Saturday, October 27, 2007

Constructivist Knowledge

These readings are very important to consider for integration into the symposium content. It is easy to visualize content using the databases, spreadsheets, and iWork. I have used Lotus, Access, Powerpoint, Excel, and Word many times over the years for work projects and personal use. I can't wait to try the new iWork because I love the drag and drop feature. I am saving for my MacBook Pro right now so I can get the works (@ $2500). Spreadsheets are extremely useful for visualizing written work, say, like a dissertation. SPSS is a good tool but I actually used Excel to integrate graphs, pie charts, and other organizational data for my action research thesis at Poly SLO. Numbers, Keynote, and Pages are similar to Excel, Powerpoint, and Word, respectively, yet have differing qualities. I am unsure if there is a similar software paralleling Access.Not many people really program access databases because they are a little more difficult to learn. Access is awesome though because you can create surveys and such for qualitative data tracking rather simply. The iLife for Mac looks really cool too!

I really like the idea of Mindtools. That could be a possible symposium topic. Use of "critical thinking tools that engage and facilitate cognitive processing sounds" and "amplify and reorganize mental functioning!" Sounds just like what we need to motivate and further recruit professional leaders. I can definitely use some help reorganizing my mental functioning, especially now that I am working at the elementary school mornings and the high school afternoons.

I visualize constructivist knowledge analogous to Hak here generously handing out his bananas at UCSB. We learn by peeling each banana off the bunch as if we are scaffolding knowledge to each one of us who pull from the bunch. What we have left is a little nub that then holds our knowledge together. Then as we grab for the next bunch, we scaffold more and more knowledge until we have a bunch of little nubs representing modules of integrated knowledge that we leaders then spread like seedlings to all the little bananas of the world to consume voraciously because they hunger for this e-knowledge. I know it's late...but you all get the idea! Can't wait to hear your theories.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Safari Montage Live

I absolutely love SML! Not to mention the 90 minute drive and the twenty bucks for gas...I was even able to see the rest of the game. That's not the real reason why though. It's the type of technology we need to present to our audience. Like Vicki said, it has real world solutions. If you have never been to an IEP meeting we will be happy to explain it to you. I would rather go to the dentist. Thank you Patrick for facilitating this evening's class.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


There are many references in this weeks readings to wired students. I think we need a new magazine named WI-FI because many technology gadgets are not even wired anymore, they are WIRELESS with Bluetooth, etc.! A student can study at Carnegie Mellon's University Open Learning Initiative (OLI) with a wireless laptop. In the Wired article it states that even preschoolers can use computers and it's true. They are net savvy and that is why studies and frameworks are beginning to pop up into our curricula. "Technology in our blood?" A new series depicting space characters like those in Star Trek or Star Wars comes to mind.

Perhaps they prefer the to post their personal and social ills globally and it does not seem so shocking. The Science News article was not shocking to me. I know that teenagers are cutting and it can be in your own home. Trust me I know. It really escalated when the low budget movie THIRTEEN hit the theaters and rental outlets in 2003. Right about the time adolescents of the 21st century could be persuaded that cutting helps relieve the pain of growing up in a dysfunctional world where they were caught between chalkboards, whiteboards, and computers. For these students, parents didn't discuss teen differences like on Leave It To Beaver , when trouble brewed. It's no wonder the NET GENERATION today have a hard time finding themselves. It's not ego or ID. It's internet! Thankfully though, on a positive note from the article, leadership skills and better readers come out of these social networks. Beaver or the Nelson's probably would not have paid to browse in a Net Cafe...they solved problems the traditional way. Parents have a much harder time overseeing their child's internet use. Kids know how to hide their tracks by erasing history and other techniques. They can also bypass passwords and hack into other computers for free net use and plain nosiness. Some hack for criminal use. Look how fast the kid who broke the iPhone code did it!

To top it off the Net Gen can get free iPods, Blackberry's and tablet PC's for going to college. I want to go to THAT COLLEGE! So trendy, pretty soon I predict we will be seeing Abercrombie & Fitch personalized PC's. All the talk about justification for cutting class ~ how can a teacher or professor compete when the syllabus and assignments are posted! We can't say they are not turning in their work...they are! And the motivated ones are learning faster, so they can get to the stuff they really want to learn about. We still have the procrastinators too. Instead of the dog eating their homework they say the internet went down or their iPod had a glitch. To my point in my last blog. Who wants a robotic Tiny Tim? Are we becoming so digital we are becoming dehumanized?

