Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week 4 Student constructive comments

This week we are askeds to evaluate 2 of our peers post to get more practice with constructive comments. I chose my 1st one because it was about a video that I liked a lot. It is great to see some one else as excited about teaching as I am.

For my 2nd one I checked out a voice thread project that one of my peers created. I thought the individual did a great job. I learned about being an umpire.

I think these are the hardest assignment to do, so far, in this class. It is so hard and I don't want to say anything bad. I think everyone should be encourage just for completing the assignments. It is hard to put yourself out there on the internet and it takes courage. Everyone get Kudos just for trying.

Have you heard about Digital Citizenship?

We were asked to watch a video from the K12 Online Conference website. The video is called Digiteens: Digital Citizenship by Digital Teenagers. I did some research to see if I could actually get a definition for digital citizenship and realized that was not as easy as going to I learned that the general consensus is that we need to have and use digital citizenship when using technology; but no one is sure where it should be being taught. I did find one definition, from a website, that seemed to make the most sense. The Society for Technology in Education has defined Digital Citizenship as "students understands human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior".

This video showed different student project that dealt with various Internet etiquette. The one that compared DUI and DWT (driving while texting) statistics in regards to accidents and the loss of human life caught my attention the most. I was shocked to learn that DWT caused more death related accidents than DUI. Almost twice as many than DUI related accidents. I learned a lot from the video.

I did not realize that most of our teenagers and children, that have social networking accounts, have lied about their ages on them. I wanted to check this out for myself, so I had my niece show me her profile on the social network page she uses. We assumed that because it was Christian based that it would be safe. To my surprise, my niece had her age down correct in one spot but in another spot she had that she graduated high school in 1996. Making her much older than 13. I told her we needed to correct it and she told me that we could not. Once you put in the information and save it you can't change it. It was a nice try but thanks to this class I knew how to correct it and we did.

One of the projects talked about the safety of adults and children using the Internet. It was very informative. Most of our children are not aware of any dangers or how to protect themselves from predators and identity theft when it comes to using today's technology. I did not realize that children as young as 9 years old are shopping online. My question is how are they paying for their items and who turns their kids loose on the Internet with their credit cards? This type of situation has resulted in identity left because the kids were not using safe shopping practices.

During my school years, we were taught citizenship in regards to human behavior and interaction. The most advanced pieces of technology were the boom box, VCR, microwave, and color TV. Society set the standard for what was played on the radio, TV, and movies. There was not the need for safety concerns that we face today. The biggest concerns were not to drink, and if you did drink then not to drive, or ride with someone who had been drinking. The other big issue was not to talk to strangers. I grew up in a much safer world than we live in today.

As I have been learning and taking this technology for teachers class, I keep wondering how safe are my students going to be as I incorporate technology into my class some day. I would feel terrible if something we did in class led to my students being preyed upon or even worse hurt. This makes me feel that we all have a responsibility to teach Internet etiquette. This should start in home usage and carry through to the classroom. Before we let our students use technology we should make sure they have the knowledge to do so in a manner that is safe for them and others. I will include digital citizenship lessons in my classroom.

Will it work for every student? Project Learning

This assignment was to watch Project Learning: An Overview. This is a video from the Edutopia website.

As I watched this video, I had one thought that kept coming to my mind. First, let me say that project based learning is a great idea. I love the student's enthusiasm and excitement in the learning that was displayed in this video. Most of the schools, in the video, are private or charter schools. This makes it easier to incorporate this type of learning into their curriculum. They are not under the constraints that the public school system is; which is usually centered around testing scores and PASS skills. I can see where these restrictions would make project learning hard to incorporate into public school systems.

I noticed that most of the project where science and math related. This made me wonder about the other basics that were not showed or discussed. Everything about Project Learning is centered and based around the student/child. They are responsible for their learning. The student chooses the topic/subject and then becomes the director of their learning. It is also the students responsibility to ensure that they are on task and get everything accomplished that they need to.

This type of learning is great if you are self-motivated and a real go getter. Unfortunately, we don't all fit into this category. I am not sure how this will work for all the different types of learners that you have in a classroom. We have students that I worry will be left behind or out in this type of learning environment. We have students who have problems that effect their learning and I am not sure how project learning would work for them. I am old enough that of course we did not have the technology that is out there today. A project, that usually used Popsicle sticks, was building a fort.

I want to work with students that come from low socially economic situations. I worry that this is the group that will be left behind the most. I like the concept of project learning, as a whole. I think this is great for science. For the last 2 years ,my niece has been telling me that she hates science. I found out that she is like me. She does not really hate science. What she hates is the way it is taught. It is so boring to learn science from a textbook only and I agree with her. I hated science until I came back to college. I needed the hands on activities to bring it into focus for me. I love science now and it is because of inquiry based learning. I was terrified in my first science lab class, but I found that I liked it a lot. My niece loves doing labs and experiments but this is not what is being taught in her school's science classes. Her favorite experiment is the burping bottle. I love how her eyes light up when she does an experiment by herself and it works for her. I think that I could incorporate small class projects based in this type of learning, into my classroom.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Making a Baby Blanket


Making a Baby Blanket
One of the assignments, for week 4, is to create at "Story in 5 Photos". There are several different stories at this web site. We were to use photos that were copyright friendly. Two of the sites to find these types of image are Compfight and Flickr. The purpose of this assignment it is to introduce visual literacy to us. Here is my story about making a baby blanket.

