Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blog Assignment 5

To be quite honest, I've learned a ton these past two weeks in preparation for my podcast.  I went from not really sure what a podcast is in the first place to having about 12 on my iPod.  Podcast, the word, is a mixture of the words iPod and broadcast.  I learned that from Wise-Women.

Awe man, I loved Eagle Nest Radio!  These kids have exceptionally good podcasts.  They were very impressive.  I thought I was listening to at least 6th graders talking.  I liked how they had a host and the host would introduce a different person who covered other areas and topics.  Nice and very entertaining with good information and some jokes in the mix.

Another thing I've learned about podcasting is that content is important, very important!  No one wants to listen to a bunch of babble.  Content, Content, Content.  That is what we tried to achieve in ours.  We tried to eliminate any kind of filler talk and only record things that have depth and meaning to them.  This wasn't to hard to accomplish because we interviewed Dr. Strange for our podcast and discussed the future classroom.  Also, a male and female voices on a podcast go good together.  The contrast between speakers is needed and the different gender voices do the trick.  I noticed this as I listened to Practical Principals.  The male and female voices were very distinguishable from one another.  If you have a bunch of guys or girls with the same sounding voice it is hard to tell who is speaking.

All in all, podcasts are excellent ways to be informed and a powerful tool for learning.  I like that they are personal topics that you can explore. For example, I really enjoy Sci Fri on NPR, but allot of times I'm not able to listen to it when it comes on the radio. So, I just subscribed to their podcast.  Now, I have plenty of juicy Sci Fri podcasts sitting in my iPod waiting for my ears.  These informative talk shows can be accessed anywhere by anybody.  How awesome is that!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog Assignment 4

Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?
"block it all
lock it down
keep it out
it's evil, you know
  there's bad stuff out there
    gotta keep your children safe"

Dr. McLeod is addressing teachers, parents, administrators, and board members.  Yes, there is bad stuff out there that your kid has access to because of the internet and our modern technology.  But is this a justifiable reason to keep technology away from our kids?  I think Dr. Mcleod's point is that we need to be doing technology with our kids and students.  We need to be involved in their learning technology and not be so negative about the bad stuff out there.  He is doing all of it with his kids and he is sure his kids will have a leg up in the future.  This may seem rash but I agree.  I think we should do all of it possible with our kids and not hold any part of the digital age away from them. By doing this, we are monitoring our kids. We are showing that we are not naive to what is out there. By opening up this world to them, they will come to us for questions and guidance.

Dr. McLeod was the co-creator of Did You Know!  Everything feels full circle now.  He is the director of the nation's only center dedicated to technology needs of administrators, CASTLE. CASTLE is really on a mission to jump start schools into the digital global society.  After reading some other blogs and watching other videos of him, I really consider him to be on the leading edge of the future of our schools. 

The iSchool Initiative
Great idea, Great video, one problem; The iphone/itouch is just a device.  As a device it will break, get glitches, and be outdated in a few years.  How will these things help massive budget cuts.
A broken Itouch
The student made an intriguing video.  I agree that the school system needs change.  I do not agree that one device is suitable to replace our traditional school system.  Because the iPhone/iTouch has many school accompanying applications, it is easy to get caught up in how amazing this device is.  Don't get me wrong, I do think this Apple technology is amazingly powerful and is very useful.

But, will a powerful fancy device get kids interested in class or will it be a great distraction from class?  I remember that a simple calculator was a distraction for me and my peers in middle school (maybe high school also).  We would type 01134 and turn the calculator upside down to say "hello".  Also, we would type 58008, turn the calculator upside down, and giggle like the school boys we were.

Overall, I do not agree that the use of an iTouch should be the model for the future of education.  To better prepare our students, we need so much more than just handing every kid an iTouch.  Throughout watching this whole video, I kept thinking of the post we read It's Not about the Technology. We need a change but the change is our mindset and principles.  Teachers are also learners, the teachers teach with learning in mind, and 21st century skills are highlighted through facilitated leadership.
Lost Generation
The Lost Generation Comic Cover
 "And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it"
As I watch the first part of the video, I was feeling pretty depressed.  This is a smart tactic of the video because I got goose bumps when it repeated everything backwards and shined hope on our generation.  The potential of our generation is up to us.  I like to think that to change our generation it starts with us as individuals.  I am going to take control of my on way of living and establish my own values.   Individual change effects others such as my family and the students I teach.

To me, the purpose of the video was awareness.  Awareness of where we are heading, and awareness that we are in control of our future.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'
Epic song!  I was a little confused on how this worked because it is presented like a live performance.  After doing a little more research, I found that it was all recorded and done through youtube.  I've seen a multi-track of one person doing all the parts to one song (Danny Boy), but Eric Whitacres's virtual choir took that same concept and recorded a massive number of people with many different parts.

