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Thursday, February 25, 2010


Several students have asked about grades this week. Let’s start with what I said on pp. 9-10 of the Syllabus:

Your grade is based on the examinations you take, the 15 projects you produce or in which you participate, the formal presentation you make, the critiques you provide of other students’ products and presentations, and your class participation. An A represents Outstanding work; B Above Average; C Average; D Below
Average; F Unacceptable. You must complete all projects ON TIME. Late projects will negatively affect your grade! Dr. Strange will consult with the teaching associates before assigning a final grade.

Everybody starts with an A. If you want to know how to blow that A, just do any of the following and we will probably see you in EDM310 again next semester.

How to blow your A:
1. The failure to satisfactorily complete any of the projects for this course will result in a D or an F and you will have to repeat the course. ALL 15 PROJECTS must be satisfactorily completed to get a grade better than a D in this course. ALL means ALL! In other words, doing 14 (or less) satisfactorily but not 15 projects satisfactorily GUARANTEES that you will get a D or an F for the course.
2. You must correctly complete your Foliotek entries for this course in order to receive a passing grade in this course.
3. You MUST make your weekly posts to your class blog ON TIME (or in advance). Failure to do so will, most likely, result in a VERY POOR (D) grade in this course. DO NOT GET BEHIND IN THIS COURSE!
4. You MUST complete all required posts to your blog INCLUDING the post assigned for May 2, 2010. Failure to do the required post for May 2, 2010 will result in a D or an F in this class.
5. Failure to attend ALL class and lab sessions and the final exam will most likely result in a D or F.
6. Failure to use good grammar, good spelling, and your brain in doing your blog posts will blow your A.
7. Failure to be an active, self-directed learner will also blow that A.
But don’t blow it!

I really don’t like using force to get students to learn. If you are going to be a teacher, you will want your students to WANT to learn. They should not be forced, with threats of bad grades, to learn. I want everyone who takes this class to WANT to make an A and to WANT to do the work that will result in that grade. I want everyone in this class to do A work and get an A! Sadly, that is not the case. The best students do that. The others do not.

It seems to me extremely important that teachers WANT to learn. So if you do not fall into that category, if you are not eager to learn, you should think about a different career!

Now let’s turn to the questionnaire I posted on the Class Blog on Monday February 15 How's My A?. That’s 11 days ago. As of 8 am this morning (2/25/10) 36% of the students still enrolled in EDM310 have not completed that questionnaire. It is, therefore, correct to assume that if final grades were issued today, those who have not answered the questionnaire would not pass this course. I have not closed the questionnaire yet, but I soon will.

Let’s also count. I asked you to do that the first day of class. “ How many times did I say ‘Don’t be late.’ ” So let’s count how may times I said that in the section on grades in the Syllabus. Four. Maybe that was not enough.

Now let’s take a look at what you think about your progress in this course. Nine percent of you think you are not putting forth your best possible effort in EDM310. So...
here are other problem areas where students have not completed their assignments. And these are only those who completed the questionnaire. Forty-seven percent (47%) have not added an RSS feed for the class blog to their iGoogle page. Yes, you can keep up with what is happening on the class blog in other ways. But 29% say they are not reading the class blog daily. That can lead to lots of trouble with that A! Fifteen percent (15%) of those completing the questionnaire said they were behind in their work. So 36% + 15% means that there are far too many shaky or missing As. Forty percent or more have something missing on their blog, or something that does not work. And on it goes.

So what is your grade? You know better than I. Are you participating fully in the educational community I am trying to form in EDM310? Are you putting forth your best effort? Are you doing ALL of your assignments ON TIME? Are you asking for help as soon as you need it? Are you attending all classes and labs? Are you planning ahead, especially for your podcast which starts next week? Are you learning? Are you excited about learning?

You tell me. If Final Grades were distributed tomorrow, what grade would you give yourself? What grade would you give your classmates whose blog posts you read or don’t read because they have not been posted on time?

If you have friends in this course who have not yet understood that I mean it when I say do all your assignments ON TIME, please inform them before it is too late.

And for those of you who are leading the way in creating a wonderful learning community, and I am excited by the fact that this is happening, thank you!

