Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blog Post 15 Final Reflection

see ya later alligator

This semester has been a roller coaster of learning!  I began it thinking that this should not be a required class and I am leaving knowing so much more than I had ever expected. Looking back, I realize how much I have changed in just a few short months.  I wish I had been able to make a video journal of this journey.

I think that this class is much more than learning about technology.  It gives you a new way to become a self-learner and teaches honest self-evaluation.  I also now know the importance of lifelong learning.  I constantly learn new things everyday, but now I know the importance of seeking that information out.  Because of this class, I now have many tools to help me do that.  

I just want to thank everyone for being so helpful and patient with me on this journey and I am so glad I am able to say:

I did it with graduation cap

Friday, April 29, 2011

C4T Comments for Teachers Post 4

banning Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube

by Mr. Wesley Fryer

April 14, 2011

I know that I have said this before, but now I have a new favorite post from a Comments4Teachers.  In this post Mr. Fryer used a YouTube channel History for Music Lovers to show how it is not always beneficial to block websites from students. 

After watching his examples of The French Revolution ("Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga) and Black Death ("Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani) I witnessed how powerful multimedia in the classroom can be.  I was never really “into” history in school but that could partially be due to the methods that were used to teach the subject.  These videos are just two of over fifty on this one channel alone.  I loved how creative and simple the videos were because I could learn about this history by singing along to a song I already know and love.

He then uses the videos as great examples of discussion catalysts for conversations about copyright and fair use on his wiki.

I then thought about this information and watched the videos again, shared the videos with friends, and discussed the topic on Facebook with other students before responding with this message:

Hello Mr. Fryer,

My name is Jessica Brown and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama.  I will be following your blog over the next few weeks and commenting about it on my blog.  My class is about different ways to use technology in the classroom, which is important for future educators.  I really enjoyed this blog post because most schools do block most of the internet from their students.  The school I have been shadowing this semester does not even allow Google.  I tried to show my first graders a book trailer (which is on my blog) and YouTube was blocked as well.  This was unfortunate because it was part of my lesson.   I have never been a huge history fan, but I know if any of my teachers would have shown me, or told me about, a website with these videos I would have done much better and probably enjoyed my in class lectures.  Thank you so much for sharing other examples of how digital media can enhance the classroom.   I also appreciate the links to other topics as well!  I cannot wait to share this with my classmates because this is what we have been working toward all along, becoming technologically literate for our students. 

Jessica Brown
EDM310 Student
University of South Alabama

screenshot of the website

This post was unique to me because I have never heard of iPadio before.  Mr. Fryer used this to make a twelve minute phonecast for his final exam review.  He is teaching two undergraduate sections of Technology 4 Teachers and this is his first semester giving a multiple choice final exam.  His class is project based with six different themes, so he used iPadio to show his students a new way to use technology and how easy it can be from any phone.

I then looked over his links and listened to his review.  I think that this is a creative and interesting way to reach your students.  Below is a copy of my response:

Hello Mr. Fryer,

I have been following your blog for a few weeks now and I wanted to thank you for such interesting posts.  I have never heard of iPadio before, but I think this could be a great tool to help in the classroom.  I am planning on teaching elementary education, but I can see where I could use this on my blog for my students’ parents.  I would like to show what we are working on and give tutorials that will help parents help their children at home.  I think that this would be a great tool for me to leave messages, tutorials, or even reviews so that the parents can become more involved and participate with their childrens’ education.  Thank you again for posting this and I look forward to trying out some of the different resources you have taught me in my future classroom.

Jessica Brown
EDM310 Student
University of South Alabama

Although I have left the link above, I wanted to repost his iPadio recording for anyone who would like to see what it looks like.  As he stated in his blog, the sound quality is not as well as it could be because he recorded it in his kitchen where many of the surfaces reflect noise.  He used a regular phone to demonstrate that this service can be used by any phone anywhere.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Special Metaphor Assignment (Blog Post 14)

a clock with wings

Why did so many of us miss the metaphor in Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home by Tom Johnson?  Although I cannot speak for the whole class, this is my answers to our special assignment:

Why did you miss the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post, or, if you "hit the nail on the head", why do you think you understood the metaphor and why do you think that others in the class missed the metaphor?
I missed the metaphor in this assignment because I looked too deeply into the post.  I was trying to find the real meaning behind what he was saying and I guess the literature lover in me decided to dig as deep as possible.  I thought that he was inferring that teachers need to open up to real issues and collaborate with their colleagues.  I had no idea that he was replacing pencils with technology.  Looking back on the blog post, I see now how that all fits together. 

