how many schools actually have the resources to do half the things that are demonstrated in this class.  

2. What I Learned From These Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olqVcAYnA_o&feature=youtu.be   -How to make a QR Code-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iezQjGbTpm0&feature=youtu.be     -iPad Reading Center-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ophIZhNs2s4                                     -Poplet-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvgz8efzKLA&feature=youtu.be    -AVL-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS7DMH7FqXE&feature=youtu.be -Board Builder-

     The QR Code was helpful. I have always wondered how to do that and I'm sure I can find a way to incorporate it into a high school lesson plan. Using the iPad as a recorder sounds like a fast an efficient rethinking of the tapes I used in elementary school. Poplet is a neat little app for making webs. As a future high school teacher it could be used but it would have to be in a more in depth manner than in the video. AVL and Board builder are both things I have used in high school, so I really didn't get that much out of those videos.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Blog Post #6: Response to the Anthony Capps Videos

Blog Post #6: Response to the Anthony Capps Videos 
By: Noah Armstrong 

     The interviews that Dr. Strange did with Anthony Capps were great. Having someone that is a teacher tell us about how the real world of teaching is like would have been great, but Mr. Capps is not only a teacher but one that came from USA and went through this EDM 310 class. It's nice to know that it is possible to make it through and succeed when in the middle of all the workload it can seem like an impossible task. 

     As far as some of the specific of the interviews I found Mr. Capps explanation of PBL (Project Based Learning) to be enlightening. He explained that rather than using PBL as a way to test to see if a student understands a concept, it should be used to actually teach and let them discover concepts and come up with solutions to problems. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

C4K September Summery

C4K September Summery 
By: Noah Armstrong

source: http://strategicplanning.mansd.org/

#1 Post:A young boy had made a presentation on how to create an account for an online game he liked.
      Comment: I explained to him that I also liked fantasy games like the one he was presenting on. I then advised him on some spelling and capitalization errors as well as some better word choice.

#2 Post: A young girl was asked why reading and math were important. She responded by explaining that we need math for instances like buying food, and that we all need to be able to read.
     Comment: I told her that I enjoyed her comment on food and that being a football player I related to doing math to make sure i could pay for my food. I also pointed out that while I agreed that we all need to be able to read that she could give a strong example like she did with math. 

#3 Post: A young girl named Cayla wrote her first blog post and told about her favorite activities, music, and color. 
     Comment: I told her that I have a sister her age (9) and that i find it wonderful that they already know how to do so much with computers. I found no spelling or grammar mistakes in her writing and congratulated her on that. I also liked the fact that she used a purple font when she explains that that is her favorite color.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Project #7 First Two Videos- " My Passion" and "My Sentence"

Project #7 First Two Videos- " My Passion" and "My Sentence"
By: Noah Armstrong 

"My Sentence"

"My Passion"

Friday, September 19, 2014

"Blog Post 5 - PLNs What Are They? 1"

"Blog Post 5 - PLNs What Are They? 1"
By: Noah Armstrong


     You may ask what these 2 pictures have to do with each other. The truth is in the context of PLN's they are essentially the same. To use the words from Dr. Strange's 2009 version of Project 6, they are both dipping into a PLN stream. They just happen to be on other ends of the planet from each other.

     When I first looked at this blog assignment I was slightly worried. This being my first real education coarse, I haven't really ever thought about a PLN. I have a few teachers from various high schools in my home town that really did well teaching me in their specific fields, as well as college Professors like Dr. Strange who has plenty of experience and could probably opperate a Mac better than some people in an Apple Store. Dr. Brazy has become one of my prime candidates for future help teaching history. I have had her twice already and she does a amazing job with thought provoking questions and discussion that makes you look at history through a whole new lens. The people in my current and future EDM classes will surely hear from me in the future as i am sure that they will develop their own PLN's that i can dip  into through them. 

     Back to the picture conundrum. How are a coach and a teacher both using a Learning network? While looking at my currently small teachers learning network I realized that I already have a massive network of coaches from high school, college, as well as all their friends, and conferences/clinics that I can use to learn new techniques and  material from just like I would as a teacher. It turns out I'm not bad at developing a PLN, I have just been Developing one great one without noticing it. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Blog Post #4: What to Know to Ask Effective Questions as a Teacher

What to Know to Ask Effective Questions as a Teacher 
By: Noah Armstrong

      As a student in high school I was one to ask questions and even argue with teachers until I thoroughly understood the subject being taught. Unfortunately students like this are a rarity. We all remember the Students who knew they wouldn't get the question right and didn't even bother to try, or those that just didn't care about class. 

     According to Ben Johnson's "The Right Way To Ask Questions In The Classroom" Questions need to be provocative and encourage answers. and to do that you have to understand the mentality of your students. The "not smart" kids are happy to let the "smart" kids answer questions and are so relieved if they are not the ones called on in a call out situation that they really don't pay attention to the question or answer. Needless to say the "I don't care" students just don't care if you call on them or not and really couldn't care less if the smart kid gets it right. 

