Techno Integration2

Monday, February 13, 2006

Raw Materials, pgs 280-292

Prior to this class I had not previous knowledge of podcasting. I barely knew the term. I am not an audio learner and I think I would problems learning in this mode. However, I do think this would a good way for other classrooms to interact.

I have learned so much in this class about those “way out” areas of the internet such as podcasting. I have enjoyed this class and know I am better equipped to handle the technological future than I was before the class.

Raw Materials pgs. 258-280

I enjoyed this material on planning and building websites. I do not currently have a website but am interested in building one in the future. The author’s planning process will be very helpful in building this site.

Raw Materials pgs. 258-280

I enjoyed this material on planning and building websites. I do not currently have a website but am interested in building one in the future. The author’s planning process will be very helpful in building this site.

The Future of Ideas by Lawrence Lessig and

Future of Ideas—This was the most difficult material we have read this term. It might have helped reading the previous chapters. I am not interested in publishing on the web and know all about MP3, etc. Enough said about this article.

Facing the Future—I enjoyed this article much more than the first. I liked the metaphors used as well as the relation to shifting paradigms. Technology is a paradigm shift for many people, especially the older generation who can not or will not jump into the 21st in regards to learning about technology. The author’s reference to demise of the Swiss watch industry’s disdain for the digital age is very relevant to some older people and their disdain for the technology in today’s workforce. It is changing how we work, think, play and learn.

Change is “messy—that change is uncomfortable!” Couldn’t say it better myself. But is time to change or shift our mindset set. If you don’t, you will be left behind.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Oversold & Underused -- Are Computers in Schools Worth the Investment?

It is very hard for me to discern if computers in school are worth the investment, not having any first hand knowledge of any school system, except as a parent. I do tend to agree with the author in that schools have spent a lot of money on computer equipment, software, etc. with the end result being primarily a source of communications rather than learning enhancement.

I thought his comments on page 180 hit the target as to the main problem in integrating computer technology in today’s classrooms, “school structures and historical legacies carry so much weight that, unless changed, they will retard widespread use of technology and hinder substantial changes in classroom practices.” As noted, classrooms today have not changed that much from classrooms fifty years ago. The teacher is constrained by dictated curriculum, lesson plans, teaching to a test, etc. He is correct that “solutions would have to address the ecology of schooling.”

Engaging the teachers in the design and implementation of any technology plans makes perfect sense. As the author stated, most teachers’ perspectives are not taken seriously, especially in the technology arena. It would be interesting to see the results of the TLTC project. I tried to find some data but did not find published findings. This link talked about the study but the link to the report did not work: http://www.berkeleypolicyassociates.com/text/work_project574.html
I also went to the link (result from my search on the TLTC): http://www.rcgd.isr.umich.edu/tlt/TechSbk.pdf, it had some interesting information on the impact of technology in teaching and learning.

Raw Materials, pgs 245-258

Most of this material was just a review of what we did the first night of class. However, I do have to say I am part of that group that did not know much about blogging—don’t have time to wake in 40 years. My knowledge was from TV crime shows when someone was killed and they found critical information through the person’s blog.

I think the author’s Blogmeister would be a good tool for a teacher to control the student’s blogging and not allow responses that might be disruptive to the process. I also like the fact the teacher can control the students' identities and they are not available for the general public to view.

Overall I am not a proponent of publishing my thoughts in a place where anyone can read at will. Maybe this is a result of my middle age philosophies not catching up with the current techno frenzy—or just the fact I have never kept a written diary, much less an electronic entity.

These websites gave me more insight on blogging:
http://all-about-blogging.blogspot.com/
http://www.instablogger.com/

Raw Materials pg 207-245 & Technopoly by N. Postman, pgs 56-70

This chapter was interesting in noting that communicating digitally is what students need to know how to do. I thought the author’s statement on page 210, was especially interesting as it related to the Internet as a source of information and on page 212, “Information is increasingly playing an essential role in how we spend our personal time.” This was relevant after having read the Technopoly article dealing with technology and its influence on information.

I haven’t had the time to try the Webquest yet but fully intended to play around with this tool. I can see how it would be beneficial in helping students to integrate “communicating digitally” into the learning process. I am not a teacher at this point and maybe cannot totally understand all the pressures involved in meeting objectives and the classroom puzzle (pg 223).


Technopoly by N. Postman, pgs 56-70

What I found informative about Postman's discussion were the 4 stages of the information revolution. I was not surprised to see the printing press on the top of the list or the telegraph or computer technology. The three continue to have PROFOUND cultural effects. I suppose growing up in a Technopoly, I find myself less impressed by broadcasting and photography. I guess because we have great understanding and information from and of past cultures without photography and broadcasting. His perspective described in "Technopoly" should force society to reevaluate and ask questions about how technology has changed us.

