Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blog Post #6

The Networked Student
The idea of a networked student never really occurred to me until I watched this video. Ms. Drexler may be on to something here. After all, everything we do these days is so network based. Networking almost dictates every aspect of daily living in the 21st century. Whether someone is looking for friends or jobs, networking skills have become imperative, especially with the social networking craze of twitter and facebook. Teachers might do well incorporating web based networking into the classroom; it has become the most popular mode of gathering information and communicating.

However, this is very revolutionary, and I feel the networked student concept needs to done in baby steps. It will also require close observation. And it should remain experimental until there is hard scientific evidence of success. Meaning, people, namely parents, are going to want see how this has benefited a student after they have finished school before there is mass endorsement.

Furthermore, I think Ms. Drexler does a great job admitting the challenges of the concept of the networked student. As a bit of a skeptic, I always like to see someone admit they do not have all the answers. But not having all the answers does not mean this is not a good idea. The video does a good job illustrating the teacher’s role as an effective and open minded filter. As a future educator in the 21st century, I am definitely willing to give any new idea a try for the benefit of our future generations.

A 7th Grader’s Personal Learning Environment
This post was impressive. I continue to be blown away by the many virtual learning techniques available today. People are always so worried that kids are using the internet for the wrong things. This 7th grader’s PLE is proof of kids using it for the right things.

I have always been a fan of taking notes in class. I literally have to in order for me to remember what was discussed in class. This is better than taking notes. It is twenty-four hour access to the class. I especially like the student having the ability to get the opinion of an expert anywhere in the world. It teaches them to value the opinion of another. This is all new to me, but it is interesting.

Podcast Project 8

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blog post #5

Dr. Scott McLeod’s Don’t Teach Your Kids this Stuff post
Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He is considered an expert on the use of technology in classrooms. This post is a satire mocking all those believing technology is more harmful than helpful. But change always has a risk. The objective should be for people to be willing to weigh the risks evenly and fairly. The internet is always going to pose a threat. However, the internet and other advances in technology are a reality in our world, and ignoring their role in our ever changing puts our kids’ futures at risk. I think the goal should be for us to decide if we are going to be technologically willing or unwilling.

I continue to hear people use the word “technologically illiterate.” This post is another attack on the “illiterate.” When recruiting people into the technological world, I think we need to use a more inviting approach. I agree with the reality of Dr. McLeod’s post. But I feel that this post is like many others that I have read; they seem to attack rather than invite. In order for any of us to have the “leg up,” we must be technologically willing.

The iSchool Initiative and Zeitgeist Young Mind's Entry
Travis Allen’s goal is to make the classroom completely electronic. The ischool Initiative wants to make school a paperless, hand held, and do it yourself atmosphere. It is a little overwhelming to think of school with no pencils paper or books. Will it really work? I am not sure. I am willing to hear more arguments for it. Also I would like to see some statistics on its effectiveness. I am willing to listen to anything that will benefit our students.
However, his argument does have some holes. He claims it will eliminate the use of “precious natural resources.” Well, electronics are not exactly green technology. We still burn a lot of coal to power our society, and it is very expensive. And if this technology is not monitored closely by educators, it has the potential of abuse. I realize that there is always a risk of kids abusing new technology. I would just like to know more about the educator’s role with this ischool; he focused mainly on the student’s role. This is very revolutionary, and while I am a bit skeptical, I am willing and anxious to hear more.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
From its birth, the internet has made the world truly a “small one.” Things going on in other time zones are seconds away from us. Ericwhitacre’s choir is one the most amazing things I have ever seen or heard. It gave me chills just listening to it.
But perhaps the most chilling aspect of this performance is that none of them had ever even met in person. The internet knows no latitudes on longitudes. I like that this video shows how close we all can be to one another. Using the internet in this way is a great way to help us understand the global society we live in.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Teaching today requires an open mind. I like Kevin Roberts’s video. I feel like being a good teacher in the 21st century means you are willing. You must be willing to ask yourself the questions your students are going to have to ask to survive in their world. They are going to face many things we did not, and we must be willing to face it with them.
However, we are not obligated to answer questions in any uniform way. Not everyone is going to agree on what is good or bad, effective or ineffective. Teachers simply need to more willing than ever in the rapidly changing 21st century. Teaching in this century means separating the willing from the unwilling; if we are not willing, how can we expect students to be?

