Visit The EDM310 Alumni Blog Amazing! An Alumni Blog! Thanks to Jackie Gorski and all of her co-authors!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wrapping Up the Semester

A few last reminders:

1. Post your video self reflection by midnight Sunday 12/12. The submission of notes/outlines has been changed to OPTIONAL. (The video is still REQUIRED.) Complete instructions are under Blog Post 15 found on p.12 of the Blog Instructions.
2. Complete the questionnaire (Final Reflection/Exam) by Sunday 12/12. The link will be emailed to you on Wednesday 12/8
3. Post your missing materials/assignments as soon as possible.
4. YouTube and iMovie has been difficult this weekend so I have moved the Final Project Due Date to Wednesday night 12/8 assuming we get YouTube and iMovie straightened out by then.
5. Be sure a staff member approves your Foliotek submission BEFORE 5pm Thursday 12/9.
6. Vote for EDM310 Class Blog in the Edublog Awards contest if you wish to.
7. Send a free Thank You to our troops.
8. Watch the surprise Hallelujah Chorus. It's great (4:57)
Surprise singer

Sunday, December 5, 2010

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.


Let's Say Thanks!

Let's Say Thanks to Our Troops


If you go to the web site Let's Say Thanks you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! It is FREE and it only takes 10 seconds.

We can never say enough thank you's.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Foliotek Instructions Fall 2010

You MUST have your Foliotek entries approved in person, in class by one of the EDM310 staff.

Here is the YouTube Link:Foliotek Instructions for EDM310 Fall 2010:

If YouTube gives you problems, you can watch, or download to your computer the Foliotek Instructions from My Gallery.

If you want to download the movie to your computer, just click on Download at the top of the Gallery page. It is destined to be an Oscar winner I am sure. Or at least a Grammy. Or the Foliotek Vase. Or ....

Monday, November 29, 2010

Assignment Modification

Yasmine's Blog
Instead of Blog Post #14 Assignment Due 12/5 we will all comment on Yasmine's Blog. She is in Mr. Pierre's class and has posted a lot. Shellie Miller suggested we inundate her with comments from EDM310. So that is what we will do. I have created a shared Google Doc called Special Yasmine Assignment Due 12/5. At the right hand side of her blog you will see a list of her recent posts. On the Google Docs you will have a number. Count down the list of Recent posts and leave a comment. This is duplicated on the existing C4K assignment doc as well.

We'll see what her response is!

Thanks Shellie for the suggestion.

Blog Assignment #14 due 12/5 is replaced by this assignment.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mandatory Class Attendance Weeks

You are required to attend all classes in which you are enrolled in Weeks 14 and 15. That means THIS WEEK and NEXT WEEK. You may attend another section if you wish (as long as you attend both sessions of some class. The section times are:
M,W 4:00-5:15
T,Th 11:00-12:15
T,Th 2:00-3:15
W 6:00-8:30

If you are absent you MUST have an official, written and valid excuse.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ms. Naugle Thanks You!

Ms. Naugle's 5th Grade Math Class
Dear Dr. Strange,

I wanted to thank you and your students (future teachers) from the University of South Alabama for participating in the #comments4kids project. This is the first year I set up individual blogs for my 4th graders using I teach math and social studies and debated over using some of my class time for blogging. I am so glad that I decided to go for it.

Writing is a life skill. Writing in every subject area is important. Writing helps the writer reflect on their learning. Writing blogs connects you with a real audience. My students are becoming better writers because they now know they have that real audience.

Each time one of my students receives a comment they beam and run up to me with their netbook to show it to me. (They forget that with the service we use, I moderate all comments.) They are especially happy when they are given a URL to the blog of their commenter and can comment back to them directly. My students are learning from questions included in their comments that they need to include more details in their writing. I have seen their posts getting longer and more detailed. I love that some of my most reluctant writers are spurred on to write because they too want to receive comments.

I was wondering if you would like to have your students Skype with my classes. We use Skype often to connect with other classes. I think it would be a great way to strengthen the connection our students have started to build. Let me know if you are interested. My Skype name is plnaugle.

Again thank you and your students so much for encouraging my 4th graders to keep on blogging!

Paula L. Naugle
Bissonet Plaza
Metairie, LA
Period 23
Ms. Naugle's 4th Period Math
Ms. Naugle's 5th Period Math

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jennifer Asked: Why Use Metaphors? Here Is My Answer.

Mr. Winkle
First, an apology. When I saw that a lot of students had skipped the Johnson/Spencer post assignment and that most who did do it did not understand it, I reported that I was "surprised and disappointed." I did not say, however, that we had a learning opportunity. I should have. Let's take advantage of that opportunity to increase our knowledge and understanding.

So here is my offering on metaphors.

The very first assignment for blog posts in EDM310 this year was a metaphor: Mr. Winkle Wakes. That metaphor apparently did not throw anyone into a tailspin. And my guess is that everyone would agree that Mr. Needleman's argument was more interesting and more persuasive than if he had not used a metaphor for his video.

Later this week some lucky North Carolina turkey will receive a pardon from the President of the United States. My guess is that all EDM310 students will understand what is being said and why it is being done.

Come Christmas many of you will tell your children that Santa Claus will bring them gifts if they have behaved themselves. And those of you who have children may recall that when asked where they came from you may have indulged in relating the famous abilities of storks.

Jennifer Inscore wrote in her first comment to my post on metaphors: "What is with the metaphor? Why not say exactly what you are trying to discuss? Why not put it into words that we all understand instead of a metaphor. If we are to be educators we should be able to speak to our students in a way that they all understand."

