Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wimba Week 4-Sharing my Project with Critical Friends

photo by akeg
Since I was unable to attend the Wimba session this week due to numerous events taking place such as track meets, spring concerts, rehearsals and etc, I had to share my Final Project presentation with my critical friends. This actually worked out well for me because I had some downtime during school to sit with one of my critical friends and share my project. My sister was also home on break and was able to sit down with me and go over my final project and then I shared through emails my project with my last critical friend Leland from AZ. It was great to have time to sit down with them and work through my project and how the paper should be laid out. I was really having a hard time deciding what information needed to be put in the paper as well as how to organize it so it had a nice continuing flow. When I sat down with my sister, Christa, to discuss the flow. We really worked on putting together the different sections and allowing the paper to have subtitles that would help explain the flow of the paper and how the cycles were to be laid out. Carla really dug deep into the content of the project and what necessary information I would need to have in my paper. It was important, we felt, to get a strong background of the project with why I was felt it was necessary to complete the project as well as how the project was set up. Leland was great with helping me with the fine tuning of the paper. He's really good at proofreading the paper and finding even the smallest mistakes in my paper in regards to grammar and punctuation. Overall, I think I came out with a great project. There are a couple of spots I want to look over again just to make sure it has a great flow. I plan on doing that this next coming week on my week off that way it will be ready to go to submit during month 12. I couldn't have done it without my critical friends and the help and support of all my classmates along the way. Thanks guys and here's to a great month 12!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Think Out Loud-Post #2

After searching around to the list of different publications, I think I finally decided on the "Journal of Technology and Teacher Education." This publication seems to support a variety of topics with technology and how it can be used in the classroom. I read through a few of the abstracts posted on their website and I felt as is my paper would be a nice fit for their publication. There aren't too many guidelines for the submissions and the length of my paper would not be an issue at all. I really hope by using a publication that focuses on technology and teacher education, some teachers will be influenced by my findings to try to incorporate a LMS within their classroom with little effort. It's a small part you must do, but the outcome of what the students learn is tremendous.

Think Out Loud-Post #1

As I began thinking about what I wanted to do for my Final Presentation, I really leaned towards the publication side of things. It's funny how my mind works because I love being up in front of a choir teaching or on stage playing a character, but get me in front of a room to give a speech or presentation, I just freeze up. I don't feel as comfortable for some reason. So for this being the case, I knew I wanted to write a paper with my findings for my Action Research Project. I really think this AR project helped me out a lot more than I thought it would. Not only did it help me communicate more with my students at different levels, but it also, I feel, helped me develop a better relationship with them. Not only was my teaching in the classroom, but it extended out beyond to their homes. While using Schoology, I could communicate and continue discussions beyond class even when class was cancelled. I know other teachers have used Moodle and other LMS' in their classroom, but I really feel this was a great fit. I hope to use this tool in more classes as I see fit. I wanted to share this experience I had with other colleagues, especially in music, who might be a little apprehensive about using a LMS. I hope to find a good publication where my paper might be read to help inspire other music teachers to try.

Sharing of Final Project Presentation

Here's the Final Presentation Paper: What I've been working towards for sometime now. It's still in its final stages with a little more tweaking to do but for the most part is there. I have chosen to submit this paper to the "Journal of Technology and Teacher Education." JTATE serves as a forum for the exchange of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education. Journal content covers preservice and inservice teacher education, graduate programs in areas such as curriculum and instruction, educational administration, staff development instructional technology, and educational computing. JTATE is part of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). I really feel this is a great fit for this publication. I hope to have others read this paper and try creating an LMS for their classroom.

