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I am a student at the University of South Alabama, College of Education. My husband Brian and I have been married since 2004, and in 2010 welcomed our son Deigan. I also work full-time as the Marketing Specialist for a local Real Estate company.

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dance Class...Not So Much!

Mr. Dancelot, have you seen it? To understand the craziness we are discussing, you must watch this video.


Odd, right? We all agree that this video is certainly strange. Our main question was “How, and why in the world would a professor think teaching a dance class in this manner would be beneficial and effective?” The teacher made several mistakes in this video. He did not know the material or how to teach it properly. There were several mistakes, mainly unprofessional teaching skills. There are a lot of teachers that eat, sleep, and breathe powerpoints and are truly convinced that the students are being taught. In certain content areas, powerpoint presentations are appropriate but in this case, a dance class should be hands on. The teacher verbally taught the students how to move with diagrams and note taking, which is pointless! When you think of dance class, you think of music, beats, and rhythm. Dance class is meant to be a physical sport, not verbal. Learning to dance takes practice and time. By not demonstrating the dance, the students were unable to retain any of it. You have to literally be involved. The students were unable to understand the concept of the Foxtrot, because you have to be practicing and moving in order to learn the dance. There is no way that the students in this class could possibly grasp every concept without being able to visually see how the moves are done as well as practicing. The class would have been more successful and the students would have had a better chance at making a good grade if the professor's teaching method were different. 

 We realize this video was an exaggeration. So we have to stop and think, What is the point of this video?” We concluded that the point is that as an educator, you are responsible for determining the best way to engage your students and help them succeed. If you are not presenting lessons in an effective manner, not only will your students fail, it will be your fault! 

Flipping the Classroom - 4th Grade STEM

Flipping the Classroom

Let’s face it, the world as we know it is constantly changing. With the implosion of Apple products, most are changing their cell phones and laptops annually to get the latest and greatest. Whereas in the past, you would upgrade these devices every 2 - 4 years. Technology is taking over and we can either get onboard, or stand still and fall behind.

I recently watched a video about a school system that is thinking forward, and utilizing technology to assist in the classrooms. Sure we all know most classrooms have Smart Boards and computers, and in some cases iPods and iPads. But its not only what they are planning to use, but how they are going to use it. Flipping the Classroom is a project that takes the classroom home. Initially, the only subject will be math. With plans to add other subjects provided, the students will respond well to this new program. Here’s how it will work. From the comfort of home, the students will have the ability to review the following days classroom work. They will have reading materials, problems to solve, and will be asked to come to class prepared, and ready to ask questions. The idea is to prepare the students ahead of time so that teachers can focus more on advanced learning. 

Sounds great, right? Possibly. In theory, this is a sensational idea; provided every student has access to a computer and was disciplined enough and/or had the support of parents to make sure they completed the assignments. Unfortunately, this is not the case in every home in America. In many cases, elementary aged students are home with older siblings while their parent(s) work. And while I’m not 100% certain it couldn’t work out to where the older siblings are helping their kid siblings, it’s very doubtful. Considering they will more than likely have homework of their own to complete.  Add to that the fact that not every student has access to a computer with internet, and you have the core foundations of the program crumbling. The program did allow time for the students to complete the assignments at the beginning of the school day, but to me that defeats the purpose. 

With a little more planning and working through the logistics, I feel this program has the potential to be a fantastic learning experience for students. The time a program like this will free up for the teachers so they can focus more on other aspects of teaching and learning is invaluable. Forward thinking…..the future depends on it!

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler written by Claire Williams

the well connected student
I watched a video called The Network Student. The 21st century high school student is studying American Psychology in his Contemporary Issues class. He attends class three days and the remainder is done online. The student does not have a textbook and does most of his work online. The teacher rarely lectures in class and when they do, the students are taught how to utilize social networking. The entire video educates one on connectivism. Connectivism is a learning theory which emphasizes the role of social and cultural context. The student uses a personal learning network to research and find sources of information for this topic. He also uses social bookmarking which enables students to edit, add and share bookmarks of documents; Blogs to read peoples opinions, and get ideas as well as audio and video podcasts that require the student to listen or watch things on the topic presented. 

