Final Prezi

My initial Prezi took no time at all I was able to pull together a pretty decent prezi without much effort. Revision however, made my entire Prezi process difficult. I was trying to make my Prezi more originally mine, not unlike the challenges we have been facing within this new Web 2.0 based writing. I have attached my prezi which I hope will give you insight into the resources available to writers today and also the challenges writers face within new computing environments.

http://prezi.com/gvi_y8e3mptp/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Please watch it on a 4 second time

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Final Project

Through my, Technology and the Future of Writing, class I have discovered a plethora of resources available for writing. Writing has transitioned from hieroglyphics to pen and paper to writing on computers and within programs. Everyone now has access to publish and share information and they aren’t limited to what they can write. In my Prezi, I share various programs used in my efforts for this class as well as my take on what the future has in store for writing and writers. As the world changes so should our practices and writing is no exception to this. 

http://prezi.com/nex_qd7uadbk/present/?auth_key=qjt1n0i&follow=gpg7o3y5x0zh

Do You Read What You Tweet?

Reading is something we do every day, but how in depth do we really read? Students need healthy reading habits to help their skills as readers grow, but they’re growing up in a society that doesn’t even read the majority of things they post to Twitter. This article was Tweeted by Arielle Armenti and it talks about how we often don’t read. We just skim. Chartbeat CEO Tony Hailie said, “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading.” Chartbeat investigates our activity online so they can notice habits and behavior. Twitter can be great for sharing ideas, but in a fast paced world like this how can we expect to really take in all that information? How can kids be expected to stay focused and read in a world where attention spans are lessening and the desire for immediate simple information is growing?

UpWorthy and Buzfeed attempted similar tests and found that “the majority of shares on social media occur after someone has spent over three and a half minutes on the page.” This means that people either tweeted based simply on the title of the article and not on the content, or they read most of the text or all of it. This makes me wonder whether students act the same way. Do they simply skim over the title and text or read the whole thing thoroughly? Or is there some in between? And if our kids’s attention spans are wearing thin and they don’t focus on reading how can we turn that around? I personally have a “less is more” attitude when it comes to information. The less you subject yourself to, the more detailed you can look into it. I can’t say I have an answer to whether our kids are doomed and if Twitter will never become more in depth with its readings, but I can say that becoming aware of that fact is the first step and we are well on our way.

Can We Meet The Demand For Computer Science?

It’s no secret. Technology is the way of the future. We’ve been making the transition to computers and digital everything for years now, so why is it such a big deal? This article that Amy McKeever posted to Twitter explains that. Long story short, too few schools teach computer science. It’s been estimated that “in the next decade there will be about 1 million more U.S. jobs in the tech sector than computer science graduates to fill them.” That’s scary. What’s worse is that we’re missing out. The education technology sector is worth 8 BILLION DOLLARS and it’s still growing. It has no foreseen end to its growth.

Oh. My. God. 8 BILLION DOLLARS?!

One organization called Kodable is teaching kids ages 5 and under programming by playing games. They have kids as young as 2 years old using it. Is this the new direction for schooling? Will they implement these programs to create a new generation of super programming children? Maybe. Schools are not teaching computer science, but this curriculum could change all that. Schools new newer computers and a new curriculum to meet this demand. Otherwise, the gap of knowledge will only grow larger. It’s more than just students who need to meet this new demand. The schools teaching them have to improve as well.

Facebook Can Predict My Relationships?!

When looking through Bloggin’ With Friends’s blog, I couldn’t help but notice an article called “What Can’t Facebook Do?” and it caught my attention. What Can’t Facebook Do? Nowadays it seems like there’s nothing they can’t do. After reading this article, I’d say that’s pretty much right.

Bogdan State, Facebook’s data scientist, took a look at Facebook’s data about relationships (because of course they know everything about you and your significant other) and found that “About half of all Facebook relationships that have survived three months are likely to survive to four years or longer.” What?! He’s not kidding. Statistically, he’s completely right. It turns out if you can make it three months, you might as well hunker down and get ready for the long haul.

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He also noticed that a lot of relationships end in the Summer and a particular amount of relationships ended in 2011. Why could this be? His answer seemed to guess at the economy’s condition at that time. No money? No relationship. That’s just how it works. You have to take care of yourself before you can make time for others, especially those who are significant others.

So what does this have to do with education you might ask? I’ll admit it is a stretch, but jobs like being a data scientist are the new fields students will go into. Statistics will become more and more valuable in the future, especially when dealing with technology. Technology has given us Facebook, Twitter, and tons of other sites. Now our students who are using these sites will potentially be hired by them to increase productivity. These are where the new jobs are. Being a mathematician can now be useful for social networks. This field is only growing, so it’s good for teachers to prepare their students for jobs like this and it’s important for students to know that studying harder in math could lead them to a job at one of their favorite sites. Like I said, it is a stretch. This article was just so interesting I just couldn’t pass it up.

This article was eye opening and kind of scary to say the least. I’d advise you check it out and also Bloggin’ With Friends. They’ve got some good stuff going on.

Can you learn history through a podcast?

I saw recently, one of the top 5 podcasts this week was a 15 minute history lesson that the University of Texas created. It begs a question for me- can you learn anything from these short history lessons? I think the use of technology encourages a more in-depth look at an event in history. So technology used this way is advertising history in an attempt to wet the appetite for a greater interaction with history. I have heard great debate on whether the History Channel can even be used or should be used for educational purposes. ( for a comical look at this check out Cracked .)