     The solution is to change how we ask questions. Instead of asking close ended questions that require a simple yes or no or simple prefabricated statement we need to start asking open ended questions that lead to discussion.

     To solve the attention problem of the two thirds of the class that are not "smart" teachers sould ask the question, wait for a few seconds, and then randomly choose a student. This makes them all think because they don't know if they will be the ones to be called on or not. You have to keep it random so that the student doesnt think "Oh, I have answered my question today" and zone out for the rest of the class. (A "Wheel of Jeopardy" spinner would come in handy)

     The questions that we ask are what guides the critical thinking of the students. We can present the facts and lessons of our subject and we are really nothing more than a overpaid Google search. The understanding and debate and discussion that our questions spark is what makes us a teacher.  


Project #15: Search Engines

Wolfram Alpha -
     Wolfram Alpha is a search engine for those that need help in the math department. It can search subjects as broad a subject as you wish or you can narrow it down to a specific formula or problem. When you get it down that far it will show you a break down of the problem as well as graphs and alternate forms.
     This search engine is best used for self tutoring in any math as well as checking homework (not cheating).
     Evaluation- Wolfram Alpha works pretty seamlessly and has personally helped me pass Calculus. I think that the fact that is shows you the answer but doesn't show you the steps helps to discourage cheating as well.

     iSEEK is a search engine that brings you academic web results and allows you to filter them based on grade level, subject, people, places, etc. It also has a rating system that allows you to find quality articles without reading them all yourself.
     This search engine can best be used for any search that needs factual information. It is ideal for papers.
     Evaluation- iSEEK is easy to use and provides specific factual information. I can see it being a useful discovery.

Bing -
   Bing is a typical meta-search engine. You can search any keyword and have Bing go through the vast internet looking for sites, images, videos, and ads that have the same keywords or subjects.
     Just like Google, Bing is a fast port to information on any subject if you are willing to look through the first couple sites to find what you want.
     Evaluation- Bing is a solid search engine. However, I can see how it stays behind Google in popularity. Bing is more awkward to use on a traditional computer, although on the mobile version I find Bing to be much more helpful.

Blinkx -
    Blinkx is a search engine purely for video content. You can simply put what you are searching for into the search bar and sort through a string of video from sites like YouTube and DailyView.
     This can be a portal for finding video content on anything that you could hope to research or wish to watch for entertainment.
Evaluation- The navigation of this site is great in a minimalist way. It is just a string of video one after the other, no nonsense. The great thing about this site is that unlike Google or Bing it doesn't give you a link to a video but rather the video is played right there within Blinkx. In addition it brings you videos from all the big sites and smaller ones. So, unlike YouTube you are not limited to what is uploaded to their site.
Radio Locator-
   Radio Locator is a site where you can find any information you wish to know about any radio station. You can search by the radio stations letter name, or by its station number, or even the area that it services.
    This site could be used to find a radio station as you travel that will play the type of music you like, or allow you to find a site to listen to your favorite station from back home.
     Evaluation- For what it is it is a very effective search engine. The only problem I can see is that it only applies to a specific crowd or circumstance.
     Retrievr allows you to search for images from Flickr that match images you either sketch or upload to their sight.
     This can be used to find a more specific image than can be described by words in a traditional search engine. If you have an image that you need similar copies of or even just an idea for one you can find one from Flickr.
     Evaluation- The fact that you can look up images using images can come in very handy. This way you don't have to look through things that don't apply to you. The problem is that it only gets them from Flickr.

Archives.gov  -
    Archives.gov allows you to search for a digital copy of documents found in vast and respected libraries such as the national archives and the presidents library.
    This can be used as a way to find very reliable and strong references for papers and research.
     Evaluation- This is a great site for finding great reference documents. You can also choose what library to look trough. The problem is that some of the sites it links you to are not completely free.

Refseek -
     Refseek gives your reliable .gov and .org websites as search results kind of like Google Scholar. This can be another good way to find good research references.
     Evaluation- This is a great site for research and is comparable to Google Scholar.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Blog Post #3: "How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback To Your Peers?"

"How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback To Your Peers?"
By: Noah E Armstrong 

     We have all gotten back a paper from a teacher and seen a frightening amount of red ink on it. Stressing over a paper and getting a bad grade can be one of the worst feelings a student feels in their academic career, but there is a way to reduce or even eliminate the dreaded red ink. Peer review is simply getting a friend to look over your paper for mistakes you can fix or clarifications you can make. If you use peer review you must also know how to peer review. 

     The first thing you need to be sure of is that you are positive and supportive, offer complements on strong points you find to give them some encouragement. You wouldn't want someone to be mean when reviewing your paper. Next you need to make suggestions on what they can fix and be specific in your ideas for corrections.