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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Condolences to Laura Holifield

candle for condolences

Her father passed away last night.

IMPORTANT MESSAGES about C4K Blog Challenge

3 weeks


You CANNOT do all three C4K comments at once. You MUST wait until next week to do #2 and then wait until at least April 9 to do post #3. The kids do not leave a post a day. And maybe not even a post a week. If that happens, I will have a substitute for you. Send me an email.

This assignment is a THREE WEEK ASSIGNMENT.


Several students have said their kid has only one post, or they have only an old post. What do I do? The answer is Encourage them to post again. Asking them a question and telling them you are eager to read their next post might do the trick. You are their mentor. How would YOU encourage more posts where you CANNOT REQUIRE them to post?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

C4K Joins the World Blog Challenge - Revised 3/27/12 at 12:58 pm and at 6:57 pm

World Blog Challenge

For the next 3 weeks C4K will engage EDM310 students as mentors in the WORLD BLOG CHALLENGE sponsored by Edublogs. You MUST read the post Info For First Time Visitors on the Student Blogging Challenge website BEFORE you do the C4K assignment for this week (and the next two weeks)! Follow all appropriate links on the Student Blogging Challenge site to make sure you know what you, as a mentor, are supposed to do and how you are to do it.

You will leave comments for your student as shown on the C4K Doc for 3 straight weeks (3 different comments). PROOFREAD Your comments. Express interest. Be supportive. Ask questions. You could suggest a post they could write after you check out their hobbies on the student participant’s page. You could also share some of your experiences in blogging.

I was told that all of these students are seniors in high school. This appears to be incorrect. We have some 7th graders assigned to us for sure. So ignore the grade level shown on the C4K Doc. CORRECTION: I thought the column with 12 in it was the grade. WRONG. It is the age. So most of you will be reading 7th graders' blogs. Another Strange mistake. We all make them. The important thing is to find it out and make the correction. If you are afraid to make mistakes you will accomplish far less than those who do and correct their mistakes. (But not those who do make mistakes and don't correct them!)

Many of these students have been blogging longer than you have. Some are beginners. All are mastering the skills of blogging and commenting as I hope you are.

In there appears to be a problem with your assignment, send me an email immediately ( For example, if your student has not made another post by your visit in Week 2 (or Week 3), let me know and I will provide instructions about what to do. My thinking now is to set up a reserve list. Information will be posted on the class blog when I figure it out.

You are representing EDM310. Represent us well!

C4K Summary Report for March

Image of wordleThere will be only one student in your March C4K Report. I cancelled the first full week of C4K and we will combine all 3 weeks of the Blogging Challenge into the April report. That leaves only the C4K that you did last week for the March Report.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Need a Partner for A New Group?

I need a partner!

If so, add your name to the list or call one or more people on the list that is available in a new Doc called Need A Group Partner

SmartBoard Instruction Wednesday 3/21 6 pm by Anthony Capps

Smart board

Anthony Capps will do a 45 minute to one hour demonstration of how to use the SMARTboard Wednesday night from 6-7 pm in the Lab.

Come if you can and are interested.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Groups Doc for Project #15 and #16 Registration

team of four

A new Groups Doc for Project #15 and #16 should now be in your Docs (To edit) so that you may register members of your new groups. One person in each group should assume responsibility for completing the Doc for each group.

Groups must be registered by these dates:
Project #15 - March 25
Project #16 - April 8

If you are not in a group and and not registered on the Projects 15/16 Doc by these dates you will be barred from completing projects #15 and/or Project #16.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Midterm Evaluations

bar set high

You have evaluated yourself and I have reached a tentative evaluation for all EDM310 students. My assessments are incomplete because:
• They do not include evaluations of all assignments due Friday 3/9 or Sunday 3/11. I have only data on whether they were completed by Sunday midnight or not
• I have not consulted the Lab Assistants
• I have not thoroughly examined the records to see if some assignments we show as NO (Not Having Been Done) are now Late. Late is better than No, but not by much.

I will send an email today 3/16 to all students whom I have assigned a D or an F at midterm requesting that they meet with me to discuss the differences in our evaluations. Perhaps my records are wrong. Perhaps these students don't understand that all work must be submitted on time and if there is a pattern of Late or Not Done work you will get a D or an F.