Friday, September 23, 2011


C4T #2

I was recently fortunate enough to visit Frank Noschese's blog. Mr. Noschese is a high school physics teacher in New York. He encourages project based learning in his classroom to in order to keep his students engaged. His most recent post on his blog is about collaborative learning. He shared a post by Daryl Taylor about collaborative leaning across the world. From coast to coast, students were able to do projects with each other. They were able to be engaged with classmates they have never met. These teachers' classrooms have no walls. They are able to increase the amount of learning taking place in their classroom by the thousands. It is creativity times one-thousand, and utterly amazing.

Hello Mr. Noschese,
My name is Kevin Hutchinson, and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I am a secondary education history major, so science is usually a little foreign to me. However, these collaborative lab exercises are great. Daryl Taylor's classroom has no boundaries. Student's are able to have classmates all over the world, and that is mind blowing. The forensics "Who Done It" project looked extremely interesting. With the forensic based television shows' popularity at an all time high, I am sure this activity was an immediate hit with the students. For someone who has never been a science whiz, an activity such as this may have been helpful for me. It is a perfect example of encouraging creativity in the classroom. I will be reading an summarizing more of you post on my blog I look forward to seeing more excellent examples of creative, project based learning.
I visited Mr. Noschese's blog for the second time this week. He was featured in two interviews by MSNBC about technological learning. His interviews are an in depth look into his position on technology in the classroom. In his interview he is being asked about Khan Academy. Khan Academy is an online based lecture form of learning. Mr. Noschese is not against using technology for learning; he simply sees this as using technology as an extension of the "burp back" learning Dr. Strange has discussed with us. I told Mr. Noschese how much I appreciate him using technology not as a crutch but as an effective collaborative tool for understanding. You can check out his two interviews on his blog or buy clicking these two links: Khan Academy sparks education reform debate and Teaching with technology: What works in class

Mr. Noschese,
My name is Kevin Hutchinson, and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I like your stand on technology in the second video. Dr. Strange refers to the “spitting” back information you discuss as “burp back” learning. Your use of technology for collaborative exercises are the perfect way to help students stay engaged. The technology used in your class is not a crutch; it is tool the students are able to use in order to understand the concepts discussed in class rather than memorize information for the test. As a future educator, I appreciate and admire your position and efforts in the classroom.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blog post #4

Eagle Nest Radio & Class Blog
This podcast was well organized. Each student had a specific role. Their scripted roles helped them achieve a good flow. The smoothness of their podcast enabled them to teach a knowledgeable lesson. I was impressed that third grade students knew this much about ancient Rome. When I was their age, we were not fortunate enough to study the ancient civilizations in such depth.

However, I thought the music was a little too loud at certain times. Meaning, some of the children have different tones, and I was unable to hear some of them due to the music drowning them out. When I do my future podcasts, I will certainly consider some background music. But I will be sure that my words are not muffled by the music or any other background noises.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Joe Dale’s video on classroom podcasting was interesting. The one thing highlighted that caught my attention was using it as a remedy for the sick student. When a student having a difficult time keeping up in class misses a day, the results can be devastating. That day could make or break the student’s final grade. I believe this to be the best benefit of a classroom podcast.

But I do not think that every lesson should be taught by podcast. They are great activities for keeping kids engaged. They also teach collaboration, a skill that will be helpful in their adult life. However, learning is not always going to involve fun activities. Learning has to maintain a level of seriousness. As adults, they will encounter a serious world. Bosses will not have the patience to teach them the responsibilities of a promotion through a podcast. That is why I agree with the principal at the end of the video; she referred to podcasts as an “effective tool to utilize when appropriate.” I do not think my podcasts will be the keel of all my lessons, but I will use them to help students when necessary.

The Education Podcasting Network
This site has some great examples of how to incorporate podcasts into the classroom. It has full podcasts for lectures and many other activities. I found it especially helpful because there are many different categories of podcasts. For example, a high school history teacher wanting to do a podcast for a lecture can go to secondary education podcasts. Then the teacher can select history, and a list of podcast topics will show up. And elementary or middle school teachers can do the same thing. The site helps all teachers in many instructional areas.

