Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beileve Video Review

Deciding what to write about what the toughest part.  I believe in many things, but which was the most important to write about.   I chose knowledge because it is the most important thing in the world.  Making the video was very fun, even though it was hard to find images that would go along with it.  It was a fun experience, but it a thing I can rarely see myself doing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Believe Video

Hey readers!  Check out my new believe video and tell me what you believe in.

video

Monday, April 16, 2012

Remove the Blindfold

            Knowledge is a powerful thing, and I believe that it is a vital tool to break free from the barriers that can hold a person back, blinding them from the true picture and no longer allowing those “better educated” – if you will – to lead the herd of sheep off the cliff to their ultimate demise.  This characteristic of knowledge does not fully come from books and academia, but rather by questioning.  Why is this important?  Why does this person say that?  Is that fact, indeed, true?

            This is not a treasure I have learned and been keeping to myself for years, it didn’t come to me in a philosophical epiphany, but rather in a smart-mouth aside between myself and a high school teacher who became one of my role models. 
            Tall, husky, and tattooed Mr. Pohl handed me one of the school’s expensive cameras, “Go take the pictures needed for the administration page and get the basketball page’s season stats.”

            “Why should I?” I replied, being a smart-mouth just to be difficult.  Even though I was not a part of the year book staff, I was going to do what he asked in the end.

            “Do you say that to all the people that tell you to do something?” he shot back.  I stood there stunned, not sure if he was reprimanding me or if it was a serious question.  “You should,” he continued, “always question everything – no matter what.”

            His words still ring in my head to this day.  To question means to not accept the face value that anyone will give you.  With the questions you ask, you will gain the knowledge needed to not be the blind sheep following the shepherd.  To accept whatever a person says – whether that person is an equal or a “superior” – inhibits a person’s freedom and choice.  Not questioning what people say or ask of you limits your freedom and that in itself is where a person’s demise can be seen.

            When a question is asked then an answer must follow; and if no one will provide the answer, then it is your duty – and very much your right – to seek it out for yourself.  This is where the knowledge is gained, found, and used.  Once that knowledge is with you, no person can take it away.  And with this artillery to use throughout a person’s life, he can break through barriers that are placed to stop independent thinking and hurtle the obstacles that have stopped people because they never asked where the key to the locked door is.  Eleanor Roosevelt once said that “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  If you do not question, then you are allowing them to take you as a blind sheep, to be oblivious to your surroundings, and wear the veil that will obscure the true picture before you.  My teacher asked me to go take a few pictures and report some facts, but I never did take the camera and go about my merry, oblivious way.  It was not my obligation to perform the task; I was not receiving a grade for it like the students in the year book class were.  If I did do the task, I was doing it because someone else didn’t, and that person would receive that grade while I wasted my time.  Question for the knowledge and for your own good.  If you question, you will not let others see you as inferior.  If you question, you will not be led off of the cliff with the rest of the blind herd.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Top 10 Cool Tools for School

Who made the cut for the Top Ten Cool Tools for School?

(1) Andrea's ReadWriteThink 

(2) Victoria's Library of Congress 

(3) Ashley's Educreations

(4) Carly's Free Math Help

(5) Joel's United Streaming

(6) Jonathan's Glogster 

(7) Caitlin's Geometry Toolbox

(8) Angela's Shmoop

(9) Rosa's YouTube

(10) Sammie's TerraClues (I thought it was really handy and cool.) And it never hurts to vote for yourself . . . right? lol

There you have it, readers!

Till Next Time,

-SAS

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cool Tool for Schools

Hey readers,

Let me ask you a question: While in school, was there ever a time where you wish the teacher would make the lesson more fun?  I know I have, so that got me thinking.  With all this fanzy technology around us, how can teachers today use this to the student's (and their own) advantage.  So I surfed around the web and found this awesome website that makes learning fun!!




I love scavenger hunts, and this site offers people the virtual version!!  TerraClues is a scavenger hunting site where teachers can create clues -- or use ones already created by other educators -- the correlate with the class's lesson plan.  These clues can be anything from geography topics, to history, to english, to whatever you are learning.  The teacher makes these clues and the student's job is to find them using the internet.  The best part about this is that the teacher can have their own account to manage which also contains his/her class lists too.  You can give the clues difficulty levels, use either the Google Map or Google Search, and much much more!!!

This is an awesome tool that certainly makes learning fun!  Come one, who doesn't like a scavenger hunt?!  Take a look around TerraClues and even go make your own! Check out the video I found that will help you create your own Hunt!




Till Next Time

-SAS

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Apostrophe's the Devil!

Hello, All!