Digital Nation

Just a quick post to share a new website called Digial Nation Map changing with technology. It is part of the PBS website. This is a great website for everyone.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

For week 3, we have a mini project that uses voice thread that we are to complete. I chose a book written by L. J. Smith. I created my project on voice thread and created a account also. This is a neat way to do a book review or book report. It was a lot of fun creating this project. It was also a lot harder to record my review than I thought it would be. I could not believe how many times I messed up on the audio recording and would have to start over. Instead of telling you about the book, I think I will let you watch it for yourself. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Student blogs for Week 3

For this weeks student blogs I chose a classroom web page that I can into contact with through my twitter page Naysangels. This is a Mrs. Kolbert's Class Blog and it is where I did the first student comment. I choose a student website titled Birds of the World. His whole page is dedicated to different species and types of birds. I read the post that talked about the Great Horned Owl. I found one fact very interesting. I thought all birds built their own nest but this is not true. You will have to read his post yourself to find out what the do instead.

For my second student comment I chose a classroom in New Zealand. I learned about this classroom through one of the previous videos we watched for this class. I was amazed by the video and had to check out her classroom blog. I chose to read a story written by a group of students called the Parrot and the Dog. I thought it was a cute story and loved the names for the parrot and dog. You will have to check out the story for yourself.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stopping Violence in the Education System

One of my assignments for week 3 was to go to 21st Century Global Leadership website. If you have not been you should check it out. These are some amazing student presentation on hard topics. I am passionate about stopping violence in our world, so naturally I choose the presentation what are we doing to stop violence.

I thought the student did a great job presenting their viewpoint. I have never seen any of the footage from Columbine prior to this. There was a link in the presentation to a YouTube
video. As I watched this video, I was remember the television coverage during this incident and thinking about the different responses from the students involved. The one thing that stuck in my mind, was how many students commented that they wished they had felt confident enough to speak up prior to this incident.

The students had seen the signs but had been to scared to approach any of the adults for help. This made me wonder if we have let our children down some how, as a society and in the education field, that they did not feel confident and safe enough to speak up. I question if we should not be doing more to help our students develop their self-esteem. I also question if there is something more we should be doing to help our students have the confidence in us to feel safe enough to talk to us, as educators and role models, about the hard times and tough things they are dealing with. For many people life is not easy, happy, or the best environment it could be and this is growing to included more and more of our students and their families every day. As teachers, we may be the only ray of hope our students have in their lives.

Unfortunately, the reality is we will never know for sure whether this could have been helped or prevented. At the same time, this and other tragedies like it, have opened our eyes to several areas that we should reevaluate and make the necessary changes as they are needed. However, this is just my opinion and I am very passionate about ending domestic and non-domestic violence.

What We’Re Doing To Stop The Violence

Check out this SlideShare Presentation: student viewpoint on violence in our schools
This is a very powerful video. I think I was most impressed with how our children feel about this topic. Some many of our adults want to look the other way, bury their heads in the sand, or pretend it does not exist. I was impressed with the student's approach and their courage to speak out and up about this.

This was also a hard subject for me because I can relate to this on a personal level. I am a survivor of child abuse. I was attacked and held prisoner and terrorized inside my home for two hours a year ago. I am working through this and someday I hope to live without being in fear for my life for the rest of my time here.

I am so passionate about stopping the viloence because it is wrong on some many levels. An individual will spend the rest of their lives living with this. It is extremely hard to deal with an overcome. I feel that it is even worse for our children because they have a hard time understanding what has happened. You can not live through any act of violence and not have your life changed for ever. I have not only had to live through my attack but I have been robbed of a year of my life. I still struggle with it today and still lose on some days. I am even more appauled when our children are in this situation

Monday, February 8, 2010

Luis the tech WIZ

Wow! Yet another amazing young man in the technological world. I have finally made it to week 3's assignments. The only thing wrong with this is I am still a week behind. The Digital Generation Project Youth Portrait for this week is about Luis. Luis is 18 years old and a senior in High School. As always, I am in awe of the technical abilities and skills of the children of today. I think what stuck out the most, after technological awe, was Luis level of commitment. He gets up at 5:30 in the morning to check his e-mail before he starts getting ready to face the day. My alarm starts going off at this time of the morning. However, if I took the time to look at e-mail I would be late for class or work. I would have to get up earlier than that to check mine so it ain't happening any time soon.

Luis gets ready for school and drops off his brother on the way to high school. During school, Luis is involved in 4 advance placement classes and 2 programs having to do with technology. The first program has to do with video production. The second program partners high school students with elementary students. Together the design and create Lego robotics. The high school students are mentors and the help them get ready to enter their creations in competition.

After school, Luis helps in his community and helps his parents interact and use technology like the Internet. He helps his parent pay bills on line and keep track of the family checking account. I remember doing things like this for my grandmother and still do today. I remember teaching her to operate her first cell phone. She had such a hard time remembering the buttons to place calls and end calls. I finally took a marker and colored one green and one red. Stop and go colors made more sense to her.

