Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fuel up to Jing


Okay, Okay, I'll do it...... I did this Jing kicking and screaming the whole way. Note that my post is just a few minutes past the deadline. I put this off because it seemed like it was going to be difficult and I just didn't want the headache. I honestly thought it was only worth 10 points on my grade so I think I will skip it. But as you see I decided I should put my mind to it and get it done. It was as easy as they said it would be. I actually thought that there was no way that I would use 5 minutes so it was silly for them to have that option. Guess what...I used 5 minutes and I still wasn't finished. This is a really awesome tool for the classroom as well as internet assignments. I found it difficult to prop up my kids Rock Band microphone so I could type and talk but I did it and I survived.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Check out my first audio introduction!

See more Audio at

Hello everyone....this was just a little stressful. But only because I did not have the equipment I thought i did on my computer. I ended up using my kids Rock Band microphone. I just plugged it into the front of my tower in the usb port and I was off. Thanks to our instructors this wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I feel so good about what I'm learning. Now the trick is to use in my teaching and learning more efficiently and more often.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Experience with YouTube

I had a few problems with this post. I recorded on webcam and uploaded to YouTube. The video was delayed from the audio. I tried it again, and again, and again. Never got it right. I recorded the video from church on their laptop that has webcam because I do not own it at home. After this assignment I will be looking into getting one of my own. I need time to play around with it.

On the subject of YouTube in the schools....I think it is a slippery slope. Once you allow students to explore the videos you will find it hard to monitor for appropriate use. Setting boundaries and keeping strict rules and regulations will help but it won't eliminate the various problems with having students roam around in the YouTube world.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Picture This!

Picture this….a gym full of students stretching, jogging, playing badminton, stretching to test for the v-sit and reach or performing a squat in the weight room. These images are a part of Mingus Union High Schools daily routine. Students, like little soldiers, are given objectives and set out to complete them. It looks very much the same day to day. But what if we let the student’s create the lesson, teach the lesson and supply the visual aids? I can picture giving the students the opportunity to demonstrate a sport or exercise one picture at a time.
If given the proper resources and opportunity the students could conduct their own picture gallery of exercises. For example: I have a body conditioning class that completes roughly 6 – 8 exercises daily in the weight room. What if the student was in charge of taking pictures chronologically of a particular exercise? Each picture would sort of tell the story of how to complete the exercise. I give an assignment that requires the student to write in paragraph form the steps to how to perform any given lift. Instead students could take pictures of the exercise one move at a time and submit it to a library of pictures that I could collect on a photo-sharing site. I would then have them present their pictures in class over power point and the student would then use the pictures and narrate through each one. Later I could post them on a bulletin board for later viewing. This same lesson could be duplicated in teaching strokes in tennis or performing a free throw. This lesson could be given as a group project or an individual assignment.
Our department could also create a newsletter for the month. The students could be assigned to write articles for the newsletter that could be voted on or chosen by the teacher. With this same idea in mind we could have students submit photography that is catalogued by the teacher in a photo-sharing site and used in the newsletter. I did this assignment in an Outdoor Life Sports class and it was really cool. If I had understood photo-sharing sites at the time I could have given the site to my students who could have searched for pictures of themselves and printed them out or saved them for themselves. Here is a cool picture from one of our Outdoor Life adventures……..

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Was there really any separatoin?


1. What was the target audience for this social networking site?

The site Six Degrees promoted itself as a tool to help people connect with and send messages to others.

2. How long was the site in existence?

Six Degrees was the first recognizable social network site created in 1997 and closed in 2000.

3. Why was it popular?

It was so popular because it allowed users to create profiles, list their friends and, beginning in 1998, surf the Friends lists. Six Degrees was the first to combine these features as other sites had not done that yet.

4. What was its demise?

People were uncomfortable with the idea that they would be meeting perfect strangers online. There were not enough applications to make it more than just an online address book allowing any user to view and send emails. The idea was just too foreign so the site dies from lack of massive adoption.

5. Is/was there another competitor in the same market that was more popular?

AsianAvenue, BlackPlanet, and MiGente allowed users to create personal, professional, and dating profiles—users could identify Friends on their personal profiles without seeking approval for those connections.

6. Would you ever consider creating an account and using it? Explain your reason using a personal experience as an example.

SNS’s in general appeal to me. I initially was opposed to the idea because I thought it would give strangers an opportunity to peek into my life uninvited. I chose answering questions about the Six Degrees site because I am like those early users of that site. I am leery of strangers. My first encounter with SNS’s was when my daughter created her own My Space page in 2006. The only thing I had heard about this site was that sexual predators found kids on the internet. I forbid her to get on the site. She did it anyway without our knowledge. What she knew that I didn’t was that it can be safe if you use it safely. I wish I knew then what I know now. I still am a little hesitant because recent media coverage talked about the blueprint it leaves. Although I would be a conservative and responsible user I still wonder......... I am seriously considering setting up a Facebook account but I will be cautious with who I let in and how I display information on my site. I will keep you posted on my progress and opinion, maybe it will change as it did with the My Space?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Steve Hargadon - Classroom 2.0