For those of you who are just joining in and didn't read my little bio, my dream is to become an English teacher, or a aclaimed writer -- whichever comes first.  So for my SEDU 183 class, I had to create a lesson plan for a class I would be teaching.  I chose to create an amusing, interactive writing review powerpoint on the topic of aphostrophes, because let's me honest, many people don't know how to use them correctly.  So feel free to flip through the powerpoint and see if your knowledge of the aphostrophe is correct!



When first told what the project was about (Create a PowerPoint lesson plan for your students) I thought, "This would be a breeze!"  But after Mr. Smith informed us we had to use PennDot to pick the lesson we where to present.  I hate PennDot.  It made little to no sense, and I felt really restricted even though I already knew what I wanted to teach my peers.  So that was not my favorite part, but the rest of the project totally was!!  I had fun putting together the varying answers and picking the pictures that correleated with whether the student's chocie was right or wrong.  Truely I chose those pictures to amuse myself, I feel like the teacher needs to make the lesson fun for themselves to have a better attitude to teach!  I enjoyed the project and just made me even more sure that I want to be a teacher, even though PennDot was a deal breaker, I got over it.  I believe my love for writing shows through in the PowerPoint because I added my own fun elements and silly sentences that makes the topic even more fun to learn, and keep those rules in the student's head.
But you know, PowerPoints are very helpful in the classroom!  Use mine for example, you can have the students interact with the lesson in order for them to learn more.  No one wants to sit in a hard desk and be lectured to in a monotone voice.  PowerPoints are a great way to get the class up and talking, and to help them learn more in different ways whether by adding videos, links, pictures, diagrams and much more to the PowerPoint.

So don't think that PowerPoints are no good, and can only be used to lecture!  They are fun and interactive, and hey, I add some fun stuff in there to entertain myself as well as the calss!  Leave a comment below to let me know what you have to say, and click my sign out to send me an e-mail asking any questions or telling me what you want to hear.

Till next time,

-SAS

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Simon Says . . .


English, American English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Portuguese  . . . What’s the big hype over bilingualism?  Some say that it is just something we must learn; others believe it will foster better cultural unity.  But whatever the reason, the main issue is how it is associated with the education system today.  Many people argue that infusing bilingualism into the education of our children is very beneficial because it will not only make them more marketable in whichever career he or she pursues, but because it will make them more culturally diverse.  The other side of this argument believes that either the minority should learn the majority’s language or that bilingual education is not an important topic to be teaching.

Which to learn?First, I would like to point out an ironic thing I found while trying to scrap together sufficient information for this post.  As I was streaming through several YouTube videos, I found that much of the focus was English speakers had to learn other languages, but as I skimmed through website texts, the arguments were focused on minority speakers learning English.  So which are we suppose to learn?  If one group believes that bilingualism is a “crucial part of our melting pot country”, then which language should we adopt to?  Some argue that teaching certain languages and not others will seem like discrimination.  So how are we to chose which second language would be best to learn, by determining which is being more widely spoken, or the language that a person picks up on better than another language?

Where it all began?Low and behold, bilingual education is not something new!  Dr. Picciano states in his video (below) that during the Colonial Era up until World War I, schools not only taught English, but whichever secondary language was dominate in the specific area.   Dr. Picciano’s video is very fascinating, so watch it below!


Which is more important?One issue that is being argued is whether the student’s education of a second language is more important than the student’s mastery of literacy in their mother language.  I feel that a student should be mastered in mother language, and when I say “mastered” I mean: complete and correct literacy and be able to analyze and interrupt the literature in that language. Evidence shows that a student's reading ability is what’s really important and those who favor bilingual education offer findings that literacy transfers through to second languages.  However, just because a student reads well in one language doesn't mean that they'll be able to read well in another language that they've learned.

Which will give success?Is it true that if a person is bilingual, then they are more successful?  According to Education.com, “Many people who claim to have success without bilingual education were from environments where English was dominant and favored by the community.”  With the rapid growth of technology, people are able to use computers and cell phone applications to translate phrases between different languages.  But there is also value in learning a second language.  A person who is bilingual can easily communicate with another person who speaks the same language without typing or speaking into the device and waiting for the results.  But in the end, which route makes a person more successful?  No one truly knows for certain, but both cases show that whichever education one gets, they do have the potential of success.

For the information that I found, and for more educational hot topics, check out the Education website.  And if you wish you narrow your focus onto the issue of bilingual education, check out Sharon Cromwell's journals at Education World.  And again, if you wish to check out more of Dr. Picciano's YouTube videos, click on the link to be taken to his YouTube channel.

Comment below to let us know your stance on the issue. Or click my sign our to email me about any questions you may have.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tweet Tweet!

Long time no talk, readers!


During my short time away, I have been reacquainted with the glorious world of Twitter!  I made myself an account a while back, but never saw the sense in sticking too it, but I have had a huge reality check.