What metaphors have you encountered since I asked you to create a log of them?
It’s raining cats and dogs.  –My grandfather on the weather in central Florida
The cup is half full. –My boyfriend on my pessimistic view of the day
Your room is a pigsty. –My mother to my brother
America is a melting pot. –My teacher at South Alabama
We are all sheep.  –Robin Williams on Law and Order SVU
I am sure there were many more, but these are the ones that I recognized and remembered to add to my list.

What other things can we do as educators to help our students to understand and to use metaphors?
As educators, we can teach our students how these types of metaphors relate to a broader picture in their own experiences.  We can teach them to look deeper into the meanings of what is being said.  One of my literature teachers did this often with what we were reading.  I plan to be an elementary teacher, so I may do exercises where my students can recognize metaphors and interpret what they mean.  For example I can teach them about “it’s raining cats and dogs out there” and have them explain to me what that means.

Why do we use metaphors?
This is a great question!  I have been thinking about this question for over a week now and all I can come up with is to broaden our own way of thinking by using our previous knowledge to determine what is really being said.  I’m still not sure why people tend to use metaphors instead of what they really want to say, but then again what if they cannot say what they think freely?  Then there has to be some way to get the opinion out there.  What I can take away from this is that we need to be able to think about things on a more complex level.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Final Report on PLN

screenshot of my personal learning network on

This is a screenshot of my current PLN.  I have been changing it over time, but I have been setting it up for later use.  Right now there are only a few websites that I need to access, so I use Google Chrome which saves my top eight most visited websites.  My PLN is still a work in progress and I am sure that I will actively start using it more this upcoming fall semester.  

In the fall I will officially be in the education candidacy program.  I hear we will be making our own lesson plans and actively start teaching lessons to the class we are assigned to.  My PLN is now set up to better assist me with that.

As you can see from the picture above, I have kept a few personal favorites and added many educational websites as well.  I have my PLN set up in this order:

The top left (blue):
Here I have mostly my Google access and a few connections to the University of South Alabama.

The top right (orange):
I have collected some of my favorite Comments4Teachers' websites and posted them as quick links to visit again.  

The bottom left (orange):
These consist of friends' blogs and useful tools for classroom projects.  I have kept TimeToast and Flickr to use for my own lessons in the future.

The bottom right (blue):
This portion of my PLN has changed the most.  I have found nine excellent educational websites for kids.  I plan to use these and hopefully find more to add to this collection over time.

The white boxes around my Google Search are mostly websites I visit often for personal and school related information.  Most of them help to keep me current on new tools as well as entertainment news.  I feel it is important to use websites such as and eBay because you may find good deals on things that you can use in your classroom.  I use Gizmodo and US Magazine to find out current stories and entertainment news that my future students may want to bring up in class.

There are many helpful tools and websites on my PLN, but I will continue to add and delete where necessary.  We are in a constant state of learning, so I hope to continue to find new and interesting things to bring to my students one day.

Blog Post 13

a screenshot of the ALEX website and tabs

ALEX, which stands for the Alabama Learning Exchange, is a project of the Alabama Department of Education.  It was designed to share many types of educational materials and information through a one-stop resource for educators, parents, and students.  Most of the lesson plans and activities are connected to the Alabama Courses of Study by National Board Certified Teachers.  The ALEX website has different links such as:

This page is great because you can use the search feature to access the courses of study by grade level, by keywords, or click on the blue buttons for the general course of study.  There is also an option to browse all of the Alabama Content Standards which can link you to general subjects (such as Mathematics, English, Social Studies, and Science) as well as others (such as Foreign Languages, Arts Education, Physical Education, etc.).