Here is the Preliminary Summary of the Still Have Your A? questionnaire as of 8 am on Thursday February 24, 2010 - eleven days after it was posted on the class blog.

I have been told that should not think that I can undo 15 or so years of schooling which trained you that grades should be your focus and have you suddenly behave like learning was the most important part of being in school. I guess that is correct. But I am going to keep trying!

Can't remember whether you completed the questionnaire? Well... But to make you feel better, I have shared a Google Doc listing all students that had completed the Still Have Your A? Questionnaire by 8 am Thursday 2/25/10. I hope you name is on that list! And by the way, the form reports the exact time you submit the questionnaire in the form of hour:minute:second. Handy for determining exactly what happened when!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The iSchool Initiative

YouTube Image
Paula Casallo found a great video on YouTube called the iSchool Initiative. She has posted in on her blog. I will add it to the Blog Assignments for the last half of this semester. Thank you Paula.

This is great. Our "learning community" is beginning to really work with contributions from lots of students. Keep it up!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wrap Week 6

screen capture from USA iTunes
You can listen to this podcast on the University's iTunes site or by clicking the link Wrap Week 6 below.
Here is the direct link to the podcast: Wrap Week 6
If you would rather read than listen, here is the text of what I said in the podcast:
This week we concentrated on preparing for Podcasts which start next Monday March 1.
We also Skyped with Ms. Kathy Cassidy of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada and Ms. Kelly Hines of Washington, North Carolina. These Skype sessions will be available sometime Wednesday February 24.

On February 15, a week ago today, I posted a questionnaire called Still Have Your A? One week later only 76 of you (54% of those still enrolled in EDM 310) have completed the questionnaire. I guess the rest of you do not read the blog. It is absolutely essential that you read the class blog every day! What more can I say? Since February 15 I have added 16 posts to the class blog. It is in your best interest to have read them. I guess that's all I have to say on this subject. Well, maybe I should add, for those of you not reading the blog, "It looks like I may see you in EDM310 again next semester." But if you are not reading the blog, you won't see this message. Maybe some of your friends will alert you.

This week we also have worked on PLNs. I have added several posts addressing that subject. Your first report on the progress you are making on your PLN is due next Sunday February 28 in a separate post on your blog. Complete instructions are in the Syllabus.

I have just added a new assignment. It is Comments4Teachers. It is explained in a separate post on the class blog. You must read one post of an assigned teacher and comment on the posts on your blog every three weeks.

Podcasts start on Monday.

Plan - Prepare - Practice

Contact each other using Skype or other communication methods. Share your research using Delicious.

Missing - 23 Podcast Students

Missing Poster
For some students Podcasts are less than a week away. 23 students have not yet signed up for a podcast topic. Trouble is brewing! Check to make sure you have signed up as instructed. The list of missing students is at the bottom of the Google Docs Podcast Topics Sheet.

A New Project Comments4Teachers

Wordle Image
You now have an additional assignment in your Google Docs: Comments4Teachers Weeks 7-9. Here are the instructions as found in the Google Docs Spreadsheet:
Comments4Teachers: You have been assigned a blog to follow for the next 3 weeks. In most cases these blogs are by teachers or administrators in K-12 schools. Go to the blog. Read the most recent blog post on which you have not commented. If it is obviously just a housekeeping post, skip it and move down the post list until you find an appropriate post on which to comment. Leave you comment. Identify yourself and include with a link to your blog. In your first post also include a link to the class blog and a message that you will be summarizing your visits to the blog with a post to your blog on or before March 21. Go to your blog. Create a post in which you either copy your comment or write a summary. Save it. DO NOT Publish it until you have done all 3 comments and have rewritten your post, if appropriate, to report on all that you have read. This is the first time I have made this assignment and I am sure you will find some glitches. Let me know so that I can make this assignment a better one. It is part of an effort to create a meaningful "virtual" field assignment for you. In some cases the authors of these blogs will be posting often. In others you may only be scrolling down to read old posts. Whatever the case, always comment on the most recent post on which you have not left a comment as long as the post is not a "housekeeping post."

This assignment will be repeated (with a different teacher assigned to you) two more times for Weeks 10-12 and 13-15.

