I Think I Made It?!

 

 

This is the last Liberal Studies class that I have to take in order to fulfill my degree in Liberal Studies degree. I thought that after all these years of using Jing, Google Docs, and just overall being a pretty tech savvy guy that I would find this class to be really easy. I soon found out that there is so much more technology that I haven’t ever dealt with. I came into this class thinking that there wasn’t much left for me to learn but ended up being proven wrong. 

My first session was actually an online one and I’ve never ever heard on a class on campus where you meet online. I’ve had classes where we say we meet online and then just do work on Blackboard so it was really interesting to see the real deal. What I think I got the most out of this class is the classroom should never be boring. There are so many ways to use technology in a classroom as we found out in our Cool Tool Duel. I learned that basically anything you can find in a classroom you can find a virtual copy of it on the internet, even students! This is all fascinating because children nowadays have become very technologically involved. And I’ve learned from this class that we shouldn’t be trying to shove the technology out of them before coming to class. We can instead use more technology in the class to interest the students and to keep things fresh. Fight fire with fire! 

Group work in a class that only meets face to face once a week sounded pretty difficult. But thanks to technology it wasn’t too hard at all. The online wikis were great because it was a chance for us to contribute to a group and see what our peers were thinking as well. I felt like Google became my best friend this month just because the use of Docs, Sites, and email kept me up to date with what everyone else was doing since we learned how to share it with each other. And luckily it was easy to communicate because a lot of times I got pretty lost with what we had to do. It was a great class and my only regret is I didn’t wait to take it a full semester. There were a lot of projects and a lot of new technology thrown at us, and its honestly nice to know that we came out of it learning something. I mean we are out… right?

 

 

Quality and Quantity

 

When I was in sixth grade I took a science class and one of our big assignments was to make a model of a volcano and label its parts. I knew it was a big assignment because we had a couple of weeks to do it. Our teacher gave us a sheet of paper with instructions on it which I followed to the best of my ability. I bought the closest colored clay to red as I could find and began making my volcano, and when I felt it was good enough added some toothpicks to label the parts. I let it harden and prepared to show it to class. When I walked into my class with my volcano I almost threw it away and pretended I didn’t do the assignment. Everyone’s volcanos looked so beautiful and were made with all sorts of materials. They made my volcano look like “Attack of the Pink Blob”. Luckily my teacher knew that I tried with the assignment and when he gave back my volcano I found a note saying “B for effort”. 

I don’t ever want my students to feel that way. And I don’t think I would have felt that way if my teacher had broken our project down into segments and critiqued us each step of the way. This is what I would like to do with my webquest. Although the assignment does have a finished product, it is a long ways from beginning it to ending it. As a teacher I would like to make sure my students are on track with what they would like to end up with and what I would like to end up with by checking up on their work every now and then. Since the groups are split up into different roles such as nutritionists, fitness experts, and so on I would gather each role from each group and have a small meeting with them while the other roles worked on their parts. Since each role have anyone in their group working on the same thing as them this meeting would benefit them because these students have the same roles so they can compare ideas. 

Besides checking up on my students a few times before the project is due I would like to give my students the highest quality critique before their assignment is due. Since we will be dipping our feet into a lot of new technology I would have to make sure each student understands how to use it. Online calendars can be tough to use, especially for elementary school students so I can’t expect them to be able to get it right, even if I show them myself how to use them. If I notice one or a few students are clueless I will ask the whole class if they understand it, and chances are a lot won’t but just didn’t want to say anything. I would demonstrate with the class in front of them how to do it and work with student individually so they can really get it. I would also make sure each role is always doing something by giving them links to all types of sites that can benefit them. 

BIE Search

I found the Buck Institute for Education to be a really useful site for what we have planned in our class. There were a lot of good ideas for project based learning, especially for the topic I chose which was preventing child obesity. One resource I found was titled “Good Eats” and was a unit full of lessons that cover different subjects such as Health Science, English Language, and much more. The essential question for this unit is “Should we care about what we eat? Why?” The unit is split into 3 sections, each with about 5 lessons in each section. The first and third section are very similar as they deal with chemistry, algebra, and the other logical thinking parts of the brain. The second section deals with the relationship of english language and world history. It even has a section on Spanish 1 for some reason! 

What I really liked about this unit is that it could be extremely useful because of how detailed it is. It even provides the look of the worksheets you will use. This unit could be given to a substitute and they should have no problems instructing students with what they need to do. I would have liked to have found something a little less complex for an elementary, because this unit is designed for the high school level. The topic is child obesity, but obesity still occurs when people are older so perhaps this unit can still try to help prevent future complications with weight and help students like a healthier lifestyle. 

What is also helpful in this is that they broke the class into certain roles such as the nutritionist, genetic counselor, and a few more. There are some science experiments that would require some tubes, solutes, and suctions, but all the worksheets are provided in the unit. If you’d like to check it out for yourself use the link below!

http://connectedcalifornia.org/downloads/curriculum/GoodEats_CA.pdf

Copyright; Copyleft

It is so much easier to find talent today than it would have been a few decades ago. A few decades ago you could go to your favorite club, listen to your favorite local band, then go home and listen to the record of your favorite big time artist. Today you can still do all those things. However, due to modern technology you aren’t limited to just that. Now you can listen to just about anyone in the world, even if they don’t want you to. With the help of the internet and modern technology, you don’t have to go to a recording studio to get heard anymore. You can use anything as simple as a laptop, phone, or camera and record yourself with that and upload it to the internet for the world to see. Sites such as Youtube and Soundcloud allow people who want to be famous to post their original music up for all to see. This can make for a great opportunity if you are heard by the right person, but what if you are heard by the wrong person? What happens when your original work because someone else’s original work? 

