Sheltered??? True or False

September 27, 2008 at 7:56 pm (Uncategorized) ()

After viewing a post on Filtered Fun at Weblogged-ed, it made me think of my workplace.  Often times, I have a question that I would like to IM Dr. Lowell; however, I can not access Yahoo messenger from my school account.  We cannot use Yahoo or MSN messenger or email.  They must be able to see everything we write and infer about.  It seems ridiculous at times.  A comment posted on weblogg-ed made me question if our students are really safe… “I truly believe that filters make our kids less safe. They step off the bus into unfiltered worlds with no context for making good decisions about the stuff coming at them. It’s a huge problem. But on some levels, the bigger problem is what we are doing to our teachers.”  How are we expected to stay updated and educated with technology if we are not aloud to access the resources from our classroom?  It is a huge problem for teachers and students. 

However, I must state that I enjoy the block for my students (and own child) to some extent.  I do not want my child or students in my classroom being exposed to pornographic pop-ups.  Yes, they might hear it elsewhere but not on my turf.  At least I can take that moment to educate my own child.  The blocks do seem ridiculous and prevents us from using the tools that are available.  Just my thoughts…

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Collaboration in Online Teaching

September 27, 2008 at 2:56 am (Uncategorized)

When searching for an article about course design, I ran across this interesting article about collaboration in online teaching.  The article was written by Faith Maina , Barbara Shaffer, and Suny Oswego.  The article is titled Collaboration in Online Teaching: Library Instruction and Education Research.  The article reminded me in several ways of filling in the gaps for students (meeting all needs; even in online courses).  When thinking in terms of course design, one could see the importance of identifying possible barriers before they occur.  Looking at the research and collaborating with others to make the difference within the course.  It takes teamwork and research to make the world go round.  Check out the article link below and feel free to post your thoughts.

http://www.ncolr.org/jiol/issues/PDF/5.1.6.pdf

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Course Objectives

September 26, 2008 at 1:59 am (Uncategorized)

Course Objectives: Fact of life?  Or wishful thinking?

In my opinion, course objectives are a fact of life.  When creating something (regardless), one must have a plan.  When you create workable objectives, the overall outcome becomes much clearer and obtainable.  For course design or a classroom setting, objectives give the leader/ educator an idea of what it should contain or be about.  That could be in terms of a lesson, course design, activity, professional development. 

Regardless of the activity, one must have objectives.  I see them being a fact of life, because we often overlook the objectives in everyday life.  For example: a grocery list (or to-do list), pastor’s biblical notes, teacher guided lesson plans, outline for college course, etc.  One doesn’t realize how often we use objectives.  Yes, we do not always follow the objectives or at times they seem unobtainable, but we still have them. 

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Happy 3rd Anniversary~ The Thinking Stick

September 26, 2008 at 1:51 am (Uncategorized)

Just my thoughts…I must say, after viewing this blog I had to think of my own experiences with blogging.  It is very similar to the classroom.  One must practice using tools before they master usage (as with any concept skill).  I loved his comment about Post number 25.  How simple mistakes can take its toll.  If one is not very cautious, mistakes and mishaps can occur (that being very similar to the classroom).  If we’re not cautious, one can fall through the cracks and can loose their desire to be educated.  I also found comment number 28 very humorous.  It made me think of myself when blogging.  When I refer to blogging around fellow colleagues and relatives, they look at me as if I’m crazy.  Blogging…what in the world are you talking about?  It’s so easy to get excited about new knowledge.  I’ve enjoyed blogging thus far and didn’t realize that one could communicate in such a way.  Congratulations on the third year of The Thinking Stick. 

Check out the link below…

http://www.thethinkingstick.com/?p=747

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Influence- My Thoughts

September 25, 2008 at 2:18 am (Uncategorized)

My knowledge of tools (basic and advanced) will definitely influence my choice of design.  If I know nothing about online chats, I would not create a course using chats.  With experimental courses, one could explore the tools and learn together (just an idea). 

When designing a course, I feel it is best to use what tools are important within a unit.  Some tools are better used with certain lessons.  So having access to the tools would be a major benefit; however, using them on a daily basis would not be a requirement.  In my opinion, having them available would be the best choice and using tools that are appropriate to each unit would have the greatest outcome.

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Filling the Gap (Standard and Lesson Plans)

September 24, 2008 at 12:08 am (Uncategorized)

When filling the gap between Standard and Lesson Plan, I feel the most important factor is my students.  Regardless of the Standards, my students are at multiple learning levels.  My lesson plans are always guided by the standards; however, they’re tweaked to meet the needs of my students (with extensions and modifications).  Not all students will meet the standards at the level of quality by the norm.  In my opinion, lesson plans are used to guide you through the state standards (norms) and help students survive in the norm. 

