Trailers/Initial Impressions

December 7, 2009 at 4:47 am (Digital Humanities, Thoughts on the Profession) (, )

I took a look at four of the trailers for internet “workshops” from the “Bridgin the Divide” conference. They can be found here: http://k12online.ning.com/video/video

The teasers/trailers varied in their approaches. “Little Kids, Big Possibilities,” for instance, more or less just showed some cool looking web 2.0 things that, I’m led to assume, were created by kids. A little intriguing, but perhaps too sparse to reel me in.

“Slippery Rocks and Hard Places” was a little different. This trailer hinted that there are 12 “critical bridges” in 21st Century learning. Though I don’t know quite what this means (how could I, it’s a 1 minute teaser), this trailer’s use of “vauge-specifics” (my own term) piqued my interest.

“A Peek for A Week” seemed to cover familiar ground, essentially saying that kids can do terrific things given a week of computer access and a creative teacher. I’m interested in what they actually did, but I’m skeptical it’ll be more stuff like “Wordle,” which, in my experience, is the stupidest waste of time teachers can use and still claim to be using new technology to reinvigorate the classroom. I hope there’s some more substance here.

Finally, the “Learning Confluence” trailer made it fairly easy to get the thrust of the workshop. The idea of an intense confluence of philosophy and practice between educational experts seems promising, if also a little dry.

At this point, I’m leaning towards attending the “Little Kids, Big Possibilities,” and “A Peek for A Week” workshops. Though I shared some skepticism about both of these choices above, I chose them because they focus on actual students doing things with technology. I’m really eager to see helpful ways teachers do this, and also eager to identify what I see as unhelpful or simply stupid technology (Wordle, for instance, holds no academic or learning value you that I can see–and I’m pretty artistic!).

I’m looking forward to it, and i’ll let you know my impressions.

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What About High School?

October 26, 2009 at 7:01 pm (Classroom Observations, Digital Humanities, Thoughts on the Profession) (, , )

A few classmates and I responded to youtube sensation “A Vision of Students Today” with a video of our own. I had a few technical problems because of the different Flip camera models, and some of our signs are kind of faint. We’ll have to work on that for next time. You live, you learn.

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Flickr and Jing

September 19, 2009 at 11:47 pm (Digital Humanities) (, , )

I was surprised to learn that Flickr isn’t that great. Either that or I really don’t have a handle on it. I mean, it’s kind of cool to be able to annotate photos and stuff, but I was hoping for a little more for all the fuss. I guess I say that because the way I envision incorporating images into my classroom can be done without flickr, and therefore I found it a little redundant. I will say, however, that as a library for pictures it could be very helpful. Again, I see more personal, rather than history, use for it in that capacity. But hey, its something.

Jing on the otherhand is pretty cool. I immediately think of useing it to give instructions that students can watch again and again on their computers. It could also be really helpful if the students themselves used it and incorporated it into presentations or projects. I’m a little concerned about the file format, however. If I were to put it on a blog or website, would the .swft file work for that? Even if it did, what about downloading the video and transporting it via a thumb drive and watching it in a media player? I’d like to learn more about conversion of the file to make it widely accessible. I think one of the biggest impediments to incorporating technology is the (very real) fear that it won’t work for everyone. This file issue could be a big deal for less tech savy students.

Either way, an interesting couple of studios. A little dissapointed by flickr though. Who knows, maybe I’m just not getting it.

Until next time,

DW

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My response to John Seely Brown: Tinkering as a Mode of Knowledge Production

September 3, 2009 at 5:49 pm (Digital Humanities) (, )

Here is my response to some of John Seely Brown’s thoughts. I tried to both deal honestly with what he suggested as well as affirm the really good parts as great ideas for my future classroom.

Still new at this vlog thing, so excuse the excessive use of “umm…” in this video as well as the straight-up-the-nose angel I took.

See you.

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