Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Attached is a website that has the image of the front page of many newspapers from around the world. Updated daily, it can be used in the classroom for world issues, geography, literacy and even cultural studies. (it came to mind when www.360cities.net was mentioned in class.....also another great tool to use when teaching history and you need a 3D visual for the students)
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I notice that sometimes teachers usually feel the need to teach technology as a processing tool, but we forget that a computer is more than programs on the OS. With a stroke of a finger, we can access the world through the internet. Therefore, it’s not enough to just teach technology, it is important to remember to instill critical thinking skills in order to use the internet wisely, to authenticate online information and to know what is and isn’t acceptable. Knowing the purpose of a site of whether it is there to inform, to sell or to persuade is an important skill to have.
The above sites teach children the skills to bring critical thinking and problem solving to any text that they read and the lessons are brought to them in an interactive format that would keep them interested. I know that the majority of my students are on the internet for various purposes, and it is important that they are taught the skills on being safe and wise internet surfers. Empowering a student to be safe while having fun is important and “Cyber safety adventures 1 and 2” do just this; students’ and teachers’ interest will definitely be captured with Cyber Pigs’ interactive game.
Although “The Net Generation” is information based, it is very informative. As you read, you will come across in this presentation a webography which is a useful tool for teachers and parents that are looking for some web resources to help them stay informed.
Linking into the sites under the Cyber Safety web page is definitely worthwhile.
Animated Shakespeare …
Midsummer Night's Dream
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Check out www.360cities.net
Go to cities of the world and take a tour ... be a tourist without the tacky clothes and not worrying about parking costs, food, being pick-pocketed.
Look at the Pantheon on this blog ... Wow! Imagine if you hooked this up to a SMART Board.
Cyberbullying, Cybersense and Nonsense
Two very interesting and informative sites on internet safety and awareness are “Cyber Bullying” and “Cyber Pigs” (the second adventure of the Cyber Pigs). I’ve explored both and even though these sites were designed with 9-12 year olds in mind, I found that the information and instruction included in these works should be viewed and offered to all ages, especially high school students who chat and use the internet often and are vulnerable to the dangers lurking on the internet.
Both sites deal with internet safety and awareness on the internet, however, “Cybersense and Nonsense: the second adventure of the Cyber Pigs”, is more interactive. In game format, it lends itself to a much more intriguing way to learn about a very serious topic. “Cyber bullying” on the other hand is structured as a slide show presentation. I found myself flipping through the slides quickly and not paying very much attention to the content as there were many slides and a lot of information to cover.
Games capture a student’s attention and therefore the student is more likely to absorb and retain the information presented. Who doesn’t like to play games? If students can learn to protect their personal privacy online and recognize certain internet marketing ploys through play, then the game format is probably one of the best educational resources a teacher or parent has.
I also believe that games of this type empower young people to make wise decisions on internet ethics and responsibility. In addition, interacting with the program, builds on their critical thinking and problem solving skills. The game not only points out the dangers of revealing personal information and chat room on line, it also addresses issues such as online hate, stereotyping, authenticity of online information and rules of proper internet use.
With so many young people using the internet today, texting each other, chatting online etc., it should be imperative that part of any subject taught in school should include at least one instalment on cyber safety.
Monday, February 22, 2010
For this post I chose to take a look at the "Safe Passage" Web Awareness link. I found the presentation to be very informative and think that the information presented can be very helpful for both teachers and parents alike in their quest to keep their children safe online. The presentation deals with a lot of numerical data involving almost 5300 Canadian students in grades 4-11. I have to admit that some of the information I did find quite surprising, such as the percentage of students in survey who give their real name and address in an instant messaging profile (29%) or pretend to be someone they are not (59%). Although this number may not seem high to some, I personally would like to see much lower numbers.
I am very much aware that students use technology much more now than they did when I was in elementary/secondary school. Many children become comfortable using the computer at a very young age and thus once they hit their elementary and secondary years they often know a great deal more than their teachers. That being said, I also think that one too many students have way too nonchalant an attitude about the time they spend on the computer and the problems they may potentially encounter (i.e. cyber bullying, child predators, etc.) On the whole I found this presentation very effective in discussing such issues and offering adults information on how to understand the computer needs and wants of the children in their lives. Our ultimate goal is definitely to keep our children safe and out of harms way, but in the world of cyberspace this is definitely not an easy task.
An excellent point brought up in this presentation is for adults to use the same internet environments as their children to see how they work. I definitely agree that the more familiar you are with the sites your child visits, the more informed you will be and if your child becomes involved in inappropriate online activities you will be that much more prepared to help them. This process will probably be much easier with younger students who will be more willing to share information with you, than with your teenage student/son/daughter who may not be so willing to divulge the sites they visit, or social networking sites they frequent. The bottom line for me after viewing this presentation definitely is that internet safety should be taught to children starting with the first time they log onto the internet. Whether it be in school or at home, we as adults share the responsibility of educating our children how to be safe online, teaching them what is acceptable and what isn't, as well as offering warnings of potential dangers.