A good question. I would answer it this way:

We use metaphors for several reasons. Metaphors adds interest to what we say and write. Christmas without Santa would not be nearly as much fun. Even after we understand the metaphor.

stork delivering babyMetaphors allow us to discuss subjects without having to reveal all there is to know. We can talk about sex without talking about sex. The storks are an example. And don't forget their beaks - open and shut! And John Donne's poems would not be nearly so wonderful, mysterious, evocative, and provocative if they were written without metaphors.

In politics we can talk about a "chicken in every pot" without having to elaborate specifically on what we are promising (and avoid being held accountable as well).

We can discuss religion, and religious subjects, that convey meanings difficult to address with concrete words and terms. Just go back and reread Christ's parables. In fact, examine the entire Bible - from Genesis to Revelation. Metaphors from start to finish!

We can discuss illegal activities in a "polite" way. You may be too young to remember the hit song Puff the Magic Dragon but I bet you know what it was about. The same goes for Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds since this is Beatles Week.

Have you ever read The Little Engine That Could? My mother read it to me at least once a day I think. And one of the students in EDM310 this semester reported in her blog how important that book has been to her. A metaphor!

We use metaphors to get us to think about things differently. If we discuss slates or pencils or paper using the same prejudices and arguments that we use in talking about computers we can better understand the absurdity of our positions about computers. Or at least that is the approach taken by Tom Johnson.

In art, we use metaphors and symbols to convey more messages than a picture alone would convey.

So why do we use metaphors? Why do you use metaphors? Because metaphors are very useful and add a lot to our lives and conversations.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mr. Johnson (Spencer) Thanks You!


Here is his post Thanks EDM310 in response to your comments:
I normally post responses to people's comments, but life has gotten crazy-busy lately. So, I want to direct this at Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class in general:

Thank you for all the positive feedback. It is always encouraging to get compliments, que stions and insightful responses from readers. I know that my blog was a "required reading," but it often felt from the responses that people were reading this not simply out of a desire to get a grade, but in an honest desire to think about education. There were plenty of times when I considered scrapping this bizarre, satirical, often clunky little blog, but your comments helped reshape how I chose to approach writing this. So, again, thanks to all the folks who are reading this blog.

-John Spencer

In his latest post I Banned Pencils Today he has taken the unique step of actually asking his students to bring their brain and use it! So you are not alone when I say "Bring your brain and turn it on."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mrs. Huebner Thanks You!

Mrs. Huebner's Class Blog Logo

I got this email today (November 17). It is really for those of you commenting on her students' blogs this week!
I don't know if you are the professor that is making their students comment on students' blogs in their class, but if you are.......THANK YOU! My name is Marla Huebner from Sioux Rapids, IA, and my class has a blog out on I think it may be your students blogging about our blogs! My students are loving it! We are charting where all of the comments are coming from and putting them on a map. They are realizing the power of their words and are actually starting to love to write. There are times when they are a little nervous about the mechanics of their writing, but they are finally starting to write because there is an authentic audience out there! I want to thank you so much for the time you took to write on the students' blogs! You don't realize how you are making a fifth grader in Iowa's, day! Mrs. Huebner
Our blog site: MrsHuebnersClass2

My reply:
You are welcome. I have 148 students in my class for aspiring teachers. They all have to comment on at least one kid's blog every week for 12 of the 15 weeks in the semester. When I first started doing this in the fall of 2009 it was difficult finding enough blogging teachers. Now there are lots!.

All of this happened because of Mr. William Chamberlain (@wmchamberlain). He has outlined some of the history of comments4kids at Comments4Kids. There is also a link there to a post which explains why I think blogging and commenting on blogs is so important: Kaia and Room 10: Why Blogs and Commenting on Blogs Are So Important

I have a list of my student's blogs at Fall 2010 Links to Student Blogs. Maybe you or one of your students might like to leave a comment on a blog of one or more of my students, especially one that has left a comment for a student of yours. My students summarize their comments4kids activities the first Sunday of every month so on December 5 your student blogs will be mentioned in these monthly posts.

My class blog can be found at EDM310 Class Blog

Thanks for the feedback. Just like your students we like to know we have an audience as well.

John Strange

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You Missed the Point! It's not a Pencil. Additional Assignment #5

Tom Johnson
I was thoroughly surprised (and disappointed) when I read the blog posts last Sunday after breaking my arm and nose and returning from Chicago.
Here's what surprised and disappointed me about those that I read (about 50 out of 150):

1) Over 1/3 who had done Blog Post #10 did not mention the article Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home
2) Only one student clearly identified the issue being discussed in the article and demonstrated an understanding of what she read!

Tom Johnson was talking about computers NOT pencils!

Even if you are not familiar with metaphorical writing, there were plenty of clues that you should have seen. Not the least of which was his very first sentence: "This post was largely influenced by Larry Ferlazzo's latest post and my own experience with 1:1 computing and my friend Javi's experience with a Parent University."

So...did you miss the point, even though there was no pencil?

As a teacher to be, YOU have to know how to READ. Some writers use metaphors; others satire; others humor; others fancy words. Tom Johnson (is that his real name?) uses all of these, especially the first three. You have to have your brain ON when you read his work.

Go to Tom Johnson's adventures in Pencil Integration

It also helps to know all you can about him. You should now know he has two blogs. His other blog will be his only blog now. He has written Teaching Unmasked: A Humble Alternative to Waiting for a Superhero which you can get for free!

