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    Monday, May 24, 2010

    Google Apps in the Classroom

    Here is a link to a slideshow that demonstrates different ways you can incorporate Google apps into your classroom to make it more interactive. Enjoy!

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    Video Essays

    I've taken a couple of classes where we are allowed to create video essays rather than writing a traditional paper. At first I thought it was strange but now I love creating them and viewing them. It is so much more interesting than reading a regular essay with black ink on white paper. Then I started wondering...Do other professors allow their students to do the same? Where is the role of video essays heading? Is it more popular than I thought? What are the trends in colleges today? Are many professors open to the idea of allowing video and multimedia essays? Then I found the following article. It is more about video essays rather than traditional essays as part of the admission process, but still...I like that the idea of video essays is becoming more widespread and accepted because it is more interactive and allows students to show their creativity. Another thing I wonder about is the effect this will have on writing. We all know there is one style of acceptable writing for traditional papers and another style of writing used exclusively for the web, which is traditionally shorter, more concise consisting of bullet points and lists to make it easier to skim and read. Will the traditional, paper format of writing become obsolete then? It used to be second nature to me to write a traditional paper but now I feel inhibited if I can't insert images, videos and links.

    Video Essays

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    21st Century Learner Part 4

    If students are taught in an "analog" classroom (desks with rows) and not provided opportunities for using technology, collaboration, etc. then they will not be prepared for the future. Instead they will be:

    • Unmotivated
    • Uninspired
    • Unprepared
    • Unequipped for future economics, business, technology, communications, science, future jobs which do not exist today, and use technology that does not exist today
    • Bored

    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    21st Century Learner Part 3

    Characteristics of students of the future:
    • Digital natives
    • Digital learners
    • Collaborators
    • Multi-taskers
    • Visual learner
    • Inquisitive
    • Creators (they like to create new things with technology)
    • Share information with others
    • Active learners
    • Thinkers, Creators, Analyzers, Synthesizers, Evaluators
    • They like to apply knowledge to real world situations
    • Want to be engaged in technology
    • They live in a world of instant information, communication, entertainment, collaboration, multimedia,
    • Search online for information
    • They are not afraid to take risks and learn from their mistakes
    • They like to play with, create with, and learn with technology
    • They play lots of video games, watch TV, surf the web, social networking, listen to iPod
    • They have a voice and want to be heard
    • They like to show off talents
    • Create knowledge that will create new careers
    • Students meet virtually
    • Students will be empowered together
    • Students like to stay connected with family, friends, and classmates from all over the world.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    21st Century Learner Part 2

    As educators, we must teach to our students' needs and prepare them to become:

    • global citizens

    • creative
    • active
    • mission-driven
    • eco-friendly
    • energetic
    • visionary
    • knowledge hungry
    • independent-thinker
    • problem-solver
    • experimental
    • innovator
    • inventor
    • investigator
    • dreamer
    • action-oriented
    • inspired
    • inspirational
    • original
    • creative
    • friendly
    • flexible
    • collaborator
    • artistic
    • connected
    • planner
    • visionary leaders
    • brave
    • green
    • constructive
    • green
    • caring
    • civically engaged
    • skilled
    • positive
    • brave
    • life-long learners
    • independent
    • collaborative
    • communicators
    • caring
    • global citizens
    • flexible
    • critical thinkers

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    21st century education

    I just came across an article about education and the technology culture divide.  This is one more reason why we need technology in schools.  Most of today's students and teachers come from different generations and we must bridge the gap between the two cultures.  Today's youth for the most part have been immersed in technology their whole lives.  It is a part of their culture and who they are.  Why can't we make their education relevant to them and their lives and their "culture"?  Besides, how else are we going to prepare them for the future? 

    OTOH, It is apparent that there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle when it comes to incorporating technology in the classroom - teachers who are or are not willing and able to implement technology, administrators, district personnel, technology personnel, students, parents, community, resources, support, time, money, training, etc. You can't just unexpectedly throw every teacher into a cold, choppy sea of technology without a boat or lifevest and expect them all to be able to make it to the shore, especially if there are sharks in the water. There are so many factors and circumstances to take into consideration. It is what it is. It seems to me that implementing technology requires extensive resources, money, training, support, more training, and most of all we need a plan that we will all follow. It is up to us, leaders in instructional technology/design field, to help bring this about. It does no good to point fingers at the teachers, administrators, students, whomever...but rather identify the problems, come up with viable solutions, and work to overcome the problem. It is great that some schools make it a priority to utilize technology and some teachers in other schools find a way/make a way to use technology. However, it seems piecemeal. Tackling this problem head on will not be an easy task but it will be well worth it and it is up to us to take charge if we want to make a change.  WE MUST make a change.

    If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow. ~John Dewey