You will make a total of 3 posts (one at the end of each 3 week assignment) on you blog summarizing what you have learned from this assignment with appropriate links and comments.

If you have questions, contact me!

Wordle created at the Wordle Place ©Jonathan Feinberg

Another Important Post on PLNs That Will Help You With Yours

Joe Dale's Avitar
Joe Dale has just published this very important reflection on his PLN What Does Your PLN Mean to You? Remember your report on how you are doing, and what you are doing with your PLN is due next Sunday 2/28/10 in a separate post on your blog.

Correction to Blog Assignments

Wordle Message
Mandy Sullivan (Class G) noticed that the assignment for last night (February 21) was not working. She was correct. Here is my response to her:
You are the first person who has noticed this - and on the last day before the assignment is due.
I was getting the video from David Hopkins but, when I went to his site this morning, I found out that his site was hacked and he has not restored everything that was destroyed. So I turned to the original source: Apple. The trouble with Apple is that they move things quite often. But the link is working now.

Here are the complete instructions. I have corrected the Blog Assignment Sheet:

2. Find out all you can about iTunes University. Write two or three paragraphs about how iTunes
University might be of help to you as a student or a teacher. Include appropriate links. For an
introduction to iTunesU go to this Apple web site: iTunesU: Learn anything, anytime, anywhere. Then click on Watch the video under the label iTunesU: An Introduction

Thank you very much, Amanda, for calling this to my attention!

Wordle source: ©Jonathan Fineberg. If you have not tried Wordle yet, do so!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Got A Mac?

MacBookI will hold a special workshop for Mac users next Saturday February 27 from 10-12 in our classroom.
If you are interested in learning some of my tips and tricks, let me know. I would like to know if you are coming so I won't drive to Mobile to find no one there.

An iPad For The Kindergarten Crowd

Image of new kindergarten educational toolFrom Dina Tillman (Class C) who says:
Found this iPad for the Kindergarten Crowd while searching for sites for my PLN. These are the toys our children will be playing with, and we are still expected to teach with a pen and paper.

Friday, February 19, 2010

PLN - Michael Fawcett (@TeacherNZ) Offers His Insights

In Class B yesterday we had an extended discussion about PLNs. No doubt because you must report on your progress in establishing a PLN in a post on your blog due Sunday February 28. I had forgotten about this video on the value of a PLN and how to establish one by Michael Fawcett posted on At The Teachers Desk. Check it out!

Some More Words of Wisdom (AND AN ASSIGNMENT) From Dr. Scott McLeod

Scott McLeod
On February 13 I added a post entitled Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?. This has generated a good discussion (14 comments at the moment) and Dr. McLeod has joined in the conversation. In case you haven't gone back to check the comments on that post, I want to call special attention to Dr. McLeod's latest comment. This is what he wrote:
"I have been following your comments, both here and at my blog. Many of you seem pretty fearful about children and adolescents accessing the Web. I encourage you to read through a few posts of mine to maybe reframe your concerns a bit (you can search for any of these by post name at Dangerously Irrelevant ):


The One Percent Doctrine

From the Head of Zeus

I'd Like An Idiocy Filter, Please

I Don't Like Internet Filters

Online Predators: Overblown Threats

See also my article for School Administrator, Blocking the Future

See also Educating Trumps Blocking, by Kim Moritz."

In my post of February 13 I asked you to find out who Scott McLeod is. Did you do that? If not do it!

Read his posts which he has suggested above. His assignment is a good one. And when you find out who he is you will understand why he gives good assignments to a class like this!

I have made it easier for you to find his posts by making the titles links. He suggested you search for them. That was an excellent suggestion. But to make it even easier I have done that for you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Need My Teachers to Learn

This was found and shared by Amy Stork. It is exactly this kind of sharing that I want to happen in EDM310. We are a real learning community when that happens.

Thanks Amy! Thank you very much.

Now another lesson from this. Here is another version of pictures added to this song:

Sofor a movie or a podcast you could write a song, or use one in the public domain and add your own pictures to music. Try it if you would like to. If you have any questions about how to do it, ask.

Thanks again Amy for stimulating this idea and this discussion!

