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.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Re-visiting Twitter

After having a few days to look at twitter it still doesn’t impress me too much.  I am not someone that likes social networks.  I rather talk to someone on phone or in person.  Although I do like how the messages have to be short.  This means less whining people do online.  I learned that a lot of people use it and that it does help you find information rather quickly considering that it is the second largest search engine out there.  I also found out that there are a lot of think tanks because of Twitter.  This means more ideas spread around therefore increasing collectivism on subjects.  The speed of this communication is hard to keep up with, but it will save lots of time and maybe in some weird circumstances save lives!  That would really interesting.   Either way I do give Twitter a little more credit because it does have a purpose the problem like everything people abuse it to say what they are doing on a day to day basis which is a waste of time.  Follow me

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dress Codes and I.D. badages in High Schools

Who likes being told what they can where to a place they do not even want to go to?  I am guessing nobody.  However some public school districts around the United States are instituting dress codes for no real reasons.  These reasons include keeping gang paraphernalia out of schools, to keep sexuality out of schools, and to prepare kids for the outside world.  The problem i have with this is I myself was forced to dress by a code at my old high school in Harbor Creek Pennsylvania for a couple of years.  In addition I like many students in these circumstances was forced to wear I.D. tags.  This site is a normal code with no harsh crackdown.  Typical code  this one has list of things they can restrict crackdown     in this scenario parents are on the student’s side fighting back

 Whys is this a major concern in education today you might ask?  Well, it is a giant distraction to the whole education process.  Teachers will be more worried about saving their own skins and reporting out of dress behavior than teaching.  I have experienced this myself, and i have seen good kids getting suspension for not being in code and/or not wearing their I.D. tag.  The point is that it is already difficult to get kids to focus in school as it is.  With these added measures school becomes a prisons or as my friends and i would say a "concentration camp."  We would even call our I.D. tags Stars of David, or serial numbers.  This is cruel mind you, but they would really piss you off! 

        Watch this Salinas

Watch this too sorry videos links are not cooperating  Question on uniforms

The reasons for doing these things are "on the surface" valid arguments in some extreme cases.  For example gang idea is for the city schools, and a silly dress code will not do much to slow that down.  Stopping sexuality in schools and preparing for the outside world go hand in hand.  Essentially the outside world doesn’t care what you wear.  My school stressed the point to dress like you would in college.  College doesn’t care what you wear or for that matter show up.  They just want money. 

Additional problems are created by instituting a dress code.  Parents need to buy clothing for their kids.  How can they do this if they have no money in their budget?  What happens if you lose I.D. in school?  You pay 5 bucks for a new one.  The whole thing is a waste of money.  My school would not let us wear sweatpants, or athletic shorts.  They even went as far as to make an assembly to call us hoodlums and gangbangers when we go to a county school.  We also see a breakdown of authority, and a reason to disobey the rules.  

I do understand this is kind of a rant from a couple of year ago, but hearing about it from what i saw will help you see the problems that are created by such a silly and dumb thing.  The stakeholders for these things are the administration, and i feel that administrations are out of touch today in schools.  If they had any sense they would not do these dumb things.

On the other hand you have to decide for yourself what should be done this website shows that there can be progress made with dress codes.  For it  This also shows that they are on the rise since 2000. On the Rise

I also realize that the uniforms are not always this fancy, but they can eventually lead to this. 

Either way i feel that these are unesscary to schools and will only serve as further distractions to the educational process.

If this problem is not fixed then school will lose sight in the point of schools.  Not to enforce things, but to teach kids, and teach more than following the rules.  Although it can teach kids the imporatnce of voting and democracy.  But back to the point if this is not changed learning, respect for autthority, and casual dress will cease to exist.  At the very least letting kids choose their close aids in their decision making.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Twitter is a really interesting social tool.  I still believe that it is kinda dumb.  However, it can be useful to help encourage more communication between students and teachers, and more useful communication between students.  It is also very hard to look up someone.  All in all i do see some pointinal with Twitter, however it is limited

Monday, February 13, 2012

Reflection on PPT

Oh boy what a time.   The power point assignment was very helpful in showing me how to make a power point more appealing, and useful.  The hardest part by far was relinquishing the power of presenting material to the students.  This was the objective of the assignment, and i would also say my greatest risk.  I like to be in control of what is being presented, but i must say it is very nice not having to do it all the time.  This assignment takes a lot of work, but when it is done you can be even more effective to students by answering their questions.  I had my doubts about this assignment, but i do see its use. I thought the Narrative was a waste of time though.  I do realize we need to write down what we do, but it should not be that complicated.  In all thank you Mr. Smith for helping me see the value of the hands off "interactive learning".

I started by deciding on a topic I could make interactive.  I decided to do a battle, that way you could look at both sides of sides of the fighting.  I decided Gettysburg because of the importance and size of the battle.  I greatly utilized the potential with hiding slides and creating hyperlinks in them.  I accidently made my hyperlinks to the web go to the slide I was on.  I fixed that fairly quickly, and ran into the problem of finding videos that suited my purpose to describe what the battle and American Civil War battles were like.  I used videos form the movie Gettysburg to help illustrate my point.  My point being this was a big, bloody, awful battle that lasted three days and turned the tide of the American Civil War.

I still feel this concept should be used in limited exercises like an introduction exercise.  That way the student can find the information and determine for themselves what information is important or not.  Then the next day I would come in and give an accurate description to reinforce the material they looked at and make connections for them. 

