Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week 6

During Week 6 in our T4T class, we discussed "An Invitation to Move." Moving referring to how our society moves and changes over time, and looking at how the relationship between technology and students has changed over time. To help illustrate this, we watched two videos:

"Rewiring Young Brains" examines hindrances on development of young brains that technonlogy may have. The man in the video said to whatever kids see and expose themselves will be part of their future.

"Old School, New School" discusses how technolgy will change the ways teachers teach. One teacher said educators have to be entertainers. Wes, however, disagreed with this idea because that can become exhausting. Instead, we as educators need to help students do things; make class more hands-on learning. The video also addresses the opinion that excessive exposure to technology, such as TV, has made young people expect to have instant gratification, and when they don't have that in the classroom, they loose focus. How can teachers keep their focus? An interesting point made by a teacher in the video was that it is OK for students to use things such as SparkNotes to aid them in writing papers. He believes this because in the real world, the value of an employee is not necessarily what they know, but if they know how to find the information they need. Allowing students to practice this in the classroom is a good idea, he says. The teacher redefines cheating in favor of letting students gather information from a variety of sources.

We also practiced embedding voicethread video in our blogs in class. Here are the steps:
1. open voicethread and blogger in seperate tabs or windows.
2. make a new post in blog.
3. in voicethread, go to the last page, click "copy link," and past that into your blog.
4. return to voicethread, go to the last page, click "embed" and copy that to blog in "Edit HTML" tab, paste (right click or Ctrl + V), and post your blog.

Next, we learned how to do various searches in Google. We saw two slideshows that helped illustrate this, which can be found at Google Search Tools and Options.

Some new vocabulary:
oneboxes: want to search weather, for example, there is a light blue box at the top of screen after you have done a search that has that information.
queary box: search box

How to do a basic search:
1. to find key words: Ctrl + F
2. naming the un-namable? Type in a quetsion or keywords. For example, you want to define philtrum, google can do that. We also practiced with the Reverse Dictionary that allows you to look up the definition first and then the word. This is good when you are asking yourself, "What is the word for that...?"
3. Wes discourages Google Images because they may or may not comply with copyright laws if used in a student project.

The main take-away is that we need to work on learning more about what we take for granted in Google.

And, also, to not trust the first few hits as the best hits to use.

In class, we also learned about an aggregator, or a collection of headlines. For this, we created our own GoogleReader to aggregate news headlines and information from classroom communication tools. To do this, go to

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