Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Technologic (music video)

Daft Punk - Technologic

The robot in the video is somewhat creepy.
And the movie is extremely repetitive.
But I thought it was appropriate,
considering the course topic and all.
Had to share this one.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Student Blog Post Comments

T4T - Student Blog Post Comments

(comment awaiting moderation)

Oakridge Sixth Grade Blog - Student Blog Post Comments

Traditional Meets Digital

Rachel Boyd gives us an insight to her six and seven year-old students' classroom. The video "A peek for a Week - Inside a Kiwi Junior Classroom" takes place in Nelson, New Zealand. During this video Boyd introduces WALT (We are learning to), a concept that teaches students to learn independently through technology. This video discusses various categories covered in "Room 9": classroom routines, oral language, listening, speaking, narrative writing, readig, maths, inquiry learning, music, and physical education. She introduces different digital teaching avenues to her students enriching their understanding of technology, as well as adding vibrancy to the cirriculium. Boyd holds true to the traditional learning methods like writing, reading, and mathematics using "old-school" mediums. Pencil and paper are still used by the classroom of 2010... But will this be the case a decade from now?

Room 9 starts the morning of by logging on to their classroom wiki hub on an interactive whiteboard. One of the following activities that follows involves watching and discussing a video clip from the New Zealand news website. This covers current stories occuring locally and internationally. When writing narrative stories her student's collaborate with various classrooms using docs.google. To help with handwriting they practice correct letter formation on the white board. In class the kids improve their typing skills by practicing on paper keyboards and connecting to a BBC website for additional help. For daily fitness they go to youtube to find videos that help them stay active and physically fit. The students use a variety of reading strategies using a website called Delicious. Boyd's classroom uses another helpful called Spellingcity they can leave comments and shares links on this online spelling program. This site introduces proper spelling and familiarity with basic words. Sites like Tutpup help to aid the children with their mathematical skills. Inquiry learning is an interesting category that gets students and teachers involved with a website called Xtranormal. It teaches them how to make animated movies. The children get to share their knowledge with the teachers by giving a tutorial on how to use the site.

When I was in elementary school my favorite time was snack time. Everybody would gather up for story time while muching on snacks! Funcity! Well Boyd puts a little nice spin on this ever so popular wind down time. She created something called 'nibbles time'. This is where the students get to finish their leftover lunch while they read emails and comments on their writing blogs. During this time the students make connections with other classes and communicate with other schools. When international students comment on their links they go to Google Earth to pin point their exact location. How much fun! Seeing technologically advanced classrooms like Boyd's make me wish I was born in the 21st century instead of the 20th. Snack time or nibbles time? Story time or blogging time? Interesting transtions indeed :D

Incorporating Boyd's visual art ideas into my my own opens up many doors in my mind. I love the idea of the students incorporating hands on art with the digital world. A combining of two great forces. The digitally enhanced artwork Boyd's classroom created was so creative and inspiring. Following a similar protocal, I would first have the students take digital photos of themselves, an animal, friend, family member, or any object that they liked. Then they could draw a background to put behind the cut-out digitally photographed image. Prepration for graphic design is something that should be introduced in middle and elementary school. Which apparently New Zealand has got the right idea. Considering how most societies (especially America) are fueled by advertising, it just makes sense to start preping them at an early age. Teaching the students to combine traditional with the digital is an excellent idea.

Hold true to the original and embrace the new.

Some extra links: Prezi, Wikispaces, Animoto

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Technologically Immersed From Dawn till Dusk

The video Digital Youth Portrait: Nafiza gave me a glimpse into the life of a technologically savvy young girl Nafiza, an 18 year old senior in high school. This video shows how Nafiza incorporates technology into her personal life, as well as, her educational life. In the morning she wakes up to an alarm clock on her cell phone, walks to school while listening to her iPod, communicates through a social network called Facebook, along with, Flickr and Teen Second Life, followed by playing video games, and using other varying technological activities and gadgets. While in school they discussed higher education in other countries while incorporating this with something the younger adults enjoyed Teen Second Life and Flickr. This helps the students to expand their digital literacy, communication, and leadership skills.

Relating to my own life I can see a few similarities. I wake up in the morning in a similar fashion, to my cell phone alarm. While driving in my car I have an attachment that allows me to listen to my iPod. I know that when I leave my house without my cell phone a sense of panic emerges. "I have to call so-and-so, and pay a bill over the phone" etc... "Oh no, what will I do?!" What ever happened to using payphones? Do these even exist anymore? They do, but not for long if I were to assume. My point being, I can relate to Nafiza's dependancy on technology. But, I like the idea of being able to go without a cellphone, iPod, Facebook, etc. for a day or two.

