Friday, March 6, 2009

Great Education Blog Idea

I was just wandering around the blogger website and found an area called "Blogger Buzz" at the bottom of my dashboard. That is where I found a link to a site called Plinky. Plinky professes to have a cure for Blogger's Block and I think they are right. But forget the blogger's block for a minute. This would be a great way to use blogs in a language arts classroom. Just think, a teacher could post a writing prompt and the responses to the prompt could come from the students in the form of a "comment" to that post. Plus, this offers an introduction to blogging for students, who them could create theier own blog for class. Hey! That blog could be a wriging portfolio and other students could comment on the work. The ideas are endless.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Moving at the Speed of Technology

An Extension of an Earlier Post

A few weeks ago I wrote a post called A School Using Web 2.0. This posting had two sections "A Dream" and "There's Always a Downside." In the "A Dream" section, I listed a make-shift timeline regarding the evolution of technology.

I was born in 1980, which may or may not be after you were (and that is neither here or there), and since then we have gone from toys that don’t make noise, to toys that make noise, to electronic toys, to cassette tapes, to walkmans, to dicsmans, to i-Pods and MP3s."

My reader offered an extension of this idea from another blog, that is discussing a portion of the CBS Sunday Morning Show. The Blog posting "Dealing with Data Rot - From CBS," (found on the Free Technology for Teachers Blog) uses a great video exerpt of the show to example the evolution of technology and the downsides of technology evolving. The blog posting states:

There is a lesson in this video for all of us and it's, back up your data in a modern format."

I think there is more than just one lesson to be learned from this. Yes, we need to back up our older data in a more modern format. Also, we need to be cognizant of the speed at which our technology is changing. The video actually shows a time line of technological change and if you notice as time progresses the time span between each invention decreases. This emphasizes how important and urgent it is that we, as teachers, just on the technology bandwagon and start introducing as much technology to our students. The longer we wait, the more our students miss out.

Another point that must not be missed is how much we have accomplished over the past decades. Technology across the world has advanced so much, and this is something of which we should all be very proud. Not only does that mean that we as a society are learning, but that we as a society are not afraid of expanding our learning. The process of inventing these technologies is a learning process. I've always heard that, "If you don't succeed, try, try again," (I don't know who first said it, so please forgive me for not giving them credit....I'm not the one who said it.) You try to make something new. It does not work. You learn from your mistakes, and then improve your design. Learning at it's best.

Finally, a personal note:

My father, a very unique and "old-school" person, always took a lot of pictures. The problem is that he didn't get them developed like "normal" people do; he had them made into slides. I'm talking about the old type of slides. They are about 1 square inch in sizes with cardboard around them. Essentially a negative of the picture that could only been seen using a slide viewer. This has always driven my mother nuts, but had never bothered me so much. Probably, because I just know that it is another example of my father's personality. Recently it has provided me with a dilemma...I want to see those pictures. When my father was recently diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil, I began really appreciating all of the pictures I had of us. What I didn't have is a good way to see them. Now, I'm constantly looking for something to use to convert the slides to something more update. I haven't found anything to help with this yet, so if anyone knows of something...please let me know.