Final Reflection

I feel this class has energized me in so many ways. I can’t stop thinking of ways I am going to introduce and utilize learning to rejuvenate my teaching and my student’s learning.  I know my students are ready for this new era in my teaching, I am unsure if my parents are going to buy into it. (BUt I find parents to be easier sells than most would think.)

I have already had a meeting with my principal and discussed nwith him the advantages of setting our school website up on lunar pages, so all teachers will have blogs accessible to them  for use in their classroom. I spoke with him about the advantages of blogs in education and he too was very enthused to have this technology tool available for the students.  After he contacts our district technology person, I will have the green light to start the blog project at my school. I am very excited and plan to sell ot to other teachers by example and of course probably being in charge of presenting to the faculty at some point in time. When this project gets underway, I will contact anytone who is interested in knowing more about it.

I am also excited about introducing podcast to my second graders.  I see so many possibilities for this tool.  Coming from a predominantly very low income school, most of my students do not have access to computers at home, but they do have access to telephones and will be able to deliver podcasts for some homework assignemts. Well, have to see. I also like the idea of a radio news show written, producd, and presented by students.  I will definitely keep everyone up to date on my progress.

Protopage has definitely won my heart over and I plan to integrate this piece in my classroom also. This year we will establish pages and maybe next year’s class can refine them and continue to build on the concepts we cover and learn about in second grade.

Again, this class has rejuvenated me and my teaching and I know my students will directly benefit from my experience here in class. Anyone who is interested in doing a collaborative project with a second grade class from slower lower keep me in mind.  I am definitely interested in making connections and contacts outside my four walls of my classroom. Thanks everyone for a wonderful expereince.

June 26, 2007

In class today I was introduced to two new books.  The first, The Search told us the ins and outs of the Google search button. It was very interesting to see how a research project turned into a staple in technology life.  I wonder if anyof our project will have the same effect?

The second book was The Tipping Point which explored why popular things become popular. It sounded like a very interesting book and will seriously make me notice tipping points in everyday life.

Now that the book talks are over, it is time to really focus on how all this information fits together to create our final projects.  I have some really creative ideas, I am just unsure if I am going to be able to pull off what I would like to pull off.  It feels like a logistic problem. Well, we’ll see.

I can’t wait to talk with students from last year’s class. It will be interesting to see how this class has changed since last year and has technology really changed since then.

June 25, 2007

Today was different in many ways. One, I was introduced to two new books. Two, I witnessed the use of another technology tool. Three, we tried fishbowling with blogs. 

 I thought both groups rainbow’s end and the world is flat(flattening) did an excellent job presenting.  Brian and Conrad had excellent visuals and made a really really long book actually seem worth reading.  Dave, Kelly and Kim did a wondeful job of trying to explain a futuristic book that challenged my current thinking.  Do we really feel in 20 years we will be wearing computer clothes?  It will definitely be interesting to see. 

SOme interesting points were brought up in the world is flat. How safe is our jobs as teachers?  As long as the DSTP is around, I guess pretty safe because they need someone to proctor it? Ha Ha! It really makes see how the DSTP empahasis is really not preparing our children for what they need to know next.  We can’t blame the DSTP though, it’s the emphasis that is put on it that is hurting our children.

The blogging fish bowl was a very interesting approach to holding a class discussion.  I feel it allows people to make connections with the presentations and see what others are thinking without upsetting the flow of the presentation.  It makes you actively think and try to apply the ideas presented, whereas traditional presentations often allowed you to just sit there if you wanted too.

June 22, 2007

Well, day 5, things started to slow down as far as information went, but my mind is still going 100mph as I try to use the new technology tools within our book presentation and our project. A lot of my time is being devoted to my book A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. He seriously has me thinking about whether I use my Left or Right side of my brain and if I am going to be able to survive in the copnceptual age? Hopefully that will be a question we all are asking after Lorajean and I present on Monday.

On my way to class Friday, the news had an interesting t echnology tidbit.  Gaming and too much computer time can now be considered as a mental disease.  I guess technology keeps hitting milestones.

When I began taking classes years ago, I found an educator I really enjoyed and respected what she wrote. Her name is Kathy Schrock. Well, during this class I subscribed to her blog through google reader.  I just noticed that she and other educators from the New England area have bought land in Secondlife and named it eduaction island. They plan to use this land to hold classes in secondlife.  I found it very intriguing since we just spoke about this topic and I  am interested and seeing where it goes.