What else can you find out about him?

Read his last four posts on Tom Johnson's adventures in Pencil Integration:
Just Teach Them to Solve for X (This was written for EDM310!)
Sketchy Portraits: 8th Grade Identity and Pencils;
He Just Likes the Class for the Pencils;
The Medium Shapes the Learning

Write at least a paragraph in a post on your blog in which you summarize the main ideas (beliefs/attitudes) he expresses in those posts. Leave him at least one comment on one of his posts.

Due Sunday 11/21 at midnight.

Turn Your Brain ON!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting for Superman - Coming Soon to a Party Near You

Waiting for Superman

For a variety of reasons the Thursday night movie time has been postponed. The Crescent will still be open and showing Waiting for Superman, but we have postponed the class excursion. It will be replaced by a DVD Showing when the DVD comes out. And a party will be part of the event. Stay tuned for more information.

Mary Mauceri wrote: "...The movie is called Waiting for Superman and it is a documentary about our flawed institution of education. I am excited about this movie. In fact, I am so excited that I wanted to invite EVERYONE!! "

Anthony adds: "...Regina said that Dr. Juarez has offered extra credit to students from her classes to go. So SPREAD THE WORD!"

Crescent Theatre, 208 Dauphin Street, Mobile

The last showing is Thursday at 8:30.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Battered and Bruised But Still Kicking!

Broken Arm
While in Chicago I tripped on a sidewalk near my daughter's house and fell Friday night. After 4 hours in the emergency room (10 pm - 2 am) it was determined that I had broken my left arm in two places and also my nose. I also had a lot of cuts on both knees and my nose. I look like I lost the fight.

So I am slowed down a bit. My comments on your blogs, which I usually finish on Sunday, will be a bit late. I didn't work a bit yesterday and even missed going to the Chicago Art Institute with Dr. Baggett. That hurt! She did take lots of pictures, however. We got back to Pensacola at 1 pm and now I am back at work. C4C and C4K may a bit late tomorrow.

Not being able to use my left hand is a real problem in posting comments. Especially since I have to capitalize Is.

Back to work!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Special Exemption - We Can Submit Videos to Mr. Pink!

Mr. Pink accepts EDM310 videos
At 7:35 am I received this Tweet:

My answer: Yes
This was my response at 7:44am

The bottom line? Your videos will be submitted as part of the world wide effort to collect 15 second What's My Sentence videos.

In addition, this exhibits the power of Twitter. Are you using Twitter? Are you following me? My Twitter address is on this Class Blog. Are you following @pvbaggett, @jamielynn519, @wmchamberlain, @jlamshed, @Shellterrell, @jshe, @teachernz, @dlt0141, @sregornollid, @akins14 and many more? You should be.

Even more importantly are you using HASH (#) tags? Search for #edm310 and you will find LOTS of Tweets that I think all EDM310 students should be reading.

Using Flip Style Cameras in the Classroom

News Article Mr. Lamshed's Class Wins prize for Video
Take a look at Mr. Lamshed's Class Blog Nov 2 post and see what a Flip Camera (or its equivalent) can do in a classroom. Leave a comment on Mr. Lamshed's Blog. Find out a bit about his class and about him.

Additional Assignment #4. What's My Sentence?

What's My Sentence?
I just saw a Tweet (6:26 am 11/2/10 CDT) about Daniel Pink's What's My Sentence Project. We missed participating, but we (or maybe next semester's class, will watch the results: A compilation of sentences from all over the world in 15 second videos.

Also check out Rodd Lucier's The Clever Sheep Blog and his semi-YouTube Channel in which he has numerous classes create their sentences in 15 second videos.

Why wait for Daniel Pink's results? You now have Additional Assignment #4 DUE 11/14/10. The easiest way is to sit at one of the new Macs. Record your sentence (you did it last week) in a 15 second video. Add your sentence to your video. The staff can show you how to overlay text on your video in iMovie or Premiere. If you do it with a Flip camera, or your web camera,add your sentence as a text overlay in the video editing program of your choice and email your video to me at We will compile the sentences and make available for all to watch.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Project 16 - Final Project

Mountain Top - Final project
Start Time - NOW
Due Date - December 5

Project instructions have been added to the Project Instructions.

Blog Assignments Completed

EDM310 Blog
I have completed the Blog Assignments through the end of the semester. The assignments are now available in the Instruction Manual - Blog Assignments Section.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Project 15

Project 15
The START Date for Project 15 is today 10/25. It is DUE 11/21.

You will also BEGIN your FINAL PROJECT on 11/1 and it is due 12/5 with a progress report due 11/14. You also have other projects and assignments to work on. So you will be working on several projects at once.You cannot wait until the last minute to do things!

I have described project 15 in detail in the latest revision of the Instruction Manual - Projects. It takes up too much space to describe what you must do here. So:
1) IMMEDIATELY consult Project 15 in the Instruction Manual - Projects which I just REVISED. If you do not get the October 25 Version 1.5, REFRESH the URL.
2) Start thinking - NOW - about what you will do.
3) Complete the description of your project when you receive a Form on Wednesday October 27.
Problems Again
Google, and even my Mac account both rebelled when I tried to email the form and/or the link to the form about project #15. I guess this is a real crackdown on spam. I like that, but it sure does cause me difficulties. Hopefully you have gotten an email with a direct link to the form. You may have gotten more than one email. Choose the one with a link to the FORM. If you did not, email me! Thanks.


