Sunday, May 8, 2011

Final Reflection

After a very busy semester, I reflect the positive impacts that EDM310 has had on my future as an educator.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Final Project: The USA Show Choir - A Documentary

It's Finally Here!!!

After the long wait, our final project is finally ready!

The documentary was a lot of fun to make! We hope you enjoy!

- Brandon M. Caten, Alexa Howie & Brittni Sasser

Seussical, Jr! Coming to a theater near you!!!

Sunny Side Theater Presents

Seussical, Jr the Musical

Murphy High School
Thursday, May 5 - 7:00pm
Friday, May 6 - 7:00pm
Saturday, May 7 - 2:00pm & 7:00pm

After the wide-acclaimed success of Fame last month, we will present the beloved children's musical based on the works of Dr. Seuss.

I've spent the past four months juggling both shows, but instead of just music, I took on the job of Music Director and Choreographer!

For more information, visit the Sunny Side Website or call (251) 580-1808!

C4T #4 -SpeEd Change

Blog Post 1


My name is Brandon M. Caten and I am a student at The University of South Alabama currently enrolled in EDM310 with Dr. Strange.

First off, I really enjoy the look and feel of your blog. It is very clean and easy to use!

This blog post is a great idea! It gives teachers a heads-up on the current news that they could be teaching with and makes them aware of things students could bring up in class! I didn't think of either thing as the week started, but now I've looked into both things and have found ways I could use them as teaching tools in my future classrooms.

Thank you for such a great blog! If you would like to visit mine, you can find it at!

Have a great week!


Blog Post 2

My name is Brandon and I'm back again from Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at The University of South Alabama!

In a world of ADD & ADHD, I might could understand why teachers would be afraid of the outside world. The way I look at it, however, is that if you are a teacher that can captivate a classroom and keep their attention, you shouldn't be worried about the outside world distracting them, but instead enhancing their learning! I cannot wait until beautiful days here in the South where I can take my class outside to learn in a natural environment.

As for the Skype video links, I believe this is an invaluable tool! Having my class see others classes would be a great tool! They could compare and contract the way the other class works and I might even learn a few things about the class!

Great blog and wonderful information! I ended up spending 15 minutes just researching the ideas behind the Telectroscope! So interesting!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Final Project Trailer

While we finish our project (due to technical difficulties), here is a trailer to hold you over!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog Post #14

1. Why did you miss the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post, or, if you "hit the nail on the head", why do you think you understood the metaphor and why do you think that others in the class missed the metaphor?

I did actually miss the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post. I believe I missed the metaphor because I am always reading things at face value and expecting things to be said a certain way if the author expects me to take something from the writing other than what has been written.

2. What metaphors have you encountered since I asked you to create a log of them?

Last night, I heard a friend call somebody a "pig" because they were eating more than she thought they should.

I've also heard one several times lately that upset me severely. Ignorant people tend to use the saying "that's gay" to describe something that they believe to be stupid or worthless. 

3. What other things can we do as educators to help our students to understand and to use metaphors?

The use of metaphors in the classroom might be the best way to make sure that our students understand metaphors. When I hear something often, or am exposed to it, I seem to understand it much better!

4. Why do we use metaphors?

Metaphors can be used to create a connection between two things that might not normally be connected. We use metaphors to create imagery.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blog Post #13

Alabama Learning Exchange Logo

What is ALEX? ALEX, or the Alabama Learning Exchange, is an essential tool for teachers! The website is a complete database full of web links, lesson plans, podcasts, and other wonderful resources. You can find any Alabama Course of Study on ALEX or just browse around through hundreds of pages of knowledge. 

One of my favorites parts of the ALEX website is the podcast treasury called "Gallery 360." The content in this section has been created with schools throughout Alabama. You can find anything from English to History to the Arts. Practically any type of podcast you would want can be found here!

ALEX is full of information that teachers and students alike can use! I've used it before and I am sure I will use it numerous times over the rest of my career!

"By sharing the wealth of expertise and knowledge now available through ALEX, Alabama‘s best educators, and the youth of Alabama are poised to benefit from the best of the Web!" -

Before this blog, I have never heard of ACCESS. It offers some great resources to students that I wish I would have known how to access while in high school. One section I stumbled upon was labeled "Courses." In this section I found a tab for "Test Prep" that I would have been all about in high school. I am the type of person that believes in tests that help you advance. ACCESS offers 10 different test prep tools to help students get ready for AP testing. More exploring of the site has shown several other functions of the site like virtual field trips and free media content. This website does not compare to ALEX (at least to me), but I think it is a great resource that all educators should know about!

