Monday, August 20, 2007

Final Reflection

This will be be my last post for the class and I just wanted to review what I've learned and will be taking with me when I leave this class. Blogs; from an education stand point these are awesome. Especially for soon to be teachers because the resources out there from other teachers is astounding. RSS; Wow that sums up really what RSS is because getting the web to search for you saves time. Photostory3 or digital story telling is truly amazing, and I think the kids will think the same. It will engage and motivate them in a creative way. Wiki; I never understood what they were until this class and they are excellent. My wiki that I started has no content yet I just got it going so I could see how it all works, but I think I'm going to build it around the arts, lesson plans and links etc. Social Bookmarking I didn't really get into it or like it, but once I explained it to my wife she loved it. Shes keeps telling me it's addicting finding old friends on facebook and finding out what they are doing now etc. She loves it, i'm still not very crazy about it. I just about forgot about Flicker. The greatest sight on the internet I will be using this tons in and out of the classroom.
Now in thinking about my classroom design it will probably look something like this. One wall will be a wooden jungle gym with varying levels going all the way to the roof. There will be 12-15 spots or levels each one will have enough room on it for a pillow and a student. Below the jungle gym there will be a small library with a couple of hundred books. That will be my reading area. Students especially boys will read more if they are not in a standard desk so if they can climb up and find a perch to sit in and read I think it will work better than a traditional reading corner.
Second wall will be my media wall lined with as many computers as I can find. One per students hopefully, but more likely 10. A row of ten computers and then over top of the monitors there will be a projector screen from my computer and any other media needed such as a TV/DVD combo, CD players, speakers etc.
Third wall will be my arts wall with musical instruments such as guitars, drums, microphones etc for the kids. In a perfect set up it would be raised on a little stage so we could really have fun with the drama portion of things. This will be lots fun busting out a jam in the middle of third period. I'm sure the noise will piss off a few teachers, but it will be fun never the less.
Fourth wall will be student lockers with my resources above them. This last wall will also have a door and windows to the outside. So once I get yelled at for busting a jam we can all run outside and laugh. In the middle of the room there will be big round tables with enough chairs for all my students. No-desks, not even one for me. I just need a little podium so I present to the class but that's it. There is my perfect classroom, this might change but as for today this is it.
Last subject I wanted to talk about was the simple miss take I made with Dean's wiki. Dean has been pushing for us to embed our video's into our blogs so they just fire right up once you click on them. It's a good idea, but I was on Dean's wiki watching a video he had on wiki's made easy or something similar to that. I watched the video and when it finished up popped a bunch of other video's "UTube" connected with Dean's theme of Wiki's. Most of the other videos were fine, but one of them was of a young girl 12 or 13 dancing to a song called Wiki. This is where the problem occurred because here I am looking in one corner of the screen and there is a picture of my university professor and in the middle of his wiki page there is a hugely inappropriate video going on. I was shocked and disgusted, and alot of parents will make that same mistake that I did and it could turn out horrible. So all I'm saying is I'm going to stick to linking them for now because at least if I was on UTube's site and this video was playing there, it would have no direct link to Dean. But because you could see the images and Dean's opening page it was a problem. Anyway I think I've rambled on enough everyone have a great summer and I'm keeping all your links so we will hopefully be able to help each other when we get into our classrooms. Brian Nenson 3rd yr Ed Student.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

More Digital

More things I have bookmarked in my mind to talk about from Dean's powerpoint presentation are the fact that we have to teach kids to be responsible digital citizens. To learn to find more than one source to make something true, to not leave any personal information out on the web and even to stay on top of technology advances that are really out there to make our lives easier(or that's what I'm finding with blogs, rss etc.). Also that it would be nice to have more open source software that have the abilities to keep up with microsoft etc. Firefox seems to run way better on most machines than windows explorer. I think the comment was "share everything" and it makes sense especially from a learning perspective. The best comment of all was that in the future we will get 15 minutes of anonymous instead of 15 minutes of fame. This really does hit the nail on the head because with everybody publishing on the web their own movies and videos, and collaborating with wiki's blog's and rss feeds we will all be famous. Well famous enough for the world to see and read about us, learn from us and move farther forward and faster than without us. If this isn't fame I don't know what is and it is truly awesome. Brian Nenson 3rd yr Ed student

Digital Life vs. Life Digital

This was a very interesting article, but it's very hard to predict what will happen in the future. I'm talking about the new Mac phones that are supposed to change the way we view the net on our cell phones. I have worked with both pc's and mac's and there are definite positives and negatives to each. Pc's seem to have more tech problems, but have such a wide range of software you deal with the headache. Mac's on the other hand have very few operating issues, but have limited amounts of software (which they are getting better) to play with. Anyway I found the article cool and like I said it will be interesting to see it play out. Brian Nenson 3rd yr Ed student

