Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blogs in High School Video

The below video was created for My Emerging Technologies class. I wanted to show case the work my Intro to Computers II class was doing on blogging. Originally my intention was to make video for my UNI class only, but I think it will be a fun way to intro my blog unit with my high school students. Next semester I will show the video to my Intro to Computers II sections. The goal of the video was to show what my students and fellow teachers use blogging for and what they like about blogging. I did not get the answers I was expecting from the students, so I just I changed the focus to be just a fun video on blogging. Watch the video and have a little fun. The link at youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4SjU_1VNPM

Monday, November 19, 2007

Poverty Elimination Project

In my UNI classes, projects have been discussed that bring technology to students in areas of the world where technology would greatly impact the way of life for students. In Dr. Z's http://drzreflects.blogspot.com/ blog on OLPC Computer: Buy One, Keep One he talks about such a project. If you have not heard about the project, I suggest that you take a look.

I found this article http://www.citrus.unitec.ac.nz/projects/peru_cic.html
about the Centre for Information Technology Research Unitec New Zealand's POVERTY ELIMINATION PROJECT.

Description from the article: "Networking remote communities to high value activities and markets through a system of telecenters and education. This project is aimed at the sustainable relief of poverty in remote agricultural areas of Peru with high indigenous populations. By providing communication tools, local telecentres and training to these remote communities we enable other groups in the community to benefit, including education, health, local governance, new business initiatives and eco-tourism."

"Project objectives:
  • To provide the tools and training to connect remote agricultural communities to existing planting and harvesting advice and market information of the Ministry of Agriculture in Peru (Ministerio de Agricultura).
  • To use these tools and training to provide remote agricultural communities access to higher valued business initiatives and social support systems in education, health and governance.
  • To provide remote agriculture communities access to training and expertise resources."

There are many other projects out there that are designed to bring a computer to a student. It would be neat for my West High students to raise money and buy a computer for a student in a country far from Iowa. My students then could communicate with the student and learn about other cultures while learning to be better society members.

See my previous posting on 1:1 computing for more info http://radtechnobysarah.blogspot.com/search/label/1:1%20computing

Photo at http://www.citrus.unitec.ac.nz/projects/peru_images/it0030.html

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Planning for Neomillennial Learning Styles

There is a lot of talk about how students are different than they used to be. It seems like every generation thinks the generation before them is different than them. I just think that with technology advancing at such a high rate, the differences seem to be changing at this same fast rate. I see, in my classroom, students changing just in the eight years I have been teaching. However, not all of these changes I would account to their different learning needs. Many changes are due to the changing expectations of students from society and from their parents--not always a positive change in expectation.

I was reading another classmate's blog http://lalindell.blogspot.com/ and she was discussing the following article by Chris Dede.
which is about Planning for Neomillennial Learning Styles. Shifts in students' learning style will prompt a shift to active construction of knowledge through mediated immersion.

I found this site about learning styles for teachers. http://otec.uoregon.edu/learning_styles.htm It has many other links. On one of the first links http://www.howtolearn.com/ you can find out what your learning style is. My results for Learning Style Preferences:
36% Visual Learner
27% Auditory Learner
36% Kinesthetic Learner

This learning style site offers newsletters about strategies for students and teachers that deal with knowing your own learning style. I signed-up for a few and have received three emails. I will caution anyone who doesn't like to get a lot of email not to sign-up for the automatic email newsletters.

Photo at http://brianhaveri.com/images/posts/baby_at_computer.jpg

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cell Phones in the Classroom

A fellow classmate's http://smdukes.blogspot.com/ thoughts about cell phone use in the classroom is based on the following article http://teachingtoday.glencoe.com/howtoarticles/cell-phones-in-the-classroom
I found an article about another school's cell phone policy at http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2002/01/21/schools-cell-phones.htm
(The site said it could not be republished so you will have to go read it yourself.)