To keep a student's attention they require visual aid. Incorporating a means of technology and visual stimuli will keep my students interested. Helping them to be digitally literate is something as a teacher I feel compelled to do now. As we advance technologically as a society, so must all of the individuals too, or not. It is my responsibility as a future educator to help them with this. Using technology in a way to benefit the students is the key here. Using websites like Teen Second Life to talk about subjects that hold some value, like Nafiza's discussion on the struggle with higher education in foreign countries, incorporates a sense of morality within the kids.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Benefits Behind Blogging Buddies

When watching “We Like Our Blogging Buddies: The Write Stuff with Blogging Mentors I was so surprised to see students in first grade using computers to blog! Wow, how times have changed, and it appears to be for the better. Assigning children to university level students is a wonderful way to approach teaching English. Also, this helps to expand the first graders knowledge on how to use computers. The first graders seemed very excited to blog their stories and receive constructive and positive feedback from their 'blogging buddies'. It appeared that this activity, Blogging Buddies, added an extra element of fun for both parties, especially the younger students.

The English classes I have had at UCO have used a similar technique like blogging buddies. First we would post the writing assignments online, and then we would critique them. Having someone critique your paper is so beneficial; because lets face it sometimes we don't always catch all the errors errors. It's also nice to hear an outsider’s opinion, ideas, suggestions, etc. As well as blogging for English assignments I have been subjected to critiques in all of my art classes. I have been approached in both ways while being critiqued on papers and art assignments. Not all of the criticism I have received has been 100% beneficial, but for the most part it has helped more than it has hurt. You learn what to do and what not to do. What works and what doesn't work. Including positive feedback is crucial in this process. In the video, the university students made sure to provide positive constructive critiques for the students' blogs. Regardless of age, whether you are a first grader in elementary school or a junior at a university, just stating the negative (what's wrong) doesn't help much. In fact, it can do quite the opposite. Doing this will more than likely result in associating a negative feeling with sharing. Who wants to share when you have people telling you what's wrong? Not me! That's why the positive should be emphasized. Don't sugarcoat it, but don't be rude. Find a balance. That way sharing will be associated with a positive feeling.

Most people would assume that a middle school art class would not include technology or English in the lesson plan. Well think again. As times change and progress I want my students to be on top of their technological game. English is where students struggle the most. So, I want to encourage the students to utilize correct grammar, punctuation, etc. Originally, I planned on having the students submit a handwritten short essay on 'the professional artist of the week'. This would be a great activity alone by itself. But lets make it more interesting. What if the students were to blog their essays online? Then, another portion of the assignment would require that the students give positive feedback to an assigned blogging buddy within the class, grade level, or school. This would be a great way to incorporate technology and English into my curriculum. I like the idea and would not have thought twice about it, if not for watching the blogging buddies video.

Monday, January 18, 2010


The overall message I gathered from "Digital Youth Portrait: Cameron" was that teachers can be students. Cameron shared his knowledge of technology with his classmates, as well as his teachers. From observing educators over the past few years I have come to believe that some teachers can overlook the information students try to share with them. I don't think that this should be the case. We are all students and teachers, and we should share our knowledge with one another.
The connection I took away from this video was to find something that you are passionate about and pursue it. Cameron is very passionate about his love for technology. He takes the initiative to teach himself on the topics he shares an interest for. I have done this recently with my love for artwork by going to the library to investigate and research different pieces of artwork from various cultures. No one told me to do this, I wanted to. This has influenced my artwork and brought it to a higher level in terms of quality and diversity. It has opened my mind up to further exploration and research for my passion.
As far as technology is concerned my knowledge is quite limited. Cameron's passion has inspired me to do further research to stay on top of my technological game. It appears that most students communicate and express many feelings, ideas, etc. through blogs and outlets like facebook, twitter, myspace, etc. To keep the attention of my students in the future I would like to incorporate these blogging and social networking sites into my curriculum. The key is to use them in a positive and beneficial way to help further their education, while at the same time keeping their attention.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All about me... Tiffany!

Hello friends! I am Tiffany!

Activities I love... creating art, reading, writing, watching japanese movies and anime, playing ping pong, frisbee golf, and cooking.

I would like to be a middle school art teacher. I believe that art can be very
therapeutic and is a healthy outlet to express feelings and other issues. Children are very influential in their youth. Having someway to channel their energy in a positive way is my goal with teaching. People have different passions, and art is mine. I want to share this with my students and the knowledge I have acquired along the way pertaining to the arts.