Congratulations. Way to Go!
We had 130 students (out of 158 still registered) complete Blog Post #9 on time. Much better! Thank you!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Additional Assignment #3

Sir ken Robinson Presentation on Changing Educational Paradigms

Due midnight Sunday October 31

Watch this video:
Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Educational Paradigms
(An RSAnimate production. You might want to get the RSAnimate iPhone App.)
What do you think is the most important thing Sir Ken Robinson says in this presentation?

Is there anything you disagree with in this presentation?

How congruent are Sir Ken Robinson's positions with those which you are being taught in the College of Education. In other words, where is there agreement? Where is there disagreement?

What can you do to address the issues Sir Robinson raises?

What do you think of the presentation? If you had to do a presentation with others like this, what role on your team would you like most to play?
Idea Generator?
Sound Effects?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Skype Interview Example and Instructions

Anthony and Stephen Demonstrate How to Skype and Record the Skype Session

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Think About This!

Graph showing Apple sales 2005-2010
Change - It is Vital - In Business and Education

Think about this:
60% of Apple's sales are from products that did not exist three years ago!
Source: Asymco

Think about this:
Do you still believe that schools and the roles of educators can remain the same?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pictures on Blogs

Must Reads
From the Instruction Manual (Projects p. 6)
"Must add images to all your blog posts starting with the Wordle post (Wordles are images)"
Must learn to add ALT and Title tag modifiers to IMG tags. See instructions for Wordle -
Project #2) and use this technique for all images placed on your blog throughout the course.
Additional information can be found in part 4 of the Instructions for Activity #5
Must learn a little HTML code to be able to use in your blog posts and in Comments. See part
2 of the Instructions for Activity#5.

SMART Board Software

Smart Board SoftwareAll SMART Board software is now web based.
Here are three links to get you started:
SMART Education Page
SMART Classroom Software Suite
SMART Exchange (Lesson Plans)

Midterm Reflection (Examination) Emailed

string on finger reminder
I have sent the Midterm Reflection (Examination) to your Gmail address. If you do not receive it, let me know immediately.

The survey must be completed no later than MIDNIGHT SUNDAY 10/24. This is considered to be your MIDTERM EXAMINATION. Do not "forget" to do it ON TIME!

New Approach

Now I have tried a different approach. I sent the email to no more than 30 people at a time AND I sent the link only, not the form. My tests indicate that this works. If you still do not get the link to the form, CALL me.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Week 8 Blog Post - How Did We Do? And Special C4K?

Report Card
About the same:

111 complete and on time
7 partially complete
41 not done by Tue 10/19 8:25 am.

And what about the special C4K assignment to comment on Shawshaw24's blog post?
103 EDM310 students have left a comment for Shawshaw24 as of 8:43 AM Tuesday October 19, 2010. That is 65% of the students still enrolled in the class.

Several questions: 1) As a teacher, how will you respond if 1/3 of your class does not do an assignment of great importance?

Mr. Chamberlain left this comment on Shawshaw24's latest post:

2) "What do we do for the children that don't have the same benefits you have had?" This is a question all of us should consider. Where do our responsibilities start and stop?

Randy Pausch said that he was glad his coach continued to push him harder and harder and that if you stop getting pushed to do better the coach has given up on you. When do we give up? When should we give up? How many resources do we have for those who did not have the benefits that Shawshaw24 has had? When resources are not sufficient, how do we make choices?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Midterm Questionnaire Due Date Changed

17 to 24

The questionnaire will be available Wednesday October 20 and due Sunday October 24.

This is a change from the Instruction Manual and Checklist. We need to complete week 8 before the Questionnaire. I must have counted wrong.

21st Century Literacies

Over two years ago the National Council of Teachers of English issued this list of 21st Century Literacies:
Twenty-first century readers and writers need to

•Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
•Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
•Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
•Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
•Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
•Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
You can find an explanation of these literacies on the National Council of Teachers of English blog post The Definition of 21st Century Literacies.
Take a good look at these literacies. Especially if you intend to teach English or if you desire your children to be literate. And answer these questions:

Are you prepared to assist your students in becoming literate as specified by the National Council of Teachers of English ?
Are your children who are now in school (or soon will be) attending schools where these literacies are being taught and developed?
Are the teachers in the schools your children (or grandchildren) attend literate as defined by the National Council of Teachers of English ?
What are you prepared to do about it?

Take a look at Will Richardson's article in the Huffington Post yesterday: My Kids are Illiterate. Most Likely Yours Are Too.

Think hard about these questions Mr. Richardson raises:
So here are some questions that keep me up at night: How are we to make our students literate if we ourselves are not? If we cling to age old definitions and ignore the wisdom of one of the oldest professional education organizations we have in this country, how do we provide my kids with the experiences they need to fully understand what it means to be a self-directed, participatory learner in this century? How do we make sure that every child and every teacher has access to these tools and connections? And what do we do when the reform conversations are being led by a majority of folks who have no context for the changes that are happening every day in these connected spaces, folks that by NCTE's definition, may have some literacy issues themselves?
So now I have a question for you, EDM310 students and aspiring teachers: What are YOU going to do?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Learning From The Machine Is Changing Us - It Takes Some Time and Effort

