Sunday, May 1, 2011

Final Project 16

a screenshot of the edm 310 discussion board

Richard and I began contemplating what we would do for our final project. Being that we both have experience using and monitering various discussion boards on the internet, we chose to create one for edm 310. We invision this tool, if Dr. Strange so chooses, as another place to both access and discuss the material we have covered in edm 310. Right now the board is on a freeware server so it will need more effective hosting if it is to be what Richard and myself invisioned it could be. For me, it would be a great place for students to share more of their experiences and work amongst one another. Feel free to register and look around

Final Report PLN

I feel like my PLN has expanded since my last report; now, through ALEX and Smart Exchange, I have found even more invaluable resources to aide me in my future educational endeavors. These two resources can inspire creativity, and provide a look into what other teachers are doing in their own classrooms. Also I think following Mr. Chamberlin on twitter, especially given his penchant for retweeting other fine educators, will be a great place for me to go to open up a dialogue with others about education. I have continued to subscribe to other educators blogs that I found to be especially inspiring, and I have book marked all of the teachers and classroom websites/blogs that we have visited thus far. Overwhelmingly my PLN will become a template for the things that I will be implementing in my own classroom.

Special Assignment: Metaphors

 a doctor telling a man that the knife in his back is a metaphor

In lieu of blog post 14, we were asked to examine the use of metaphors like the one we encountered in Mr. Spencer’s Pencil Me In Blog. Here we saw the idiocy behind many peoples view on technology, and its affects on students; the use of “pencils” here is a great way to show just how important technology is. No one would say that pencils might be harmful to students test scores or cause them harm, but yet we say that about the pencil of the 21st century, the laptop. This particular example demonstrates just how metaphors are used; the use of one word or words, and the concepts related to them, to explain the idea behind another. But metaphors go beyond using to unrelated words to explain a concept, it is also something that should give great insight into what someone is trying to convey. Again look to Mr. Spencer’s example to better understand the power of language; he is trying to convey that computers and technology are just as important to educational endeavors as pencils. The first time around I understood that the “pencils” did represent something else that was related till technology, but it wasn’t until I actually began to post my thoughts that I realized it was a direct response to another blog post regarding 1 for 1 computers for students. I don’t believe, at least I hope, none of my fellow classmates believed that this post was actually about pencils, but perhaps a little further investigation is warranted to better extrapolate
As far as a log of the metaphors I have been encountering recently, they are pretty much the common ones that people use in their everyday lives such as “Achilles heel” or “put on the back burner”. The best one I Think so far has been the “meat in the sandwich” used to describe the sustenance of a point or conversation. I believe the commonality of most of the metaphors I have encountered is evidence of the direction educators must take in order to better aid students in understanding the use of metaphors. So many of us don’t even notice the metaphors that we use on a daily basis; if teachers would start by explaining some of these common metaphors meanings, as well as how the function to better elaborate the idea they are attempting to convey, perhaps they could better grasp the concept of the metaphor and how powerful it is in language.

Final Video

C4T Summary Post

This has probably been the most in-depth blog, in regards to individual teachers, I have been assigned. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano is an educational jack of all trades; she is both a foreign language teacher and the recipient of a masters in instructional technology. Her credentials alone speak to how qualified she is to comment on the use of technology in the classroom.

The first post I encountered on her blog was about developing a PLN. The post was a basic outline of the numerous different things that can be a part of one's PLN, and there was also a slide show accompanying the post that went into a little more detail on the topic.

I responded:
April 17th, 2011 at 11:17 am
Dear Silvia,

I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class, and i just wanted to say thank you so much for all of the material available on your blog. Also thank you for the numerous slide shows; they are a wealth of information. This particular post was of great interest to me because we are posting status on the development of our own PLN as a part of our class assignments. so needles to say any information is always appreciated.
Again thank you so much for your contributions.

The next post was on the general concepts of technology and its relation to education. Given Silvia's knowledge of the matter, I took some of her statements to be very important for teachers to remember. The basic premise of the post was that technology is most effective when used by teachers who are "good" without it.

I responded:
May 1st, 2011 at 3:02 pm
Hello Again,
Just like everything else i have had the pleasure of reading on your blog, this piece is so enlightening! Your point, that great teaching is based on teachers and not supplemental “add-ons”, is one that i feel like a lot of people miss. Technology will not make a below average teacher a great one, especially if they lean on technology in order to support their ineffective teaching methods, but can be an invaluable tool for good teachers. I loo forward to continually checking in with you for more great insight like this. Feel free to stop by myblog or Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 blog.