Quotations of the Week

Careful. We don't want to learn from this
Calvin and Hobbes

Seeing ourselves as others see us would probably confirm our worst suspicions about them.
Franklin P. Adams

Nver discourage anyone... who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.

We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything.
thomas A. Edison

Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.
Calvin and Hobbes

Some days even my luck rocketship underpants won't help
Calvin and Hobbes

Scanning vs. Seeking - how we view content - a visual example

Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Monday, April 14, 2008

The real final thoughts

Kaira has gone back to sleep and I am back at the computer (can’t wait for the teething to be over – this is week 4 of hourly wake-up calls…).

I have to clarify that I don’t mean to sound negative about these tools. I see a lot of uses for a lot of what we looked at over this semester. I love the possibilities that are out there and I look forward to my class recording their radio commercials next week using audacity (if the IT guy has time to finish my lab – short staffed right now) I am in the process of starting a blog for two of my courses and have been converting some of my assignment to PDF format so I can post them on the site for student access.

I love the fact that these tools are “free” (I have already ranted elsewhere how I don’t really feel these site free… yes, they are monetarily ‘free’ but I think that is a very narrow definition of cost but I refuse to get involved in this rant again and will leave it there). Meaning my overstrained school budget isn’t getting hit by the cost of new software, that students have access to it from wherever, that a lot of the programs allow people with varying experience with computers success in the what they create/publish.

I love how easy google notebook makes it to collect information (if not to process it) and if I could ever get the toolbar installed at school (won’t because it comes – according to the IT guys- with too many issues and just won’t be happening) it would be even a great asset to me in the classroom.

I love how You Tube has videos that I want to share with my classes easily accessible and now that the school has given teachers’ permission to access any site they think is appropriate (don’t tell the students though as it is supposed to be a secret that I can get to YouTube etc…) I can on pretty much a spur find something that we are talking about and share it with the class. For example the other day we were talking about ad campaigns and I was mentioning one that I thought was horrible and rather than try to explain the bad ad by Quizno’s I found it…. would have posted it here but my blog is on strike when it comes to videos (ahhhh…. The joy of technology). Search quizno rat and you will know what I am talking about.

I am excited about trying new things and rethinking what I have done in the past. For me two things have to be answered in my own brain as I continue down the web 2.0 highway…

What am I willing to barter away in return for use of these tools?
How can I learn and use these programs without creating a bunch of litter/clutter/garbage that others will need to sift through looking for items to add to their personal collection of information?

Final Thoughts for now

I have lived most of my life on Vancouver Island and have seen many changes with the landscape. When I was very little I can remember going to the West Coast and camping on Long Beach. Nobody thought anything of preservation or how the landscape was being changed by our actions. We camped directly on the beach and if firewood was needed logs were hauled from where they could be found. I remember cousins collecting starfish and sand dollars from the beaches as well when they came to visit so they could take them home.

As I grew older it became more apparent to those that be that the beaches couldn’t handle the onslaught. Beaches that, when I was little were covered so thickly in sand dollars that you couldn’t walk without stepping on them now have very few. When I took campers to the beaches we talked about leaving everything where they found it and in better condition than what they found. We encouraged them to take memory souvenirs and photos to remember the beach.

I kind of see the internet as this a new landscape that more and more are truly discovering and starting to take an interest in. Where when I I was little going to the west coast of Vancouver Island was all on dirt logging roads and took a better part of a day now can be reached in a few hours. It is covered in resorts and although it is located in a rainforest actually experienced a water shortage a couple of years ago due to usage (and a lack of rain).

The internet is a more accessible space than space to explore and it is easier and easier for all to use. Where when I first used the internet one had to learn HTML to post anything on it now a person simply has to fill out a template and voila… it is posted.

The result though is the same in some respects to the physical landscape that we exist in. As more and more people find the appeal in the landscape the more and more ‘stuff’ begins to exist on the internet. The more stuff on the internet the harder it can sometimes be to find the things that make the original landscape so appealing.

With the amount of traffic this new frontier is attracting the other inevitable of more and more taking up residency is the growth of litter that is now surfacing on the internet. I think about the number of accounts, pages, documents, photos, etc that are now floating (and I don’t mean literallyJ) online from my use of sites for this course alone is staggering to me. Before this course if I googled myself I might get five results if I was lucky… now… well… let’s just say I have created a bunch of garbage in my quest to get somewhere.

Right now we talk about the internet being limitless and I sometimes wonder how limitless is it?

slightly different part 2

Okay, the last blog wouldn't let me save another video... here is my second attempt at the common craft video UGH!!! It won't post... I will come back to it later although I think everyone has seen it by now...through at least one other person's blogs...

Anyway, after we have looked at wikis I thought we would need to have some discussion as a group on what we would tackle next...

Blogs (won't even attempt the video for this one right now) would be my next choice if I had say and one of the documents that I share is Blogs in Education which I found looking for something else. Not only did it turn out to include a nice summary of what a blog is, how to set one up, uses for blogs but it also inlcuded a nice list of sites to visit...

For all our discussions in this web 2.0 group I would like to keep guide the discussions with 4 basic questions
1. What is (fill in the web 2.0 tool of your choice)?
2. What could I use it for in my classroom?
3. How would using it benefit me/my students/the learning community
4. Could the lesson/activity be done without web 2.0 (does it have merrit as an educational experience without the tools of the internet to make it snazzy - need to word it simpler somehow)