Monday, February 13, 2006

Raw Materials 280-End

This part of the book wrapped everything up and talked about podcasting... Which I am a fan of. I have always enjoyed lecture and discussion based classroom learning and podcasting is a good tool or at least a great supplement for this style. The ability to get different perspectives on numerous topics and an easy way for students to use this technology to help them enhance or review material.

Here are a couple good websites

Monday, February 06, 2006


The power of misinformation. The digital world is a vast place with treasures and trash. I think the main lesson to be learned from this article is to be skeptical. Information with no purpose or function other than to take up space can become dangerous. Remember that on the web you are anonymous but so are the people presenting the information. For all you know it could have been a 5 year old posting on gravitational theory, or a serial killer webpage on ethics. You don't know these people, you don't know their qualifications or their beliefs. Do yourself a favor take it all with a grain of salt, and if you want to use the information make sure it is good information.

Oversold and Underused

This article takes a nice veiw on technology. It is scary true too. Technology is moving faster than most people can adapt to it. You have specialized salesmen selling schools newer and newer technology that not only do they not need it (in most cases) but don't know how to work it. When I was graduated high school in 2001 technology was rarely used and only in computer classes not in the core subjects. While software has made tasks easier to manage most teachers are set in their ways and only begrudgingly change and learn new software. While I believe that technology is an amazing tool most students spend a majority of their free time on the web. Let the teachers teach how to use the web responsibly and use the digital media to relate and interact with kids, but as cool and flashy as the digital world is it lacks empathy and compassion. While you may relate to more kids by being technically savy you will make a bigger impact with how your relationship is with your students on an emotional level. So maybe instead of trying to buy the newest, flashiest computer or software we should place just as big of an emphases on building character and making a positive impact in your students lives.

Raw Materials 258-280

This part of the book talked about different kind of publishing on the web. Remember that people have expectations when you sit down to read a book or to go to a movie, you have expectations. People don't go to a romantic movie and expect a gory violent horror movie. Same principles apply on the web. People expect certain things from web postings. They expect them to be easy to load, so no big pictures, easy to navigate and to find the infomation they are looking for. The chapter goes into tips to design and the features of different educational sites.

This one I will talk about in my presentation tonight

Here is the one to my high school

Raw Materials 245-258

Blogs Blogs Blogs. While this is a relatively new thing to the internet, I have always hated blogs and blogging. I can see how this is a more creative and fun way to share your thoughts than a journal, but I have never had nor enjoyed journal writing. While blogs with educational information can be useful it seems like most blogs are just personal information about people. I know the big thing at Tech with my buddies is facebook, but to me blogging is like drawing, you either love to do it or you hate it. Just remember this stuff isn't private kids, so show some friggin responsibility. No one wants to be there when your parents and principal find out that little Sally in their 10th grade class went to a rave and got drugged up and made some bad decisions. So don't post private personal stuff unless you want to risk getting caught and when you do don't act suprised. Kids these days...

Raw Materials 207-245

This section was mildy interesting although I do think that the chart on 210 should have had wasting time as #1. Maybe it is just me and the people that I hang around but we are always on the web. Usually we are doing something but we are also doing a whole lot of nothing at the sametime. Call it multitasking... I am going to do some homework, but while I am doing that I am checking out my favorite sports team, checking my email, looking on ebay for stuff etc. Most people run with 2-3 tabs open at a time while browsing the web. I may be on the high side but I spend at least 3 hours a day on the web on average usually just chatting on aim or random searching. The webquest was neat but I don't think I will ever use it.

A couple of unique ways to explore the internet other than Explorer

Raw Materials 180-206

This section was filled with audio and video files, although this isn't an area that really interests me. The knowledge is nice to use. It seems like most of my buddies care more about downloading music than changing different audio file formats. I like the fact that audio and video is being integrated in our digital world, over the last couple of years we went from a text based digital world to one with amazing varieties of text, picture and sound. Ipods and Mp3 players are becoming standard as is the ability to download not only songs but music videos. Cell phones with links to the internet acess and music and video downloading not only exist but thrive. It seems like everyone can have portable acess to the internet now for a price.

Here is some info for you

Monday, January 16, 2006

Raw Materials 142-180

This section gave many new ideas on how to search and useful ways to extract information from webpages. The book used the acronym search.

S - Start with a small index search tool such as Yahoo
E - Edit your search phrase using Boolean or Search Math
A - Advance to a large index search tool such as Google or Alta Vista
R - Refine your search phrase using Boolean or Search Math
C - Cycle back and "advance" again
H - Harvest your selected web resources

While it is useful, this book isn't brand new and the internet has expanded greatly since this was written there really isn't many small index search tools and yahoo definetly isn't one of them. I also believe if you know how to search ie boolean or search math you shouldn't need to start with a small index, besides, what if the small index doesn't have acess to some really useful tools that the larger search engines have?

A guide to search engines

A smaller search engine to try

Raw Materials


Got some catching up to do... A little too much vacation lol. This section of Raw materials I really enjoyed. This section was about being a smarter searcher. It talked about alot of different ways to implement a more sucessfull search including bookmarks, search engines and web directories. Being able to quickly and sucessfully manuever around the internet is an important skill and it will save you tons of time. I believe to be sucessfull you need more than just a working understanding of the internet, but with education and practice, being netsavy will become as normal as tying your shoelaces. Here are two of my favorite search engines that everyone knows and probably uses. *Remember to use these things to help you narrow your search () AND OR BOTH they are very helpful. this site has a pretty good language translator.

Monday, December 12, 2005

One Link I found to help students of all ages

Flickering Mind

I was concered with some aspects of the article, the author seems critical of school spending on techonology, saying that schools spend too much money on 'techonology' without doing research and get sucked into the vicious cycle of this or that software becoming outdated or these new machines run faster and more efficiently for cheaper etc. It reminds me of the microsoft commercial when the king and his knights were sitting at the table and the hear 'change' coming. The king is terrified about the giant slug representing change coming to ruin his (non digital) world. When he asks for suggestions one of the knights recommends building a catapult and launching large bags of money at it. The Kings response was priceless, "So we should just throw money at the problem?" Is that what schools now days are doing?

How deep in the digital world am I when I am appling mircrosoft commercials to my school work?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Growing up Digital

While I think stating the fact that children have growing and often more advanced technological skills than many adults. Has become common knowledge to most people now days, I am still surprised at the popularity of chat rooms.

I remember about 5 years ago when it seemed that chat rooms and instant messaging were all the rage. I know the popularity of messaging has not declined but I guess I just wrongly assumed that the chat room fad had died down. Chat rooms can be a great source of information and a way to communicate and express beliefs to a diverse group of people with a common interest. They do have pitfalls though, inside internet chatrooms people can act inapropriately with little reprecussion, also many chat rooms have no constructive learning purpose. As long as we can teach children to value credibility and TRUST them to make good decisions with the knowledge we give them than chat rooms can be a great for students.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

One of the many things that I like about the presentation was the focus on technology and the future. Including technology in our teaching styles is critical to relate to students now days. Digital literacy, while an issue I haven't put much thought in I can see how it is critical to develop these skills to reach children in a growing changing environment.

I was not aware that outsourcing was as developed as it was, Definetly something to think about next time I go to McDonalds. I was also unaware that brains have been physiologicaly changed.

A blend of both technology and face to face learning can help mold and develop students and teach them technological skills to advance in the future.

I also agree with the veiws of Angus King, and his veiws to reach out and and allow digital devices for all children. Children can learn technological skills and it allows more flexible curriculum for teachers.

Friday, November 18, 2005