Monday, February 23, 2009

iPod's in Education

In 2004, Duke University set out to become a leader in technological education. Every freshman that enrolled at Duke for the Fall semester of 2004 received a fourth-generation iPod. Duke had taken a risk that many consider was just a fad, but this risk seems to have it's rewards. Duke has now scaled back issuing iPods. If you take an iPod required course at Duke the university will lend you an iPod for the term. If you want your own it will only cost you $99. As far as iPod instruction at Duke being a fad, the university offered 47 courses that used the iPod in the Spring of 2006. The Spring of 2005 only offered 19 such courses. If you would like more details for Dukes use of the iPod check out the article I read HERE.

Duke is not the only university to take advantage of iPod's technology. Schools such as MIT, New York Law School, Texas A&M, and Stanford are also using the iPod. But the iPod is not limited just to Universities anymore. It is being used across the globe in K-12 Classrooms. Karen Thompson, a K-12 Teacher in Springfield, Illinois has a website that provides links to different projects and tools that show teachers some of the different things iPods can accomplish. To visit Karen Thompson link Click Here. Also, a fellow Blogger, whose blog is The Best Article Everyday, posted 100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better. To view the complete list Click Here.

Dr. Christie's Site

Dr. Christie had a great site with useful information such as iMovies, Podcast, Instant Messaging, and the list goes on. Being such a successful and accomplished educator for over 40 years, I am confident that here tips will definitely work. I searched the site and found that teachers could use GPS technology to incorporate lessons, which is very cool, but I'm not sure I will ever teach at a school that would allow the full power for such a project. I looked at her tips for podcast, checked out some of her workshops, and listened to her "Last Lecture".

After running through her site, I found a digital media section. From there I found a Movie or "iMovie" section. If you would like to view this link Click Here. Inside I found different projects that students had completed. The first project is the one that really caught my eye. Students in an elementary school had researched the life of Rosa Parks, created a script, and filmed a movie. It is even done in black and white, and has an old newscast type of look. I thought this would be a perfect way to get kids to learn without actually making them feel like they are learning. Any teacher could do this for anything and the subject does not matter. If you would like to watch the video then Click Here.


The articles and podcast concerning Wikipedia were very interesting to read and listen to. I use Wikipedia a few times a week. I might search the name of a pro athlete. I may be watching T.V. and cannot figure out what movie a remember a certain actor from. I might want biography information, career stats, or records of great games fro my favorite pro athletes. I knew Wikipedia could be changed by anyone, and I never thought this was a huge deal. I figure that most of what I read on Wikipedia is true and factual. But that was before I read the articles and listened to the podcast. I use Wikipedia for hobby related information, but Wikipedia can give some companies a bad name and a "black eye" so to speak. Now knowing that anyone can sugar coat or remove anything from Wikipedia that they don't like or agree changes my view of Wikipedia's creditability. I know they can find who changed the information, but it is completely legal to change the information. Due to that fact, I don't think Wikipedia will ever be 100% reliable.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Randy Pausch's Lecture

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams was a great video to watch. It was like watching a great movie that comes along every once in a while that you wish would never end. He was full of so much information and knowledge, yet he kept the concepts simple. You can live out your dreams to so extent, as long as you don't take no for an answer, and you keep pushing toward your goal. This was an eye opening lecture.
As the video opened, he made it a point not to pity him and that he was not going to talk about his cancer. And as the video went on further, I forgot about his life story and really focused on his lecture. Randy Pausch, in some way or another, fulfilled all of his childhood dreams. After his dreams were fulfilled he dreamed even bigger and began to help his students realize and achieve their dreams.
Randy Pausch did not believe in book work. He wanted work to be hands on. He talked about how to "head fake" children. "Head faking" was the concept of letting children have fun while indirectly teaching them something. His "dream factory" became Alice, which is a project that allows children to make movies and games, yet teaches them as they use it. At the time of the lecture it had 1 million downloads, 8 textbooks about it, and 10% of U.S. colleges were using it. Pausch said that the best was yet to come from "Alice". He compared himself to Moses, in the fact that, like Moses he will "get to see the promised land, but not step foot in it".
Randy Pausch should be a role model for future teachers. He did not believe in book work, but he did believe in children having fun while they learn something really hard. He whole basis for living was to have fun, not just in learning but in life. The thing I learned most from the lecture was to never give up on the dreams of my future students or my own dreams. I think that dreams will only die if you let them. And in the end the talk was for his kids. "Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things". -Randy Pausch

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Fischbowl Best of 2007: April, 180 Days?

