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."

Friday, August 3, 2007

Collabortive project

This weekend I am heading out to B.C to go camping, so I thought I should write a quick post about what I am doing for the collabortive project. Kelly and I are working togeteher to create an Arts Education resource for the five art's areas: drama, dance, music, visual arts, and literature. This wiki resource will include lesson plans, artists, dancers, unit plans, video's, art's intergrated lesson plans for social, science, etc. We also want to include a section for technology intergration, and ways of incorperate it into the arts.

So there you have it. Our idea in a nut shell. We want to encourage anyone to join in and offer their ideas/thoughts for our wiki. If interested, you may access it by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wiki's hey? sounds sketchy....

Hello everyone!
On the 24th, In the Elluminate Live session, we talked about wiki's, while discussing the whole reliability factor. Considering anyone is able to edit a wiki page, how are we sure that this information is valid? Unfortunately, we are not! Ya that's right, there is information floating out there on the web that is unreliable and misleading.

I believe, however, that this issue stands true for all our recourses in life, and does not just start/end with the internet. Within the last month I read that Meg Ryan has died in a car crash, I have seen a teacher teach a music lesson and tell the student's the song was in 3/4 timing, and I heard a father tell his child the dog walking by was a bichon. Let's take a look at my sources: A journalist, a Teacher, and a Parent--all pretty reliable wouldn't you say?? Not only was this information gathered from sources other then the internet, but it was also all untrue.

My point is, we can not take everything at face-value. I believe that wiki's (such as wikipedia for example) can be an excellent resource if used in a critical manner. From a very young age we learn to analyze information and become critical thinkers, so why not apply the same skills to wiki's.

I came across an article in my RRS feed's, by Christopher Miller regarding the use of wikipedia in the classroom, and how we can use it as a teaching tool for students. The teacher developed an assignment that allowed the students to use wikkipidea as a source, by comparing it with other information. The main objective for this teacher was to "embrace Wikipedia instead of banning it, and use the experience as an educational experience" for the students.

I'm going to close with this for tonight.
Take Care--and GoodNight

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Digital Story


What should have been an easy task ended up turning into a big complication, but I suppose I asked for it. I really wanted to include a video into my digital story, which is why I didn't use photstory3.

Having said this, I downloaded the Sony Vegas Movie Maker, free of charge, which came with a great tutorial.

Overall the program was fairly user-friendly, and offered a wide range of transitions and video effects. Now for the downside. The whole time I was creating the video I was only able to preview it in a small box. I could enlarge it slightly, and then my audio timing was off?? I'm not too sure why.

Anyway, more importantly, the overall file is saved as a .VF, which I had to convert in order to post in youtube. The problem is however, I had a difficult time finding a site that converts .VF files. After reading the tutorial for this program, I realized that they convert the file for me and post it online, which worked out for the purpose of this project. From there I downloaded it, and then was able to post that on file on youtube. For those interested I well make a separate post with some tips for converting files, and what I learnt along the way.

I also knew that I wanted to use "lost in this moment" by big and rich as my background music but did not want to include the vocals…considering it was a wedding song, and would have been misleading for my video. I ended up extracting the majority of the voice (with the exception of the echo overlay). For those interested, I well describe how I did this in a separate blog.

I already know I am too picky for my own good, but two things really bother me about the outcome of this video:

1. I am curious why the quality is so poor, after it has been converted. The image is smaller then in my preview window of Vegas Movie Maker, and yet it was much clearer. If someone knows how to convert VF files, rather then having this program do it for me, let me know.
2. The voice waves do not match up with the actions, as they are delayed in the youtube version, but not in Acidplant. For now, I am posting it as-is but if you want to know it should really look and are willing to look at a much smaller screen then youtube, check out the posting on Acidplant.

OK, I’m done babbling. Enjoy my video…and more importantly

Have a good weekend!

Monday, July 23, 2007

2D Sonogram Vrs. 4D decide

Insomnia seems to be a regular occurrence this past week for me. Its 3:15 and here I sit outside on the swing holding a freeze and wearing a Rambo bandanna. How’s that for a mental picture? Last Tuesday I got a tonsillectomy and my adenoids removed, so I’ve been taking a lot of Tylenol 3, and finding myself a wake most of the night. Oh, and just for the record, I swear I’m not twelve.

All in all, I ensure you this isn’t just a sympathy blog and I do have some reasoning behind my madness :). While looking up information about my tonsil surgery, I found some interesting graphic-filled video’s of what went on in the operating room, and found myself intrigued.

From there went to You Tube and started watching other surgeries and then came across a sonogram, which sparked an idea for one of my internship units in Health/Family Life. In the curriculum guide my co-op gave to me, there is a unit about God’s creations, and how we are brought into this world. A suggested idea is to show the students a picture of a sonogram: black and white fuzz, with motion lines and a possible foot—not very captivating for a grade four audience.

