Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Texting makes U stupid (Compass) - Newsweek

An interesting article about what the USA has been producing and kids have been missing with the addiction to texting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cell phones in class

Before getting to know about the multi use of cell phones in class, I had them as an extravagance, especially for students. The reasons provided by Michael Soskil in his article regarding cell phone use at schools are very convincing, especially because they are being used for academic use. All the points raised here bring considerable thought to my mind and once again I get excited thinking about these changes that I will have to take in order to teach my classes the 21st century skills. I keep thinking that the key factor of this discussion lies in preparing my students to use it properly, which certainly can be done with some stipulations.

Digital story telling II + audio

A second challenge, but now through PhotoStory with audio.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Old and revisited power point presentation

First PPT presentation - Spring 2011
<iframe width="600" height="440" src="http://www.helloslide.com/embed/8stt6ow53u" frameBorder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Retooled PPT presentation + audio - Summer 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Powerpoint is evil

I quite agree with some points raised by the article written by Edward Tufte and the NPR story about the role that PowerPoint has played, especially in the classroom. I believe that PPT have become fully enclosed in the school environment and while it is presented as an efficient tool for students, it can also take away the students from their learning process if used improperly. There are some ways in which it can be overused and distract the audience from the its real purpose; and consequently, the classroom environment worsen and the learning process can be prevented. Its function seems to be clear, which is to briefly present an overall view of a topic. It means it cannot be used as a substitute for reading the content from a textbook. However, in some cases, by solely depending on it, students may learn just a little about the topic. Moreover, PPT is a great tool to integrate video, pictures and audio into a lecture, which make the presentation very interesting. However, some animations can create a visually appealing transition between content, and the use of too many visual and audio transitions can make listeners and viewers change their attention to the distraction rather than the content. In addition, the classroom environment functions as an ongoing discussion forum between the teacher and the students, and teachers use ppp. to aid the discussion. However, a presentation which focuses too much on text and content may eliminate discussion in a class. Very often we see pp. presentations provided by teachers that simply follow the content without provoking thought from students, which means that little discussion and learning will derive from it. To sum it up, I do consider PPT an awesome tool, but believe its effectiveness mainly lies in the hands of its user, here the teachers.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

CommonSense Media – lesson summary

I have chosen to talk about the lesson Safe Online Talk (6-8) Unit: Safety, which is an interesting topic to discuss with students of such age. Its objectives encompass the description of positive and negative aspects of online talking and messaging; identification of situations in which flirting and chatting become inappropriate and unsafe; and the understanding of rules for safe online messaging, and how to feel enable to deal with uncomfortable situations when communicating online. I could see that students will be able to reflect on the benefits and potential risks of messaging and online talk. The lesson plan has video activities in which students share their experiences of talking with others online and discuss what is safe and unsafe for them. Vocabulary related to the topic is seen and discussed. There will be class discussions and students will be exposed to strategies and practices for recognizing and responding to unsafe online interaction. Finally, students work in groups to evaluate the danger of some online scenarios through the use of the Internet Traffic Light Student Handout, which will provide lots opportunities for small and whole group discussions.

Revisited Educational Technology blog - comments

a) Comment left on the Open Education blog.

b) The latest posting I read
I read a posting called the White Blank Page (06/21) from the blog Morris Flips and found it really interesting regarding the tips the teacher gives on how to manage her flipped class. She talks about her own experience and what it has meant for someone that used the teacher-centered model for many years and now has been trying to make her classroom both flipped and paperless. She found herself a little scared of flipping the responsibility for learning from her to the students, but discovered that it was the main thing to do. It is worth reading, especially for those that find flipping classes challenging.