Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wiki's and more....

Okay so I now have a WIKI page something I didn't know existed until now. I was unaware of this collaborative tool that can be used for a variety of things but mainly as a database for creating, browsing and searching through information. Wiki pages can be created, updated and hyper linked at the touch of a button. Many wikis are open to alteration by the general public or registered users. Many edits can be made in 'real-time' and appear almost instantly online. Information can be added, changed or deleted depending on your user settings for that particular Wiki.
I have made my Wiki private for now as I am taking baby steps in this process. I have sent out a few invites which will give them access to add information. I have called my wiki E-Learning for Dummies (for obvious reasons) and have started adding Youtube clips and links to sites that have information relating to E-tools and useful websites. I hope overtime I will continue adding information and invite others to collaborate with me and keep this wiki as a databases of e-learning tools.
Wiki's could be used in so many different ways in a classroom or school setting. According to Marzano (p.189, 1997) the challenge is to engage learners in using knowledge in a context that is meaningful to them. As the students of today are digital natives it makes sense to integrate a Wiki into lessons throughout the year. Students could engage in the wiki both in and out of school hours. It would become a group task that they all share and contribute to. The students could then do research and add information relating to task such as an excursion, recycling, weather, mini-beasts and so on. Because the task then becomes real and relevant the students are more likely to have higher levels of engagement. I am definitely having higher levels of engagement because I just want to play with it all the time and add content. Time will only tell......

Marzano. R.J., & Pickering. D.J. (1997). Dimensions of Learning - Teachers Manual (2nd ed.)Denver, Co: Mid-Continet Regional Education Laboratory.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Google Reader

I finally worked out what an RSS feeder was - 'Really simple Syndication'. Basically it helps us keep up with new information that is happening on the web, and let's face it there is a lot going on.
One way of dealing with all this as I have just discovered is the use of Google reader :) So from what I can gather is that, instead of using all my time to look at sites individually to see if they have any new postings that interest me, I can subscribe which links these sites and my Google Reader account. I can then access and read all these new postings from one page. It also allows me to mark or tag which ones I have read, highlight others which I have found interesting and email to other connections I have. As this was my first encounter with Google Reader I found it to be user friendly and if you have experience with email accounts I found this application very similar.
I have been thinking of a way I would use this in the classroom and as I am currently teaching Prep I find this difficult. One way I thought of (maybe not for Prep) would be to use this as a tool for monitoring my students' blog posts. I am not aware of any other tools that you would you for this ? I am sure there are a bundle of them out there, I am just not aware. Can anyone tell me?
You can access Google reader by pasting the following link in your browser
Till next time 'Blog it'

21st Centuary Learning

Wow I have been blown away with 21st century learning. The more I fumble my way through this learning journey, I seem to feel so left behind in this innovative world.
I think for us as a nation it is not that we have had our head buried in the sand it is the fact we a fairly young country and the infrastructure has been put in place only to be super succeeded over and over. I am sure the government bodies and private enterprise are trying their best to fix the problem but the world and its technologies are changing so fast that they cannot keep up. Also our population is only small compared to those countries that are so techno savvy.
Even though there is so much technology out there and we are unable to access some of it in the classroom we must continue to teach our students the fundamentals of literacy so they can learn how to read and validate the information they will receive from the net in the future.
I am pleased to say that I am actually becoming a 'Computer Nerd'.

Monday, July 13, 2009

As I sit here wondering where it all started on my technological journey I realise I have been on that journey since the 70's when Dad brought home a 6" Movie Camera..... I would help him edit and cut our home movies and also be in charge of the rewind and pause lever when the whole family came together to watch them on the kitchen wall, complete with no sound and the flicker of dust throughout the film. Just like the old surf movies at the local hall :) After that came the push button phone that attached to the wall, VCR player and Microwave, I figured we must have been rich to have all this new upmarket stuff.... Then in grade 7/8 we got introduced to a computer at school. I think the teachers were even scared of the technology. We had to learn all these codes and then type them in using the absolute correct sequence such as :://a*_//{ } and so on to get some sort of reaction out of the box and believe me it was a box with a tiny little black and white screen... Not sure if I learned anything other than how to turn it on and off to be honest.
So here I am now I have a flat screen computer, which I sit in front of everyday full of so many programs I wonder how my brain keeps up. There is Word, Excel, Internet,Google, Face book, Twitter, Skype, My space, Email, VOIP ..... aaaaahhhhhhhh
I am lost without my Ipod, CD player, Digital 40" Flat Screen, DVD, portable DVD, Play station, Wii, DS lite, Mobile Phone with internet access the list goes on and on...I have become so immersed in technology of the 21st century I don't know if I would cope without it..... So if your game come with me as we check out even more technology that is appearing and being upgraded almost everyday...