Saturday, August 29, 2009

Assignment 2- Podcast Critique

I listened to the Podcast assigned and realized that I should only subscribe to podcasts that: 1) I am very interested in, and 2) Have entertaining hosts that keep my attention for longer than 5 minutes. I really didn't like the Smartboard podcast. The way they set up their discussions made it extremely boring and I had to skip through most of it. The commentary and jokes were kind of corny and I just couldn't bring myself to listen through to the end. I do think some of the topics they discussed were interesting topics and I would like to have heard more about some rather than others.

When I played to EdTechTalk, I had trouble listening to their discussion because the sound quality was very low. It sounded like they were in a tunnel speaking on a cell phone. Another thing that I did not like was the conversational structure. It was patchy at times and I felt like I was eavesdropping on someone else's conversation. I don't know if this is typical of podcasts. I did enjoy the topics they brought up because they spoke about teachers' involvement with technology and ways to meet the demands of a classroom using this technology cooperatively.

As I listen to these podcasts, I see that they all begin with a little bit of introductory music and the speaker introduces him/herself. I really liked Kidcast compared to the other podcasts. It was easy to follow and I was much more focused on the speaker and the message he was sending out. I believe a podcast usually tries to involve aspects from more than one speaker, but I feel that this takes away from the main focus- which is the topic of the conversation. I also felt like the speaker was not using jargon that I was still not familiar with. I think this would be a great tool that I could definitely use in my own classroom one day.

I liked the Teacher's Podcast. The sound quality was high and I was able to really listen to the speaker. Their was more than one speaker but they did not interrupt each other, they took turns speaking and they both stayed on the same topic, being careful not to jump ahead of each other. I really enjoyed the content of the conversation and these people were very organized about what was going on with teachers. I am realizing that a good podcast, in addition to interesting content, will make listeners not only want to listen more but want to join in and be a part of the conversation. I think this is a good example of a podcast because it makes the audience want to interact and I believe that to be a large part of this new technology. If you go to the Smartboard Podcast site and look under Listeners Also Subscribed To, you will find The Teachers Podcast: The New Generation of Ed. Tech Professionals.

The KPSforParents podcast was done a bit differently. It was conversation created and monitored through a blog that was converted to a podcast series so that the audience could get the information they needed "on the go". I really loved the content of the conversation and it was right down my ally for becoming a special ed. teacher. I learned some things from this podcast as well. The sound quality was high and the message easy to follow.

The Special Education podcast with Thomas Cervantes was once again right down my alley for special ed. content. The speaker, Thomas Cervantes, was easy to listen to but I could tell he was reading and I think it would have been done better if he would have spoken differently. I think practicing one's message is important for creating a good podcast. This podcast was very short and didn't have as much content as I would have liked to hear. I don't think this would be a podcast I would use directly in the classroom or for it. If you want to find this podcast you can enter Special Education into your iTunes search window when on the podcast site, and several options for Special Education podcasts should show up in the main viewing window. From there, you can click on Special Education with Thomas Cervantes and it should take you to his site. Look under Viewers Also Subscribed To and you will see a podcast titled Making Education Actually Work. If you click on that link it will take you to the KPSforParents podcasting site.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vicki Davis-Harnessing Digital Smarts

I just watched the movie Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts by Vicki Davis and I was very excited to see someone working so diligently towards making her students technologically proficient. She gave them the opportunity to learn about the connectivity that technology can offer by letting them participate in projects with other students all around the world. To me, this is a very proactive teaching stance, but I also noticed that she gave the children assignments to learn and teach others about new technology and her students were not only motivated but also succeeded! She merely gave them the tools they needed to properly research the assignment and once they did (as she guided them along) the students discovered they were able to do most of it on their own. This gives students a sense of empowerment and is a strong motivator for them.

Another thing I saw that I liked was that Vicki Davis was not affected by the demographics of the town she was in. It was a small rural town and many times these types of places are the ones that are slow to take in new things. She did not let that stand in her way. Sometimes I think it can be easy to just say "well these kids will never need to know how to blog or twitter" because of their surroundings, but she did not. Instead, she made her class informative, entertaining, and opened the students' imaginations up to the entire world around them. She kept them "connected" to the places they otherwise may have never known about. I loved seeing her students excited to present their findings on avatar's and hope that I am able to instill this attitude among my students one day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Box- Sir Ken Robinson response

I was blown away by the video on You Tube by Sir Ken Robinson. The Importance of Creativity sank in very deep once I watched it and realized that much of what he explains is true. The entire fundamentals on which we base our education system are out of date and need to be remodeled. "We educate children in public school systems to prepare them for college and for the future, but we can't even tell those children what their adult futures are going to be like for sure." Ken Robinson I definitely agree that creativity is what will enable us to adapt and secure a better future for ourselves and for the generations following. His concepts were huge yet easy to grasp.

