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!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Comment #2-Week 3 Everett Jones

Week 3, Free Post

The overall wimba experience and online class environment has been an interesting experience. However at this point I wouldn't mind sitting in a classroom to learn.  I like the ease of being able to visit my instructor's office in person.  Speaking online or over the phone doesn't get me the help that I personally seek.  For example, when I seek advice or editing help for a paper, meeting in skype doesn't give me the same feel and security as it would in person.  As I am a visual learner, it is more convenient to get the help that I need in person. 

I'd likely contribute more in a classroom environment than I have during a wimba session.  I still have to get used to that whole idea.  Don't misunderstand me.  Its been an interesting  learning experience, but I'd just prefer to take a book to class, sit down and learn after this long and great year. 

Comment #1-Week 3 Sarah Baker-Dykes

Week 3 | Blog 3 | Response to Reading

"The more attention you shine on a particular subject, the more evidence of it will grow. Attention is like light and air and water. Shine attention on obstacles and problems and they multiply lavishly." -Zander

This quote really stuck with me because how simplistic and true it is. It ties into the idea seeing the glass half empty or half full. From personal experience, I have found this quote to ring true. Days that I feel overwhelmed and really stressed, I take a minute to step back and analyze what's stressing me out. Once I pinpoint the circumstances that are overwhelming me, I try to point out the positive side. For example, my husband is currently remodeling the kitchen and every appliance and utensil is scattered about our family room. At first, I was very overwhelmed by all of the disorganization and it was really starting to bother me; but then I thought, "My kitchen is a wreck and I can't cook anything, but I can order take out and have more time to work on my homework for the week." Casting a positive light on my current situation, helped relieve the tension and stress I had about the kitchen. 

Comment to Sarah, 

It really seems like during this time of the year, we get stressed out more. We are all (teachers included) counting down the days to summer vacation. I am right there with you on the disorganization problems. March and April were busy months for me with our Musical being those months, me moving into a new place, my office at school being moved because of remodeling, and taking my students to Florida, I easily got stressed out because it seemed that I had no firm grasp on what was going on. By taking small steps, and going through things one at a time, I had more time to focus on each individual thing rather than all at once. Sometimes I really try to multitask too much and I get bogged down with everything. By taking them one at a time, I can get it done more efficiently. Here's to the rest of the school year for you and to graduation for us as well! Best of Luck! 

Wimba Week #3

After viewing the archive of this Wimba session, I really felt as if I was in a discussion based classroom setting. It was great to get the prompts to input what certain parts of the book meant most to my classmates or what they got out of the reading. It seemed a big portion of people really could relate to the Rule Number 6. It seems as teachers are lives become more and more hectic with the push for test scores and budget cuts. Yes, its important to do our job and teach these children, but there is a time to cut loose and relax a little bit. In today's society, we are constantly on the go having to do something. Sometimes we need to take a step back, relax a bit, and just get away from it. Stop being so serious. I find this hard because it seems I am always playing catchup at school and never ahead of the game. I just recently purchased a PS3. I think this has become my little bit of not being so serious. I try to find a little time during the week to play, just to get my mind off of things. I hope I can continue this mindset throughout the rest of the year and realize that maybe this mindset will make the day go better and keep my attitude in check.

Reading Week #3

I really loved reading this week. Being a conductor myself, I really could relate to these stories and loved hearing them. This book is such a great read. Not so much a lot of knowledge and content but sometimes a pick me up, sometimes full of insightful ideas. Right not I really needed to read about the rule of 6. It's getting close to our Spring Concert and I find myself getting stressed with that, college work, and Graduation for the HS seniors. All of these things are coming together quickly and I need to remember to play it cool and just relax. It always falls into place every year. So just like the executive put the rule of 6 in his office, I put a poster with a "6" on my piano as a reminder. When I feel myself getting too stressed, I look at that and remember the story. Take things as they come and don't be so stressed in life. It really works and will usually bring a smile to my face.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Comment #2-Week 2-Curt Isakson

Week Two Reading - The Art of Possibilities

The Gulf Shore.  Photo by Curt Isakson

One of the most compelling points bought across in this book, and what has stuck with me the longest, was the concept of giving an ‘A’ for a particular project to free one-self of the grade, and to let a person fully experiment, fail, or succeed without the worry of getting a bad grade.  I believe this can be a wonderful way of letting loose the chains that bind us creatively.