HOWEVER, I have not set an appointment if you gave yourself a D or an F and I agree with that assessment. If any of you wish to meet with me, send me an email requesting an appointment.

I also have not set appointments for the 10 students who did not complete the questionnaire which automatically results in a grade loss of one letter. In this case it just lowered Ds to Fs.

There was more discrepancy between my grades and student grades than ever before. Here are the data.

My Grades
A Superstar - 2
Total 126

Self Assigned Grades
Did not complete questionnaire - 10 (automatic D or F in all cases)
Total 126

85 students gave themselves a grade that was within one grade of the grade I gave them or equal to the grade I assigned.
29 gave themselves a higher grade than I did.
51 agreed exactly with me.
I gave 5 students a higher grade than they gave themselves.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Link to Questionnaire Sent

A Questionnaire
You should have received a Gmail with a link to the Questionnaire at about 3:30 pm yesterday. It is to be completed (hopefully by Friday midnight 3/9) but the real deadline for the Questionnaire and all assignments due this week is midnight Sunday (3/11).

If did not get the link to the Questionnaire, check your Gmail again and then send me an email (

Have a productive and fun Spring Break.

A Very Important FaceBook Exchange

Learning Never Ends U.S. Postal Stamp
A Very Important FaceBook Exchange

Terri Wagner I'm kinda excited. I decided to give Prezi a try on Project 9b and did it. Not sure how awesome the results are, but I did it! Ck out the Space Shuttle Prezi on my blog and let me know how you think I did. Does anyone else feel they do A effort with B2C results?

John Strange Throw out the A, B, C thinking. This is what is important: "I'm kinda excited. I decided to give Prezi a try on Project 9b and did it. Not sure how awesome the results are, but I did it!"

You took a chance and tried something new. You learned how on your own. You did it. You are obviously proud of your accomplishments. You should be. My prediction: You will do a better job next time. And the next. And you will do more! That is what learning is all about! Learning should never end!

Terri has asked for feedback. Leave her a comment on her Prezi Project 9b post!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Reminders and Clarifications Projects #13, #14, #15 and #16

string tied around a finger

1. Project #13 Follow the instructions for Project #13 when doing Project #15. Also follow Project #13 instructions for Project #16 if you decide to do some (or all) of your collaboration for #16 not face to face. Final report on collaborative work due May 6.

2. Project #14 Using SMARTboard

Now due April 1

This project can be done individually or in a group (2, 3 or 4 members ONLY) You can create a new group for this purpose.

Record each student separately and post only your portion on your blog

3. Project #15 Due April 29
This project must be done cooperatively in team of 2, 3, or 4 members ONLY

You can create a new group but I would suggest using the same group as you used in #14 if you did that project cooperatively.

You must be in group by March 25 and must be registered in Doc for that purpose.

Your group must develop an original lesson. Materials available in Smart Notebook lessons can be used to a limited extent.

You MUST address MCPS objectives from Mobile County Pacing Guide
Follow all requirements in Projects Manual (p.33)

4. Project #16 must be a collaborative project (2, 3 or 4 group members ONLY). Follow instructions in the Projects Manual. The most important thing is to treat this project as unusually important and to be CREATIVE. Take some chances. Learn some new things in doing this project.

You can be a new group for this project but I would suggest using the same group as you establish for Project #15.

Your group must be formed and registered on Doc established for that purpose no later than April 8 but sooner would be better.

A Project #16 progress report is due no later than April 22.

Any groups can be composed of students from any EDM310 class.

Any dates in this post which differ from those in the Checklist override the Checklist and you should change your Checklist accordingly.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Thank You From Ferry Lane Primary School in London

Ferry Lane Primary School

My name is Jack Sloan and I teach at Ferry Lane Primary School in London ( ).

I wanted to just say thanks for all of the comments your students are leaving for my class. It's great for them to hear from the other side of the world, and I hope that you see the power of blogging in schools. Blogs have really opened the eyes and brains of my class, and the improvement in their writing in clear to see as a result.