Dr. Wesch speaking to the Personal Democracy Forum
This post is to address several issues that arose from the assignment to watch The Machine Is Changing Us.
Sometimes learning is not instantaneous. It takes work. Many of you reported that when you saw that The Machine is Changing Us was almost 35 minutes long you knew you "would be bored." I often commented in response that I wondered how you would handle an hour long video assigned for Week 8. Learning often takes time. You have 9 hours a week set aside for EDM310. Use it!
Look for clues about the speaker and the forum (or the teacher, the author, the assignment). All of these can help you understand more clearly. The speaker: Michael Wesch, a cultural anthropologist who teaches at Kansas State University and who explores "the effects of new media and culture." A simple Google search was all that was needed to give you a great deal of information about the speaker. The context: A speech before The Personal Democracy Forum. One Google click takes us to the Personal Democracy Forum site which immediately reveals to the visitor that this is an organization that is attempting to personalize democratic politics by increasing participation through the use of technology. This took no more than 10 minutes of a 9 hour week. But if 35 minutes bores you, 45 minutes must indeed be scary.
What do we have? A specialist in the impact that media is having on society talking to people who want to use the new media and new technologies to affect the political system. We can expect the speaker to cast his expert knowledge into a form that will be interesting and useful to this particular audience. How does Professor Wesch do that?
First he summarizes two books that are certainly known to his audience: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell. Sparingly he compares the books in a way that is useful to the central thesis of his speech. Having captured the audience's attention he draws on two other authors who made important contributions to the study of the way media shapes our life: Marshall McLuhan and Neil Postman. Again, two quick Google searches and 10 minutes on each person would help you understand these very important contributors to our understandings of how media impacts our culture. Postman is especially important to Professor Wesch's speech. Dr. Wesch gives a 60 second summary of Postman's book Amusing Ourselves to Death. One student remarked that watching the video was difficult because he had to constantly stop, rewind, play it again. So did I. And often that is the case. Again the lesson: learning sometimes takes time. Now we are up to an hour. Oh my!
Professor Wesch takes Postman's thesis that media turned the public away from an interest in important things, i.e. political questions of great importance to mankind, and emphasized only amusements. Dr. Wesch elaborates on this by recounting a history of "whatever" starring in part The Simpsons and by reporting on the research he and his students have been doing on YouTube with special emphasis on "Charlie". All of this is done to entertain as well as to inform. Remember he is getting paid not only to deliver a speech but also, ironically, to entertain.
Side Point: Dr. Wesch mentions that the YouTube research is a project he does with his classes. Project based education. Not entertaining lectures, but actual research involving collaborative thinking!
Throughout Dr. Wesch has been offering support for the argument that the media is causing political mayhem by diverting the populace from real issues to trivial entertainments. And yet his audience is trying to use the new media to re-involve the population in political action by taking advantage of the new media. Does Dr. Wesch want to leave them with the feeling that their mission is hopeless? Of course not. So he uses the Hugs You Tube series and the "Palm Messages" of unity and love to raise the possibility that YouTube can bring people together, can encourage activity, that there is a positive spin that can be put on the gloomy commentaries about media and political action. I would add that there is even more evidence to support this argument after the last presidential election.
Concluding Thoughts
There are several versions of this video that have been made. One is about 5 minutes long. Because I feared the short attention span of EDM310 students (are they really going to be teachers?), I have used that version in the past. The optimism Dr. Wesch offered in this version is severely muted in the shorter versions. I was in an optimistic mood when I chose this version for the Fall term. I thought EDM310 students could handle a 35 minute video plus 20-30 minutes of additional research and rewinding of the tape. Was I correct or not? And has this commentary helped you understand the message Dr. Wesch was delivering?
A Note of ImportanceBlog posts are ephemeral. They can be altered, or even disappear. Historians, librarians and scholars of all types feel uncomfortable with the replacement of records. So I am notifying them, and you, that I modified this post approximately 24 hours after I wrote it by adding the reference to Huxley and Orwell and by including the Dr. Wesch's use of the "Palm Messages" in support of his argument. It is appropriate to note changes of this type if you make similar changes on your blog posts.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Was the Server Down?

traffic jam

It might be that an hour long video and 3 assignments due overwhelmed a lot of EDM310 students. Or maybe the hoard of students trying to access the server late on Sunday overwhelmed the server and crashed it. I have been getting LOTS of reports that students could not access the Instructions Sunday night. Whatever the reason, 44 EDM310 students did not show up for work. That's 28% who did not do the Randy Pausch video report by last night. Sometimes the tunnel is blocked and traffic on I-10 is at a standstill. If you had left a little bit earlier you might have missed the traffic jam. But I understand because I live on the Eastern Shore. So don't worry. I think the tunnel is clear now. Those who did get through the tunnel will tell you that the Pausch video is a video you cannot afford to miss! So get your post up as soon as possible and don't worry about it. If you are still having trouble accessing the server, let me know. I will need to do some additional troubleshooting.

The picture? Didn't you know I-10 is now an eight lane road? My how Mobile has grown!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Good News!

Dean Hayes has approved the purchase of 3 new iMacs like the one now in the lab and 3 equivalent high end PCs for video editing, and screen capture activities. They should arrive very soon. I hope that will be before the next video assignment.

He has also approved the purchase of 5 additional flip cameras, a microphone and several headsets with built in mics.

If you see him, tell him Thanks!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Additional Assignment #2

Sugata Mitra's TED Talk How Kids Teach Themselves

From time to time I find some important material that I want to include in the class. As I have explained before, I call these Additional Assignments. It also helps me understand who is reading the blog on a regular basis.