The web resources page has purple buttons to break up the web resources pages.  This makes it easy to search through by teacher, administrator, or student.  I cannot believe how much information and content is shared on the teacher resources page alone.  I found anything from useful links to lesson plans.  There was also a link Alabama Department of Education Initiatives  which had more links to state educational resources. 

Lesson plans can be made or found on this page.  If you are looking for a lesson plan, you can use the search engine or click the appropriate box by subject, grade levels, or search other areas.  I could not look at the link to make a lesson plan because I do not have an account with ALEX yet.

This link will allow anyone to search the websites database.  There are also green buttons to narrow the search in five categories.

I was unable to view this page because I do not have an account with ALEX.  I think this is a link to a PLN.

On the professional learning page there are many blue buttons which can lead educators to new opportunities whether it be training, grants, teaching and learning tools, tutorials or latest news.  The links Special Education Services (SES) and English Language Learners are very helpful tools to provided information and state standards for diversity in the classroom.

The Alabama’s Podcast Treasury gallery 360 has many links to different podcasts.  They can be found by content or subject area, top downloads featured content, Alabama showcase, or links.  There are also links to the content partners.  The podcast videos are made by different organizations and I have watched a few already that I would share with my students such as the Friendly Fractions videos made at Auburn University.

This link wants the viewer to click on the globe or a house to view the ALEX communities.  When I clicked on the globe I was sent to a web page that had links to all different websites for teachers such as National Geographic Education,  Teach and Think Green with STEM Classroom Resources, and Stop the Bullying.  The houses take you to the ALEX Professional Learning Community.

The links shared on the ALEX website are very helpful to educators, future educators, and parents.  This website not only allows teachers to find helpful information and lesson plans to share with their students, but also gives them an opportunity to share with their colleagues.  One of my favorite features was the Professional Learning page because it allows teachers to find other opportunities to continuing education as well as finding opportunities to help their students (such as grants).

screenshot of ACCESS website

From the home page, I learned that ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, & Students Statewide.  This is a distance learning program which provides classroom courses and teachers to students via technology.  Their vision states:  The State of Alabama will provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning.  Below this information, they list registration dates and deadlines.

In the About ACCESS tab, there are many informative links.  The web page begins with their goal, history, and mission.  They have a few links that are coming soon and a list of the ACCESS Staff on the Governor’s Task Force.

The courses offered in the ACCESS program are set up to allow students to self-enroll and have access to the modules at any time and from anywhere.  These modules are self-paced and designed to help students prepare for the graduation exam and the AP test.  They have practice exams and test reviews for ACCESS Distance Learning students.

This page gives information for educators to expand their schools or themselves to the distance learning program.  They give information on how to offer and teach subjects through ACCESS for credit at your school.

There are different links on this page of resources available to the ACCESS students.  This includes, but is not limited to Advanced Placement Test Prep, Alabama Virtual Library, ALEX, ChemLab, and MathType.  One of the links HippoCampus caught my attention quickly.  When you click on it, it also gives you links to the other links I listed above.  The HippoCampus is a free online resource providing multimedia content on general education subjects to high school and college students in the ACCESS Distance Learning program.

The Students tab will take the viewer to a page that allows students to see what it takes to be an ACCESS student.  It will have a demo course link and a link for information for parents coming soon.  One of the links that has been updated is the policies link.  This has policies for students, counselors, facilitators, teachers, and participating schools.

ACCESS classes are held during the school day; therefore it is assured that all students of ACCESS will be able to use a computer.  This page also informs the schools and students of software needed as well as computer requirements.

This is a general contact page for ACCESS.  It provides addresses, phone numbers, and email links to the regional support centers and directors.

On the side bar of this website, they offer additional information with the log in links.  This information is to direct viewers to ACCESS Support Centers and new Announcements they have posted. 