C4K Summary: #7, 8, 9 & 10


Yesterday in class we discussed the Trail of Tears and it’s relationship to Arkansas history. The Trial of Tears was the forced relocation of Native Americans during the early 1800’s. I challenged my students yesterday to create a Haiku using their newly found knowledge of the Trial of Tears, and here is what they gave me.
Indians were forced to move
To Oklahoma they moved
So sad, so very sad
- Katelin C.
Lost and left to fend
Indians lost family
Settlers don’t care
- Alex K.
Forced out of my home
For their own selfish wants
Been left with nothing.
- Nikki A.
Today we will continue out discussions about the Trail of Tears and early statehood in Arkansas.

Hey Mr. McClung,
My name is Brandon, and just like the students above me, I am a student is Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class!
These Haikus were great! It seems that students not only understand what a haikus is and how to use it, but also the subject matter behind The Trail of Tears!
I have really enjoyed all of your posts and I cannot wait to read more!


C4K #8

Hey! My name is Brandon, and like a few of the comments above me, I am a student at The University of South Alabama currently enrolled in EDM310. Trading day sounds like a lot of fun! I had days like this when I was in school. We really loved them! I can image that getting to play a different sport every few weeks is excited! You get to see what you are good at and which one could use work!

Good luck with your tournaments! I hope you win!



C4K #9

Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog is amazing! She really seems to understand what to do with a blog in the classroom. Her video on how to comment was extremely helpful. Sometimes I forget to use a closing when I am writing a comment. I also didn't realize that you could hold down control and change the word through that method when it is underlined in red! I guess you learn something everyday!

Family Blogging


C4K #10

Hey Jaden,

My name is Brandon and I am one of the students in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at The University of South Alabama. My blog does not have a mascot, but if I had to choose one, I would choose my stuffed jaguar named SouthPaw. SouthPaw is named after my school's mascot who happens to be a jaguar with the same name. He came to live with me when I first started college! He is brown with spots all over and big, blue eyes!

You are doing a great job on your blog! I hope that you, and Mr. CA, have a great remainder of the school year!


Brandon M. Caten

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Final Report on PLN

Since first beginning to use my PLN, I haven't really added much to it. I find things easier to access if I do not have to go to a "middle-man" site in order to find what I am looking for. I guess that using Google might be the same thing, but I bet I use Google over 100 times a day between my MacBook Pro and my iPhone. 

I can see definite benefits of using a PLN in a classroom setting for just for personal use. It is a nice way to keep multiples sources of information together in one spot. I am sure that I will keep my PLN from EDM310 active and continue to try and find a use for it in my scholarly life!

Final Project Progress Report

Under Construction

For my groups final project (Project 16), we are working on a documentary (A docu-drama as Alexa like to call it) that is based on the final performance for the semester of The USA Show Choir.

The USA Show Choir has been asked to perform at a PTA Meeting / Reading Rally in order to create excitement for the children of St. Elmo Elementary School.

I am working with the show choir to teach the music and choreograph each song while Brittni Sasser and Alexa Howie will be recording video and sound plus interviewing for the video.

Together we will combine the videos and create a documentary that shows you just what it takes to create a show and make a big impact, even if it is a small one!

Project #15 - Horton Hatches the Egg Book Trailer

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blog Post #12

Below you will find an assignment that I believe would have benefited students in EDM310. While it may not directly have involvement in the technological aspect of education, there is certainly technology that is used with music education that is very important to music educators around the world. With funding being cut left and right, some educators are not able to fund their classrooms and use the technology they have previously taught with. Being a Music Education major, I feel this article really spoke to me and hopefully it will speak to somebody else!

1. Read the article Music Education - The Indispensable Core Subject by Dr. Joseph Pizano and make sure to leave him a comment giving him your feedback and thanking him for his article.

