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Archive for May, 2012

When I sat down to think about what I could create a survey on for this Tech Task, I saw my “Gmail” tab and figured that it would be interesting to know what email providers people are using. So, I thought of the most common email providers I could and created this quick survey to get your opinions. Personally I’m a HUGE Gmail fan and would recommend it to all you “still Hotmail users,” but that’s personal opinion and beside the point.

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Being Comfortable

I’ve been reflecting on my blogging experience and have realized that I’m sort of doing a poor job. It seems that lately I can only blog about things that we for the class. Why can’t I find new “techy” things to blog about? How is it that I have nothing to write about on here? Well, as I’ve thought about it, I have realized that I’ve become “comfortable” with the technology I’m used to. When it comes to the internet, I sort of stick to my standard websites- Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Gmail… Repeat. I am comfortable using these sites and don’t really find any need to explore other sites when I take the time to use the internet. When I “explore” on the internet it usually involves online shopping. Unfortunately, though I feel that online shopping is one of the wonderful achievements of technology, it’s not really something that I can blog about (believe me it would be a long post).

I’ve been thinking about this “comfortable” feeling and why it is this way and I think it revolves back to the issue of not knowing anything else. As an internet user, I tend to stick with the trendy sites and only switch up my usage practices once I hear of something new and exciting. However, why should it be this way? Who is the one to first find these new sites? How do people discover them and make them trendy? I’ve decided that I want to start exploring more and learning about different sites on the internet that can be used for entertainment, teaching, learning and many more things. I’m hoping to be able to explore these different websites and if I find any worth noting, I will be sure to post them here to share them with you all.

– Shayna

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My Podcast

Okay,

So for the podcast Tech Task, I used Podomatic to create my podcast. I decided, as I mentioned before, to focus on the topic “What learning means to me.” So if you just click here you can give it a listen.

Feel free to leave comments and let me know your thoughts!

– Shayna

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For our 3rd TechTask we were told to get familiar with podcasts. I have heard a lot about podcasts and am familiar with how they work, however, I have never really taken the time to listen to them or find podcasts to subscribe to. We were told to find and listen to a few podcasts. As I looked around on the websites that Dean had listed for us I found a podcast on the CBC Spark website that discussed the topic of Human/Robot interaction. This topic totally sparked (no pun intended) my interest because it’s sometimes hard for me to imagine that robots are a reality in our world today. The podcast discussed how robots are no longer going to only be useable by experts, but how robots are being programed to interact with everyday, average people and the many different ways they could be used. The podcast was very interesting, however, I still wish that I could have watched the interview take place. I often feel that when I can watch something, I am able to focus on it more than if I just have to listen to it. However, saying this, I also appreciated that I could do other things while listening to the podcast without being “tied down” to watching the video on my screen. I was able to listen to the conversation while doing other things around my house, which I found to be very convenient.

The second podcast that I listened to was a TED talk that discussed the “Optimism Bias.” The talk dealt with the idea that we as people are more optimistic than realistic but are unaware of this fact. I used the iTunes podcast search to find this podcast and found that it was very helpful. There was an entire podcast section on the iTunes store dedicated to “educational” podcasts. Again, with this podcast I wished that I could have seen the actual video from the TED talk because I know that they are very interactive with the audience and would be great to see, not just hear.

In general, I really enjoyed listening to these podcasts (it kind of felt like I was just listening to the radio, which I really enjoy). I also feel that using podcasts in a future classroom would be an awesome way to record student’s ideas, as many students are nervous to see themselves on video (or to avoid putting faces on the internet). Podcasts are a great way to engage students in conversation without the fear of putting their face out into the world.

What do you think? Will you use podcasts in your classroom? Leave a comment and let me know your experiences and ideas!

– Shayna

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Over the past week I have been searching and triyng to find educational “chats” to participate in on twitter. As I searched I was still unable to find any hashtags I was interested in that actually required a “response” to the tweet. There was a lot of helpful information that I found though, especially on the #edapp hashtag. However, Dean posted a link to a conversation around “what learning is” and I felt that this was a perfect opportunity to participate in a conversation (aside from the fact that we were told to, that is) and found it to be very interesting. I really enjoyed reading all the other replies to the questions “What does learning mean to you?” And let me say, it was hard to contain an answer for that question in a limited character tweet……. Which is why I plan on using this conversation to develop my own podcast.

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I hope to figure it out so I can share my thoughts on this with all of you!

– Shayna

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Well, a few days ago I decided to try my turn at participating in an educational chat on Twitter. After perusing the list of chat-tags from Dean, I chose to focus on one that would actually benefit me in my pre-service teaching experiences in the fall. I found the hashtag for #edapp (focusing on apps used within the classroom to help teachers and learners). So, I put my question out into the Twitter world, also adding the #edchat hashtag to widen my audience, and waited for the flood of reply’s I was sure I would receive. So I waited………………… and waited…………………… and waited……………

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I’m sure you’ve guessed the outcome of my attempt by the title of this blog. Nothing happened. I didn’t get one single reply. However, after thinking about it for a long time I realized that this is what I should have expected. I think that before I start trying to make my own conversations I should partake in some others first to see what it’s like. And that is my plan now. I will be, h0pefully, finding a conversation already started on one of these hashtags and putting my “two cents” in to participate in the conversation.

I’ll let you know how it goes 😉

– Shayna

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Today in our ELIB we had a Saskatchewan author, Wilfred Burton, come into our class to talk about his series of books. As a part of the presentation we had the privilege of having him read the three short stories – Fiddle Dancer, Dancing in my Bones, and TCall of the Fiddle – to us as a read out loud. Now, because we are a class of 30-some people over the age of 20, it was a little unrealistic to try and fit us all into a reading corner. Because of this, it was going to be difficult for each of us to see the illustrations in the book up close and in detail. However, Burton was prepared for this and had the pages of the book displayed on a PowerPoint projector. PURE GENIUS! I have seen many different story telling websites such as Tumblebooks that allow the reader to see the pages of the book on the computer screen, but not every story in the world is going to be on those websites. As an educator I think it is a great idea, especially when space is limited within the classroom eliminating the option of a reading corner, to have PowerPoint available in the classroom. Students need to see the illustrations of a story because it is a very important part of the story-telling experience. In a classroom where the teacher stands at the front of the room and holds the book up, there may be many students who cannot see the pages. This not only defeats the purpose of the reading but can also lead to distractions and misbehaving from students. I really hope to be able to use this idea in my future classrooms, maybe even in my internship classroom, to help my students analyze the illustrations in the stories we are reading.

I do, however, have a few questions… What do you think of this style of read out loud? Do you think students would benefit from this way of showing pictures? Have you seen any other programs that would make this process easier?
If you feel so inclined or have anything to add, please leave a comment below.

– Shayna

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