About Me

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Currently a student at the University of South Alabama majoring in secondary math education.I have a deep affinity for old typewriters, pens, and keys.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Double Edge Sword of Tech: The loss and gain of information

At one point or another this was all new technology.
 As I have stated in the past I was raised in a way that some may consider a little bit different. My parents are somewhat unique in their parenting styles and have raised me to be very individualistic while trying to remind me I must fit into society.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Timeline B

Blog Assignment 6

The Networked Student

It was an enjoyable presentation and I do believe it is a preview of the impending learning environment and the direction education is turning towards. Even here at South more and more classes are becoming dependent on an online aspect. The movie is reinforcing the ideas that we have seen in other videos: that education is moving towards a more individual experience. Teachers are becoming support units  to assist in learning instead of fountains of knowledge spewing forth facts to be regurgitated. While we still are responsible for passing on information it is now becoming more pertinent that we teach skills of how to gain, filter, and verify knowledge as it is so readily available with a few keystrokes. The video illustrates how easy it is to not only find information on the internet but verify it's credibility. The more connections you make the more become available and the easier it is to gain more and more information and even input from others.

C4k Summary #1

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blog Assignment 5

Eaglenest Radio and Class Blog

It was interesting to hear these young students expressing themselves in this blog. It's neat that they are creating educational content that can be presented other students. This is a wonderful idea that is done very well, their background effects are well used and not overpowering the speakers. This is a very creative way to get students learning by having them do the research, write a script, and then present it in a form that can be shared across the world.

This podcast shows how you can make an entertaining podcast that is also informative, it's like an old-school radio show. No pictures or video just education. My favorite one was episode two, despite my affinity for sharks I really enjoyed the time traveling adventures.

The Benefits Of Podcasting in the Classroom

In this video statistics were used in the beginning to grab attention. It gave a few examples of how you can use podcasts within a classroom. It talks about how students or teachers can be the podcasters. It also puts forth the scenario of a sick student not missing out on important information because of their ability to listen to a podcast of the lecture at home.

I enjoyed this video, it definitely shows how to use podcasts in the classroom. The benefits are very clear and since it is so easy to do it's not something that would cause trouble for the educator. It's not something that would take a lot of time out of the day like creating a video, you simply record your lecture as you teach the class and post it once your done. The students clearly enjoy.

100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better

This is a solid list of resources whether you are new to podcasts, listening or recording. It's very comprehensive on tools and tutorials that can help you out no matter what the problem. I have already added it to my bookmarks folder. It's almost too intensive with how much it offers, it's taken me quite awhile to just scratch the surface of all this page has to offer.

I already listen to podcasts and have for awhile now, I even remember when people were arguing to call it an audcast or vidcast. I mostly listen to film junk's podcast as background noise when I am doing other things, but I occasionally catch others. I actually currently have three french podcasts, one russian, and a podcast on manners loaded up on my mp3 player waiting to be watched and listened to. I currently don't have any subscriptions on anything educational, unless you count the french and russian,  but I am looking to remedy that soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Personally speaking: A Response

I get extremely excited when it comes to technology and I find it odd that people should fear it. Especially in reading the responses to Dr. Strange's recent post. I do find it rather odd that quite a few of the comments were using the future tense as though it wasn't something happening right now. This was not some theoretical test for the unforeseeable future, it's current news. That is the big point; this isn't the future it's now and if you fear it, well, hold on to your pants because the rest of your life is going to get bumpy.
One of the things that excites me about technology is the whole idea of wetware and BCIs. Integrating circuitry into our bodies for the improvement of mankind, obviously I am a fan of the works of William Gibson and the sprawl trilogy not to mention Philip K. Dick. Even things like Nano Ink are exciting, the possible applications are just amazing. The sub-dermal implantation of RFIDs is already happening and making some people's lives easier The advances we are making in every field and walk of life are amazing and it is all for and because of technology. Great minds are working everyday to make our lives easier and information more rapidly available.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