Monday, February 15, 2010
This should be a compulsory assignment for my junior and senior high school students before they start working on their first formal essays. It's a good and effective way to raise everybody's awareness; both for students' and teachers'. The independent study is well organized and very informative.
accepting any information as truth find three credible sources with similar info.
Web Site Assessment Rubrics for W5 are self explanatory and should be included in students' research assignments on permanent basis. Great tool for teachers when looking for reliable web sites. Honestly, before I studied "reality check" I had had no clue how to tell a credible source from less credible, unless they were vividly detrimental. I had difficult time figuring out the validity of some sites and having as little experience as I have had so far with research on-line I would have rather used the expertise of our school librarians in creating assignments on Of Mice and Men , Frankenstein and many others. Well, it's highest time I started taking ownership.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
With the end of term 2 rapidly approaching, I have just recently had a chance to review the information presented to us in class on the Smart Board. I also just had the opportunity to download the Smart software. I must say that I am truly amazed with this program and really look forward to becoming more familiar with all it can do. Prior to our two classes focusing on this technology I must admit that I had no clue what a Smart Board was.
I had heard some of my teacher friends talk of using one in their own classes, but to be honest I am not very computer savvy and figured it would be beyond me. John's presentation of the technology in class made me realize that this is far from the truth. It is easy to use and requires little preparation on the part of the teacher. Although my opportunities for using a Smart Board right now are quite limited (as I am in a portable), the Smart Tech software definitely has the potential to make my life much easier. I have spent the last hour on the Smart Tech website checking out the curriculum links. I am truly amazed with all this technology is capable of and can't wait to start using some of these activities with my students. I know they are going to love it.
I am off to start downloading some activities! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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Courtesy of Mario
If you want to support your visual and auditory learners with Shakespeare proceed to YouTube and type in animated Shakespeare. The BBC has created an entire series of plays and they are on YouTube. The plays are also captioned so that the students can follow along.
Here is one example:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqGEQ-832rI
Thanks to Mario for this ... we love him dearly!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
To avoid this, teachers are asking students for research from more than one site; however, it is impossible from a teachers perspective to know all the websites for all the chosen topics and warn the students if they are on an incorrect or hoax site.
While reading this document, I became aware that an exercise in validating the authenticity of a website can be time consuming when under strict timelines to conduct research. However; this document prepared by the Media Awareness Network is a teacher ready document. It provides the teacher with all the necessary documents and sources needed to teach this material to their students.
The document is a backgrounder with additional links for more info on the topic for anyone interested in conducting a workshop on website validation. The fact or folly document also comes with a prepared power point presentation for any teacher to use with their students, plus hand outs and on line activities. It is a lot of information to absorb, but it is not difficult.
I really enjoyed the analysis of the website created on the topic of the Holocaust. By analysing it using the steps provided by the Fact or Folly document, it is revealed that the site was created by a holocaust denier.
Many teachers and not just students need to be more vigilant and take the extra time to determine the sources of the websites and their authenticity.
I hope to have time to begin this 45 min introduction workshop with my students before they begin their ISU assignments.
Today during our PD session in the department, we all agreed that in such instances, it is best to spend adequate time in class on website validation and citation for research purposes. We hope to perfect our skills in this area within 2 years and incorporate website citation and validation at the begining of the year. The aim is to begin to read and mark actual academic research papers and enjoy the work our students put together, rathar than spend endless amounts of frustrating time figuring out why everything seems incorrect and plagerised to say the least!
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Thursday, February 11, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
The reason I picked this site is because before any child, or even adult, uses the computer, specifically, internet sites, one should know what to keep an eye out for. One major area is safety; safety in regards to bullying. This idea of bullying on-line seemed to not be taken serious before, because no one was really getting physically hurt, but more and more recently, there have been many other ways of "hurting" and "bullying" another person. After going through the power point presentation, I saw the many forms of bullying and the stats that show just how many people have access to the internet these days. To be a cyber bully, one does not need to be a big, strong and mean person, rather it can be anyone. That is the scary thing about technology, you cannot see the other person, and therefore you feel like you have more power over others. With the students today going on these chat sites like MSN, explaining safety to them becomes even more prominent. Anyone can make up an identity and pretend to be someone or something they're not. This then becomes an easy way to bully and try and control someone else. Bullying now turns into an emotional state of hurting someone, as opposed to physical. People can use words instead of their fists. Technology is a great thing today, and can do many wonderful things, but can also be used for the wrong reasons, like cyber bullying. I would certainly use this presentation in my class.
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