Sunday, February 27, 2011

Project 9b- Instructional Timetoast Timeline

Blog Post Assignment #6

Notworked Student
The Networked Student-By Wendy Drexler
This veideo was very intriguing.  It truly made me question, "What will be my role as a "teacher" in the coming years?"  I do see this change coming but I honeslty think that, in this area, we are not nearly as close to this revelation as other parts of the country and world may be.  We are just now really getting to where technology is used widely in every classroom with the addition of SmartBoards in the classrooms-but many classrooms do not even have Smart Boards yet.  I do think that we are going to eventually head in the directon of the student in this video but I do not foresee it being in the immediate future.  When this does happen, however, my role will be greatly changed.  I won't be needed to teach my students this information.  I will simply be needed to teach them how to find it on their own.  By teaching them this skill they can learn anything. 

A Seventh Grader's PLN
I was very impressed by this PLN and the way it was implemented into the classroom.  I like that this gave me a visual idea of how to use this PLN in a classroom.  I honestly think that, at this point, her PLN is a whole lot better than mine.  But this did motivate me to continue to work on my own PLN so that I can reach the level she did-one day.  I also really like what she said about what this freedom does for her.  She mentioned that she could be using this time to get on facebook but because her teacher has put so much trust in her she feels the need to be responsible and do her work at this time.  I think that it helps that she actually has something interesting to share with the entire world to show for her work instead of a report she will turn into her teacher or possibly share with the class.  I am very intrigued by this type of learning.

Smart Board Pros versus Cons
It was very difficult for me to find a review of the SmartBoard that did not go along with the negative view of the posts we were assigned to read.  I googled, changed my search and googled again.  Finally I found this blog post.  The author of this post (who is not names)  has an opinion that is completely opposite of Michael Staton or Bill Ferriter.  Where Staton and Ferriter both think that SMART Boards are glorified dry erase boards and a waste of money.  The Author of the College Education blog I found addresses this idea as a problem but says that when used to their full potential instead of as a projector they are very effective teaching materials. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Project 8-Poscast

Project 9a-Individual Timetoast Timeline

Blog Assignment #5

This is a picture of an orange RSS feed symbol wearing headphones
I first visited the Eagles Nest website.  Here I listened to a podcast done by 3rd graders.  I was thoroughly impressed.  The podcast I listened to was about Roman times.  I thought it was very informational.  I was really impressed with the clarity the students presented this material with.

Next I visited the EPN Website.  This stands for Education Podcast Network.  I could see where this website would be so valuable for teachers using podcasts.  You can really find anything here.  There are links to all types of podcasts that can be used in the classroom.  It is very well organized and I think it would be really helpful to teachers. 

The third and last website I visited was the Judy Scharf Podcast Collection.  This collection is powered by Curriki website.  Judy Scharf had a collection of all types of podcasts here.  She also has information on how to create your own podcast. I see many similarities between the EPN and Just Scharf's collection on the subject of usefullness.  I think this website goes one step farther by giving newbies information on how to create your own podcast.

Comments for Kids #2

I was assigned to Mary's Blog.  She is a student in Miss Helen Kings Year 4 and 5 class.  She is in room 13 at Pt. England School in New Zealand.  I was really impressed with her blogpost.  She was posting about her excitement over getting a new netbook the next day.  I was very impressed with the fact that she even had a photo on her post.  It looked as if she may have created this picture in a program such as paint.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

This is a picture of a computer cord wrapped around an apple
Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
Dr. Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor at Iowa State.  He is the Director of Center for the Advance Study of Technology Leadership in Education.  This is a group that is an advocate for the technology needs for school administrators.  He is also one of the co-creators of the Did You Know? (Shift Happens) video.

Being a very sarcastic person myself I loved the sarcasm used here by Scott McLeod.  When you first begin to read this post you can't help but to wonder if he is being serious.  I thought to myself "Is he really against all technology in the classroom?"  When you get to the end his intentions are clear: he is letting people know that his students, who are being taught about technology, will be far ahead of those students who are not being taught how to use technology.  I agree with him.  Students who have been taught how to use technology from a very young age will definitely have a leg up in life.  I know personally that students who have to learn this later in life have a harder time with it.  I know that being just a few years older than most other college students has put me at a disadvantage technology wise because they are able to use the technology required for this class with much more ease. 

The iSchool Initiative
In the iSchool Initiative video this high school senior from Georgia argues that having a school based on apple's iTouch would solve many of education's problems today.  He argues that we could cut many costs by simply providing each student with an iTouch and the approprite apps.  Teachers, who have so much more than they ever have before on their plates because of budget cuts and standardized tests, would have one place where everything could be consolidated. 

Apps exploring geography, the presidents and many other subjects would replace powerpoints and posters.  A graphing calculator app would replace the requirement for all students to have a graphing calculator and lessen the cost at the same time.  Students could even have access to textbooks on the iTouch.  There is an app for everything.

I have mixed feelings about his post.  I do agree that this could cut costs and help teachers but I am not sure I am convinced it is what is best.  Not all students are technologically savy.  Should we adapt one way of teaching that leaves these students out.  I think that I am in between on this topic.  I think that the iTouch (or now the iPad) could be used very effectively in some ways for some students.  I think that more of a mixed media type of teaching would be more effective because it would apply to all students.

The Lost Generation
This video was very powerful.  The first reading was terrifying.  Unfortunately though it is where our generation is headed.  Families no longer sit down and have dinner.  Parents don't take the time to ask their students "How was your day?" or "What did your learn today?"  If this is true of this generation I can only imagine the furture for my children and their children. 