Overall, this website was informative about the ACCESS Distance Learning program in Alabama.  I have heard of the Florida Virtual School because I looked into taking a few courses there when I was in high school.  I had a hard time focusing and staying on task with online courses because they were for the students to complete at home.  I liked that this program offers classes during regular school hours because I believe that would make a big difference in the students’ outcomes of an online learning course.  I will be interested to see what other information the ACCESS program will have once they have completed the updates to their website.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Comments4Kids #7,8,9,10

We mean something written on a hippo

I chose this image to represent my final post for Comments4Kids.  These kids really mean something to my experience in EDM310.  They have shown me what hard work really looks like and taught me new and interesting ways of learning.  I hope that one day I can share this with my students and encourage them to share their learning experiences with the world.

C4K, Comment 7
by Mr. McClung

I have previously posted about Mr. McClung and his website in my class assignment.  My assignment this week was about Irish Punk-Rock.  I really enjoyed this post because it is something that I listen to at home.  Mr. McClung does a band of the week on his blog.  I liked how he tied a newer band with the St. Patrick’s Day theme for his classroom.  It was also nice that I have a personal knowledge of this band, but aslo learned new information about them.  In my response below I also suggested another Irish Punk-Rock band for him to share with his students.  The two band are very competitive, but I enjoy them both.  One day, in my own classroom, I would like to have a band of the week section to my blog.  Music is an important factor in education and Mr. McClung has come up with an interesting and different way to approach it in his classroom.

My response:

Mr. McClung,

I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama.  I really enjoyed this post because I love this type of music!  I do like Dropkick Murphys, but I would have to say I am more of a Flogging Molly  kind of girl.  They started about a year after Dropkick Murphys.  There is always the big debate over being a Flogging Molly’s fan or a Dropkick Murphys’ fan, but I think they are equally great!  My favorite song by Flogging Molly is Drunken Lullabies which is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.  Hope you enjoy this along with your favorite Dropkick Murphys!

Jessica Brown
EDM310 Student
University of South Alabama

C4K, Comment 8

by Student F

Student F is in a year 6 class of 10 and 11 year olds.  Their class blog does not give much information about themselves, but they are well connected with other classes all over the world.  My assignment for this week was to read and comment on Student F’s blog post on January 27, 2011.  In this post Student F discussed book week.  For their book week they were allowed to dress up as their favorite character from the story they were reading.  Student F shared that they did not have school that Tuesday and that they were participating in a ReadAThon.  The class is learning to summarize in their Guided Reading class.  They also had a guest come to their school that Student F thought was very funny.

In my response to Student F, I explained who I am and that I really liked Student F’s post about book week.  I said that it was really neat that if the students participate in the ReadAThon that they did not have any other homework for the week and that they get to dress up as their favorite characters.  I mentioned that Student F’s blog post was a great summary of the week and to keep up the great work.

C4K, Comment 9
by Mrs. Yollis

This blog is made for third graders to learn and share together.

Meet Mrs. Yollis:
Mrs. Yollis is currently a third grade teacher.  She has taught combination classes and fifth grade for many years.  Mrs. Yollis has been a teacher for twenty-four years.  She loves working with parents to help their children do their best.

Mrs. Yollis also likes to travel.  She has taught English overseas and also travels to teach her students here in America.  My favorite thing about Mrs. Yollis’ self-description is that she is a student too.  She recently earned her master’s degree in Integrating Technology in the Classroom.  She uses what she has learned and continues to learn along with her worldly travels to advance the quality of education at her school.

Meet the Bloggers:
Mrs. Yollis’ class is in Los Angeles, California.  She has eleven girls and eleven boys.  Her whole class is learning to blog.  I think it’s great that she listed some activities the students enjoy doing. 

Video: How to Comment:

These video tutorials on quality comments were very informative and cute.  The students gave tips for people to leave comments with meaning on their blog.  I liked how they wrote that they would score each comment received as a class.  It was a little intimidating to me, but I liked that they collectively looked at the content and grammar of each comment left on their blog.  This is a great way for them to see the importance of good grammar in their own writing.