My school's "STUDENT USE OF CELL PHONES, BEEPERS, AND PERSONAL LISTENING DEVICES policy: The Faculty of West High School have developed the following building wide guidelines, regarding student use of cell phones, beepers, and personal listening devices during the school day, in an effort to be consistent and fair:
• Students must keep all phones, beepers, and personal listening devices turned off and out of sight from bell to bell, or 7:45 am to 2:35 pm.
• Cell phone or classroom phones may not be used in the classroom, unless the teacher or staff member has given special permission.
• In the event that a student is using any items during school hours without prior permission, the staff member will confiscate the item and turn it into the main office.
• The item will be returned to the student at the end of the school day, the first time the student violates protocol.
• Second offense shall require a parent/guardian to retrieve the item from the school.
• Subsequent offenses will be turned over to the student’s grade level administrator for further consequences.
PLEASE NOTE: As per the Student Conduct Code 504.3-R photographic cell phones (cameras) will be banned from use in all district facilities. This includes restrooms, locker rooms, gym classes, theaters, and activity practices."

The policy can be found at http://westhigh.waterloo.k12.ia.us/student_use_of_cell_phones

The balance between using cell phones at school and banning cell phones at school will take a while to find. I think that using cell phones at College versus in High School is not the same issue. For right now I am on the side of banning the use of phones during class time. It is too distracting for most students. Most high school aged students are in the world of all or nothing. We can teach them respectful use of cell phones for the classroom, but it usually boils down to that if they have a cell phone they are going to use it. I am sure this topic will be discussed more and more as cell phones also become our personal computers. See my previous posting http://radtechnobysarah.blogspot.com/search/label/Horizon%20Report for more info about cell phone use in the Horizon Report 2007.

Photo at http://joplinnews.scottjoplinschool.org/photos/uncategorized/cellphone1.gif

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Blog at School

This is the address http://levenduskythecomputerteacher.blogspot.com/ for my blog at school that I created so parents or students can check their missing assignments.

At conferences, I always start by asking parents what their student has told them about our class. Usually the answer is "nothing". I hope my blog can help parents and their students strike up a dialog about what is going on in our class. Since most of the work we do in the class must be done at school, for a variety of reasons, I don't foresee that the blog will be used too much for missing work. However, even if one student a week can use the information to help keep up with the class, it will be worth my time to update it.

Fun Fact: I put a poll on the site to see if parents would let me know how many use the site.

Some ideas about what to do with blogs at school can be found at http://escrapbooking.com/blogging/teaching.htm
Found on the site "The Purpose and Learning Outcomes. What's the purpose of the blog? Why is the blog format being used?
Learning Outcome. What are the specific learning outcomes? What's the objective of the lesson(s)? What standards are being addressed? When used in teaching and learning, the educational outcomes must be clear to the students. This is more than I have done with blogs as of yet.

Information. What information will be shared? Where will this information originate? Most blogs are used to share information including facts, data, statistics, links to other resources, opinions, and much more. In addition to text, the blog could contain audio, video, and visuals.
Process or Product. Is the blog mostly about process or product? Blogs are often used by teachers as a tool to document the information inquiry process. I did require students to put links to additional information and sources when they created their own blog. My blog doesn't have a link as of yet.

Reflection. Blogs can be used as a meta cognitive tool to help people think about their life or learning. These reflections may be intended for themselves, their classmates, or the world. Another activity I had my students do on their blog was to reflect on a Newsweek article they read.

Interaction. Some blogs focus on communication between the person posting the entry and the people making comments. The responses may include additional information, expanded ideas, or critiques. Sometimes the most important aspect of the blog is questioning. With young children, the interaction is often between the child and the teacher. I required students to comment on their fellow classmates' blogs (at least four people per assignment). If the students could not find something worth while to comment on they could skip that person's blog. This made it more important for everyone to write well.

Assessment. Do the learning outcomes match the assessment? Sometimes blogs are used as a tool for assessment to check student understanding. Bloggers may be asked to state facts, analyze an article, or express their understandings."
As of now I have not set-up a very good system to assess student blogs.

