A Letter to My EDM 310 Students

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mr. C's Comments on Twitter to My Students

I would like to address this to ... your students:

It is okay if you don't see the value in twitter. It takes time to develop relationships from your network and to feel comfortable enough to share with them and have them share with you.

Obviously, many people feel twitter has value for their personal and professional lives. That doesn't mean that twitter will work that way for you.

I would suggest you give twitter some time and attention. Broaden who you follow and read what they write. Don't feel bad if you only "lurk" because everyone on twitter lurks sometimes. Then, if you still don't see the usefulness for it then don't use it. No tool is right for everyone.

If twitter doesn't work for you, I would encourage you to find other avenues to develop a network. The worst thing you can do is isolate yourself from the collective intelligence (and sometimes wisdom) of the rest of us.

Mr. C

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Letter to My EDM 310 Students

I have just read Finding the Passion posted today by Mr. Jarrod Lamshed @jlamshed on the blog At The Teacher's Desk, a collaborative blog by 7 fantastic teachers in Australia, New Zealand, Missouri. The subtitle of the blog is "An experiment in professional learning, collaboration and sharing of ideas." If you really do aspire to be a fantastic teacher,or even just a good teacher, then you should be reading this blog regularly. And when you begin your teaching career, you should be a contributor to it or a similar effort that you start or participate in.

Why is this blog so important?
1. It is an example of what can be found on Twitter. From our Twitter learning experience came our connections to these teachers and this blog. So indirectly it is evidence of the power of Twitter to inform and connect.
2. It is written by real practicing teachers who give a hoot about their teaching. They are passionate about it in a very positive way. In the most recent post Jarrod Lamshed discusses his problem with the word passion but then goes on to describe how his collaborative participation in the world of blogs, streaming video, collaboration and creativity have made him a very passionate teacher. You don't often get to talk with such dedicated, imaginative and "passionate" teachers. Take advantage of it.
3. In my Professional Blog I suggest that we need to avoid being captured by the mantra Return to the Basics but instead we need to adopt the 5Cs: Cloud Computing ("All Information in All Places at All Times"; ClassRooms to ClassSpace, Collaboration, Creativity, Change. The teachers contributing to this blog are practicing all of these all the time. You get a chance to be a part of their thinking process if you read this blog. And you can comment on their posts! And you can converse with them on Twitter and in the wide variety of communication options that they encourage. You don't get that opportunity in the classrooms here!
4. In your Professional Blogs I try to get you start being a "Reflective Practitioner." This blog is the best example of "reflections on practice" by classroom teachers that I have ever seen. Let it be a model to you throughout your professional life.
5. In another post in this blog I passed along Mr. C's musing that he wondered whether you realized how lucky you were to have all of the great helpers in our Twitter learning exercise. These are extremely valuable mentors as you seek to become teachers. Value them, learn from them, let them be your models!
6. This blog is an excellent example of writing with multimedia. You know that I think that one of your major tasks as teachers will be to understand that your students are members of the listening/watching generation and not reader/writers. And I am strongly convinced that as teachers you must lead your students to be contributors to the multimedia world, not just consumers. Well, this blog is a fantastic example of how to write with multimedia. Every post has audio, video, links, or makes use of some of the new tools that are available to us today. Here is a model you can adopt and encourage (and approve) for your students, even where your culture still thinks it all has to be text! (Like this blog, which is almost all text. I talk a good game. Next semester I will try to be a better multimedia model!
7. This blog is a perfect example of how important it is to abandon walls and adopt space for our classes. New Zealand, Australia, the United States. All in one place. Where do you find that in Alabama?
8. If you think that I am always adding things for you to learn because "I don't know. Let's find out", just reflect on these teachers. They go at an even faster pace than I do. You must be ready to be full time learners as well as full time teachers. Just like these teachers!
9. This is collaboration in action! I have admitted in my Professional Blog (I hope you have read it class, since yours is due next Thursday at 5pm) that a major failing of mine this year is not having assigned a single collaborative project this semester. That will change next semester. Well, the podcasts were sort of collaborative, I suppose. But I will expand on the collaboration. Seize the opportunity to watch what collaboration can do for teaching, for students, and for US!

New Assignment

New Assignment: Read the post Letter to My EDM 310 students above. Also read Finding the Passion posted today by Mr. Jarrod Lamshed @jlamshed on the blog At The Teacher's Desk.

Congratulations T2 Class!

All 17 of you were there and EVERYONE passes the Spreadsheet (Database) test (Part A). Congratulations! This is the best performance on this test EVER by a class!