But there are resources out there for educators to use technology in an attempt to get closer to history, making things interactive for students. I think the only problem is in thinking that all of the technology is enough research to understand a topic. For Example, when Researching Native Americans, I found it a lot more helpful to spend time in the library looking at books. In fact, the closer you can get to the authentic material the closer you are to history, for me I found, for example William Penn’s historical description of the Lenape Indians more useful (though ethnocentric) then the newer materials available online. You can not get every resource on historical events by relying on what has been placed on the internet.

We can learn something of interest in Podcasts, Youtube, the History Channel but the actual learning takes place when you integrate media ideas into historical text and make an educated guess as to the actual historical events.

 

 

Collaborative Learning in the 21st Century

As I have been saying in my previous blogs, learning is not the same. I cannot stress this enough. Many people think being a teacher is easy because we have all had the opportunity to observe teachers everyday for over 12 years. This is not the case. We can, however, use these experience to grow and adapt with our learners.

Collaborative learning has become all the craze within the last decade. Teachers are realizing the importance of group work and encourage collaborative activities. How can we use technology and  collaborative learning? The Multi-Touch table is a perfect way to use collaborative learning in the 21st century.

How can we use a Multi-Touch table in our classrooms?

In his article, Collaborative Learning on Touchtables: Engaging Students with Group Work, Daniel Tomasini shares the collaborative advantages a touchtable or multi-touch table has to offer. I found this article in a tweet shared by Amanda Yacovelli. A multi-touch table is not merely a larger tablet. A tablet is for individual use while a multi-touch table is designed to be used by a whole group. This allows for students to work together on a project or activity all being able to contribute while using the advantages technology has to offer and students maintain engaged in their learning.

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Is Technology Evolving Education

Technology undoubtedly, has offered great improvements to education. In fact, perhaps technology and education are similes. I’m sure Jason Silva would think so. Technology and Education are ever evolving, the tools we use define the way we think and experience the world. Education is a technology, an individualized recording of human experiences that rely on the technology of books and experience to presumably prepare for a future.

If children in a classroom engage with their teacher with an iPad , will their work truly become more organized as the teachers suggest or is it just as easily lost in the digital world as stuffed in-between books in their desk? What other affects of overexposure to screen time can occur, ADHD? Or even not as extreme as labeling it- ADHD, how about the skill of developing slow cognitive thought?

I don’t question the use of some technology and exposure to technology, like in Art class if you don’t ever take out the fancy oil paints you never understand that medium. Or in the culinary world if you never use an ingredient or it’s cousin how can you prepare it without a really clear recipe. But the immersion of students into total technology feels wrong to me. Digital Technology can teach us many things but the process of learning needs to be multi-modal. I don’t want to raise children who can program software but can’t count apples in the grocery. Technology needs to enhance our education, release our minds from mindless tasks to create greater higher level thinking ideas, but first we all must learn fundamental life skills.

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Have we gone too far perhaps in a few years we will provide educators with the tool to read student’s thoughts.

What is Literacy

Literacy is presumed by many to be a marked achievable accomplishment. In kindergarten we can assume you will read and write your name- that is literacy to a child. To an adult we know that there is a level achieved, being able to read a newspaper, complete a mathematical equation, write a letter, understand a contract and of course sign it.

In Kevin Kelly’s “Becoming Screen Literate,” he addresses people becoming literate in a media of digital video. Kelly states “The habits of mashup are borrowed from textual literacy. You cut and paste words on a page.” The problem with this technique of borrowing and synergy of ideas is where does the original authors work actually end and the new author begin. In this type of digital media for example, we can see how dangerously words and ideas can be clipped and formed to represent out of context an author’s intent.

Additionally, the student that is clipping segments of ideas and representing them as something different then their intent is learning dishonestly. They are learning the skill of misappropriation rather then the skill of complex thought.

Kelly states “truth is something you assemble yourself on your own screen.” This refers to an elemental truth of all people we do really create our own version of the truth, because from our perspective we are only able to understand our version.

Literacy, to me is seeking further then our own original version of the truth, it is an ever moving target made up of every possible media and experience. You are illiterate to a road until you experience that particular road, but once you experience it you start to become familiar and understand the way to make your own route.

 

 

Field Trips in a Tech Savy Classroom

Like, Education Technology and Mobile Learning’s,step by step Guide to Creating a Virtual Field Trip Using Google Earth, this video shows how to bring the world to our students when we can’t bring our students to the world. Whether the situation be too dangerous, money is too scarce, or a just a mere lack of time, Google maps allows classrooms to travel across the world in a matter of seconds. With the click of the mouse an entire classroom can be in exploring the pyramids of Egypt. No longer are students bounded by their location in what they can experience. Classrooms even have the ability to interact with one another. This could totally redefine our entire concept of the world field trip. The endless possibilities on Google maps allows teachers to facilitate field trips all over the world. The trips can last a class period or over the course of a few days and can span and entire subject..
These virtual field trips allow students to experience their learning rather than learning about it from text books. This virtual experience provides them with something a text book never could. That is interaction. Interaction plays a key role in learning. Students can learn about a location, explore its surroundings and even interact with experts in the fields of study.