Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 4 - End of Day Posting

Sir Ken Robinson  This site provides more videos of his presentations.

Today provided an opportunity to bring a lot of information together for me.  I am finding that I have a new eye as I view web pages and I feel more empowered to take the needed steps to increase the use of technology to help engage our students and teachers as they move forward in their learning.  All of the resources we have in Canby and I feel we are really only using at most 10% of the capacity of what we could be doing. 

Being in a new building I am interested in seeing the level of technology use.  I am moving from a building where we had 1 laptop per 2 students and I know this level of access is not available at Eccles Elementary.  I have an exceptionally talented Technology Assistant and plan on working with him to come up with a plan to present to staff for us to build on what we have and identify what we need and make a plan to secure it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 3 - End of Day Posting

Entertainment Education is an interesting topic.  The reading we did was a valuable reminder of how we are shaped by what we hear and watch.  When Steve was talking I kept thinking about the greater responsibility we now have as a society to support content in all media avenues.  When these topics come up I always think about free speech and what our founding fathers would have written with today's plethora of media access.

“A teacher that can be replaced by a machine, should be” what a great statement.  If a teacher feels that technology will “replace” them then they are truly replaceable.

Hole-in-the-wall experiment did not surprise me; children are born inquisitive and come to school as kindergartners with an excitement for learning.  Some are “reprogramed” before the end of kindergarten others need a few more years.  I have always believed the reason for this is that children are given less and less time to be self-organizers and self-learners.  Even in today’s kindergarten classes we are faced with more and more emphasis on academics and not exploration.  Academic content is able to be taught through activities that involve students self-exploring.  When the teacher becomes the facilitator of learning we can see (at any grade level) students engaging in their own learning.  

Continued exploring of web sites:

Digital Directions: This would be a site to check on at least weekly with the numerous stories that are on their page.  Great to see California updating their cyberbullying and sexting laws.  I explored the "Spotlight Technology in the Classroom" link and found articles, but was disappointed to see the newest one was from April 2009.  Seems to me there should be highlighting more current articles.  No doubt you will find a great deal of information on any technology topic.

from now on  The article on "Why We Still Need Libraries and Librarians" was a great reminder that yes, even in budget cutting times having a librarian helps support students learning about literacy skills.  

GO2WEB20: Okay this site really now feel out of my league!  So many online tools and applications I have no idea how I would ever need them.  Now I am feeling really overloaded with the magnitude of what I had not idea existed!!!!!

Project Gutenberg: Okay now back on track!  I have found a resource for me.  eBooks and a place to contribute your own book.  This is really a place for me to spend some time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 2 - End of Day Posting

Viewing more of the links Todd provided on the class plan.

TED -  This is an easy to use site.  Many ways to search for videos on numerous topics.  Includes bio on speaker and summary of the speech topic.  Subtitles provided in various languages.  Watched Michelle Obama's talk at a girls' school in London.  "As is" and "should be" message remains powerful and reminds us that we have the responsibility to reflect on where we are and where we need to move to.  This is a message for all areas of our lives.  This was a good 12 minute video.

edutopia -  This site is packed with information.  Strong focus on project-based learning.  Covers K-12 lessons and has a variety of blogs to follow.  I watched the following:

Replicating Another School's Success: One Teacher's Story

Science teacher Michelle Underwood once described herself as a "death-by-PowerPoint" lecturer. Today her classroom hums with the energy of students absorbed in collaborative learning projects. Her personal transformation helped change her school.

This video was a great reminder of hands on learning.

THE journal - Amazing amount of information.  Read an article for the "Most emailed articles" section about "The Disruption of Blended Learning"  This is another point of view as to how we must just start making changes within our classrooms and schools.  We cannot wait for the "system" to make the change.

iste - Interesting section on National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators.  Additionally, there is a section for Professional Development for teachers and a great section on Project-Based Learning and the pod cast of Arnie Duncan's "Harness the Power of Technology" another 11 minutes well spent.  Five goals were identified and at the end of the article it was interesting to hear about the investments helping move to a digital-learning environment verses a print-based environment.

One becomes easily overloaded with all of the resources, but I am finding the time to discover what each site provides another valuable tool in my technology toolbox.

Day 2 - Class

Okay, brain filled, almost to overload, but what a great presentation from Doug!  So much to go and explore.  I feel empowered to just start clicking here and there and discovering.  I believe I have been "comfortable" with my level of technology knowledge but now I feel I need to take it upon myself to discover what else the applications I work with have.  Funny how we have these "ah ha" moments!

My mind is swirling with idea after idea on how to present to our staff members the possibilities for student learning and engagement.  Using google docs myself as an example is the first place to start.  There is so much I do not know about and today, goggle translate, scholar, books, etc. just feels like the tip of the iceberg.  Tech nights for parents, google accounts for students, oh my, oh my!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day One - End of Day Posting

Zucker Chapter:  Technology is a critical tool for students to become self-directed learners.  Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Monday's exploration:
I decided to spend some time and review the class links on our "Class Overview" page.

eSchool News - Highlighted the front page article from the Oregonian about "Individualized public schools" and "College? Who needs it?"  I subscribe to this online newsletter and it has very interesting articles.

Information Age Education -  This site had a lot of information and I found the site to be a lot of stories and not that easy to navigate.  Topic did not appear to be specific order which may have contributed to my feeling that the page was difficult to find items of interest.

RSA 21st Century Enlightenment - "Social Justice in education" section was an interesting read.   I downloaded an article titled "The Social Class Gap For Educational Achievement: a review of the literature" by Emma Perry and Becky Francis December 2010.  I scanned the article (21 pages) and it looks interesting.  There was also an interesting video on "Choice" and how it creates anxiety.

Digital Wish - Interesting site for access to products and lesson plans.  Donate to a Classroom is set up also.

Yong Zhao - Watched video of "No Child Left Behind and Global Competitiveness"  Well worth the 11 minutes to watch.  Making our students "lower-level left brain workers" and we need a community of diverse passionate, learners.  Is quality of education measured by test scores in selected subjects?  I say no, but... we must have some measurement to ensure students are making the progress needed to be able to have the choices of their futures.  There is a level of reading, writing, math and science all students need to obtain to have the ability to make choices for their lives.  Lots of thought provoking articles on this site.

Technology Videos

How are we addressing the technology skills of our students today?  Have we been able to keep teachers updated to understand and use technology to engage students?

If we believe we are helping students by "banning" technology we are mistaken.  We need to embrace the technology skills students are coming to us with and then we need to ensure that ALL students have access to technology.  Today's learners need to actively learn and discover.  They must have the skills to evaluate what they listen to and read.  Students and adults need to learn to discuss various points of view on multiple topics.

Sir Ken Robinson spoke about the "diversity of talent" and when he said this I immediately thought of the "diversity" of learners and how technology provides an opportunity to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge through their own learning strengths.

First class

Looking forward to discovering new and interesting technology items.  This week will give me the opportunity to learn how much I do not know how to do in the area of technology.  Success for the week will be to have learned at least one new items each day.