Monday, August 6, 2007

copyright overview

The four part(Part one, two, three, four) copy right infringement video was good but a little too Michael Morre stylish or preachy documentary-ish then I like , but it made a few points that stand out. Obviously copyright infringement is important and we have to be careful that our kids know these rules as well. The fact that we can build on existing work as long as it is properly cited makes sense.
The controlled creativity aspect only relates to people that sign something away other wise we as a whole have the ability to create freely anything we want. The terrorist war over copyrights I agree is completely about money and nothing else, but I always attend that if the product is good people will still pay to have it. When I played in a band we always had our music on our website in MP3 format, which doesn't sound as good and defined as wave files or CD quality but it was free, so if you liked it then you could go out and buy it. If it's a question of right or wrong I don't know the answer, but I do know that open source software should rule. There is no reason we should have to pay the crazy amounts of money for software while hardware keeps getting cheaper and cheaper. And finally is it in our hands to instill change in this matter, well I leave with a quote I got from another band I worked with momentarily, "Talk minus action equals a good dinner party. Which kind of says it all, if you believe something is wrong stand and yell against it because it will just keep going on and on with no one to stop it otherwise. I think I'm getting a little too preachy now so I better go to bed. Brian Nenson 3rd yr Ed student.

other videos

The videos under Digital citizenship are excellent. Think before you post is one of the best video's I've seen in a long time on what can truly happen and continue to happen long after you want it to.
The anti-bullying campaign was excellent also. Those number's are disturbing because it's things like this that we as teachers sometimes overlook or just plain miss. Along with everything else we have to be able to see bullying in the classroom and playground and effectively deal with it. There is no reason any child should feel not welcome or safe with in the boundaries of school and beyond.
My daughter was bullied when we moved to a south end school in the city. I thought we where moving her away from the problem purchasing a home in a nicer area, but we where introduced to a whole new style of bullying. Not only physical while she was at school, but cyber bullying while she was at home on media like MSN and websites built by the other kids. I did what I could but the principle felt he was in control over the situation and he was not. Anyway it's important that we listen to kids make sure that their environment(s) are all safe. These videos really show kids and teacher's that this should be a high priority.

wiki while you work

YEH HAA! The more I learn about wiki's the more I like them. I just made my first one today and although there is no real information on it it's just amazing to me how easy it was to make, to edit, to add comments, and change info. Mark Wagner's utube movie introduction really helped with moving through making my first wiki, pain free. Which I really like, thanks Mark. Beyond the fact that Mark showed me step by step how to get a wiki up and going is beyond what else was said in his video. He talks about using wiki's straight across the grade levels which is huge for me who has always been looking towards the lower grades. He also shows how all teachers and or all students contribute and corroborate together. Awesome awesome awesome. Hmwiki and Techtips are awesome helping tools and I think that even if a lot of old schoolteachers looked at implementing this stuff it's not as hard as it looks. His wife gave a good shot in the arm for Firefox which I like to hear because it is my web browser by choice.
If you could handle the chirping of the birds which for some reason bugged me Dave (i can't remember his last name) had some great ideas for high school students that cuts down on plagiarism and makes teachers partners with students in the learning process.

Most of all There was WIKI-MAN(you know who you are) which I thought was the greatest song ever....NOT, but in a fun way, absolutely. I really liked the heavy metal umlaut wikipedia post that showed that when vandals arrived and started corrupting the page it was in some cases under a minute to get the site returned to it's regular state. This means lots to us as future teachers because we can hopefully avoid any of these vulgar situations and or use them to talk to the kids about digital vandalism. I like also the fact that heavy metal umlaut won't be found in encyclopedia Britannica.

Lastly I don't know if I've missed something on one of Dean's videos called "perros wiki wiki", but that teenage girl dancing in front of the camera for 3 minutes seemed what we are all trying to keep our children and students away from. Maybe there was a message I missed or I'm taking this out of context, but I thought it was very distasteful and extremely inappropriate. I have a 13 year old daughter and maybe this is why I am even posting something about this and not just dismissing it. This should be removed immediately.

Brian 3rd yr Ed student


I'm a little behind in the class, but I should be caught up by tomorrow which is our Tuesday session. I looking forward to this because finally I have the night off and can attend the whole session. I also want to tell everybody about the best and worst vacation I've every taken, but I can't find my USB (A) cord to download my pictures so I have to wait until I unpack it tomorrow.
Anyway on to some serious business about RSS's. I have just recently finished reading the chapter on RSS's and once again I am star struck on how cool this is. Simplifing a search is going to save huge amounts of time, but also keep up to date with things that are not even education related. For example I'm a huge hockey fan, but especially during the year there are times when trades and things happen and not aware of for many days because I can't keep visiting team websites. This way the info is brought to me with one place to check for all my teams and there are RSS links for CFL, NFL and probably other sports that I don't care about. I was explaining this to my brother how RSS's works and he was lost just like me, but about 40 minutes later he called me up and had a reader and was loving it just like me.
OK I know what your thinking lame Blog if you don't relate it to education since this is the reason most of us are here. Here I go..... what if we introduced parents to RSS's and then sent school websites, wiki's, blogs and everything else right to them directly. WOW talk about collaboration with parents they would know everything from expectations to assignment dates all by opening their reader. Making parents then aware of email addresses and wiki's abilities and you should be able to talk with parents more often then two parent/teacher conferences a year. More communication equals less problems and all this would take would maybe be a in-service night at the beginning of the year to show parents how RSS works(for those that don't already know) and your laughing all the way to the bank. Very cool. Brian Nenson 3rd yr Ed student.