 A picture of many words arranged in various directions, colors, and sizes

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff Please

I like the style he used to write this it's very similar to E.E. Cummings', his spacing really helps the tone. It was interesting way to put forth his argument, a fine example of creativity being used well. His arguments are pretty valid, if kids are not being taught to use the internet then they are being left behind. There are people out there willing to teach their children and students to use the web for productive purposes which puts them leagues in front of those who are not allowed to utilize the resource. Not only that but it's the whole idea of distrust that surrounds allowing students (K-12) to be on the internet, as if there aren't problems in the physical world. That they won't be responsible if allowed the access to the endless stream of unfiltered information the internet allows. Then again parents and educators could learn how to use filters responsibly.
  Dr. McLeod is a rather interesting man himself, I like that we look at so many interesting and free thinking educators in this class.  To say the least he is an education expert, not just K-12 as his bio implies.

The iSchool Initiative

His arguments start out pretty simple but he also leaves pretty massive gaps in some areas. Schools need to change, frankly I won't argue with that. Furthermore, having come from a West Texas education system I am certainly not going to argue with that. He goes on to list programs already on the market available for the his proposed itouch platform, I guess ipads weren't around yet. He of course exhibits a few of the apps that can be used right now. He then exhibits the future potential if this is implemented, solid arguments there. he addresses issues that parents would be concerned with rather well, such as internet access. However when he gets to the money issue I thought he let it falter a bit. While there is overlap in the items he mentioned and the ischool, there is a big issue. This is something that will have to bought for each kid and obviously by the parents not the schools, which a lot of parents will not like.  The programming also has a major flaw, it would have to transcend school districts. It's something that is hard to cater to certain districts, it's not something that can integrate into existing systems. It's hard enough getting people to take baby steps, this is new ground entirely it might just be asking a little too much at one time.
We certainly need change and this is a wonderful idea but I don't see it becoming a reality until the technology is already outdated and there is something better out there, if at all. It's big thinking and it's kids like this that do get things to change or at least get people thinking in the right directions.

Lost Generation

Oh man, that's harsh. I have to say that I feel this is the most depressing video we've watched thus far. It's definitely trying to get you to think about these problems. It really takes the wind out of my sails honestly because it just has such a pessimistic outlook at the beginning, it really got me thinking inward. That's the point though isn't it? It's up to us, or the current generation, or however you want to say it to make a stand for change. We might necessarily be able to change our world immediately but we can at least make it better for future generations. It's the individuals who become the masses, it's each persons responsibility to shape the world into what they would like it to be. If everyone sits idly by then the future is assuredly going to be an unpleasant time.

Eric Whitaker's Virtual Choir

I've been seeing youtube bands around for a few years now, I guess I've just never stumbled across a choir. this is much more impressive than anything else I have seen to date. It really is a strange concept, to perform with people you may never actually meet. A nice contrast to the extreme melancholy of the last video. It's always interesting to see these groups of people no matter how big or small with the desire to create collaboratively across every boundary imaginable, across states, countries, oceans it's simply amazing. It's simple and accessible as well, anyone can watch this. They are not touring in concert halls across the world, they're  where anyone with internet access can get to them.

Teach in the 21st Century

The video has some good positions, bad style but good positions. For a video about being engaging and creative the color scheme was rather dull and the music repetitive, it was buzzword heavy and seem to get up on using them. For what it was saying it was a little long and dull. Enough bashing because I like the point. People need to know how learn, teachers need to know how to teach, and anything you put towards someone to learn should be engaging. Natural curiosity needs to be nurtured, guided, and allowed to flourish. Resources need to be experimented with and utilized. In the digital world personal contributions should be archived and looked back on to reflect on progress, and can be with out taking up space in your home! A lot was said throughout this presentation, it was a solid piece. It's not exactly something made for the digital world take a bite and run world. It's putting forth that the resources here today can and should be utilized by everyone.
By utilizing every available resource we can improve every aspect of our lives, it's not just limited to education in the classroom. The internet it for everything and everyone, where pretty much any question has at least one answer just waiting to be discovered.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blog Assignment 3