Learn HTML Codes:
The HTML Codes page is a great way for beginners to learn more about HTML codes.  I found a few on there that I had never seen before.  I liked that they had different step by step instructions, a video, and a table to explain many different codes.  I also use a website to learn new codes for my personal class blog.

Time Zones of Friends:
This page was adorable!  It was a line of clocks that told the different times for different groups of people they talk to.  I loved this because it makes the different time zones or the world more relatable to the students.  I may use this idea in my own classroom one day.

Learn About California:
This page consisted of a nice slideshow that teaches facts about the state of California.  I found out at the end of the video that Mrs. Yollis is the creator of the slideshow.  I think this is a fabulous idea!  I would like to make a slideshow for my students and myself.  I am still fairly new to Alabama, so I think it would be beneficial for me to be able to make such a neat video to share with my students.

Learn How to Shoot Great Digital Images:
This page had a video made by a female student.  She explains how to take a good picture.  Then they show some good pictures and some bad pictures.  For each of the bad pictures, she explains what makes them bad even if they are clear.  Afterwards, she gives helpful tips about videos.  I thought it was cute how they applaud the good video clips and boo the bad ones. 

I Posted:
Dear Mrs. Yollis and her students,

Your class blog is amazing and well organized!  I have recently talked to Miriam on her page which was also well organized and informative.  This blog has helpful information that I can use now while I am in college, as well as later when I become an elementary teacher.

I like that you post your own videos and tutorials on the class blog.  I found the HTML codes and the information on shooting digital images to be very helpful.  Thank you for making those informative but interesting and funny too.  I have been watching many videos this semester that are not as interesting and yours really grabbed my attention!

I am also a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama.  My class is following your class' blog this week.  I will be writing summaries about your blog along with other conversations we may have on my my own blog.  I would love any comments or questions you may have about anything I have posted.  I am trying to learn as much as I can about technology in the classroom, so that one day my students will be able to do things that you are doing now.

If you would like to visit my page, I would love any other helpful tips you may have.  I would be honored to have your opinions because your class is full of awesome bloggers!

Keep up the great work and thank you again for sharing your blog with our class!

Jessica Brown
EDM310 Student
University of South Alabama

C4K, Comment 10
by Jaden of Mrs. Yollis’ Class

Jaden’s latest blog post was from his Blog Mascot, Mr. California.  Mr. California is a chipmunk who enjoys many sports and reading.  Jaden explained a few of the chipmunk features and left a cute picture of a stuffed animal chipmunk.  He also introduced six other blog mascots and asked if we had blog mascots on our blogs. 

Mrs. Yollis and her students’ value quality comments, therefore I will post my direct comment below:
Dear Jaden,

Thank you for such a wonderful post!  My name is Jessica Brown and I am one of the students in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama.  This post was very original because I did not know that there were blog mascots!  I really enjoyed meeting Mr. California and I liked the picture you posted of him.  I always thought that chipmunks were very small because they are the smallest of the squirrel family, but did you know that they can be as tall as 11 inches?  I have learned a lot about chipmunks because of your mascot.  I found most of my information from the National Geographic website about chipmunks.

Thank you for also posting some of the links to the other mascots’ pages.  I do not have a blog mascot yet, but now I am thinking about getting one.  I am a big fan of hippopotamuses.  They are by far my favorite animals!  I was thinking about having Hannah the Hippo as my mascot.  What do you think about the name?  I also like the names Harriet, Harpo, and Hadley.  I just learned the other day that when hippos get angry or stressed their sweat turns red!  I just thought I would share that with you because I thought it was extremely interesting.  I would love to hear what you think about my mascot ideas for my page, and if you would like to visit my page to see if she would work, feel free to anytime.  I also have a few book trailers and other videos that you may like.

Keep up the great work on your blog!  It looks amazing!