I can see online virtual choirs becoming very popular in the near future.  It's really cool that you are able to have a world wide source of talent to draw from when forming these choirs.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Additional Assignment #1

Google Squared
This is a neat site that I've never used.  In squaring Pluto, Beatles the band, and birds, I got more acquainted with Google Squared.  It was more useful for me to search a broad category and add specifics columns.  I would say that the educational implications are that you can generate a group of something very quickly.  It is a quick way to compare information.  It is a really nice way to understand how certain types of items differ and relate.  It also helps you know how relavent the data is by the confidience rating.

Like Google Squared, I've never used this one either.  I used wolframalph to compare the polar circumference to the equatorial circumference of Earth.  It is shorter distance around the earth pole to pole than around the Earth's equator, crazy.  It's not a big difference between the two (83 miles) but it is still neat to know.  One thing about wolframalpha is that you can be more general in wording your search, whereas in google squared you had to be pretty specific or it said "Google Squared couldn't automatically build a Square about blank".

Regarding my Did You Know comments
I still agree with everything I wrote. My comment was that I am amazed at all the statistical data generated for the video.  The only thing is that I should question more on how the data was derived instead of assuming that the video was telling me truths.  Now, I have tools (google squared, and wolframalph) to help me check statistics being thrown at me.

Food for thought
A stable boy can use the iPad.  Stream-lined technology is allowing no learning curve to modern technology.  The iPad probably seemed magical to the boy.  Just as the man thought it was magical that the boy could use the iPad.

Here are the Pitcairn Islands: population 50!
Pitcairn Island Map

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Project #5

Blog Assignment 3

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today 
Being a college student, many aspects of the video applies to me.  College is a business providing services for a consumer group.  The whole text book scheme, impersonal professors, and enormous debts all point to the fact of college being a business.  But, I am not complaining!  I am comfortable with the system, and enjoy the personal challenge to succeed.  Actually, I'm very fortunate to have grants and scholarships therefore lower debts.
To add to the presentation, I would try and steer it away from a melancholy mood.  A great man once said to me "Nothing is ever as bad or as good as it seems".  College is just an environment.  Like a job, family life, or Disney World are all environments.  But, what you take out of the environment and put into your own personal world is up to you.  Therefore, to experience the environment is personal.  It is up to the individual if the experience is meaningful, useful, or valuable.

It's Not about the Technology
As of right now, as I struggle with linking my URL to Mrs. Hines post, I am frustrated.  But, why am I irritated?  It could be because I’m learning how to do 3rd grade HTML, and not truly sure how everything works yet.

To create modern technology, we had to be very innovative.  We had to think outside the box and collaborate together (for many years).  I think the same is true about using technology in the classroom.  It is going to take many years to develop and mature the right mind set so that technology can be used appropriately and up to its full potential.  I think technology that is used in the wrong ways can cause disorder to teaching.  Also, I think that the technology can be degraded from its potential, like using a computer just for word processing or for rewarding kids with video games.  But if used correctly, we can engage students.  I’ve been one of those engaged students the past few weeks, and I’ll probably be blog addicted by the end of the semester.  Technology has motivated me.  But how?  My teachers are being innovative.  Like them, I want to teach with a new mindset to teach smarter not harder.  Also, collaboration will help us to try new things while still holding on to what worked from the older ways of education.

Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
In one of my classes the teacher uses a smart board.  Well, the teacher had planned for us to watch a video in class.  The video started playing but there was only a murmur of sound coming from the speakers.  Everybody was saying “I can’t hear”, and “can you turn the volume up”.  As he tried to turn up the volume, he accidentally exited out of the movie screen.  He was really confused by then, and he continued to fumble around the screen in hopes of getting the volume and movie going again (did I mention my teacher is an older man).  It was amazing how the atmosphere of the classroom changed into “oh cool technology malfunction, no more class”.  But, a girl in our class got up and helped the teacher fix the sound and she got the video back working again.

The teacher got the student to show him how she fixed the problem.  The teacher asked how she fixed the problem so he would not have these problems later.  In that moment, the teacher was a learner.  I think this is the biggest and most important part of becoming a technologically literate teacher.  I don't consider that particular teacher to be very technologically literate, but he is learning, using, and trying technology.  Also, it is not all on him to become technologically literate!  I feel like to do things with technology we are all in the pool (students, coworkers, parents).  We all have to help and ask questions and contribute to the educating with technology experience.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
It is odd to note that I felt a lot of anxiety when I first brought up this page.  Probably because the page is lets you see and feel the "exponential growth of technology".  It also helps us EDM students understand the statistical data from the video Did you know 3.0.  What does it mean for me as a teacher and a professional?  We are going through a great expansion in social media.  This is connecting people through technology.  As a teacher I cannot sit on the sideline of this exponential growth.  The more I understand now (and the possibilities of today's technology) the more I will be able connect with my future students.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Summary Post C4T Teacher #1

A GeekyMomma's Blog is written by a forth grade teacher, Lee Colbert.  Her first post (that I read) was about birthday books for elementary students.  She started the post telling about her favorite time of the year, which is the weekend after the first few days of school.  During that time, she feels like she is starting to get more organized and putting the order back into her life.