Problems With Comments4Kids This Week?

Book of Mistakes
Assignments for many students in Classes A and B have been corrected. If you were having trouble doing your assignment this week I think I have corrected the problem. Please let me know of any other difficulties that you are encountering.

Personal Learning Networks

 Image of P L N Sources

Rachael Locklin (Class C) found this post by Vicki Davis yesterday. You remember Vicki Davis from Georgia, right? Her blog post is Personal Learning Networks are Virtual Lockers for School Kids. I recommend that you read it since you will soon have to report on your PLN.

This is an example of how we learn together. Thanks Rachael.

Also, if you are using Delicious, and I hope you are, you might be interested in my collection of PLN articles and posts. They are here:
Dr. Strange's Delicious Bookmarks on PLN.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blog Assignments Have Changed

If you are "green," I have changed the Blog Assignments for February 28 and March 7. The link on the class blog will take you to the new assignments.

If you printed the blog assignments, throw the old version (1.1) away and download the new version (or be "green" and use it from the net).

PLN, Twitter, TweetDeck and ScreenJelly

You should be working on your PLN. Take a look at Twitter as a PLN.

You should be using Twitter. There are 3 important resources available in the Syllabus. TweetDeck makes Twitter much more useful.
Here is an excellent tutorial on TweetDeck.

TweetDeck Tutorial from The Broad Brush by Todd Jordan.

And ScreenJelly. You should sign up. You will make use of this several times before the semester is over.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wrap Week 5

33 percent
You can listen to the Wrap for Week 5.

You can get the Wrap for Week 5 from the USA iTunes site.

Or you can read a written version of what I said:
I keep harping on the same things. Read the class blog daily. Keep up with your assignments. Think ahead. There are a lot of projects to complete before the end of the semester. Use your time to learn new things. The syllabus is loaded with instructional materials to help you learn new tools including Vocaroo, adding pictures and links to your blog, adding links in comments, making pictures you add to your blog compliant with accessibility standards, creating and expanding your PLN, using Twitter effectively. Do not wait for me to tell you to do something. You have the materials listed in the syllabus. Work ahead. Master the tools you will be using in the rest of the semester.

This week we concentrated on two things. The first was podcasts. You have now listened to a number of podcasts. For most of you, podcasts were new. And most of you began to see the many instructional uses they may have. Two weeks from today, starting on March 1, we will record podcasts in class. You can record yours outside of class with an instructor's approval. Some of you are trying vodeocasts. That is great. You will get a head start on making movies. I might note, however, that I sometimes listen to videocasts without watching the pictures. The pictures often do not add much to my understanding. That is not always true, but it is often true. Try it yourself.

Here's what you should be asking yourself about your podcast:
1. Do I have a team?
2. Do I have a topic?
3. Is my team creating a plan?
4. Are we collecting materials?
5. Have we started practicing?

Many of you listened to podcasts that you thought needed improvement. Now you have a chance to improve your podcast. But you must get started NOW!

The second effort this week was to add a link for email and a link to the class blog on your blog. And to check the links to make sure they work. Do you have both links working?

The class is 1/3 over (we have completed 5 weeks out of 15). It's time to assess our progress. I have added a new questionnaire to the class blog. Please complete it immediately.

In Week 6
Plan - Prepare - Practice Your Podcast

And in Class A on Wednesday February 17 we will be Skyping with Ms. Cassidy from Moose Jaw, Canada at 2:00 and withMs. Kelly Hines from Washington, N.C. in Class E at 4:30. Everyone is welcome to come to these sessions. Classes A and E especially: Come prepared to talk with these two great teachers. Ask questions, Enagage in dialogue. Don't just sit like bumps on a log.

That's the wrap for week 5.

How's My A?

question markYou are required to complete the following questionnaire as soon as you see it. Yes, part of this requirement is to see how often (and when) students go to the class blog. Another part is to see if they read it. Another is to see if they follow instructions. You will invent similar techniques as a teacher. Remember, click the SUBMIT button only once.

Click to Answer the Questionnaire.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

Read this post: Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? by Scott McLeod. Leave him a comment. You also might want to comment here!