I find myself in this course having to make decisions about whether I do what I really want to do (which usually is more involved), or just make sure I fit the criteria for the grade.  Many times I have made the conclusion that I want the grade and have not taken it as far as I wanted to.  The projects I am most proud of though are the ones that I really didn’t care about the grade and did what I felt was right in my mind.

This course has used this concept many times, and I use this same idea in the classes I teach.  A ‘no-fail’ approach to some of my learning environments really brings out the best in my students. 


I couldn't agree more with this approach of a 'no-fail' policy for some projects. In my music classes, I really want the kids to explore the parameters of music and let their creativity flow. Of course, it's not always the best sounding music, but music none the less. This policy cannot work on every assignment (they must know the difference between a whole and half note) but even trying new things that they aren't used to is an added pressure on top of the grade, so using this policy can really let the kids cut loose like you said and enjoy learning in the process. 

Wimba Session-Week 2

It seems I will never get a firm grasp of all the dealing with Copyright laws. Yes, I have a pretty firm understanding and knowledge, but so many grey regions lie within the parameters of Copyright. There are sites out there, like creativecommons and music sharing sites, where you can post your creations and allow others to use it for their own use. Not only are these great sites to use, but they offer some grey areas as well. When using you have to pay attention as to the rules the creator has set up. Can you alter the creation at all, how do you give credit, etc. All these little details make Copyright so important. Another grey area is Fair Use. It was great to hear the discussion on Fair Use. Fair Use is something that protects both the creator and the user of that piece of media. Even with the stipulations of Fair Use and how it can be used, there will be questions that are brought up with how much is too much, and when does a parody become too close like the original. I always wondered how parodies of music worked and how artists were able to do such a thing. Brings a topic to my mind about covering music, what are the rules on that? I guess I will have to go do some more research to figure that part out.

Reading-Week 2

photo from by brewbooks
The book that we began to read was very interesting. From the different topics covered in each chapter, arose questions about teaching and just living in society in general. As a teacher, I was fascinated with the Giving An A chapter. I really don't view it as giving an A ever, those involved still have to earn the A, but only by following directions. In projects, (for the most part), you need directions that will guide students in learning. By giving directions or outlines, you are not limiting the creativity of students, unless you pinpoint exactly how they need to do something. Its better to give an overview then step by step in these types of situations. This also got me thinking about offering examples of work to students to gain insight. Does this limit their creativity by putting an idea in their head and then jumping off from there or does it help students to be even more creative and use that example as a spring board to expand from. For me as a student, I would personally want to see examples first. I think seeing these examples allows my creativity to start flowing when I see the creativity of others. I think for each person it differs. All I know is that I will never just give an A, my students would earn it in some fashion or another.

Comment #1-Week 2-Bruchetta Jones

Week 2 Reading: Art of Possibility Ch 1–4

It was interesting to read the 1st four chapters of The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander.  I liked the idea in the first chapter where it is said "We see a map of the world, not the world itself.  But what kind of map is the brain inclined to draw?" As a Social Studies teacher, I am constantly working with map a intangible items that I need to make tangible to my students.  Yes, these items exists, but I cannot physically bring the White House and the Capitol building into my classroom when I talk about the separation of powers.  This is the big picture that I got from these chapters.  We have to think outside of what we perceive and look at the bigger picture.  The exercise of the nine dots is a perfect example.  To be able to connect all the dots with four straight lines, you have to do something unorthodox.  You have to, as the authors state "extend beyond the borders that confine us to our everyday reality." This is an important concept that we can instill in our own classrooms.


It really is all about teaching the content and allowing our students to relate it to things they do know or comprehend. Going along your lines with the nine dot game. You had to think 'out of the box' as they put it to solve the problem. Its funny how sometimes when I am teaching a concept, I really have to think like a 7th grader to get the point across. I know its not a huge age difference but times have changed since I was a 7th grader, so even for me this is thinking 'outside the box'. It always makes it more enjoyable when we can have a laugh about how "uncool" I am trying to be hip like a 7th grader. My kids get a kick out of it, and yet still learn in the process.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blog Comment to Britni

Blog post by Britni:

Week 1 Reading: Write-Up

 (image from

Copyright has always been confusing to me. I mean I know that when you use someone else’s work you must always give credit where credit is due but I had no idea that copyright had an actual (limited) lifespan. I also really appreciated the clarification of “fair use.” My first year of teaching, my fellow co-workers made “fair use” sound as though it was a given right, however it is not. There are limitation that we must be aware of. I also really appreciated the multitude of different points of view in the film Good Copy, Bad copy. One quote that I had to write down and think about was that copyright should not been as a limitation but yet “copyright is an incentive to create.”  This just really got me to thinking about analyzing copyrighted works, and fair use, and some of the ways this all effects not only teachers but also our students.