Jessica Brown
EDM310 Student
University of South Alabama

Earlier this week, I noticed that a young girl from Mrs. Yollis’ class had commented on our EDM310 class blog.  Her name is Miriam, or Victoria.  She encouraged us to check out her blog because she is one of the students who earned their own blog page in her class.  I visited her blog and it was great!  She had beautiful pictures of things she has personally experienced along with many facts about her topics.  I left a brief message on her latest post about volcanoes.  It was not an in depth response, but I let her know that her hard work is definitely paying off.  Her blog is wonderful and the information and pictures are very inviting.  I gave her the link to my blog and she commented on my video teaching the American Sign Language alphabet.  She said her mother knows the ASL alphabet too.  Hopefully my video helped her to learn a bit of a language that she can share with her mother the same way I share it with my mother.

I also noticed on our class blog, Dr. Strange asked us to comment on another one of Mrs. Yollis’ students Ryan.  Ryan used his blog mascot to help him teach his readers about fractions!  This was a great example of how we can use technology to enhance student’s creativity in math.  I am currently learning about how to teach fractions in my Mathematics for Elementary Educators class.  I thought he did an excellent job of illustrating his examples.  Below is a copy of my direct response:

Dear Ryan,

My name is Jessica Brown and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama.  Your latest blog post was great!  I loved that you and Mr. NY worked together to show others about fractions.  I am currently taking a class, Mathematics for Elementary Educators, at my college where we are learning how to teach our future students about fractions.  Your presentation was spectacular!  I really liked how you showed the difference in the numerator and denominator as well as explaining how they are part of a whole.

This is not an easy concept for a lot of people.  You and Mr. NY also did a great job of showing the importance of equal parts.  Mr. NY was very creative to use himself and it was nice of you to remind him to make his parts equal.  I would really like to vote for Mr. NY’s Favorites for your next blog post, but I think I will use my vote for Mr. New York Teaches Fraction Word Problems.  You guys did such an awesome job teaching fractions, I would love to see your examples in word problems!

If you have any suggestions or tips that helped you to learn more about fractions I would love to hear about them.  You can visit my blog anytime with your feedback.  Thank you again for such a great post on fractions!  This will help me in my own class at the University as well as one day when I become a teacher.

Jessica Brown
EDM310 Student
University of South Alabama

Overall, I am very proud of Mrs. Yollis’ students.  I am glad that they were included in my final comments for kids.  This semester I have followed many students and I hope that my words of encouragement have helped them in their blogging experience.  I know that getting comments on my page has both reinforced my opinions as well as changed some of my own views.  For any of the students who may be visiting my blog, I would just like to say thank you again for such a wonderful experience and I hope you continue to do your best on your blogs because it really does make a difference in the education of others.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blog Post 12

the delete button

Blog Post 12 Due 4/17

1. Watch Think Before You Post 0:38 and think about how this can apply to you and your future.

2.  Next watch Sarah's Experience 1:01 and Why You Can't Take It Back 0:31.  These videos are part of a movement to have kids think about what they are posting on the internet and how it may affect them.

Write a post in which you discuss the importance of this message.  Explain why as a future educator you would need to be aware of this and how you will teach this to your students.

My Response:

I was surprised when I came across these videos.  I have been learning about the importance of being technology literate throughout this semester.  The question of safety has only come up within the past two weeks.  There have not been many assignments, videos, teacher blog postings, or conversation about student safety online and for the ones that do address this problem; they just tell the kids what to do to be safe from others.

These videos show that there can be safety issues based on what they post.  The first video made me think about people our age.  When we were younger, the internet was a new experience.  There did not seem to be much harm in what was posted on the internet.  However, now we have more social networks and new ways of finding out more about people.

People who are graduating high school and college right now are having harder times finding jobs because their employers are finding things that were posted by themselves online years ago.  Many websites, like California Labor and Employment Law, explain how your information, pictures, and opinions can keep you unemployed.

This is a problem that we need to be aware of and introduce to our students.  There are similar campaigns such as A Thin Line on MTV which raises awareness on issues of sexting, cyber bullying, and digital abuse.  All of which are current problem our students are facing and will be facing.

Our generation is faced with employment issues, but what about the futures of our students?  These topics need to be covered in our classrooms now.  Technology is only going to increase in the world around us and we need to be able to show videos and give examples of what can happen after the post something thinking it is harmless. 