Your Additional Assignment #2 is to watch How Kids Teach Themselves. Your post responding to this assignment is due Wednesday October 13 at midnight

Answer these questions in your post. Identify any other issues that you think are important or useful to discuss.
1. What do you think? If learners are motivated, can they teach themselves?
2. If those motivated learners are kids, can they teach themselves?
3. What conditions are necessary for kids to teach themselves? For anyone to teach him or herself?
4. What role do computers and internet access play in the process?
5. What role does motivation, a desire to learn?
6. What roles do a problem, a question or multiple problems or questions play in the process?
7. How do you motivate someone to learn?
8. How are you motivated to learn?
9. Can anyone who is not motivated to learn learn?
10. Do you teach yourself? When? Why?
11. What role does a teacher (either answer generally or use a specific example) play in your learning?
12. What is the most important idea, question or emotional response you take away with you as a result of watching this video?
13. What other questions or issues are raised by this video that should be considered and discussed by aspiring teachers?

C4K - Are You Getting Them Done? On time?

taking temperature
How are you doing on leaving comments for your classmates? You have one to do each week. As of midnight last Friday you should have left a comment for at least 5 of your classmates. There are 162 students still enrolled in EDM310. Take a look at these numbers:
14 students have completed None or 1 C4C
8 students have completed only 2 C4C
8 students have completed only 3 C4C
11 students have completed 4 C4C
Everyone else has completed 5 or more C4C. The high is 17 (3 students, sometimes leaving multiple comments or engaged in a dialogue on their own blog)

Where are you on this list? I will be asking you to reflect on this soon. I have the data so my asking is not for my benefit. It is part of my effort to get you to continually honestly engage in self reflection about how you are doing in EDM310. I want YOU to know.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

All Surveys Released for Distribution

census form

In order to clear the Survey Forms backlog, you are free to send yours.

Make a decision as to whether you think you think your form is ready to go. You will send it to the Group you are in as listed in the Survey Groups Docs that you now have. Instructions on how to send the survey are at the top of Column C in the Survey Groups Doc.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
1. Separate First Name and Last Name. If you just ask for Name you will not be able to alphabetize by last name.
2. Avoid Text responses unless absolutely necessary. Text answers must be processed by you by hand for analysis. For example, instead of asking What car do you own with a TEXT question, make a list (Multiple Choice which is really pick ONE). Add Other at end (with blank).
3. Be sure you have a complete set of answers. For example How old (in years) is your cat? with these possible answers is incomplete:
Under 5
5 to 10
11 to 15
You must add Over 15 years to have a complete set
4. If you use the conditional response features, be sure you know where you go if you answer a question in a particular way.
5. Use consistent response sets. For example if you ask? What is your favorite toy? And provide these possible responses your set is not a single set.
A red one
One with wheels
One that makes a noise
It is possible for a single toy to have all of these attributes. The first answer involves color. The second motion. The third sounds. You are combining three sets. Make sure it is only one set and that it is complete. You can always make sure it is complete by adding Other. For example if you ask Where do you live? and offer these possibilities
Detached House
Duplex or Town House

you would miss
House Boat
Under a bridge
I have no permanent place of residence

Other would cover all of these but it would still be better to list them if you think of them. Still you should all Other. They may live in a Cave or a Tree House.

If you would like your survey personally reviewed, consult with someone in the Lab IN PERSON.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Late - Worst Week Yet

Late rabbit running with a watch
Despite my post of last Monday, this week we had even more students not post their Blog Assignment on time. Here are the number of people who did not have their work in on time for the last 4 weeks:

17 9/12
20 9/19
30 9/26
36 10/3

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Photograph Your Check to Deposit It

A check
Read this brief article Deposit Checks to Pay Pal Via Mobile Picturesabout Pay Pal's new service. Think about the implications for banks, deposit slip printers, ATM machine manufactures, companies that mail and/or deliver checks, the post office, car dealers (less frequent drives to the bank), the tellers in banks, the US Postal Service, etc.

What else will this change in the banking world? In the economic world in general?

Now think about the changes that are happening right now that will change schools. If you think that tomorrow schools will be like the schools you attended (and probably thought you would be teaching in), you are very wrong. If they can't or don't change they will disappear!

Think about it!

via Twitter @geaux_girl Follow her? I do.

Google Docs Tipsheet and Resource Guide

Google Docs
EDM310 students:
Here is a great Google Docs Tipsheet and Resource Guide. You will find it vey useful. I spotted this in my Twitter flow this morning. Thanks to @web20classroom for the link. Steven Anderson is @web20classroom. Twitter is worthwhile just for his tweets. If you are not following @web20classroom, do so now! If you are not yet on twitter, you should be. You will have to provide your Twitter name and your Skype name on the midterm exam. Be prepared!

Monday, September 27, 2010

19% of Teachers Missing! Will School Open?

If I were the Principal of EDM310 and you were the teachers, what would I do if 19% (30 out of 162) of you did not show up for work this morning? That is similar to the situation I face today in looking at the count I get every Monday morning on how many EDM310 students did not do their Blog Assignments due at midnight on Sunday. Can I find enough substitutes? Can I open the school anyway?

No. I have a better idea. I'll create a Google form and survey Coach Jones, Coach Saban, Coach Chizic and all the coaches I can think of. I'll ask: What would happen if a member of your team did not show up for a game? for practice? for a scheduled press outing? Then I'll apply the same approach in EDM310.

What do you think of that? Fair enough? The right approach?

Underneath this question is another: What does a teacher need to do to inculcate in his or her students an understanding that if you are preparing to be a professional you need to fulfill your responsibilities including doing your work on time?

Of course, the students who read this post are the ones, most likely, that will have arrived on time. They will be covering the classes of the absentees. So I guess it's appropriate to ask them about this situation. Thanks to those of you who did arrive on time, did do your Blog Assignment #5 by midnight last night.

