Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Digital Citizenship Faux Pas?

I just wrote a blog response on my sister's blog that should have really been a blog post of its own on my blog! I will paste it below for your reading pleasure. Is it rude, or using poor manners to enter a blog response of great length on someone else's blog? There is a good question for Digital Citizenship Police? Is there an Emily Post of the computer world? If not there is a job for someone! Until then I'll just act ignorant(act?)

Anyway my sister bogged about the yahoo Article declaring the death of the Ipod when she just recently got won herself. She also wrote about the never ending race to keep up with technology. I'm sure we all know that feeling or we wouldn't be participating in this summer program. So here is my response to her posting:

Oh crud, I was just considering an Ipod myself. I have never before because I just love free FM radio and yes, I even love the DJ"s and advertisements. I like a variety of forms of music but do not like to learn the names of artists or the names of songs for that matter. I mainly like something that has a shoulder dancing beat, a catchy tune or some collection of words that I feel connected to somehow. I haven't really needed an Ipod but was considering it anyway. Recently I went on a short bus trip with a majority of seniors who were listening to their Ipods. I felt perhaps the time was right for me. I am cheap and terribly practical so I just kept thinking I'd get a multi-purpose tool with a built in music device when I got my next cell phone. So now I've decided for sure. I will not invest in a personal music downloading system now. I will wait and am anxious to see how much better it will be than an Ipod when I purchase my next 4G, 5G,or 6G cellphone, information system, camera, music device and toilet cleaner all in one!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Final Post 11.5

The strongest impact came from the opening video. I think others will agree from what I gleaned from their posts. The obvious shift from teacher to facilitator was so shocking to see and hear. It was like another big shake up is just around the corner and with it the fear of, "Will I be ready?" Like others I feel unprepared but this summer's work is another step in the right direction.

I found this summer's project to be quite manageable in amount of tasks and time required to complete each. The biggest disappointment was probably the lack of inter-blog communication. I tried to visit other blogs and leave comments on a somewhat regular basis but was left empty by the lack of responses or feedback from others. I did love the interaction with my sister and daughter. I suggested that perhaps the returning students be required to blog a new student every time they were blogging to keep them encouraged. I liked that the captains responded to posts and offered suggestions.

As with last year I loved the image generators and suspect I will use them in my class. I'm excited to prepare GoView lessons to hand over to our Tech teacher. I hope I use voicethread as uploads to my web page for announcements and such. I think it would be fun for the kids to prepare their own for open house or parent night. Same can be said for Animoto. I plan to show students the Animoto for their own uses, too.

Youtube and Teachertube are already resources that I use and will continue to use, but doubt I will actually upload anything unless I really impress myself! I don't plan to twitter unless someone tells me I have to, although I can see the point and purpose for Facebook but for my private use only.

I'm glad I know about Second Life and may even suggest students visit it at home but I'm not quite ready to use this instructionally. It is amazing to see that it is out there and that it functions so smoothly.

As for Digital Citizenship, it seems to be a constant concern. I think it will be interesting to see where it goes in my district and others, as well. I enjoyed Mr. Ribbles ideas and it helped me solidify some of my own ideas.

This summer has been just what I needed to add new technology to my repertoire. I can't wait to see what next year has in store.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Digital Citizenship #10,000

I don't know if you read Fooling With Words, but you should. The creator has such a way with words that it makes me feel like a 5th grade writer instead of teacher(not writing thank goodness). I'm not just saying that because she's my sister. But today when I responded to her blog I became aware of more of my own thoughts on Digital Citizenship so I copied my comment to her below.

I never find you to be boring. I loved the comparison of banned computer use to taking away the textbook. I agree that technology is a fundamental of education, not a privilege. Yes, I think this might be an avenue for more character education. Being who I am, I'm tempted to say that what you do online at home and school can be 2 different things! What is acceptable in one place is not acceptable in another. I noticed a sign at the post office store that said please hang up your cell phone when you are being served. Again, do we really need to be told or reminded of etiquette and good manners. Obviously, we do. There are so many things in education that I think we really shouldn't have to teach. Kids should know these things from home. Someone should have already taught them. But, no they have not. So just like Digital Conduct we will have to go ahead and teach what seems obvious and hope some of them will believe it matters.