This site will be quite helpful to me. As a secondary education history major, I can see exactly what a podcast lecture on a history topic looks and sounds like. I like that the lecture can be viewed by the student after the go home. If the student does not catch everything in class, the information we discussed is just a few clicks away. It is especially neat that they can pause the podcast; it is not always easy to pause the teacher. That single function will make studying much easier.

Sunday, September 11, 2011



I recently visited the blog of a year seven student at Point England School in
Auckland, New Zealand. Henry's school has been crowned New Zealand National Champions in rugby. Henry and his classmates are very proud of their rugby team for the way they represented Point England. I congratulated Henry and his classmates on their remarkable achievement. I informed that I played baseball when I was his age and never got to enjoy such a special moment with my friends. Henry and his classmates are the first year seven students to attend Point England, and being national rugby champions is a great way for the first class to leave a legacy.
Hello Henry,
My name is Kevin Hutchinson, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. That is really cool that your classmates are rugby champions. I am sure you are extremely proud of them. Do you play any sports at your school? When I was your age, I played baseball. However, we were never fortunate enough to win a championship. Congratulations to you and your school on a wonderful achievement. Visit my blog at


I visited the blog of Mr. Stephen Wolfe's third grade class. His class seems to be a creative writing class. He has the kids learning to describe themselves and the world they live in through writing. I got to read the blog of bb2011, one of his students. I told bb2011 we had a lot in common. We both come from a family of four and like baseball. I really enjoyed reading about this student's pets. I encouraged him to continue to play baseball and keep up the good work in school.

Hi bb2o11,

My name is Kevin Hutchinson, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading about you. I also come from a family of four. I have an older sister. I always wanted a brother. My Dad can whistle really loud. I thought your pets were really neat. I used to catch frogs behind my house all the time. I used to play baseball too. I played left field and catcher. You should play as long as you can. Baseball is a great team sport. You are a really good writer for your age. Keep up the good work. Well, I hope you continue to have a great school year.



This week I visited the St. Elmo Explorers blog. The students of St. Elmo Elementary are making great use of technology in their classroom. They have been doing book report interviews and studying the different Spanish speaking countries in the world. They used the data they gathered form that study to help sharpen their word problem solving skills. Their most recent video was their Self Portrait activity. They all drew a picture of themselves and described how they were similar and different. I thought this was a great project. They have learned a valuable lesson at a very young age; our greatest commonality is our differences.
Hello St. Elmo students,
I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class, and I loved your video. It is great that you have leaned at such a young age that the one thing we all have in common is our differences. Remembering this will be extremely helpful as you get older. You are very fortunate to have such an outstanding group of teachers. They seem to have worked very hard to create an amazing learning environment for you. I look forward to seeing more of your projects. Have a great school year.



The last blog I visited this for September was the Student Blogging Challenge Supported by Eudoblogs. The student's blog I commented on is an eleven year old named Zarah. Zarah had created her own avatar. I told her how neat I thought her avatar was. I reminded her that an activity, such as creating an avatar, was important because of the creativity it requires. I informed her that creativity is a lifelong skill and will be very helpful the older she gets.

High Zarah,
My name is Kevin Hutchinson, and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. That is a really cool avatar. You said that your avatar is older than you; how much older is she? I have never created an avatar, but it seems really neat. Is there a reason you made your avatar older than you? Exercises, such as creating an avatars, are good for encouraging creativity, and being creative is a great skill to have throughout your life. Keep up the good work, and stay creative.

Google Presentation

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blog post #3

Peer Editing
Paige Ellis’s information on peer editing does a great job describing the proper way to give constructive criticism. Telling someone they made mistakes can be very uncomfortable, and her slide shows and videos give wonderful examples of how to critique someone in a positive way. When critiquing a classmate’s blog, I prefer to do it publicly on their blog, and I have no problem with anyone giving me public advice. The recipient of the criticism will usually give more attention to correcting the mistake. I also agree with Paige’s idea of public advice being helpful for the rest of the class; someone that is uncomfortable critiquing their classmate can use another blog as a reference.

It’s not about the Technology
In this blog, I share the same ideas as Kelly Hines about effective use of technology in the classroom. Learning is a two-way street in which teacher and student must both travel. We are teachers and have a passion for demonstrating the importance and advantage of learning. Not all students have developed that same understanding nor do they appreciate it as we do. As educators, it is our responsibility to try as many methods as possible to help students desire traveling on the road to learning.

