Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blog Post #2

Did You Know 3.0

This video presented many different "did you know" facts that were really interesting. Two of these facts really caught my attention. The first fact, "China will soon become the number one speaking English country in the world," really shocked me. Wow! This just blows my mind when it's the official language of our country or should I say it is supposed to be. Although I do not have a problem with foreign languages being spoken in the United States, I do believe English must be learned, taught, and actively used in this country. Let me give an example to back up this belief. The Gulf Oil Spill greatly impacted the Bayou La Batre seafood industry. An industry that is made up of 75% Vietnamese and Laotians who do not speak English at all. That's one of the reasons why the claims process has been so difficult in that area because one side can not understand the other. I think it should be a requirement by law to know the English language to live in the United States. I think it's sad that a foreign country such as China will be speaking more English than America. It is our country's language and we should be speaking it the most.

The other fact is that we are currently preparing students for jobs that do not exist yet. This is why today's learner will have 10 to 14 different jobs by the time they are 38. This is a sad fact to me. We spend so much money on our education, a price that is continuing to rise each year. We should have permanent jobs ready and waiting when we graduate. This is one of the reasons why the unemployment rate is so high in our country and why so many people are in debt before their lives ever begin. The price for my graduate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi was $35,000.00 and I think that is a crying shame! I'll be paying for my education the rest of my life.

Colorful Question Marks
Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle awoke from a hundred year sleep to find the world as he remembered it, had changed so much. He visited different buildings to see what he could find and heard strange noises coming from machines that he had never seen or heard of before. All this "newness" was making him feel seek so he made his way to a hospital where he observed people being kept alive and made well by more machines. He knew there was no way the hospital could make him feel better so he left. As he was walking he came across a school that he entered and immediately it was familiar to him. Nothing had changed there. Students sat in neat little rows, taking notes while their teacher lectured for hours, just like he remembered. He did notice one of those new devices in the back of the class room but it was old and dusty and had not been used. Mr. Winkle enjoyed school because "even after one hundred years" it was still the same.

I actually disagree with the message in this video very much. I believe our way of teaching and learning in the class room has changed tremendously in the past 100 years, even since I graduated high school back in 2000. Children are growing up with computers, smart boards, lap tops, tablets, and smart phones at their disposal in class rooms now. When I was in school the only technology we had was a computer and they were only in the library. Now they are common in every class room and students are learning to use them even before they get to grade school. Technology has advanced greatly in the past 100 years and continues to do so on a daily basis.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson's lecture on The Importance of Creativity was highly entertaining. This video kept me laughing. He basically says that "creativity is as important in education as literacy". This is so true. We need children to stay creative and not be afraid of being original. It is important for a child who is extremely talented in drama or dance, and maybe not as good in math or science, to feel like their talent is just as worthy in school and in life as their peers. Sir Robinson is right! There is a hierarchy of subjects in our schools and that translates in to your degree of worth in college and in your future career. I am one of those students who is creative. My first degree was a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama from USA and do you want to know how many high paying jobs I have had with this degree that I am very proud of? None. I did get a job with Pirates of the Caribbean II & III immediately after graduation but it wasn't because of my degree, it was because my uncle owned the ship yard where the Black Pearl was being built. I also worked in television but that was on a salary of $23,000.00 a year with a college education. So I went back to get my masters degree in Communications so I could be a reporter and no television station would hire me because I did not have experience. How do you get experience if no one will give you a chance? So now I am in school again, working on my third degree,so maybe this time I will get it right and my education will be good enough to teach children that creativity is important and it does matter in life.


Four Ways to Use Pinterest in Education explains there are four ways that Pinterest can be useful in the class room: Lesson Planning, Sharing Ideas, Organization, and Student Use. I will definitely be using Pinterest for all of these categories as a teacher. I am new to Pinterest this year but I have already started creating a board for my class room. I have been pinning lesson plan ideas from my other friends who are already teachers in elementary school. I have also been pinning organizational ideas for my class room. Especially creative ways to set it up so that kids feel energized and eager to learn in my class room. I will utilize Pinterest in my class room as well for student use, so that kids and parents can share ideas and see what is going on in my class.

