Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This I Believe Video Reflection

I enjoyed doing this project. I love making videos, I started doing them in high school for computer and design classes and have continued doing them just for fun. I prefer to use iMovie because it is totally user friendly and it has a lot of cool features. Unfortunately I do not have a Mac, I have a Dell and Windows Movie Maker is now my friend.

I used garage band to record my verbal essay and I then uploaded my essay into movie maker. I had some issues with movie maker referencing the files and videos I was using but once I got those worked out I was up and running. I have only ever uploaded two videos to youtube.com, so that’s all still pretty new to me but I am figuring it all out. I haven’t gone public with either one yet but soon enough I will have a viral video. I just know it. ;)

The content of my essay and video are my true feelings about how influential teachers can be in students’ lives. I believe that as educators we can greatly impact our student’s lives. And not just in the moment but for years and years to come!

The part that I didn’t enjoy was the part where my computer would not recognize my video and Windows Movie Maker would not upload it. It was even more frustrating when one time I would open my project and it would work and the next time it wouldn’t.

Overall I thought this project was unique and fun.  As an educator I plan to incorporate these types of elements into my professional blog and curriculum.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


OER - Open Educational Resources

I am excited about the opportunities that Open Educational Resources (OER) will bring to the table. I find them very interesting and informative. I like how they can be used by both teachers and students. The wealth of information that is out there is/can be a bit overwhelming.  No matter what you are looking for I would have to think that there is a resource dealing with just that.  There are many different sites that have OERs and OERs that cover just about everything.
As a learner I will use these resources to help me study.  I found sites that you can group up withothers studying the same content and ask each other questions.  I can see myself using these sites to look up and adapt lesson plans for class assignments here at Edinboro.  The sites that offer textbooks and resources like that could potentially keep students from having to purchase books.

As a teacher I know I will use OERs to plan lessons and gather information.  The fact that a lot of sites with open resources have tried, tested and approved the materials is a big bonus.  I am in awe of the amount of information and the wide range of topics that the sites I looked at covered.  The sharing of resources from one educator to another just makes sense.  I am annoyed by educators who think their material should only be used by them.  If you got something good…share it!
I think these resources can benefit students by lumping similar content together.  It will allow them to view different resources that are related to each other without having to do a new google search every time.  Research will be made easier.


I can see real benefits to Open Educational Resources.  While most of them are online school districts and even teaming groups can benefit from this same principal of sharing information.  Making “what works well” available to the masses will only benefit schools, teachers and students.  Teachers have a huge opportunity to make a difference, and not just in their own classroom.
I am excited to use/benefit from Open Educational Resources!
Some of the neat and useful sites I found are:


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I believe...

I believe a good teachers can make a difference in the lives of their students…

          For some students, their teachers can play a major role in where their lives take them. Their teachers can either catapult them into a successful life or cause them to fall into one of the many ruts along the way.
I was a student that many teachers didn’t look forward to having in class. As my parents would say “Lee wasn’t a bad kid…he was just busy.” Throughout middle school I was the student who gave gray hairs and caused teachers to long for the end of the day. I was never in my seat and I always wanted to be in the middle of everything. The way I see it my teachers had a choice to make. They could either look at my energy as a negative and write me off as a problem kid, which a select few definitely did, or they could try to harness my energy and turn it into a desire for learning. Fortunately for me I had far more teachers who cared about me and wanted to see me succeed.
          My teachers gave me a chance. They cared about me enough to make sure that I had every opportunity possible to succeed. They saw me as a kid with potential rather than an energetic kid they had to deal with. Because I had teachers who were willing to give me a chance, I became the student and the person I am today.
          A teacher can drastically change their students futures. We have to realize that our influence on students goes far beyond the classroom. Whether we realize it or not, the students in our classrooms rely on us to be there for them. For some students we may be the only stable adult figure in their lives, and if we write them off as everyone else has then they have no one left. If we always judge a book by its cover then we miss out on everything that book has to offer. The same goes for our students. We have to dig deep into the lives of our students in order to find the potential that lies within.
          We are not just teaching content to our students, we are molding lives and creating futures. One teacher can changes the lives of many students. All we have to do is give our students a chance.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Here's something worth fighting for!

There has been a viral explosion of KONY 2012.  Children are being abducted and forced to fight, mutilate, and kill!  Joseph Kony has been orchestrating this for years and it is time for it to end.  The US govt has finally gotten involved and the end is in sight.  It is important that these atrocities are stopped and never started again!  Kony is still on the loose and it is time to see him captured and stopped.  The way we can help is by backing the cause, by spreading the word and by making it common knowledge of who Kony is and what he is doing.

