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Google Sites for Use in Education July 22, 2012

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Our last project for this course was to create a course website using Google Sites.  I’ve used Google sites many times before, so I was familiar with editing and navigation.  I like working with Google sites because it is very easy to incorporate media and attach other fikes


Discussion 1 Misses one….. April 18, 2011

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Chapter 16 explores the numerous ways social networking has profoundly affected the manner in which students learn on line.  As mentioned in the introduction e-learning courses allow learning to take place “anywhere” and at “anytime”.  In Web 2.0 social networking plays a huge role in e-learning, for example the need for a group to meet is obsolete. Students do not have to physically meet in order to collaborate and share idea or information. With the emergence of social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter students are arriving on campus with the skill to use these sites to their full advantage. Not only are student using these social networks for personal activity but they are already using them for academic pursuits.  Students are using the powerful tool to not only communicate, exchange ideas but also to critique their college professor as well as decide what course to take.  

Social networking is a great tool for collaboration and communication. My concern is can social networking be used with the same effectiveness on the on 7 – 12 grade level. There is an obvious difference in level of student maturity.  It is my personal belief that social networking is can be successful on the 7 – 12 grade level but strict guidelines must be in place under even stricter supervision.  The only weakness I found in this chapter is that I wise this chapter would have addressed building community among younger students. Of course I may see this as a weakness because I teach on a 9th grade level.

It is my belief that social networking is not a fade. After using one for a full semester I see the advantages of having access to communication with not only with the course facilitator but peer in the same course. This alone helped enhanced the e-learning process. The sharing of ideas is an essential part of e-learning and is a very common thing in the real word. One future trend that I see is social networking becoming a mandatory part of any and all online or e-learn course. Mandatory not out of mandated guidelines but sheer necessity.

I was astonished to learn that there already were many potential uses for social networking in the education process.  I was most interested in the concept of developing showcases, public and otherwise. This would seem to be a fantastic means by which to exchange ideas in there completed form.  Another concept that I liked was the building of an e-portfolio. This would be the utmost expression of using the Web 2.0 to its fullest. You would be producing a collection of work that could be displayed anywhere at any time.                      

This chapter did help me understand the potential uses of technology in education a little better.  It goes beyond “computers in the classroom”. This chapter contained a lot of good ideas to enhance the e-learning process. Bookmarking for example, due to Web 2.0 is no longer just a means to mark a site to quickly come back to it.  It is now a means to collaborate and share information. What I took away from this chapter is that social networking is no longer just a means to LOL with your BFF. It is  also a very powerful tool for education.

Discussion 4 April 18, 2011

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This chapter is especially relevant to me because it is something I deal with everyday in my computer lab.  This chapter deals with social networking and how it impacts education and also how it can be damaging to teachers and students if it is abused.  The chapter breaks down the abilities of social networking in education into capabilities, legal ramifications, morality, and ethical vulnerabilities. 

Social networking is a fantastic way to achieve connectivity and one that many students come to class already knowing how to operate.  However, most students do not know, and perhaps have not been told what is appropriate to put online and also information can damage their futures.  Since I have been teaching, I have heard about many instances where a teacher has been fired for posting something the school district found inappropriate a SNS and this book contains many good examples of what can happen when teachers and employers find private information about students online.  Cyberbullying is a problem I deal with as a STEM teacher.  Our policy is that cyberbullying is “improper use” and will result in expulsion.  As far as what sort of content is appropriate for posting in a social networking site, when we cover certain types of careers in the STEM class, I tell my students that who you are on the internet can affect your life in the real world.  I have a facebook page and I have a note on my profile that says if you are one of my past or present students, please do not friend me and I will not friend you.  It is nothing personal, it is just up to me to be the responsible adult and I don’t need my students as “friends” in every aspect of my private life nor should I be in their private lives. 

This chapter has many strengths in that is provides many good examples for educators to understand what can happen when communicating with students in the digital world.  It is often a double edged sword, but an educator that is familiar with all the scenarios that can occur can make a more informed decision.  I do not think this chapter has any weaknesses.

Teachers can use the information in this chapter has a guide to incorporate social networking in their classes.  The examples in this chapter can help a teacher understand what not to do.  A teacher can also use the moral and ethical frameworks described in this chapter to help build a code of conduct for the classes and their peers to interact with social media.

Social networking will not be a passing fad in education.  It is very popular with students, it is easy to learn, it creates a good sense of community and it is easy for teachers to maintain.  However, teachers should not be fearful of posting to social networking site because of professional ramifications and students should not treat SNS like a lawless “old west” type of environment where anything goes.  If consistent, legally founded rules are not put in place to govern SNS use in education, the ability to have social networking sites in the classroom will be hindered.

While this chapter did not present any new concepts, since I have encountered these issues running a computer lab for high school students, I still found the perspective and detail in the chapter useful.  The framework described is not a concept I have seen before and again, all of the examples were useful.  This chapter was a good refresher course on using social networking in class.  I am familiar with the pros and cons, but this chapter explains the issues in details I had not read before.