In order to fill the gap, I use all means possible to introduce and reinforce the concepts (standards).  I use my plans to guide me through each lesson using manipulatives and materials to reinforce the concept.  Meeting the different learning styles in my classroom means that I must work very hard to fill in those gaps of performance based on plans and standards.  I can use technology, formative/ summative assessments, guided inquiry learning, etc.  Determining the gaps with the most importance seems to be the major problem.  Finding the best possible way to fill the gap seems to be the challenge for most educators.

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Just My Thoughts- Sunday (FRUSTRATED)

September 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm (Uncategorized)

 

I don’t know if it’s me or something I’m doing wrong, but I can not send comments to others that do not use wordpress.  I have tried to send comments in both 688 and 685 and receive different statements of why my comment did not save.  I spent 10 minutes of my morning writing a comment to Jfraley and when I went to send the comment, it said the page would not work.  I’ve also received statements that I must sign into wordpress before commenting.  I followed the instructions and still had no luck.  It really makes you frustrated when you’ve spent time commenting and then it’s gone.  Thank God for Microsoft Word.  I always spell check before sending my comments or posts.  So please note that this is not my normal routine, but I’m going to post my comment to jfraley on my page.  Any suggestions for fixing this problem would be greatly appreciated; however, I’ve asked this question before and have had no luck.  The problem could stem from my computer.  Have a wonderful day!

Jessica,

Sounds like you’re a wonderful teacher!  If you didn’t worry about your students, I would worry about you as an educator.  Much emphasis has been placed on testing in schools today.  We can’t focus on the important issues because we much worry about the test.  I thought your post was interesting because I had recently finished reading my local newspaper and we had a huge article about the CATS test.  The school went above and beyond to give results to teachers and students (horse and cart, old’timer days).  Then they explained that there will be an increase in the academic index for the next year.  I’m sure the teachers were thrilled.  If only we could get excited about their learning and accomplishments in this fashion.  Get excited when Johnny knows how to count coins.  If we show them our excitement, maybe they’ll be more engaged to learn.  Just my thoughts…interesting post.

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Education 2050

September 20, 2008 at 5:50 pm (Uncategorized)

I recommend everyone watch the video clip below about Education in 2050.  After writing my post about my advanced toolbox, Mr. Szemberg attached a video clip from TVO that was very interesting.  We have all heard of Mark Prensky from our previous online chats.  Some would disagree, but I really enjoyed this synapses of social networks and school.  I must agree with some of the reasoning and understand why it’s important to change with time.  Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

http://www.tvo.org/TVO/WebObjects/TVO.woa?video?TAWSP_Dbt_20080918_779329_0

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Advanced Toolbox for Distance Education

September 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm (Uncategorized)

I’m sure my advanced toolbox will be minimal considering there are numberous available resources with online environments.  I am only adding the ones I have experienced and feel are important.  I will update as needed.

Advanced Toolbox- these items would be in addition to my basic toolbox.

ActiveWorld (3D worlds) – where students could assume roles of different cultures (in social studies).  They could learn about different cultures and their diversity.

 

Blogs/ Discussion Boards- students could communicate with one another on topics related to a specific subject (or ask questions).

 

Tapped In Community/ Taking it Global- allows students to have online instant chats with other classmates, teachers, and other peers studying similar subjects.

 

Voice/ Audio tools such as Audacity- students could record their readings for fluency.  Students could also create educational related podcasts (hands-on assessment verses paper/ pencil).

 

Wikis- I would use this tool for editing purposes in English class.  

 

Games/ Simulations- I would use online games and simulations to reinforce concepts and aid the learning process.

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Revenge of the Digital Immigrants

September 19, 2008 at 1:51 am (Uncategorized)

A very interesting post by Wesley Fryer (Moving at the Speed of Creativity) brought an interesting perspective to digital immigrants.  In his last post “Revenge of the Digital Immigrants- Teaching to the New Brain,” he discusses Hall Davidson’s (keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Technology Association Luncheon) view of digital immigrants verses natives.  Davidson had a very interesting view by far.   Fryer states that… “WE NOT ONLY NEED TO CHANGE DELIVERY, WE ALSO NEED TO CHANGE OUR FOCUS FROM BEING EXCLUSIVELY ON DELIVERY TO BEING MORE ON REMIX, PROSUMER, STUDENT-CREATED CONTENT.” 

If we want to get the content out there, we must find ways to accommodate and spice up the content (to meet the needs of our digital natives).  Hall believes we must change the way we deliver; however, I believe there should be equal importance on the way we deliver and what is being delivered.  I can deliver a wonderful message but if the content is not clear and precise it wouldn’t matter.  He gave numerous examples of delivery and ways in which the immigrant learns.  In my opinion, this was similar to Dr. Lowell’s views of the digital immigrant.  We all are learning, only at different speeds.  We all pop microwave popcorn the same.  Just my thoughts for today…

Check it out…http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2008/09/18/the-revenge-of-the-digital-immigrants-teaching-to-the-new-brain-hall-davidson/

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