“The milieu in which Technopoly flourishes is one in which the tie between information and human purpose has been severed, i.e., information appears indiscriminately, directed at no one in particular, in enormous volume and at high speeds, and disconnected from theory, meaning, or purpose,”—basically an “information glut.” I think Postman is a bit too hasty to dismiss all technology as suspect—he buys into the mantra that “the medium is the message” a little too unquestioningly—but he is certainly right when he says that most people receive far too much information without context.

I could not help but notice the contrast between this article and Raw Materials on the subject of information—one says there is too much, the other too little.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Raw Materials, pgs 180-206

This section dealt with transferring internet information into different formats, software, etc. I have to admit I am not very “techno” literate in this area other than selecting my text and /or graphics on a website and copying them into Word, Excel or PowerPoint. The section on processing audio information was definitely outside my techno comfort zone and provided valuable information for future projects. I did try some of the suggested links and had some problems.
The ethical issues were very informative and made me realize I may have been totally ethical in the past when using internet information in reports or projects.
I especially enjoyed the instructional examples for having students use the web for researching specific information in class.

Positive Discipline in the Classroom, Chapter 3 and Chapter 9

I found some of the concepts interesting and probable depending on the age group and type of classroom environment. I found that these 2 chapters reflected what I already consider to be an interactive classroom approach. The book notates learning the eight building blocks for conducting successful classroom meetings. This is just another skill set a teacher will have to learn. One part I did agree with is teaching students to show appreciation and the book’s approach to teaching how to compliment each other was very effective. I think it is important to teach students to make their “compliments and appreciations specific.” Teaching children at early age the important of giving and accepting compliments is important as many adults struggle with how to accept a compliment graciously.
The segment on “fixing” was interesting. I think this is where most of the problems with classroom meetings will occur. I like resolving the issue by defining “talk time” instead of “fix time.” It will be hard for the teacher to facilitate the meeting if this area gets out of control.
The Three Rs of recovery (recognize, reconcile and resolve) were a concrete approach to helping students acknowledge mistakes AND to help them avoid make mistakes in the future. I am not sure how this approach would work integrating it with older students. They may find it too elementary and unwilling to accept the approach model.

Overall I thought the book was very elementary and reiterated concepts that are basic to an active classroom teaching approach. I am not sure a class meeting style would work in some grades and classrooms. However, it is always to read about all the teaching approaches to controlling classroom discipline without using punishment.

Raw Materials pgs. 142-180

I have to say I read these pages in depth as they were my “teaching” materials for class. The S.E.A.R.C.H. acronym was very helpful in providing an understanding and importance of a deep internet search. As I learned the difference between starting small (again, didn’t really understand the difference between the search engines until this book) and then expanding. Most important, you have to cycle back and advance again to get to the “meat” of your search. I also learned how to help validate some of the material you find on the net by searching for the author and publisher source. This would have been helpful in some past search experiences for class papers, etc.

I hope I am learning how to be "smarter" at my future search efforts.

Raw Materials pgs 102-141

The internet is obviously a rich source of information. I wish I had more knowledge of searching the internet before I some of my previous research projects. I would have saved a lot of time on my part. Understanding Web directories will make it a much easier process in the future. Also understanding there are different types of search engines is beneficial. I am not “techno” minded didn’t even realize the difference in the search engines. This book continues to be a learning tool for understanding the internet better.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Flickering Mind

I found Mr. Oppenheimer’s views about technology in the classroom and its failure to be education’s quick fix very interesting. I agree with most of his points, especially concerning schools that spend money on more and more computers, but neglect the necessities such as books, supplies, maintenance repairs, playgrounds, etc. I also agree with his statement, “At its core education is a people process. Yes, youngsters need tools, but most of all they need people.” He futher got my interest when he noted that most of our good memories of our educational experiences revolved around a teacher and that education depended “on the intimate contact between a good teacher—part performer, part dictator, part cajoler—and in inquiring student.” Profound thoughts?—no, just the facts.

Of course the author noted the inequality in teachers salaries compared to the other important careers in America and also noted our teachers’ salaries are not in comparison with other major countries in the world. This is not news to anyone with half a brain. He again beleaguers his point that money should go to the essentials and not to “just stuffing a classroom full of computers.”

