Sunday, August 19, 2007

Collaborative project--review

I enjoy doing assignments when i know they are going to benefit me in the future, so I had no problem putting time into this Arts Ed wiki. I hope to see more people collaborate on this resource along the way, and watch it develop into something bigger. As for now, i believe it is a good starting point, but could have a lot more.

It would have been nice to team up with more then one classmate, but for the time we had, I suppose we were able to gather a fair amount of information.

I never created a wiki before so it was rewarding when I would see my assignment develop from others rather then just myself; Two heads, i suppose, are better then one.

Overall, I am not that big of a fan of wet paint as a program, mainly because of the limitations and restricts it has. I enjoy being able to have a little more freedom with the appearance and layout of my page. I also did not like all the adds that were on my page, and wish there was some way to delete them.

I will continue collaborating with others throughout my teaching experience, and finding ways to involve my students in a similar situation.

My experiences / classroom anticipation

This class was flexable enough to fit my lifesyle, and powerful enough to make a difference.

After hearing that I will be participating in the digital internship experience this coming fall, I knew I wanted to take a class that enabled me to gather resources and start building my ideas.

Originally I was interested in doing an independent study for ECMP 455, but am extremely happy that I was able to participate in the online community our class created. I learnt so many things not only from the instructor but from my peers as will. The class was flexable enough to fit my lifesyle, and powerful enough to make a difference.

For the most part I would consider myself to be fairly confident with computers, and perhaps use them more then the average person. Having said this, I had never heard of google reader or RSS feeds until this time. I am thrilled by the whole concept of having relative information come to me rather then searching sites regularly for updates. This tool has become my new source of information, and I find myself reading articles from my feeds more often then anything else.

Digital story telling was something I had heard of before hand, but this class encouraged me to open the doors and discover all the possibilities one could use it for. I believe that the importance of this lays deeper then the technology itself, but should be noted for it's ability to deliver powerful, effective presentations.

Blogging opened a whole new world for me, and although I had participated in similar situations before, was never nearly as involved and faithful to my entries. It becomes addicting, yet rewarding, to check for comments and feedback from readers. I definitely plan on continuing my blog throughout my internship and hope my classmates decide to do the same.

The last class, which consisted of the "Dream Team", was an inspiration for me. I enjoyed being able to see successful classrooms operate in a digital/global environment. I have always been extremely interested in technology and was contemplating my career choice the first year of university. I know that I am passionate about teaching and computers, so the fact that I can tie the two together thrills me.

After receiving some good advice from clearance, I now realize that this does not all happen at once and eventually everything will flow together and start to make sense. I am confident that I will do my best to incorporate a lot of these ideas into my future classroom, but it will not happen over night. For the time being, I will use blogging with my students in my internship and go from there. I also have signed up for a collaborative project for my rocks and fossils unit, which allow my students to exchange rocks with students from another country. This is one example of how I want to involve my students in a global learning experience, and make their learning experience that much richer.

As mentioned by Dean, my instructor, I should not force the technology to fit, but rather implement it wherever it makes sense. I plan on using this advice, and slowly integrating technology as I go along. I look forward to using these newly-acquired tools in my classroom--and if not in my internship, then my future teaching situation.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Reflection on The Dream Team

Tuesday's session was a living example of what we have been working towards this entire course: implimenting technology into the classroom to enhance our students learning experience and create a global audience.

Before attending class, i read through each of the guest's blogs, websites, etc:

--> Kathy Cassidy

--> Clarence Fisher

--> Darren Kuropatwa

I was definitely inspired by the work they do with their students, and more specifically with the work of Kathy Cassidy's classroom. I so badly want to set up a blogging experience for my students during my internship this fall, but find myself overwhelmed as to where one should begin. Perhaps my problem is that I have so many ideas as to how I would use blogging in my classroom that I am getting over my head.

I took advantage of the opportunity to ask the guest's questions and brought this up, however, am still a little unsure. I did receive some good advice from Clarence, when he told me to pick one thing and do a great job with that--don't rush it.

I'm going to keep this blog throughout my internship, so be sure to check it out and my progress, get ideas, or offer me advice!

Take care

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I came across a Kids Congress website in my rrs feed's and found it extremely interesting. This is a site that is run by students and deals with issues that they are passionate about. It reminds me of a student radio or news station.

It is definitely worth checking out, as it really shows what students are capable of creating (with of course the help for a willing teacher). The students also included podcasts and a blog for the issues.

So this brings me to my idea, tell me what you think:

I am interning in a grade four class and my friend is interning in a high school. I thought we could possibly create some kind of peer-support blog, similar to this one. My students could talk about issues such as cyber bullying and the high school students (gr 11's for example) could research and offer advice. It does not have to be limited to that issue, but could branch off to other things such as the environment, peer pressure, etc.

digital citizen wiki

For our weekly assignment I have developed a wiki on NING, a social network, to start establishing some guidelines and resources to aid in developing responsible digital citizens: for both teachers and students.

I encourage anyone who is reading this to join my network and contribute in any way possible. Click here to view my site, and here to join.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Cyber Bullying

Last week in ECMP 455 we discussed the issues related to cyber bullying, and how it is a major issue that many of our students will be facing. I believe that we need to discuss these issues with students so they know how to deal with the situation that they may one day face. Below are some video's I have collected that we could show our students to help them build a better understanding of what cyber bullying is, and way's to handle it.

Click here to view the above video


While watching Oprah this past week, I found it interesting how the topic related to what we discussed in class: mainting our privacy on the internet. I think it is unforunate that some people get scammed out of their life savings for something that could have otherwise been prevented, if they only knew what safety precautions to follow.

Below are some tips on how to "Be safer online", according to Oprah's Friday taping.

-->Consider a Different Browser
Dr. Tygar recommends using alternative browsers such as Firefox or Opera to address identity theft or online privacy concerns. These alternative browsers can be downloaded free of charge by clicking here.

-->Get a Second (or Third) E-Mail Account
Never use your real e-mail address in online chat rooms. Never use it when shopping online, and never use it to register at any website. "If you have ever done business online," says John Hambrick, an FBI supervisory special agent with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, "you have to expect that your e-mail address will be compromised; there is [then] the potential for that account to be stolen or sold."

So do what the G-man does: Establish a separate e-mail account—free on MSN's Hotmail, Yahoo!'s Mail or Google's Gmail—and use it specifically and exclusively for online purchases. The Hambrick trick should make your private accounts less vulnerable.

-->Password Dos and Don'ts
Need another reason to guard your computer passwords? It's possible they could be cracked by eagle-eared identity thieves using a high-tech microphone that detects sound through glass.

To keep your passwords unknown—and unknowable—follow these pointers:

Do combine parts of two unusual unrelated words, such as gastrocumulus or cytoplasticity. The longer and stranger the better.

Do mix capital and lowercase characters, as well as symbols and numbers, in the middle of the password: f2reeDoMeYe#wTness, not freedomeyewitness.

Do use words from a foreign language in combo with an English word. Many hackers try to crack passwords with common words, or with those pooled from the dictionary database of a single language.

use anything that can be easily guessed by neighbors, co-workers or strangers who get their hands on your wallet—a nickname, child's name, pet's name, or your favorite sports team or hobby.

Don't use slightly different versions of the same password on different websites, such as ABCebay, ABCmortgage or and ABCvisa.

pair a common word or your name with a different character at the beginning or end, such as $user or johnsmith7.

Don't use the same password from one application to another. "It's fine to have a simple, short password on a news website," says Dr. Tygar. "But use a different, longer, more complicated password on a site with sensitive information."