And just who is Scott McLeod? Find out!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Using Technology in the Classroom - Not

This is rather funny. Well, it might not be to some teachers. Perhaps it will give you an idea or two for a podcast or videocast. It's worth the 6:00 for laughs alone.

From The Educator's PLN. The primary writer was Joe Borrego. See the film credits for a list of all involved.

Monday, February 8, 2010

An Excellent Videocast Idea. You should watch.

A palindrome reads the same backwards as forward.
This video reads the exact opposite backwards as forward.
Not only does it read the opposite, the meaning is the exact opposite.
This is only a 1 minute, 44 second video.
Make sure you read as well as listen to the entire video.
You will hear and see it forward and backward.
This video won second place in a contest sponsored by AARP.

The author is a college student who was 28 when she made it. She is now 30. Here is what she wrote about the video:
I guess I should finally get around to putting something here. I am surprised that it has received so much attention recently.

This video was created for the AARP U@50 video contest and placed second.

It is based on the Argentinian Political Advertisement "The Truth" by RECREAR
Thanks to joezandstra for posting it as a video response. If you would like more info about the video [which inspired my video ]you can find it here:

The two songs are
Mind things
Our Lifes, Our Destinies

t r y ^ d
... are available for free through the creative commons license and on the site"

Wondering who won? You could look it up! Amy Stork did! Here is the link: U@50 1st Place Video
Thanks Amy for completing the Let's find out half of "I don't know. Let's find out."

Wrap Week 4

screen capture from USA iTunes
You can listen to this podcast on the University's iTunes site or by clicking the link Wrap Week 4 below. If you want to try using the USA iTunes site, which I recommend you try, click on USA/itunes. Click on Open USA iTunes. Click on Instructors under College of Education. Click on Course (will change to EDM310 soon) under Dr. John Strange.

Here is the direct link to the podcast: Wrap Week 4
If you would rather read than listen, here is the text of what I said in the podcast:
The big event this week (other than the Saints winning the Super Bowl) was Presentation Day (or days).
So what is next?
1. Embed your presentation on your blog if you have not done so already. Don't know how? Open your presentation, Go to Share. Go to Publish. Publish your presentation. When you do so you will be provided with embed code in the lower left corner of the window. Copy that code. Paste in a blog post. Add a Title. You have embedded your presentation in your blog post.
2. Your comments4kids are being noted. See the post immediately below this one. Try to do your comments4kids assignment as soon as it is released each week. Week 5 was just added to your Google Docs this morning. Don't forget. You must post a brief summary of the comments4kids assignment you complete each week. Do this as soon as you make your comment to your kid. And remember - often comments are moderated, especially in K-8. If your comment does not immediately appear it is probably being moderated and will appear as soon as the teacher approves it.
3. Read the class blog daily! I can tell that this is NOT happening. If you do not read this blog daily you will miss important assignments and fall behind in this class which you cannot afford to do!
4. Have you completed the new questionnaire I asked you to complete on February 1 and reminded you about on Feb 5? If not, go to the Feb 1 post and complete it NOW!
5. Is your picture now at the top of the small column on your blog? If not, do it now!
6. Have you formed your Podcast team? Have you selected your podcast topic? If not, you should do that quickly. March 1 will be here before you know it. To successfully complete your podcast you must Plan, Prepare and Practice.
7. Don't understand something? Call, Skype, email, SMS or Tweet any member of the staff. Or bring it to lab so we can help in person!
8. Several people have complained that something didn't work, especially the calendar. In most cases it was because you were using Explorer. DO NOT use Explorer!
9. Familiarize yourself with iTunesU on iTunes and on the University site. Remember that the podcast version of this Wrap can be found weekly on the USA iTunesU!
10. Have you added an email link to your blog in the small column of your blog? You should do so now. If you have questions we will cover it in this week's lab time.
11. Have you added a link to the class blog on your blog? You should do so now. If you have questions we will cover it in this week's lab time.
12. Read this blog EVERY DAY! It is very important that you do so.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thanks From Ms. Deyenberg

Twitter message thanking class for student blog comments
Twitter message linking to J Purvis blog post
I just received the Twitter messages above.
Great Work Class!

