Danielle Degelman

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Old Shoe Woman

Responsibility drives our homes, schools, institutions, communities, societies, and the world itself.  It is important that students learn to make responsible decisions that benefit themselves and allow them to be dependable for others’ sake.  As a teacher, I would like my students to become independent of their own thoughts, feelings, and actions.  However, the process is not a simple one.  Of course, responsibility is becoming increasingly important and relevant as the world develops scientifically and technologically.  As children grow and develop into critical thinkers, they will learn to take on the responsibilities that benefit the larger community.  It is proven that the number and complexity of responsibilities grows as children mature into more trusted and academically-advanced individuals.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by beret claire

From a young age, students can learn to take on certain tasks at home, school, and play.  These tasks can range from walking the dog, sweeping the floor, erasing the chalkboards, and sharing toys and belongings with others.  However, children also need to learn how to become independent and reliable thinkers, active classroom participants, and responsible learners for their own success.  Students need positive role models and scaffolding to explore areas of strength and struggle, understand their personal values and goals, and apply learning to everyday practice and life skills.  Students’ learning can then be extended to their outer worlds and realities, as they come to better understand themselves and the social context in which they live.  When students identify personal skills and accomplishments, they learn how they can use these talents to meet the demands of their present and future communities.

So, what do you think when I add “technology” into all of this? Does technology help students become more responsible individuals and citizens? Can it help them finish important tasks at home or school? Can it assist in their learning and academic development? Can it help them identify personal strengths and talents so they take an active part in the community? Or is it doing just the opposite? Are students becoming too dependent on technology? Please share your personal opinion and why. Thanks!


That’s right, you heard me! We’re almost done university! I have to be honest that now there’s only a couple weeks left of school, I am lacking motivation to finish my year-end projects (and don’t get me started on finals). What can I say? I’m exhausted. Moreover, all I can really think about is my life after university. Am I going to get the job? How long should I be on the sub list? Should I get my Master’s degree if I don’t get a job? Should I become a prof? These are questions that have been consuming my last few weeks of university…

But anyway, let’s get back to the “no motivation” part of this post. Believe me, I know how most of us feel about these last few weeks. Here are 15 tips to help you stay motivated when finishing those last-minute projects:

  2. Keep telling yourself, “It’s almost over!”
  3. Never doubt yourself and don’t be so negative about your workload.
  4. Plan your week ahead and stick to your schedule.
  5. Know your priorities. If your priority is to finish that unit plan or essay tomorrow, don’t stay up too late watching television.
  6. If you have a long list to complete for the weekend, break the work up into realistic chunks. However, don’t work ALL weekend. Find some time for yourself!
  7. Promise yourself a reward for completing a task. This does not include comfort food!
  8. Clean your room/office before you work. For most people, it’s hard to work in a cluttered space.
  9. Remove distractions from your working area. That’s right…NO Facebook or YouTube, NO cell phones, and NO television. (Sorry for sounding like your mom.)
  10. Listen to quiet music in the background if this helps you.
  11. During a break, go for a walk or run. This will keep the blood flowing and motivation running.
  12. Stay healthy by eating wholesome foods. Don’t forget to drink a lot of water, and have the occasional coffee if you need a boost.
  13. Get 8 hours of sleep per night (or more).
  14. Get up early to work. You will feel more refreshed and focused after a good sleep.
  15. Discipline yourself to stay with your work until it is finished.

Here are some resources that ANY university student will find helpful this time of year:

If you have any other ideas or resources to add to these lists, please do so. Hey, you might even help ME! 😉 GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

I believe that children and teens can seek true inspiration through a song. Today, I finished my “Music” page which lists popular music that may be of good influence for students in elementary and high school settings:

*Here is the playlist I included to my page. Simply click on a song to listen to it. ENJOY!*

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Since we used a digital camera to do all the filming for our major project, it was difficult to download our videos on a Mac (and it took a REALLY long time!). So, we need to start over with the filming again…

We will film on Tuesday by using the cameras that Alec has stored at the university. And this time, they will work! Yes! Since we have to start over, we are wondering if we should come up with a completely new idea or repeat the same idea as before. Personally, I think we should do something a little different, since we seemed to have too many short clips last time. Here are some ideas that I have:

