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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Revised Instructions SMARTboard and Forms

Mistakes I've Made Book Cover
Later this semester you will watch /read Mr. Joe McClung's reflective evaluation of his first year of teaching. In that video he says you always need to have a backup plan for use when things don't go as anticipated.

Well, we have encountered a Mr. McClung moment:

So here is our backup plan for SMARTboard lessons and FORMS. (If you and I have agreed to another plan, that is OK and will be acceptable.)

For the Smartboard project, at least one group member must download Notebook 10 from the Windows or Mac link below.  Notebook 10 is similar to powerpoint, only it is designed for educators for the purpose of making lectures more interactive.  To get you started, you may go to Smart Exchange to view some lessons that other teacher have built by grade and subject. For your project you should have a grade level in mind, choose a topic, and build your lesson to teach your topic of choice.  

There have been many questions about the FORMS part of this project that is due BEFORE the smartboard lesson.  We have asked you to create your form as if you were going to use it as a test for your students after they have participated in your smartboard lesson. Alternatively it could be a form evaluating your lesson and presentation by other professionals (your audience). It should be ten questions long, and should use at least four different types of questions.  In order to do this part of the assignment, you should think through what you plan to teach, how you plan to teach it, and for the purpose of the form... what questions your students should be able to answer after having experienced your lesson. Be sure to share your forms with

You will need to install the SMART Notebook software on your computer. Be sure to install the drivers if you are asked whether you want them or not

Go to: 

WINDOWS smart tech link
MAC Notebook Download link

Follow the download instructions and when it asks for a product key, enter the code that I have emailed to you:

Be sure to explore and play with the software fearlessly. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES.  The University gets recognition for any quality SMART lessons you create, so put your best effort forth and have fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

-Do we make up our own group?
-Do we pick a topic for the Smartboard project and questionnaire, or will we get a list in Docs to choose from?

My response:
You can either use the group that did the podcast or join/create a new group.

You are in charge of selecting the topic for your lesson and creating it.

The form is to be done by the group or a designated member (group better).

You will sign up for a presentation time and there will be another group at that time. You will be audience and presenters as will the other group.


We will post on Google Docs a schedule of times for SMARTboard presentations. It should be up by 5pm Friday 2/25. Select a time . There will be a second group assigned at the same time. You will be audience and presenters as will the other group. If we cannot team you with another group, orif none of the times will work for your group, we will make special arrangements for a time and an audience.

Monday, February 21, 2011

More Data for 8-18 Year Olds (USA 2009)

Although the data I collected on EDM310 in the Spring of 2011 do not match with much of the data from the Kaiser Family Foundation Study (2009): Generation M2: Media in the LIves of 8-18 Year Olds, there are some interesting comparisons that can be made and some very interesting data about media use that are found in the Kaiser Family Foundation study.

Media Ownership

Data are reported in this order EDM310 2011 8-18 year old USA 2009
Internet access in home 99% 84%
High speed internet access 86% 59%
Internet access in bedroom of child NA 33%

Two years later EDM310 students report higher internet access rates and significantly higher high speed internet access rates. We must remember, however, that access to high speed internet is considerably easier now than it was 2 years ago.

Here are data that I did not ask about:
Video Screen in Family Car NA 37% (No family car 3%)

This shocked me. Over a third of the family cars of 8-18 year olds in the United States had video screens in the family car in 2009!

Media Use

EDM310 students
• Watch movies 4 hrs a week
8-18 year olds
• Watch movies 2:55 a week

EDM310 students
• Listen to music 14 hours a week
8-18 year olds
• Listen to music 17:38 week

8-18 year olds
• use a computer (all reasons) 10:23 a week
• watch videos 39:22 a week

Now that is shocking to me. 8-18 year olds watch TV a full work week! Is this a comment on parenting or the result of the quality of television programming? Or other things?


EDM310 students
• 4% read newspapers ≥5 times a week
• 18% read electronic newspapers ≥5 times a week
• 53% read ≤3 books a year (not assigned)

8-18 year olds
• read print 4:26 a week (38 minutes a day on average)

Thirty eight minutes a day reading! And this includes time at school. Where has all the reading gone?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

How Does EDM310 Compare to 8-18 Year Olds (USA 2009) An Answer for Courtney - and Maybe You Too!

