Friday, January 31, 2014

Blog Post #3

Peer editing has always been a scary thought to me. My high school English teacher loved peer editing. She thought it was a great way to allow each student to see their classmates mistakes and learn from them. I agreed with her completely because there are many benefits to peer editing, but that doesn't mean I liked it. I was always so afraid that I was going to hurt my classmates feelings or that I was going to offend them. On the other hand, whenever I would get my paper back, it would always make me mad that one of my classmates would say something like, "I don't think that sentence makes sense." Now that I look back on it, I'm thankful that my teacher made us peer edit. It helped make each one of us better writers. Recently in my Human Growth and Development class, we had to get a partner and peer edit his/her lesson plan. Our professor told us that if the person you peer edited for didn't make a 100, then it was your fault. That caught me by surprise. It made me search for more mistakes and pay closer attention to detail that mattered. We had to peer edit our classmates lesson plan last week, and now this week I am faced with this blog assignment on peer editing. Funny how things work, right?

After watching the two videos, What is Peer Editing and Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes, and viewing the slideshow, Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial, I realized that they all reiterated the same basic concepts of peer editing. These resources defined peer editing as working with someone your own age to help improve, revise, and edit his/her writing. This means making suggestions, compliments, comments, etc., to help their writing. The three basic steps that we are to remember when peer editing is: be positive, be specific, and make corrections. One thing that we should always be sure to do is to start off with a compliment. There is no need to only harp on the negatives because everyone could use a little encouragement. There is no doubt that you too will probably have some "red marks" on your paper, so make sure you treat your peer how you would want to be treated. Let your classmate know that they did a great job, however, there are a few things they could fix. When it comes to what they need to work on, make sure you are specific. Underline, circle, highlight, or do whatever you have to do in order for them to be able to clearly see what needs fixing. Once you show them what they could improve or revise, make some suggestions to help them. I think we all know how easy it is to get stumped on something, especially after we've been working on it for days. If we complete these three simple, basic steps, then our peer editing will hopefully get the job done.

Men lined up waiting to edit another man's paper before it is accepted

If we think about it, we are constantly "peer editing" others in our everyday lives. We are always critiquing our friends outfits or commenting on our friends bad habits. If it's used in our daily lives, then surely it can be effective tool in the classroom. Peer editing is fun as long as you make the most of it! A lot of times, when we are writing we tend to get complacent with our work. Whenever we are done, we are done. We thank our lucky stars that the work is over and we turn it in without ever giving it a second look. I think that peer editing is so great because it gives the students a new, fresh perspective on their work. As long as we are open to the feedback we are given, then peer editing isn't so difficult. Don't take things so personally, but instead, accept the constructive criticism and use it to become a better writer.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Blog Post #2

In the Mr. Dancealot Youtube video the central message is that students need to practice and do what they have learned in order to really be successful at it. The teacher went so quickly through each of the dance moves without ever allowing the students to practice each move themselves. I think that people learn best through repetition. An analogy I like to think of is shooting a free throw in basketball. A free throw is one of the easiest shots to make as long as you practice. Just like with the dance moves, they would have been easy if the students would have been able to practice in class. Whenever the final came, the students were just thrown into it and the teacher walked out of the room. The students never recieved any valuable feedback during the class, so therefore when the final came around, they had no clue what they were doing. The author does a good job of making a case for this conclusion when the students are given the final exam. They are all so confused because they aren't even sure if they are doing the moves right. I agree with this conclusion completely. If we never practice then we can never improve, and if we never receive any criticism every once in a while then how do we know if we are doing it right or wrong.

The Prezi presentation by Kevin Roberts called, Teaching in the 21st Century, was very interesting. I think that to Roberts, to teach in the 21st century means to teach with technology. There is virtually limitless information out there. Teaching strategies have changed so much over the course of time. Teachers used to be (still are) adamant on using computers because of a all the temptation that it would bring about, but just as Roberts said, "the tools provide temptation, but they are not the source of negative behavior." Teachers just need to rethink. By allowing students to engage in the various things technology has to offer, teachers help them to gain skills, start discussions, and share things they discovered. I thought it was interesting how Roberts mentioned that creation today consists of things like blogging, programming, podcasting, etc.. Students can learn so much through the use of technology, especially in today's society. I think that Robert's is right on point with how teaching is changing. Whether I'm ready to or not, I think I should get used to technology in the classroom because that's where we are headed. I think using technology is great in a classroom setting, but in my future classroom, it won't be my main source. I want my students to use their imagination first and then use the resources available to them, like the computers and such.

computer filled with technology

In the YouTube video, The Networked Student, they are trying to answer the question of whether or not networked students really need teachers. They use a student that is taking a mostly online course with no textbook as an example. The student only attends class like twice a week, so what's the need for a teacher? The student is able to use multiple online resources like Google, blogs, social bookmarking sites, and other things such as his MP3 player in order to obtain all sorts of information. He is learning everything that he needs to know with the various technological devices. So does the networked student really even need a teacher? The answer is yes. The teachers job in the classroom is to help guide, demonstrate, and share knowledge. Even if a class is mostly online, students are always going to have questions. The teacher helps create a a sense of connection among the classroom and the students. The multiple ways we are able to get information with technology is truly amazing, but without a teacher, the students miss out on a whole other level of learning.

In Vicki Davis's YouTube video, Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts, it's all about teaching the kids how to use technology (reminds me a lot of Dr. Strange's class). The students learn how to use Google Docs, Wiki, blogs, and just about any technological resource. One thing that really stuck out to me was when Davis said, "Every child can learn, but where the children have trouble is when you have paper and only pencil." There are so many ways to teach children rather than just through lectures and notes. Working with technology brings about a whole new level of ways children can interact. I think it's so crucial to teach our future generations to be technologically savvy. In Mrs. Davis's classroom, she is using technology to teach the curriculum but customizing what happens according to a particular group of students. Not every child learns in the same way, and I think it's so important for teachers to realize that. I also think it's interesting how the children are able to connect with so many different people from around the world and work collaboratively with them. Like I said before, a whole new, but important, level of learning.