  1. Film a short video on fast food. We can drive to different fast food locations (about 8-12 restaurants) and pretend to order through the drive-thru. Our film can be similar to Super Size Me, in which one (or all) of us gets bigger and bigger because of the fatty, oily foods. The conclusion may be a change in eating habits and/or weight loss program.
  2. Film a weight loss program targeted towards university students.  One of us can be the trainer while the others do difficult workout routines. This can involve a treadmill, jogging outside, biking, rollerblading, stretches, weights, and/or DDR. At the same time, we can provide our audience with better workout options for stressed individuals like us!
  3. Film a reality show (like the Amazing Race). One of us can be the game show host while the other two compete to get to the finish line (Mac computer lab at the U of R). We can base our film off The Tortoise and The Hare! After the host introduces the race, two of us will travel throughout the city and face obstacles along the way. Like the book, “the fast one” will fall asleep and “the slow one” will win the race.
  4. As a group, we can create a story for elementary school children. It can be about three friends (us) and the many decisions that they make. The audience (by a “click” of the mouse) will choose the correct decision based on “what is the ‘right’ thing to do”. The story will continue based on the audience’s decisions. Of course, we will need to film multiple scenarios since the story can go many different ways (for better or for worse)!

For my major project, I am with Brittney Blakley and Vanessa Hipkins. It took us quite awhile to decide on a topic for our project, and how we were going to present it. We talked about everything from creating a Dove-like beauty commercial, interviewing students from internship about self-image, creating a funny make-up commercial, or developing two commercials to compare and contrast perceptions of beauty.

It is pretty obvious that we want to make a commercial.  However, NOW, we’re doing it on fast food and soft drinks and how they cause obesity and acne. In particular, we are creating a humorous series of commercials that communicate the truths about unhealthy foods and drinks, in addition to our invented BVD weight loss program and Proacteev skin care system. During the commercials, we are going to provide our audience with “Facts” or “Did You Knows?” to communicate valid information on the four topics above.

We have finally finished all the filming that needs to be included in our final project. Now, we need to order all of our clips and edit them while we still have class time. At the same time, we need to decide on how to make our commercials “stand out” from the rest. Do we want to slow things down or speed things up? Do we want to add in clips from other commercials or YouTube videos? Do we want to incorporate an echoing effect? These are decisions we will make in class today.

This is a video that I made for Part One of my critical project in EFDN 303 (Moral Education). It provides general information about bullying in the elementary school setting – definition of bullying, participants in bullying situations, and types of bullying. I made the project using Photo Story 3 and borrowed a microphone from my friend, Jeanniene so audio was included. Let me know what you think!

Carly Fleischmann is a fourteen-year old girl who was diagnosed with autism when she was three. She is not like other kids her own age. “When you’re told your child is going to be developmentally delayed, that they might achieve the developmental level of a six-year old, it’s like being kicked in the gut”, shares Carly’s father. The following YouTube video describes autism even further, along with Carly’s early intervention (40-60 hours/week of one-to-one therapy).

Carly cannot speak as a result of her autism. However, technology has allowed her to find her “inner voice” and express herself as an individual:

As explained at 3:25, “Carly ran to a computer for the first time and what happened next was a breakthrough so profound it would finally pierce Carly’s silent, secret world”. With many long hours of intervention, Carly learned how to type on her own. Technology has allowed Carly to have power over her environment and break out of her own body. For example, she learned how to communicate in chatrooms, created her own blog and Twitters regularly, and is currently writing a novel.

Not only did technology change Carly’s life, but her family started to understand who she really is–not an autistic child, but a cute and funny girl who likes to have fun. As said by Carly’s own father, “I stopped looking at her as a disabled person, and started looking at her as a sassy, mischievous teenage girl”. Here, you can visit Carly’s blog to learn more about her. Remember, she is an individual who has interests, dreams, and goals just like you. Carly is certainly an inspiration for other children, parents, and teachers alike.

"Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength of the nation." -- John F. Kennedy

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