The author was rather wordy and I think he could have made his point in half the number of pages, especially when he diverted to his policical philosophy in the middle of the chapter. However, overall, I am in agreement with his underlying theme that technology has its place in the classroom, but not at the expense of the human contact and interaction between students and teachers.

Here are a couple of sites that offered more information on technology in the classroom:
http://www.esib.org/documents/challenge.htm
http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/techconf99/whitepapers/paper4.html

Monday, December 05, 2005

Collaboration by J. Tucker

We learned tonight there are 3 types of collaborative relationships: 1) local collaborations, 2) collaborations with experts, and 3) long distance collaborations. It was interesting to see how students can collaborate with anyone in the world, just a keystroke away. The internet has made expert collaboration easy to accomplish and the websites are endless for students to research and find information on most topics.

One of my favorite websites was Mad Scientist, I searched for the ozone layer and read an interesting comment from a professor in Australia (another form of long distance collaboration).

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Reflections on "Growing Up Digital"

This article reinforces what is already common knowledge—kids today are more techno savvy and have been in chat rooms more than most of my generation has been to the movies. I thought Mr. Tapscott’s statement regarding the culture of the N-Gen users very interesting: “We should pay attention because the culture which flows from their experiences in cyberspace foreshadows the culture they will create as the leaders of tomorrow in the workplace and society.” Cyber kids are learning more quickly about community, power, and hierarchy than they would without the media integration. Mr. Tapscott also mentions how cyber kids are more mature. I would have to agree with that just by observing my daughter and her friends in forming their views on politics, social reform and other mature topics that I thought she would not face until college. I also like the idea of netiquette and that the kids take an active part in monitoring their sites.

It was interesting to note that chat rooms were more popular than online games and that kids were interacting with cyberspace more than watching the non-interactive TV. I think this is good—as long as there is adult control of where the kids are chatting. Overall, this is the future and as Mr. Tapscott noted—a culture that will affect our kids now and in the future.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Techno Integration2

Expanding the concept of literacy by Elizabeth Daley.

This article provided a completely new insight into literacy. If someone asked me to define literacy I would use the standard assumption that literacy is "to read and write text" and that language means "words". Ms. Daley challenges these assumptions and suggests four arguments to expand "literacy's" definition.

1) The multimedia language of the screen has become the current vernacular.
In today's world, multimedia, computers, online games, and online music is the new binocular of the majority of children, teens, young adults and many middle aged adults. We communicate with each other through email almost as much as face-to-face communication. The language used today contains many metaphors derived from media--"close-up, cut to the chase", etc. Young children are developing this language almost before they can walk and talk. Some two-year olds can navigate a computer program better than a senior citizen--the binocular is already happening.
2) The multimedia language of the screen is capable of constructing complex meanings independent of text.
Multimedia has provided dramatic and emotional images over the past decades. Ms. Daley mentions images of the Great Depression, a Kent State college student kneeling over a body, and one I can remember vividly was of a young Vietnamese girl fleeing napalm. Can we remember the images of the World Trade center attacks, the pictures did not require text to convey the devastation and loss of life reflected on our TV screens.
3) The multimedia language of the screen enables modes of thought, ways of communicating and conducting research, and methods of publication and teaching that are essentially different from those of text.
Ms. Daley notes that a Major paradigm shift will need to occur before the language of multimedia is co-equal with text. Multimedia vocabulary reflects differences from text, such as, one "creates" and "constructs" media rather than writing it. One doesn't "read" text, one navigates and explores the media.
4) Following from the previous three arguments, those who are truly literate in the 21st century will be those who learn to both read and write the multimedia language of the screen.
Many universities and colleges since the 1960s have taught something similar to media or visual literacy courses with two limitations. One being the assumption that media are inferior forms of communication and second, the courses have been focused on the "read only" approach to literacy. The students today need to be taught how to write for the screen and analyze multimedia just as a student would be taught to write or analyze other genre in text. Understanding multimedia literacy is complicated and requires a command of the element of multimedia and screen language.

Ms. Daley and The Institute for Multimedia Literacy are advocates for the importance of expanding literacy's definition to include the rapidly developing language of multimedia. Her summation of her article demonstrates the importance of this concept, "the concept of a lanugage composed of elements other than word and text is neither fundamentally new nor particularly revolutionary. Rather, this concept is evolutionary development of the ideas and practices that have been with us since people first struggled to leave records and tell stories. Technology is simploy enabling these alternative ways of communicating..." What a concept, expanding our minds, ideas, and knowledge through the use of multimedia, the screen, or the Internet. In other words, knowledge at our fingertips. I totally agree with Ms. Daley's view point and recommendations for expanding literacy in today's techo world.