2. Carefully think about the following question while reading his article:

How does this article fit in your classroom and your education philosophy, even if you are not a future music educator?
3. Post to your blog one or more paragraphs that contain your thoughts on music education and the future of the education system in America. Should music education receive the same amount of funding that other subjects receive? Do you agree that music education makes a difference in children's lives, or should it be one of the first programs to be cut? How can music education and technology be combined?


My "blog post":

Music Education is extremely important when it comes to education as a whole. Music has been proven to increase test scores and IQs, not to mention it leads to great scholarships as students go to college! I believe that music education should receive the amount of funding that it needs in order to be a successful program. There is no question in my mind that music makes a difference, so why not make sure the funding that is needed can be accessed? I could see music classes using technology to teach theory or history, even distance learning courses like private lessons!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

You can call me Senator Caten - College of Education Senator 2011-2012!

I just wanted to take a quick second and thank everybody who voted me in to this position of Senator for The College of Education.

There are several things that I will be working to fix over the next year, but please let me know if there is ever anything that needs to be addressed or changed! I am here to work for you! This is our campus and we should have a voice in it, so let's join together to make this campus better!

Again, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to serving The College of Education 2011-2012!

Blog Post #11

I am more than impressed with the amount of technology that these students are using daily! Even when I was in high school, I was not using near as much technology as they seem to be using in just half of a day! The use of wikis is a great way to not only let the children learn, but also let others (like the people from Alabama) put in their input as well! I couldn't believe that there were children using SmartBoards, when just a few weeks ago, some students in our class were learning to use them for the first time! Just think: If they can use technology this well in 1st grade, how competent will they be by the time the graduate? The answer to that question is unknown, but I would be willing to bet that they will be among the top of the graduating class when it comes to technology literacy!

Project #14 - How To Use Google Documents

Monday, April 4, 2011

Voting Starts Today! Help Change South Alabama!

Today is the day: SGA Elections start at 6 PM. Watch your Jaguar1 Emails beginning at 6 PM for your ballot!

To find out more about my campaign and where I stand, visit my facebook event.

Below are some candidates that I am supporting that I believe you should think about supporting as well!

Voting ends Wednesday, April 6 at 3 PM with the announcing of the elections results on the steps of Moulton Tower at 5 PM.

Get your vote in so that you can help support those of us who want to make a difference!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Special Assignment - Mr. McClung's 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?
Mr. McClung really uses his blog to teach all of his classes, not just one. You can tell that he likes to integrate technology in all of his classes. I think this is a great idea because I feel in a few years, there is a chance we might start seeing less books on desks and more computers in classrooms. Why not prepare our students for what could be the future?

2. Comment on what you would say about Mr. McClung as an educator.
Mr. McClung seems to really care of not only his profession, but also his students. It takes time to manage a blog of substantial quality, and his blog ranks at the top of teacher blogs! He is a great educator and hopefully one day I can be as great of an educator myself!

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?
Mr. McClung is not only teaching these students the materials that are set forth by his standards, but also teaching them how to share their information they have learned with others. I love how he uses the key words and repetition of the words and phrases to get their attention. I also think the point system would work really well in any classroom, not just his!

4. What was the first thing under Everyone needs? Why do you suppose that is the first requirement?
A day planner. I can see how this is very important. I use my iCal daily to keep up with my busy life, and I think it is great to make our students realize the importance of being on time and keeping up with assignments and other scheduled activities.

5. Note the penalties for being late (under Homework). Compare them with my penalties for being late. Comment.
The way he does his late grades reminds me of the colors that we use on our checklist. I am glad that he has his policy spelled out in such detail; it helps students understand the penalties easier.

6. Read carefully his paragraph about what he hopes to accomplish with his blog. Comment and apply to your own aspirations as a teacher.
I like that he addresses not only the students, but the parents as well. A blog is a great way to help parents keep up with their students while also allowing them to learn about technology. I will certainly use a blog in my classrooms.

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.

PDF to Word Converter is one of the useful links that I found extremely useful. It helps you convert any PDF file to a Word file, and best of all, it's free!

Convince Me is another one of the useful links that I also found useful. It allows your to debate on issues with other people. I think I could find it useful in the classroom when trying to make decisions that I can't afford to waste precious classroom time on.

Both of these links contain something new that I didn't know existed and I am glad Mr. McClung included them in his section os useful links. I could see how each could be used in the 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 this is a very good set of rules, but I would make sure that everything is grouped together and in a way that children can read and understand. Kids of all ages might stumble upon this list and it needs to be understandable by all ages!

