TOPIX

April 25, 2009 at 2:52 pm (Uncategorized)

It was not until I opened a Facebook account that I heard of the site TOPIX.com  I could not believe my eyes. I don’t feel it was initially intended to be used in such a fashion. The items on this social network were disheartening and cruel. I was not impressed to say the least. This seemed like more teenagers with nothing better to do. One of my friends (great moral individual) on Facebook commented that someone had made a comment about her on Topix. Being the curious self that I am, I checked out the site. I quickly left the site and did not create a membership. I was disgusted by some of the comments posted. A fellow that I went to high school with was killed in a car accident a few weeks ago. Before his body was placed in the ground, people were making horrible comments about him (i.e. glad he died, etc). I know we’re dealing with the internet and nothing is impossible. I wish people such as that would find something more productive to do (get a job, hobby, etc). Just my thoughts…

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Response- The 21st Century Learner

April 15, 2009 at 10:06 pm (Uncategorized)

After viewing the video clip “A View of 21st Century Learners,” I must say that it is inevitably true. We are all 21st century learners (regardless of our age). We choose what to use and how to better acquaint our self with our resources. The research gathered showed that more than half of people ages 50-64 were online. This shows that we choose to be learners. Technology is all around us in different forms such as blogs, email, podcasts, social networks, MP3 files, etc. Many have busy lifestyles but still find technology more convenient. Main point…we’re learners everyday regardless of the learning environment. The 21st century learner is made up of a variety of learning materials (with some relying heavily on technology).

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Facebook and Worms

April 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm (Facebook- SNS, Uncategorized)

Check out http://news.cnet.com/koobface-virus-hits-facebook/?tag=mncol

With all fun…comes a price…make sure you’re protected.  Some things come without warning.  Just thought I would share.

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Final Project Ideas

April 3, 2009 at 1:39 am (Uncategorized)

Last year I had everybody do an ethnography of their chosen social
networking site and for extra credit make a response to my “21st Century
Learner” video.

I wouldn’t mind doing an ethnography of our SNS.  Also, where can we find your 21st Century Learner video? Would it be possible to get more details about the project so that we’ll have a more precise idea of where to begin?


Dr Miller thought I should require you all to make a response video this
semester and not have it be optional. 

I like the extra credit option 🙂

 

 

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Homeschool (Pros and Cons)

March 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm (Uncategorized)

 

Pros- Avoids negative influences on behavior, more one to one interaction among educator and student, and familiar learning environment.

Cons- Lack of social interaction with peers, lack of access to interactive materials (SmartBoard, Airliner, etc), and lack of professional development.

Is homeschool the right choice for some students?  I think the answer must be made based on the individuals circumstances.  Socially, one needs that interaction with peers in able to interact appropriate when circumstances arise.  However, from the learning standpoint, homeschool is at times the best choice for students that cannot function in a normal school environment.  There should be guidelines for homeschool.  Parents (or teacher) should be well educated and equipped with the professional development needed to get the job done.  I see many students come into my classroom that have been homeschooled that are not on the academic level of their peers due to lack of education of the educator (which should be a criteria for homeschool). 

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Education and the Preserving of Culture

March 28, 2009 at 1:10 pm (Uncategorized)

Education plays a huge role in the preservation of culture.  When people are educated on the cultures and beliefs of others it enables us to keep those traditions alive.  However, one must be careful to preserve culture and not underestimate the abilities of students from different cultures.  Education is the foundation for upholding cultures.   Educators should be sensitive to those differences and approach with care and caution.  Education is based on the cultures of others.  We learn (and become educated) based on what we’ve learned from others.  In order to preserve culture, it must begin through education.  We should make sure to educate based on the many cultures of our world and handle with care in the educational setting.  Teaching and learning should be based on multiple views and enter the classroom open- minded.  

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Technology and Learning

March 27, 2009 at 8:16 pm (Uncategorized)

Technology helps us to learn in multiple ways.  The forms of technology we use allow us to have hands on manipulatives in order to grasp knowledge in different ways.  Games and interactive sites allow drill and practice in order to gain skills.  Educating with technology allows one to create a more engaging experience (environment) for students. 

