Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week 3 cont.

Mrs. Cassidy's Classroom Blog & Little Kids... Big Potential

The children in Mrs. Cassidy's classes are going to be able to do great things in this world with technology just from the lessons learned in this teacher's class. They are already learning things that I myself are learning or have not even learned yet and I have them beat by at least 10 years! This just goes to show how much technology has changed in that short span of time. It really is awesome to see a teacher take something like technology and show her children how to apply it to her core lessons that she is teaching. Especially, something like the Nintendo DS that is suppose to be for at home and playing games and she has transformed it into another tool for her children to use and learn off of. The project about traditions and having people from all over the world leave a comment on the traditions they do was absolutely fantastic. I can only hope that when I begin teaching I can teach my students something like that that they will use for the rest of their lives.
Here is what I said in my comment:
"Hey kids!! You all did such a great job with you blogging, when I was your age teachers didn't know what blogging was , so you need to thank Mrs. Cassidy for everything she has taught you! I am just now learning how to do it in my EDM310 class and I am 20 years old! Keep up all the great work!"
Comment Posted on January 31, 2010 at 03:30 PM by Danielle Pitt

Here's What's Coming - 1 year old using iPhone

This one year old child is pretty good playing with daddy's iPhone! He can turn it on, unlock it, and choose the app that he wants, and then navigate his way through that app! It is pretty cool to see this child doing this. The only problem is that to me yes, it is cool that he can turn it on and all that, but then again he probably only sees this phone has a play toy that can pull up pics for him to see. Overall, I would have to say that this video is not all that amazing to me.

Week 3

For the 6 podcast that we were supposed to listened to I chose: Edtechtalk #151, Kidcast #56, Macbreak Weekly #177, This week in Photography #126, Teachers Teaching Teachers #181, and Smartboard lessons #1. All of these podcast were different in many ways, like how many hosts the podcast has and the wide range of topics. Some of the podcasts had just 1 host, whereas the others had multiple hosts and the topics ranged anywhere from photography to the idea of asking questions. Even though they have such wide range of topics they each talk about strong ideas and each host is well versed in his or her topic.

The first 2 podcast that I listened to were: Edtechtalk #151 and Kidcast #56. Edtechtalk #151 was one of the podcast where it had multiple hosts all conversing on a single topic. Having this many hosts all competing for air time was a little much for me, it was almost confusing. The topic for this podcast was technology around the world and its numbers. while the topic was rather interesting because they gave numbers of the amount of people who had internet access and people who had cell phones. The number of people who have cell phones surprisingly outnumbered the number of people who had internet access. The other podcast called Kidcast #56 was the opposite of the Edtechtalk because it only had 1 host. Only having 1 host made it a little boring since there was no real "discussion" going on. The host simply talked about how "Questions Make the World go Round," while this is an ok topic for say maybe you and a friend talking about it in one of those, question the universe conversations, to me it was not something that you could make an entire podcast out of.

The second 2 podcast that I listened to were: Macbreak Weekly #177 and Teachers Connecting #1. Macbreak Weekly had multiple hosts all talking about the new ipad that just came out. This to me was an interesting topic since it is so new that I don't know anything about it. (Not that I would if it had been out for a few months!) The hosts all made valid arguments as to who the ipad was marketed towards and why, all of its features, and if there is any major difference in it from the itouch and iphone. While I didn't like the multiple host I did thoroughly enjoy the topic and the way that it was setup like a radio station with some commercials and advertising. The Teachers Connecting podcast about the Smartboard would have been better if it was not the very first episode. The hosts did seem to have good on air chemistry, but they spent way too much time talking about themselves , in my opinion. I think that I would prefer to have just two hosts on a podcast so it is easy to differentiate between the hosts and it is not confusing, one host just seems a little bit boring.