After watching the YouTube video, Flipping the Classroom, I got a better understanding of what it meant although I have heard of this technique before. As for "flipping the classroom", I hate the whole idea. I think that requiring the child to go home and teach themselves the lesson is insanity. I've had teachers tell me to "read the chapter before class tomorrow" or "try to look over tomorrow's math lesson and see if you can work any of the problems", but the idea of making the child go home after a long school day and learn a whole new lesson? No. Personally, I think this is somewhat of a lazy method on the teachers part. I think it's so important for students to learn in the classroom setting where are they are able to ask questions and get feedback. Flipping the classroom may be somewhat effective for older children, but not at a young age. Think about it: children sit in a classroom for 7 hours a day, participate in any extracurricular activities, eat dinner, do homework, play, and go to sleep. There is so much to be developed at a young age, and making the child go home to learn a new lesson would be way too much to ask. So as you can probably tell, I would not find this approach useful as teacher. I'll keep my classroom right side up, not flipped.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Blog Post #1

When I first signed up to take EDM 310, I was very excited. My sister, Alex Howell, worked for Dr. Strange for a while and she always told me only good things about the class. She seemed to love every minute of taking the class and working for Dr. Strange. After hearing the opinions of many others, I feel as though my sister was the only one that enjoyed it. Leave it up to her to love something everyone else hates. Almost everyone that I have talked to that have already taken the class say only bad things. Most of them just kind of groan and put their hands over their face. I have to say getting that reaction from people terrifies me. I don't think I fully know what to expect. It's odd because after reading over the syllabus for the class and the master checklist, I wasn't really intimidated. It's everyone else's reactions that scares me, but I think that as long as I plan out when everything is due and complete everything without procrastination then I will be fine. If I have any fear about the class, it's that I get paired up with people that don't truly care about their grades. I don't want to be stuck doing all the group work by myself. I hope I get paired with motivated and driven students.

EDM book and binder

EDM 310 is unlike any other class that I have ever taken. I'm only a sophomore so I've only taken core classes up to this point. This is the first semester that I'm actually getting into my "major specific" courses. All of my core classes have been about the same. We simply listen to the lectures, take notes, view power points, write papers, and take tests. It's very obvious that EDM 310 is not like any of those that I have already taken. One thing that is different about this class than the others is that in EDM 310 I am required to keep up with most of the work on my own. It's my responsibility to make sure I check the checklist and complete everything on time. In most of my other classes, the teachers were constantly reminding me of what to do and when to do it. Also, EDM 310 is basically done entirely on the computer and I love that. I have never had the pleasure of taking a class like that until now. Although EDM 310 is different, I'm excited for the change from the "cut and dry" classes to something unique.

Despite the fact that I'm excited, I do think I will have some difficulty in one area of this class: time. Dr. Strange wants us to devote at least nine hours a week to EDM 310 work. Nine hours is a lot to me. I am taking 19 hours this semester in school and I have a job in which I try to work twenty to twenty-five hours a week. Also, I am still young and I would like time for a social life. It will be hard for me to devote that much time to one class, but if I have to do so in order to make the grade then I will. I think the best way for me to approach this difficulty is to just take things one day at a time. Whenever I'm overwhelmed and complaining to my family, my dad always says, "Ashley, how do you eat an elephant?" My initial response was that you don't eat an elephant but he always replies, "One bite at a time." Although nine a hours a week may seem like a lot, I'll just have to take it slow and do what I need to do.

To sum it up, I'm a little excited and a little nervous about what this class will bring. I don't have any questions or concerns at the moment but as the semester progresses I'm sure they will come to mind. Here's to a good semester!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Practice Post

My name is Ashley Howell and I am 19 years old. I was born and raised in Mobile, AL. I have an older sister, Alexandra Howell, and a younger brother, Andrew Howell. My dad is a chemical engineer and my mom is a stay-at-home-mom. My older sister is currently working at Disney World as an intern, and my younger brother is a Junior at UMS-Wright. I attended Cottage Hill Christian Academy my whole life. I was very active in sports playing volleyball, basketball, track, and tennis.Speaking of playing sports, I love to play basketball. I actually coach a middle school girl's basketball team. It has been challenging at times, but I absolutely love it.

My decision to come to South was a difficult one. I had my heart set on Auburn for the longest time. In the end, it was the smarter decision for me to stay at home. Now that I look back, I am so glad I chose South for numerous reasons. I am very close with my family so being able to see them everyday is wonderful. Also, I joined a sorority at South and I have met some of the most amazing sisters. God has allowed me to have so much peace about my decision. One of my major interests and passions has to do with one day being able to teach little kids, preferably kindergarten. I have such a heart for little ones and it means so much to me to be able to make a difference in their lives. I have wanted to be a teacher ever since I was little girl, and I can't imagine going into any other field of work.

Some of my other passions are less important things, but still fun. I like to get my nails done, go to the beach, spend time with my sorority sisters and family, shop, and read. One thing that most people might not know is that I have a dream to one day do some work at St. Jude hospital and go on as many mission trips as I can. I love to travel and being able to go all over the world to love on children and share God's Word sounds wonderful to me. As for St. Jude hospital, their whole mission and what they do amazes me. If I could in any way impact the lives of those sick kids, I would forever be grateful.

"The best is yet to be..."

Test Post #2

This is my second test post!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Test Post Title

This is my first post. I clicked the HTML button which I should always do in EDM310. I am now a Blogger!