Photo is a print screen of my blog.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Student Project Example

The following is an example of a student's project in my Intro to Computers II class where students were asked to pick three emerging technologies, research the products, and then present what they found to the class. This example was written by my student A.M. and edited by E.W.

"Second Life is a 3D online community. It is comprised of over 9 million online users from around the globe, inhabiting their own virtual land and developing on it. When you think you have had enough of your virtual land, then you may sell it on the Second Life market for the virtual money, Lindon Dollars, or real American Dollars. Since last month, over a million US dollars have been traded for this virtual land. In Second Life, you can build anything you want, with highly flexible tools. You don’t have to buy any software, but membership is not free. You may sign up for a free basic account, but memberships introduce more into your virtual imagination. When you are introduced into this new world, you make your own avatar that is a cartoon image of yourself or anything else of your liking. You may make an avatar of yourself or perhaps a creature. Second Life, though, comes at a REAL price. Through research, it costs to own a virtual island, about $1,675 American dollars. But, that is not all. You also have to pay for maintenance of your particular piece of land, which comes up to around $300 American dollars per month. However, to retain this money flow, Second Life has its own economy within the system. Second Life gives you the experience of owning your own land and exploring your own creativity while exploring the virtual world and meeting others.

Blogs are journals or private diaries of the Internet. In them, you can explain your day or have your own rants about anything you want. You can even post your own pictures; give out your own Podcasts, sketches, some videos, anything you can inscribe unto your web page. Many blogs that existed in the ‘80’s still exist today, such as rec.humor.funny. Blogger is one of many popular blogs. You can access other people’s blogs with a single click and look up their blog, except if they have it so it’s not open to the public. So in reality, it can double as an actual diary.

Wikis act as mediums for connections to other websites around the Internet. They have an association of links, helpful user information, and other information about the particular site you are about to go into. Many popular Wikis are: Wikipedia and WikiWiki.com. Some Wikis have communication boards where you can chat with other people. Like with Wikipedia, it is a people’s net when you can go in and edit a page if you like to. However, this has been tampered with and many people find dishonesty in many pages, which leads many developers of Wikipedia to be more aware of what is going on in their web pages. Wikipedia wikipages are scanned over everyday to try to rid the problem.
Wikipedia. (2007) Picture of Wikipedia [Online]:
http://www.pixelache.ac/2005/files/Wikipedia-logo_BWb.jpg>[September 26th, 2007]
SecondLife.com. Picture of Second Life. (September 23rd, 2007)
Information of Blogger:
Picture from Blogger, a section of Google Mail. (September 24th, 2007)"

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Changing Technology and the Classroom

A fellow classmate's blog http://stephenwa.blogspot.com/2007/09/we-need-revolution.html was talking about http://www.aect.org/default.asp and the need for change in the education system, especially concerning the use of technology.

George Mason University is addressing some advances in technology that will affect students and faculty. To read more go to http://itu.gmu.edu/techservices/technology_changes_css.html

One interesting part is the use of podcasting. It appears that the faculty had requested a way to record and broadcast lectures. In my ID class Dr. D has been using podcasts for the last several chapters instead of us sitting in the classroom to hear her lecture on the chapters. I enjoyed being able to listen to the podcasts on the chapters at my own pace.

To hear my two podcasts about blogging go to http://levendusky.podbean.com/

Ad by 18 year old

After reading Sal's thoughts post on an 18 year old that made a YouTube video about his Iphone and then was hired by Apple, it got me thinking about the students I have and their potential. I have been trying to teach them some of the new (new to me) technology I have been learning about in my Emerging Technology's class. I actually have been able to teach about some technology that students have not already used--it is hard to find something they don't already know about. For example, when we created blogs in our class, most students had used MySpace so the idea of blogging was not new to them, however, many didn't realize that is what they were doing.