I love how the subject areas of science, math, media, engineering, and technology are taught with these technological programs. I am not sure how this would fit into the elementary curriculum for a specific grade. However, this has shown me how important it is to continue learning and bringing technology to my future students.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guess what 5 to 8 year olds are doing in New Zealand?

The more I watch these videos, for this class ,the more I realize the wonderful opportunities that technology provides for teachers and students. I want to go to school in New Zealand. This video is "A peek for a week" in a kiwi junior classroom. I really enjoyed watching this video. Everything these students use, and their teacher, was completely new to me but I liked what I saw. Even if I don't understand it all. LOL

These student's ability to work with and use the technology of today was amazing. That and the fact that they all have morning tea together every day. I don't know why that stuck out to me, but it did. Anyway, back to the topic at hand. With these kids brain power now, I can't image the abilities and IQ's these children will have when they are ready to enter college. This classroom seems like a great learning environment.

One of the topics, that I am supposed to address is how this video and the ideas of this video relate or connect to my life. There is no connection. We did not have classrooms as cool as this when I was a student. Ever technological advance, since televisions came, out has been in my life time. I am not aware of any classrooms in Oklahoma that have these technologies in their rooms. As I watched the video, I kept think how cool this was and how cool that was. I also thought about how I wished we had more classrooms like this here ;because I would have never wanted to go home if I had had this type of learning environment.

I loved the white board that was being used throughout the video. I was blown away by how much these students could interact the white board and computer. I am just now learning how to blog and here there are five year old students posting on their classroom blog. Watching this made me realize how technology challenged I am. I would like to have a white board to use in my classroom when I start teaching. These piece of technology is a great asset for education.

Magical Movie Students

The movie for week 2 was very interesting. I watched Digital Generation Project Youth Portrait: Nafiza. Watching this series just leaves me in awe of our children. They are so amazing and continually teaching me. I have learned so much just from the first two Digital Generation Project Youth Portraits that I have watched.

The video talks about Nafiza and other students making movies. There were two things that stuck out to me as I watched this. One was that these students are making actual movies. The only thing is they are not using cameras or video equiptment. The entire movie is made using the Internet and computer technology. Here I am struglging to keep up with the assignments and blogging site for the technology 4 teachers class and here are these students making movies. The other thing that stuck out to me was how the movies they make are addressing real and serious topic of our world today, such as the situation in Darfur.

We never had anything like this in school when I was younger. I feel like I keep saying this and I do because it is a fact. We would get to watch movie (as a whole school group) at the end of each semester. The movie was played from a movie real and showed on one of the walls in the gym or cafeteria. With this technology we could have made and shown student made movies!

Nafiza gained so much more than just technological knowledge and training. She learned about situations and people from other cultures and places in our world. Nafiza also developed leadership skills. As her skills grew, the other students started coming to her when they needed help. Now they look up to her as a role model. Nafiza also grew in personal development. She gained confidence and strength. Sometimes it is hard to stand up and speak about topics that other people would prefer to not think about. I am not sure how much movie making would fit into a 4th grade class room but I am intrigued by the use of this technology. If they opportunity should arise to incorporate movies into my lesson I would be willing to include it.

TAG your it

I just finished watching Chris Betcher's video on tagging and folksonomies. We are learning about social booking marking in class.

I found the information helpful in understanding tags and how to use them. This is the first video that I have watched, for class, that was hard for me to watch. The video looks like it is out of focus. The picture is not clear and crisp. I found it hard to concentrate on the information being taught and shared. My mind was distracted by the quality of the production. :(

To me, tags are a way to help the searcher narrow down the field or topic they are searching for.
This is new to me. The Britannica Encyclopedia Set (which was bought from a man going door to door) was my best tool, when I was doing research as a child. Ever since the internet has opened the door wider for research; I have had a horrible time finding things on it. I think that tags will help me become better at finding information
and more productive at it.

Tags make it easier to find and access information on the internet and websites. I can see where this is a valuable resource to anyone, much less teachers. It will take less time to get to the information you are looking for, which is going to save you time. The time saved can be spent doing other things for my class. Tags will help me use technology in my classroom.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Student Book Review Bloggers

Part of the assignments, for week 2 of technology for teachers, is to learn and practice constructive commenting with social media. The rest of my class is finishing up week 3 or week 4. I am way behind. I love the things that we are learning but for some reason it takes my husband and my self longer than everyone else to complete the tasks. We had the hardest time finding blogs that were actual students. We found all kind of awesome teacher pages but you were not interacting with the students. Interaction was with the teachers. There are some really neat pages out there.

Constructive commenting is a lot harder to do than I thought it would be. I found it hard to do. This is an area that I need improvment in. We were asked to comment on 2 of our t4t peers postings. I think peer posting was actually harder, for me, than the students.

We were also asked to find 2 student blogs to post constructive commentings on. I chose 2 student from the scififiction catagory. If you get a chance you might check out this webpage it is cool. It is student books being reviewed by students. They also have a audio book review.