I read a story of a guy named Jeremy who had posted some of his original work on Soundcloud to later find his exact work on Youtube with different titles on it. Here in a link to that story

http://jeremylimmusic.com/legal/how-my-music-was-plagiarized-for-profit-and-how-i-fought-back-joseph-ti-into-the-deep/

After a long battle Jeremy got the rights to his music back, but he found out how easy it is for someone to plagiarize your work if you are not careful. You here stories like this all the time. A musician named Joe Satriana sued Coldpay because he thought their song, Viva La Vida, plagiarized his own work. Sara Bareilles’ friends wanted her to sue Katy Perry for what sounded like Katy Perry taking Barreilles’ “Brave” melody and using it in Perry’s “Roar” single. 

With so much different ideas and information out there it is very possible to think of an idea that you thought was original but it being out there already. But in the same respect it is also possible for someone to take someone else’s ideas without them being aware of it. Intellectual property is important and the law is going to have to treat it as such. I see the future of intellectual property creating more laws to deal with all the ease of taking ideas.

Children must be taught that copying ideas is bad, and not just with homework. But I don’t think we can do that if we are making students always work on the same things. I think we can give students a lot more of their own intellectual property if we allow them to be more creative in their work. By that I mean giving students the same assignments, but seeing what different ways they can do it. Such as how we all made different commercials with different laws, we can have children create their own ideas as well.

Speaking of that, check out my commercial!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sekgfnaD2w4

 

Here Comes Everybody

 

I tried a little experiment out for myself a few months ago. Anytime I was with a group of people I would pull out my phone and do something on it. Write a text, check a Snapchat, it didn’t matter I would just pull it out. Surely enough, within just a few seconds almost everyone else in the group would do the same thing. I did this a few times with the same results every time. Why is this? Why do we feel the need to be on our phones all the time? Not just on our phones, but it is what we do with them. We go on Facebook, Twitter, and all these other social networking sites while in the company of others. I thought the point of social networking was to socialize while away from people, so why are we socializing on our phones while socializing amongst other people? Double socializing? Sounds like a bit much to me.

But it has become the norm. I have a Facebook because, well everyone has a Facebook and I feel like I keep it because otherwise I would be missing out on a lot of important things my friends have going on. That is, until I see my Facebook feed and find nothing but memes and Vine videos flooding it.  I haven’t dived into many other social networking sites, but it doesn’t appear that I need to. It seems as though all social networks have combined into one big one because I don’t just see Facebook updates on my newsfeed. I see who posted what on Instagram and people hashtagging through Twitter. It seems as though everything is in the same space now, which I guess is good because it saved time logging into all those sites and looking at them all.

As mentioned before we are going through a shift where children as young as elementary school have phones that are smarter than a super computer from the 1980s. Regardless of what you may want to happen, students are going to be social networking in class since they have the means to. If you can’t beat them, then join them. Social networking can be distracting and has a lot of other cons to it, but it does have some pros. You can use social networking in a classroom to engage students in topics and share online material with students that they can watch on their free time. Also, I found a really cool site called edmodo.com that is like a Facebook you can use for a classroom. Students will have fun with it and teachers can use it for all types of stuff such as allowing students to turn in work, posting quizzes, and sharing information. Oh and of course, socializing.

I was watching Hot Tub Time Machine a while ago which is the story of a group of men who time travel back to 1986 with the use of a hot tub. One part of the movie really stuck out to me. Jacob, a teenager who is really involved in technology asked a girl for her cell phone number, but she doesn’t have one. He asks her for her Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter information but she doesn’t know what that is since it doesn’t exist yet. He finally asks her “How will I get into contact with you then?” and she replies “Find me”. He then says “That sounds exhausting.”  This made me think of how crazy it is that in just a few decades we have made it so easy to get into contact with each other that you can do it almost any time you like. New technology is only making it easier with the use of social networking that you can basically track someone down by just reading their Twitter feed. It has made quite an impact on our culture, but it also keeps our noses down since our eyes are always on our phones. I’m just afraid that the only way we will be able to socialize in the future is through the use of social media.

How To Make a Meme

 

Above is a tutorial I did on how to make a meme. Memes are fun little images that you can share with people to get a good laugh. They are very easy to make with the help of sites such as memegenerator.net

Here is the meme we ended up with!

Image

Screencasting was a lot of fun, and can be used in an educational environment in multiple ways.

Some of these ways include

1. If you are out sick and have a substitute with your students you can use a screencast to direct the substitute on how to run things.

2. If there is ever any researching that students have to do online then you can guide them on how to find their material through screen-casting.

3. You can demonstrate to students how to safely browse through images.

4. You can teach students a step by step of how to do something in case a students missed class.

5. Teach students how to blog and communicate with other students effectively.

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