I am so delighted!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

NEW ASSIGNMENT Regarding Twitter

Next Thursday (or Next Monday if you are in the Monday class), you will have to send a general Thank You to the Twitter community.

In that Thank You you will have to include a link to your Twitter Post.

You will shorten the link using tinyurl.com

We will do all of this in class including iGoogle Page and Foliotek.

Think about your essay on Twitter. It will be distributed to all of your followers. In your essay, be specific about the contributions that specific followers have made to your understanding of Twitter, and to your understanding of what it takes to be an outstanding teacher. You have been in the company of many during your last 4 weeks (your Twitter weeks).

Mr. C Wonders..

His tweet said: Your students don't understand how lucky they are to have these great people following them!

My response: I know! Any ideas how to increase their UNDERSTANDING? Unfortunately, many just want to finish exams and leave. THANK YOU!

Condsider this exchange as you write your report on Twitter this Sunday.

Ms. Kelly Hines Recommends You Follow Her Student Teacher

I did an RT of Ms. Hines suggestion. It is in #EDM310.

Read it. An excellent idea!


Everyone who took the WordProcessing exam, except for one person, passed it without a single error. This is the best ever!

What about those who did not take it?
Many were exempt because they got a perfect score when I gave it the first time.

What if you were NOT exempt and did not take the exam? We need to talk!

Congratulations classes!

Spreadsheet Exam Part B

Next Monday or Tuesday you will take the Spreadsheet Exam Part B. What will it cover?

Loans (How do loans work? When the bank gets a payment from you on a loan, how is that payment allocated? How is the interest included in that payment calculated? When we say the principal of a loan has been reduced, what do we mean? What should you NEVER tell a car salesman and why? Be able to set up a loan table, solve for the 4 key elements in a formula dealing with loans (PV, RATE, NPER, PMT), Set up a Payout Table, Extend down, Extend a DATE down using the EDATE function).

How do you prepare for Part B? PRACTICE. Read the handouts, watch the movies!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Canada Says Thanks to #Comments4Kids Day

Canada Says Thanks to #Comments4Kids Day.

My Professional Blog Completed - For the Moment

I have completed my Professional Blog for the moment. Although I have more items/posts/topics than I required of you, you can use it as a sort of mode. I also changed the way the posts look. See the instructions below. REMEMBER: Your Professional Blogs will be evaluated as they appear at 5:00 pm on Thursday April 30.

How About a Map of Your Twitter Followers

The link is courtesy of Mr. Michael Fawcett @teachernz
The web site providing the links to generate the map is the product of About MMMeeja a company is owned and run by Andy Murdoch.

Here's how you can add a map to your site:
1. Go to this page: http://pipes.yahoo.com/mmmeeja/twitterfollowers
2. Fill in your Twitter username and password
3. When a map of your followers appears, click on Get Badge (above map on left). Choose Blogger and then your blog.
4. Go to the Layout of your blog
5. Edit the top box in the small column. It will be called twitter Followers.
6. In the script look for "password":"","username":""
7. Add your Twitter password between the "" in the password area and your Twitter username between the "" in the username area.
8. Save.
9. You may want to move the map. Try it under your Email Me box. Or try t above Blog Posts in the larger column. That's what I did. You can ckick n the + or - in the map after it has posted to see what they do. You can also move the map as I have to show New Zealand. My follower in Australia showed for a while, but no more for reasons I don't understand.

Mr. C has a smaller map. I will tweet him to see how he did that.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another Thoughtful Teacher's Blog

Kelly Hines @kellyhines, a 4th grade teacher in Washington, N.C. has a very thoughtful blog, Keeping Kids First, which I highly recommend to you. Notice the quotation that begins her blog: The aim of education should be teaching us how to think, rather than what to think. James Beatti. Now that should be part of every teacher's tool case (Professional Blog).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Correcting Links That Do Not Work

See this post!

If you cannot understand what is missing from your formula, assuming I notify you that you have created a button but it will not be able to be used, look at the code you wrote for your email address in your Personal Blog and your Professional Blog. Compare that code with the code you have generated in the spreadsheet. What is missing in your spreadsheet version? Correct your function in your spreadsheet to generate WORKING buttons for all the people on your list.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Revised Professional Blog Instructions Posted

I have replaced the old Professional Blog Instructions under the Syllabus and Handouts section with Professional Blog Instructions Revised. If you missed the Thursday class (4/16/09), or of you are having any problems with your Professional Blog, print these instructions and follow them. If you still have problems, email me or call me.