So let's be sure to teach Digital Citizenship along with lessons on attentive listening, cooperative skills, hand washing, accepting no for an answer and using appropriate volume inside the classroom!

Keep on Creating, Just for Fun

Before I finish for the summer I decided to do a few more things, again. Yesterday I did the Bookr you see here in the side bar, that is cut off. When I moved it to the big column, still cut off. The frustrations of technology never completely disappear. I think I'll also do another lesson on GoView so I don't forget how easy and useful it is. I think it is one of the tools researched that I'll probably use. I just still haven't found a use for Second World, really. I could pull some strings that tie it to my curriculum but honestly I don't think I'll incorporate it. Which tools studied do you think you are most likely to use? Which least likely?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Second Life 4, Out of This World

Today I visited the Domed Planetarium in Second Life and was quite impressed. It was easy to navigate, quiet, and actually could be quite educational. Once teleported to the planetarium, I walked on a catwalk type fixture to a huge glass dome where when panned around could see the planets all revolving the sun and rotating, from Earth's point of view. From a monitor I could choose other numbered NASA shows. I think the next one I saw was a closeup of the surface of the moon. Again fun and interesting. When I pulled my view outside the planetarium it reminded me that I was in a planetarium not in space or on a space station. Very fun. It also gave clear rules when entering this showcase so there was no question of the proper digital citizenship. I will continue to investigate Second Life as time permits and ponder ways to use it as an educational tool with meaning.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Digital Citizenship 3, Bridging the Divide

Today I looked at the Digiteen Project for education of digital citizenship. I clicked on last years project and was delighted to find something new and different. The following partial list comes from the 5 steps of last years project:

4. Possible solutions to the problems that have emerged.
•Making more girl friendly Internet and computer games.
•Making yourselves and people of different ages aware of digital citizenship in order to help them access technology.
•When making donations also consider the charities that try to bridge the 'digital divide'.
5. Guideline(s) or rule(s) for teenager(s).
•Don't exclude anybody surrounding you from using digital technology.
•Break the digital divide and help people from different ages to access digital technology.
•Make sure that you don't spend too much time on digital technology.

I really liked the idea of helping others across the digital divide. It is stressed in both points 4 and 5 above. I know that as a staff we are constantly helping each other get across these technological gaps. I know that my dad needs help in some areas, young students in others. Today my sister told me that a boy working in the Apple Store showed her the bar to increase or decrease image size! We all have our own gaps and also bridges for someone else. It is important to take time to help or inspire others.

The program also stresses and teaches that there is a such thing as too much technology and that is an addiction. I think kids know this but probably need to be reminded.

I liked what I read and saw here. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Digital Citizenship 2

Digital Citizenship 2, takes a look at a 4 Phase Model of Teaching Digital Citizenship by Mike S. Ribble, The 4 phase model really incorporates more like 8 steps but is cyclical and easy to follow and understand. I do believe we must teach the objectives in his article but wonder how we actually get kids to feel and believe these ideas of citizenship. He suggests lesson ideas for each step but I still think kids might not buy into this self imposed regulation of technology. As for myself, every time I enter a new online setting I am keenly aware of the need to act right, in accordance with accepted behaviors. My biggest fear in Second Life was that someone was going to tell me to get lost, not speak with them, that I owed them money, or that I had broken some written or unwritten rule or law. I know we must do our part as educators to present the concepts, monitor compliance, and apply consequences. BUT in the world of ,”My mom couldn’t sign my folder because she was on Facebook all night,” I’m not sure the kids or their support system will reinforce these as we might hope.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Digital Citizens