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Questionnaire Needs Responses

A QuestionnaireLess than half of you have responded to my request to complete a new questionnaire.It was posted 5 days ago. Please complete the questionnaire immediately! See the post for February 1 below. It has the same picture as this post.

Thank you!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Podcast Topics Now Available

You should now have a document titled Podcast Topics Spring 2010 in your Google Docs which you can edit. All of the instructions are on the spreadsheet, but I will repeat them here for reinforcement.

1. Form a Team of 2 or 3 students
2. Select a Subject (or do 2 then 1)
3. List Team Members on row of topic you select.
4. Put your class letter in Column D. If you are in different classes, indicate who is in what class.
5. Change the color of your row to red to indicate it cannot be used again.
6. Contact any staff member if you need help.
7. Interact with your classmates using any technology including Skype
8. Use Google Docs to prepare your storyboard or script
9. Share your research by sharing web sites relevant to your topic using Delicious

Podcasts (or Videocasts if you want to do video) should be about 10 minutes long. Videocasts might be better at about 5 minutes, but use your judgement. If I were doing video I would aim for no more than 5 minutes in the final product. Jim Fawcett, Mr. Sullivan and Dr. Strange are probably the best video resources for video. Ms. Averitt, Mr. Tashbin and Mr. Sullivan have had great success with podcasts.

Plan + Prepare + Practice = Podcast!

Podcasts will be recorded in Week 7. (March 1-4)
That means you should start immediately since you will have to do research, plan your podcast with your team members, and PRACTICE. If you are doing a video, speak to one of the staff members about a possible extension of time.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mr. Needleman Skypes EDM310 1/26/10

Matthew Needleman
Mathew Needleman Skypes EDM310 on Tuesday 1/26/10. This is the second semester that Mr. Needleman has graciously visited our class. Mr. Needleman's Mr. Winkle Wakes and Steal This Preso are two of his videos he has published on YouTube. He also publishes a blog Creating Lifelong Learners and in addition has a website Video in the which provides users with examples of his students' movies as well as many tips for teachers wishing to have their students create videos or movies.

It is a great honor to have Mr. Needleman visit our class and discuss Mr. Winkle Wakes with us! Thank you Mr. Needleman!

You can hear Mr. Needleman's comments here (12:03) or USA students can go to the USA iTunesU page for EDM310 and access the podcast there.

Wrap Week 3

screen capture from USA iTunes

You can listen to this podcast on the University's iTunes site or by clicking the link Wrap Week 3 below. If you want to try using the USA iTunes site, which I recommend you try, click on USA/itunes. Click on Open USA iTunes. Click on Instructors under College of Education. Click on Course (will change to EDM310 soon) under Dr. John Strange.

Here is the direct link to the podcast: Wrap Week 3
If you would rather read than listen, here is the text of what I said in the podcast:

In Week 3 we had our first lab sessions. Quite an experience for me since I really did have to be quiet and just respond to questions. I tried, but was not perfectly still since I had to share my feelings about the changes taking place with someone. And students sitting in front of you are always an easy target for a speech. I will write more about it in Dr. John Strange's Strange Thoughts, my blog of musings.

Your tasks were:
1. To move forward on your presentations which will start today
2. Regularly read new posts on the class blog
3. Add your picture to your blog
4. Move it to the top of the column in which it resides on your blog
5. Continue to think about your PLN and how to develop it
6. Complete your preparations for your intellectual journey if you had not already done so
7. Learn how to use Audacity and practice your presentation before you actually present in class
8. Begin using Delicious
9. Think about podcasts and what makes them good or bad
10. Comment on other student blogs

Next week (Week 4) you will:
1. Give your presentation in class
2. Create a podcast team and select a topic for your podcast. (A list of suggested topics will be available on or before 6pm Wednesday 2/3)
3. Begin the comments4kids project. Assignments are now in your GoogleDocs
4. Begin gathering information for your podcast
5. Share your information with your teammates using GoogleDocs, Delicious and Skype
6. Answer the new Questionnaire posted on the class blog on Monday 2/1/10

Remember - Questions are more important than answers. Ask any of us. Call, Tweet, Skype, SMS, email. But Sunday 2/7 starting about 3pm all my attention will be turned to the SuperBowl. Go Saints!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Another Questionnaire

A Questionnaire
I have read many of your posts for the 1/24/10 blog assignments. They were very interesting and raised many questions in my mind about teaching. Please complete this questionnaire. Remember, click the SUBMIT button only once.

