Sunday, July 29, 2012

Prezi link! - Life Across the pond...

This presentation was used in class to explain some of the differences between tech use in the US vs tech integration in Greece. Much of the information was verbal and not seen on the presentation, and I believe that to be more effective and engaging.

Last Blog - Mobile Learning

Ahhhhh, technology. So good, and yet, seen as evil at the same time. Especially in the traditional school setting, it is hard for teachers who never experienced classrooms filled with cell phones to integrate these new devices into their lessons. I read both the 5 Reasons to Allow Students to Use Cell Phones in Class, and Schools and Students Clash Over Use of Technology, and while coming from different viewpoints, the both articles recognize that technology, especially smart phones, are hear to stay. Personally, as a teacher, just ignoring the fact that students have phones, or telling the students that they can't use them, does not work. With the way students are learning, and interacting with their phones, many times they will glance at their phone without even consciously realizing it. So, the question becomes, "How do we, in essence, limit or redirect the distraction of cell phone usage in the classroom? Well, my solution is to possibly allow them cell break time in class(1 minute at the beginning and 1 at the end). Additionally, I will utilize lessons where they can use their phones to research topics for assignments. I've found that this mutual respect and recognition of the usefulness of cell phones in moderation is helpful in creating a dynamic classroom environment.

Powerpoint is evil....or is it?

I greatly enjoyed reading "Powerpoint is Evil" on Wired. First, I love Wired, and it is an excellent magazine that I have subscribed to for the past 5 years. Additionally, they make a great point concerning the overuse and mundane boringness of today's ppt presentations. I agree that many presentations are less than engaging, and sap the listeners/readers soul as we delve into chart after chart, and bulletpoint after bulletpoint. However, I believe that this is due more to user error (or an id10t error, in computerspeak). A powerpoint cannot teach or share all the material the presenter wishes to show. It must only be used to reinforce common ideas and threads, and it must not overwhelm the eyes or senses with too much imagery or relentless bulletpoints. This is why I appreciated Mr. Knight's approach to slideshows: Vivid, Engaging, and Thought provoking.

Commonsense media - Lesson Review

The lesson/activity I reviewed was called "Trillion Dollar Footprint" ( This was a great way to let students realize how large of an impact they have in the online world. First, they are given examples of how real-world presences leave an impact. Then, they are introduced to the concept of digital impacts... Every time they fill out a survey, visit a site, post a pic, they are leaving a piece of themselves online. They can search for themselves, and they also have to comment on if their online presence accurately portrays their actual personality. Then, the students have to act as a producer of a game show and pick between two candidates to host their show based merely on their online presence. I thought this was a great lesson because many students believe that what they do online remains largely anonymous. This can perhaps lead to a large disconnect between who they are when they are with physical people, and their online identity (which many employers are now researching before hiring)

Week 6 - Revisited Blogs

I dove back into the blogs we had reviewed earlier in the semester, and decided that Fried Tech had a great article to share: Kids Aren't Afraid of Technology ( This is entirely true...The youth are always abreast of the newest tech gadgets, and they are able to navigate with ease the byways of new information systems. Why is this? One of the reasons is that the youth of today are "learners by doing." That is, they will pick up a new gadget and start pressing buttons to figure it out. Gone are the days of lengthy user manuals or instruction guides. Additionally, it appears that the youth are actually becoming hardwired to pick up on new trends and assimilate and discard new information more and more rapidly...we are a-changin', but I believe it is a good thing.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Gettin' in touch with my sensitive side.

Watch in full screen for optimal heart-string tuggin'.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Project Based Learning: Explained

This was a great video because, yes, we do learn primarily by doing and explaining directions to others. This is why I try to incorporate as  many cooperative projects into my lessons as possible. Projects and collaboration are what most of my students will be doing in the "real" world, so why not start that now?