After watching the videos on You Tube I thought it would be incredibly engaging to show the student’s a video or two. In situations like this I love technology, because of its ability to create such a powerful experience.

What is more effective... You be the JUDGE!
This 2D B&W Sonogram

OR this 4D youtube video

Thursday, July 19, 2007


hi there everyone,

Alec Couros posted the following message on my digital internship blog, and thought it might be relivent to what we are doing in class right now....or kind of relates to digital storytelling. Bellow is the message he posted:

I found a pretty neat resource that might be useful for you. Basically, it lets you upload photos and then link voice clips to each clip. In fact, you can have many voice clips for each photos.In a classroom situation, you could (for example) take photos from a field trip or from class observation ... or even from a class photograph, and then invite some or all of your students to upload their own voice clips to the photo. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Implimentling technology into the classroom

This comment is in response to Kubat's posting entitled: Right or Wrong?

I think that teachers are often intimidated by technology, much like the arts. These are two things that many try and avoid, because they feel they have nothing to offer. The fact of the matter is that doing somehting is better then nothing.

(I made the very same comment directly in Kubat's blog and pressed the cocomment button, but am not sure how to post those comments on my blog, without creating a whole new one. Any suggestions? )


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.


After watching the extreme power point makeover video by Dean, I realized there were a couple things I should take in to consideration when creating my own presentations. A lot of the tips were great, but nothing I haven't been told before. My thoughts at first were that "this was pretty self explanatory" . After listening to the end however, when Dean made the comment on how it is important to introduce these ideas to our students I realized I was taking my previous knowledge for granted. This is the exact opposite thing that I believe educators should do. I'm going to learn from this experience and try to make a point to remember how important it is to avoid getting caught up in what I already know, and start paying attention to what my students may not know.

Below is the video on extreme power point makeover:

Monday, July 16, 2007

My thoughts so far

I just wanted to make a quick comment about this weeks session. Not necessarily about the content, but rather about the delivery method. So far I am really enjoying this online class.

I like the fact that I am able to do other things, while not feeling guilty for multitasking. I find that in a typical classroom situation I often like to search for things on the internet, look up relevant topics, which ultimately keeps me engaged and focused.

I also like the fact that so far the sessions have been a collaborative effort between the instructor and students, as we have been able to contribute out imput and thoughts throughout the class.

Lastly, I wanted to comment on the chat box that appears on the size of each session. Often in class it is difficult, and commonly seen as rude to make comments while the instructor is talking. By having the chat box on the side, I feel as if it replaces "student chatting", and rather then being seen as something negative really compliments the lecture.

That’s all for now!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The power of youtube: graffiti art lesson idea

I was just thinking about what I could add to my blog that would possibly give some of you out there some ideas. I feel like I have been collecting a lot of resources lately and gather ideas, but have not been contributing.

Last semester I did a graffiti lesson with grade 9 and 12, which ended up being pretty successful. I started the lesson off by showing the class a video about graffiti as an art form. I found this on you tube, and had the person send me the file.

I kept in contact with this person, and he ended up being a great resource for me throughout this unit. He had completed his masters in education, and wrote his thesis on the art of graffiti, so there were many ideas to be shared. I thought this was incredible how i was able communicate with someone from half way around the world about something no one I personally knew was familiar with.

I believe it engaged the students and helped set up the debate between graffiti and vandalism vs. graffiti as an art form. Afterwards I showered a power point of various graffiti artist, techniques, styles, meanings, etc. (If anyone would like a copy of this PowerPoint just let me know).

To start with I had the students create tag names for themselves, but had them first use this site for inspiration and ideas:

Anyway, that's all for now! I hope that I have gave someone out there some ideas :)

Selling Via Internet

I was browsing through some of the EDtech's blogs and happened to come across one of Couros that caught my attention: I too have had a similar situation like this. My friend wanted to sell a couple of her Craven tickets and was running out of time. She announced this to all her friends/co-workers/family, however, could not get rid of them. After hearing this, I changed my face book name to "TWO CRAVEN TICKETS FOR SALE: 120 each. Contact me a.s.a.p". Within minutes I received over 10 messages. This was an eye opener for me, as I realized there are much faster, more efficient ways of doing things when we are able to expand our social networks in secounds.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


MY BLOG WEEK ONE: July 11, 2007

Self Introduction:

Currently I am going into my fifth year of university and preparing for my internship this upcoming fall semester. I am in Arts Education, working on a major in Visual Arts and minor in English. I am also part of the digital internship program, which is what provoked me to take ECMP 455. I hope to develop a blog and other resources for my internship, but have a lot to learn.
I developed an interest in technology during my grade 12 year of high school after taking a multimedia class. During my pre-internship this past spring I discovered how blog’s can be in the classroom, as they offer every student the opportunity to connect and develop a relationship that may not have happened otherwise.