The last 2 pocast that I listened to were: This Week in Photography (TWiP) #126 and Teachers Teaching Teachers #181. TWiP, to me, was very interesting because I like photography. This particular podcast was on "Racism in Photography" it was about a new camera coming out that had the facial recognition software and how it does not focus on people with darker skin. Once again this was a multiple person podcast and it did get confusing at times when more than one person would speak. The podcast Teachers Teaching Teachers #181 was possibly the farthest topic that I am interested in, which made it boring. The topic was "Getting Schooled on Gaming," it talked about how gaming is being incorporated into education and its pros and cons. Since I do not play games like Avatar, this podcast was completely uninteresting.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to the podcasts and seeing the difference in them and the many different ways that I can apply to my podcast in a few weeks. Some of the ways that I liked were having two hosts, so that it will not be boring with just one and will not be confusing with way too many people trying to talk at once. I may even add some music in the background, so that if there is any "dead air" it won't be silent. They have all given me great ideas for any podcast that I may do in the future.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

week 2

A Vision of Students Today
This video does capture the majority of college students' experiences. I would say that this particular video does not capture my college experiences. To begin as to why it does not capture my college experiences is because my class sizes have averaged about 50 students or less and my teachers have all learned my name within the first few weeks. Maybe, I have just been one of the lucky ones with choosing these classes!! Secondly, my my experiences have been different for me because I work full time now and that has given me the ability to be able to pay for all of my tuition and other costs without having to take out any loans. Also, with my particular job it allows me to be able to do homework and study a little bit, which helps out greatly.

One thing that a person could add to the video is a way to show the diversity among the students. Diversity, in this case being students both young and older, because not all students are in their 20s. The director could also show in a portion of the video a student at a full time job holding a sign saying " I am going so I can get that 'big promotion'." Overall, I thought the video was put together very well and very creative by having students hold up signs. It reminded me of the old saying "putting a name with a face," this is because instead of just having a power point with the wording of " the average college student __________." This idea, whether planned or not, was great!

It's not about the Technology
Kelly Hines hit the nail on the head with this post! Her 4 points: Teachers must be Learners, Learning and Teaching are not the Same Thing, Technology is Useless without Good Learning, and Be a 21st Century Teacher without the Technology all have great points. The first point, Teachers must be Learners, is probably the most important because as future teachers we will constantly have to be learning in order to give our students the best education that they can get. Teachers who try to get by with only going to the mandated workshops are not only, cheating themselves but most importantly, setting up his or her students for failure in the future. In her 2nd point, Learning and Technology is Useless without Good Teaching, she explains it as simple as possible, but makes a very strong point at the same time. Just because a teacher stands up in front of a classroom and teaches does not mean that the students are learning. I think we have all been in that situation! Her 3rd point that simply states that just because a teacher has the technology equipment does not make that teacher any better, only proper training and an eager mindset will do that! Her 4th and final point, Be a 21st Century Teacher without the Technology, is another really good point. Teachers only need the very basic technology, if any at all, to achieve teaching students the "framework of learning."

Ms. Hines stated in her post that " it is not about the technology" because it truly isn't, it is about the teacher and his or her ability to communicate with his or her students without misusing the technology that is provided to them. Technology classes are of course an exception to this, simply because of the obvious, you need the technology there in order to teach and explain it. Students still deserve that 1:1 time with a teacher and do not deserve to be passe off to learn on his or her own.

Karl Fisch: Is It OK to be a Technology Illiterate Teacher?
Even thought Mr. Fisch's post was written out of aggravation from the day, I found it to be very thought provoking and true. Teachers cannot be expected to teach anything that they themselves never took the time to learn themselves. Would a teacher teach reading if she/he did not take the time to learn to read herself/himself? I don't think so! Mr. Fisch made several great points that I would have never even thought of, for example, I am not very good at math and I have always been the one to say out loud that I wasn't. I would never go around and say that I am not very good at reading because I would be too embarrassed! So, he brings up a good question why do people go around saying that they are not good at something when they won't say something that they are embarrassed by? Simply for the fact of that one little word, EMBARRASSED. It is sad, but true.

So, my answer to the question that Mr. Fisch asks "Is It OK to be A Technology Illiterate Teacher?" is no. Teachers need to know at least the basics for some kind of technology. It is not as if the school system is requiring all teachers know how to write a computer program in complete 0 and 1 format. All teachers owe it to his or her students to learn the basics. I don't know how many times I have said that if a teacher does not take the time to learn something they are eventually setting his or her students up for failure in the future.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
I guess it is useless to say that technology has really taken off in the within the past 10 years, but it truly has!!! As always it will continue to change, grow and hopefully become better. Technology will always be a major part of my life as a teacher and I can only hope that I will be able to use it as a great teaching/learning tool for my students. As far as what it means for my professional career as a teacher, I am not really sure. There are a lot of unknowns for that answer. By the time that I begin my teaching career technology will have changed and I will be learning how to use it, I am not sure what grade I will be teaching and with that I am not sure how I will be incorporating it into my lessons. I am sure of two things, that technology will be there for me to use and it will be a great tool to be able to use.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week 1

