The Diary of a Technology Supporter

Technology being used in an elementary school

Scary Man or Techie? April 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — msmithpds @ 10:20 pm

I have had this post on my mind for about a week now.  It happened this past weekend when my child and I were leaving a mall, that is quite nice, but has had some scary incidents over the past 10 years.  So, as she and I were walking through the parking lot, hand in hand, my mommy radar was in full force.  Is that car pulling out?  Are those teens approaching going to try and snatch my purse?  Does that driver know we are crossing the street?  Questions like those popped up in my mind, but it isn’t that I am super paranoid, I live in a high crime city.  Every day we hear on the news about murder, attempted rape, kidnapping, etc.  So I am on high alert, but find it to be my normal state of living. . . I don’t know any different.  So back to the mall – as my daughter and I were walking, I noticed a man at the adjacent gas station, wearing a bright yellow worker’s vest, standing still and snapping a picture with a very little camera.  I laughed because there were some attractive older teen / college girls that had just past.  But my radar was up and I continued to watch him.  He turned a slight angle and snapped another shot.  This time of a man walking in the lot.  My hand gripped tighter to my little girl’s hand and I stared or glared at this man, waiting for him to rotate and snap my shot.  He was completely unaware that I was watching until he saw me – eye to eye -through his camera lens.  He dropped down the camera, turned and walked back into the grocery store.  I upped the speed on getting my girl in the car, buckled, and with locked doors, headed home.  Then the thought crossed my mind, “Could that man have been one of those people taking random shots and posting pictures to places like Flickr just for the sake of banking images / digital footprints?” I have seen people Twitter links of photos they had taken on the subway, the hot dog they bought, or while sitting at the coffee shop, and thought nothing of the links.  But now, after this man, not knowing if he was a scary man taking pictures of people to look at or was he documenting his day, I wondered if other bystanders are getting a little freaked out by the photographic documenters of the Internet world.

 

6 Behavior Management Mistakes April 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — msmithpds @ 9:00 pm

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6000095&s_cid=16

This blog post I found to be an excellent site for teachers at any place in their years of experience for it makes one reflect on how they are dealing with others. It is quite humbling and, I feel, an eye opener. I am not a member of the site so I could not comment, but here is what I would have said:

As a human who interacts with others, a person in the working world, a mommy, and an educator the management mistakes can be found and followed in all aspects of my life. I think that it is important to remember to just try to do your best and managing others and your emotions. Staying calm and positive is the best advice I can think of.

And now to write about my worst behavior moment as a teacher is very humbling and makes me feel small and embarrassed for my actions. I think that I can say that losing my temper and correcting students in a loud way – in front of others was my worst action. I now watch other teachers pull students out in the hall, whisper for a private discussion, or just being respectful and acknowledging the fact that these littler ones are humans with emotions, pride, and are learning how to be appropriate still.

Just remember that you are the adult, modeling what is appropriate and respectful.

 

Reflection on Getting Boys to Read Post April 14, 2009

Filed under: 21stCeturyLearning,blog — msmithpds @ 6:10 pm
Tags: , ,

I just watched a video on 6 reasons why boys like to read magazines posted on a great blog: Getting Boys to Read. http://gettingboystoread.com Here are the top 6 reasons:
#6 – Cheap
#5 – Current
#4 – Visual Design – Boys like color and graphics
#3 – short reads – read little pieces – not long time to read
#2 – non fiction
#1 – find on a topic on their interest

As his movie post went on I just kept thinking, “This is the same reason that teachers should blog, and or have students create blogs!” Blogs are free. How much more current can you get than reading something that someone just posted? Students can add all the graphics and obnoxious color schemes that they want! Short reads – Well that is just a post that did not get carried away! Nonfiction – Can be. They can create create explanations of what they learned (class scribes), create commentaries on their school day or football game, or create posts from researching on topics. Students could set up their own RSS feeder and subscribe to online magazines that interest them! Boys and blogging should go hand in hand.

Now what I would like to know is how much different are the girls? I would think girls would lean more towards fiction…but they could make up stories and post those, like an extension of a story read in the class. But all the other 5 reasons I bet are just the same.

So really, Blogs are kid friendly. And teachers really need to tap in to this world to tap into a way to create energy and interest in students learning environments.

 

Make a Movie with Vocabulary April 13, 2009

Filed under: vocabulary iMovie video Veldt project — msmithpds @ 2:59 am

While cleaning up some old files I ran across some reflections that boys wrote last year after a vocabulary project. The task: Create an iMovie to demonstrate understanding of list of words. I have a few movies that I will upload and join to this blog but I want to share what the 6th graders said from doing this project. It really hits home the idea of making the learning relevant, having a purpose versus the old school write a sentence using these vocabulary words. The creativity and level of work that these boys put in this project was outstanding. I still use the word bemused at lease once a week and I didn’t have to do the project! 🙂

Using technology made it more fun. To me, the more fun it is, the better I learn. If you wrote something on a sheet of paper, it would be boring. Computers make it fun. You will remember it longer.

This project made vocabulary more important to me because we actually used them in real life situations that we might face, if we are a commercial maker when we are older.

While you were watching your own presentation on the smartboard, you caught some of your errors and you caught things that you could have done better.

Makes learning awesome

In this project, I believe I connected a great deal to vocabulary. I was able to take a modern day genre of music and use vocabulary to complete it. This allowed the project to be more of an adventure than work.

Hands on exciting learning.

I liked that you could make movies. I also like that you could make it hilarious.

Also, doing an exhilarating project like this made learning the words exciting and easy

This project was very tricky. It taught me more about technology. I had a really good time doing it! It’s not as easy as it seems to just make a 5-minute movie!

I think the positive things of doing our type of movie are that we have control of everything. We made the background, music, characters, plot, etc. But the bad part about doing the project the way we did is the fact that we have to put more time and effort in it than regular iMovies.

In this project I built a spiritual connection with these words because at first I studied the words and typed them. Next I had to put all the words in a logical script, using emotion, sound effects, and context clues to help others. After all these steps the words were a part of my everyday vocabulary. If I had to do a boring project with these words, I would dread these words because I had no fun with it. The reason I got a better understanding of the words was because I had fun with it.

I had no regrets with this project. It was probably the most fun I have had with schoolwork in a LONG time. I loved how we got to use our imagination to express our creativity. This project helped me to enjoy learning. My creative juices were flowing with this project and I wanted to make it the best I could because it was exciting editing it!

We had fun making the video and I learn better when I have fun using them in sentences made me have a better understanding of the words. Our group connected with the words and connected with each other in using them on video. The video made us laugh when we watched the video and hearing the words made us understand and use them better. I use many of the words now, not ones like veldt, but I use bemused and others.

This was a very enjoyable project because we all were able to use our creative skills to create it. There were virtually no boundaries, and, as an added bonus, we were able to use technology!

CREATIVE AND ORIGINAL!

This use of technology helps us with our vocabulary because we have to use the words. The more we used the words the better we understood. When you mess up in your movie you have to use the words again and again. You also remember the words because you are having fun. When you have fun your brain is more willing to store up these words.

The project was fun because we were allowed a great time limit. During that time limit, we got to have fun acting. Acting is fun to me because you can be funny, serious, or whatever. Going back and adding pictures was also fun. Learning by having fun definitely helps me with vocabulary.