Leave me a comment.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How Are You Doing So Far?

EDM310 is 27 percent complete
We have completed 27% of the semester. It is hard to believe that over 1/4 of the class has flown by.

How are you doing in getting your work in on time? Most of you are doing quite well!

Here is my latest count on several things you should have done already. I have also reminded you where the instructions are.

1. Your Presentation - Project 5 20 of you (12%) have not embedded your presentation into your blog. It was due a week ago last Sunday (9/12). In addition, two of you embedded it incorrectly. All we see is part of the code. Instructions can be found on p. 17 of the Projects Manual which you can get through the Instruction Manual.

2. Additional Assignment #1 33 of you (20%) have not done the Additional Assignment #1. I suspect that you are NOT reading the Blog every day. Maybe I am wrong (I can't yet collect data on that although I can collect data on when you visit the blog and how long you stay), but one of the reasons that I add Additional Assignments in the Blog is to make sure you are reading the blog regularly. In a Blended Class that is the primary way I have to communicate with you. If you have not yet done this assignment (due last Wednesday 9/15), scroll down to the post Additional Assignment #1 on the Class Blog and do the assignment. While you are on the Class Blog, read all the posts that you have missed. Of course, if you do not read the Class Blog you may never see this post. That would be unfortunate. Maybe a friend will remind you to READ THE CLASS BLOG!

3. Summary of C4T Assignment - You were to have posted a Summary of your reactions to and work in doing the first C4T assignment. 24 of you (15%) have not yet posted your summary. It was due 9/12 (a week ago last Sunday). See p. 15 of the Projects Manual which you can get through the Instruction Manual.

4. Wordle - 14 of you (9%) of you still do not have a working Wordle. It was due 9/5. See p. 7 of the Projects Manual which you can get through the Instruction Manual. Ask for help if that is what is delaying you. The lab is staffed five days a week. Visit it. It helps!

5. Blog Assignment #4 20 of you (12%) did not post Blog Assignment #4 on time. You CANNOT afford to get behind in EDM310.

6. Your Picture and Your Gmail Link 22 of you (14%) do not have your picture either at the top of the small column (preferred) or the large column (acceptable) as the instructions call for. 89 of you (55%) do not have a link that works for your gmail address. Because these numbers are so high I will assume that I am at fault and will redo the instructions. Watch for them. They will appear as a post on the Class Blog later this week.

To those who are late with your work:
Most of you are planning to be teachers. One of the problems you will have is that your students will not do their work on time. You should set a good example for them. If you were employed by me, about 20% of you would be on the street looking for another job. EDM310 should be considered as a primary professional responsibility. Do your work on time!

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. Let's leave some comments on Mr. C's Blog. Just click the link above, listen, leave a comment on Mr. C's blog where you listen to the kids! Thanks!

A Timeline: The Learning Machines

Horn book

Thinking about timelines? You should be. Here's an example: The Learning Machines.

Can't see how to move forward? Just click the next date on the right (forward or backward)
Image of where to click

Monday, September 20, 2010

Listen to the iPad Orchestra

The iPad Orchestra plays "Sweet Dream" (1:54)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Major Change to Blog Assignments Document

Corrections arm patch
I have corrected a major problem with the Blog Assignments Document (a link in Blog Assignment #6). I strongly recommend that you never rely on a printed copy of Blog Assignments.

If you have printed Version 1.0 of the Blog Assignments Document, replace it with Version 1.1 or preferably use the .pdf file on the web.

iPad users will have to replace the .pdf document in their iBooks app.

Friday, September 17, 2010

iPad Users

You may have noticed that you can access the .pdf files for EDM310 (Syllabus, Instruction Manual, Projects, Blog Assignments, Calendar, ALTandTITLE and Activities) but that links to URLs in these .pdf documents do not work.

I am working with Apple now (that is what the previous post is all about) to get those links working. In the meantime you can add them - as books - to your iBooks app on your iPad and when you open them there the links will work.

Here's how to add them as books:
1. Make sure you have the iBooks app. It is free. If you do not have it, Search for iBooks and add that app to your iPad.
2. On your computer, save all of the .pdf documents listed above on your desktop. When you open the document go to File...Save and be sure you are saving to desktop or some other place where you will be able to find them.
3. Open iTunes. File...Add to all the .pdf files

They will go into the Books area on iTunes. Make sure you have set iTunes and the iPad to Sync books. Click for Sync Help.

If you have trouble, call me.

I hope to hear about a better solution soon. We may have to wait for the iPad to get iOS Version 4.2 in November.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Test Apple This link opens a .pdf file.

EDM310 students. Ignore this post. We are helping Apple with a test. I thought I could remove this quickly but it now appears that I need to leave it for a while.

It will disappear soon.

Project Instructions Revised

Revised Stamp

The Project Instructions have been revised. The current version is 1.4. This major revision involves two things:
1. Wordle now automatically adds alt and title modifiers. When using a Wordle image you do not have to worry about adding, or filling in, the alt and title modifiers.

2. The instructions on p.10 relating to how to add alt and title modifiers has been changed. The text now refers you to a document called ALTandTITLE.pdf. If you need instructions about alt and title modifiers (which must be added to ALL of the images you place on your blog), you can go directly to the appropriate instructions by clicking on the link ALTandTITLE.pdf.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Google Presentations

late for school image

Have you shared your Google Presentation with As of 7:30 am on Tuesday 9/14 only 65 have been received. That's just 40% of the class. Not a very good start to being on time for a lot of you! UPDATE: As of 6:45 pm on Tuesday 9/14 we have 112 presentations shared. That's 68%. MUCH BETTER!

