Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"This I believe.." Reflection

While doing "This I believe.." project I discovered how easy it is to recall all the events of that time in my life that has created the want for me to teach. It was an important and rough time in my life. Those memories are still very easy to recall and have burned images into my brain. It was fun looking for pictures to put into my video. I don't have any of my house fire, so i had to look online for one that was very similar to mine. Also I barely had any of my mentally challenged uncle, so I also had to go online and look for photos to put into the video. I enjoyed looking for photos that best resembled what I was talking about. What I found difficult was using PhotoStory. I thought I could record myself and let it play and have the pictures be like a slide show, but that wasn't the case. It was a pain to have to click on each photo and record a segment of my belief statement. In the end it all worked out. Lastly, I could use video in my classroom by providing pictures of things the young children may not know what they are such as animals or even letters. Instead of doing it the traditional way with  pictures around the classroom. This way I have a larger variety to pick from.

Monday, April 30, 2012


I found this article about open educational resources very interesting.  The scenario about Dr. Bartlett was very insightful. It gave a good introduction to OER's and was easy to follow. The first thing that really stuck out to me was that OER's are a collection of different sources and different types of sources such as textbooks, simulations, syllabi, and many other things. Colleges, libraries, to commercial organizations such as publishers create these open educational resources and allow them to be shared for free or at little cost. The second thing I found interesting was how MIT has the largest OER and other colleges and universities have replicated it. It is accessible to anyone, not just people who are part of the school's community. The third was the radical idea that someday OER's could lead to people getting a college education online or a "degree" online for free. That seems a little far fetched for me but we will see i guess. Lastly, it is continuing to grow and it is a way to address the rising costs of education, and they have the potential to facilitate new styles of teaching and learning.

What surprised me about all this and going to the website in Mr. Smith's blog is how easy they can be to find and how helpful this one is. Another thing is that it is all free. Some of the the collections I was looking at were really easy to follow and read. The one about assigning homework and how we as future educators should be courteous of the students and what may be coming up and not overloading them. The article gives a lot of good information. Another one was just the collection on online textbooks that maybe as a student I can go and look at and it may be of some use to me for a class or just general knowledge. With all of this great stuff available to me at the click of the mouse makes me wonder how much technology will continue to grow and how scary it could be to see it grow to where a need for teachers isn't really important anymore. People can go online and access information and get a "degree" from that. Technology is limitless. It will continue to grow and break new barriers we can't even think of today. To me its scary but also exciting at the same time.

When I went off and did some research on my own by looking up OER's i found a couple that were interesting. The first one was MERLOT. This site is like the Commons OER in the regard that it has arts, science, and other topics to look into but more professional if that makes sense. This site seems like it is more for college range students than younger people. It would benifit me as a student going and looking up information on here. They also give reviews on things you'd be viewing. Another OER was PBS Teachers. This site is designed for teachers obviously and allows teachers to look up lessons or activities for grade levels preK-12. I could definitely see myself using this site as a teacher. Finally, as a learner i could see myself using the Smithsonian website. I mean I don't know if it is fair to use it, but as a learner what is better to use than this website that is attractive and very knowledgeable. It very well organized and just so much interesting information to explore that I can sit at my laptop and do it for hours.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My belief Statement

I believe that you need to be disability/color blind when looking at your students; who a student is is from what is in the inside.

My whole life I have grown up with a Mentally Challanged Uncle and have listened to what some people say about Students with disabilities. I take it to heart when people say “Don’t be retarded” or “You are so retarded”. Things like that aren’t cool. Another things that makes me upset is when people say distinguish “normal” people from mentally handicapped or anybody with a disability as “them” or “they”. We are all human beings and deserve to be treated with respect and equal.

All of my strong feelings about my uncle came when I had a house fire during my Junior year of high school. Our house was partially destroyed and took over half a year to build it back to norma. We went to live with my grandparents, on my mothers side, and across the street lived my great grandmother her son Jeff, my mentally challanged uncle. He would always come over to clean my grandparents house, especially to arrange the newspapers a certain way in a stand. In the beginning he was a pain in the ass. He would turn off the lights when i was trying to study, shut doors when i told him to keep them open, turn off the t.v. when i was watching it, and many more other things. As time went by though I began to sit and talk to him. He is very hard to understand when he talks everyone says, but I can clearly understand what he tries to say. We would talk about Elvis, wrestling, his mom, and other things and our bond became very strong. My grandmother and mom started to say I should go into teaching especially teaching students with disabilities and I really started to consider it. Then one day that year while i was still living at my grandparents, my great grandmother died. My uncle was so devastated by this and it was so painful to watch him have to go through that. For me seeing him upset just like any “normal” person would be if their mother died sold me on becoming a teacher and from this day forward.

 Everyone can achieve great things in life no matter their race, mental or physical disability, ethnicity, or whatever else the barrier may be. All people need is guidance and help. People cannot be judged on what they can achieve by a first glance, that is why I believe in being disability/color blind when teaching my students.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cool Tool for School

For my "Cool Tool for School" I typed in "Top 10 Educational Resources" and came across a tool named Teachade. I picked this one because it said it was a social networking type of website. You have to create a username and password to get on it, but I think it would be worth the hassle of doing it all. When you create a username and such it asks what school district you are from and from there you are able to find other colleagues from the district or even other districts, and it allows you interact with them. The site allows you to look for lesson plans made by other teachers for certain grade levels and different subjects. The one thing that really caught my eye was Adopt a Classroom. This allows you to put your classroom online where member in the community can help support your classroom by donating supplies, books, even money for certain materials. It goes through a registration process that allows this all to be safe and make sure only you receive the needed materials or more. Teachade even allows you to create a blog so other professionals on the site can see what you have to see or you can look at what others are saying and their ideas. The website seems pretty cool so why not check it out? Teachade!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

State Budget Cuts for Higher Education

The governor of PA Tom Corbett plans to cut the budget for higher education in Pennsylvania. He plans to cut 30% of the 3 of 4 state-related universities budget, and cut 20% of the 14 colleges in the state system. Here are the proposal outlines. At Pittsburgh university, tuition would go up around 4,000 more dollars next year, so it won't be as much here at Edinboro but last year budget cuts were taken from education and now it my happen again this year? What about next year? How about in 2014? Tuition will go up so high that all the college mine as well turn into private ran colleges. Corbett also talked about how he doesn't want people to get educated in PA and then get jobs out of state. He wants people to get educated in Pennsylvania but to also "give back" to PA and work here. How can people that may not be in a situation where they don't have much money get an education with tuition going up and up every year? Even teacher salaries and jobs are in jeopardy with this proposal. Enough about this part of the article though. The other part of the article talked about things on the other side of the Deleware Rive, New Jersey. The governor there, Gov. Christie, is raising the funding for higher education and other school systems in the state. Now my question is if he can raise the funding by a couple millions of dollars how come PA cannot raise it too? Isn't there other places we can reduce the budget in than education? I'm not fully educated on this topic as a whole but to me this all seems very unfair for our state to do this. America is always complaining about how we don't match those people in Japan, China, Finland, and other countries in math and science, but how are we going to be able to when the costs for education keeps going up. Now i'm not sure if it is going up in many other states but I believe that myself and other people really need to start getting involved and fight back because this is our education. When we leave college we will be in such debt that we will probably be 70 by the time we pay off our college loans. I hope this doesn't past or else PA students will really be hurting from it.

NEA members standing up