Project #2 Wordle


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blog Assignment #1

About Me...
Hi! My name is Jamie Lynn Barbour I am 31 years old and I am a new mom. My daughter Raylnn Elizabeth was born on November 5th 2012. She is my heart and soul and I honestly could not imagine my life without her. Everyone says you never know real love until you have a child and that is so true. I have lived in Mobile, Alabama almost all of my life except for the four years when I lived in Birmingham and worked for WTTO and WABM television stations. I worked for The Pirates of the Caribbean II & III, while the Black Pearl was being built at my uncle's shipyard in Bayou La Batre, AL. It was one of the most exciting times of my life. The other love of my life is my three pound Yorkie named Dixie. I bring her every where I go even to work. I am a die hard Yankees fan, I love the Alabama Crimson Tide and I get my kicks watching professional wrestling. When I am not going to school or working full time for my dad, I mostly enjoy just spending time with my baby girl, family and friends.

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from USA and I just recently received a Master of Science in Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi, and am working towards my second degree in Elementary Education because I decided I wanted to teach kindergarten. Why kindergarten? I used to teach dance to three, four, and five year old's and I enjoyed it so much. I loved my little girls. I know teaching school is totally different but I think you have to have your heart in anything you do and my heart is in teaching little kids.

My Classroom
This is my first education course so I have a lot to learn about teaching methods and what tools I will implement for learning in my classroom. I really want to teach kindergarten because I love young children and they are the most eager to learn at this age. I imagine that my classroom will be really colorful because I know bright colors get children's attention most. I plan on being a very creative and active teacher and using a lot of tools from my theater background to keep children engaged in a high paced learning environment.

One teaching method I plan to use is Cooperative Learning. This will teach children how to create and share ideas with their classmates in a group. I believe it is important for children to learn this technique early because group learning will be an activity used throughout their education. I also plan on using the Hands-On approach because children learn more when they are physically active in the learning process. Like using actual props when teaching math so they physically see me add or take away an item when learning how to add or subtract.

I also hope to have a learning environment that is high in technology. I like the idea of having a class blog for my children to post the things they are learning in school so that they can communicate with other students their age across the country and also be able to see what other kids their age are learning. I also think that technology is an extremely important tool in educating our children. Computers, cameras, smart phones, and tablets promote interactive learning which is a great hands-on tool for the classroom.

I will use anything I can to keep the learning environment in my classroom fun and exciting so that these feelings are always associated with learning. I want to keep their minds engaged with physical activities because children have a short attention span and they actually learn more when they do not think they are learning. I have a lot to learn about all the tools out there for teachers so I hope to have a better idea of them after this class.
Randy Pausch on Time Management
In Mr. Pausch's lecture on Time Management he discusses how to set goals, how to avoid wasting time, and how to avoid procrastination. Pausch says when setting goals it is better to focus on doing the "right thing adequately" versus just doing something right. Ask yourself why this goal is on the list and what will happen if this goal is not completed. He states that good judgement comes with experience and experience comes from bad judgement. If something is not going as planned or you are having a really hard time with it now, it means that you are learning while you are doing it and it will go much better in the long run. That is why we pay so much for people who have experience because experience can not be faked, it is something that is learned. Planning is also really important in time management. Make to-do lists and break things down into to small steps to accomplish them. You can always change your plan but first you have to have a plan to change.

I googled Mr. Pausch to learn more about him and I was very sad to learn that he passed away of pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008. In his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon titled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" he asked top academics, "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?" This lecture was Pausch's lasting legacy to his three children. It became a viral sensation with over six million views and became a New York Times best-seller. I watched a clip of this last lecture on the Oprah show. Pausch summed it up by saying, "if you live your life properly, the dreams will come to you."