There are other groups who are fighting for the same cause!  One great one is Project AK-47.  Check it out!  And if you want to...get involved!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lee Bob's top 10

^  My top ten  ^

Cool Tool for School

This website is basically spark notes on steroids!  It is a bank of online study guides ranging from literature, to SAT prep to biology and algebra.  Every topic has an different tabs for: Intro, Summary, Themes, Quotes, Characters, Analysis, Questions, Photos, Quizzes and Best of the Web.  You can study for a test, research a paper, take a quiz, look at pics and so much more.

The site is awesomely designed and pretty easy to navigate.  You just select a genre, narrow down your search, and go!  If you are interested and want to know more you can take a Shmoop Tour.

The two main reasons I picked this site were:
1.  It has a large wealth of information and resources as well as links to related topics.
2.  It was cool looking.

If I am going to be spending any amount of time on a website it better be helpful and not a killer to look at.  I don't know how many times I ignore web pages because they are bland and all words.  You give me a picture or two and you can count me it.  Yes I was that kid who hated the books without pictures.

I think this site can be helpful to all ages of students as well as teachers.  I can see myself encouraging my students to look at the quiz questions on SHMOOP to prepare for a bonus quiz the next day.

All I have to say is that it is a pretty sweet site and I think you should pick my blog as your number one Cool Tool for School!

Thanks all!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I stumbled across this site while researching for another class.  I thought it was a decent site with a lot of good links.  However, many links dont work.  The ones that do are pretty good. Check em out!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Rethinking Learning - Chapter One

My focus while reading chapter one was turned toward “rethinking learning.”  Thinking about how schools and classrooms are changing can cause us to fall into a tizzy.  It is overwhelming to think about everything the internet has to offer as well as all the negative aspects that are presented with it.  As educators we have to be prepared to incorporate all the available resources to help our students succeed.  Chapter one outlines two game-changing conditions that help us understand the available resources that the internet provides.

2.       “The sum of human knowledge will be at our fingertips”

When we look at the implications of having two billion teachers who are just a “click” away we begin to see how we/our students will benefit.  We can create virtual relationships with educators across the globe and benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience.  A teacher will have the ability to teach in classrooms in Ohio, The UK and Hawaii without even leaving their living room.  The technology will allow us to expand our talents and abilities.

We no longer have to rely solely on our textbooks and our personal knowledge.  We can research a topic for a lesson plan and have infinite ideas, lessons, subject matter, written papers, research and so much more at our disposal.  Is it all valid and useful?  Of course not but it is available.  We can pick and choose what our curriculum will include and how our lessons will be structured.  We can share our lessons with other and receive feedback almost immediately. 

The relationship between teacher and student will begin to evolve into a much more interactive relationship.  Students will be able to research topics and formulate their own opinions, and then come together with their peers and their teacher to discuss and develop their knowledge.  Learning is a social activity.

We have to be constantly looking forward to what is new and cutting edge.  If we don’t we will be left by the wayside.  There are six year old children who can navigate and work technology better than their parents.  If we don’t begin to embrace the change and incorporate it into our lives we will be left behind.  Unwillingness to embrace the 21st century and all it has to offer is fine if your goal is to coast through life.  The baseline is that technology is the future.

The best way to sum up the fact that we have to embrace these changes, whether we want to or not,  with the best of our ability is stated as the last sentence of chapter one…

“For our kids’ sake, we don’t have much choice.”

While looking up our book online I came across this video.  Check it out!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pole Vaulting

I love this sport! Here are a few links, photos and videos just in case you are interested!!

Happy viewing!

When it comes to Pole Vaulting...This man is the best!  Literally the best, he has the world record!

Here are a few exciting moments from the pole vaulting world!

If you're not sure what this crazy sport, of Pole Vaulting, is all about the you can read up on it.

Maybe you are interested in getting started and you need eequipment. 
A good source for stuff is MF Athletics.

Here are two things you might want to get!
The best value for a school on a strict budget! Super Savings!!  
Pits and poles!

We can't solve these issues if we can't discuss them!

Last October Lincoln Brown, a white social studies teacher, was suspended from his job for
"using verbally abusive language to or in front of students." Brown teaches in a Chicago school classroom full of African American students. His suspension came two weeks after he was observed using the "N" word in a his classroom. The incidents deemed a "teachable moment" by Brown was seen in different light by his principal.