My plan for the class would have been to take a week to cover the battle.  Day 1&2 to look at PowerPoint to choose one side on day 1 and on day 2 choose other side.  Day 3 I would go over the battle with notes.  Day 4&5 the class would watch the movie Gettysburg.  This would ensure that the class would retain the information. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Criticism of Chapter 1

In regards to the Networking effects discussed in Chapter one I see many essential flaws to the overall concept and more importantly the important bulleted advantages on page 27.  I will explain points that I have a problem with.
  For starters “Classrooms will be more engaging."  I fail to see how they will be more engaging, because with all of the things that are availible on the web and other computer distractions I see no explanation for how they will be more engaging.  An example is if I were to ask a question by sending it on a blog, the students might not see the question, and they would be doing their own thing on the internet.  Being a student I have witnessed this myself many times.  The only benefit is the students no longer have to know anything.  They can simply look up the questions on the internet rather than taking notes in class.
 Next, "Students are responsible for their own learning."  I tend to laugh at this obscured statement, because students are naturally lazy, and usually am not that motivated to do things on their own, and I would think most students would say that would be a joke.  Moreover, the students will not do any work until a few days before the work is due.  Again, I can attest to this because being a student a have seen and done just that.  In this case I see an increase in failure due to the fact that students that do not understand the material will take less interest in the subject and ultimately not care what the final grade will be, and therefore will learn little to nothing.  It almost seems like laziness on the side of administrators and teachers to have students do it themselves considering these are not adults in college this is one thing but high school or higher will prove to be even harder than it already is. 
Another interesting comment "Students are safer" doesn’t make much sense.  What doses having a network make things safer for the kids?  I understand the idea that if they are home they are safer, but you have as much danger at home as you do at school. 
Finally "Schools save time and money."  This does not make sense because the schools will have to constantly have to pay money to update the software and maintain their network.  This means more money spent to hire technicians.  As for the saving time, if the network goes down then the whole school is down, and the school loses a day, or two, or more all because of some simple technical difficulty.

These points describe what I took from Chapter 1 to be problematic as classrooms evolve.  The conversion from paper to online is a very complicated process with much good potential, but I believe that some of these potentials will be abused by everyone that uses them.  They can breed lazy and incompetent individuals all in an attempt to make teaching easier and more efficient.  I feel that these ideas should be slowly integrated into the Classroom. 

I would like to know how they believe that these ideas will be helpful.  Why do they think these ideas will work, and what supports that?  Just how effective is this idea compared to traditional teaching? 

Ultimately you have to either side with me or disagree, and help me understand how some of these ideas make sense.      This might help you see their point of view.      Help

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

caught up

I believe i am now final caught up with work in Sedu 183 if people could send me their address for their blog i be greatly appreciative

Thursday, January 26, 2012

interesting stuff

"I thought her unsinkable and I based my opinion on the best expert advice." -Phillip Franklin, White Star Line Vice President

As i stated in my last post the Sinking of the R.M.S. Titianic has faasicnated me ever since i first heard about it when i was six years old when the movie came out.  I have been trying to figure out why exactly the great ship sank.   Yes i know it sank because of a collsion with an iceberg, but i want to know the full mechanics of why why it sank.  As far as i am considered i believe there is somehting more to the story that is not told.

I mean the story how this ship went from the image above to the image on the bottom is incredible!
The world largest ship thought to be unsinkable sank in a little more than 2 hours, and i want to know why!

This is the best documentary i have ever seen on the subject.  It dose go longer, but Youtube only allowed for this much.  Enjoy!

And of course you dont have to watch the whole thing lol!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

continuation of first post

What i want to accomplish as a secondary ed history teacher is for my students to understand what exactly it was like in certain situations throughout history.  For example if i discuss a war  like the American Civil War I want  them to understand how they fought, lived, what weapons they used, and what they weapons could do a person.  In that same token i would take them to a football field and stand them up in lines and describe what would happen as the Union and Confederate troops would clash on the many bloody battle sof the Civil War.  In this way I believe that they will have a greater apprecation of what transpired.  I also want my students to understand why things are the way they are today.  For instance why is Korea divided?, Why our military is always on alert? and etc...    My feeling is that if you can put the studenst in their shoes, then they will have a better connection with it.

One lesson i am currently working (in my free time) on is a lesson on the Sinking of the Titanic.  The disaster for whatever reason intrigues me and i am trying to learn all that i can about it. I recently saw something on youtube that has changed my whole thinking on what happened that cold April night in 1912.  This video series on youtube describes the disaster as an insurnace scam, and worse off it makes some sense and they guy is kinda weird looking lol. It has 6 parts and not all is true but a good deal dose actually make sense!   In any case i would like to give each student in my class a name of someone on board, and as i go along i reveal at certain points who has died up to this point, or who is still alive.  This way they can connect to the what is being discussed. 

I hope to share this blog with anyone who is in need of help in any history class, and anything i find interesting, and possibly anniverseries of important dates like the 100 year anniversery of the Titanic disaster is this april.  If anyone has a question on somehting please feel free to ask i am always willing to help!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Joel Warren

My name is Joel Warren.  I am from HarborCreek, Pa.  If you don't know where that is erie is close enough.  I played soccer all through high school and i am now a sophmore here at Edinboro and i am a secondary education history major.  I hope all of you freshmen like it here as much as i do.