I am all about a shared culture, but I do believe that there still needs to be a copyright in place for those who want credit where its due. Creative Commons rocks in my opinion! I think they have not only the access but also the control that is needed. I see both ends of the spectrum. I see artists that want credit for their work no matter what, and I see people that are taking great works/materials, adding to them and creating new cutting edge innovative materials. Where exactly do we draw the line? Like with the sampling idea. This sampling takes so long and often times add in several pieces from several artists. I never really got my one questioned answered when it came to sampling, and that was, is sampling illegal? I did understand that there really is no written rule in regards to a set length when using media.

Blog Comment to Torrey

Post by Torrey Proctor:


Reading Post: Week 1

Let's be honest. 

The story about Shepard Fairey’s Obama Hope Poster was fascinating.  The current most identifiable symbol of Obama would not have existed if its creator hadn’t remixed its imagery from another artists photo.  Today we have the image in the National Portrait Gallery.  That is just one example for the powerful case for the need of fair use.  In my opinion the poster was changed dramatically from the original photographic source and in no way needed a litigation threat.  We currently live in a more sue happy capitalists society then the one Andy Warhol resided in.  In this day and age Andy would probably be serving jail time for his perpetual and blatant reproductions of Coke bottles, Campbell’s Soup, Brillo, and Mickey Mouse?  An alternative to jail time could be Andy providing a cut of his earnings to the corporations he is drawing inspiration from.  It is safe to say that Andy’s artwork wouldn’t be undercutting the earnings from Coke, Campbell’s Soup or Mickey Mouse.  It drives me a little crazy to know that the people that sued Shepard where just wanting more money in their life.  Let us not forgot that people make careers out of finding ways to make money out of others people work without creating anything themselves.   

The lessons I learned from this weeks reading is if I copy something it must be used appropriately or remixed heavily.  I now have the guidelines to protect or encourage the sharing of my creations.  Great articles!   I’ve could have wrote at length about the numerous topics of copyright, creative commons, and fair use. 

Lincoln image from:

Reading Week 1

Copyright is such a huge issue of concern nowadays with the expansion of the Internet and the availability of media items throughout our society. Being a music teacher, I really have to pay close attention to copyright when it comes to performance of others music. One such question we had recently with copyright laws was with our Marching Band show this past year. We wanted to use a portion of a concert band piece on the marching band field and was wondering if we could tweek a couple of parts to make it fit on the field. We did our research and found out that we still needed permission even thought we had already bought the rights for concert band but since we were using it for something else we had to gain permission. Well, to make the story short, we ended up having to pay rights to arrange the song ourselves. We had to gain permission from the publishing company who owned the rights to create an original arrangement of the song. It was something that they really look closely into in marching band especially when gaining rights to create a video for spectators to purchase at the State finals. It was a new process for me but I'm really glad I went through it and learned so much more about it this year.

I really enjoyed going through the myths about copyright because there are so many questions about it and just those 10 myths can answer a lot of questions. Numerous times in videos it was said that copyright is not about using media but about gaining permission to do so. It really made me think about copyright issues and YouTube. I direct musicals and we are always told that we can't take video of a production. Its hard to tell parents you can't tape productions that your students are in because of copyright laws when they can go online and see numerous videos of other productions. Makes me wonder if I have read the copyright issues wrong or if these people with the videos are getting into trouble or if its something that is just not enforced out there.

Wimba Week 1 MAC

So it's been September since I've used this blog but since this Month 11 Class really integrates using blogs, I have opened up this blog back up to use it. Well after March being so crazy, I was looking forward to being able to get back into viewing Wimba sessions in April, but that was not the case. So after viewing the Wimba session for Week 1archvive, I really got a good foundation on what this month is all about. It was nice to get a great outline of what we are doing this month to get a good road map of where we are going.

There was a lot of information presented on the AR project. It was really nice to see that all of our hard work the past months is starting to come together and finally making all sense. I'm glad to have been able to go through assignment by assignment to see what is going to be due and when. It's nice when I know in advance the whole month so I can really plan around my busy schedule of concerts, trips, and other events that pop up in my schedule. After viewing the archive of the Wimba session, I have most of my questions answered about the AR project because some of my fellow classmates had the exact same questions. I'm really looking forward to putting the final touches on my AR project and seeing where this can take me in the future.