This video made me want to do things differently in my own classroom one day, but I don't know how or where I would start to implement ideas such as his. Sure I could pay more attention to the talents and creative abilities of my students, but I would still have to make sure they passed the reading and math achievement levels they needed in order to progress to the next grade level. This video was very inspiring but the next thing I did was wonder- how do we integrate ideas such as these when we are stuck in the "box" system ourselves? To me, it is simple to tell someone to think outside of it, but how do we get there from where we are now?

Teaching- response to Mr. Winkle Wakes

The You Tube video Mr. Winkle Wakes seemed to have a very interesting view point on technology in the classroom. I did not necessarily agree with the message it sent because many schools are transitioning to the usage of new technology at this moment. I do agree that it has taken too long and it makes me curious as to why? There are theories that because schools don't receive enough federal funding, the import of technology has been put on a back burner for classrooms and teachers. It has also been said that because parents have so much control of the curriculum and because they are not comfortable with new aged technology, the importance of having it in the classroom is minuscule.

I am not sure that I agree with either of these theories, but I do understand that only recently have public schools begun instilling smart boards into their classrooms. Administrators are finally forced to educate their personnel on how to use this new technology and integrate it into the curriculum. Mr. Winkle obviously felt comfortable with the classroom because of its familiarity to how things used to be before technology, but I think the video wants us to ask ourselves if we would and should feel the same way.

I do not feel the same but I know my father would. He has never had experience typing on a word processor or navigating a web page until this past year. Taking online courses, he is being forced to communicate and learn this technology. With a man who is very set in his ways, to me, this is what it would have been like teaching Mr. Winkle! But as confused as Mr. Winkle and my dad once were, my dad has made the effort- catching on quicker than expected. He is not as uncomfortable with the Internet or creating Word Documents as he used to be and has gained confidence about himself. This tells me something more about technology in the classrooms. If my father (who hates trying anything new!) can learn and adapt to new technology, than yes it is necessary to implement it with our youth.

Tomatoes- response to Did You Know?3.0

After watching the YouTube video Did You Know? 3.0 by Karl Fisch, I realized how much I did not know about how much information was being processed throughout time. Every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year and so on, so many people are using technology to live and document their lives. It is amazing when one is presented with so many facts and numbers based on our current population. This gives us great insight to the transition of our times.

It used to take a long time for new ideas and technology to generate a large population's interest and following. Now, with the use of technology, we can generate new ideas to the population like wildfire! I also did not realize that other countries had adopted English and less people in America actually spoke our main language, than those of other nations. This is shocking news to me and I worry about our technologically dependent generations. I wonder if this ever-emerging technology is more of a threat to the knowledge of basic functioning-
Or if it will be able to adapt, creating solutions for our fragmented ways of communication. I am very much all about new technology and the wonders it can do for us today. There are so many creative ways to communicate and share information, but I also notice gaps that this leaves in the "old-fashioned" ways of carrying on relationships and dealing with the grit of survival. My American Lit teacher asked us today, "if a stage 5 hurricane was going to hit us tomorrow and all of the stores were empty or sold out, how many of us would be able to gather our fresh grown tomatoes/other vegetables and can them so we would have food for the aftermath of the storm?" One girl knew how to can tomatoes.

So my question is, how do we balance knowledge of evolving technology with the knowledge of basic survival without technology?

Background Information

My name is Dillon Rogers. I am twenty two years old and my major at South is Special Education Elementary K-6. I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama and lived in Pensacola, Florida for one of the twenty two years. I played soccer for 11 years and one year I played for South Alabama Women's soccer team. I have two brothers (one older and one younger) and a yellow lab (who counts as the youngest member of our family) who's name is Gus. I love the outdoors and I love to be active. I am currently getting my SCUBA license and hope to be diving by the end of Fall. I am very friendly and love a good laugh. Presently I work at Foosackley's off University and Airport, so if you stop in to get some chicken and fries, look for me and say hello!

Dillon's 1st Post

This is Dillon Rogers. This is my 1st post.