This may not be as significant for younger students, but we must start teaching them safety on the internet as soon as possible.  I agree that we should teach them general safety precautions, but we must not forget that there are other dangers on the internet than predators.  As a future educator, I plan to stay active in finding out dangers in technology.  I will do my best to show videos and share documents with my students to raise their awareness as well.

Progress Report on Final Project

no peeking

For our final project, Tiffany Blanton and myself have become partners.  We have actually been working on this for weeks now and it is coming together, so far, very nicely.  We don't want to give too much away, but we have finished planning and scripting.  We still have to finish filming and editing.  Our goal is to finish this project by May first, but hopefully we will get to share it with you all well before then.  I hope you enjoy what is coming!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Assignment: Mr. McClung's World

Mr. McClung

1. What do you know (or have you found out) about Mr. McClung that is reflected in the way he has constructed his class blog?
Mr. McClung uses technology I his eighth grade classrooms.  He is very organized and has great ideas and methods of teaching.  He aims for a well-structured and active classroom.  Mr. McClung takes his time and makes his blog easily accessible to his students and their caregivers.  This means that he is willing to go above and beyond for his students.

2. Comment on what you would say about Mr. McClung as an educator.
Mr. McClung is a dedicated teacher who takes pride in his work.  Judging him solely by his blog, I would say he is very organized and has creative ways of reaching his students.  I think he would be an excellent educator because not only does he care and work well with his students, but he also reaches out to the parents.
3. I asked above that you read Mr. McClung's "rules" and think about them. What do they say about Mr. McClung, his teaching, and his connection with his students? What is your reaction to these rules (and guides) as a student and as an aspiring teacher?
I am absolutely in love with Mr. McClung’s rules!  He is literally doing everything except yelling at the students to keep their attention and focus.  I especially liked rule four: make smart choices, because it seems so simple and obvious but he is really giving his students responsibility.  Students will look at this rule and think “he must be joking” but he is giving them an opportunity to evaluate themselves and make smarter decisions.  I thought the best part of his rules was actually his procedures.  He was right that this is where the fun begins because he is allowing stimulating interaction in a controlled environment.  Mr. McClung has found new ways of keeping his students focused while giving those incentives that will be worthwhile to his students.

4. What was the first thing under Everyone needs? Why do you suppose that is the first requirement?
The first thing his students will need is a day-planner.  This is because he is teaching them an important skill, responsibility.  I admire how he gives his students the opportunity to learn how to schedule time for their assignments and learn to become more organized.  I had to teach myself how to do that when I was in college, and I am still working on it.

5. Note the penalties for being late (under Homework). Compare them with my penalties for being late. Comment.
Mr. McClung’s penalties for being late are straight forward, you will lose a letter grade for everyday that the assignment is late.  I think this is very reasonable.  He said that you will be given the same amount of time to turn in your assignment if you had missed school.  I think that is reasonable.  As far as comparing them to the EDM310 class policies, I think they are very different.  If we have consistent late work we will receive a D.  However, I am a little confused about that now after our midterm meeting. 

6. Read carefully his paragraph about what he hopes to accomplish with his blog. Comment and apply to your own aspirations as a teacher.
I was a little confused by this question because I did not see a direct paragraph about what he hopes to accomplish.  I will say that I think he wants to create a fun learning environment by using a variety of teaching strategies that focus on team and partner work.  I think his main goal is to keep his students involved and focused.  I feel the same way about my future classrooms.  I want to find new ways of reaching my students and capturing their full attention because they want to learn.  I enjoyed learning his methods and plan on using some of them in my own classroom.

7. I asked you to review at least two Useful Links in depth after reviewing all of them. Which two did you review in depth? Describe each of the two. How might each be used? Why do you think each made Mr. McClung's list.
I actually viewed just about every one of his useful links.  I chose to write about these two because I thought they were very interesting.

This is a great tool to have on your blog because it not only let’s your students know how easily it would be to find out if they are cheating, but also as a helpful tool for both the teacher and the students.  I think that it is a great idea to use helpful tools like this to be able to check your student’s work.  Also, students can use this tool to make sure that they are putting their information into their own words.  If they are unsure about it then they can use this tool to check their own work.

