Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Assignment......Mr. McClung's World

Mr. McClung's World
For the purpose of this assignment, Dr. Strange wanted us to take a closer look into a blog created by an 8th Grade History Teacher, Mr McClungs World .
1. What do you know (or have you found out) about Mr. McClung that is reflected in the way he has constructed his class blog?
After reading many of the tabs on his blog, I can tell that he is a very organized person. His classroom is managed in a very structured way. I am sure because of these two things, he is allowed more time to actually "teach" the students and this also allows him more freedom on how he teaches.
2. Comment on what you would say about Mr. McClung as an educator.
I wish I could observe in Mr. McClung's room. His class sounds fun and entertaining but yet still focuses on the main goal, getting the kids to not only learn the material, but be excited about learning it!
3. I asked above that you read Mr. McClung's "rules" and think about them. What do they say about Mr. McClung, his teaching, and his connection with his students? What is your reaction to these rules (and guides) as a student and as an aspiring teacher?
As a teacher, I think that his rules could be greatly used in my own classroom. Seems to me like he has his class under control and that he does not expect to much. He is simply teaching them how to communicate respectfully which is a great asset to have but many people lack. I can't quite imagine how it would be to be a student in his classroom because I never remember having a class that sounded like this much fun in school.
4. What was the first thing under Everyone needs? Why do you suppose that is the first requirement?
The first thing that they ask every 8th grade student to have is a daily planner. I think this is also a great idea. I remember having these in elementary so that we were able to keep up with homework assignments. I assume if every child has a planner, and use it properly, then they have no excuse about not knowing when something is going to happen and can always be prepared for it. Not only is this a great idea because it teaches the student responsibility and organization skills, but is also great for the parents.
5. Note the penalties for being late (under Homework). Compare them with my penalties for being late. Comment.
I think his rules for being late are appropiate. This is a life lesson that he is teaching. You have to learn to be responsible and take account for your actions or suffer the consequences. This is something you are faced with throughout your lifetime. A teacher gives an assignment and expects it to be done when asked. If you choose to be late, then you must face consequences otherwise noone would ever turn anything in on time.
6. Read carefully his paragraph about what he hopes to accomplish with his blog. Comment and apply to your own aspirations as a teacher.
Mr. McClung states that his classroom blog will be the vehicle that drives majority of the technology in his classroom. It will serve as a daily newsletter that will keep parents, students, and teachers informed about the current happenings in class including: experiments, projects, deadlines, assignments, and of course school news. Lastly, the class blog will host a variety of resources that are available to parents, teachers, and students that will be further explained throughout the school year.
I LOVE IT! I mean a vehicle that drives the technology? What a GREAT metaphor. A blog allows everyone from students to parents to keep up to date on what is happening in his classroom. It is a great tool that when utilized correctly can become an asset to his classroom environment. before this class, I have never thought anything about a child being able to "blog" but now I totally love the idea and plan on using this is my future classroom.
7. I asked you to review at least two Useful Links in depth after reviewing all of them. Which two did you review in depth? Describe each of the two. How might each be used? Why do you think each made Mr. McClung's list.
A~ KNowledge Mastery - This linked me to a website called Gateway Mastery. It is a program that offers seminars and tool kits to help teachers effectively run their classrooms. After reading through their webpage, I am assuming this is the same type of teaching the Mr. McClung uses in his classroom.
B~ The second web page that I chose to click on was VoiceThread. I have heard of this, but never actually used it before or really even knew exactly what it was. What a cool thing! Automatically I was thinking of way to use this one day in my classroom.
8. Under Internet Safety I asked you to read carefully the rules Mr. McClung sets forth for safely using the internet. Comment on these rules. Are there any you would add or subtract.
I think his set of rules is a good, standard set to follow. I like how he created an email to use on sites that require you to add an email address. I have noticed that alot of blogs that we have been assigned to comment on you have to leave an email address and I wish this was something that I had though about doing. I would probably change the rule that said to tell a parent to tell the nearest adult around you at the time of the incident. As a teacher, it is our job to look after these children at school and if something like this happens, I want to know so that I can correct the problem.
9. In the C4K part of this blog I asked that you look carefully at one of the categories under which you assigned post was filed. What did you find? Select one of the posts in the category and review it for me.
My assigned category was lessons learned. When reviewing other weekd from this category I learned that this past week, Mr. McClung addressed Dr. Stange EDM310 class because of the amount of traffic they had received from all of us. It's great to know that as we are out there commenting, at least one teacher and class is reading these comments and ackowledging us!
10. Mr. McClung uses Edublog as his blog host. In some ways it may seem more "advanced." But Blogger has many abilities that we have not covered in EDM310. This leads to this question: Is there anything (or things) that Mr. McClung can do with his blog that you would like to do in Blogger?
I like the map that states where everyone is from that visits my blog. I am sure you can do this, but not really sure how. I also like how he has categories so that you can check specific things out without having to scroll all the way through his blog. I like the tabs at the top. I am sure these are all easy things to accomplish and I plan on doing so when I am blogging enough to use them!
11. In what ways does Mr. McClung make his blog useful to parents, teachers, administrators, students like you, and others?
Well, his blog is mainly for his students. This blog creates an easy, up-to-date way of keeping up with what is going on in the classroom. It allows you to easily access what happened if you are absent. It is also great for parents because it allows them to know what is going on with their children while they are in this class. It't great that administrators at his school and around the world can see how much of a difference technology can make in hopes of adapting more technology inside the classrooms. For me, as a future teacher, it is an example and gives me guidance on some of the things I would like seen done inside my very own classroom.
12. How does Mr. McClung's 8th grade blog differs from other blogs you have visited including other 8th grade blogs? Why the differences do you think?
Mr. McClungs blog is updated daily. That is a BIG DEAL when you are using it for the types of things he does. It is also very well layed out and organized. This allows people that are not very computer efficient to be able to figure their way thoughtout his blog too(a must for some parents!)
I think when comparing Mr. McClungs comes out on top because he is an advid technology user andd he strives to get more technology inside more classrooms.
13. Add any additional comments you think would be useful in analyzing Mr. McClung's World in depth.
Although it wasn't asked of us, I think everyone should have checked out the student work tab. It was nice just to see some of the things his students are doing and what they think about different things going on inside the classroom. It would have been great to have been able to pick one and comment on because I am sure it would have made that students day to know someone else seen it and cared and that all their hard work paid off!

I Think Therefor I Blog

Blogging Unites Everyone

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