Thursday, May 5, 2011

IMovie PSA

video
NETS-S I, III


Using IMovie, I created a minute video that promotes our campus.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Journal 9 (NETS-S ) Is It Time to Switch to Digital Textbooks?

Griffen, M, & Cady , M. (2010, November). Is it time to switch to digital textbooks. Learning and leading, 38(3), Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/digital-edition-december-january-2010.aspx

This article focused on the idea of switching regular textbooks in schools for digital ones. Meg Griffen, a fourth grade teacher, is supportive of this transaction. She believes that digital textbooks, will save educators time, "updates are also as close as the next upload." Making it so that teachers will not have to wait for the next edition of a textbook to bring relevent and new information to light. She also sees digital textbooks as helping english language learners by having translations easier to access, "a digital text can easily allow for text-to-speech, pronouncation guides, and vocabulary support for students." In this regard it will help students who need the extra help without taking away classtime to learn the material. On the other hand, Michael Cady, a high school history teacher, believes the opposite. While he believes that digital textbooks are a great tool, he believes they will benefit students in only one way, "it can help lighten students' backpacks." To Cady, the material a textbook provides is the same regardless if its in paper or digital form, "putting the same textbook in a digital format is not an improvement." Cady believes that textbooks are just "commerical products" and the battle is not whether or not schools switch to digital textbooks but rather that teachers figure out a way to make the material more exciting and relevent to the kids.

1. With which side of the arguement do you agree?
I agree with Michael Cady, while digital textbooks seem like a great idea, I don't think it would inspire kids to learn more or motivate them to read their assignments. Reading is the main word here, kids don't find joy in reading anymore, they see it as a tedious assignment and don't wish to do it. The real issue at hand is discovering ways to make the textbook material more teachable for kids.

2. Do you think educators would approve of the idea of digital textbooks being implemented within their schools?
I would have to say it depends on the school and the teachers. For me, regardless of my opinion, if the school I was at decided to use digital textbooks, I wouldn't protest against it. But rather I would work with them just as with regular textbooks. We live in a generation where technology is a privital part of our students' lives. Therefore as educators we need to be accustumed to the idea that things within our schools are going to change, and its not a ploy against the teachers but rather a way to make sure that our students are given the level of education needed to meet today's society.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Journal #8(NETS IV) Should Schools be Held Responsible for Cyberbullying?

Bogacz, R. (2011, Marth/April). Should schools be held responsible for cyberbullying?. Learning and Leading, 38(6), Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/digital-edition-march-april-2011.aspx

This article was quite short but devulged a great amount of information. This article gives a two way rebuttal to the question presented in the title. The first author, Renee Bogacz, was for schools being held responsible for cyberbullying. She believes that all educators should "learn what cyberbullying is and address it." (Bogacz, 2011) This is not something that just educators should be educated in, Bogacz believes that teachers, school administration, parents and students are a collective unit that need to come together in order to make a difference in this issue. "If all these stakeholders take a role in combating cyberbullying, then we will have the benefit of seeing it diminish." (Bogacz, 2011) The rebuttal to Bogacz's arguement was done by, Miguel Gomez Gordillo. He is of the view that schools should not be held accountable for cyberbullying. It is of his belief that it is not the school's fault and therefore not the school's problem, "This is not the fault only of parents, but also of society." (Gordillo, 2011) He puts a large amount of emphasis on blaming the family for the cause of cyberbullying. He believes that those who children who come from healthy families will be prone to not being a part of cyberbullying and that those children who come from "broken" families are more likely to be a part of cyberbullying.


1. With which side do you agree?

- I agree with Renee Bogacz's view, that schools should be held responsible for cyberbullying; especially in this day and age. In the 21st century our students are growing up in a world where technology is involved in practically everything. They on constantly surfing the web, socially networking or utilizing the internet on their phones. Since the students lives, now revolve around the technological world it is imperative for educators to discuss and educate their students about the dangers of the internet. It is also a great way to teach students about respect and tolerance, so its not just incorporating the bullying aspect but it teaches children about character building.


2. Why don't you agree with the opposite view?

- While Gordillo brings up good information I do not agree that it is merely society's and the family's faults that cyberbullying exists. As long as there is technology children will find a way to access it regardless of what the family's standards are. We live in an age and time where technology is vital to survival. Therefore society does have a role in the effect of cyberbullying but in order to put an end to cyberbullying, it is the role of the educators to teach students the danger of using the internet.



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Journal 7: My Personal Learning Network

