Saturday, April 10, 2010

New Tools

Wow this is a long video but it is so worth watching. I was really dreading having to watch this and that is why I put it off for so long. But to my surprise it was very informative and super cute! Many people are nervous when they use materials created by others in their own work. For example the Wizard of Oz. In this video they use the music Wizard of Oz, they gave it new purpose and added value which allowed them to include the music created by another individual. Dr. Velenza mentions so many new tools and how they can be useful for our students. She talks about Digital foot prints and how they can help or hurt a person depending on what is out there. She encourages her students to search themselves to find out what is out there and what their future boss will see. The websites that she encourages are and To see the rest of the tools she mentioned in the video go to Dr. Velenza's Wiki .

I am really interested in creating educational cartoons. This is a slide show I found on Dr. Velenza's wiki that I really liked and found useful.

I love the idea of learning through cartoons. All of her apps would be useful in the classroom and I look forward to exploring them all.

Dr. Velenza shows us that there is more to Google than many people know or at least me. With google you can search topics or events and make concept maps, news time lines, see related searches, and so much more. I also enjoyed her opinion on wikipedia. So many times in school we hear " wikepedia is not a reliable source." But every time I do a personal search online I end up at wikipedia and I find my answer. Dr. Velenza believes that you should use widipedia and other sources. All educators or future educators should check out this video and her wiki because it will be incredible useful.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Digiteen Project Based Learning

I think this is a wonderful project. Students are able to select a topic, research the topic, and then share their findings with other classmates. I love the idea of students teaching each other oppose to the traditional lecture. One of the groups researched driving under the influence verses driving while texting. I really like that they are discussing this more and more these days. I know that when I was younger I would text while I drove, I felt that because I could keep my eyes on the road while I was sending a message that I was still being safe. But the problem is that the distraction is still there. Just because your eyes are on the road doesn't mean you are focused on the road. The students reported that your reaction time is the same when you are texting as when you are under an influence! WOW! They also reported that 14% of all car wrecks are due to DUI and 37% of all car wrecks are due to DWT! Another group of students researched Digital literacy and that it is important for students to be able to tell the difference between a real website and a fake one. Online safety was another topic that students selected as a risky digital behavior. They talked about how easy it is for your pictures and identity to be stolen when you post inappropriate information on the Internet. Digiteens: Digital Citizenship by Digital Teenagers is a wonderful resource to share with all people to educate them on these risky behaviors that our students and children are participating in.

I believe that it is important for both the teachers and parents to work together to make sure that our children are being safe on the Internet. We need to teach them appropriate ways to use the Internet and social networks as well as show them the dangers of using these in a inappropriate manner. This should be Incorporated in our curriculum as well as something that parent talk to their children about. The Internet and social networks can be a great tool in the classroom however they can be easily abused that is why I will make sure when I am a teacher that we discuss the dangers and how to avoid them. This project is wonderful it allows students to research and teach themselves about a topic or concept and share it with their peers. Project based learning can be so successful and motivating.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Digital Youth Portrait:Sam

Sam is like most teenagers these days, she uses computers and all other types of technology as often as she can. She is very intelligent and resourceful. Like many students reading a book doesn't excite them and is often not done. She found an application on her phone that would allow her to hear and see the text. For many students reading comprehension is low when they are asked to read on their own and higher when they can read along and hear the text. I think this is a wonderful resource for our students. She even enhanced her piano skills with a program she found online. This program played the song and showed her which keys to press and then she wrote the notes down and practiced on her piano. This is a wonderful Video that shows how useful the Internet is to enhancing the academic curriculum and how motivating these programs are to the students.

Sam shows us that we need to make sure we are up to date on new technology to ensure that we are preparing our students for this technology driven world. All of her attempts with these applications and programs have taught her how to think outside the box and alternative ways to be creative. Students Like Sam can teach us all a lot.