Did You Know? 3.0

The video "Did You Know? 3.0" was a real eye opener for me. I don't tend to think on that large of a scale, I tend to think on a smaller scale of mostly what goes on around me and my family and friends. But then I watched this video and I realized that this all does effect me, because one day instead of teaching English to children in schools we may be teaching Chinese. Most of these statistics that were given absolutely floored me! Who would have thought that eventually computers will be smarter than us humans (and we are the ones supposed to be designing and engineering them)! Maybe I should consult google to see who did think of this. I know that I would have never sat down and thought how far technology has come in the past 10, 20, 50 years I would have continued to go day to day taking advantage of it.
I read the comments that were posted for this video and almost every comment was about how he or she could not believe how much technology has come along. We have all taken advantage of everything that is available (i.e. cell phones, computers, the Internet). For example, we would not be able to have this class if it was not for the technology breakthroughs. I know that I am very thankful for it and I am going to use it all to the best of my abilities. It all really goes to show how much we all thrive on the instant gratification theory. People, including myself, always want the next bigger, better, faster thing sometimes that being before it ever even available, just to say that we have it and than something new comes along and we forget about the last biggest, better, fastest thing that is sitting in the bottom of the closet. So, the question "Did You Know?", my answer is no, I did not know.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
The video "Mr. Winkle Wakes" really goes to show that sometimes the "old way" of teaching is the best way to teach with maybe some minor improvements. I believe that students learn more from human interaction than many people realize. If a computer was to take over another job such as teaching who or what is going to inspire children to grow up to be something great like the President of the United States? Computers would only bring about more laziness from our kids and their future. Would we let a computer run the government? I don't think we would, but I think that we could use the computer's help.
I have a question... Would you fix a faucet that the water flowed out of properly? My answer would be, no. I may however, install a water filter to improve the water's taste. So, if a teacher standing in a classroom full of children teaching has worked for many years why change it? I say that we don't change the way of teaching let's improve the way of teaching. Adding computers to classrooms should only improve the way children learn, not take over and do all the teaching. I think this video really portrays that way of teaching.

Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity
WOW! Mr. Robinson spoke the truth and I was truly moved by his speech. Our school systems put creativity at the bottom of the list. Simply, because teachers are preparing them for a job that the child will have when he or she is 30 years old. I love the saying in the video "all children are born artist, it is their job to not to grow out of it." Teachers should treat creativity equal to math and literature in the classroom. Why do we teach children to be a certain way, if we say at the same time that they each have their own different personalities but we strive to make them conform to a mold. Then if a child does not conform we chalk it up to him or her having ADHD. It should not only, be the child's job not to grow out of creativity, but also it should be the teacher's job to encourage that creativity.
I completely agree with Mr. Robinson, school does kill creativity. Math and science are very important for a student to learn so is how to be creative. I know that once I begin my teaching career I will strive to inspire the creative child or children that I teach and not take that creativity away from him or her. I will strive because growing up I was that child in class that wanted to draw rather than do my classwork. Then when I was in high school I had a history teacher let me know that it was o.k. for me to be creative and she showed me a how to be creative and apply that to my schoolwork. It is because of her, that I want to become a teacher. I want to help a child embrace his or her creativity and let them know that it is o.k. to be that way because that is how God wanted them to be.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis in the beginning says that when students have only pen and paper then only certain students will succeed. While agree with that theory, in a class where only computers are used then again, only certain types of students are going to succeed. A good percentage of students will fall in the middle where they will do average in both ways of learning. It is very hard for all students to succeed in every different course of study. This is why I believe, as I have stated before, that teachers should be fully involved in teaching and only using a computer to improve or enhance what that teacher is trying to teach. While Ms. Davis seems to me like she is pushing her duties, as far as teaching goes, onto the computers and she is simply there to supervise. What I will commend Ms. Davis for is showing her students how to collaborate with other students from around the world.
This video led me to believe that instead of learning the students are playing. Some may argue that this is a way for a student with a creative mind to be able to exercise his or her creativity. I agree that using a computer is a great way to pursue that creativity, but there is a fine line between creativity and play time in the classroom. A teacher should be able to show the student how to apply that to schoolwork, not how to play the Sims Life games. Using digital media to show students how to express their creativity in a way that would allow them to use their digital media creativeness in the student's core classes. This is how I believe "harnessing" a student's "digital smarts" should be used.