One little request - please could you ask your students not to include their email addresses in comments? I work hard to ensure my students are safe on the net, and they are extremely sensible. I'm also sure that you are all very nice... However, I don't feel that communication should happen privately between your students and mine without consent.

Thanks again for the excellent comments - I'm looking forward to hearing from you again,

Jack Sloan
Ferry Lane Primary School.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Several students have asked about grades this week. Let’s start with what I said in the Syllabus:

Your grade is based on the examinations you take, the 15 projects you produce or in which you participate, the formal presentation you make, the critiques you provide of other students’ products and presentations, and your class participation. An A represents Outstanding work; B Above Average; C Average; D Below
Average; F Unacceptable. You must complete all projects ON TIME. Late projects will negatively affect your grade! Dr. Strange will consult with the teaching associates before assigning a final grade.

Everybody starts with an A. If you want to know how to blow that A, just do any of the following and we will probably see you in EDM310 again next semester.

How to blow your A:
1. The failure to satisfactorily complete any of the projects for this course will result in a D or an F and you will have to repeat the course. ALL 15 PROJECTS must be satisfactorily completed to get a grade better than a D in this course. ALL means ALL! In other words, doing 14 (or less) satisfactorily but not 15 projects satisfactorily GUARANTEES that you will get a D or an F for the course.
2. You must correctly complete your Foliotek entries for this course in order to receive a passing grade in this course.
3. You MUST make your weekly posts to your class blog ON TIME (or in advance). Failure to do so will, most likely, result in a VERY POOR (D) grade in this course. DO NOT GET BEHIND IN THIS COURSE!
4. You MUST complete all required posts to your blog.
5. Failure to attend ALL class and lab sessions and the final exam will most likely result in a D or F.
6. Failure to use good grammar, good spelling, and your brain in doing your blog posts will blow your A.
7. Failure to be an active, self-directed learner will also blow that A.
But don’t blow it!

I really don’t like using force to get students to learn. If you are going to be a teacher, you will want your students to WANT to learn. They should not be forced, with threats of bad grades, to learn. I want everyone who takes this class to WANT to make an A and to WANT to do the work that will result in that grade. I want everyone in this class to do A work and get an A! Sadly, that is not the case. The best students do that. The others do not.

It seems to me extremely important that teachers WANT to learn. So if you do not fall into that category, if you are not eager to learn, you should think about a different career!

Let’s count. I asked you to do that the first day of class. “ How many times did I say ‘Don’t be late.’ ” So let’s count how may times I said that in the section on grades in the class materials: 19.

Now let’s take a look at what you think about your progress in this course.

So what is your grade? You know better than I. Are you participating fully in the educational community I am trying to form in EDM310? Are you putting forth your best effort? Are you doing ALL of your assignments ON TIME? Are you asking for help as soon as you need it? Are you attending all classes and labs? Are you planning ahead? Are you learning? Are you excited about learning?

You tell me. If Final Grades were distributed tomorrow, what grade would you give yourself? What grade would you give your classmates whose blog posts you read or don’t read because they have not been posted on time? What grades would you give your team members? Have they participated filly? And on time?

If you have friends in this course who have not yet understood that I mean it when I say do all your assignments ON TIME, please inform them before it is too late.

And for those of you who are leading the way in creating a wonderful learning community ( I am excited by the fact that this is happening) THANK YOU!

I have been told that should not think that I can undo 15 or so years of schooling which trained you that grades should be your focus and have you suddenly behave like learning was the most important part of being in school. I guess that is correct. But I am going to keep trying!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Getting Kids Involved in History Lessons

Adrizzle and GDawgg Productions' New Hit Single

Another Gem Recommended by Laura Holifield

Adrizzle and GDawgg Productions' New Hit Single

Rafe Esquith Speaks Today at TED Conference

Rafe Esquith

Rafe Esquith Speaks Today at TED Conference

Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15 (I believe this is Pacific Standard Time) which would mean 10:30-12:15 CST

Watch live at TED 2012 Full Spectrum Click on Happening Now in the upper right corner.

While you are on the TED site, look around. Be sure to explore TED University

Thanks, Laura Holifield, for bringing this to our attention!