Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blog Assignment #8

This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2

Dr. Richard E. Miller's videos, "This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2," discuss the idea of writing in a new multimedia age. Dr. Miller is a professor in the English Department at Rutgers University, and his videos give an awesome glimpse into what the future of writing on the web holds. He begins the first video with a powerful image; he states, "I think we are living at the moment of the greatest change in human communication in human history." I thought that was an extremely valid statement. If you really stop and think about it, the world has never been more technologically advanced as it is today, and it is well on its way to becoming more advanced with each passing day. Dr. Miller discusses how he use to work in a place with pencils, books, and papers and how he would have to go to libraries to gather information and data. He then describes how his workplace now is in word processing on his laptop. He said people everywhere are now able to research the riches of the world as they are stored on the web, and his videos advocate his views on utilizing the web as much as possible when writing.

Student Change
Dr. Miller goes on to discuss a research project he composed about the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting. He was able to freely access documents online, and he never had to set foot in a library to research information. Finding articles and data online is not like going to the library anymore; we literally have an academic world at our fingertips. Not only does Dr. Miller stress the importance of the web when writing, but he is very interested in writing text collaborated with images, films, and other archives on the web. This really stuck out to me because I definitely agree that using images and videos mixed with text is one of the best ways to grab students' attention. I am a visual learner, and if I open a book or Internet article that is all text with no pictures/videos, my brain automatically registers a message of "wow, I already do not want to read this material because it is going to be boring." I feel like a lot of students have that same reaction, but just like Dr. Miller describes, the utilization of multimedia can completely change those notions.

Online Learning Community
Part two of Dr. Miller's video confronts how this new kind of material we are able to access on the web changes right before our eyes and is updated instantly and constantly. He notes how important it is for us to collaboratively share the information we access on the web. He says, "People are beginning to understand that ideas don't belong to us individually, but to us as a culture, and we, as educators, must be in the business of sharing ideas freely." I really like how he worded that statement. As educators, we have the opportunity to get behind the material and see how it's put together. We should be willing to help fellow educators and students gain as much information as possible to increase their learning and understanding. It is much better to have a community of learners rather than one single learner who has to do everything by him or herself. Dr. Miller's description of the sharing community reminds me a lot of what Dr. Strange is teaching us in EDM310. I love how we are able to gain all kinds of viewpoints and research on different material from different professors and students. I really enjoyed Dr. Miller's videos, and I am excited for the new information about writing on the web that will soon be available, if it's not already. By the time I have my own classroom with my future students, I cannot even imagine where the world will be when it comes to web learning and writing. I do know though that I will embrace the new technology as it comes and do everything I can to integrate it into my teaching and into my student's lives.

Carly's YouTube Playlist

First off, I would like to say that Carly had a wonderful idea for her Blog Post #12. She presented such a creative idea, and I really enjoyed reading her post because she was such an enthusiastic and cheerful writer. For her assignment (which is an assignment we will have to do fairly soon), she had to brainstorm an idea that she felt was good enough for Dr. Strange himself to assign to the EDM310 class.

YouTube Playlist
Carly decided to create a YouTube playlist, composed of several videos related to the field of teaching. In her assignment directions, she gave several ideas for the students to choose from. For example, students could: describe the kind of teacher you would like to be, show ways you can motivate your students, offer tips on classroom management, offer tutorials on programs you have learned about in this class that you like so much you would like to use (podcast, iPods, PLN's, etc.) I love how she provided a link to her own personal playlist for the students to explore and draw inspiration from. She said, "I even created my own playlist because good teachers teach by example. In my playlist, there's a few that are inspirational because, in a perfect classroom students actually have to think."

Carly's assignment follows Dr. Miller's hopes for writing with multimedia very closely. Her description of the YouTube playlist would allow students to find and store as many videos as possible related to their particular field of teaching and style. This would allow for creativity in multimedia writing, and students would be able to include these videos, images, and texts into their writing, which would benefit them greatly. I believe Dr. Miller would be very proud of Carly's work, and I think she did a wonderful job with coming up with a great assignment. Awesome work, Carly!

