Monday, July 20, 2009

We're back from vacation, which means two things:
1. I skipped a week of my online class, so I'm here to catch up!
2. Summer is over. Bleh. Well, OK, it's not totally over (I still have a month before I have to report) but that's how it feels! I should be digging into my new books here soon to figure out exactly what I want to do this year. Bleh again.

Ok, so here I go catching up on my class! :)

Before I get to my 3 Google Reader items - I figured out yesterday how to share some of my "starred" posts on this blog. If you check out the column at the right there's a new box that says "Kristen's shared items". It's not everything I've kept, but there's a good list over there of posts that I wanted to keep for the future. I hope that helps someone out!

So here's my 3 (kinda):
1. It doesn't have anything to do with school, but one blog that I've subscribed to is called Cincinnati Cents. The author, Katie, posts a lot about deals she finds both online and in stores. Lately she's been listing a lot of school supply offers. I may have to head over to Staples sometime soon!

2. This is a link from Will Richardson's delicious account. It lists over 70 podcasting tools - thought that would be appropriate for our current readings!

3. My last item isn't a specific post; I just found this blog and have 14 items to catch up on. It's called TeachPaperless, and although that isn't my goal (I don't think it's doable right now in a math classroom!) it looks like Shelly has some interesting ideas using technology.

So one of the assignments that I neglected to do last week was to pick an article and respond to it on my blog. The article I chose was this one: Living and Learning with Social Media, by Danah Boyd . A couple of things stuck out to me as I was reading it.
  1. She starts out mentioning the "old fogies" (her words, not mine!) who are a bit freaked out right now about the technologies that are emerging. I don't think I saw too much of this at my school (everyone I know seems to be on board for at least some part) until we had a one-day inservice that brought both high schools and the junior high together. I was in a session with nay-sayers; people who didn't like the idea of using technology and what it could do for us. I felt bad for the guy leading the session (who was our main speaker for the day) and tried to stick up for him, but I was surprised that that feeling was in the district. Call me naive.
  2. The gist of the article is how the kids are using social network (facebook, myspace) sites. This is their way of just saying hey... not having deep conversations. Heck, we didn't even have cell phones when I was in high school - how did we keep track of our friends? The home phone? I dunno - I'm not much of a phone talker anyway. But what Danah Boyd says makes sense to me. I'm "friends" with several former students on facebook. (I make them wait until they've graduated... and then those who remember send me a request.) I can totally see what she's talking about - they're all about what time they're working and "text me here" and "what do you want to do later" type posts. Just another way of talking on the phone, I guess!
This was the clincher at the end:

"At the end of the day, the biggest disruption brought on by technology has nothing to do with the youth themselves, but with the way in which it forces us to reconsider our position of power as adults. We cannot simply tell it like it is; we need to re-learn how to learn and how to evolve with the changes all around us."

Amen.

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