Module 8 Self-Generated EDTC-6431

Module 8 Self- Generated Topic

New and Improved Poster Boards

I this last reflection I would like to discuss a few ideas. First, in this Module 8, I introduced two tools Glogster.com and Tagxedo.com.  Both of these tools are helpful with the ISTE standards of communication and collaboration.  I think they could benefit and enhance students and teachers creativity.  Secondly, I also would like to expand on my feeling about this class throughout this summer quarter.

Glogster.com is a tool that supports students and/or teachers with projects and presentations.  This tool allows the user to create a “poster-like” arrangement and to add video, pictures, music, links, etc.  Additionally individuals can develop a visual experience for the audience that is unique and impressive.  Glogster.com takes the user through processes that foster creativity and individuality.  Whether students work together or in a group each piece that is brought to the “poster” would be a distinctive part of the whole.  This could be a great way to have students and/or teachers collaborate on projects and still give them a sense on individuality.  This could empower students and/or teacher to expand on ideas in a different way than the old cut, paste and draw with markers on poster boards while refining their skills through multiple types of media.

I also explored  Tagxedo.com that is similar to the tool Wordle.net that I presented earlier in the class. As stated on the website “Taxedo -turns words — famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters — into a visually stunning tag cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text.”  This is another way of expressing individuality and turning an idea, speech, song, presentation into something more visually stimulating.  This in turn could promote critical thinking and help to simplify confusing ideas or heavy text by highlighting or emphasizing key words or ideas.

Lastly, I wanted to focus on the class as a whole.  I was extremely scared at the start of this quarter and especially for this Learning with Technology class.  I think my first thought was “what the heck have I gotten myself into!”  Once I recovered from the initial straight uphill climb out of my ideas of yesteryear and into the present focus on embracing technology it wasn’t so scary.  I felt comfortable expressing my apprehension and then my understanding of the tools presented throughout this class.  I even enjoyed telling others, outside the class, of my new technological discoveries.  I have enjoyed the discussions and the thoughtful sharing of ideas and encouragement of fellow classmates. The continued support from classmates for the different uses of each tool presented was great.  The self-generated topics posed another wealth of knowledge and individual expression of what each individual’s strengths and focuses are.  I found these two last modules to be very interesting and full or rich resources (almost overwhelming at times).  I hope to go forward with a new sense of taking chances and trying new things whether it be a technological tool or a new experience.  I think that this class became an opportunity for me to grow and I am thankful for this growth.  I found this quote that summed up what I was feeling, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”  I do believe that my mind is more open because of this class.

References:

Malcolm Forbes (1919 – 1990), in Forbes Magazine, http://www.quotationspage.com/search.php3?homesearch=education&startsearch=Search

Communication and Collaboration – EDTC6431

Communication and Collaboration-EDTC6431

Module 2

Well I have to say I feel like I am getting into the swing of things, finally, with this class.  Although I have let the technology explorations take over my every free moment it has been worth it. My kids and husband would probably have to disagree though.  But, I feel much more comfortable then when I first started.  We explored Podcasting, Microblogging, Google Wave this week and the impact they have on distance learning, remote collaboration and social and emotional learning.  Through this exploration a recurrent theme kept popping up in many discussions:  Setting limits in this limitless world.

Firstly, while I have to say that the digital youth portrait of Dylan that we viewed intrigued and impressed me it also it made me question when enough is enough.  Although he seemed to be a very happy, engaged and immensely talented young man, I have to wonder how socially adapt he may be in a non-virtual world.  His creativity and boundary-less collaboration with world-wide projects astounded me but his social behavior with his friends all revolved around a virtual reality.  This was also a main theme in many of the discussion this week.  One classmate even referred to it as a “digital leash”.  I think it is so important to find balance between a virtual vs. real world and the socialization in both. So I am left wondering about the social and emotional reality of learning that Dylan is able to glean from all this interactive virtual absorption.

Secondly, I explored the world of podcasting.  While this is not a new thing to me, I feel that, I learned many new uses for the classroom.  I especially like the Radio WillowWeb and the collaboration of the students to create exciting and engaging presentations.  Not only were the kids working on reading skills group skills and social skills they had to use inflection and intonation to convey a certain emotional  state for the listeners to understand the meaning of each show.  I liked the idea that you could do this with younger age children and empower them to use and develop listening and constructive critiquing skills.  Thus involving student’s social and emotional learning.

Lastly, I examined the trend of Microblogging by reading 7 Thing You Should Know about Microblogging and exploring through two different mediums, Google Wave and tumblr.com.  I admit that I have not been a big fan in the past of the Twitter-type microblogging, I did see value in this type of communication when examined through an educational perspective.  I found Google Wave to be quite exciting for both educational and personal use. I found it to be simple and fairly user friendly.   It seemed like all the features of e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Google docs, You-Tube, iTunes, etc. have been assembled into one spot.  The playback feature is genius for a teacher to see a development of a project or idea and could also be helpful for anyone coming in later to a conversation.  I was blown away by the instant language translation feature and can’t wait to give it a try.  Tumblr was not as exciting for me.  Although I eventually figured out some of the features I felt either boxed into my little page or overwhelmed by the huge sea of blogs out there when I tried to explore.  I did not see as much value in this tool for the classroom but as a tool for social networking, hobbies and sharing your ideas, videos, pictures, poems etc. it could be great.

All in all this Module 2 Communication and Collaboration was very interesting.  I have learned about tools that I hope to use in the classroom and for personal use.  I have accepted that it will take time and that not all tools are going to be necessary or developmental/age appropriate.   It will be important to pick and choose what works with individual curriculum and classes.  Especially since each cohort of students will have a different abilities and challenges; each year of technology in the classroom will need to be tailored for that.  I think it is important to remember to be open to new things, new thoughts and new challenges and to set specific time so as to not become immersed in only work and no play.  Life does continue outside this technological world and it is important to be part of that, too.

I have included this article as another opinion about setting limits for children and screen time.

Children and Emotional Intelligence: Why Limits on technology Matter

http://www.allbusiness.com/labor-employment/human-resources-personnel-management/13874890-1.html

Educase. (2007)  7 things you should know about Microblogging, Creative Commons.  Retrieved from http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/