I will report the results.

Click to Answer the Questionnaire.

Comments4Kids Begins

Comments For Kids
Comments4Kids begins today and will continue most of the semester.
As you start this series of assignments, there are several things you should know and understand.
Objectives and Importance of Comments4Kids
I consider Comments4Kids as one of your most important assignments. Why? because you will 1) meet and interact with teachers and children from all over the world; 2) see how differently blogs are used by teachers and kids; 3) develop and expand your Personal Learning Network (PLN); 4) practice using blogs with kids; 5) encounter reflections by students and teachers on their activities and learning events; 6) get additional practice in reflecting upon and reporting on what you are learning.
Why Are Blogs and Commenting on Blogs So Important?
You will have an assignment, a rather long assignment compared to those you have encountered previously, which will guide you through the experiences of EDM310 in the Fall 2009 semester. I have called this Kaia and Room 10: Why Blogs and Commenting on Blogs are So Important. You can start this assignment now if you wish. Be sure to follow the links in this recounting of a most exciting adventure. Come back to it later if you do not complete it all at once. I think you will understand why I am so committed to blogs and commenting on blogs when you review these two stories.
How Do You Know Your Assignment?
You will have later today (2/1/10) in your Google Docs a document called Comments4Kids Assignments Week 4. Open that document, find your name, find your assignment. There are several different kinds of blogs you will encounter in comments4kids this semester. Some blogs will have posts written for the class by the teacher. These I call Post For Class. Sometimes these posts are by students. I call them Post for Class By Students. In both cases you will see a number to the right of the Blog Type. Count DOWN and comment on the appropriate post.
Some blogs will have a list of students, or aliases for students. These will be links to student blogs, or some "space" that acts like an independent blog for the student. Students will have multiple posts. This is like EDM310. You will be assigned to a student (the first number) AND a specific post of that student (second number). Count DOWN to find the correct student and/or post of that student.
In some weeks you may not be assigned to comment on a kids blog. Instead you will comment on a teacher's blog. This type is called Teacher's Blog. How surprising! The objective in this case is similar. I want you to see how teachers use blogs to reflect on their professional activities and how they share their insights and experiences with other teachers. I hope that you will find these blogs useful your entire career and that you will be a participant in professional blogs when you become a professional. Belinda Flucker is an example of an EDM310 student continuing to blog. If you have any questions about the value of her blogs, ask her! And remember, Project 11 is designed to have you create a blog that you will continue!
Rules for Comment on Kids Blogs
Take a look at the instructions Mr. C has provided to his kids (5th/6th graders) about blogging. He has found out something about the blog, the class, the teacher, the assignment. He did that for his students. I make that a part of your assignment. So be a detective. Figure out what you can about the teacher, the class, the assignment. This will help you determine what to say. Next, you need to know how to say it. Take a look at Wesley Fryer's suggestions in his wiki. He discusses them in Constructive Commenting with Social Media. Be nice, be constructive, AND tell who you are. Leave your name. Identify yourself as a student in EDM310. You can add at the University of South Alabama if you want. Also leave the URL of your blog and invite comments on your blog. Oh, by the way, who is Wesley Fryer? I asked you to be a detective and find out these and other things. Well, you could look for clues or links on the blog or wiki. You could also search in Google. Try it. Don't forget, one of your responsibilities is to be a detective. Look around. Open your eyes. Don't try to do this assignment quickly, routinely, without some thinking and effort on your part. If you are going to be a professional teacher and learner, you must practice being a professional.
Post About Your Comment4Kids
Tell your classmates about your comment4kids experience. There are two reasons for this: 1) it helps me insure that you did this assignment and that some kid in a class is not left out when his classmates get comments from Alabama and he does not; and 2) reflecting and sharing on what you do and learn is an important part of becoming a professional teacher.
Neither your blog comments nor your post have to be long. They just must be meaningful.