I had students research three technologies and share what they had learned with the class. My posting http://radtechnobysarah.blogspot.com/2007/11/student-project-example-cont.html is an example of one student's project.

Below is the link to the Iphone video. (It takes a little time to load and it will be on the right.)

Photo at http://www.kottke.org/plus/misc/images/iphone-parallels.jpg

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Digital Community

One topic of discussion in many of my classes is about the digital time we are in. One of my fellow classmates wrote an interesting observation on her blog Reflections of Jade about whether our class would be considered a digital community. I agree with her that even though we talk a lot about technology and being digital, we are not really a digital community. We still meet in a classroom once a week, we (sometimes) still print documents that we need to share, etc. However, I do think that I am communicating much more digitally now that my group has started our project on Collaborative Publishing. We have been using Google Docs to share info with each other. We also set up a wiki and use email. I find that I talk about digital medium more with my students, too, since starting this Emerging Technology class. However, I think we still have a ways to go to be a digital community because my high school students mainly use text messaging and their MySpace page for all of their communications.

I have been working on becoming a digital community in my high school classroom. We created blogs this semester that the students used to communicate their ideas to each other. We also use email, but this is not new for us.

An interesting definition of virtual learning communities by Patti Weeg can be found at http://www.globalclassroom.org/2004/digital_classroom/communication/virtual_community_pw.html
"Virtual learning communities sustain ongoing collaboration among participants who come together because of common interests or goals. These participants may be physically located anywhere in the world. As in any learning community, the online learning community provides services and a support system for those who belong to it. Collaboration over time is a major component of the online learning community. Motivation for all learners is high because there is an audience and a purpose for student project work." This site also has many other links to projects that schools can participate in.

Photo at http://www.intel.com/technology/magazine/pix/cm09053_g1.gif

Monday, November 5, 2007

ID Project

I have been spending a lot of my time lately on my ID project for my Instructional Design class. I am taking a four day lesson about database tables to enter new fields and creating a complete guide of instruction. It has me thinking about some of the other lessons I teach that need to be revamped. I am not sure when I could spend the amount of time on these other lessons like I am spending for this one field table lesson. I would never get around to teaching lessons if I took this long to develop lessons every time. I do, however, think that it is good to go back to old lessons (that I will use again) and see if the goals I had for the lesson were actually accomplished by the end of the lesson. We use pre and post tests for several of our courses that are suppose to help us determine if students have learned the content for units at an eighty percent efficiency rate. We than report this rate for No Child Left Behind.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Second Podcast Finished

Go check out my second podcast about blogging. This episode discusses what students might want to have on their blog and some of the tools bloggers use to create the look they are going for. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment either here or at podbean.

Go check out a few more of my students' blogs.

One of the themes for this podcast was what did the students like about blogs and what did they want to see in a blog. I hoped this would inspire some dialog between students. They do get a lot of good ideas from each other that I could never come up with.

Photo at http://business.missouri.edu/457/204.jpg

Friday, October 26, 2007


Well, for my collaborative publishing group project I am looking at what Zoho.com can offer us. So far I am overwhelmed with all of the possibilities. You could basically do everything you needed to do in business: run a show, keep track of meetings, have meetings, present and store data, make a wiki, and much more. This seems like it would be great for people who travel and need to show presentations to clients but don't really need to use a certain type of software to make the presentations. You can also share your work with others and give them access to collaborate with you on the project. I am not sure yet how I am going to use it in my group project but the ideas are being generated. I watched a few short videos describing the different items you can do in Zoho. I found that better than reading a description of what the part can do. Check it for yourself at http://www.zoho.com/

Monday, October 22, 2007

Google Docs

This past week I have been working on my Collaborative Publishing Group Project. We started a Google doc to share info with each other. If you have never used Google Docs go to http://www.google.com/google-d-s/intl/en/tour1.html for a tour.

