Monday, April 30, 2012


I am so excited about the possibility of iBooks in the classroom.  Honestly, as a teacher with multiple "classroom sets" of textbooks, the thought of freeing up that space is ethereal.   As far as iAuthor goes, the ability to create my "own" textbook is super exciting.  I hate textbooks.  In fact, I loathe them.  I feel like so many teachers use textbooks as a crutch.  Have I done it?  Yes.  Am I proud of that?  Heck no.  The ability to generate useful material will take time, but oh my goodness, I am ready. 

1. Could they have made this program any easier? Drag and Drop Technology
2.  Widgets= Interactive
3. Up to date not out of date

1. I am a little nervous about copyright infringement
2. How many students/schools can afford this type of technology?  You have to have a Mac to create your own iBook, and students must have a device for viewing.  PDF versions are an option, but they won't be as interactive in nature.

Are You Sure?

I think this guy has lost it.  Seriously.  An invisibility cloak and shape shifters...right?  I will believe it when I see it.  Don't we have bigger problems in this world that need fixing?  Oh no, let's let our top scientist figure out how to make people invisible.  Honestly, I don't even know what shape shifting or it's purpose is.  How about  Let's spend our time figuring out how to get these people clean water or invisibility will be even sooner on the horizon.  In the mean time, I like what this YouTube viewer had to say...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Do We Really Want To Play God?

To be quite honest, this video scares me just a bit.  Michio Kaku presents the theory that in a time frame of ten years we will be able to put our entire genetic make up on a disc.  This disc would only cost $1,000, whereas currently the cost would be around $50,000.  This drastic price decrease is due to rapidly-changing technology.  That isn't the scary part.  He believes we will be able to determine based on genetic studies what causes aging.  With that knowledge we would be able to repair the aging genes and prolong life.  Scary right? 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I am so thankful to be at a school that allows students to have their cell phones and iTouches readily available to them.  At my previous school, I was constantly having to police cell phones.  Technology can be great, but it can also be a huge distraction for kids.  There are so many days when I walk through our hallways and see the students on sites like Pinterest, Addicting Games, etc.  Social media sites have been blocked, but the kids all do the same thing I do.  Their use the 3G and 4G elements to their phones and connect anyway.  I think having them blocked does limit usage, but kids that want to be on FB or Twitter will find a way. is not blocked at school so that is a way of getting around the filters too.  I want kids to learn to be responsible with their technology, but I am having a difficult figuring out how to teach that in my classroom.  The contributors of the panel suggested creating "engaging" lessons.  Are all lessons going to be engaging?  I try, but obviously I am missing the boat some days.  Am I for or against blocking social medial?  I don't know.

One concern brought up by the panel was kids creating groups against a specific teacher or school.  I think just our presence as educators on these sites will help cut down on this sort of behavior.  Just like a student wouldn't say certain things to our face, if we are online, and can see what they are doing, would that not cut down on the groups?

The panel discussed professional verses personal FB and Twitter accounts.  Don't we teach our kids nothing online is private?  Even if we set our profiles to private, we still run the risk of exposing too much.  The best thing to do is the right thing, as one panel member said.  If you are a professional, you will not post anything inappropriate.  If anything were to come up, use it as a teachable moment.  For example, maybe an old high school friend posts a picture of you that you aren't super proud of.  Use that as a time to teach the students.  The fact that you are human will automatically give you better rapport with them.

I like what the Spanish 2 teacher is doing.  I have had numerous occasions when the phone a friend option would come in handy.  To be quite honest, I haven't figured Twitter out yet.  I am trying so hard, but I really don't know how to implement it in the classroom.  I guess Monday my Spanish 2 class and I will do some brainstorming.

I think social media can be an excellent tool.  I would have no problem creating a group for my classes and using it as a method of communication.  I just want to use it in the right way.  I do have a few students that do not have FB or Twitter accounts.  I don't want them to feel left out in any way.  How would I involve those students?

Friday, April 20, 2012

More Second Life

I think I am back to not understanding SL.  My quest today was to go to Ed Tech Island.  After loading my SL viewer, I decided to fly to look for the sandbox.  Surely that would be near a beach right?  Well you got me.  I couldn't really find it.  Lucky for me, I was kicked off my browser, and had to restart.  When I did, I started back at the teleport site, and made my way to what I am pretty sure was the sandbox.  I built a pink box, then took a seat.  As you can see, their was a pretty cool Peter Pan looking boat floating in the sky.  I of course checked it out.  I couldn't really figure it out.  I put my feet back on "solid" ground and found an arcade.

I couldn't figure out how to play to save my life.  If there had been anyone around, I might have asked them.  I guess other people have lives and actually go out on a Friday night.  Due to lack of sleep the past two nights (my child is sick yet again), my patience level is non-existent.  I will try again another day.  Until then, I am going back to my original thoughts on SL.  It's not my favorite.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Proud Moment...Where are my magnets?

When I was little, my mom would put all of artwork on the refrigerator.  As I got older, the artwork changed to report cards, and now she just hangs up pictures of my kid.  I guess he is my greatest accomplishment after all.  Well, I have half a mind to send the following picture to my mom. 


Moving and Viewing In Second Life

Do you like my outfit?

Sitting in the amphitheater.

Superwoman?  No its just my avatar flying around Eagle Island.

I finally figured out how to sit down.  Avatars believe it or not get tired.

Watching a slideshow to get ready for my tour.

Touring an egg processing plant

Who wouldn't want to enjoy resting in a hammock in a virtual world.
Relaxing in the gazebo
Taking a break and looking at lovely decor.

Enjoying a view of the mountains.

A perfect photo opportunity
This quest finally allowed me to see some educational qualities of Second Life.  I still am not quite sure how I would use this tool considering I cannot even gain access to SL while at school.  I am more comfortable with moving around in SL, and I can tell you, my preferred method of travel is flying.  I am pretty sure I flew everywhere during this quest.  Well, except on my tour of the egg processing factory.  I am still not sold, but like I said, I can see some educational qualities.