Graph of Data Below
Courtney Bengston, in a comment on my post How Does EDM310 Compare to the USA? wrote:
And slowly but surely, the generation younger than us is catching up to our percentages! I would be interested to know the percentage comparison of elementary aged students...

Here's your answer Courtney. They passed us in 2009 in iPod/mp3 ownership and high school students were almost tied with us in cellphone ownership in 2009. There are other data that can be compared, especially usage of media. I'll publish those soon.

Percentages are shown in this order EDM310 Spring 2011 and then 8-18 yr olds USA 2009 and then By Age groups 8-10, 11-14, 15-18

Own Cell Phone? 92% 66% 31% 69% 85%
Own Laptop? 75% 29% 17% 27% 38% (36% of all 8-18 year olds had a computer in their bedroom in 2009.)
Own iPod/mp3? 76% 76% 61% 81% 83%

So the same percentage of kids in the 3rd through the 12th grade owned iPods/mp3 players in 2009 as did EDM310 students in the spring of 2011 and almost as large a percentage of high school students (15-18 year olds) in the United States in 2009 owned cellphones as did EDM310 students this spring!

Data for 8-18 year olds is from Kaiser Family Foundation Study (2009): Generation M2: Media in the LIves of 8-18 Year Olds.

What's My Sentence? From the Students of EDM310

What's My Sentence? From the Students in EDM310
What's My Sentence? From the Students of EDM310
By Allie Howell

Thanks, Allie! And thanks EDM310 students who made this possible!

And thanks to Daniel Pink for the idea!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How Does EDM310 Compare to the USA?

Table of data
In the previous post Just Who Are the Students in EDM310 Spring 2011? I reported data from the questionnaires I had you fill out. I also reported the results from the Fall 2010 and Summer 2010 terms.

Today I saw on Twitter a link to the results of a Pew Internet & American Life survey covering similar questions. How does EDM310 compare to national data collected in the United States between August and September 2010?

Conclusion: You are very close to the 18-34 age group for the entire United States!

Percentages are shown in this order EDM310 Spring 2011 and then 18-34 yr olds USA Aug 2010

Own Cell Phone? 92% 95%
Own Laptop? 75% 70%
Own iPod/mp3? 76% 74%
Own iPad? 1% 5%

PEW data from PEW Study: Generations and Their Gadgets.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just Who Are the Students in EDM310 Spring 2011?

EDM310 Lab

Just who are the students in EDM310 in this Spring 2011 semester? Well, you are a lot like the students in the Summer 2010 and Fall 2010 classes. I will show percentages in this order: (Spring 2011, Fall 2010, Summer 2010) and I use na to indicate that I data for that semester were not available.

Over half of you are 22 years old or younger (56%, 67%, na) and almost all of you (83%, 91%, na) are 30 or younger.

Almost all of you own a cellphone (92%, 96%, 100%) and an increasing number of those cellphones are smartphones (60%, 45%, 49%). You also own computers (96%,92%, 98%) which are primarily portables (74%, 66%, na). And you own digital video cameras (90%, 81%, 79%) and digital still cameras (83%, 82%, 95%).

Half of you intend to work in elementary education (50%, 54%, 63%).

You lead busy lives. Over two-thirds of you work (75%, 77%, 70%) Almost half of you work 21 hours a week or more (46%, 42%, 42%) and a significant number of you have part time jobs of 20 hours a week or less (40%, 35%, 28%).

I am surprised by how many of you take what I consider to be an overload, that is more than 5 classes(17%, 22%, na). Most of you are enrolled, however in a normal load of 4 or 5 classes (67%, 65%, na).

Over a third of you have at least one child under 18 living with you (38%, 32%, 35%).

