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There are millions of apps and websites I have never heard of. LifeDev provided a list of online tools for things I never thought of using to organize my life with before.  The first link I played with was Thinkfree.  This would be a quick and reliable tool to use right after a game, or at practice when reviewing team and individual stats.  Google Calendar is great to have because while I am in school or class and need to put something on my calendar, I can do this on the computer and it syncs directly to my phone.  Remember the milk is an awesome on line to do list, that can be shared through facebook or uploads to the phone.  Joe's Goals and Map My Run are two links I would like to introduce to my students and have them print out their goals, and progress.  Vitalist is something I would like to personally use!  My boyfriend and I decided we want to travel to every state across America.  We will be able to track and set where we want to go.  He is in the military, 1,000 miles away, so this way we can come up with a few ideas and share them with each other right through the site.

 
 
     Today I spoke to a few of my softball players about the podcast I had created for my KIN-710 class.  One player mentioned she had used this type of technology in her foundations of music class this semester, while another had only seen GarageBand on her home computer.  I showed them some of the podcasts I had created and was able to send them a few of the inspirational ones!  They all became excited and said they wanted to make this a daily ritual before practice or workouts.  As a teacher I will not follow them on twitter, or facebook, so this is a way we can communicate using a valid, professional tool. 

            I plan on using twitter and facebook fan pages to recruit collegiate players.  I also would like to create a fan page for fitness clubs or sports clinics, to keep everyone updated on the latest information.  Pearltrees is a great resource for PE and Health lesson ideas and information.  I have also already begun a fitness website on Weebly, to promote local runs, and community fitness and wellness. 

 
 
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Podcasting is a new concept to me!  Before creating my own podcast, I had to do some extensive research!  A few articles broke down the idea of using podcasts in education, and the concept of a podcast.  The first article I read was by Doug Hoagland/ The Fresno Bee, and this explained why Professor Sailor uses podcasts in his classes.  They are convenient and can be used to review material as many times as someone needs!  This article was pretty basic and gave a base for me to continue my research as  became familiar with podcast vocabulary. 
    The next article "Why iTeach with iPods", explains how we can use podcasts instead of writing papers.  As I was reading this I immediately thought of the final exam review assignment I give my health students.  They have a study guide that lists concepts and vocabulary they have learned about and need to gather detailed information about the concepts and turn this in.  I think a podcast would motivate them more, reaches more learning styles, and is more convenient.  It would allow them to read the information from their notes or text, speak it into the podcast, e-mail the audio to me, as well as have it saved on their computer so they can listen to it as many times as they want before the test day! 
    When reading the "Using Podcasts as Audio Learning Objects", I realized I use YouTube, "How To" videos all the time when trying to complete a project I have never attempted or am unsure how to complete.  A podcast is another great tool to use for this!  I have also found a few news/sports podcasts to use in my health class for current event articles.  This has allowed the students to complete the assignment in a shorter time because they are able to listen and write instead of reading and then writing.  I am going to continue to research more information on podcasts and use my human resources to help me as well!

 
 
                  Social networking began as a fad for young adults and adolescents to stay connected with their peers with few limitations.   Recently the craze has spread into multiple generations, from children through the elderly.  The study by Buzzetto-More (2012), Social Networking in Undergraduate Education, was focused on college students pursuing an undergraduate degree.  I would like to reference this concept in comparison to high school students and my coaching experiences. 
                  In my educational experience I have never been a part of any group besides the discussion group set up through the university.  I am fortunate enough to work in a high school and was able to ask multiple students if they have any experience in using social media in their classes.  Every student supported the use of social media being used in education.  They felt the use of facebook groups and twitter in organized clubs as well as project based made them more comfortable and successful.  Buzzetto-More (2012) “concluded that SNS can help kids in school by increasing student engagement in the learning process”. 
                  As an educator I agree social media has a, “lack of formality to interactions allowing students to take the lead in the direction of the discourse and content posted” (Buzzetto-More, 2012).  This has its pro and cons.  I think the environment allows for creativity and individuality that can be very effective in discussion.  On the contrary, the lack of formality can sometimes encourage students to write with a lack of focus in grammar.  This can then lead to unprofessional language and an environment that is too “laid back”.  I have a hard time deciding whether the good outweighs the bad in the educational setting.
                  Personally, I am able to use my facebook page to assist me in volleyball recruiting.  I was able to look up club volleyball teams, coaches and players, and contact them through facebook.  Coaches would contact me with information about players that were interested in continuing their volleyball careers at the collegiate level.  This was a very productive way of building relationships and becoming more connected in the recruiting world.

Buzzetto-More, N. A. (2012). Social networking in undergraduate education. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and         Management, 7, 63-90. Retrieved from http://www.ijikm.org/Volume7/IJIKMv7p063-090Buzzetto611.pdf

 
 
            Technology has become a wonderful resource for students, teachers, and all individuals to explore, analyze, and improve knowledge.  This article, “Always On”, explains the pros and cons of instant access and immediate gratification.  In my experience I have noticed a lack of problem solving and in depth thinking among the youth.  In education I see students giving up quickly when asked to write a problem out or explain a process.  In coaching I have noticed a lack of strategic game play in the past two years.  Instant access does not generally encourage validity, reliability, or accountability in an educational setting.