I am much more a fan of the second reading.  We can turn things around.  If we start a change now it will take hold.  We can change the norm and send the message that the direction we are currently heading is not acceptable.  We hold the power and the future is in our hands but we have to make a conscious effort to make a change.

Visual Choir
This is amazing.  I would have never even thought this is something that could have been done.  These 185 people, who had never before met came together to make something beautiful because of the internet.  This just goes to show how many ways the internet can be used.  It can bring together people from all different parts of the country or parts of the world.  It has so much power that we can't imagine.  This video amazed me.

Teaching in the 21st Century
To teach means something completely different in the 21st century than it has in any century before.  As the video said we are no longer the main source of information for our students.  They can find out anything they want (whether it is something we want them to find out or not) whenever they want to.  They no longer need us as a source of information.  They need us to teach them skills. 

They need to know how to survive in this ever changing world.  They need to know how to decide if the information they have gathered is reliable.  They need to use the constantly changing technology to best help them.  They don't need us to inform them, they need us to teach them.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Google Presentation Project #5

Comments for Teachers Post 1

I was assigned to the blog "At the Teacher's Desk."  This blog has many contributers but both of the posts I responded to were posted by wmchamberlin.  The first post was entitled "Trying a New Spin on Current Events".  It was about current events and taking a new approach at teaching them.  Being a future history teacher this really intrigued me.  Mr. Chamberlin talked about a class he is currently teaching on Current Events.  He discussed how he is teaching them to be critical of their sources and to compare sources.  With all the media available to us in today's world we must be critical of the source of our information.  There are so many contrastng reports on many current events because of the political views of the reporter reporting the story or of the media outlet it is coming from.  Mr. Chamberlin is pointing out to his students how so much of our information comes from the large media oulets (such as the major television networks) that students often do not know how to find other sources.  He is putting a focus on the smaller media outlets such as local reporters as well as international sources. I really agree with Mr. Chamerlin that this is an essential skill to be teaching to students living in today's world.

The second post I responded to was also posted by Mr. Chamberlin.  It discussed, again, a different approach to teaching.  It was entitled "Can we Adopt a Master/Apprentice Approach to Learning?"  I was very interested in what he had to say here.  He discussed the history of the Master/Apprentice Approach.  This appraoch is very different from what is happening in the classroom today.  It puts a person who has mastered a skill and a person or small group of people who are looking to master this skill together.  The Master is able to extend his knowledge to the Apprentice.  In return for the Master teaching the Apprentice these skills the Apprentice works for the Master.  If this approch was applied to the classroom there would be less students assigned to each teacher.  The Master (teacher) would be teaching by example.  It is much more of a hands on approach than many approaches used in today's classrooms.  I am very intrigued by the questions that Mr. Chamberlin posts in this blog and I encourage everyone to keep up with this blog.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blog Assignment 3

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

I thought that this video was very powerful.  It described the life of the "normal college student" though.  Not everyone fits into this profile.  I feel like, although I could relate to a lot of things in the video,  it fails to accurately describe many of the aspects of mine, and other non-traditional students, lives.  I spend a lot of money on books I may not even use, and every year my debt grows. 

Unlike traditional students I didn't have all of the technological help that the average student did in high school.  Students in today's college setting have been on facebook since they were in high school, they know all about twitter and have a lot of experience on a computer.  I am not this student.  I took one computer class in high school and didn't learn too much from it.  Computers were not as much of a part of the classroom then as they are now. 

Overall I think this describes the traditional college student well.  It does not take into account how much difficult college can be for the non-tradional students.  In today's world many students have children.  Many students are working full time jobs to make ends meet instead of working a part time job for a little extra money.

It's Not About the Technology

This post was one I really enjoyed.  Although I do think that we need to use technology in the classroom I do not think it is the most important thing.  I think it is important because our students are going to be completely immersed in it outside of the classroom.  We should give them what training we can within the classroom to best prepare them for the world outside of the classroom.

I agree with Kelly Hines that technology is not the most important thing.  It is very important to focus on what we are teaching and what the students are learning.  I like how she said that no matter what we do as teachers if the students do not learn no teaching has been done.  I really agree that as teachers we need to focus on the learning of our students.  We need to make sure we are teaching them in the best way possible no matter what way that is. 

Karl Fisch:  Is It Okay to be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

This post was very interesting.  I do think it is a bit extreme but I see the basis of what he is saying.  As I have stated before I am not the most technologically literate person.  I am just not someone who is interested in this.  I do however realize it is a knowledge I will need to have in the classroom.  So this is one side of my belief: technology is not the most important thing in the classroom although it plays a large part.

The other side of my belief is in agreement with Karl Fisch-to some degree.  I think that is is unacceptable to be completely technologically illiterate or be closed to the idea of learning.  Even though I am not completely interested in technology I am willing to learn.  I think that the teachers who have the attitude that it is okay to never learn about technology is unacceptable. 

Gary Hayes Social Media Counter

This social media counter was astounding to me.  I was shocked at how fast the numbers were changing.  I thought it was very interesting to see how quickly the numbers changed and how different things were changing at a different rate.  I noticed the slowest number was the number of iPads sold.  The numbers dealing with facebook were the fastest changing numbers. 
I think this is something that will greatly change and have an effect in my classroom.  By the time I enter the classroom there will be even more numbers to keep track of.  The numbers will change even more quickly.  Even the iPad number will be changing at a much faster rate.  I think that this is something that we, as future teachers, need to keep in mind.  Our students will be plugged in to more and more social networks and technological advancements than any other generation.