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.
I decided to look into the category "Student Entry" and discovered the post Focused Learning vs General Learning. A student here is discussing if schools should teach technology as part of the curriculum, or just the basic subjects. Want to know what this student thinks? Go read the post! I actually agreed with him to an extent!

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 idea of having the tabs at the top. This might be something we can do with blogger, but I think it helps make things separate and in order!

11. In what ways does Mr. McClung make his blog useful to parents, teachers, administrators, students like you, and others? 
The blog gives an inside look at a classroom like one we might be teaching in one day. It helps parents, administrators and other teachers and students see what is going on in the classroom and just how great of a teacher Mr. McClung really is!

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. McClung pulled all of the stops when it came to creating and maintaining this blog. The blog is very in depth and clean-looking. I think it might be one of the best 8th grade blogs we have seen so far!

13. Add any additional comments you think would be useful in analyzing Mr. McClung's World in depth.
Other than just continuing to praise the work that Mr. McClung has done on his blog, I think the above-answered questions analyze his blog sufficiently.

Blog Post #10

I completely agree with what Ms. Bayda is saying! I have felt the same way she does when I sit in a lecture class. I fight to stay awake if I haven't brought a Red Bull or large cup of Sweet Tea (yes, you can tell I am a southern boy) and usually I watch my mind wander to things that are further away from class than Earth is from Pluto! It isn't until I get into a class like EDM310 that I really start to feel like my time is being used efficiently and that I am actually learning something!

I believe that often teachers feel the need to "school" instead of "teach" and more times than none it does interfere with the education process. If more teachers would have the outlook that Ms. Bayda has and start involving students in the learning process, maybe out drop-out rates wouldn't be as high as they are and maybe, just maybe, we would see more people in our college classes instead of standing in line at the unemployment office

 I agree with Mr. Spencers thinking when he says that there might be some learning in even playing hangman or writing a pen pal. Why are we, as educators, always caught up in being some controlling of what our students do outside of our classrooms. I agree that instead of micromanaging the students and wondering what they are doing instead of our homework, we should be making sure that our homework that we assign is keeping them engaged!

The education system is so bogged down in test scores and aptitude tests that I feel we are sometimes losing focus of what we are actually in education for: to teach, not to test!

C4T #3 - The Speed of Creativity

I was assigned to Mr. Fryer's blog The Speed of Creativity and I think I am truly say that, after reading his blog posts, the speed of creativity travels faster than the speed of light!

He has a great blog full of many interesting posts and if I had not have needed to finish other work, I would have spent hours just reading his posts!

The first post that I read can be found here. Mr. Fryer took some amazing photos (like the one above) and talked about our digital footprint! I can safely say that I am creating a great digital footprint just because of EDM310!

The second post that I read and commented on can be found here. This post is all about the Army's 2015 Concept of Learning that involves iPhone & iPad usage by soldiers. I really like the idea behind the concept, but I am scared that some soldiers might lose focus and being to use the technology for the wrong things at the wrong times. However, it is a good idea and could even help with families being able to see their loved ones from thousands of miles away.

Mr. Fryer has a great blog, and if you haven't checked it out yet, you should get on top of that! Just click here to go visit it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vote Brandon M. Caten for College of Education Senator!

Brandon M. Caten for CoE Senator

It's that time of year again: SGA Elections!

This year, I have made the decision that I will run for College of Education Senator. I have several ideas that I would like to help implement for not only the College of Education, but also the university!

You can find a link to the facebook event supporting me here.

Make sure to let all of your friends know to Vote Brandon M. Caten. Voting starts April 5th at 8 am and go until April 6th at 3 pm. All voting happens through your Jaguar1 Email, so watch for your ballot there!

Below you can find more information about myself and my platform. I appreciate any and all support from you! Go Jags!

Brandon M. Caten is a Senior with a double concentration in Music Education and Vocal Performance and a minor in Spanish. He is the founder and director of the award-winning USA Show Choir. He is very involved in campus life at USA where he is a member of The University Chorale, The University Choir, USA OperaTheatre, USA Flute Choir and has performed lead roles with TheatreUSA. He is an active member of The National Society of Leadership and Success and a recent applicant to Mortar Board. He is a SouthBoard Orientation Leader and JagPal Peer Leader.

