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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Fog Is Lifting A Bit

Fog lifting over the Hudson River

The fog is lifting - a bit. There are now only 5 students (3%) who apparently have not created their blog. At least I do not have a working URL for them. And only 15 others (9%) have not yet posted Blog Assignment #1 which was due last Sunday at midnight.

That means I am waiting on 20 students (12%) in order to start C4C.

It sometimes takes patience when you are an educator. But after a while it runs out.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Required Activities Instructions Significantly Changed

If you printed Required Activities Instructions throw Version 1.0 away. Significant revisions have been made. The most current version is 1.1. Do not use any earlier version.

Full Circle

Full Circle

On August 28 Jabiz Raisdana writes a post on his blog Intrepid Teacher.
His post for that day is School Should Not be Considered Work, stimulated by a link sent out by William Chamberlain to an exemplar student blog about learning.
Stephanie Dunaway is assigned to read by Intrepid Teacher by Jabiz Raisdana.
She goes to the post cited above and adds a comment after 8 other comments posted by Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Raisdana, Ira Sokol and Monika Hardy.
It is clear that she has read the preceding comments as well as the post. Her comment was left on 8/29.
Mr. Sokol responds, challenging Stephanie's argument.
Mr. Chamberlain is notified that Stephanie has commented on Mr. Raisdana's blog (not uncommon where several teachers regularly exchange ideas).
Mr. Chamberlain tracks down Stephanie (easy to do - he just clicked on her name in the comment even though she did not include her URL in her comment) and leaves a comment on her EDM310 blog at 4:32 pm Sunday 8/29.
I am notified that Mr. Chamberlain has commented on Stephanie's blog and that he asked how she came to find Mr. Raisdana's blog. He also compliments her for her argument and says he agrees with her.
I reply by email to Mr. Chamberlain at 5:51 on Sunday 8/29 and answer his question about how Stephanie found Mr. Raisdana's blog. I do not know - yet- whether Stephanie has replied to Mr. C by email. She has not left a follow up comment on her blog which would be a nice thing to do.
Today (it may have been yesterday since Mr. Raisdana is in Indonesia and the time difference is 12 hours) Laura Scott joins the conversation with a comment.
Laura also comments on a post that Mr. Raisdana wrote on July 24.

Full circle.

Who is Mr. Chamberlain? Teacher in Noel, Missouri who taught me about the importance of blogging. The William Chamberlain Award is awarded annually to a student in EDM310 who displays outstanding interest in and ability to use technology in teaching. You can read about it in a post announcing the establishment of the William Chamberlain Award on the EDM310 blog.

Who is Mr. Raisdana? Teacher (formerly in Qatar and now in Indonesia) and father of Kaia.

You will read more about these three people (Mr. C, Mr. Raisdana, Kaia). And some of you will also be assigned to read a blog by by Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Raisdana, and/or Mr. Sokol.

The world is small indeed.

What more can we learn from this?
1. I know what happens in this class.
2. Now Stephanie is involved in a larger conversation. She can continue with that conversation if she wishes. That is what Anthony has done with Mr. Raisdana and Mr. Chamberlain. Laura has also joined in and may continue the conversation as well.
3. I can also join the conversation, and I might.
4. Mr Chamberlain started this particular conversation with this link to My Learning Manifesto by Yolanda S (an 8th grader). Mr. Chamberlain explains his assignment for his students in his post Student Learning Manifesto . In June 2009 Mr. Chamberlain started all of this with his post on At The Teacher's Desk entitled A Teacher's Manifesto.

You can be certain that you will hear about this again!

Other things to note:
Four EDM310 students were assigned to comment on Mr. Raisdana's blog. Two have done so: Laura Scott and Stephanie Dunaway. Thanks Laura and Stephanie. What about the other two of you? Know who you are? Just check the C4T Assignments on your Google Docs. Or I can tell you if you wish. But it would be better if you already know or find out before you talk with me.

Five EDM310 students were assigned to comment on At The Teacher's Desk. One has done so: Garrett Council. Thanks Garrett. What about the other four of you? Know who you are? Just check the C4T Assignments on your Google Docs. Or I can tell you if you wish. But it would be better if you already know or find out before you talk with me.

Don't Be Late - Many Heard, Some Didn't

A note that reads Don't Be Late
To those of you who posted Blog Assignment #1 on time, thank you. To those of you who have notified me of your group assignments, thank you.

To those who have no blog (7%), create your blog IMMEDIATELY.

To those of you who did not post Blog Assignment #1 to your blog on time (up to 22%), catch up NOW! You cannot afford to get behind in EDM310. I know you have heard that before but for some of you it apparently went through your head without sticking.

