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

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.