Almost all of you think that all teachers should be technologically literate (87%, 92%, 98%). When asked whether you thought you were technologically literate or not, the Fall 2010 class differed greatly from the Summer 2010 and Spring 2011 classes. In the Fall 2010 class, 73% considered themselves to be technologically literate while only 365 in Spring 2011 and 42% in Summer 2010 considered themselves to be technologically literate. I am not sure how to explain these remarkable differences. Perhaps the Spring and Summer classes knew more about what I considered technological literacy to be than the fall semester class. This could be the result of the timing of the completion of the questionnaire.

Most of you consider yourselves to be proficient in word processing (83%, 81%, 95%). An increasing number of you use Skype (44%, 35%, 26%). You are use computer chat programs (61%, 60%, 77%). Almost all of you have Facebook accounts and make use of those Facebook accounts as your primary social network (83%, 85%, 79%). One of the interesting things apparent in a comparison of these three classes is that the use of Facebook in increasing significantly. Those of you who spend 3 or more hours a day on your social network now constitute 20% of the class (20%, 12%, 7%), up from 7% in the summer and 12% in the fall.

SMS text messaging seems to be rather limited with half of you sending 50 or fewer text messages a day (51%, 54%, 47%). Only a few of you send more than 300 messages a day (5%, 7%, 0%). Almost none of you are significant computer gamers that play games 3 or more hours a day (3%, 3%, 7%). You do listen to music with at least a third of you listening to music more than 2 hours a day (44%, 40%, 35%).

An increasing number of you Skype (44%, 35%, 26%). Many of you had already blogged when you entered EDM310 (23%, 21%, 30%). Some of you had created a movie on a computer (18%, 14%, 26%), but very few of you had ever participated in a podcast or a videocast (10%, 10%, 19%). About half of you had never heard of iTunesU before EDM310 (46%, 56%, 53%).

And reading books and newspapers? Excluding assignments most of you read 3 or fewer books annually (53%, 56%, 48%) yet there are readers in the class with a fifth of you reading at least 10 books a year (21%, 22%, 24%). Newspapers, however, have fallen on hard times. Almost all of you read a printed newspaper no more than once a week, if that (88%, 78%, 72%). No wonder the printed newspaper business is in survival mode. A good number of you have either gone to the USA Library (62%, 65%, 67%) or used the digital library (58%, 55%, 60%).

Finally, over a third of you (36%) in the Spring 2011 did not like the prospect of having to work 9 hours a week in EDM310. I did not ask this question in Fall 2010 or Summer 2010. Whatever you thought when you entered EDM310, I hope you are now more comfortable with that workload.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Response to the Comments Left on the Watson vs. Jeopardy Event

Uncle Sam Wants You

Last Friday I posted notice of the Watson vs. Jeopardy Stars Event. Forty students left comments prior to my writing this post. Over and over they wrote something like this: “I don’t want my students to depend on technology to gather information.” The suggested substitutes or additional methods for gathering information were libraries, classrooms, books, encyclopedias, hard work, pencils, paper, teachers. One student made it crystal clear: “A teacher’s job is to provide information.”

I have two response.

First, and most importantly, the assumption that underlies these responses is that learning = information. That is absolutely not true, even though our educational system has forced you to believe that it is true with its emphasis on burp-back education and machine readable tests. It makes me ill to think what our educational system has done to you. DO NOT LET IT CONTINUE IN YOUR CLASSROOMS!

Second, a sense of fear pervades at least half of the responses. What are the sources of those fears? First there is a fear that all information should not be available to everyone. One student compared the information available as a result of the new technologies as in need of restrictions similar to the restrictions we attempt to place on nuclear weapons. (He did admit that his position was a bit extreme.) Others suggested that "inappropriate" information might be available, or connections made with unsavory individuals. Still others suggested we could undermine the ability to write and spell, we could lose our jobs to machines, the emotion and excitement of human responses would disappear, students would become lazy, hard work would not be valued, thinking would be undermined, we could encounter severe difficulties in case of electronic or political actions that shut down technologies, we might become “robot chow,” intelligence would decrease over time, people would be less willing to learn facts, machines would take over thinking, “humans would become obsolete.”

Wow! What a list of fears. A few respondents, but only a few, expressed the fear that without the technologies their students or their children would be faced with severe economic difficulties and extreme competition from those who did have and use the tools to their maximum advantage. But several more admitted that they would not like it at all if they were separated from their cellphone tools!