This link leads me to a debate website.  Most of the content was current and worldly.  This is a great way to stay up to date on current debates and to allow yourself and your students to see many sides of current issues.  It gives people a place to go when they would like to discuss something that is important to them.  It can build better debating skills and students can gain more knowledge of the content being discussed.

8. Under Internet Safety I asked you to read carefully the rules Mr. McClung sets forth for safely using the internet. Comment on these rules. Are there any you would add or subtract?
Mr. McClung’s internet safety rules are a great starting point.  I liked how he gave them a email account that only he can see to use when signing up for things online.  This is a great way for him to monitor what is going on in his classroom and with his students.  I also liked how he gave them options for names and told them to never give out their last names, or any personal information.  Another great rule was telling his students to report anything that was uncomfortable to them when doing something online.  I thought it was great that he told them they could tell their parents, but I would also add that they can tell the teacher as well.  I am sure he told them that, but I think it would be worth putting it in writing as well.  The only thing I think I would know to add at this point is for the students to not post pictures of themselves and/or with friends because I would not want someone to know my student by their first name and be able to know what they look like as well.  If they are going to post pictures or video I would have them make an account without their name in it.

9. In the C4K part of this blog I asked that you look carefully at one of the categories under which you assigned post was filed. What did you find? Select one of the posts in the category and review it for me.
In this post he gave a little lesson on a popular Irish Punk-Rock group DropKick Murphys.  I have listened to their music before.  He gave this as their band of the week because it was for the week of St. Patrick’s Day.  I enjoyed learning more about them and I commented back giving him a brief lesson on a similar but competing band Flogging Molly.  I thought that this was an interesting blog post because this music is very popular right now and he is relating it to something that can be learned in his classroom.  His class is at an appropriate age to learn about this type of music and how it brings together culturally related history.  Overall, I would say this was a great blog post!

10. Mr. McClung uses Edublog as his blog host. In some ways it may seem more "advanced." But Blogger has many abilities that we have not covered in EDM310. This leads to this question: Is there anything (or things) that Mr. McClung can do with his blog that you would like to do in Blogger?
I finally feel fairly comfortable using Blogger at this point, but there are a few things that I wish I knew how to do.  I would like to have an organized tool bar at the top of my blog with helpful links to a syllabus, contacting me, class information, and other useful links.  I would also like to have the chat button on my blog page.  I wasn’t sure if his worked because it said away the first few times I visited his blog page, but then I found a time where he was online and I thought that would be a great thing to have for my students and/or their caregivers to talk to me while looking over course work that I have posted online.

11. In what ways does Mr. McClung make his blog useful to parents, teachers, administrators, students like you, and others?
Mr. McClung made his blog very user friendly.  I like how he keeps everything very organized and separated.  He has many ways on this blog to reach him and that makes it less intimidating for other users.  He posts assignments, rules, policies, information about himself, and other useful tools to better prepare his students and their parents for what is expected in his classroom.

12. How does Mr. McClung's 8th grade blog differs from other blogs you have visited including other 8th grade blogs? Why the differences do you think?
First of all, his blog is not from another country.  The other eighth grade blogs I have read are not from the United States and their assignments were much different than the ones on this blog.  Also, I think he is doing a great job of pushing his students to do better.  Not that the other teachers are not doing this, but he expects so much from his students and gives them the opportunity to meet these expectations.  I have found Mr. McClung is very similar to Dr. Strange when it comes to his blogs and his expectations for his students.

13. Add any additional comments you think would be useful in analyzing Mr. McClung's World in depth.
This is a hard question because there are so many details in Mr. McClung’s blog.  I literally find new things on here each time I visit.  I guess as far as anything else to analyze I would say maybe we could find out more about his weekly music information.  He has bands of the week and I think it would be interesting to learn more about how he picks them and how he relates it to what they are learning.  Also, why he may think that is important for his students.  I found he has a few different websites under his useful links that are strictly music related.  That would be something interesting to look into with a little more depth.