My Blogging Experience

April 15, 2010

Final Reflection on ECMP 455

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , — debyj @ 3:25 pm

Here is a video that gives a reflection of what I have learned from this class and what I look forward to learning in the future.  I wanted to put more photos and transitions on it, but I had a horrible time trying to get Windows Movie Maker to function for more than 5 minutes at a time.  Has anyone ever come across a great online movie-maker program?? I would really like to try something else, but I also do not want to put $$ into it!

I uploaded my video onto youtube but it was about 10 seconds too long, so my closing sentence got cut off!  The last sentence is: I look forward to continuing my learning about technology and education and hope to stay in touch with my classmates and continue learning from them for many years to come!

Hope you enjoy the movie!

April 12, 2010

Interview with Julie Lindsay

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , — debyj @ 4:16 pm

My much awaited interview finally took place a few days ago so I am now able to blog about Julie and all the of the exciting things she is doing to enhance the educational and technological world!

I have included my skype recording if you would like to view it. Unfortunately, I did not realize that I should have used headphones so there is an echo evident when Julie speaks in the conversation. I also had some trouble with my dogs barking when my husband came home. Even though I wrote him a note not to bug me, he still tried to peak into my conversation and make a silly face thinking I was talking to my sister. Evidently, I would change a few things for next time!

Julie Lindsay is currently living in Beijing, China where she is Information Technology and E-Learning Coordinator at Beijing (BISS) International School. I have found some of her resources very valuable. Her blog is connected to her Diigo account and she has it set up so that every week her bookmarks are posted to her blog. I enjoy looking at her blog weekly to use some of these resources. She knows a lot about what is going on in the web 2.0 world and is using these tools in classrooms and proving they are useful! I would encourage anyone in Education to have a look at her blog to hopefully learn something new and transfer it to the classroom!

For more information about Julie, you can visit:

Wikispace

Blog

Flat classroom

Thanks Julie for sharing your story with me and letting me know about some of the exciting things you are doing to enhance education!

March 15, 2010

Cellphones for learning?

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , , — debyj @ 10:07 am

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in an Elluminate session with Liz Kolb on the topic of cellphones.  Throughout the presentation I was madly Diigoing all the of the resources she was sharing.  I also downloaded a copy of her powerpoint in case I missed anything!  I honestly did not expect to find this presentation so resourceful. I had no idea that there are SO MANY ways that you can use cellphones for learning.

If I went around a school and asked all of the teachers what they thought of allowing the use of cellphones in classrooms, the majority would disagree with the notion.  Before I saw this presentation, I would have disagreed as well.  I did not see the educational benefits that could come with using cellphones for learning.  Now that Liz has educated me in this area, I do not see it as such a bad idea.  In addition to using cellphones for learning, having them in the classrooms would also be a great opportunity to teach students about cellphone etiquette!  Right now, I believe that students are not being educated enough in that area and part of that reason is that we are not allowing them in classrooms and some schools are not allowing them at all in the building.

More and more students have their own cellphones everyday.  I would say almost all of my students in my internship had cellphones.  As this trend continues to grow, I can absolutely see cellphones becoming a great tool for students to use to enhance their learning experiences!

March 5, 2010

Zoe from Ontario

Filed under: Cool Tools, Education — Tags: , , , , — debyj @ 10:31 pm

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this Elluminate session, but through the wonders of technology I was able to catch up on what I missed through a recording of the session!

Some neat things Zoe talked about:

-The software Zoe used to post all of her classes online: www.learning3.com She puts all of her subjects online so that parents can be more familiar with what is going on in the classroom.

-all of her students have used Google Docs for at least one year and up to two years and they use this tool all the time to collaborate together on one document.  (very neat!)

-some of her students showed particular interest in bitstrips This is a neat program that helps them create comic strips.

-she mentioned livescribe.  This is essentially the most high-tech pen I have ever heard of!  It is basically a video camera for your notes.  I would love to have one of these!

Words of advice for teachers:

– start learning on your own.  Explore technology and become familiar with it before you start teaching with it!

-you can use blog comments as opportunities to teach students about how to deal with bullying and other negative social situations they may encounter in life.

-problem with having little/no control of what happens to students after they leave your classroom.  It would be really cool if our teachers could collaborate more technologically, such as carrying on portfolios and blogs from year to year.  The best thing to do is encourage students to encourage their future teachers to carry on what has been started!