Look again at the video assigned for last Sunday (2/13) - Kevin Robert’s Teaching In the 21st Century. Even though this video was renamed by one student Mr. Very Long Video , it is worth your attention for the full 9 and 3/4 minutes (my, how short your attention spans have gotten!) it takes to watch it. And then it deserves some additional time while you think about what it has to say about teaching since you intend to be “teachers.”

Here’s a quick summary for those of you without 9:49 to spare:

•If teachers are mere dispensers of information, our jobs are obsolete!
•We must teach our students how to validate, synthesize, leverage, communicate, collaborate with, problem solve with information.

A Strange interruption: How well can you do these things? Has anyone ever taught you how to do these things? Are you learning these things now in the College of Education?

We return to our program in progress:

•We must teach skills not facts.
•In addition to teaching students to remember, we must also teach them how to understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create. Yes create!
•And we must teach them about responsibility, reliability, integrity, collaboration.
•We must rethink our classrooms. What tools should we and our students use? What problems should we ask our students to solve?
•Ask your students to explain, evaluate and justify their positions about contemporary, interesting issues that affect them.
•Your classrooms will have to be relevant, challenging, engaging. Not entertaining - engaging!

Another Strange interruption: You cannot, you must not teach the way you were taught! You must be a different kind of teacher in a different kind of world. If I thought you would, I would urge you to go back through Teaching In the 21st Century again. Slowly. Taking more than 9 3/4 minutes. It is worth you most careful consideration! We must also learn from our students. Thanks to Teri Hampton (Fall 2010) for bringing this most important video to my attention!

We return to our program in progress:

•These changes must start with YOU!

What Does It Mean to Teach in the 21st Century?

How Many No Shows?

% Students OnnTime
In the opening class I had students stand in a corner to represent those who do not do their work on time. My "Principal" was always upset when her teachers did not come to work. So how are we doing this semester? Here is the report on Blog Posts (not including first week) and Project Assignments. C4K and C4C will be reported separately.

Why the big drop off for Project #6 (My Sentence)? Three possibilities come to mind for those who did not post their sentence on their blog:
1. You skipped the assignment.
2. You didn't look at what was due until it was too late to do it on the Mac and you were unable to do it on your own computer.
3. You used an old version of the Projects Manual which did not include the instruction that your sentence must be posted to your blog. The Projects Manual was revised February 6. Are you using a printed version of instructions? They go out of date quite often in this class. I warned you! Do not depend on a printed copy in EDM310!

So.... in light of the large number of students who have not posted their "My Sentence" assignment to their Blog, I have changed the due date to Wednesday midnight 2/16/11. If it is posted on your blog by then it will be considered to have been submitted on time.

FAIR WARNING! Do not depend on printed copies of materials for EDM310. Use those on line!


Another thing of interest: We have now completed Week 4. That means we have completed 25% of EDM310. If you are not current with all of your assignments you are in SERIOUS TROUBLE!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Monday: Watson vs. Jeopardy Stars

Ray Kurzweil
Watson vs. Jeopardy Stars - who will win?

Last week you read about the possibility of a computer being more intelligent than a human in the not too distant future. Many of you were scared by this. Well, on Monday we may have our first victorious computer. The USA Today covered the story last Wednesday in A.I. expert Ray Kurzweil picks computer in 'Jeopardy' match. This is a variation of the Turing Test which is the generally accepted test to determine whether a computer is as intelligent as a human. The test in brief is to determine whether a human, communicating with both a human and a computer, can tell the difference between the two. If the time comes when a human cannot ascertain which is which the machine will be determined to have passed the Turing Test and will be declared as intelligent as a human.

Read the USA Today article.

Then think about this very important quotation:
Q: So will computers take over the world?
A: It's not an alien invasion. They're not coming from Mars to displace us. We're creating them to make ourselves smarter. We're going to literally merge with them.
I'm kind of merged with this already (Kurzweil holds up his cellphone). I don't go anywhere without it. And it gives me access to all of human knowledge with a few keystrokes.

