Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Belief Essay

For my sedu183 class I had to turn my belief essay into a visual essay. For my belief essay I chose to use the belief statement “I believe teachers should be enthusiastic and excited about shaping the minds of their students”. When I was first given this project I was very irritated, because I thought it was going to be hard and take a long time.  With the semester winding down, time wasn’t something I had a lot of. However, I would soon discover that previous notion was incorrect. Creating the project really wasn’t that difficult and didn’t take too much time. One thing I liked about this project was that we got to choose what tool we wanted to use; we weren’t tied down to using a certain tool. Due to this I was free to choose something I felt comfortable using and knew could create a decent project with.
While creating my project one part I did find difficult was adding my sound to my video. I had recorded myself reading my essay using garage band and did all the ending to it. That part was fine and went smoothly, but when I added it to my photostory I couldn’t control which part of the sound played when. To solve this I had to manually adjust the speed of each picture to make sure it lasted the entire time the sound lasted. On the other hand, finding pictures to use to cover the various point in my essay was a lot easier to do than I expected, thanks to googleJ!
After I finished my project, it was very rewarding to feel the stress of trying to get the project done leave my body. It was also fun and rewarding to see a piece of my art work come to life after all the hard work and dedication I put into it. In addition, after completing my visual essay, I discovered some value using video within my classroom could have. I could have my students use video for something similar to this project; to use their imagination and bring a project of theirs to life using video. This would allow them to be creative and fun while learning. Also, I could use video as learning tool where I could have my students watch videos to further assist them on material that they find challenging or confusing.
Overall, I found this project to be quite interesting and easy to do. I discovered what kind of teacher I want to be and how to incorporate technology in my classroom. Feel free to watch my completed project below!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources or OER. What does that mean? Well the name is pretty self-explanatory, OER are resources available on the internet for little to no cost. How do I feel about OER you ask? Well, personally I think they are FABULOUS. First of all, the resources displayed are provided by people with licenses, and even though this doesn’t insure complete accuracy, you can be pretty confident that the resource being viewed is legit. In addition, I like open educational resources because they have so many benefits for me as a student, learner, and future teacher. Say I have a physics class and am struggling with understanding the material the way my teacher explains it. I could use an OER to help find materials that would make it easier to understand, like these video lectures on physics. Also, as a student and learner you can find full course textbooks on line for free, which is super helpful when it comes to the financial aspect of getting a college degree. Furthermore, when using open educational resources you can find quizzes to help test your knowledge and skills to find out if you are really mastering the material.

On another note, OER can be very helpful for teachers as well. Teachers can scope out OER and see what other teachers are doing and integrate that into their lesson plan to make the lesson that much more effective. The only problem I see with open educational resources is that it might weaken the bond and connectivity created between teacher and pupil. If a student could go on the World Wide Web to teach themselves the material, then why would they want to pay attention in the class? The student may rely on the OER for answers to their questions instead of establishing that connection with the teacher, and asking the person supplying the work the questions. Other than that I truly believe open educational resources are extremely beneficial tools for both teachers and students. To learn more and discover what all the hype is about, click here to experience open educational resources yourself!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Belief Essay

I believe teachers should be enthusiastic and excited about shaping the minds of their students. If somebody isn’t willing to work hard and be an influential teacher, then he or she should choose a different career choice.
I still remember my first day of middle school. I had so many butterflies in my stomach, and was nervous to meet my teachers. My very first class of middle school was World Geography with Mr. Buona and I remember thinking great, a history-related class. I hated history. When I walked into the class I found a seat and was waiting for class to start. Mr. Buona began with telling a joke and going over the syllabus. We then dove into the lesson and went over the PowerPoint, and throughout the lesson Mr. Buona would pause and ask a question and offer gum to who could ever answer the question correctly. In addition to asking questions Mr. Buona would constantly crack a joke, and his jokes were actually really funny. Mr. Buona had a skill of pulling the focus of the entire class into what he was saying. He was approachable and enthusiastic, and even after one day of class I was in love with World Geography in room 33 with Mr. Buona.
My next class of the day was Pre-Algebra with Mrs. Brown. Seeing as math is my favorite subject, I was pretty excited to start class. I thought for sure this was going to be my favorite class of the semester. However, I would soon discover I was mistaken.  Mrs. Brown was an elderly woman who very much resembled a toad. When she walked across the room to her desk, it looked like she would rather be anywhere else in the world other than in room 15 of Corry Area Middle/High School. When she spoke she spat her words as if they left a disgusting taste in her mouth. She was very strict and made it clear that she would have order in the class room. Nobody dared to speak in her class for fear of the “death look” and being utterly embarrassed. Math was my favorite subject, and Mrs. Brown somehow managed to make me dread going to Pre-Algebra every day.
Unlike Mr. Buona, Mrs. Brown didn’t make learning enjoyable; actually, she did the opposite. She made learning a chore and something every student dreaded. When comparing the two different teaching styles of Mr. Buona and Mrs. Brown, I discovered something important about teaching, something that was a key ingredient in producing an effective teacher: enthusiasm. While Mr. Buona had a cheerful disposition and looked excited to be in class every day, Mrs. Brown acted like it would kill her to smile. I quickly learned the effect of having an enthusiastic teacher, compared to a dry teacher, could have on my education.  When I had a class with a teacher like Buona, happy to be there and eager to teach, I was willing to work harder and do better in the class. I think this is because the class was enjoyable, and fun to be in. I actually looked forward to going to school, so school work didn’t seem like such a hassle.
From the time I was in fourth grade I knew I wanted to be a teacher. There are no words to describe how I knew; it was one of those things where you just know. To me it was clear: I was born to be a teacher. Taking Mr. Buona’s World Geography class helped me realize exactly what kind of personality traits I want to have as a teacher. I want to be just as enthusiastic and excited about teaching as he was, and this is where my belief that teachers should be enthusiastic was born. Mr. Buona had such an impact on me that I ended up nominating him for Edinboro’s very own prestigious Golden Apple Award, and on June 2nd, 2008 he won! You can check out the video at !