Furthermore, the use of technology is about the teacher and student working together and independently. We must be able to evolve in an ever changing world to help our students become independent thinkers. We cannot expect to throw a bunch of fancy gadgets into a classroom thinking that learning will magically take place. Technology must matter to both teacher and student.

Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
Karl Fisch wants to know if this blog post extreme. I believe it is quite extreme, but that seems to be his objective. It is supposed to sound extreme to the “technologically illiterate” in order to get their attention; it got my attention. Fisch is saying that the reader does not have to agree with his views, but his evidence makes it difficult disagree. Teachers need to be constantly willing to use anything that will help a student with a task. Those proud of technological illiteracy are boasting about their ability to make it through life without change. That might be true, and if they are satisfied with such an existence, they are perfectly free to live that way.

However, a student in a 21st century classroom may not be satisfied with merely surviving. They may want to be an engineer in their adult life. Such a goal requires a high degree of technological literacy. Thus, teachers cannot live in a state of satisfaction. They must be willing and eager to seek out the tools that will prepare their students for the future. We should never assume the way we were taught in high school is going to present students of the future with the best opportunities.

Gary’s Social Media Count
This counter is a wake up to anyone who does not understand the reality or impact of information and communication growth in today’s world. It sums up the magnitude of our global society. Billions of people are learning, communicating, and making money every second with the click of a mouse. The figures are almost impossible for the mind process.

We must understand that these numbers speed up the way we think and live. If we choose to ignore the reality of a rapidly changing world, we may be left behind in the time it takes for one of those numbers on the counter to change. That is the reality of our children’s future. As educators, we cannot get left behind. In doing so, we are putting our students’ futures at risk.

A Vision of Students Today
This video was a little depressing. Education seems to be a burden with uncertainty. The classroom appears to be a room with desks and students that only wish to complete the requirements hoping they will get a decent job upon completion. Finishing school does not make a person educated. Today the goal of a college student is to finish.

Universities and teachers may unknowingly encourage college as a means to an end. Educating is a gift that should be given and received. A student is not only financially better off having attended a University but also better person. A student should never feel as if a class is a waste of their time. If time is wasted, it is because the student wastes it, and they do so because of this notion that only stuff relevant to their future profession is important. If the walls of a college classroom today could talk, they would say the room is always empty.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Project 3 C4T

I posted this comment on the Keeping Kids First blog by Kelly Hines. Kelly is a fourth grade teacher in Washington, NC. She posted information about a wonderful conference tool called Rondee. It is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, and students. Teachers and parents that find themselves unable to make it to a "web-based" conference can use Rondee to attend a conference via computer, cellular phone, or home phone. Kelly attended a conference from the sideline of her son's football game.

I feel that Rondee is a great because it has so many functions to help parent teacher communication. Also the students are able to get involved using it for things like organized study groups. Rondee is free and its multiple functions are helpful in the home and the classroom

Hi Kelly,

My name is Kevin Hutchinson, and I am in Dr. John Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I am new to blogging, but I am quickly learning the advantages of it. I am always in a rush and Rondee seems awesome. As the son of a former teacher, who was also in a constant state of rush and panic, I see how this could be helpful as both a parent and an educator. Can parents have conferences with teachers using Rondee? Also I noticed that students could set up study groups via Rondee. Have you done this with your students? And how have they responded to it?


I recently visit visited Keeping Kids First, and I read about students using Skype to read books with other classrooms across the country. Kelly Hines had her students reading and collaborating with other students using Skype, and all the students were able to learn something from each other. Kelly's kids used a book read to them by another class to help them with their Geometry lesson. The students were engaged to the extent that they became creative and innovative. They made multiple use of their reading experience.

Reading is an important activity. Many children have no desire to pick up a book. Books can take someone to a place they never dreamed of going. Emily Dickinson said "There is no frigate like a book." Ms. Hines has taught her students the numerous ways in which books are useful. And through her "Read Across America" activity her students have learned the places a book can take them.

Hello Kelly,
My name is Kevin Hutchinson. I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. Using Skype for learning amazes me. It seems to be one of the best new ways to keep the students engaged. Being able to use a book read on Skype to help teach your Geometry lesson shows how engaged the students were. So many children think that reading is a waste of time. But this is a great way to keep reading alive.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blog post #2

did you know video

Technology in our daily lives is at an all time high. Because of our advances in technology we produce and consume more every day. In their video Did You Know 3.0 Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod use a slide show filled with statistics to demonstrate how advanced the human race is today compared to our less electronic past. Our progress is traveling at a rate no one could have ever imagined, and this video leaves you with a confused what is next feeling.