IN ADDITION, I added this suggestion for everyone since I did not demonstrate it in class:
Making Your Posts Look Better
Click the Edit button in the Blog Post box. Uncheck everything that is checked. Save. This makes your posts not appear as posts!

So I've Signed Up For Twitter - Now What?

Mrs. Laura Walker has written this article which I recommend you read if you are still struggling with Twitter: So I've Signed Up For Twitter - Now What?

Nine Reasons to Twitter in Schools

Nine Reasons to Twitter in Schools

From @Twitter_Tips

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


If you use Monitter you can find tweeters locally AND you can watch continuing searches for key words. A very handy tool.

Found by Lauren Roberts (M6) @lreedrob

Important! Mr. C Interviews Students (5th) Grade Reflecting on Their Learning

Read and watch this very important post on Mr. C's Class Blog Mr. C Interviews Students (5th) Grade Reflecting on Their Learning

You should also keep an eye on Mr. C's Personal Blog: At The Teacher's Desk.

Electronic Books for Free

You know how I love it if it's FREE! Check out this link to Free Books on Line.

Thanks @kellyhines

Professor Encourages Students to Pass Notes During Class - via Twitter

Mr. Dobbs, mentioned in my previous post, cites an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education about a professor at Penn State who streams Twitter on a second projection unit in his class. Students Twitter questions as he lectures. I don't lecture, but an interesting idea though. Read the Chronicle article by Jeffrey R. Young.

A Student Response to Johnnie Davis

Mr. Dobbs is a student in Vermont. Although he probably has never seen the Vanguard article article by Johnnie Davis I posted about yesterday, this response certainly applies.

Someone to Follow

@Brittany_Naujok is a sixth grade teacher new to Twitter looking for followers and people to follow. A good idea! Why not follow her and tell her what your assignment is about Twitter. You can learn together.

Some Personal Reflections on Collaboration and Twitter

Just a few minutes ago I was practicing Twitter as part of our joint effort to learn how to use Twitter and to determine whether and how Twitter might be useful to us as teachers. @teachernz asked about putting audio on a blog. His request was addressed to Mr. C (@wmchamberlain), but I responded as did @jlamshed, whom I have discovered (on Twitter) to be Mr. Lamshed, a teacher in Adelaide, Australia. More about him and his class later in this post.

Mr. Michael Fawcett (@teachernz) teaches Year 4 in Hamilton, New Zealand. He has had a class blog (Room 9) since 2005 and he also has a class wiki (9lenview).

I especially urge you to read his personal blog (What Now? What Next? So What?". In it he makes several important points (directly and indirectly):
1. We need to continually reflect on our professional practice (teaching). I hope I have started you on that path with your Professional Blog.
2. Collaboration pays off. If you follow Mr. Fawcett on Twitter (@teachernz), you will see that he frequently exchanges ideas, tips, questions and requests for help from Mr. C (@wmchamberlain) and Mr. Lamshed (@jlamshed). This is exactly what I want you to do as a teacher - collaborate with other teachers around the world, not just your school. My first efforts in Project 6 will be greatly expanded and improved upon next semester, primarily because we connected with Mr. C - and a lot of other teachers!
3. In Mr. Fawcett's post on EtherPad, he describes another innovative way for teachers (and students) to collaborate, especially on writing projects. When you become a teacher, explore the possibility of having your students interact with Mr. Fawcett's students, or another teacher and class somewhere else in the world! Read Mr. Fawcett's entire post on EtherPad. I had never heard of EtherPad until I found it on Mr. Fawcett's blog. And I found him on Twitter and he found the EtherPad discussion on Twitter. Note the very interesting ideas for using EtherPad in the classroom that these teachers, from many parts of the world, generated. You might want to follow the two participants in the EtherPad discussion on Tweeter that Mr. Fawcett thanked: Mrs. Banjer, a primary school teacher in Brisbane, Australia (@Mrs_Banjer) and Mandy Barrow (@mbarrow), a primary school teacher in Kent, United Kingdom. Another score for Twitter. And you can be sure that EtherPad will be part of EDM310 next semester!
4. We all must be learning all the time, not just to set a good example for our students, but because the world is constantly changing! I have a poster in my office which says "Learning Never Ends!" As a teacher, you must also be a learner - all the time! And note that in Mandy Barrow's profile on Twitter she includes this "Still have a thirst for learning."