Brandon is a member of The Miss University of South Alabama Board of Directors where he has served for the past two years with Kerrie Benson. He was responsible for the creation of this part year's theme: South Alabama's Got Talent. He also is an active pageant coach with extreme success, having his contestants place always in the top, usually securing the crown!

Brandon is also extremely involved in the community. He is a cantor and choral singer at The Cathedral Basilica of The Immaculate Conception in downtown Mobile, a member of the Mobile Opera Chorus and a clinician and choreographer for local high school show choirs.

Brandon has spent the past 3 years working at Sunny Side Theater in Spring Hill. He has worked with over 500 children, ranging from 4 years old to high school Seniors. He is the Resident Choreographer and Resident Music Director and also the teacher for Musical Theatre Dance, Music Theatre Boot Camp and Private Voice.

If elected to be a Senator for The College of Education, Brandon will be dedicated to fighting for more funding for all education programs at South Alabama. He is determined to create a bridge between all education programs and create clarity and understanding for each concentration. He is also determined to find a solution to the current parking issues on campus while trying to decrease the number of tickets (with outrageous price tags attached) given out each year. Brandon also would like to help students create a better sense of school spirit on campus while proving that South Alabama is one of the top schools around!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Project #12 - Skype Interview with Alexa Howie

C4K Summary: #4, 5 & 6

This round of Comments for Kids was very interesting for me! I have the chance to read blogs of kids around the world and learn, once again, that all kids are the same no matter where they live!
Below you will find my comments:

is there a explanation for everything.
January 25, 2011 ~ 1 COMMENT      
No, there is not an explanation for everything. Some have explanations.   Some are  like this, Who broke the vase? There is an explanation. I did not break the vase. That is an explanation.

Brandon M. Caten
March 6, 2011 at 9:48 PM
My name is Brandon and I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile and I have been assigned to comment on your blog through a class I am taking called EDM310.
I like where you are going with this blog post, but let me give you a few tips that I think would help you make a post like this more effective:
1) If you are going to say something like “No, there is not an explanation for everything,” then make sure include an example. You did a great job including an example for something that does have an explanation, but make sure to tell us something that doesn’t have an explanation. Be able to back up what you are saying!
2) Make sure to re-read everything that you write and include words to help the clarity of sentences. I would make sure to include the word “things” in a few sentences, but I’ll let you take a look and figure out where I might mean!
Overall, good post though! Keep up the good work!
If you’d like to visit my post, you can find it at or visit our classroom blog and see the type of work we work on at
Have a great week!


On Friday the 4th of Monday our school had MUFTI DAY.
We had mufti day to fundraise some Money for the citizens of Christ-Church.
Our school raised $748.00,
The whole school brang A GOLDEN COIN.
We were all surprised because we thought that it would of been least and some thought it was going to be more.

 Brandon M. Caten said...

Hi Shontal,

My name is Brandon M. Caten and I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Alabama, USA where I am a Music Education major. I am currently in a class called EDM310 and I get to go around and comment on blogs like yours!

I am very impressed that a school was able to collect so much money for Christ-Church! Good work!

You should always be proud of yourself when you can all come together and make such a positive impact on a community!

Great blog post and pictures! I look forward to your future blog posts!

If you would like to see my blog, you can visit it at or visit our class blog at
March 8, 2011 8:42 AM

Please Return My Money
March 10, 2011 ~ 2 COMMENTS      
Dear Rusty McRussell,
We are very sorry that you were so busy when we came to your restaurant. The food was not what we ordered and you gave me liver and onions instead of a burger. My mom got a cold grilled cheese sandwich, and my dad got a melted sundae. The service was late, and we waited for an hour. Please give us your money back.
Thank You,
Elizabeth Wadsford
(This Rusty’s Restaurant is a fake experience.)

Hey Rachel,

My name is Brandon and I am a student at The University of South Alabama where I am enrolled in a class called EDM310 and we get the chance to comment on blogs like yours!

What a funny story! Your writing skills are great! I've actually experienced a restaurant like this before and I wanted to say exactly what you said in your story!

Great job!

If you want to see our class blog and see what we do in class, you can view it at or view my personal blog at

Brandon M. Caten