Archive | December, 2008

Wired…

4 Dec

So after ECMP today i was all motivated to just finish my final project! which i did at 2:44 am exactly. But now i’m all wired and all i can do is blog… haha

so what did i learn in class today? hmmmmmm oh right Wordle! I think i am in love. Like really, i think using words to make a picture is awesome… i do it all the time when i’m doodling. Words are just so powerful and you can do so much with them. Soooo if a picture is worth a thousand words, then it must be sooo much more to have a picture made of words right? haha k here is my wordle of my rss feed, notice ‘classroom’ and ‘one’ are the biggest (i was rather happy to note that ‘like’ was not one of them… i was proud)!

words3

Who is technology replacing?

4 Dec

So I am sitting at my computer… waiting for pictures to be uploaded on photobucket… and I started thinking about a short story i read in grade ten english. Yes, I’m super cool and remember short stories I read in grade ten english (I think this is the second one I have referenced, from the same class actually, same unit of short stories). Sometimes stories make an impact on me, and this is one that really interested me and was probably one of my favorite short stories I have ever read.

The Veldt By Ray Bradbury

ok so pretty much if you want my blog to make much sense you will probably have to read the story…

It is a really dark story, about how children, peter and wendy (how creepy… ), pretty much dream about killing their parents every day when they play. Now that just sounds sick but there is so much to this story. First of all, peter and wendy… that is definitly a peter pan reference, about kids who don’t want to grow up, or take on responsibilities. Secondly, the cost of the home in this story is thirty thousand dollars, which is cool because he was writing about the future and it is always interesting to see how people imagine the future, in the past.

Basically there is a home that does absolutely everything for the people, and they have a nursery that creates whatever the child dreams. As the children grow up with all of this technology they start playing in an african veldt with lions. Every time they are in the veldt they imagine the lions killing their parents, and the parents can here the screams of virtually themselves dying. The parents, throughout the story, are realizing how the home is taking the place as parents. Eventually the children feel they dont need their parents, trap them in the nursery, and have the lions kill them because the parents threaten to take the nursery away. Like i said, a very dark story.

The mother says… “The house is wife and
mother now, and nursemaid. Can I compete with an African veldt?” This is one quote from the story that really stands out to me… it makes me think about what technology we are using, and what is that replacing. When new technology is made there are new jobs formed… but what jobs are they replacing? What tasks, which some people base their life on, will no longer be necessary? At what point will the lives we lead today become something entirely different… ?

Final Project

4 Dec

Ok So I finished my final project.

http://douglasportfolio.wetpaint.com

This wasn’t the most challenging task for me, but very time consuming.  The hardest part of the assignment I made for myself was finding a way to create a digital portfolio, and when I blogged about my project the first time I was given many examples.  I was going to make a portfolio for each different approach posted on my blog, until I realized how long it was going to take me to transfer all of my portfolio to an online one. 

I decided to use the web host wetpaint, which is a wiki space.  I liked the format of the site as well as the Example given by Al Tucker. From this I saw what the portfolio looked like and decided it was an organized online way for me to put my information up. The next challenge… transferring it online.

This seemed a lot easier in my head, until I realized I had to incorporate all of the writing I used for EPS, which was required in my portfolio, as well as anything that I couldn’t just copy and paste in. This is when i started scanning. I scanned for probably an hour, just getting my hard copy documents onto my computer. Then i had to upload them and OH NO they are too big to upload on the site. So instead of wasting my time resizing them all and resaving them I decided to host them on a different site and just link them to my wetpaint site. SOOOOOOO i started uploading on Flickr… and when i over used my space for uploading in one month i started using Photobucket. This uploading took soooooo long but then all i had to do was put the picture into my portfolio. The website was extremely easy to use. I never had to work with html, so not really challenging. All i had to do was set up all my pages the transfer the information onto it.