I am going to apologize in advance for how ranty this post gets, I got really worked up and excited and could hardly type.

a blue typewriter next to a silver computer with the words is it really better on the screen

A Vision of Students Today
I enjoyed this video it was very entertaining. I do find humorous that it was done by a cultural anthropology class as that was my first really intensive college course. In the course I had to read eleven books, two of which could not be purchased physically and were E-books of two separate formats requiring different reading programs to read, one which had to verify you had the rights online each time you opened it. I have to say it doesn't reflect my college experience but I feel that is mostly because I have not had the usual college experience because I don't necessarily do things the usual way. I attended my first college course as a junior in high school, I petitioned for a free period at the end of the day with the assistance of one of the schools counselors who was a friend of the family and very kind, I then contacted the local college with the help of my mother explaining that I wanted to take Japanese and since it was not offer by any high school in the city I wanted to take it there. I applied like any other college student but they did  have to make a special case since I had not graduated highs school yet and I was currently enrolled at a community college for duel credit courses on top of a correspondence course. This was my first real college course, it was a small class of 12. My teacher, Yuki Kondo, knew my name and situation from day one. By the end of the first semester of the class we had gotten along quite well and she gave me two childrens books to practice my reading skills with. This is just a starting example, I have often been a part of small intimate classes that have been a huge advantage to me as a student. I read my books and I study hard, I go to class and I sleep when I can I try not to waste too much time doing other things.
I listen to music, I watch movies, I write to family, I read the news, I go to work,  but no matter what it's all secondary to my school work.
It's really hard to address everything brought up in this film, it really hits on a lot. It does get at the heart of a lot of the problems with college life. We waste time, we're kids, and the things the universities are doing don't necessarily help. Our books are expensive and often useless, many of us pay for things we never even consider using in our tuition, and we have teachers that sometimes seem to want to be there less than the students which only makes their classes worse. I mean, I have personally only been to the schools library a handful of times. I went once for a course I was taking outside of my regular classes, once to take pictures off the top floor, once to rent movies, and once to check out some copies of Bukowski. I've been to the rec center here twice, it's really just out of the way for me.  It's what is expected of college though, you spend a lot of money to learn some things; including bad habits.
College is a balancing act that's hard to stay on top of, it's not that anybody wants to flunk out. We have our social lives, class lives, study habits, and bad habits. Some times you just need a break, some times you don't but take it anyway. It's the first time in many peoples lives when some people are presented with real freedom to do as they please and it gets the better of them. Not only that but it's the flood of tech, we're surrounded by distractions at every turn. Social networking, streaming video, news sites, reddit, digg, tumblr, twitter, facebook, hulu, gossip, pictures,etc. Is it really any surprise that some people get lost in the tide? I'm ranting aren't I, I apologize.

It's Not About Technology
 That's really the heart of the matter isn't it? Putting the cart before the horse so to speak. We can't expect to make and implement great advances while assuming those who will use those great advances are automatically ready to go. We have to teach those who teach, the ones that are set in their way and pushing the same old stone up the hill only to have roll back down again.
 We can't as educators think, "oh, put this in the class room and kids will learn on their own because of it." We must develop our own learning skills so we can adapt to each new group of individuals that steps into our classrooms and not start spinning our tires as soon as something new comes a long. It is not an automatic thing that comes with being a teacher. We must be able to ADAPT or when tech changes on us we will become exactly the kind of teacher we don't like right now using outdated methods. If you can't teach with current technology what makes you think advanced technology is going to help. When was the last time you encountered a problem and said, "Hey, let's make this a bit more complicated then I'll get it."

