Saturday, October 25, 2008

Non-traditional technology in education link

Obviously the focus of our class discussions has been about enhancing and even changing education -- the delivery of it, the process of it, the way it is conceptualized for both educators and learners -- via technology; however, I have to add this to my post: one of our local school board members found himself in a rather ugly situation last evening (it appears he was the skipper of his own sinking ship in this particular case) and it was all caught on cell phone camera. when you least expect it. I know this is a loose connection to our class but fascinating nonetheless on so many educational levels. This particular board member is a very outspoken advocate of Prop 8. Last night there was a No on Prop 8 protest on one side of a street here in Bakersfield, and a Yes on Prop 8 protest on the other. Said Board member crosses the street, starts taking No on Prop 9 signs, is, not surprisingly, confronted by the No protestors...and then punches one of the protestors in the face and kicks him in the leg. Wow. Is that what we mean by dysfunctional board member behavior? And what kind of example is that for our students? If someone disagrees with you, cross the street, take their stuff, and punch them in the face.

Technology in education? Yes, all the way. Lets bring it, incorporate it, learn it, adapt to it, thrive because of it. But I think it is also important to remember common sense. I'm not implying that these are mutually exclusive...I'm just saying, there are many factors that contribute to student outcomes...including judgment-impaired board members.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Blogging, Gadgets, and Cyber School for Dropouts

Somehow I managed to do the reading for this week's class last week and talked briefly about it in the first post to my blog. Some of the points of interest for me this week relative to this is possible to install too many Gadgets on a blog! I went crazy going through the list of gadgets and before I knew it, I had everything on there from the Puppy of the Day photo to the ESPN feed to the "beautiful sunset of the day" photo. I think most of us talked in class about how the experience of blogging is a work in progress. I strive to be a blog savvy as Candace :) So again, this blog is a work in progress. Fun to follow everyone though.

I found a very interesting article on the Ed Tech site that Patrick asked us to look at ( that discussed how one Pennsylvania school dealt with revenue loss as the result of students dropping out of high school. This school started a cyber school for dropouts as well as those students who simply did not fare well in the traditional high school setting. In this case, it has been working so well that the school site might generate a profit for the next school year that they offer this. Historically I think this might be the type of thing that would have made me cringe, however, this plan was well laid out with ways for attendance to be accounted for and also ways for students to get video tutoring from teachers. It reinforces the fact that we must continue to redefine education -- which was also discussed in great deal in the Participatory Culture reading. Educational gaming, collective intelligence, social networking -- those concepts were definitely not in play at the high school I went to. I think what is most interesting and also challenging to me is the redefining of education -- what has traditionally, historically been expected versus what does and does not work -- and what moves not only us as educators, but our students forward into the 21st century.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Week 1 synthesis/reflection

In going through the readings for the week and looking at The Horizon Reports for 2005-2008, several key themes and issues stood out for me -- and those issues seemed to be interrelated. In all of the reports there was much talk about collaboration, about building learning communities, about access to not only "ubiquitous" wireless, but also access to educational opportunities and perhaps even changing the way in which traditional academia operates. In order to respond to changing student needs, education is going to have to change some of the ways in which it does business. Some of the concepts on the horizon -- such as Virtual Worlds and Social Operating Systems -- seem hard to conceptualize and wrap ones brain around. But going back to the 2005 Horizon Report, everything discussed in that report as "being on the horizon" has come to fruition. Exciting times...