EDM310 is Different

In the video "The Chipper Series," Chipper, who is played by Jamie Lynn Miller (a former EDM310 student), talks with Dr. Strange several times about different things going on in her life. She first discusses how she thinks she should be able to turn her work in whenever she gets it done, even if it's late. Even though she procrastinates, she still thinks she should get credit. After confronting Dr. Strange about how she didn't like his teaching practices, she dropped out of school and decided to start her own school, the Timeline Pilot School. In her school, students can choose the time slot of when they want to go to class, and they can decide how long they want to stay in each class. After numerous glitches and failures, the FFA shuts her school down. As a backup plan, Chipper decides to go back to school to become a teacher. Dr. Strange's friend, Ms. Wright, ends up firing Chipper from her job as a teacher because she never showed up to teach her class. After a few more failed attempts of procrastination, Chipper finally comes to the conclusion that she must cleanse her ways, go back to school, and not procrastinate.

EDM310 for Dummies
In the video "EDM310 for Dummies," Poppy Bednorz, Jamie Lynn Miller, and Jennifer Chambers create a book called "EDM310 for Dummies." They express the frustrations they had in EDM310 before they were fully able to understand how great the class was for them. After they read their newly found book, they learned all the tips and tricks to help make EDM310 a wonderful learning experience for them.

These two videos were great in helping me think of videos I hope to create in the future in EDM310. They had such unique and interesting ideas, and they used humor and lots of detailed information to help their viewers understand the message they were trying to portray. I think a video about the transformation EDM310 helps students make would be really cool. For example, it would be neat to show the story of a student's journey through the class, from the very beginning to the end product. You could illuminate problems encountered and most importantly, solutions on how to manage those problems.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

Technology in the Classroom
In the video "Learn to Change, Change to Learn," distinguished individuals in education discuss the need for change in the classroom. These educators talk about how technology should not be a choice anymore in the classroom; it is fundamentally needed to educate our children. I really enjoyed this video, and I definitely agree with the message they are portraying. Kids do not just learn in the classroom; they learn in their communities, libraries, museums, and of course, on the web. It is our job as educators to integrate this kind of learning into the classroom. Teachers should be a window of opportunity for students, and we should be preparing them not only for college but for the real world as well. Like they said in the video, it's not just about checking off standards anymore, it is about truly engaging students in learning. I hope to accomplish what this video lays out when I myself become an educator.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

This assignment was suggested by a former EDM310 student, Justin Cometti Fall 2011. Just like Carly created a YouTube playlist, Justin came up with the Scavenger Hunt 2.0. We were given a list of five items and were told to choose three of the five. We were also given a few resources to help us with this assignment: "Discovery Education Web 2.0 for 2011," "Discovery Education's WEB 20.11," and "WEB 2.0 Tools."

Assignment 1:
The first item that I found was Ning, which is a tool similar to Twitter/Facebook. Ning is your key to an awesome social community. Though Ning, you can create a perfect social website to help bring people from all around the world together. With your own look and feel, and choice of social integration, Ning opens new doors to revenue and involvement. Teachers can use Ning to create a supportive place to enrich their students' learning. Here is a list of a few great things Ning provides for educators:
1) Forums (provide the podium to explore, share, and discuss)
2) Photo Gallery (brings educational projects to life)
3) YouTube Integration (provides a seamless, rich media experience)
4) Social Sign-in (makes sign-in easy for members with Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo)

I could easily integrate Ning into my future classroom. Ning provides numerous ways to use technology to help teach students, and I will definitely be using it to teach my future students.

Assignment 2:
For the second item we were assigned, I chose to create a poll on "Poll Everywhere." Polls are a great and fun way to get students involved with answering questions inside and outside of the classroom. Since I am studying to become an English teacher, I chose to create a poll that lets students express which type of writing they like the most: Narrative, Expository, Descriptive, or Persuasive. Students could respond to the poll on their cell phones or computers the day before I teach the lesson so that I can get a feel for which writing they enjoy the most. You can check out my poll here: Claire's Writing Poll.

Assignment 3:
For my third assignment, I chose to make my own comic strip on Make Beliefs Comix. This would be a fun and creative way for students to enjoy a project or assignment. My comic strip describes a day in the life of an EDM310 student. I've included a picture of my comic strip (click to enlarge), but you can also check it out here: Claire's Comic Strip. Claire's Comic Strip


  1. Excellent. Best post of the week (tie). Thanks very much!

  2. That's awesome, Dr. Strange! Thanks so much!!