Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Visual Essay

My visual essay was a very interesting project for me.  I mastered photostory, bought a microphone for my computer, and learned i did have a story that made me wnat to be a teacher.  On top of that i found this project to be fun and easy once I got focused.  I thought the two hardest things about this was the writing the essay and surprisingly the audio recording.  The audio was difficult because i kept getting nervous, had the microphone to close to my mouth, and got carried away with adding audio.  So, this meant i had to do my audio's many times.  Two thngs i could have done better was to add more words to the pictures.  I felt like I had a lot in the beginning and few at the end.  I did this because the last part was diifcult to indetify what to put witht he pictures and the beginning was easier.  It was rewarding to come up with a belief statement to identify what your teaching stragety, and what your beliefs are.  Learning from your mistakes is not only a saying it is a life lesson.  I would use this in a class room to wrap up a topic.  So to go over the first world war i might have them make a photo story about world war one.  I would also use movies by showing documentaries.  This dosen't make me lazy because i will use these movies to supplement my teaching so the steudenst can get a visual interpretation of the notes and class discussions. 

This is my visual essay hope you enjoy!

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Monday, April 23, 2012


I was not sure what to think, but they are rather interesting and thought provoking. These can be used to collaborate and create new classes to teach to give students new horizons to help pursue individual interests. I personally do not think this will affect me in anyway. However, I could see myself possibly creating one for someone else. This seems dumb because of just giving information to help people with no reward. Charity is a nice thing, but this can breed laziness in teachers and imagine the ridicule we will get when that happens. This is just like teaching something for a state test because you teacher what is followed in the guide lines. I would not use one because of the constant updating. I like to have a finished product. However, I can see myself consulting with someone who makes these to gain new strategies of reaching my students. My last link shows how to make an interactive time line. This means technology OER's can be useful to help me be a more tech interactive teacher. My fear is I will lose a connection and credibility with my students by using and creating one of these. The job will be to update the file rather than feed the information to the kids. I want to have viable conversations with my students, not answering questions about what I posted/ updated the night before. OER's can be great guidelines for struggling teachers, and they can be supplements to what the students learn in a class. A surprising aspect is that I have never heard about these things before. The OER's have been around for roughly ten years. If they are that influential why haven't I haven’t heard of them or seen one. Is it because there are more kinks then positives to be effective? They basically sound like an online class/study guide. As with many things I have been exposed to in this class I have many doubts, but I do see potential good. The effectiveness of this as a tool is to be decided along with these ideas already out there. Except they have videos and content together. I see OER's as accredited blogs.  In any case I am interested in learnign more about these.  The links below describe diffenerent stages and parts of OER's that i find helpful to understanding them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A life lesson

A life lesson
                I believe that history is about learning from our mistakes.  It is hard to truly understand what I am talking about until you do the same thing twice.  During my junior year of high school I had to take World Cultures two.  I was very enthusiastic about this class because ever since I could remember I loved history, and especially tragic history (warfare and disasters).  This sounds quite dark as I am aware, but I love hearing more about these tragedies to get a feel for what it was like to experience something like that.  My teacher Mr. Pfadt was a big man who had actually been in combat, and was in the army reserves.  The main message he always tried to get across to us was that we should learn from history and our mistakes so we do not repeat them.  There were two specific examples that stuck with me to this day.  The first was the Titanic disaster.  He had this program that had ship plans and broke down the events leading up to, during, and after the sinking.  It was what I always had wanted to learn, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that anyone would ever go over that event in a class.  He also had very detailed documentaries of the First and Second World War.  These three topics in class made me want to become a history teacher.  I seem like a nerd and you know what I am one, but I figured the best job I could to talk about these topics was to become a history teacher.  Now back to the life lesson, Mr. Pfadt would stop his movies and highlight prudent information as it came up in the documentaries/ computer programs we were looking at.  He would use words like stunning and yikes to illustrate the gravity of the information we were looking over.  He always said “Don’t forget, and don’t repeat the past, learn from it.”  The lessons of and unsinkable ship sinking and two world wars would hopefully get that point across.  It did to me anyway.  Since that class I have had a burning desire to teach and discuss historical events, and I always remember my mistakes so I do not repeat them.  World War one cost over 8 million lives.  World War two cost over 50 million lives, but I am not sure if that is included with the Holocaust.  In any case before get off topic, the point is someone did not learn from the past.  I believe that if we don’t learn from the past we will repeat it, and unfortunately many people could die because of it.  However, if we do learn than maybe just maybe we can spare people from misery and terror.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cool Tool for School

This is a tool i found on Google and it is in my mind really helpful to History and Biology education teachers.  Essentially, the site is a helpful tool that streams videos on from that is in association with the Discovery Channel.  This allows the teacher to look up material they need for a topic that the discovery channel did a bit on and voila it is found and streaming rather than the school buy the movie for the teacher or the teacher buy it.  This can also be accessed outside the classroom for kids that are sick, and or they want extra help with a topic they can re-watch the video to consolidate their thoughts.  Kids can also further their own particular interest in a certain area.  In this way teaching can occur outside the classroom, and this tool can also help audio visual learners like me.  To understand what i mean take a battle in a war.  By watching a documentary you see what the uniforms looks like, sees the strategy plan on a map, watch re-enactment of the fighting, and the end result with some first person accounts of what happened.  For Biology you can see the life cycle of penguins or what have you.  Seeing something helps build a picture in your head which will lead to further grasping of the material. 
This site works as simply as typing in the name of the program and finding it on the list.  Quick and done and the best part is that it is good material, accredited by the Discovery Channel. 
A drawback is the possibility of students getting bored with the material and not paying attention to the videos.  Other than that this resource kicks some serious butt, and I would use it to describe battles and just to get a sense of how people lived during a certain time, so the students can relate to the material.