Advice to all: You are all aspiring to be educators. You will find that you encounter the same problems: students are late with their work, do not listen and do not follow instructions. If I ever find the magic solution to these problems, or if you do, let's share what we learn!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


The Missing poster

47 Now 10 students have no group designation. That's about 16 Now 4 groups. Please send me your group names if you have not done so. Here are the names of the 47 Now 10 students:

Baxter Crystal
Griffin Aaron
Hughes Stacey
Jordan Evelyn
Milne Joshua
Nettles Sheena
Odom Christie
Patrick Boone
Soutullo Summar
Vanterpool Yulanda

Friday, August 27, 2010

Many Questions! Maybe You Need These Answers

question mark
Blog Assignments
A number of students have asked about Blog Assignments. They can't find them. The answer: everything is in the Instruction Manual or there are links from there to everything. If you have not thoroughly looked at the Instruction Manual, do so NOW. There is a link to Blog Assignments on p. 4 (Table of Contents) and in the section on Blog Assignments starting on p. 6 of the Instruction Manual.

A number of PC users (It's easier on a Mac. Have I said that before?) have asked how to get their Wordle into a blog post. The complete directions are in Project Instructions (Project #2). The link to Project Instructions is also in the Instruction Manual (p. 4 and p.8). When you open Project Instructions you will find the Table of Contents on p. 4 and the Wordle instructions on pp. 7-15. What is apparently confusing some students is that they do not know the meaning of IMG. It means Image or Picture. That should clarify what you need to do. I have modified the Project Instructions (now version 1.1) to make it clear that IMG stands for image or picture.

I have had lots of questions about C4T. I have just reread my instructions on p. 7 of the Instruction Manual. I fail to see how I could have been more clear but let me emphasize a few things:
1. You comment on a teacher's blog post (assignments are in your Google Docs) beginning this week. Then you skip a week and comment on the same teacher again.
2. The teacher to whom you are assigned will change after your second comment on that teacher.
3. When that happens you must write a summary of the two posts you read (major emphasis) and your comments (minor emphasis) and put that summary in a separate post on your blog.
4. If I were doing this assignment, after leaving my first comment I would create a new post for my blog, summarize the teacher's first post that I read and my comments. I would then SAVE the post instead of publishing it. After I had left my second comment for this teacher I would go to my Dashboard, Edit Posts, Edit the saved post about the teacher, add my comments on the second post of the teacher as well as my comment and rewrite if necessary to make the post coherent and flow well. Then I would publish the post.
5. Two weeks later the process starts over again with a different teacher.

There are other instructions which are important. Re-read the instructions about Comments on p.7 of the Instruction Manual.

Somehow I feel that some of you may not have fully digested the Instruction Manual. It is Instruction Central and deserves your full attention.

Mr. McClung Warned Me!

Later in the semester you will read two posts by Mr. Joe McClung. They are year end reflections after his first two years of teaching. In his reflection on year one he wrote:
"I have a way I want things done.....sound familiar? While we as instructors like to plan "perfect" lessons, we have to remember that we are performing in front of a crowd the struggles remembering what they brought for lunch that day.
At the beginning of the school year I felt like I was trying to control things way too much, and I would beat myself up over lessons and activities that did not go well. I had to get over this. While I always plan to have that elusive perfect lesson, I don't let it get to me and I do not kill myself over my mistakes any more. When things go wrong, simply work with it and try to better the situation.....and make sure you do it with a smile on your face!"

Joe McClung, "What I Learned This Year," At The Teachers's Desk, May 27, 2009.

Wednesday 6pm was a perfect example. What did I do wrong?
1. I combined two classes and created a crowd larger than the classroom. I solved that with the auditorium, but after we returned to the labs I could not communicate with everyone at once.
2. I did not allow time to process the information I get from the first session in the week. We did not have a trial run on a night class this summer. It takes me about 4 hours per class to process the materials and data that come from the first session in order to have the second session work well (like they did in the other sections). I tried to do it all at once. Unsuccessful.

So next semester we will do it differently. Maybe the night class will be required to attend the first two weeks. Maybe we will break it into two sessions in one week. Maybe we will come up with another solution. But we will not fret about this year! We'll get it straightened out soon. It will cost me a lot of extra hours of work, but I am up to it.

Lessons learned:
1. We often do not get it right the first time.
2. We learn from our mistakes.
3. We try and correct those mistakes.
4. We, as Mr. McClung said, "simply work with it and try to better the situation.....and make sure you do it with a smile on your face!"
5. We honestly reflect on what we have done and we are not afraid to do so in public.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Welcome Fall 2010 EDM310 Class

Welcome. A revised Syllabus, the current version of the Instruction Manual, and a variety of other essential documents are now available. Some of these documents are very large and may take 2 or 3 minutes to download.

Instruction Manual
Project Instructions
Required Activities Instructions
Introduction to EDM 310
EDM310 Is Different (Coming Soon)