And answer this question:

Do you want your students and your children to face the future with or without "access to all of human knowledge with a few keystrokes"? That's the key question of EDM310!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

C4K Begins and C4C Corrected

Detecive shoulder patch
C4K assignments are now on Google Docs I think this is one of the most interesting and most important assignments you will have in EDM310 this semester.

I had to make some changes in my plans since I was never able to get a list of pre-service college of education students at the University of Regina. We hope to get that list by next week. In the meantime we have a long list of 4th and 6th graders from several countries.

Before you begin this new phase of your work in EDM310, go back to pp. 16-17 of the Projects Manual and read the material (including the material in ALL the links) that pertains to C4K. You need to understand why I think C4K is so important and you need to know how to write appropriate comments for the kids. You must also remember that the advice you will find from Mr. Chamberlain and Ms. Yollis emphasizes a positive message with ideas for improvement as well as the use of correct grammar, proper spelling, and the use of normal capitalization rules. I mean it when I say that you cannot afford not to meet the spelling, grammar and capitalization rules for Ms. Yollis' third grade class! Proofread your comments!

I also want to stress that it is your responsibility to find out as much as you can about the kids and the classes to which you are assigned. I have been amazed in the past that some EDM310 students did not seem at all interested in whom they were assisting in this process. At a minimum, you need to try and find out a) the country in which the kids reside and the location of their school on a map; b) the grade level of the class; c) the objective or assignment being addressed in the work for which you are leaving a comment. At the least! Sometimes that is not easy to do. Be a detective. Not only does this effort on your part make the C4K activity more meaningful for the kids, you will learn a lot in the process.

Have fun! Ten weeks of C4K begins!

In addition, I have now corrected C4C for this week and your assignments for Blog Post #3 are posted. Sorry about the confusion. I am not sure what happened!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why Do I Teach When I Could Have Retired Long Ago?

St Elmo School Black History Month Poster
Visit (just click the picture or the text) Technology in the Hallways, a post by Anthony Capps on the EDM310 Alumni Blog, and you will know the answer to that question.

Thanks EDM310.

P.S. Do you know how to make a picture into a link? See if you can find out!.

Friday, February 4, 2011


kangaroo warning sign
If you are not signed up for Twitter and if you are not monitoring/following #edm310, you are missing important information relative to EDM310 that I am not repeating on this blog. Yes, that is intentional. It's a way to encourage you to learn and use Twitter and to monitor/follow #edm310

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Some Suggestions on Educators to Follow

twitter logo
A first installment:

@hadleyjf NOTE. This name was corrected 2/3 at 10:53 am. If you used it earlier, please add this name to follow.
@willrich45 NOTE. This name was corrected 2/3 at 10:53 am. If you used it earlier, please add this name to follow.
@shellterrell NOTE. This name was corrected 2/3 at 10:53 am. If you used it earlier, please add this name to follow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Missing Twitter Names

I do not have Twitter names for the following 5 students (4% of the class). Please respond to my questionnaire immediately!

Allgood, Marie
Boykin, Pamela
Bryant, Paige
Chatman, Monsenya
Thomas, Amy

Book Assignments Made

Book cover: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
Thanks for your support. We now have assigned all books. BUT @mrcapps, @dlt0141 (Dina Tillman) and I will dream up another project for the rest of you who volunteered. We will be in touch soon.

Assignments were made strictly by the time your request was received. All slots were filled by 8:00 pm. I gave the last two people who requested a book at 8:00 a book they had not chosen. If they do not want to do it, then the next person in line will be notified.

Book Assignments:

Jerry Pinkney Back Home Brittany Hamilton
Jerry Pinkney The Nightingale Alexa Howie
Donald Crews Big Mama's Trey Mohler
Christopher Paul Curtis Bud, Not Buddy Bailey Abston
Willie Perdomo Visiting Langston Jessica Brown
Marie Bradby More Than Anything Else Kimberly Holland
Patricia McKissack Porch Lies Whitney Greer
Faith Ringgold Tar Beach Megan Simmons
Mildred D. Taylor Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Hillary Rolin
Toni Morrison Who's Got Game: The Ant or the Grasshopper? Kelly Evans