The outcome for the 21st century high school is going to change most of the learning and teaching. Wendy Drexler points out in the video that technology is becoming the basis of education. The 21st century high school student network has a wide range of connections, and is presenting ideas as well as new opportunities. Information management is collecting and distributing information to one or more places. RSS solves problems for people who use the web. It helps you stay aware and gets information on the latest content from the websites you are interested in. Synchronizing communication tools is where you can connect with people at the same time anywhere. Contacts meaning you can access new contacts as well as the ones you already have. Which EDM310 is very similar to this video I watched. It teaches you how to be an independent learner, find information on your own, and learn how to be technology sufficient. 

The question is though why does the networked student even need a teacher? The student needs a teacher for many reasons. The teacher will provide guidance when needed. Show the student how to properly build a network, and motivate the student to learn new things. Teachers will also show the student how to properly communicate with other people, and help the student demonstrate between good information and bad. After watching this video I realized that having a teacher is not only a good idea, but a safe idea. Technology is valid but not always reliable. Sometimes technology will have its faults. Power issues could occur, or their could be a crash in the system. I think that their needs to be a teacher, because without the technology there would be no way the student could learn or be educated. 

A teacher is their not only to educate students, but to be there for questions that need answered. They are the building blocks of learning, giving students the determination and ability to learn new ideas. 

 Author: Claire Williams 

Teaching in the 21st Century 

WOW! This video, Teaching in the 21st Century, made the most valid points in regards to teaching students today. Roberts believes that teaching in the 21st century should be more about ENGAGING students than ENTERTAINING them and once they are engaged they are bound to enjoy what they are doing. With the all of the new emerging devices and expansions in technology, teachers have no option but to educate themselves and keep up with the trends. One thing Roberts said in the video was as teachers we are the filter. In essence, we have to justify, correct, and validate facts and stories that children hear via internet, social media, and magazines. I think we’re all guilty of immediately going to ‘Mr. KnowItAll’, Google, for answers. Whether it’s for school work, defining a term, or looking up symptoms, google has an answer. 

In essence, Roberts says that in order to be an effective teacher today, you must be able to keep up with the way children learn but who says it has to be filled with gadgets and gizmos and every electronic device we can get our hands on? The same way teachers have gained control of their classes with electronics is the same way they can control their class with a textbook. It is all about presentation. 

As an educator, I will always try new and innovative ways to effectively teach my students and there are a million and one ways to help children understand concepts whether its from short clips online, manipulatives, interactive games or traditional flash cards & worksheets, I will find a way to reach every child.

Harness Your Students Digital Smarts 

The video Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts,was a interesting video on technology and how teaching is changing yearly. The world changes dramatically every year. More things are coming for electronic and through computers. Everything we do now is used through the internet. If you’re going to be involved in today’s world get with the program and join the internet a little more. Technology is a big part of the world and changes yearly. 

Teaching children through the web is such a great idea, it’s not only keeping children up to date and teaching learn the computer system a lot easier, it’s helping improve their grades, it’s hard to leave a child behind through internet. If they have a question, they can email you right then and there. The smallest things matters, such as that simple email about a question. It’s a good way to keep children close their teacher/professor. Pencil and pen gets old and you can easily use it, emails are always there, and you can even see what time they submit it. The blogging is even much better. Blogging is a good way to communicate and keep up with everyone, not only for school work but for any sort of communicating. I believe teaching through blogs and emails makes it 10 times easier on children and the teachers. Of course teachers are needed still thought this internet teaching, students need guidance and reinsurances. Students need to be pushed and motivated as much as possible. It’s the teachers responsibility to teach a student and make sure they get the information they are suppose to get. Every teacher has their unique way to teach, be creative is a good thing and helps out in many ways. 

 Author: Katie Nelson

BP Two - Collaborative Assignment


  1. Comment on collaborative part of the assignment:

    Since Katie Nelson has nothing related to this assignment posted on her blog I must ask this question: Did she participate in the creation of this collaborative post? I know her name is listed as an author but it that a truthful statement?

    "Learning to dance takes practice and time." Does this apply to everything? If not, what are the exceptions?

    "... if the professors teaching method ..." professor's, not professors

    Thoughtful. Interesting.

  2. Hi Hillary,

    I love your blog it is simple to read and your template and letter design does not take away from your post. I love the summary of the video Mr. Dancealot and the closing thought about how the educator is responsible for how the students engage in the learning process. As far as your groups individual assignments I have one concern. Would it have been possible for the images and summary's to be more appealing to the reader. For example, it is common that most of you ask a question then answer is that really necessary. Secondly, can the images selected for each video create a feeling of suspense. Last but not least, more detail and personal opinion would be nice. Overall though you all did a great job this is just an idea.