Now let me turn to Mr. Lamshed's Class blog.
The very first thing I saw on Mr. Lamshed's blog was Mr. Lamshed Visits the USA. This post was posted today (April 15). Tomorrow the two classes (Australia and US) will have a video conference using Skype. It will be recorded. The intention is to have it on Mr. Lamshed's Class blog soon. When it is there I will ask you to watch it.

I am learning from Twitter by using it, following leads from tweets, and examining the information in the profiles!

So I ask you ... Are you collaborating effectively (Project 6)? Are you learning about Twitter and how to use it effectively (Project 7)? Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Fawcett and Mr. Lamshed certainly are! You can too, if you try!

Journalists and Twitter

If you are interested you might be interested in this article and interview about how journalists can use Twitter from the blog SocialMedia.biz.

From Twitter_Tips via Twitter

All Things Digital Interviews Twitter Co-Founders

All Things Digital Interviews Twitter Co-Founders. Contains a link to video of interview addressing why the Twitter founders think Twitter is growing so fast.

From Twitter_Tips

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just A Reminder - Read the Comments

Have you read the comments to posts on this page? You should, especially the lengthy and wise comment of Mr. Chamberlain to the post below If You're Going to Learn Twitter You Must Practice Twitter. Read it. You should consider what he says when you are writing your own conclusions about Twitter.

Johnny Davis Wants Escape from Twitter, Tweets and Twitters

Read his article in the April 13 Vanguard.

Thanks Rachael Bradford (T11) for bringing this article to my attention.

And thanks to John Dunlop for the link!

This Week in Class

Monday All of the Following

Tueday Spreadsheet Payout Table
Thur Professional Blog, Review of Remaining Tasks (also posted below)

Monday, April 13, 2009

He's Upset - About Technology

I recommend that you read and think about Throwing Spaghetti at the Wall, a recent blog post by Tim Holt on his blog Intended Consequences. Mr. Holt, Director of Educational Technology for the El Paso ISD, complains that there is too much technology being thrown at teachers, that it is unknown what curricula and what grade levels should use it and that there is no known purpose for a lot of the technology. As you evaluate Twitter, think of Mr. Holt's arguments and where they apply to Twitter and where they do not.

Thanks to Sharon_Elin for her tweet on this blog post.

Wrapping Up the Semester

Here's a last minute check list:
1. Project 1: Personal Blog
Regular, timely posts for all assigned topics, including Part 2, special Twitter report, final course review (mandatory) and sign off. Remember that all photographs on your blog must have ALT and TITLE modifiers as specified in the instructions found on the class blog. Due no later than 5pm Friday May 1 (date change by 1 day).
2. Project 2: Presentation
Created in Google Presentation, delivered to your class, and posted on your personal blog.
3. Project 3: iGoogle Page with an RSS Feed that links to the class web site, 4 separate tabs with 6 unique gadgets under each tab. I will review all iGoogle pages for a final assessment the last day of your classe.
4. Project 4: Professional Blog This is a very important part of this class. Due no later than 5pm Thursday April 30.
5. Project 5: Survey Form (my questions plus yours) and Resulting Database If you have not done your form and database you can still do it but it will be considered late.
6. Project 6: External Professional Contact and Report of these conversations due no later than Thursday April 30. If I need your evidence for this contact, I will request it no later one day before the final exam date assigned for your class and the evidence will be required to be received by me no later than 5 pm of the exam day for your class.
7. Project 7: ACCESS Lab Vist CANCELLED and TWITTER Research, Use, Practice and Reflection SUBSTITUTED. Report must be posted to your blog as specified in separate instructions. This is a 4 week effort. If you have not started it, your procrastination will be reflected in your grade for this project!
8. Project 8: RSS Feed. See Project 3 Will be reviewed by me on your last day of class.
9. Project 9: Podcast If you did not do the podcast I will need an official medical (or other acceptable excuse) AND you will have to make arrangements no later than Thursday April 16 to make up this podcast assignment.
10. Word Processing Exam NOTE CALENDAR CHANGE Word Processing exam will be given for Mon class on April 20 and for TT classes on Tue April 21. Perfect Score Required. You have had 16 weeks to practice and study for this exam! ATTENDANCE REQUIRED
11. SpreadSheet Part 1 and Data Base Exams Absolute Reference and Concatenate). Part 1 will be given for Monday class on Monday April 20 and for TT classes on Thur April 23. ATTENDANCE REQUIRED.
12. SpreadSheet Part 2 Exam (Solving for missing elkements in the Loan formula and Payout Table). will be given on Monday April 27 for Monday night class and Tuesday April 28 for TT classes. ATTENDANCE REQUIRED
13. Foliotek. Must be completed for EDM310 and reviewed by me on Monday April 27 for Monday class and on Thur April 30 for TT classes. iGoogle page will also be reviewed at that time. Separate instructions will be distributed for Foliotek. ATTENDANCE REQUIRED
Makeup Exams
If you do not make a perfect score on the Word Processing Exam, or if you want to improve your score on the spreadsheet or database exams, you may retake them on the final exam date scheduled for your class, or, with my permission in advance, at the time of another scheduled class final exam.