            Most students are not retaining information, because the procedure is one single step when using an internet source or Siri on the iphone.  They are not forced to read the first few pages of a book to decide if they want to read it or not.  Students are also not used to validating sources unless it is for an English paper in high school.  Yahoo answers are the fastest response sometimes so that is what the student believes as true.  These impatient measures will take a toll on education because exploration was never a necessity. 


 
 
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My good friends have a three year old son, Brayden, who was recently given a bloody nose by another three year old at day care. Brayden took a toy one of the other children was playing with, and she decided to punch him in the nose in order to get it back.  When he tells the story, he makes sure we know the other child was a female and she made his nose bleed on his TAPOUT (MMA fighter) shirt.  When I saw the option to put his face on the "American Gangster" book held by Mike Tyson, I could not resist!

 
 
I have to admit I was a little intimidated when I first tried experimenting with the Personal Learning Network sites.  I have used GoogleReader before, but never really became too involved in the options I was given.  When I was listening to a few videos on youtube about Pearltrees, I like the idea of having all the information in one easy to access spot.  The way Pearltree is organized makes more sense to me then looking at a list or then a multi-column view.  It is extremely visual and allows me to have a lot of freedom in where I want to place all of my resources.  I also like that you can build connections with others who have similar "pearls".  There are tons of resource to pull from and the information can link up very spicifically or on a more broad scale.  I like the fact that I can place all of my teaching resources at one site, one click and I am there!  Also there are videos, tweets, webpages, and so much more to pick information from.
 
 
    I have always found the internet to be a wonderful aid in personal education.  Recently I have used the internet to research topics and current event articles for my Health Education lessons.  There are new health issues and updates that are posted daily on websites such as, livestrong.org and healthfinder.gov.  I have also recently began using GoogleReader to stay connected to health & fitness related websites.  This type of resource has become very useful in a quick and easy fashion. 

            I have found a few instances, when I have let the students try to find articles to write about on their own, where the internet has become a distraction.  There are many unreliable sources available and usually easier for my students to access.  One specific instance is a tv show host having a website that shares health information, but doesn’t always remain factual and neutral.  This has developed debate and allowed for teachable moments in the classroom but yields success in the assignments.

            I am also in the process of setting up a fitness program at my high school.  We have suggested the students and staff involved follow different sites that are based around fitness.  One in specific would be the Warrior Dash, which is a 5K we are trying to get involved in.  This has become a way to integrate technology, which the students love, as well as stay updated on local races.  This has become a huge hit with the kids, and they are starting to do more independently as well as bring ideas to our attention to get more involved.

 
 
     After watching Marcus Buckingham’s video “Trombone Player Wanted”, I recognized I am fortunate in the sense that I get to be part of the 20% of people who get to play to their strengths daily.  When I first began college, I had decided on becoming a dental hygienist.  It did not take me long to realize this was not a path I was passionate about.  I continued playing sports in college and knew I wanted to educate students on the benefits of athletics.  There is so much more to sports and fitness then simply psychomotor skills. 

            Everyday I get to motivate, encourage and teach children about becoming physically fit.  I can share my passion for sports, competition, teamwork, lifelong health and how I have reached my dreams at age 23 due to self-motivation and focus.  My profession as a PE teacher, also allows me the time to coach multiple sports during the year, where I can also relay this passion.

            When I was hired at the high school, teaching health in a classroom was mandatory.  I had no intention of teaching in a classroom setting, the gym was an open environment and I had confidence in what I was teaching in PE.  Health Education is very formative and factual.  Everyday I was expected to know exactly what I was talking about, stand up in front of 30 students who completely depending on me to teach them these facts.  This put me in a “hole” for a few weeks prior to classes starting. 

            Instead of making the classroom setting stiff and uncomfortable for me (my weakness), I made it more open like the environment of the gym.  I allowed myself to be creative and enthusiastic, so now we create projects and have discussions supported with evidence instead of lectures.  This has made me grow through the use of my strengths and has allowed me to collaborate with my students to create an environment that works best for us as a whole.

 
 
Microblogging has become a crucial tool in education as well as athletics.  My first experience with Twitter was in 2011 when I became the Head Volleyball Coach at Chesapeake College.  One of my players asked to follow me, and I had no idea what she was talking about.  She explained to me it was an easy way to stay connected with teammates, as well as see what other coaches and professionals were experiencing or tweeting about.  Through microblogging I have made important connections with other coaches, become more aware of what developmental programs were available, and have been able to keep an eye on my players.
 

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    I am 23 years old, a High School PE and Heath Teacher, Coach, and aspire to educate and challenge our youth to become the best possible individuals they can be!

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