Is it Okay to be Technologically Illiterate
 I LOVE THIS POST! Ah, yeah.
The self argument, the points from both fisch and freedman. The internal debate one has to deal with when thinking about issues such as this. This almost throws back to my little rant back on "Did you know", which was actually a bit longer originally. When dealing with the question of technological literacy it can be so terribly difficult to pick a side. When you grow up using tech it's hard to take that step back and realize maybe not everyone is as savvy as you or your not as savvy as you think. You run into people who are proud of their own shortcomings and you have to think to yourself "Why?"
 It's acceptable to not know certain things in society, but why? I myself try to gain as much knowledge as possible and sometimes I can be a strange cat. I have trouble looking at other people who say, "Oh, that's just not me." without feeling like I have a strange look on my face. There certainly are skills that are perfectly acceptable not to know but it's because they are not commonplace in society, neurosurgery for example. As future educators I can't stress this point enough. You can't take what you learn from classes like EDM310 and just drop it. We're not only learning to use technology we are learning the skills to learn future technology to stay on top of our game.

I like that he brought up math too, that hit me in the heart. I've dealt with that exact problem loads of times, not so much with parents of my students but just people in general. I'm going to come back to this some other time, believe me I like this post and I have had an idea that I think I can tie this into rather nicely.The double edge sword of tech, look forward to hearing about it and me soon.

Gary's Social Media Count
Ack, this whole assignment is too exciting I can't contain myself. I really must write the post I want to this week. I can't squeeze everything I want to say in one blog.
Technological growth much like scientific growth is exponential, as soon as one advancement is made it opens the door for even more advancement. The more people working on it the more it grows and the more it grows the more people it draws in to work on it.
We are constantly flooded with information, it's the state of the world we live in. You don't even have to leave your bed for it to happen.
It is certainly not uncommon for someone of our age bracket to use social media. I'm sure many students in our class use things like facebook, a few might even have tumblrs, and a handful use sites like delicious, reddit, and digg. Those who use tools like this are a bit more prepared to handle the amount of information hitting us in this class, for others it's complete culture shock. There are so many ways for anyone to get out and recieve information in modern society that it's ridiculous. You have to be able to adapt to it and know how to filter through all this information without getting overloaded and bogged down by the useless time wasters. There are so many tools at our disposal and we must constantly be prepared to learn how to utilize them, if there is one lesson my father has tried to teach me it's this: ALWAYS be prepared to learn and you'll never stop. He's set in his ways but has slowly been learning about technology not because he has to but because he wants to. He sent his first email two days ago and I found it rather inspirational.

C4T #1

My assigned teacher was Kim Cofino who is a very interesting and productive person. I think everyone should take a look at her blog not only because it is extremely interesting but it's very tech centric. You can learn more at her in the about me section on her blog.

Engaging the Parent Community
In this post on her blog Mrs. Cofino talks about a little something called Parent Technology Coffee Mornings, where questions parents may have about technology and what students are learning can be answered. It actually seems to be something extremely relevant to our class as a lot of our students are a bit uneasy at the amount of technology and all the terms that come with the web presence required for this course. It definitely sounds like something to be a part of as an educator, especially one teaching abroad. The input Mrs. Cofino gains from these types of meetings is very useful. I think that is very advisable that anyone in her our class and incorporating technology into their future classroom read this blog since it offers wonderful insight.
 It reflects the importance of not only engaging our students but their parents, especially when technology is involved. Parents may not be up to date on technology and if they don't understand something they may hinder the student from using it for leaning purposes for fear of it being misused.

Planning a year of Technology PD
 I actually got a bit lost reading this one because I kept clicking through the links and clicking on links that those posts led to and so on until I forgot where I started.  Back to the point though. This post offers great insight into planning  just about anything. It's really inspiring to see someone working so hard to get those who teach learning. It has very lofty goals that I certainly hope can be accomplished. I'll definitely be sure to check back on this to see how this plan pans out in the future. It's so exciting to get a glimpse into an educator who gets to travel and teach in so many interesting environments.

Project #5