I thought it was sooooo cool when her students spoke to us at the end of the session.  They were keeping up with our conversations and had some fabulous insights on the discussions we were having!  I was astounded and how much better they were at talking on Elluminate than I was!  They seemed so comfortable with the technology.

Interesting that one of the students really liked Diigo and valued the public sticky notes.  I am curious to know how Zoe addresses the negative or even derogatory comments that sometimes appear on these public sticky notes.

January 24, 2010

Old and New ways of teaching

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , , , , — debyj @ 2:29 pm

Reflecting on University classes….

Bad Learning Experiences:

– 3 hour lectures

Unfortunately, most professors choose to give students a 3 hour lecture each week in which they participate only by frantically writing notes. Some professors thankfully choose to give students the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways such as group activities and discussions. This student – centered classroom is more realistic because it is very difficult for us to focus our brains on one particular event for three hours. I came across an article called quick brains that discusses how the brain has changed along with technology. We process information much more quickly then we used to and we have a very short attention span as a result. Teachers (including professors!) must realize this and change or alter their teaching styles if they want their students to succeed.

– motivation

Sometimes it is very difficult to be motivated in University classes. There are many many times when I have wondered what exactly I was learning in class that would be relevant to my career after I complete my degree. Sometimes professors forget to learn about their students. They should be teaching to educate the students in a way that best prepares them for their career! Unfortunately, many professors are teaching because they have to, not because they love to.

Good Learning Experiences:

– Elluminate

I participated in an online class presentation last week featuring Karl Fisch. It was a new experience for me and I really enjoyed it. It is amazing how technology has advanced in a way that allows a number of people from all over the world to meet together and discuss education without leaving their homes.

– Wolfram Alpha

Karl Fisch talked about a relatively new (May 2009) search engine called Wolfram Alpha. It is very neat and definitely worth trying out. For educators, especially in the Math and Science area, this new tool may pose some problems. Wolfram Alpha can calculate easy to advanced equations for you. Will it be allowed in schools or will it be a blocked website?

If you want to find out more about it, here is a short video tutorial:

Wolfram Alpha introductory movie

– You Tube

In his presentation, Karl Fisch stated that he disagreed with schools for prohibiting the use of You Tube in classrooms. Why not? He argued that we trust our teenagers to drive vehicles yet we do not trust them to use a video website. You Tube has some very valuable resources that are excellent learning opportunities. Not only that, but imagine if we could have the opportunity to teach our students how to use You Tube effectively. We can teach them how to understand the difference between a good and bad video. We can also help them understand the risks involved in posting their own videos; what they should or should not post. I agree with Karl. Lets stop banning websites and start helping our students make effective use of the internet! You Tube is not something to be ashamed of!

I never realized it until now, but my best experiences in University have been those when my teachers have used as many resources as possible (including technology) to best educate me. Technology is becoming such a great tool for teaching (as long as we know how to use it properly). If you are teaching and you are not using it, I think you are making a big mistake.

Another neat video I just found that I think is very relevant to this topic:

digital students @ analog schools

September 8, 2008

An interesting blog history…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — debyj @ 5:47 pm

Hello! My name is Deborah and I am currently in the final semester of my Music Education degree (with a business minor).

This blog was created when I started taking ECMP 355, but I do not think I would actually call it a blog. In ECMP 355 I really did not get an opportunity to learn how to blog. Instead, this “blog” was used to create a portfolio. The portfolio consisted of several assignments which required research in different areas of technology. I now have different pages set up for different technological resources, but I don’t have any daily/weekly blogs recorded. Now that I have started taking ECMP 455, I am very excited to begin blogging on a regular basis. Maybe then I can feel comfortable calling it a ‘blog’! Hopefully I will enjoy it and become motivated to continue blogging even after completing this course.

I have been looking at a lot of blogs lately and I can see that I have been really missing out! Not only is it a fabulous opportunity for reflection of my own experiences, but it is a great way to learn from other educators as well as experts in any field. I can also see how it can be a great tool for classroom networking. It is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family as well. I am very excited to see how I can use blogs in my classroom one day and also expect that I will grow as a professional simply by reading others’ blogs!

Some of my favorite blogs so far:

Freakonomics

If you like economics, read the book Freakonomics (2005). The authors, Stephen Dubner Steven Levitt created this blog to remind us how economics influences our everyday life. They put up lots of neat stories everyday. They are great conversation starters in the classroom!

Funny Monkey

This is a great resource for teachers interested in the technological world. There are lots of blogs on a variety of topics that can be useful to teachers in all subject areas. It is worth checking out!

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