I found that my portfolio is very convient to us on a website. It would have been so much easier if I originally put it on a website instead of having a hard copy version then transferring it to a website. I think that as i continue my education I will continue updating this site, and maybe one day portfolios will all be online or digital and I will be one step ahead:)

192 Times

4 Dec

I dont know if anyone else has seen this commercial, but it is easily top ten favorite commercials, maybe even top five.  I always pay attention to commercials, they really interest me, if they are effective or not… and my favorite ones are the ones that have  a good message.  Of course I love the coors commercial where the mountains turn blue, but the one i think about a lot lately is a Never Stop Milk commercial.

They always have really good messages and the classic “always grow, grow all ways” saying is very well known.  Right now the commercials are really awesome… but my favorite is the one about baseball!  I absolutey love baseball, so of course it hits a soft spot when i watch it… but the message is amazing.  This commercial is about a baseball player, he has struck out 192 times… and in the end he leads the team and sets a record in home runs.  The message is to step up to the plate.  The writing displayed on the commercial is:::: the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.  It is such a strong message it gives me goose bumps every time i watch it.

I couldnt find the video on youtube, but I did find one that includes the baseball (this one reaches to more interests but I dont enjoy it as much as the one just about baseball)

haha i probably seem so dorky getting goose bumps from a milk commercial but I always do… whatever I am doing I always stop when I see that commercial come on.  This would probably be a cool type of video for a class to make… maybe would take  a lot of work but would be amazing!

 

OH by the way… in EPS class I was clever and changed it to….

Always Learn… Learn All Ways.

My future classroom

3 Dec

My future classroom will be one that welcomes everyone. I want my classroom to be open to all cultures, beliefs, and ideas. I want every person who walks in my room to feel comfortable and safe, so that they can learnecmp best.  I want students to feel comfortable asking questions, so they can learn the best!  I want students to be able to have access to any tools they need to help them learn.

    I am a secondary student but the grade level I would most like to teach is grade eight.  My grade eight room would have computers for every student, all the same so they are working with the same thing.  There would be a smartboard, and all of the notes and lessons I would teach would be done so digitally.  There would be a bookshelf that covers an entire wall of the classroom, with books for every reading level and interest!  There would also be a catelog for those books so that each student could look at it for a reference when they were looking for a book! 

      There would be individual desks, not tables, which would get moved around frequently… from pods, to a circle classroom, to many different shapes to keep the classroom interesting, and see which format they would learn best in.  There would be a water fountain in the classroom as well as a bathroom… so getting a drink or going to the bathroom wouldn’t disturb class.

   There would be a class wall, that was covered in material and paper that the students could write or draw on… so they could work on something together as a class.  Another wall would be a giant bulletin board where the students work would be posted.

   The tiles on the roof would all be painted… it would be the first assignment in their art class.  They would get to design and paint their own tile, so they can feel that the classroom is really their own and they make an impact on why it is their own.  Over the semester they could add to their painting if they wanted to.

   Every subject would incorporate technology some way… from a type of presention, to blogging.  My class will post their projects on the internet.  The classroom would have a camera as well as a video camera.  The camera would be used throughout the semester to document the changes made in the class, as well as take snapshots of memorable moments.  The video camera would work the same way, to document the class as well as video projects.  At the end of the year a slideshow or some kind of presentation would be made to recount the entire year for the students.

  My classroom will have lockers, because it is important to start using one before highschool.  There also has to be lots of windows, even though i seem to have all my walls used up, because there needs to be a link to the outside world.

   The classroom will have a cd player, as well as many many different cds so that students can work with music. 

  I wont have a desk.  I will have file cabinets to put my stuff on, and supplies and stuff will be open for everyone to use in an organized way, but i will not have a desk.  I want to be active throughout the classroom as much as I can.

    There will be a HUGE recycling can, because they will know you don’t waste you recycle.

