For over the past three months I have been blogging with several people from different websites. At first it was tedious as I have never blogged before and it was unfamiliar and overwhelming with websites. There is a lot of information out there and sometimes it is hard to know if there is a reliable site. But throughout networking and in class recommendations I have built a repoire with some of those who have their own teacher education websites. It has been a learning experience and an informative resourceful social network that I will continue to explore.
Taylor Hatmaker with ReadWrite Social writes how Facebook wants to be more competitive with mobile apps and picture sharing even though they are known to have a bumpy past with mobile apps. Zuckerberg is saying their new app will be the next Instagram; it is called WhatsApp. It essentially will replace Facebook Messenger and bring a new way in sharing photos. Its SMS alternative will be a global leader; not just in the US.
Susan Riley, an Arts Integration Specialist writes about the common core curriculum mainly using STEM and how arts integration can benefit the components of a student education to make it better. Riley teaches her students to research and focus on the process of their lesson to produce a product rather than a process. Not only will a focus be on the arts and away from Ipod, Ipads, cell phones and computers but it will access points that are relevant to every child making the classroom an equitable opportunity for everyone. “By using Arts Integration, teachers and leaders can ensure that students are learning in a way that meets their own unique cultural, social, emotional and intellectual needs.” Drama, dance and music can be incorporated into your classroom lesson. Riley ends that teachers are being short changed in the traditional approach to teaching in the classroom. Art integration provides tools to teachers and students for an opportunity to create their own meaning. Very interesting because I do not hear any art projects except maybe once a month with my children.
We have spoken a lot about Internet etiquette and professionalism in our class. This article caught my eye right away. Apparently a woman, Ms. Stone, took pictures of herself giving the middle finger to a sign that said “silence and respect” at the Arlington National Cemetery and a picture of her smoking in front of a “no smoking” sign and posted them on Facebook to her friends. People were outraged in the community with her blatant disrespect.
These people started a “Fire Lindsey Stone” Facebook page with 30,000 likes and 2,900 signatures to have her fired. Apparently this community harassed/contacted and sbumitted complaints to her job everyday to have her fired. The non-profit organization Stone worked for fired her and stated on their Facebook page that her termination was the direct result of the “publicity [which] has been very upsetting to the learning-disabled population we serve.” In the meantime a representative for the military said to NBC that Stone was entitled to her opinion; she has freedom of speech. Stone apparently showed remorse and stated that the pictures were meant for her friends, not the public community. In the article the author Fruzsina states that social media shaming is usually done to right a wrong but in Stone’s case she disrespected those who died and defended our country.
On the other hand Fruzsina explains that Stone has now been cyber bullied per Facebook’s rules. No one shall bully or cause financial harm but the Stone haters not only bullied her on the Internet but made her lose her job. A follow up post asking if it was OK for Stone’s vigilantes to have her fired is on another social website called Gawker.
In conclusion this article has only confirmed that one must be very careful when posting pictures of statuses on the Internet. When networking like this you are putting yourself out there and possibly at risk even if it could be a misinterpretation. Even your non-friends can see your posts for instance if one of your friends likes or comments on your profile page or you do the same. Any kind of information can be public even if you have privacy settings.
Michael Singer writes of a new device that will transform not only how we spend our money but when and where. Cash and credit cards are not going anywhere anytime soon, but he explains that companies and industries are working to make a mobile device that will be able to pay anything from a store, restaurant, bills and even a child’s allowance. Now there is Google Wallet and Apple Passbook but Visa’s Ewallet is causing commotion. Where there used to be payment methods now there are electronic transactions at the point of sale (POS) and “deal a days” coupons are going to reach over $3 billion by 2015 developing brand loyalty. The US govt too has weighed in on electronic technology in that you can go to their website and register to be paid or can pay fees. A lot of the payment transactions with any company really are done via a mobile device. Singer explains that as more and more electronic transactions are becoming more prevalent, cash may become the exception rather than the rule.
Ben Johnson writes from a Principal’s perspective on his high school receiving Ipads for his 9th and 10th graders. He was planning on not steering too far off course with the regular scheduled day when they arrived. The students were eager to receive them and this only made them grow with anticipation. Johnson had planned to put someone in charge of all of the details and organization of having and implementing the Ipads as it was a lot to do. The school librarian ended up taking on this task. All of his teachers had a workshop to learn about the new technology that would be used in their class. Once the students got their Ipads they were so excited, so much so they couldn’t put them down and would be walking into each other or tripping. The 9th and 10th graders crowded the lunch room with their new Ipads playing games or whatever on their new devices. Tension grew and another disruption developed; the upperclassmen were upset that they did not have Ipads and why were these under classmen allowed to play with a tech device when cell phones were banned. So the same rule applying to cell phones, in that students could not use them in school only with the permission of a teacher, was implemented to the Ipads. Issue solved.