People are starving for information, and they are not willing to wait for it. The video asks what people did before Google was created. How did they learn anything? Well, they may have went to a library, and the theme of this presentation is accurate in stressing that people are not patient enough to walk to a library and browse for a book in order to entertain themselves or obtain information. I personally do not agree with the notion that one day a computer will computer will be smarter than me. While I understand that computers are useful, my existence as a human does not depend on my computer being operational; it needs me to turn the power switch on.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes, by Matthew Needleman, is an obvious reference to the famous book Rip VanWinkle. Matthew's narration in the short movie is mocks the Mr. Winkles of the world that are stuck in past. Mr. Winkle is confused by all the gadgets that were not in existence when he first went to sleep. This video is an exaggeration of how no one can function or sustain life in today's technological society. The maker of this movie even gives the impression that a teacher cannot effectively teach an interesting and knowledgeable lesson without the aid of a computer, and do not agree with him entirely on this matter.

However, computerized equipment in our world is quite useful. Advances in technology have given special needs students in today's classrooms opportunities a special needs child fifty years ago would have never dreamed of. And that alone makes being a technologically literate teacher a good thing. It is important that we make good use of the advantages we have today in order to benefit our children in every way possible.

But, it does seem little unfair to pick on people like Mr. Winkle. Sure, he needs to catch up with the times, but daily dependency on advanced technology can be equally ignorant. Fancy gadgets that make life easier should never become a crutch. A good teacher should be able to teach a lesson with or without the use of a smart board. We will not be helping our children or ourselves by sending the message of technological dependency.

The Importance of Creativity

The Importance of Creativity, by Sir Ken Robinson, is an awesome video about school killing the creativeness of our children. Robinson mentions that the arts are at the bottom of the list of importance for most school curricula. He emphasizes that kids today must focus on important subjects that will help them become successful in their adult life. Emphasis is constantly placed on math and science because a good background in either area usually leads to a more successful adult life. Meaning, these areas provide jobs that make the most money.

But not all kids are meant to live a life requiring higher math skills or a greater understanding of scientific data. These kids are sometimes, but not always, special needs children. Robinson gave an outstanding example of a little girl from the 1930s who could not seem to be still long enough to concentrate or learn much of anything. They noticed that she liked to dance to the radio and decided to allow her to focus on dancing. She attended a school for dance and has become a very successful and educated person. Robinson notes that today we would probably diagnose the child with a disorder and rely on some wonder drug to point her in the "right" direction toward a successful adult life. If this had been done to her, she would have never become the woman she was truly meant to be. As adults and teachers, we need to spend more time listening to our children, and we should focus on the the things they are good at instead of trying to "correct" them. Learning at school can be creative as well as productive and should be.

The Scholastic article is about the U.S. needing to "catch up" with the more advanced countries like Finland. We also need to develop a better "balance" in the curriculum, particularly in science and art. Ken Robinson believes it is a "myth" that some people are not creative. The interview with Ken Robinson done by Cecilia Gault discusses that everyone possesses some creativity.

In fact, I am not a math or computer genius, and I am sure anyone reading this blog will be shocked to that find out. However, like Robinson and Gault, I believe these things are important. My creativity does not lie with computers or mathematics, but it may for someone else. The guy who invented face book has a clear gift for the computer. And that is an example of Robinson's theory of intelligence being "diverse." Intelligence is just like shoes; it comes in different styles and sizes.

Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts follows highlights a classroom in rural Georgia in which teacher Vicki Davis has her students using computers to the maximum extent. Ms.Davis takes pride in her students ability to teach themselves and collaborate with each each other. They even teach her something new every day. She has achieved an environment in her classroom filled with learning. There seems to be no wasted time, and the students value the time as much or more than their teacher.

I was extremely impressed by the enthusiasm of her students. Kids being this excited about school is truly amazing. Her students are not forced to learn; they want to learn. I wish my high school computer room had looked like Ms. Davis's. Her computer lab would have been extremely beneficial to me. I encourage and applaud all teachers like Ms. Davis. Her classroom is creative as well as productive.