Thursday, October 25, 2007

The future of technology in my classroom

I'm now completing my first online course. It has certainly been an experience! Most of the time I felt like a fish out of water, but I did learn some things.

Technology intimidates me. Email used to be Greek. Now, I can manage it pretty well. Surfing the internet used to boggle my mind, but now I can utilize a search engine with the best of them. Now, I've set up my own blog, participated in a discussion board, played around with RSS (which I still do not fully enjoy), looked at some wikis (which I still feel uneasy about), and saw some pretty cool podcasts. All in all, it was a true learning experience.

How will I use this new technology with my students? Well, my blog will have to be personal, because my students cannot access it (and neither can I) from the school's computer--it's blocked. (I am not happy about that because I did a whole unit on how I was going to incorporate it into my curriculum, but unless something gives, it won't happen anytime soon.) I'll just use it personally...I really liked the interaction with other people...I like to know what they think, just so it isn't rated R!!

Podcasts interest me, but I'm a little intimidated. Perhaps soon...

Now here's my next question, which will be for anyone who is enrolled in the same online class I'm in: Of all the things we studied in this course, which is your favorite--the blog, RSS, wikis, or podcasts?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Favorite Teacher

Let's think back...way back! Think of your favorite teacher. Back in the 70's, mine was Ms. Saucier. In 10th grade she taught me how to type (on an old manual you remember typewriters?). Because I kept looking down at my fingers, she used to threaten to put me on a typewriter with no letters or numbers printed on the keys (and she really had one of thoese freaky things!)! When I was in 11th grade, I also took her bookkeeping class...I was not really interested in bookkeeping, but I figured since she was a nice teacher, this class would be an easy A...WRONG. It was tough, but she was patient with us all. I'll always remember her high standards (for herself and her students), and her positive attitude. She taught me a lot about growing up and being responsible, even though I can barely balance my checkbook today!

Who was your favorite teacher and why was this teacher your favorite? In which grade were you?

Podcasts: Frighteningly exciting new territory!

I'm still working my way through my online course and our assignment for this week was to explore podcasts. Well, I viewed a few podcasts (my experience with them is very limited), and I discovered something...I think they're great! I really liked History Channel Speeches and Video. Having all that history right at my fingertips was really cool! That is such a wonderful resource for all students! I also enjoyed some of the podcasts provided by some elementary students, such as Radio WillowWeb in Omaha, Nebraska. They did a podcast on the southern states that I would love to share with my students.

With the right software I would love to do podcasting with my students, but I must admit that I'm still very apprehensive about using this new technology. However, with a little help, perhaps I can begin working on that project very soon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

To answer your questions...

Some folks have asked what my answers to the earlier posted questions may be...well, here they are!

About the term "bullring", well, our high school was built around 1959 or so. The open areas outside were for the students to gather during breaks to socialize. They built several round concrete benches in strategic places on which the students could sit and talk ("shoot the bull")...well, these rings became known as "bullrings" and were the popular place to gather. Can you picture it? Teenage girls in bobby socks and poodle skirts, sitting around the bullring talking about the guys; teenage guys in cuffed jeans, combing their slicked back hair, trying to look cool for the girls? Well, my brother and sister were part of that crowd in the 1960's, and so was I during the 1970's...the bullrings were the place to be!

While we have a larger break area now, complete with picnic tables and cover in case of bad weather, the old bullrings are still there, and still being used today. Just imagine how many stories were told around those bullrings...How many girls were asked to the prom while sitting on the benches? How many hearts were broken in the middle of the ring? How many students stood up on the benches, jockeying for the best position as a camera-toting journalism student was taking their club photo...?

Well, we've walked far enough down memory lane! Now, let's favorite version of High School Musical is #2. I guess because the music is a little more hip and the dancing is a lot more physical...I used to dance, so I love the choreography!

Concerning Katrina, well, I don't think we'll have any more bad storms this season...but then, I also lived through Hurricane Camile in 1969 and I thought we'd never see that kind of devastation again...boy, was I wrong!

And as for the latest question concerning sickos on the internet...I know it's impossible to police it, but there has to be some way to keep these nuts from having access to kids' websites.

Here are my thoughts...

In case you couldn't tell, I'm new to all this techno-stuff. I was required to create a blog for an online course, so I created this one for my students to communicate with me. However, I am now being required to make posts on my blog about topics that are not directly related to communicating with my students, but rather the technology we're, here goes...

Wikis are strange beings...I was sickened today when I visited one wiki that was supposed to be geared for kids and some idiot had totally ruined it by filling it full of awful, vile language. I got physically ill and felt as though I needed a shower after just glancing at it. I believe in freedom of speech, but not freedom to spread garbage. I'm afraid I have a real problem with some "people" (and I use the term loosely) being given too much access and freedom to say what's on their sick minds.

I guess my question for today is (or is it my question for the week? I don't remember!):

Should the internet (wikis in particular) be monitored more closely, and idiots who use vile language online be tracked down and their mouths washed out with soap?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Learning Together...and what about the weather?

Hi, guys! This blogging thing is really new to me, as I know it is to you. But perhaps we can learn together, ok? I'll keep trying if you will. I just learned about RSS, which I've renamed
"Really Strange Stuff." :) It's supposed to make finding information on the internet a little easier by putting some things you're interested in all in one place...but it was a little confusing to me at first.

Oh, well...time for our question for the week, so here it is:

Do you think we'll get to the end of this hurricane season without another major storm hitting the Gulf Coast?

Monday, October 1, 2007

1 or 2?

It's Mrs. Ashe again! Today I have another question for you. Which is your favorite and why: HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 1 or HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2?