Karl Fisch's April's Blog Entry for Best of 2007 was a very interesting topic named 180 Days?. The topic came from Barry Bachenheimer, who asked the question is 180 days of school enough time, and how many of those 180 days are devoted to instructing students. I then went to the link which The Fischbowl provided and watched Barry's YouTube video 180 Days?. The video considered 180 days of school and then it featured factors that affected teacher's from instructing students. These factor included: testing, test review days, fire drills, pep rallies, picture day, guidance counselor talks, school wide assemblies, and so on. It is very interesting when you look at the big picture.

I'm glad I chose to blog about this topic, because I have first hand experience. High school for me was great. It was friends, sports, telling jokes, and having as much fun as possible. Before I say anything else, I received an outstanding, quality education. I say that to say, 180 days are wasted. Most of the time in school and in the classroom is wasted on programs, movies, reviews, State testing. Even with all the class interruptions and not having teacher instruction everyday, I feel like all of my classmates and I received a great education. My opinion is that there is too big of a deal being made about 180 Days?. It is a great thought, but school is about making mistakes and learning from them, just as much as it is about learning from a teacher and a book. It's school so let's just lighten up and have fun with it.

Last Semesters Students Podcasts

The first podcast I chose to listen from last years class was podcast number 21. The students that made this podcast were Ashley Cleveland, Erica Sledge, and Shyane Fant. The subject of their podcast was "Useful Web Sites for Elementary Teachers". I thought the podcast was very well done. The girls spoke very well. Although they seemed tense at first they seemed to calm down and be comfortable with each other. From this podcast I can learn that it is a must to research your topic, because it is clear that they were well prepared. I will also take away that they spoke well, loudly enough, and clearly. I hope my podcast is as well done. If you are interested in listening to this podcast LISTEN HERE

The second podcast I listened to was on the topic of "Technology Used in Classrooms in the College of Education". The students performing this podcast were Tina Dillen and Sara Large. This was podcast number 8. Their podcast was done very well also. Maybe I could make my podcast more of an attention grabber. Hopefully it my podcast will be more interesting. Their topics were scattered from advantages to disadvantage back to advantages which made it very confusing. Mainly, I wanted my podcast to be clear, well spoken, organized, and entertaining. If you are interested and listening to their podcast LISTEN HERE

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Fischbowl

After reading Karl Fisch's blog, I feel that he was dead on about all the statements he made. Every teacher today should be required to be computer literate. Computers and the Internet are here to stay, as much as the older generation does not want to admit it. Computers will be a part of everyday life for everyone for years to come, especially students and teachers. I believe that students will get their homework assignments, study guides for tests, grades, and etc. in the future from a blog. The internet was just in it's infancy ten years ago, and I am not sure that it has hit its full potential yet or that it ever will.

I realize that we have older teachers in school systems that believe that if they taught for so many years without a computer then they can continue to do so. I feel like that is a childish thought process, and in the end it hurts the children. If you cannot or do not teach children to be computer literate nowadays, then as an educator, you are only setting them up in failure for the future. The future will have computers, but we must be able to use the computers to have a future.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


This week I listened to the required podcasts. The first podcast I listened to was KidCast Number 58. The podcaster, Dan, brought up the topic of how classes are performing podcasts. He believes that podcasting is not about just saying, "Hey, here is a podcast". He believes podcasting is about collaboration and research, then posting it and making it available to the world, and finally following up with more podcasts. His podacast was boring at first and started off slowly, but it contained useful information.

Next I listened to the Connecting Learning podcast with David Warlick. The was Episode 96, and he was hosting a workshop which included around 9,000 teachers. One teacher from and elementary school said that kids dislike assignments they do with pencil and paper, buy enjoy the exact same assignment if they can do it on a computer. Another teacher suggested that kids love personalizing their blogs and may work harder on their assignments because they know more people will see their work.

Then I listened to MacBreak Weekly Episode 125. This podcast was fun and upbeat. I loved the fact that the podcast used a cast of different people. It was almost like listening to a morning radio show.

Lastly, I listened to This Week in Photography Number 66. They too were fun, energetic, and really seemed to enjoy working together. They seemed very comfortable together and of course very knowledge about the topics they were speaking about. It was interesting to me that they talked about how everyone now owned a camera hurt real photo journalists.