Below is what I have added to our groups Google doc so far:
examples of collaborative publishing http://strange.corante.com/archives/2007/02/26/open_publishing_collaborative_writing.php ebook idea

Photo at http://www.gustavocoronel.com.ar/local/cache-vignettes/L150xH121/arton769-1702a.jpg

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Collaborative Publishing

My group in Emerging Technologies is looking into Collaborative Publishing. I have been searching for some interesting ways for people to publish collaborate on line work. A few sites that I am reading up on are:

If any one knows about the above types of collaborative publishing and can recommend one over the other, let me know.

So far in the readings and sites I have visited, I found that the overall theme was easy of use for co-workers to communicate and work together. No more trying to schedule meetings and finding time to work as one group. People can now work on-line anytime that works for them but still be part of a group. This would have been great during my undergrad when I had all those group projects and it was hard for me to meet since I was not a traditional student that lived on campus.

Photo at http://traction.tractionsoftware.com/db/attachments/blog/50/2/CODIAKProcess.gif

Sunday, October 14, 2007

IBEA Conference

This past Friday I went to the IBEA conference in DesMoines. IBEA is Iowa Business Educators Association. This conference is set-up to network with other Business teachers and attend workshops about new or changing ideas that effect us as Business teachers. I went to a workshop on CaseGrader, go to http://www.course.com/events/webinars.cfm to read a brief description of what CaseGrader can do. It sounds like a great idea, however, my school does not have Office 2007 which is needed to make it work. I like the idea of being able to test students on the application of skills.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Showing off my Podcast

Yesterday I showed off my Podcast to my co-workers. I got many comments, the most often was "it so cute". I am not sure if that was the reaction I was going for but it is nice to hear that it sounded OK from someone other than my husband. Several people are looking towards my second podcast. I really think that I might use these in my class next semester when we start the blog unit again.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

First Podcast about Blogging in the Classroom

Go check out my first podcast at http://levendusky.podbean.com/
It is all about what responsibilities my students have when they blog for our class projects as well as their responsibility when commenting on other students' blogs. I used several resources to create the guidelines for this project. Click the link to hear the podcast that gave me the most inspiration.

Go check out some of my students' blogs. Also, check out the comments that other students said about their postings.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Ferdi’s Assignment for Zeitz’s Class

What technologies support students in mastering the ISTE NETS?

1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
A. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
B. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
Students choose three emerging technologies (each student will have different technologies), research the technology, summarize their findings, find pictures, put info and pictures in a presentation format, present to class to ‘teach’ the other students about their emerging technology, and finally allow for questions and discussion.
C. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
D. identify trends and forecast possibilities.

2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
A. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
B. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
C. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
Students from a school here and one from another country create a wiki that they share new information about how they use technology in their schools. Every time one of the schools uses a new technology or creates a new technology based project they share the ‘how to’s’ with the other school on the wiki. Students will be encouraged to share what they learned or valued out of the new technology project as well as the ‘how to’s’ of the project.
D. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

3. Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:
A. plan strategies to guide inquiry.
B. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
C. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
D. process data and report results.
Students research a topic using the Internet and at least four different sources. Using OneNote the students organize their notes and summaries from the Internet sites, create a presentation of the information they gathered, and show their information in any type of technology presentation format which could be PowerPoint, Blog, Wiki, Podcast, Video, Web Page, etc. Students would be required to have a fully documented Reference page.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving, and Decision-Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:
A. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
B. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
C. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
Students are given pretend dollars to set-up a customer service department at a sales company. The students would have to identify the needs the business might have for technology, find what technology would work best, find the costs involved in purchasing the technology, plan a budget for the department, and then make suggestions for implementing their plan. Also, this could work well as a group project.
D. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

5. Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Students:
A. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
B. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
C. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
D. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.
Students in groups of four, create a video that will be shown to the rest of the business classes at their school about the ethics of using information off the Internet and safety issues relating to the Internet.

6. Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students:
A. understand and use technology systems.
B. select and use applications effectively and productively.
Students are given ten scenarios from ten different types of businesses that have a problem that needs to be fixed. The students then are given time to research what would best ‘fix’ the problem. The scenarios would all have a technology based ‘fix’ for the problem. Example Scenario: A vet’s office is having trouble keeping track of customers that have not paid their bills, employee hours, and supplies used in the office.
C. troubleshoot systems and applications.
D. transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Podcast Development

Working on a podcast for Emerging Tech class--what an adventure--not that creating a podcast is hard but it does take editing time. I am trying to create the podcast at a high enough level that I will want to use it my classroom. Since my class is already past the intro stage I will have to wait until next semester to try it out in a real time classroom.

Overall my students seem to be enjoying commenting on fellow classmates' blogs more than writing their own blogs. I have been trying to make their required postings about the content we are studying in class to make the blog time tie in with our educational goals for the class, however, the students really rather it be like their MySpace page where they can write what ever they are thinking. So this will be an area that I will be reviewing before I do this project again with my next semester's classes.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Willow School's Podcast

After listening to the great podcast by Willow School's 5th grade class at http://www.mpsomaha.org/willow/radio/shows/Willowcast25.html I looked around on their schools home page and discovered several of their teachers use blogs. One teacher from the fifth grade has not updated her blog since May of 07. Another third grade teacher has not updated her blog since Nov of 06 and started it in Aug of 05. That made me start thinking about the possibility of how hard it is to find time to keep my class blog, I am starting, up to date. It also made me realize how behind the times I might be if the third grade class started using blogs in 05. I was looking around early today to see if I could find a podcast on blogging in the classroom and have not had very good luck yet so if any one runs into a podcast about setting up blogs in a classroom that we have not already listen to for our class, please let me know.

One podcast I did find talked about the general ups and downs of on-line learning from the point of view of several college students. You can find this 4 minute blog at http://edcommunity.apple.com/ali/story.php?itemID=1004 you will need to scroll down the page to see the play button.

Later in my search I found this http://secretaffiliatemarketing.com/2007/05/16/how-to-set-up-wordpress-and-blogger-blogs-with-adsense/ it's a YouTube video about setting a blogger account up in under two minutes.

Next finding http://connect.educause.edu/blog/mpasiewicz/aninterviewwithglend/15467 is a 17 minute interview with Cal State's Director of Academic Technology Research. The last two minutes she talks about blogging.

When I have more time I plan on going back to http://connect.educause.edu/term_view/blogging to listen to more podcasts about blogging.

Jonathan Harris at TED

I just finished watching Jonathan Harris at TED about his web secret stories. This man has the most amazing brain (not as amazing as my husbands). He tells about three computer programs he has created to visually see what is important to people on the web. I recommend watching it at http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/144 It is 17 minutes long but well worth it. To learn more about Jonathan Harris, go to his blog like site at http://www.number27.org/

From his site "At its core, We Feel Fine is an artwork authored by everyone. It will grow and change as we grow and change, reflecting what's on our blogs, what's in our hearts, what's in our minds. We hope it makes the world seem a little smaller, and we hope it helps people see beauty in the everyday ups and downs of life."

Jonathan Harris worked with Sepandar Kamvar on a project called We Feel Fine. Sep Kamvar is a Consulting Assistant Professor of Computational Mathematics and Engineering at Stanford University. His site has a list of his credits, most of which I did not understand. I think these two men ate their Wheaties growing up.

Photo at http://www.fabrica.it/blog/uploads/interviews/jonathanharris-lg.jpg

Monday, September 24, 2007

Web 2.0

Just read Web 2.0 A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning? By Bryan Alexander. To start off with I liked how the article explained what web 2.0 is or is not. Including items like social bookmarking, wiki pages, collaborative writing, blogging, blog and RSS search services--where users can create micro content about micro content.