Twitter is not just for the celebs, fashion designers, and obnoxious wannabees who are telling everyone (or no one) what they are doing with their days, it has some value!!  What value you may ask?  Well not only is it obvious that it is a great tool of connecting with people all over the world, but you are able to find knowledge users who are sharing knowledge ideas -- in you know where to look.  From educators to professional writers to athletic coaches, there are people out there on Twitter that are providing valid information that will help you in your career path, or even your hobbies!
The communication on Twitter is pretty handy, connecting people with common interests all over the world, and having the opportunity to learn different things that interest you.  But don't let it stop you there!!


You -- yes, you, my amazing readers -- are able to tweet about whatever you want.  And yeah, that could mean about you're every day life, but you can also tweet about the latest theory you learned in class, or the better way to go about a difficult problem, or the soultion to whatever answer.  The point of it all is a network connection to keep people informed and keep ideas flowing through different minds so we are not stuck thinking and doing that same old things! 


You are following me here (a good choice by the way), but if i may suggest clicking my sign out to follow me on Twitter.  It's a handy little too, especially when on the go!  Don't be left in the dust, find out what others are thinking and let your voice be heard too! 




Till next time, little birdies,


-SAS

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New Era of Old School


                Personal Learning Networks by Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli is the text that was assigned for one of my courses this semester – SEDU 183 taught by Mr. Marc “Balddaddieteach” Smith, to be exact.  Just after reading the first chapter, however, I put down the book and had a mixed reaction, let me tell you why.  The first chapter, titled Understanding the Power of PLNs, dealt with the issue of why schools today have to become more technologically advanced.  It was argued that by becoming more tech-savvy will enhance the student’s education because they would be able to “self-direct our[ the students] learning(p.22)” in ways the interested them, also, it would allow the student to further broaden their educational horizons by having access to unlimited educational resources around the world, whether that be a student in Hong Kong or a teacher in Bangkok.   The authors further explained themselves, by reassuring that the students would be taught the safe, correct way to wander around the internet, and that schools only use the blocking of Facebook and MySpace (which is no longer a worry cause, serious, who uses MySpace anymore?) as an excuse to keep the children “safe”.

                Ok, and these are the points where I get my mixed reaction!  I put the book down and thought, “ . . . Well, I see two problems with this.”  The first problem being that students will learn more using technology by being able to access more information about what they are interested it!  The writers clam that we are shifting from a “generic to personal (p. 17)” learning system where we “pursue our interests and passions (p.17)” If I had it my way, back when I started school, I would not have touched a math book or learned a single mathematical equation!  I would have spent all my time researching historical England and reading whatever literature I could get my hands on.  Students need to learn all the different subjects in order to be the ideal Renaissance man – or woman.  It is better to be well rounded, even if you have your weak points, at least you would have some knowledge of what the subject entails.


                This issue then led into the next comment made in the chapter.  The writers stated that schools are only blocking networks such as Facebook (MySpace, who?) and Wikipedia because it is keeping children “safe”. They stated that, “we suspect that it has much to do with being an easy way not to have to deal with the real world realities that the web brings” (p 36). Firstly Wikipedia is a sorry excuse of an “informational” let alone “educational” site.  Anyone can go on there and say that Uranus used to be called a planet, but has now shrunk and has teleported to be a blemish on someone’s behind!  Wikipedia, not creditable and useless, next – Facebook.  


Most drama starts on Facebook, and cyber bullying is a rapid growing issue because people do not have the courage to say anything to someone’s face nowadays.  Let Facebook be on the student’s own personal time, not during school.  My high school had sites like that blocked until the end of the school day, so if there where students still waiting in the building for a ride or sports practice, they would let the rest of the world know too.


The point I am getting at is that, yes, schools do need to become more tech-savvy in order to teach the students and teachers more, but also make the teacher’s job a little easier; but they also need to realize that some of the “old” school ways are beneficial and should not be totally thrown out like your grandmothers moth eaten pajamas!  I had a Math course where we had to do much of the work online . . . and I HATED IT!!  I couldn’t understand it by myself, let alone have the text on the computer screen tell me how to do it.  And yes, this is an instance where I could have found some miraculous Math Heaven site and have the answer told or attempted to be taught to be, but all students learn in different ways.  We still need that teacher in the class room to sit us down with a pencil and paper and help us work it out and explain it to us in numerous ways if we don’t get it the first fifteen times. 


Then there is also the issue of communication.  Sure, a student can talk to the teacher in Bangkok about Lewis Carroll and his nonsense Wonderland world, or have the student in Hong Kong do his parent’s tax returns, but could that student be able to turn to his peer next to him and have an intelligent conversation without any stutters, “like’s”, awkward pauses, or anything else that is classified as poor communication skills?  Having all this technology at the students (and teachers) fingertips is great!  But are we losing the humanity, or I should rather say human communication, that has been taught all these years?