Who thinks of these things? Librarians, for sure. Such detail people. In the world of Digital Citizenship, I started with the post by the Coolcat Teacher.
I loved her 4 square model including a quadrant for Literacy, Safety, Learning Strategies and Etiquette. Then ensued the debate about teaching credible sources or ignoring the topic. I liked the quote from David Warlick where he suggests, not starting your lesson at the whiteboard web page but with the Google search and going through the process you used to find good, reliable sources for class. I thought that would be a quick easy way to teach the process in an ongoing, practical style. I agree there is a need, for so many students take everything they read online as gospel. Keep tuned in for my growing thoughts, as I read more articles on the topic of Digital Citizenship

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Second Life, No, Third

I have ventured into Second Life. I went to the moon. The trip was much faster and smoother than I imagined. The first thing I noticed was that to leave the ship I had to buy a suit. Do you really have to pay real money? Then it ask me to touch something to get an HUD for viewing. It was very hard for me to move my arm. I finally got it by accident. I took a big step for mankind by initiating conversation with Silent Jules and should have realized that he wouldn't answer. Crystal did answer though. We said a few random things. I told her I was there for a class I was taking and she said, "Cool." I looked around but still felt unsure about obtaining inventory items and buying stuff. I can see I still have much to learn. It says you can also build your own slur, whatever that means. I'm not ready to give up just yet. As long as I'm not on the tennis courts, where I want to be I'll just keep peeking into Second Life. Oh yeah, I saw a girl who actually designed her own image with a wide rear. Now that is just too honest for me!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Quote to Share

I'm not a worldly or wordy person. I rarely remember anything or remember where I heard it or who said it, for that matter. I don't know when or where to place commas, colons, dashes and not the dreaded semicolon(should that be hyphenated?). But occasionally I hear something that strikes true and I want to remember it and so I will share the words I heard paraphrased, of course. Is their free will? Free will is the choice to move toward or away from your purpose. I like that. This came from the movie, The Answerman. Watch the trailer for the movie at the link below.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Things Learned From the Sickbed

Silence is noisy! The breathing of the nearby sleeping dog, the purr of the air conditioner, the hum of the fan, the clicking on of the pool pump, the distance whirring of cars. All of these disrupted my peace while sick. Surprisingly, I could never hear the TV in the other room.

My husband is an attentive caregiver. He can get drinks, medication, adjust the thermostat, suggest many things I would never want, all in the hopes of making me well. He can buy himself watermelons and plums in my absence. He can be satisfied with self made a lunch meat and homegrown tomato sandwich for dinner. He cannot although load the dishwasher, run a load of wash, or remember to take the dry cleaning. I found out that he is happy to drive into town and buy a grilled cheeses sandwich for me but not make one himself. So needless to say after 29 years of marriage he has had a lesson in grilled cheeses making and dish washer loading. He was an attentive student but I doubt he will put these new skills into practice.

My doctor is aging faster than I am. When we started going to Dougy Houser about 10 years ago he looked like he was 12. He is a man that keeps visible stress in his life to a minimum. He only works Monday -Thursday, accepts no new patients, never has more than he can handle in his waiting room, never hurries through a visit. Now from my standpoint this is a man who has carefully made decisions about how he wants to work and live. But for the first time I have noticed he has aged. He now looks the 40 that he probably is and admits he too takes lots of ibuprofen. Now I have to wonder...does he have teenage children? aging parents? I was happy to see a really snazzy jazzy sports car of some type in the lot and hope it is his passion.

It is nice to hear the phone ring even if you are too sick to talk. So if or when I'm sick again keep calling. It makes me feel good and keeps James busy.

marraige should be marriage. Did I know this? Geesh that is scary!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

2nd Life, Revisited

I was so thrilled to have 5 responses that I vowed to try 2nd Life again. I logged on, down loaded the program, and went through the 9 slide tutorial. I had a ball changing my avatar to try to make it really look like me. I was also getting pretty good at flying. Being techno shy I didn't talk to anyone although someone gave me a landmark that I discarded(whatever that means) By this time I had been on well over an hour. I used search to find something new but wasn't very good at this. I found somethings I thought might be good for school such as the recommended tornado and tsunami but when I click the button to take me there nothing happened. Should this happen quickly? Maybe I was impatient and should have waited longer. I will try again tomorrow. I must admit that I see that this could be entertaining possibly educational. Uncle. Uncle.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Second Life, One Too Many?