Brown took a note being passed from one student to another and discovered the "N" word written within a rap lyric. He decided to discuss the negative impact that comes from using the "N" word and how the word is used in movies, music and books. In an attempt to curb the use of the word, he talked to his students about how using the word only fans the problem into a raging fire. He asked his students how they would feel if he was to use the word. He used the whole word in class and he made sure that he didn't address it to or at anyone.

Brown's principal, who is African American, was in his class when he used the word. At the time there seemed to be no issue, it wasn't until two weeks later that any concern was brought to Brown's attention at which point he was told of his suspension. Lincoln Brown is now suing the Principal, the Chicago Public Schools CEO and the Chicago Board of Education for violating his First and Fifth Amendment rights. Brown was quoted saying “it’s so sad - if we can’t discuss these issues, we'll never be able to resolve them."

I think that the use of the "N" word is cruel, negligent and should not be used in any context. I believe that Brown's intentions were based out of his desire to change things for the better. Should he have actually used the word in his class, probably not, but I can understand his reasons for doing so.

Race is such a controversial issue. It is something that may get overlooked and disregarded by educators because they are afraid of the consequences. In my own classroom I would like to think that I could address issues and concerns that my students are having.

To read the full article ---> http://tinyurl.com/7hz48as

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guess who!

In this photo taken Feb. 1, 2012, Bronson Pinchot poses for photos near the rear facade of the Decker House, one of six properties he owns in Harford, Pa. Pinchot, best known for his starring role on the 1980's sitcom "Perfect Strangers," is back on TV with a new show about restoring his historic Pennsylvania homes. The show, “The Bronson Pinchot Project,” premiered this month on the DIY cable network. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

Do you recognize this 80's TV Star?  I will give you a hint...He aint no stranger!

Middle Level Certificate...Good? or Bad?

So I am a Middle Level Math and Science major at Edinboro University.  Upon graduation I will be certified to teach from 4th grade up to 8th grade.

I have heard a lot of good that will come from this program.  Most of it coming from the school and my instructors.  It prepares teachers to relate directly to the age group they will be instructing.  With instruction that is geared to the very important time in life their students will be living through.  Aside from creating educators that know their students and love them, I have heard a lot of talk about the negatives of a mid level degree.

As hard as it is to get a job in the education field, is a more specific level of qualification such a good idea?  The fact that most teachers once hired are there for life, and that many schools are cutting jobs rather than creating new ones is the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) making it harder for new teachers to find jobs?

I am not overly concerned because I know that I am called to be a teacher and in that I know I will get a job!  But I think it is an important discussion to have!  What do you think?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Twitter...Here I come!

I have finally entered the 21st century!  I now have a Twitter account so look out world!

I never gave Twitter much of a chance.  I considered it to be a sounding board for mindless comments or posts about nothing important.  After the discussion in my SEDU 183 class, about Twitter and other social media being implemented into education, I am now more apt to consider the potential of social media.  I am willing to look deeper into the possibilities that social media can provide.

Being able to be connected to students, faculty, administration, and parents give an educator advantages that were not available just a few years ago.  The fact that updates on homework, meetings and upcoming events are just a few click away can be a valuable asset.

I am not going to tell you that I will be tweeting all day long nor will I assume that I will have many followers.  But I am confident that I will explore the possibilities/tools at my fingertips.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just a bit about me...

My name is Lee Alexander but everyone calls me Lee Bob.  I am a Middle Level Math and Science Major at Edinboro University.  I am 28 years old and I have been married to my beautiful wife Sara since September of 2007.  We live in an old farmhouse that we are in the process of remodeling.

I worked as a contractor with my Dad for seven years before deciding to go back to college.  I wanted to become a teacher because I love working with youth!  I have been the Youth Director at my church for almost seven years now and I have found that I have a passion for teaching.

Once I knew I wanted to teach I had to decide what I wanted to teach.  My Mom is a second grade teacher, so I knew I didn't want to teach the little kids!  My favorite age group from working with the youth at my church was the seventh and eighth graders.  Once I narrowed down the age group to middle level I had to decide on the content that I wanted to teach.  Science was an obvious choice for me and when I found out that I could choose two I threw Math in there as well.

I would love to work at Northwestern Middle School teaching seventh or eighth grade Science.  That would be my first choice.  I will however take the first job I can get!  I am excited to mold young minds and I can't wait to get out there and teach!

This blog will hopefully give me an opportunity to learn more about the blogging world and expand my abilities to teach and reach students.  It will also be a sounding board for my thoughts and concerns about topics related to education.