More excitement grew after Johnson realized and saw how the Ipads were becoming an essential part in the classroom. He mentions that his school uses an Airwatch system; all the students set up emails through this account and that’s how the school keeps track. Johnson says that the teachers use Edmodo, Evernote and Proshow. Electronic text books were being downloaded, presentations made by the students, research was done by the students, homework and so forth. Johnson too was excited for this new technology because he saw the eagerness to learn from both his students and his teachers. In his worries of disruptions he tells of this disruption being a positive one. The teachers were doing less talking and the students were doing more learning. Johnson is still learning along with his school this new technology of the Ipad and asks for any input and suggestions regarding same. It had only been the beginning of their new tech experience and he cannot wait to see it unfold and transform his students and teachers alike.
Dr. Mark Wagner’s article and reading on other websites is helping me to understand how essential is it to set up a PLN and participate often. By having a PLN you can have a network of fellow teachers, educators, administration and a whole community of members. These people are an asset in learning new things, getting ideas, asking questions or presenting a problem to be solved. The possibilities go on and on.
In Dr. Wagner’s article lists ten tips in setting up a PLN. Connecting he explains is not just reading but replying and staying involved. He adds to contribute, converse and request. Basically sharing your information or post can be valuable to someone else. Leading to these conversations building a repoire and relationships. Dr. Wagner says after doing all of these and establishing yourself then you will get higher quality and quicker more reliable answers when requesting information. The last steps involve networking tools. For example, blogs, tweeting, Classroom 2.0 and Google are all great networks to join and start your PLN. In my Instructional Tech class Ms. Faith has introduced all of the above and we have been active participants in blogging and tweeting. Classroom 2.0 is so involved that I spent hours browsing through it. So many options and outlets are there to start my journey in establishing an PLN. Dr. Wagner’s article organized and listed informative steps for me to follow. It is a basic approach to what is a hugely spread out resource in Nings and PLNs.
Alan S. Cohen writes in his Readwrite Hack twitter page that software and hardware are a billion dollar business. So why after consumers spend $4 billion are the products not living up to what is stated on the box? Human intervention is needed. As an IT tech he realized that all of his constituents are the key component at home with this problem. He goes into how vendors don’t test products, how vendors push out products fast and so forth. He uses a good analogy: imagine if you buy a flat screen TV and have a service repairman once a month. It would become tiresome.
He makes an interesting point about cloud computing. With this new technology it cuts out the middle man and leaves the developer. Ultimately maybe leaving the consumer with more trouble in fixing software and hardware problems. Although this could be a good thing he says, because there will be no human error, like Facebook distractions or configuration mistakes. At the end of the article he states questions wherein IT Technicians can maybe figure if they are a middleman or as he puts it, “a human IT middleware” person and can you be replaced.
All in all, the article caught my eye because for a year and half I have had issues with my IPhone and understanding the apps or they simply do not work. Recently I had to upgrade my phone because my original IPhone went dead. For no reason. In getting a new upgraded IPphone, ICloud was introduced to me. The technician went on and on about and I have yet to understand its capabilities. They truly do not know how to explain the IPhone. That is like a somonlei that cannot explain wine.
Matt Davis, an Editorial Assistant with Edutopia writes a blog above web tools tech integration lesson plans for students to enable students with the Bloom’s Taxonomy. From Web 2.0 tools, online discussions, video and audio production, and tech projects for higher order thinking. In the next decade tech careers are going to boom and including technology in the classroom is essential for students, according to Mr. Davis and the credited authors. Instead of lecturing the technology allows for students to have a more involved hands on learning experience and do better with it.
This seems to be a trend in all of the educational material that I am currently learning this semester. More technology, less memorized learning equals more successful students.
Robert Furger writes the above article and provides a short video on the Edutopia website about the success of laptops in the Mott Hall School in Harlem, NY. The school has always lead as a pioneer in teaching but when laptops were provided to teachers and students a whole new wave and successful engagement began. 5th graders write poems from digital pictures; 6th graders research language, how to make a kite and heat infusion with materials. Mrs. Acosta, the Principal, says that their mission is to provide a strong academic foundation for the students to carry into higher learning. The students work collaboratively. A traditional teaching approach has turned into a project based curriculum. The students can be their own directors and managers of their learning. A teacher goes on to explain in the video that these multi-disciplinary projects are longer and more complex and challenging resulting in the students being more successful. The technology is successful for the lessons and the kids enjoy using it.
One example was given of a male student who was not engaged and scores were low. Once he was involved in projects his scores and potential rose and became engaged in learning. After school there is chess. The chess teacher says that it is not only about playing chess but teaching the student to investigate and take their time in decision making. It is not always about the right answer but internal dialogue. Another example is the subject of science. A grad student came in to help with the lab. She did not expect the students to be engaged too much but once giving the students an opportunity to choose their own topic and how they learn she was surprised at the end result. The presentation was far beyond her expectations and she believes that this would not have happened without the laptops and project based learning. In the end technology and projects provide for more of an understanding in problem solving, decision making, evaluating, ideas being shared, products being produced and the students are happy and successful. I would hope to see more of this happening in our local schools. Our children are really missing out!