Technology relates to learning in many different ways.  As mentioned in The Children’s Machine, technology creates an atmosphere for learning.  Not that it is always the best choice; however, when given the opportunity, students can learn a lot from technology.  When I think of technology and learning, I’m trying to think of the vast term and how they work together.  Many of my students, including myself, learn easier using technology.    Technology can be blogs (used among students and teachers), websites for research, and communication among others (from different cultures).  In my opinion, learning can and will in most cases occur through the use of technology.  The forms of technology continue to improve and change; therefore, creating more opportunity for change learning.  Making meaningful opportunities for learning that can connect to numerous ideas (such as technology) creates an atmosphere for more learning to occur (and more concrete practice of skills).

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Papert’s View of the World/ Any Changes?

March 14, 2009 at 7:15 pm (Uncategorized)

I would consider Papert’s view a dream for all.  If his effort for educational reform were to put in action we would most definitely see positive changes.  More involvement from all could only mean more educational value.  In order for us to move into “the age of learning,” one must be ready for the change ahead.  Schools today are not ready for this change; yet, they still embark on unnecessary adventures.  I must agree totally with Papert’s view of schools (having a one way to know and learn).  They do not promote healthy change as they are more focused on testing and reading as the key to knowledge.  We feed children with words and algorithms and expect them to remember for life.  We don’t allow them to explore and own their learning. 

Papert’s view on using explorations to help children learn is a wonderful idea.  The children’s machine (knowledge machine) can help many gain knowledge.  It is full of ideas and explorations that can lead to knowledge (beyond tests and books).    Mega change MUST occur before we can truly bridge the gaps.  As Papert mentioned, it will take the efforts of many to make this mega change and schools are not ready for this change (until they put aside testing and accountability).  We do need more involvement from the community, educators, parents, and students.  We need the access to such knowledge machines to allow for exploration.  Yes, the mega change must occur within us before it will change for our children. 

This book has helped me to review my own philosophy in my classroom.  I must say that many changes have evolved since the book was written; however, we’re by no means near the age of learning.  As an educator, I want my students to learn as much as possible, but to really make that difference will require effort on more than just (the teacher) me.  I think we’re closer than before due to the manipulatives and resources we have available.  As a child, I can remember having few/ limited resources in my classroom.  We learned solely using textbooks and chalkboards.  Today we have much more such as computers, SmartBoards, Airliners, software, interactive books, etc.  The knowledge machine has made a huge difference in our modern world; however, we’re still lacking the involvement of many. 

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Cultural Antithesis

February 22, 2009 at 2:24 am (Uncategorized)

I totally agree with Clarence Fisher as he explained that we should really teach our students about cooperation and collaboration. That is truly the most important traits one should have in order to survive in society. Competition is already at the utmost high because so many individuals want to be the best (deep down) and keep up with the Jones. Many want to look like the celebrities at any cost. Everyone wants to be a winner but with competition, there can only be a few. Where does that leave the losers? No matter what road the student chooses to travel, they’ll need to know how to cooperate with others and work together (college, work place, laws, etc). The world is full of collaboration, in and out of the classroom. What better trait to teach and pass forth to our next generation. If they grow up always competing, how will they learn how to cooperate and work together? They’re always competing against each other. I understand that competitions can also help students be recognized for their gifts and talents; however, making the world one big competition is not the answer.

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What can be done? Silicon Ceiling

February 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm (Uncategorized)

Just as Matwyshyn mentioned, one must chip away the silicon ceiling making way for both male and females in the educational setting.  Making information technology exposable to both and encouraging both to use technology is one way to address the issues discussed of the silicon ceiling.  Matwyshyn made many accurate statements such as the increase of information technology among low income and minority households.  However, their main problem appears to be income.  When one can identify the poverty areas and allow federal funding to make technological access possible, we may see less of a divide.  Schools are bridging the gap; however, once students leave the classroom they do not have the access that others have available.  She also states that “research suggests that access divides increase informational equity, but will not necessarily assist society or increase economic equity.”  I totally agree!  Until students in the classroom are assisted with economic poverty, equity will always be an issue.  What can be done in the educational setting?  It is important that we encourage and expose ALL (regardless of race, economic status, gender, etc) to some form of technology.  In my opinion, allowing students to explore is the number one key.

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