Her post gave me some personal insight inside the mind of a teacher.  After the first week of school she is still working tons of hours outside the classroom, but she doesn't mind these extra hours because these hours are focused on things she loves, like planning activities.  Another piece of insight is that she didn't get to do one of her favorite activities last year due to having to many students and not enough resources to buy the necessary supplies.  The rest of her post was on a really cool activity; making birthday books for students.  She gave ample instructions on how the birthday books work.  Also, she even gave her very own pdf file that anybody can use.  In my comment I told her that I really enjoyed reading about the birthday books, and that I have similar books and memorabilia from elementary school that mean a lot to me.

Are you an energy sucker?  This was her second blog which I thought was going to be about being eco-friendly and turned out to be about social politeness.  As a person, we should be responsible for the stress we are causing others.  My family just calls that being well mannered.  So, to suck someone's energy is to apply unwanted extra stress on someone's already full plate.  A teacher desires to maintain a positive aura and negative people can degrade that aura very easily.  I commented that I knew some energy suckers, and the more I read her blog the more energy sucking type of people from my past popped into my head.  I just really do not understand negative people!  Life is a gift.  The environment you are experiencing is an opportunity, and the future depends on us. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blog Assignment 2

Did You Know 3.0 
     My initial and ongoing amazement to the video is in regards to how much statistical data had to be generated for the presentation.  Man, the human race is growing and developing technology at an amazing rate!  More users leads to more globalization and a shrinking world.  As all generations of people are buying into the use and possibilities of today's technology, mankind's ingenuity is fed allowing us to create more advanced, applicable, and entertaining technology.
     At this exponential rate of technology growth, what is to happen in the near future?  Will machines turn on the human race and pose a threat to our very existence?  This may sound like a cheesy sci-fi theme.  But what is science fiction?  Science-fiction explores the possibilities of science-fact.  In 2013, we will have a supercomputer that surpasses the ability of a human brain; 2049, one computer will surpass the ability of the human species.  One thing for sure, we do not know what is to come.  Therefore, we must train ourselves with the technology we have now so that we can adapt to the changes that will occur in the future.

Mr. Winkle Wakes 
     I really like how this video addresses the question of should teachers and the education system be technologically literate.  The video is fun to watch just because it is so unique, anomalous!  Most everything in the world after 100 years had changed so drastically that it made Mr. Winkle feel odd and out of place.  Yet, when Mr. Winkle went to a school he felt at home and comfortable.  Furthermore, Today's technology use is widespread and an understanding of technology is required for today's living.  Yet, the school systems are educating in the same fashion as they did 100 years ago.
     I think if in our jobs and throughout our lives we are going to be required to use all this technology, then why are we not using and teaching with what's available?  As our world becomes more and more dependent on technology, then to teach without using the available technology is like teaching a fish how to swim without water.  We can still succeed without being technologically "fit" but it is becoming harder and harder to have the career you desire.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity 
     Wow, Ken Robinson is an amazing speaker!  More amazingly, is his view of reforming the way we think of education.  The goal of education today is to produce little professors.  But, for students to be successful in tomorrow's world they are going to need to be able to handle diverse situations.  I really like the fact that the students we are teaching will be in jobs not yet created, and will have to solve problem we've never faced before.  The future is unknown to us but the students we teach will see the future.
     What does this have to do with creativity?  Creativity is one way to succeed in the unknown because creativity requires taking a chance, looking at situations different than the norm, and possibly being wrong.  Creativity is an original idea that is useful and relevant.  To me, creativity is the solution to the future.
Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts 
     It does not matter who you are or where you're from, we all have digital smarts. The stereotypical idea is that in a rural areas students, teachers, and parents are less technologically aware. This video speaks against that generalization. In rural areas all we need is someone to introduce, open doors, and allow opportunities for people to become comfortable with modern technology.
     I liked when she said, "when you have only pencil and only paper then only certain types of children will succeed".  Learning is kinesthetic, visual, and auditory.  I feel like this video sums up all four videos and their main ideas.  She is using and teaching students how to learn and problem solve through the use of modern technology.