Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blogging Buddies Teaching Each Other

I was amazed how the grade 1 students took to blogging and the way they were able to improve their writing. I also found it interesting, that the pre-service students were learning skills that they may not have realized they were learning. The grade 1 students were learning about using a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence and a period at the end of the sentence. They were also learning about spaces and the proper spelling of words. The grade 1 students gained self-esteem, by having someone who would take the time to not only read their blogs but also responded to them. I believe this experience helped the pre-service students to have a better understanding of what it might be like actually being in a classroom. Of course blogging is not exactly like being in the classroom, since they dealt with only one student, but it would have to have some impact on their perception of how they can be influential to a student.

I find it ironic that I am writing about blogging when I grew up in a time when computers were such a new concept. I was born shortly after the first computers was invented. Throughout my childhood, talk of computers was about big, huge machines. During my teenage years, I heard about a computer that was a block long, a block wide, and three stories high that was so powerful that it could hold the personal information of everyone in the world, it was supposedly called “The Beast”. Shortly after that, I heard about another one called “The Prophet”. The computers of my day were generally for the military. Computers were gradually moving into the business sector. We have moved from monstrous mainframes to game systems to personal computers, (desktops) to laptops, i-pods, i-phones, and a wide variety of personal communications. This also includes the World Wide Web. I would have loved having the opportunity to use this technology.

I could see the advantage of having blogging buddies incorporated into the classroom. It would benefit the grade school students as well as pre-service students. It might help the teacher with seeing new ways of getting a point across. However, I would need to make sure that none of the blogging resulted in a negative or adverse feeling for my student. I really like the character and self-estem potential, I now see, this could have for my students when I become the teacher.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cameron; 11 year old Tech Wiz

Watching Cameron using the technology available today boggled my mind, especially when I considered his age. As I watched the video, Digital Generation Project Youth Portrait: Cameron, I could not help but wonder how an eleven year old can do the things he does, when I as an adult seem to have so much trouble just trying to blog. Cameron is able to makes videos using his computer or any number of handheld devices. The video demonstrated how he was able to help his teachers with their lessons, make tutorials, and use video to critique himself on his hockey shot.The video made me stop and think about my youth. I remember my parents seemed unable to program their VCR, and I would have to do it for them. At that time, it seemed so simple to me and it was hard for me to comprehend why they were unable to grasp the concept. Looking back at those situations and then comparing them to the video; I can get a sense of how my parents probably felt watching me program it and going over how to program it with them and them not totally understanding what was going on.As time goes on technology will keep on making advances and the next generation will be the ones show the old folks how things are done. I think that as educators we need to keep ourselves open to new technologies. We should strive to use the latest resources that are available to use. This does not mean that I think we should disregard traditional techniques as old and antiquated and no longer of any use.I also wanted to provide the video for those who may be unable to get the hyperlinks to work.

Words are Powerful

I was looking at student post and found one that stuck out to me. In the blog the student tells about making her own book and how she did it. I think this is a great idea. It shows another way technology can be used to encourage learning in the classroom.It was a lot harder than I originally thought it would be to give constructive criticisms. This is definitely an area that I am going to have to work on. This was really hard to do because I did not want to say anything that the student might interpret as negative.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An Introduction

Hello, my name is Richard. My wife and I have two dogs, one is part Lab and part Pit Bull, her name is Saphira, the other dog is a miniature fawn Chihuahua and her name is Bambi. We also have two cats named Socks and Willow. At this point I'm an elementary ed major. I started college in prepharmacy and went to secondary ed and ended up elementary ed. I really would like to end up teaching high school science and then maybe community college.