A few places I plan on checking out when I have time:
http://www.daypop.com/ (would not open at school)
http://www.memeorandum.com/ (blocked at my school)

I liked how in the article it talked about several of the ways web 2.0 could be valuable to higher education. For me, this is key, if I am to spend time learning about a new technology I need to know how to implement it in my classroom or if it is worth implementing in my classroom.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Looking at a fellow classmate's blog at
http://patrickiisreflections.blogspot.com/2007/09/world-of-warcraft.html that was talking about gaming. The idea of gaming and education is new to me. When I was young, we did not use any electronic games for educational purposes in school. I know they exist, but gaming is out of my comfort zone.

For more info go to http://www.dlib.org/dlib/february02/kirriemuir/02kirriemuir.html skip down to 5. Games and academia and 6. Games, consoles and game-based PCs as learning technology. It is interesting to note that the article is from 2002.

Here's a quote from the article "For example, the scenario could be modified into that of an online database-oriented game. The pupils would then work online in conjunction with pupils from other schools, acquiring database searching, information acquisition, network communication, and information analysis skills in order to complete the game."

These skills are some of the same skills that are discussed at the International Society for Technology in Education at http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/For_Students/NETS_S.htm that we are suppose to be teaching our students. ISTE lists many technology skills that students show learn to be successful in their lives. Many education games could help students learn these necessary technology skills.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Update on Blogging at my school

Well, I have sad news...gmail apparently limits how many new accounts can be made...meaning when I tried to have my second class of the day make their gmail account, we kept getting a message that said you already have an account; please try signing in. So I could not have two of my three classes do their first blog yesterday. I encouraged students to start their gmail account at home if they could (a number of them do not have Internet at home). Today I told the students we would put the idea on the back burner for now and moved on to our research of a new technology project instead. Late in the day I tried google again and it appeared like it was going to let me sign-up for an account. So the only thing I can think of is that google has a limit on how many can be made in one day to the same ip address. So my sad news continues because I will not have an update for the class on how blogging went by Tuesday.

I had some students use their yahoo accounts to make their blog, however they could not comment on another student's blog without a gmail account.

Photo at http://www.blogging.thetazzone.com/images/blogger1_500.jpg

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Social Networking

This weeks reading on social networking was very timely since I have been thinking about how to approach blogging with my students. I want to expose my students to a number of newer technologies, but feel that I need to be extremely careful to set-up some ground rules to their usage. This week I will be working on writing up a list of procedures/rules about our classroom usage of a blog. I am also thinking about setting up a wiki, too. When reading in the article about how many schools do not allow social networking I realize that I need to read our Internet contract the students signed in 8th grade more closely. I have not read it in a few years and need to see if it says anything about social networking tools.

Commenting on blogs....new experience

I just made my first comment on a blog that was not part of our class. The article was about what we are not teaching in computer education. See my comment at

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My list of blogs to watch

I went searching for other teachers that are using blogs and came up with many to choose from. As this semester goes I will be focusing in on how to better use blogs in my class with my students and how to teach them to use blogs appropriately. The following are several blogs that I am going to watch.
Weekly webcast:
An Arapahoe High School Teacher:
Discourse about Learning, Teaching and Technology blog:
Alfred Thompson, Computer Science Teacher:
Teachers using Technology

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Second Life and Twitter

Well I just signed up for twitter and Second Life. My name in twitter is Rad Techno and in Second Life it is Rad Sella. I am not sure what I am doing in either, but I am sure it will come to me. I have decided not to start a My Space page. In my staff meeting this past Wed., my boss was warning everyone that across the country there have been several teachers fired over their my space page content. She said that if there was a doubt about a my space page in our school, that we would be put on administrative leave until it was figured out if the content was appropriate or not. The administration brought up the fact that students have been known to put teachers' faces on the bodies of other people doing inappropriate things. I decided that I should not even take the risk. If I can say to my students I don't have a page, then hopefully the temptation for including me on one of theirs will be less.