1.My PLN is my Personal learning Network. At first these words intimidated me and made me feel that I was about to enter a realm that I could never understand or feel comfortable. Yet after exploring the many aspects of creating a PLN I have discovered that it is quite easy and accessible to my needs. My PLN consists of internet tools that will allow me to research and obtain answers to any questions I have, as well as communicate and collaborate with co-workers, friends, and family. Even with people across the globe who share my profession. The ultimate goal of my PLN is to aggregate resources that can be used when I become an educator. This will help me incorporate technology within my classroom and make researching for projects much easier on my students. As well as allow me to share and obtain effective ideas on certain lesson plans.  
2. In this class, I have been introduced to twitter. Before this class, I had never used twitter and was not at all familiar with the site or the tools that accompanied it. Since I have opened an account I have added my entire Education 422 class, as well as 5 other people. The other people I have begun to follow are all educators. Yet two of them focus especially on elementary education, while two others, focus on technology and its incorportation in the classroom and the last one is a k-12 administrator. Today (4/7/11) I partcipated with the #edchat twitter chat from 9-9:31am. It did not seem to have a certain topic but covered many topics. At first I was quite lost as to what I was supposed to be looking for or obtaining from the chat. Yet after about 5 minutes, the chat began to make sense. I followed a couple of the links people posted and found a couple of interesting articles. The first was entitled, "Why Social Media Can and Is Changing Education" by William Stites. This was a blog post in which Stites examined 5 ways that social media impacted education. 1. its free 2.it cuts down on isolation. 3. Building tolerance & understanding of cultural diversity. 4. It can amplify passions 5. the world of education is (and needs to be) more open. The basis of these 5 caterorgies came from the idea that "education is based on relationships." Therefore social media plays a pivotal role in today's education. Once I got the hang of the chat, I participated by answering a question and retweeting a couple of interesting sites that I came across.
3. Diigo has become one of my favorite and most accessible tools in my PLN. The ability to bookmark pages/sites that I find important is such a convience for myself. Also the use of including tags for each site make it easier to narrow down my search when looking for something in particular. Also everything that I tagged as PLN, can be accessed through my blog. Since on my blog I placed a diigo tagroll everytime I add a tag to my list it automatically shows up on my tagroll. That way if I am on my blog I can simply click on a certain tag and it will take to straight to the sites that I bookmarked with PLN highlighted within. The most interesting and rewarding part of this site is that I can simpliy type in a key word and find other people who have bookmarked similar sites and in time I can follow them in order to gain more access to the wealth of information they obtain. There are a few sites that I tagged as PLN. Among them I tagged, a wiki for incoportating technology within the classroom. This wiki is filled with insight and videos of the importance of technology within the classroom.I also added a site that gave tips and further secrets on how to use Google docs more effectively. It was entriguing and I will be using some of the ideas in the future as I have already used google docs for a couple of my other courses this semester.
4. I joined the "Educator's PLN" discussion forum. I chose it after browsing around in this site and finding a couple of interesting videos. While browsing around I discovered a blog post entitled, "Potential is an opportunity not a guarentee," by Steve Bollar. His main focus was to show how people tend to not live up to their full potential and he gives three topics for people to consider when "understanding their full potential." One part of realizing a person's full potential is if they are able to risk-takers. Whether they are able to take changes when challenges arise. Secondly, cost is another aspect. The ability for a person to priotorize and realize where they need to devote most of their time. Lastly, the idea of never giving up. Quitting is never a suggestion or option. This blog post was very inspiring because it made me realize that I love coming face to face with challenges and pushing myself to a greater length to discover my full potential. I had never thought about the thought process that went into my drive to do things.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

All About Me Survey

Journal #6 (NETS III, V ) Grow Your Personal Learning Network

Warlick, D. (2009, March/april). Grow your personal learning netwrok. Learning and leading, 36(6), Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/digital-edition-march-april-2009.aspx

While in the past, people have used other people to accquire knowledge, we live in an age in which knowledge doesn't require us to leave our home. All we need is to switch on the computer, or flip open our phone and the world is at our doorstep. Warlick discusses the three types of PLN's in his article. The first two, "personally maintained synchronous connections [and] personally and socially maintained semisynchronous connections...connect us with each other." (Warlick, 2009) Examples of these would be technology like Skype, twitter and facebook. It allows people to have conversations that "are not exactly conversations." (Warlick, 2009) People can ask questions and recieve answers without haven't to stop doing other tasks, like homework or researching on the web. The last PLN type is "dynamically maintained asynchronous connections...this type often connects us with content sources that we have identified as valuable." (Warlick, 2009) An example of a way that I use the this type of PLN is through the social bookmarking site diigo. Through this site I am able to save web pages that I feel I will need in the future and also pages that have information that I find essential. Warlick finishes his article by telling us to grow our PLN's by not staying within the boundries of our comfort zone, "it is human nature to incline toward sources that agree with our own worldviews, so we must try to cultivate networks that challenge our thinking." (Warlick, 2009) This is an important thing to remember because as educators we are in charge of expanding a child's knowledge and showing them all point of view; not just our own.

1. While increasing our PLN is a great thing, how do we teach students that there are things that they shouldn't explore on the internet without advertising it?
- I think this is something that scares many educators and parents alike. Especially when technology is introduced within elementary classes. I know I was worried when my nine year old brother came home and said he had a video to show me on youtube. My first thought was, "who taught you to surf the web?" As I watched him he navigated his way around ads and videos he didn't want to watch to show me a video that was a cartoon of StarWars. It was evident that my panick was unneccessary and that my brother was being educated well at his school. But the thought of how young he is and how his generation is going to constantly going to be tapping into the internet overwhelmed me. It's gotten easier to accept that this is the world we live in now and that as educator its my job to teach students the safe way to be on the internet.

2. Is there any role that "facebook" can play in a person's PLN?
- While facebook is a wonderful site to interact and connect with people it is merely a social internet tool. While people may refute that it does have knowledge that can be shared with the world, there is no evidence. Facebook is a place where people post status's of their daily events and make irrevelent comments on their friend's pages. People may argue that since facebook doesn't have any "actual" significance and it is merely a fun site on the web, that twitter is the same thing and that twitter has no real signifcance. They would be wrong however in that fact, because through twitter people can network with people in their professions and offer help and resources. For example, education; teachers can network with educators around the world and share information that they find and introduce new technology to educators.