The authors have presented a good argument, and to some extend I do agree, but you also have to worry about what is going to be lost with the addition of all this new technology in the schools.  I do encourage students and people of all ages to go out and educated themselves, but it is not going to be spoon fed to you.  Schools should be teaching their students how to maneuver through the internet safely, and go out and find the information they need and want to learn!  The internet, when used properly is a great source to learn new things, but I believe that there are still some aspects of the old school way of learning that are still valuable to learn.


Well, I know many of my followers had to read what I did, so if any of you have your comments, remarks, criticism, or right out bashing of what I had to say about it, leave a comment below.


 Till next time.
-SAS

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gaga over Gaga

Well I have been put to the task!!  My best friend Christian is a huge Lady Gaga fan, and has asked if I could critique her latest music Video, Marry the Night.


 Of course, we all know Gaga (Or do we?)  With the crazy meat dresses, jumping from Alejandro to Judas, and her alter ego Jo Calderone -- who knows what to expect next from the New York City native.  She has made headlines and caused quite a commotion since hitting the big time back in 2008 with her bar hoppin' hit, Just Dance.

Marry the Night is quite a longgg music video, but I am up for the challenge.  Christian is not the only Gaga fan however.  Yes, readers, that's right! I am one too!  And by far, my favorite song of hers is You and I.  So not only will it be one, but TWO Gaga Video Reviews!!  Forget the Bieber-fever, we are all Gushing over Gaga, and we don't need a reason why.  Below I have posted the two videos for you viewing leisure, but you can also click on the links if you feel ambitious to check out the rest of her songs.  Click my sign out to leave me an e-mail letting me know what you want to hear.

Check in for my reviews on Marry the Night and You and I, they will be coming shortly.  But as for now, I got to get back to class.

You know you wanna hear it.
-SAS







Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Welcome All!! Let's Get This Show On The Road

Welcome to SAS! 


Samantha Schohn here, and to kick off the launch of the SAS Blog, I would like to begin with telling you a little bit about exactly who I am and what I do. 


You might be asking yourselves right now, "Who is this girl and what makes her so special?"  I like a little mystery -- who doesn't on the Internet -- but I am more than willing to give you the basics. 


Just a starry-eyed Sorority girl from a small town, I am a Taurus, love long walks on the beach, prefer looking at snow than driving in it, and was born and raised in the great state of PA, where the Steel Curtain stands strong and we cling to our guns and religion! I am the middle child (or the forgotten child as some people know it as) with two brothers, and the only sisters I know is my crazy sister-in-law (The Tweedledum to my Tweedledee! Love ya, Jack!) and my awesome sorority sisters.


I am constantly on the move!  Between school, work, hours of homework (ugh!), hanging with family, friends, and sisters, and dedicating my spare time (which barely exists) to my writing, it seems like there is not enough hours in the day!  Classes are tough, but I am tougher.  My major is Secondary English Education with a minor in Creative Writing.  People always ask why on Earth would I want to go back to High School, let alone teach those pimple faced, drama monsters (Yes, I was one of them myself) but to be honest, I feel like I can make a bigger impact on that age group than the lower grades.  Who knows, I might be getting in way over my head, but small obstacles can't keep me down.


Strengths are always good, but you have to know your weakness too.  My weakness: Myself.  I am my hardest critic, and I don't help myself much either when I set goals that are (to the majority of my peers) slightly unrealistic.  But hey!  Baby steps, right!  So what if I don't become a published writer tomorrow, it will happen. 


And that's it!!  I LOVE writing!!  Writing, reading.  Reading, writing.  Whichever I am doing, it is what I do best.  The latest book I am reading, G. G. Martin's Game of Thrones. (Not even done yet, but buy it right now!! I can wait while you head over to Amazon . . . .back? Good!)  The reading and my writing have contributed to my educational choices.  I wish to teach literature after I graduate college, Shakespeare to Poe to Carroll, I love it all, and I will teach it all!!


Alright, I know what you are thinking now: "Why am I on SAS and what can I get out of it?"  Well here is the answer.


SAS is a Review Blog.  Music, movies, books, TV shows -- sure I can't cover ALL of it, but my goal is to supply you with the latest in each category and not only tell you if it rocked or flopped, but how it represents today's society and how it impacts/influences us because let's face it, what are we teaching the younger generation?  Cause they will be running this world soon . . . (Scary thought, right? Haha, I'm just kidding . . . kind of.)


Anyways . . . you will be able to find the latest updates on your favorites here, and learn how it is warping our minds.  Stay tuned, I will be posted more about which of what I will be talking about, and ALWAYS feel free to add your input!  Challenge me, agree with me, whatever!  I wanna here what you have to say too!  If you want me to review any of your favorites, just leave a comment and I will get back to you. 


Be ready, cause you're gonna hear it -- whether you like it or not.


-SAS