Second Life is really kooky. I can see the appeal but am not sure if I want to do this. I began my avatar and looking at the possible communities. I became aware that it is easy to join an international community so one could gain knowledge about foreign languages, ways of life, geography, .... I also saw topic related sites such as music, art, and business. My son told me some horror stories of people getting totally obsessed with their virtual worlds and spending all their time and money in their Second Life. I could see how this could easily happen. I got put off when my pop up blocker stopped me from down loading their program. When it ask if I trusted the site, the contents, I felt skeptical, unsure. It is kind of like scuba diving in a cave when you have never dived or cave explored before. I'm sure it will look more friendly in the light of day. Any words of encouragement out there?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Slidesharing, Let Me See...

Let me see if I have this correct. If I wanted to use someone's PowerPoint presentation that was create in something other than Microsoft PowerPoint I might need to translate it into the correct language so that it could be seen on my computer? And if this were the case I would use one of the slide sharing sites listed on this task? I really think that if this is the case I'd just make my own or do something else or get someone to do this for me if I thought this slide show was the end all. I think I get the concept. I realize the online tools exists out there. I could find and use them if need be. Is this enough? I hope so because I'm moving on to something more pertinent and fun.

Edit on GoView

I have made my 2nd GoView lesson, Using Microsoft 2007 to Create a Science Fair Graph. It was much smoother this time and I found and used the edit button. The edit allows you to add a title and to split and delete certain parts of your lesson. I got stuck on my production and couldn't get back to the graph design page and had about 30 seconds on DAH! time in my lesson. I used the split and delete button to easily remove this awkward silence from my lesson. I love this program!

Friday, July 3, 2009

What Now?

I finished summer school yesterday and find myself thinking, "What now?". What do I want to accomplish this summer? What skill do I want to acquire, what knowledge? Do I want to try something new or perfect something old like playing guitar or baking pies or sew or paint? I noticed in the Electric Coop magazine a holiday baking contest that must include peanuts in the recipe. I love a competition, I love eating, I love peanuts but think I have an allergy to them. In the name of a contest I could probably ingest a few here and there. I like the idea of the contest but hate the idea of having to read the rules! I also noticed an article on pies, the making of crusts, and recipes following. Perhaps this could be the summer of pies. Now remember the basic fear of staying home in the summer is that I might gain weight. I have learned how to cook for others without eating too much myself, but poor James might weigh 500 by the end of pie summer. Now moving away from food. I told Becky that I would like to try to learn something that was hard or difficult. It urges me to get out the college Algebra book. Most summers between baking cakes and practicing Mel Bay Book A and B, I work on Algebra problems. Maybe this summer I should set a goal. Maybe I should plan to finish the book. Maybe I should find technology sites to help me! Maybe I should leave the book in the drawer and do something else. I know you are thinking why not do volunteer work, help someone in need, take the focus off myself. There is the crazy plant lady who has a house completely surrounded by plants and various yard sundries. Perhaps an hour of my time each morning could her her win the battle of the plant invasions. Would she welcome my help? Would she shoot me if I entered her property? She might not welcome my help but all her neighbors with the "for sale" signs in their yards surely would. How about home improvement projects? Where would I begin? Door stops? Paint? Cleaning? Caulk removal and reapplication? Carpet cleaning or just replacement? Yard work? Honestly, I'm just not that into home things this summer. The law of home improvements says, "Stay away from home and you won't notice the things that need fixing so much!" One thing I must include is laughing and fun. I want my Sunday school girls to come over. I want to get together with girls I teach with so we can have fun away from school. I want to take time to play plenty of games. Now if you are going to respond with advice keep in mind that these are just rhetorical questions, just mind ponderings from morning coffee and that although I want your responses that no advice or direction is really needed.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Twitter Me Not

I have deleted my twitter account and found it to be ho-hum. It is almost like blogging without any response! Only some creepy people that I never knew wanted to be my twitter followers. What do they want? What are they looking for? Well they'll get nothing from me! I'm deleted, that will show them!