Preparing for my book presentation has given me real life practice at using some of the new tools Pat has presented.  I especially prefer Firefox and love the bookmarks, Protopage I am beginning to get a fell for, I am still working at mastering these which I believe is my Left brain talking .  .  .

June 21, 2007

Well, today technology continued to amaze me as I was introduced into a whole new realm with Second Life.  What surprised me was it existed and was so popular, and I didn’t even have a clue. It made me realize that I really do need to a better job at staying in touch with everything that is going on in the world.  I almost feel it as a duty to my students.  I guess before I always believed I was preparing my students for a more futuristic world, but now I realize that world is yet defined and who knows where it will take us.  I have also began reading The New Mind . . .  by Pink.  It really has challenged my way of thinking and scares me about the direction of the American school system under NCLB.  I feel that under the current direction we are feeding into the L-side and overlooking the R-side.  It was refreshing though to see how some schools were recognizing the R-side and mixed design with higher achievement.

Pat always discusses things as being too prescribed and I whole heartedly agree that education has become too prescribed as a whole.  I have worked in two very diverse school settings where one harped on consistancy and demanded conformity from the staff as well as the students. Now I am not implying there is no merit in conformity and consistancy, but when it comes to educating there is no one hard fast way to educate all children. I believe this testing regime has stifled many teachers creativity and passion for the profession.

On the flip side, I have signed up for more sites, services, and programs than I ever thought imagined.  It really has sparked my own curiosity and challenged my own comfort levels within my current practices. I still figuring out how all the pieces fit, but believe me I have never been more excited or passionate about returning to the classroom in the fall.

These on-line collaboration projects have really inspired me. I can’t wait to design or particpate and implement these within my own classroom. 

What’s scary is even though this is my last course to complete my Master’s degree, I am already thinking about applying for another post graduate degree? Well, let me get through this class first . . .

June 20, 2007

Well, this class continues to amaze me.  I learned that an ipod can do so much more than play music, movies, and store photos. I got introduced to podcasts and was even shown how to create my own using a cell phone? Very interesting! This class continues to test me and ideas about the uses of technology. My mind is still trying to fully grasp all the possibilities and is still trying to wrap itself around it. 

The first thing I did after class was phone my husband on the way home and tell him how limited our use has been with the ipod. I then began to talk him through how to get podcasts and the beauty of the fact that it was FREE and once you subscribed it woul automatically upload when you synched up your ipod.  He was utterly amazed!

The podcast I chose to review is ( well to be honest , I got hung up at viewing various podcasts from elementary schools). I liked seeing how elementary schools were using this technology to communicate and collaborate.  I saw it being used as test review, a daily update on happenings, a cummulative project for earthday. I couldn’t help thinking how many other uses were out there. Although, I did have difficulty figuring out how to find the RSS feed. I’ll have to see if anyone can help me out there.

As I was looking to add a meaningful blof to my google reader, I stumbled upon Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatsch. I have always enjoyed her insights into both teaching and technology.  I see she also will be a presenter at the NECC 07. I am looking forward to checking into some sessions from this conference.

I find it amazing how when I entered this class, I felt very confident I knew alot about technology in education. As I sit here today, I realize still how far I have to come and that I will never truely know everything, but I do enjoy trying . . .

I do believe the rubric we created will produce quality projects.  I just wonder if I’ll be able to create it in the time alotted. I’m positive we can, I am just eager to get the ball rolling. I hope we get more clarity on our direction at the next class.

What just happened?

After my first encounter with THE PAT SINE, I realized how much I still have to learn about technology. This was definitely the perfect class to take as my final class in the masterof instruction program.  It proves once again that learning is never over, and altough I may be finishing a degree, there’s still alot o know.

I play basketball every Monday and when I told them who my professor was, they were like ‘oh, she’s the the computer guru of the state’ and I was like ‘no kidding! she just rattled my little technology cage . . . something HARD!’

I felt very overwhelmed after the first class and energized to learn so many fun tools I can use not only with my students, but in my own life and to bring back to my faculty who is still stuck in the 0.5 age. That’s right they haven’t even made totally to the 1.0 age. It should be a very interesting class to say the least.