Friday, September 7, 2007

1:1 Computing

This week's topic for class is the idea of giving each student their own personal laptop to use. Damian Bebell discusses the research done at an elementary school where they compared rooms with 1:1 laptop use to rooms with shared chart laptops. I found a few of their findings interesting. Bebell said that the use of the computer at home increased, which doesn't surprise me, due to the fact that if students are more comfortable with a computer they will use the computer more, however I was surprised to hear that students used their computer more for school-related tasks. In fact that was where the biggest raise in usage was. That really got my attention. I am for anything that would increase students doing school work at home. There was not as much of an increase in the engagement numbers. I knew students would be more engaged when using their own computer, but I thought the numbers would be higher. I see much higher engagement in my classroom when we do activities on the computer versus other activities. One interesting comment about Special Education students was from a teacher who was part of the experiment; she said that Special Ed students were more on the same playing field. I see that quite a bit in my collaborative period. I teach one period each semester with a special education teacher. We co-teach so that we can offer the class to a wider variety of students. I really do encourage all students to take computer classes in high school, and all students can do it.

In the 1:1 Stories Project blog, it talks about the digital natives and their need to e-learn with a computer, and that hands on learning helps them take more ownership in their learning. I agree with the blog that students need to see the real life application of knowledge so that they feel more engaged in their learning, which a computer can provide. No matter what career most students go into, they will need computer skills or have to do their entire job on a computer. It is important for students and adults to keep learning new skills all their lives. Computers are one big way that is going to happen. We need to keep finding ways to let this happen in all types of classrooms.

In class we discussed the $100 laptop project. I wanted to know more, so I looked it up and found this site that describes what it is all about. http://www.g1on1.org/

Photo at http://www.asu.edu/news/stories/200609/20060901_computer1.jpg

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Horizon Report and Marc Prensky

In The Horizon Report 2007, the use of mobile phones in the classroom has a projected time for adoption of two to three years. I find this funny (and not in the ha ha way) that mobile phones will be used in the classroom in two years. My school is just coming up with tighter restrictions on the use of cell phones in the building, so it is hard for me to believe that in two years the feeling about cell phones will make an 180 degree turn. I realize that the article is talking more about colleges, but high schools should be looking at the emerging technologies just like colleges. We are supposed to be preparing students for college and should be looking at ways to incorporate more technology into the classroom at every level. There will definitely have to be different guidelines for the use of technology in my classroom, compared to a college classroom, just because of the age of the students.

In the Engage Me or Enrage Me article by Marc Prensky, I found no helpful information. I realize he is just trying to point out the problem schools are facing, but I would have appreciated more about how to work with the new type of student rather than just telling me about them. I am sure he has written other articles on the subject, but so far everything I have read from him has had the attitude that all teachers are slacking in their job and that they must not want to educate students if they don’t use a game to teach the lesson. As for his Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants article, I found his definition of each group of people interesting. I do believe that there is a difference in the two sets of people. I do want to help my students learn in the manner that is best for them, however, when they go to work they will also find that many of their bosses and co-workers are going to be digital immigrants and there is a need for understanding how to work with a person who might be less technologically savvy. The articles did get me thinking about how I could change my copyright lesson that I will be teaching soon to my Intro Computers II class to make it more interactive and more technology based.
So I went to the web and found the following links that I will be using to incorporate more technology in my Paraphrasing and Reference Citing lessons.

I am going to have my students start at: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/print/research/r_paraphr.html
After that we will go to the following link and work on lesson 6:

Photo at http://www.mvrhs.org/library/Images/owl.jpeg

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Family Video

Watch the video to see what my husband did today with the kids so I could work on my school work. Thanks Cory.

Cory at Hartman

Emily at Hartman

Uploading these video's took way too long. If someone knows of a way to speed up the process let me know.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Showing My Family My Blog

Just showed my husband my new blog. He and his friends already blog and so it was fun to show him by upgrade in technology.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Post, My Intro to the Blog World

Rad Techno Coming to Life For the First Time.
This is the start of my new Blog. Let us begin.

I am a student at UNI in the Instructional Techonology MA program and a computer teacher at West High School in Waterloo.