Friday, October 12, 2007

21st Century Literacy

Who wants a robotic Tiny Tim? Continuous cycles of learning, global awareness, and interactive communication...whatever happened to that old hometown feeling of closeness to your neighbors and family? This is a different type, a global feel of belonging to the world. Adolescents no longer feel that they have to get into a certain college to spread their roots and get out of their boring hometown just to find out that they actually will miss their hometown. I know, I know...mushy, mushy. But really, as long as kids and adults have access to technology, they will always feel close to home. As Hak recently discussed with me, he can hear (and even see) his family in Hong Kong by talking to them on Skype.

We need a new film for the 21st century - The Wizard of Oz has been remastered and It's A Wonderful Life (oops, should it be world? ) is so old it is out of copyright and can be viewed on the internet by anyone. Will these still be classics or will our children have new classics that will be watched in holographics (like Danielle suggested and like Oz was meant to represent so long ago) right in our own rooms?

Kids still feel the pressure of SAT's and other intelligent tests, but now it's a global pressure! So many definitions of literacy! I even feel like the wealth of knowledge available is mind boggling, especially when I take in other points of view. How do we narrow this down for students to focus? Learning styles, aspirations, and a million other choices to make to gear the century in the right direction. We need to start thinking ahead to the 22nd century at this rate. Wait! Slow down. I want to go back to my hometown.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Keith Lew and Apple

I also did some research on Keith Lew. Here is a link to the 2006 isummit attendees that reflects his photo. Just as wee were beginning the JDP!
I love the site that Apple piloted. I love to empower people.
Good reading! I know, we don't need any more....

Don Zundel and McRel

As you all know I love to research. My research regarding Don Zundel (next weeks guest speaker) brought me to this interesting blog on Digital Crosswalks.
I hope you find it as interesting as I did. I also found another blog...
He is noted on Naymz, Zoominfo, as well as an e-school conference in 2002.
Additionally, he published his leadership conference photos on Flicker.
I thought you may like to know Don Zundel's work and leadership activities before we meet with him. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Participatory Culture

Although we are a little late for developing a proposal for this competition it will be interesting to see what ideas are proposed. It's too bad we didn't see it sooner, sure could have used the money...and they could have used our ideas!
According to the article, teaching new media literacy skills so students are competent in using affinity spaces presents the three core problems: participation gap, transparency problem, ethics challenge. I may have it wrong but these seem to be the same problems educators currently face and have faced throughout the history of the public school system. I think the challenge is to rethink these issues, contemplate about what strategies have previously worked with regard to participation, ethics, and transparencies, and then discuss a plan that we can get buy in to - with the obvious rewards and incentives - and get the plan to the right people who can help the innovative thinkers create policies that enable educators to set the plans in motion before the next phase of technology rains on our parade. Perhaps that may already be the case?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Saddleback Caterpillar

If you see this critter, don't touch! Its many spines are capable of delivering a sting you won't soon forget. The saddleback caterpillar's hollow quills are connected to poison glands beneath its skin, and the pain and swelling from contact with them can rival or surpass that of a bee sting.

The saddleback caterpillar (Acharia stimulea) is the inch-long larval form of a fuzzy, dark brown moth. In this crawling stage, however, its coloration is vivid: in the center of its bright green "saddle" is a purplish-brown circle. The critter can be found mostly on deciduous trees and shrubs as well as corn and grasses in midsummer to early fall.

If you have the misfortune of a too-close encounter with the saddleback, wash the area immediately with soap and water, and apply ice to help relieve pain. If any spines are still embedded in the skin, adhesive tape may be useful in removing them. The burning pain and discomfort can last for several hours. People with allergic reactions or who have a sensitivity to bee stings should contact their physician immediately.

Courtesy of HGTV online

This is for is not a tree octupus!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Patrick Gregston

Looking forward to next week! As I said I have been doing a little research too!

Horizon Report

Technology is moving faster than this report. The adoption time periods seem to be forecast slower than the events actually happen. Social networks went from a forecast of 4-5 years in 2005, to a forecast of social computing in under a year in 2006, yet social networks appear in under a year again for 2007. Everything in the 2007 report is already here! Is everyone using their folksonomic tools yet?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Digital Print

Have I left my digital print anywhere yet? I started programming FORTRAN in the late 70's when some of you were just being born. I received my AS in computer science and decided then I wanted to teach computer language. I had to at least get a Master's for that. My path led me to teaching but I have yet to teach technology (PLATO doesn't really count - neither does the little turtle I taught elementary students to move around the screen - I have forgotten the name). What I really want is to teach students how to use technology to their advantage. I wanted to give them an edge up, but now they are explaining things to me; how lost am I really? Well, I can keep up with the average Joe. However, I am still searching for my embellishment on the world. Will I ever find my niche? Stay tuned to see...