From Twitter_Tips

101 Ways to Make Better Sense of Twitter, a posting on FriedBeef's Tech Blog.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Twittering Good Friday Services!

John Dunlop has found another amazing Twitter story. The Passion of Christ on Twitter from the Trinity Episcopal Church in New York.

The service is also being broadcast live over the internet.

To follow the twitter feed I would think you would follow twspassionplay but I have not been able to get the feed yet.


I strongly urge you to follow Twitter_Tips. I have learned much from the resources suggested by Twitter_Tips.

How To Become A Super Tweeter in Just 15 Minutes A Day with iGoogle

I strongly recommend that you read and follow the advice of Steve Rubel in How To Become A Super Tweeter in Just 15 Minutes A Day with iGoogle.

101 Insights From Twitter by Adam Singer

Adam Singer's 101 Insights From Twitter (in 140 Characters or Less) offers a lot of interesting insight about Twitter. Short, pithy conclusions or predictions about Twitter that may help as you try to evaluate Twitter on your own.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spreadsheet Handouts and Videos

Spreadsheet Handouts are now available in the Syllabus and Handouts section to the right.
Spreadshoot Videos are now available in the Instructional Videos section to the right.


Word Processing

Work On...
Your Professional Blog

Monday, April 6, 2009

To Learn Twitter You Must Practice Twitter - Some Suggestions

Still not up to speed on Twitter? Here are some suggestions:
1. Follow those who follow you. If, after 2 or 3 days they provide only jibberish or stuff that you are uninterested in (except things about education which you should keep even if you are not interested in it - you do not know everything about teaching yet. Just wait until you start teaching and you really know what I mean by that!, stop following them.
2. Follow your classmates, Mr. C (Wmchamberlain), Mrs Laura Walker (mrslwalker), and any others you find that are interesting.
3. Use the search function and search for topics such as educational technology.
Communicate with those who have interesting things to say. Say something about this course, or podcasts, or Twitter, or your blog assignments. Ask your followers to review your Professional blog. There are lots of areas in which others can help you!
4. Mr. C taught a course Monday April 6, 2009 for teachers at Noel Elementary School. His new twitters are bkeaton and ppolzer. Follow them. They are new to Twitter. Help each other out. Since they are teachers, they can help you out. Mary (michaelsgirl97) has already done this I now see. Great!). Share ideas with others by including #EDM310 in your tweet so that all EDM310 students (and maybe others) can easily find tweets related to this class.
5. See whether your contact for Project 6 uses Twitter. If so, follow them. If not, encourage them to use Twitter and to learn it along with you.
6. Search for #EDM310 periodically to see what other students in EDM310 are tweeting.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Top 100 Tools for the Twittering Teacher

Mrs. Walker has found another great Twitter site:Top 100 Tools for the Twittering Teacher.
If you are not following Mrs Laura Walker (mrslwalker) do so!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mr. C is at it Again!

Mr. Chamberlain, a fifth grade teacher in Noel, Missouri, was asked why he uses blogs in his classroom. He had his students answer that question. Watch and Listen to their answers! In addition, you will see how effectively Mr. Chamberlain uses technology through out his teaching. You will learn a lot about how technology can be used by listening to his students. Also follow him on Twitter (WmChamberlain) and take advantage of all the communication techniques to be found on his blog. Follow him there as well!

British Children to Learn Twitter, Blogs and Podcasting

The Twitter Podcast (Twitter name is thepodcast) reported in Podcast #6 that British school children will be required to learn Twitter, Blogs and Podcasting. Sounds like this college course, doesn't it? Read about it in the Guardian article.

Nine Reasons for Teachers to Use Twitter

As part of my exploration of Twitter I sent a message to Crista Anderson, a fifth grade teacher in Missoula, Montana. She is one of Mr. C's group of teachers. She suggests, and I agree, that you would benefit from reading this blog post by Mrs. Laura Walker Nine great reasons for teachers to use Twitter