A question? Are you reading the Class Blog every day? Are you reading every post? This is the primary way I have to communicate with you. Be sure you do not miss what is written or said in this Class Blog.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

C4K Starts

important icon
Comments4Kids starts this week. Tomorrow you will have the first two assignments for C4K. The C4K is one of your most important activities in EDM310. Your field work with actual students begins.

Your first assignment will be with Mr. Chamberlain's 8th grade at the Noel Elementary School in Noel, MO. It is a poor school in a poor, rural area of southwest Missouri. The major employer is a chicken processing plant. Mr. Chamberlain is my mentor from whom I learned the importance of blogging and commenting on blogs. He is looking forward to your participation in his class as you learn to be a professional educator.

These are the first blog posts these students have ever done. They are beginning bloggers, just like most of you!

As in any activity you will undertake, you must be prepared. That takes time. There is no magic 5 minute fix to be a teacher. On the C4K sheet I have listed several steps which you must follow to prepare for C4K. Do them all. In addition, I have provided you with a very brief overview of Mr. Chamberlain, his school and his class. There is much more to learn. Explore. Share what you find.

And be on time with your comments. Just like you, Mr. Chamberlain's kids will be very disappointed if they do not get a comment on their blog when others do. Do your C4K assignment on time. Or even early!

Follow the good commenting rules of Mr. Chamberlain (a link to them is on the assignment sheet) and Mrs. Yollis (a link is in the Projects Manual). Read the assignments the kids had. Links are on the assignment document. Remember, what you leave is a permanent trail of your intellectual journey.

Good luck as you start your apprenticeship in the field of education. Ask any member of the instructional staff for assistance if you need it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

C4T Teacher Has Not Posted Since You Commented? What to Do?

Question mark
Go back in time to the most recent post which is not a housekeeping post and on which you have not commented. Comment on that post.

I have clarified this by rewriting the instructions in the Projects Document which has been republished as Version 1.2. Upon rereading my original instructions I can understand why so many of you have been confused. Sorry! I hope this clarifies what you should do when the C4T has no new posts since your original comment.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Additional Assignment #1 Due 9/15

AA number 1
From time to time additional assignments will be made through posts such as this one. We do this for several reasons:
1. We encounter additional material or opportunities for learning.
2. We change our mind about previously announced assignments.
3. We want to make sure that you are reading the class blog every day. We have no other way to reach the entire class. It is critical that you read the class blog every day! You should also check your Gmail every day. Sometimes I use that way to contact you rather than the Class Blog. Stay alert and tuned in!

Here is your Additional Assignment #1:
1. Watch the movie EDM310 Additional Assignment #1 Edited for You Tube or the original Additional Assignment #1 Material edited out of the You Tube version is contained in this post so you will not miss anything if you watch the You Tube version and read this post. The You Tube version is 03:55 shorter than the original version. I had to get under 10 minutes for You Tube. If it is not available yet, be patient. You Tube can sometimes take up to 6 hours to post video because if the enormous amount of video being uploaded each hour. You will (or already have) encountered this information in one of the assignments for this week. Did you notice?
2. Do at least 3 google squared searches, two of which must be other than the examples provided by Google Squared
3. Do at least 2 WolframAlpha searches
4. Create a post (titled Additional Assignment #1) in which you address all of the following

a. What are the educational implications of searches such as Google Squared provides?
b. What are the educational implications of searches such as WolframAlpha provides?
c. Did you know about Google Squared before this assignment?
d. Did you know about Wolfram Alpha before this assignment?
e. Reread your comments about Did You Know. Have my comments altered your thinking about anything you saw, heard, read, or reported for the Did You Know assignment? If not, say so. If so, describe how in as much detail as necessary.
f. What did you learn from this exercise about how you react to and deal with "statistics"?

6. Using WolframAlpha, find where the Pitcairn Islands are. Take a screen shot. Include it in your post.

Suggestion. Try the Mac in the lab to do your screenshot. Any of the lab assistants will talk you through it. It is exceptionally easy. Write your post anywhere you want. Publish it. Then in the lab do the WolframAlpha search. Take a screenshot. Edit your post and add the screenshot to it. The alt should be Pitcairn Islands map" The title should be: " Screenshot by Your Name"

Still more...

7. This assignment is due no later than midnight Wednesday 9/15. Add it to your Checklist. Here's how:
a. Open your checklist.
b. Click on the number 38 in row 38. This selects the entire row.
c. Insert ... Row above
d. Click in cell E38. Then hold the shift key down and click in cell G38. This selects cells E, F and G 38. Then with these 3 cells selected, click on the merge icon (has line with two arrowheads pointing left and right - 3rd from the right). This will make one cell out of three.
e. In that cell type Additional Assignment #1. Color it green when you complete it on time (due 9/15 even though in 9/12 section. Do it by 9/12 if possible). Late (color red) only if completed after midnight 9/15

And more, and more, and more:
8. Has your group selected a podcast topic? See the first post below.
9. Have you corrected the name of your Checklist (if necessary). See the second post below.
10. Have you read the Food For Thought post? If not, do so. Then in the post required for this additional assignment, write one sentence which describes your reaction to the article that you are asked to read in Food For Thought.

That's all for now.

HOWEVER, read the Class Blog EVERY DAY! Read ALL of the posts. Don't skip any!