Thursday, July 31, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Let test this ... Okay, here is a blog I want to follow. Butterfly Hill Farms. Highlight and link. Let's try. Whala! It works. No prob. I don't need to place this on the sidelines I see.
For my class project I'll either use a blog or wiki as an easy access to webpages I want to highlight in my presentation ... Imagine, not using a Powerpoint! Now there's a new thought! :) Use a web 2.0 tool? Perhaps this will become the norm!
By the way ... I figured out why my Internet Explorer didn't have the "Tag" icon that everyone in class had last night for their Del.icio.us download. It was because when I tried to install the buttons (last week), I got an error message. Error 2738 to be exact. So I got on my Firefox browzer and was able download the buttons for Del.icio.us successfully. Yey! But now I've sent a message to Del.icio.us tech support asking how to bypass or fix this error problem. I'm awaiting their answer.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
desperately need us to engage them in learning! How will we do this? And how can we incorporate technology in these efforts? Watch both videos: one for the K-12 learner and the other for the college learner (worth your time to watch both videos: K-12 and college age version; also on teachertube.com!)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
A story from my email with a scary start, but a happy ending, dedicated to my Grandpa Neal who loved his ducks and birds.
Dear Nature Lovers,
Something really amazing happened in Downtown Spokane this week and I had to share the story with you. Some of you may know that my brother, Joel, is a loan officer at Sterling Bank. He works downtown in a second story office building, overlooking busy Riverside Avenue. Several weeks ago he watched a mother duck choose the cement awning outside his window as the uncanny place to build a nest above the sidewalk.
Tuesday morning, Joel came to work and watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off! The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In his disbelief Joel watched as the first fuzzy newborn toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. My brother couldn't watch how this might play out. He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling was stuporing near its mother from the near fatal fall. Joel looked up. The second duckling was getting ready to jump! He quickly dodged under the awning while the mother duck quacked at him and the babies above.
The onlooking office secretaries then joined in, and hurriedly brought an empty copy paper box to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and loaded them up into the white cardboard container. Joel held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the Spokane River, as the mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight. As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping into the river and quacking loudly. At the water's edge, the Sterling Bank office staff then tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to their mother after their adventurous ride.
All nine darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma duck. Joel said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank workers, and proudly quacking as if to say, "See, we did it! Thanks for all the help!"
Thankfully, one of the secretaries had a digital camera and was able to capture most of it (except the actual mid-air catching) in a series of attached photographs. Please join me in celebrating my brother -- The Downtown Duck Hero!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
A good teacher will always reflect on his or her practices. Reflecting should be done with such automaticity that it becomes second nature. At least, that's what reflection has become for me. Even a better question to ask might be ... What life lessons can I learn from my own random acts of kindness? and ... How can this become so engrained in my way of behaving that it would be unusual for me to do otherwise?
Often when peacefully floating my time away in my pool ... I have made it my mission to save the bees that accidently find themselves on top of the water struggling to fly free. It's not unusual to save at least 2 or 3 bees a day. I scoop them out, careful not to get stung (hmm, no good deed goes unpunished - Do you believe that?) ... Anyway, there the little fella is on the hot, now wet pavement, frantically rubbing his face and squiggying the water off his body, just as a cat would clean it's face after eating.
I love watching PoolBee work hard to dry himself and within a matter of moments, he is off and flying for a 2nd, maybe 3rd, chance at life. (They all look alike; I may have saved the same bee twice in one day!) I smile and know that I made a difference for that little bee, and I am pleased to know that I've done my job for the day with the "pool bees." It feels good to save a life, even though it's a little bee, you know?
We all need to nurture and care for things in our lives. This is really like drinking water - It's absolutely essential for our own well being. What little, and big, things do you do to nurture the people around you everyday? Is there a lesson to learn from observing all that is around you?
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Bottomline: the wikispace will be used for teachers to collaborate, share ideas and valuable resources, give feedback and discuss our new intervention in reading program we're using this coming year. I want to design this wiki in such a way as to make it easy to access and be inviting and organized, but mostly USEFUL. Ultimately, the team I collaborate with will need to use an application that is hosted by an existing site online.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Digital Wise, a magazine for digital immigrants, is a fictitious magazine that I created for my EDIT 490 book review assignment, June 2008. See graphics version on WebCT discussion post. RSS for Educators: Blogs, Newsfeeds, Podcasts and Wikis in the Classroom, by John G. Hendron, is an well organized account of the author's knowledge, wisdom, and insight into Web 2.0, the new generation of the World Wide Web. This book was published by the International Society of Technology Education (iste.org), 2008. Book can can be found on Amazon.com
Lions, Tigers, and Bears? Not here! No Need to Fear the “New Web” by Lori Rozelle, Elementary Teacher / for EDIT 490: Web 2.0 for the Classroom
Digital immigrants, and educators, will no longer be wary of all the latest innovations on the World Wide Web once they read this book. In fact, they’ll want to keep this newfound resource close at hand in order to keep up with the digital natives they teach and influence every day. In the book, RSS for Educators; Blogs, Newsfeeds, Podcasts and Wikis in the Classroom, author John G. Hendron (2008) introduces an immeasurable number of read/write applications and tools associated with what he calls “new web” in a powerful “new era” of technological advances in communication, collaboration, and shared computing (p. 1).