Here's the link to my Paper:

Week 4 Comment #2-Jason Peglow

EDM613 Wk4, post 1: Reading - Art of Possibility chp 9-12

Photo by Jason Peglow
Yet again, I was tremendously inspired by The Zanders' Art of Possibility and the last five chapters. Each brought up so many ideas and comments as I read through them, but chapter nine - Lighting a Spark - resonated the most with me. After completing my Action Research Project on motivating students to write I really connected with the idea of sparking interest in something is the first step to convincing those same people to try something new and/or to try harder as well. My ARP introduced a bunch of unmotivated student writers, who had expressed much displeasure in traditional writing instruction, to new forms of writing like blogging, glogging, etc., and they were writing up a storm with little if any acknowledgment of the amount of writing they were actually doing. Here were kids who said at the start that they hated writing, and many of them were now going home and writing at night or writing more than the required length, or asking when they could go down to the computer lab so they could write again. All that it takes is a spark and some encouragement and you'll get a full blown fire!


It really seems that chapter 9 hit home with a lot of people especially at this time in the school year. We are all bogged down with teaching for an entire year and some of us are looking forward to summer break as much as the kids are. Chapter nine really brought back why I choose to go into teaching. If we are the ones to light that spark, just think of the fire that could be produced down the line. If we share our passion with our students, and they continue sharing that passion, then we not only have influenced one student but many. It's awesome to hear that your ARP worked out so well to motivate students. Good luck in Month 12!!!

Reading Week 4

Photo by JelleS
I think we are all in agreement that this book was read at the right time in the program. We really didn't have to sink out teeth into with content knowledge. It was a new approach to looking at things, a new perspective, a fresh idea for us to grasp. It was well placed with in the timeframe of our program. I just love this book and all the musical references from allowing children to taking control of the orchestra to the vivid thoughts about the musical works he has performed with. Being a musician myself, I can really relate to a lot of the things he talks about. One thing that really hit me like most others in lighting the spark inside students to drive the passion they might have. All it takes is one small spark to set an entire forest on fire given the right ingredients. As a teacher, I really look forward to making an impact on my students. Another idea that hit me was the concept of being the framework for my life. It's not always about the others controlling my life, but myself taking the initiative to control how my life is run and the outcome of my life. I must learn that I can't blame others even if they are at fault. I can choose how my life is run and myself only. Now I can't control others and the environment 100%, but I can choose how they will affect me if in any way. I really enjoyed reading this book and taking a fresh look at some old ideas.

Week 4 Comment #1-Britni Hendrickson

Week 4 Reading Post Chap 9-12

(Image from

Lighting a spark to me should be every passionate teacher's goal! Looking back over the years I was in school, it is was apparent to me the teachers that truly had passion and patience where the teachers who impacted my life the most! I think it is so important to be able to get students sparked and just allow them the environment to foster their flame! Often times, we can feel frustrated because we have so many students, and we are afraid that they all aren't going to up to speed or remember or understand, but sometimes if we just focus on making an impact on one or two each day, then we will have reached them all at some point during the year! (It reminds me of the starfish story about the man walking on the beach and throwing one starfish back in the water at a time. He knew that every one he picked up, was one more that might survive.)
Chapter 9 definitely gave me a new perspective on handling/dealing or avoiding problems that may occur. I am very much a "people pleaser," I don't want to make others upset. I want people to be happy, smile and just enjoy life! But lets be real, not everyone feels the same way. If I am the "board" then I am designing how I want things to play out, a concept which I never really thought about, but must say, think is an interesting perspective. There is always going to be conflict, there is always going to be someone who doesn't like me or the way that I handle things. How can I please everyone? Well, I can't, but if I find a way to deal with the confrontation and handle the situation fairly, then sometimes that is the best I can do.
I also liked the steps that to the practice of framing possibility in  the 11th chapter. Making new distinctions, entering into the territory, and distinguishing what the focus is are all so important to creating and assessing "possiblities."

I really felt like this book was refreshing and couldn't have come at a better time in this curriculum. It is a great addition to my virtual library shelf.


I am right there with you about lighting a spark. It really makes me think about what the purpose of teaching is and why I went into teaching. I really can recall numerous teachers who have had such an impact on me throughout the years and even still today. The care they had for me really shaped me to be the man I am today. It's incredible how much time and how close you can get to your students when you see them everyday. I take joy in building upon the relationships I have with my students and hope to be a positive influence on them. Sometimes school is the only place where these kids get positive influences and i want to make sure I am there for those kids. Good Luck next month and see you at Graduation!