In Steve Hargadon’s article we learned about things to consider when using social networks. I was especially interested in the first point he made in his list of six. His first idea pointed out that failure is free… and that your site may or may not take off as expected. However, because failure can have a restart button, it causes the user to be innovative and use experimentation without the fear of failure. I was interested in this because just today I introduced my wiki site to my department as a viable communication and collaboration tool and out of 3 people I got 3 different responses. The first was worried that I was giving them homework. The second teacher was really excited about the possibilities and eager to dig in. The last one said he thought it was cool but was slightly unmoved and I fear his schedule will keep him from engaging in the process.
This brings me to the next point I found interesting in Steve Hargadon’s article. A social network is especially dependent on early adopters for success. If I have overly busy staff unable to interact or contribute I fear that this site will go unused and be unhelpful. Another point Steve Hargadon makes is that the site must fulfill some compelling need. Even though I think that this medium for collaboration is the ticket it may not be what my department wants or thinks is relevant. As the possibilities unfold I will have to understand that first point and be prepared for failure and monitor and adjust to the needs of my department. I will have to find a way to network that they can own and buy into. When this happens I will need to be a “moderator” or “guide” to the users by being polite, setting boundaries, seeking improvement and strive for working in concert with each other.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Using Wikis in the Classroom and Online Courses

As I began to think about how I would use a wiki in my content area I realized that this could truly be an awesome opportunity for my whole department, not just me. I am the department chair for physical education at Mingus Union High School and with that came a bigger vision and larger scope for use. The question of using a wiki became two pronged with this assignment. How can I educate my colleagues on how to use a wiki or blog for instruction or communication and how can I use a wiki and blog to communicate and share information with my department?
By creating a wiki for my department to use I give them an opportunity to see the practical use of a wiki. So far in our education of technology use the advice we keep getting is to learn how to use it before you show it to your kids. By developing a site for my fellow teachers to create and participate we begin to increase our familiarity and our competency with such a site. I included sites that could catch them up to speed on how to use a wiki and blog and wrote them a letter that spelled out the mission of the wiki. I also give my colleagues an opportunity to be a part of possible curriculum development and use of resources. I will be able to give them time to reflect on my questions and come up with their own ideas for the pages. The page will become an interactive, collaborative resource for curriculum, lessons, professional development ideas and even use of technology.
Truly my goal is to create a wiki for collaboration of wellness ideas for the school district and then ultimately use a wiki and blog for the classroom. In the classroom wiki I would introduce ideas on things like the FITT principle, components of physical fitness, create templates for exercise logs and the list could go on forever. Any means to extend learning outside the classroom for parents and students is vital. In my field the education process would be better served if parents were intimately involved (well that’s the case with any area). Specifically when students are faced with modifying their diets or habits at home to make a fitness plan work at school, parents would be better served if they had resources at their fingertips.
I really feel like being a competent wiki user is key to the use of such a medium in and out of the classroom environment. I hope by sharing this wiki with my department they can help brainstorm ways we can implement it into our instruction.


Susan’s Teaching Philosophy

Times have changed and the face of education has evolved and is trying to keep up with the changing American culture. I began teaching 17 years ago and I have learned that you must monitor and adjust as a teacher. One thing remains the same however, and that is teaching students the ABC’s. I take it a step further and call my teaching philosophy the ABCD’s of success. Without the principles outlined in my philosophy I believe Madeline Hunter's Direct Instruction Model has little or no bearing. In a culture where the student plays a larger role in molding their own education experiences because more one parent homes and working parents are a reality.

My philosophy more indirectly follows Bloom's Taxonomy. A student is more prone to learning if they are first affected by the material and are actively engaged in the possible outcome. Teaching students they are in control of their own Attitude, Behavior, Character, and Discipline empowers them to make positive choices toward a bright future. I make it my daily mission to plant seeds of wisdom in these areas. Attitude is a measurement of what’s happening on the inside of the student. Students are actually graded on what attitude they bring to class. Attitude can drastically infect the environment of a game in physical education. Behavior is directly related to what the student displays on the outside. Will they cooperate, use proper language, act their age the list goes on. When addressing a student about behavior you always state clearly your expectations and give them a chance to make their own. Character education gives the teacher the chance to be a pseudo parent. What life principles are important to have success outside the classroom? Those same principles should be daily implemented and pointed out in the classroom. Lastly discipline, this is not punishment this is an act of compliance to personal expectations. Teaching and implementing goal setting in small ways each day in the classroom.

The key to all of this is ownership. How do you teach the standards and convince them its worth and value in their life? It can almost be as simple as making it the students idea. I’m not sure that this can work in all classroom settings. For physical education however, it truly is the key to success. Students who take control of their attitude, behavior, character and discipline within the structure of the classroom create an atmosphere for learning to take place. Students will begin to make the FITT Principle and understanding the components of physical fitness an essential part of their personal goals and implement them in and out of the classroom. Hence, build in them lifelong learning principles, fitness for life and to be passionate about what they choose to do and the world is their classroom. Passion, that’s a whole different story, perhaps on the next assignment I can elaborate.