As an educator and instructional technologist, Hendron’s goal is to meet the needs of fellow educators by explaining why and showing how the latest web 2.0 technologies can enhance any classroom in the 21st century (p. xi). Endorsed and published by the International Society for Technology in Education in 2008, Hendron’s book defines and explains the basics of blogs, wikis, newsfeeds, and podcasts in addition to giving the reader a comprehensive listing (Appendix A) of 130 web resources for this new generation of the read/write web users (p. 259).
Hendron does an adequate job of defining each category listed in the title of his book (blogs, newsfeeds, podcasts and wikis); however, his discussions on news aggregates were difficult for a web 2.0 newcomer as myself. My preferred learning style, hands on, however might solve that problem. One weakness worth mentioning is the book’s presentation: Hendron’s application tools graphics illustrations are very small in print and so very difficult to read and follow. It isn’t worth straining the eyes, and since there are likely plenty of other more user-friendly resources on the internet, I would go there for further illustrations of the concepts presented. Other than this slight fault, RSS for Educators serves as a very good resource from which to begin a quest for knowledge of the “new web” technologies.
Because Hendron is not only a teacher, but also an instructional technologist who won the 2006 Virginia State Technology Leadership Award from the VA Dept. of Education -- and knowing that the International Society for Technology in Education (iste.org) published this book in the current year, high credibility can be given to the information presented in this book. An additional strength of the book is Appendix C, which provides a vital resource for educators who want to continue their pursuit in digital fluency and information management.
Appendix C is a list of the National Educational Technology Standards for students and for teachers (Hendron, 2008, p. 285). These standards are essential reminders for why educators must at least begin to understand web 2.0 technologies and its many read/write tools. For students, these standards include: creativity, innovation, communication, collaboration, information fluency, research, critical thinking and problem solving, digital citizenship, and technology operations and concepts.
The question is … How can educators meet these rigorous student standards without educating themselves first? Not overnight is a sure answer. Is it doable though? Hendron thinks so, if we work at it. Actually, our students are digital natives who will learn new web 2.0 technologies with or without our assistance. They are the clicking generation with no fear of technology. I often tell my 4th grade students that they were clicking in the womb! I believe upper grade elementary school is a time for teachers to lay the foundation for future opportunities that Hendron discusses in his book. It’s a time to begin the habit of building a community that communicates, collaborates and builds information together.
Hendron (2008) writes about the importance of parent involvement in a school’s mission. He quotes from A Harvard Family Research Project report (Patrikakou, 2004): “ … a multitude of research findings point to the importance that parent involvement has in all stages of the educational process.” This involvement increases the chances for success with both students and teachers (p. 56).
Middle school and high school teachers will be pleased to know that Hendron includes a whole section in his book on classroom applications, great lesson planning ideas to modify and run with! He does include 4th and 5th grade for a few lessons, however consistent access to a computer lab would be necessary for success in these grades.
When discussing wikis for the classroom, Hendron (2008) says, “students are powerfully motivated by being able to publish their work online for others to see, hear, and use” and then gives a long list of how classrooms can use wikis for project based learning (pp. 178-179).
A later chapter discusses podcasts in the classroom, which can be easily downloaded on personal audio players. Hendron (2008) notes, “One of the great rewards for writers and creators is knowing someone is using, reading, or consuming their work … Imagine how this makes the work done by student more exciting, authentic, and real” (p. 201).
As a digital immigrant myself, I found the chapters most easy to understand were about blogging. It definitely helps that I’ve have actual experience in blogging and so the prior knowledge would aid with assimilating the information. Overall, blogging seems to be the simplest of all applications. Just start writing and then post! Guests of the blog may comments on the postings and a conversation ensues. In order to keep the blog fresh and thus read, it is encouraged to keep the blog current. As some blogging applications are open source (free but must have a web server to run on), others cost money. Hendron (2008) helps us wade through the choices in making educated decisions to suit our needs both personally and professionally (p. 114).
Before using blogs in the classroom, Hendron (2008) advises educators to be clear on set goals and to define the intended lifespan of the blog as well as define exactly who the blog is for, the educator or the student. This will help in making sure blogging is not only meaningful but successful (p. 153).
RSS for Educators is a good starting ground for gaining knowledge of the web 2.0 tools and technologies available today; however, it only begins the journey into this new era of read/write innovations. A second read with a laptop at hand as reference might be helpful to the novice web 2.0 user. RSS for Educators will serve as a quick reference to resources that exist today and is a handy book for your library; however, it is strongly advised that curious learners explore further on their own on the internet, as applications are being developed every day. Digital natives, be on the lookout! The immigrants are coming!
Hendron, J. G. (2008). RSS for Educators / Blogs, Newsfeeds, Podcasts, and Wikis in the Classroom. Washington, D.C.: International Society for Technology in Education.
Patrikakou, E. N. (2004). Adolescence: Are parents relevant to students’ high school achievement and post-secondary attainment? Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project, Harvard University.