  There are so many things I would want in my classroom, but the main thing that is necessary is the first point.  The class could be filled with millions of learning tools, and everything possible… but if my students don’t feel comfortable they won’t want to come to class.  I want to give students a reason to come to school, and the classroom is the first part.

K-12 Overcoming Entropy

3 Dec

Overcoming Entropy
It sounds like a simple idea– kids don’t like school… kids like games, so if we sneak some educational content into games, won’t everyone benefit? This session will explore what’s right and wrong about this idea, and how educators can discern the difference between the hype and the promise. I believe that although some of the promise has been oversold, there is much to learn from exploring the educational promise of games in the classroom.

This was a shorter presentation with a large amount of information. There were many important points i found in this presentation and found i had to pause and rewind because they were coming at me so fast. The big part of the presentation focused on the need for change.

The first thing described was how when a generation of teacher is succesful with innovative ideas, they move towards a routine. The ideas they had that were once new and different, and very effective, overtime become just a status quo. While they are still effective in their own way, a need for change is evident.

This presentator talked a lot about energy, and about energy in the classroom. Energy should be pushed into new forms of learning. The energy should work towards making learning more powerful. When the student can see the end result that learning is more powerful, so you should provide examples as well as tell stories. Providing a good example for the students is very important.

“Change is not linear…” was said in the presentation. She said that change is threads of influence that are linked when the influence is stronger. The power held by a person is a great responsibility. The power a person holds makes it able for them to influence others. When you influence them to do something, and they become confident, they are empowered and can influence further. The chain reaction is a huge lead in either a postitive direction or a negative direction, so we have to make sure we handle ourselves responsibly.

She said that we have to focus on the why rather than the end result. The process is just as much if not more important than the end result.

Finally, students have to find their voice and use it. It is our jobs to help them find that voice. Teaching is so important, it shapes the lives of the youth, and our future population. As a teacher you have to make sure you put that into perspective when you are teaching, guiding, and influencing them throughout their education.

K-12 Promise into Practice – What It Now Means to Teach Adolescent Readers and the Impact of the Results

3 Dec

Promise into Practice
It is a daunting and exciting time to teach English – especially as we consider the “shifts” in how we define literacy, and the toolset for our work as readers and writers continually expands. This session investigates one teacher’s work in studying her practice and students’ learning when she worked to bridge new literacies into “traditional” classroom practice.

I found this to be an amazing presentation. I took two pages of notes of just the things that i found the very most interesting. The main purpose of this presentation was how literacy is advanced much more beyond paper literacy. The different tasks using technology in a group of students had them thinking in different ways about reading.

A teacher worked with four different english classes and only took a technological approach with some of the class. Near the end, technology was incorporated in both groups. The groups were forced to individually talk about what they think literate is, and their experiences with literacy.

when students did their book reports they were challenged to work at it in a different way. They had to make a book trailer, and this trailer was a more interesting way to persuade interest in books! They also had a physical copy of their work on the book. With an oral presentation, once the presentation is done they dont have to think about it anymore, but with a hardcopy presentation they were able to look back on it and think about the book in a different perspective.

Another huge part of this presentation was how putting things online created a bigger audience.
A quote from the presentation that i found really interesting was “If two heads are better than one, then how bout two thousand”
This is an amazing thought, and makes a lot of sense. When students are able to connect with virtually millions of people, their level of thinking is on a much higer level, and they are given perspectives they might never have thought about. And it also interests the students so much more, because they are getting to show their work to so many more people!

Students were able to say “I have something to say”. They challenged themselves as learners, and became more confident doing so. Becoming more literate, in the paper way and the digital way, created a confidence that had them engaging more in conversation. The roles in the classroom shifted… Teacher as learner, student as learner, student as teacher… and roles added even more to that confidence.

Another quote i thought a lot about was how the students came to “read as writers, write as readers”. The read in the mindset of the writer, and as they wrote they thought of what the reader would be thinking when they read the work. This is such a deeper understanding of reading, and will be something I will think more of when I read and write.