Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chapter 10 Tutorials

Many of the tools covered in this chapter were things that were explored throughout this class. It was good to have a quick review of what the tools are and how to use them. There were also new tools to be discovered.

One new tool that I discovered that I can see myself taking advantage of in the future is the web-based spreadsheet: Num Sum.

I also liked Class Blogmeister. I liked the flowchart that broke down how teachers can control students use of the blog and approve comments before they are posted.

Chapter 9 New Schools

One of the sections that stuck out most to me was The Vision and The Reality. I would like to see parts of David Warlick's vision of a middle school become a reality. He proposes teachers keep blogs to keep track of homework and reflect on topics being covered in class. The teacher also blogs about what the week will look like on Monday. This would be a great way for parents to keep track of what their child is studying. Many parents know that sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get your child to tell you what they are doing in school and if there is homework or not. He also suggests that many of the teachers keep wiki sites that serve as class textbooks, and that students construct their own study resources using team wikis. I think that there is potential for wikis to me used, but the idea of the wiki being the textbook concerns me. I think that the wiki could be a great resource, but would be a lot of work for teachers if they were having to create their own textbooks. Warlick also has the vision that all significant presentations and discussions be recorded and posted in podcasts that students, parents, educators and community members could subscribe to. Although I think that some classrooms and schools have a long way to go, I can see this vision becoming a reality.

This chapter also touched on a few of the issues keeping this vision from becoming a reality. Many teachers lack the knowledge of web 2.0 tools, already are busy with the demand of regular teaching tasks, and have a low comfort level with technology. Once you learn the technology you have to find ways to integrate it.

Not only is there the issue of teachers having the knowledge, there is the issue of having access to the technology needed to use these skills. Right now our school has one computer lab, one mobile lab, and three computers in a classroom for students. This leaves limited time for access to these tools.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chapter 7 Online Safety and Security

This is one of my biggest concerns. When we were learning about wikis that was one of my concerns. I have questions about who can join a wiki and can you control what information gets edited.

The other month at school some students were logging on to the computers in my room and I saw that one of the students had changed there screen background into a picture of a ton of different guns, which in my mind is inappropriate. I think that there are many good security measures in place and with open and honest communication we can help prepare our students to make good choices.

I liked the survey used by Deer Park Elementary in Fairfax, Virginia which helps initiate conversation with students.
While I understand why schools block YouTube, there are many useful, educational videos on that site. Some of which I used to assist me with learning to use some of the Web 2.0 tools out there.

I appreciated the section on Other Alternatives and plan to check out some of the websites.

Chapter 1 New World, New Web, New Skills

As I was reading this chapter 3 things came to mind: 1) things are very different than they were when I was in high school, 2) boy, do I have a lot to learn, even with my newly gained knowledge from this class, and 3) what can I do to help students with Web 2.0 tools.

When I was in high school, my first typing lessons were on typewriters. My small town school was a little behind the times. My senior year, when writing my term paper, most of the research was done in books, with some research done from the internet. Now if I want to know something I open the internet and do a quick search. Teachers also had to open the school on the weekend so we could go in and type our papers, because few homes had computers in them; unlike today when almost all homes have at least one computer in them.

I found the section on Schools and Change interesting which brought me to my #3) what can I do to help students with web 2.0 tools. The fist thing I can do is continue to explore and learn. I hope other educators do the same. As this chapter stated if we want our students to have a chance in the workforce at all they need to know how to use Web. 2.0 tools. Not only will web 2.0 tools help students in the workforce, but they may motivate them to create and learn.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Week 9 Thing 23

Although I am done with the class I do not think I am done with my Web 2.0 journey. I have discovered and learned a lot from this class and have much more to learn. In the beginning this format was difficult for me because technology is intimidating to me. I feel that this class has given me some confidence in my tech. skills. I was lucky that my neighbor was talking the class as well to assist and encourage me along the way. As the class went on I enjoyed the format more.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Week 9 Thing 22

Wow, I did not know that there was such a thing out there. I love audio books and have bought some, and they can be quite expensive. I am excited to know that there are so many out there for free. I think that this is something I will take advantage of with my students. I teach special education and lots of times their interest level is higher than their reading level. What a great resource. I am not sure that I am a big fan of ebooks. I do not like reading from the computer screen so I am not sure I would like ebooks, but it is great that there are so many books at your finger tips.