Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
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."
- 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
Sunday, November 18, 2007
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.
Friday, November 16, 2007
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
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
"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.
<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
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
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