Discussion 3 March 29, 2011

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Chapter 15 is about Podcasting.  It talks about how education is moving more and more towards e-learning and that students don’t physically have to be in a class room to learn. Podcasting is like having your own radio station and is a means to send out information, as well as receive it. The chapter talks about how common Podcasting in.  For example, all of the major TV networks have podcasts, sports teams and even movies have podcasts. Colleges are also podcasting through iUniversity on iTunes.  This is a collection of educational material available to anyone who has the ability to receive podcasts.  Podcasting is important because anyone can do it.  This means that any student, organization, charity, or club can distribute their information and their audience does not have to meet at a certain place or time.  All they need is an internet connection.  The speed and ease with which information and ideas are changing hands is literally changing the way people think, learn and live. Like I said before, you don’t need to physically go anywhere to receive the information.  Podcasts can be accessed from home, while traveling, on the job, or even while shopping.  This allows students to multitask and to have more time for other activities during their day.  Chapter 15 talks about how technology is derived but our needs and our needs adapt around technology.  Podcasting is a powerful tool for e-learning, but that does not mean that it is the “end all, be all” of learning.  Not every student learns well just from audio and visual data, which is what podcasting is limited to. Even with its setbacks though, podcasting is a good resource that should be taken advantage of.

I noticed that this chapter was shorter than some of the other chapters, but I think that is a strength rather than a weakness.  Podcasting is less complex than some of the other Web 2.0 tools and does not need elaborate explanation.  I also liked that this chapter explained how technology fits in to learner’s lives.  All of these technological changes in education are definitely changing the game for students and teachers, and as a teacher, it helps me plan my lessons to have insight into my students’ experiences.  I really could not find any weaknesses with this chapter.

This entire chapter is useful to teachers because it explains how podcasts can be used in education and also how using podcasts impacts the student.  Having both sides of the story will help me plan the most effective lesson I can.  I will also encourage my students to teach each other through podcasting.  As they continue to develop as learners, they can share their experiences with each other.  This will broaden their horizons.

Podcasting is definitely not a fad or passing trend.  It is not readily used where I teach, but from experience, I have seen that the majority of my students have access to the technology needed to access podcasting.  I see it as a great tool in distance learning.  Being able to download a lecture while on your lunch break or taking care of your children is an ability learners will continue to take advantage of.

I have been familiar with podcasting for a while, but this chapter gave me a new perspective of it in how students’ lives are affected by the Web 2.0 distance learning tools.  As I said earlier, having an understanding of how to use podcasting, as well as how my students will react to it will help me plan to use it in a more effective way.

This chapter did not leave me with any questions.  I thought all of the topics were well organized and covered thoroughly.

Discussion 2 March 28, 2011

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Chapter 7 deals with Social Networking (a wiki) for collaborative purposes.  The purpose of a wiki is online collaboration that enables “deep learning”.  Meaning that the collaboration technique provides a truer learning experience than working solo or standard drilling practices.  A wiki allows for the information that is gathered to be easily managed.  It also provides structure to a collaborative effort. 

The concept of “wisdom of crowds” is a notion that knowledge is composed from a variety of people allowing different views on a particular subject to be shared.  Regarding this “wisdom of crowds” wiki allows a team to respond to a problem or issue, following the old axiom that two (or more) heads are better than one. 

In Chapter 7, I particularly liked the “Team Conflict Management Plan”.  This establishes a plan to resolve disputes that might arise in the team effort before they even happen.  By keeping to this idea, tension is reduced allowing for more time for productivity and less time spent on conflict resolution.  The Team Conflict Management Plan should be in place before work on the wiki project begins.  I think this is a valuable model for any group endeavor, but find it particularly engaging in the venue of a wiki because the flow of communication fosters productivity.  I also like how this chapter outlined the six phases of creating a wiki.  Wiki is all about organization and as an instructor, I found this to be quite useful.  Having a solid plan, again, enables productivity because less time will be spent spinning wheels in the concept process.  Finally, I liked how Chapter 7 defined the role of the instructor.  To me, this clearly says that you are not an “instructor” you are a “facilitator”.  This distinction implies that the burden of the work is on the student rather than the instructor, and therefore your students are the ones doing the thinking and are therefore learning.  As the instructor, we already know this material.  This also allows for the student to customize their personal learning environment. 

While I think it will take a while for wiki’s to catch on in Mississippi, (due to technology access limitations in this area) I do not believe wiki’s are a fad.  This is a very effective manner to encourage students to think for themselves as well as benefit from the knowledge of their peers, both domestic and foreign.

Chapter 8:

Chapter 8 continues on the wiki theme by exploring wikibooks.  Skipping ahead to the future trends, I believe that when the time comes (once this area overcomes its technology deficits) wikibooks will have a profound impact on education.  Imagine not having to buy a text book, but rather simply logging in to the class wiki.  At this point, this technology is easy to use and more importantly inexpensive.  As a student and a teacher (who might have spent $275 on the book for this class) this is very important to me because keeping education costs down will allow more people access to education.

I liked that Chapter 8 addressed “areas of concern” such as collaboration, technology, and general wikibook issues, such as how to avoid copyright infringement issues. 

Regarding dislikes of this chapter, I felt that it dwelt a little too long on the histories of wikibooks.  Since they are fairly new, people should be well versed in the origin of this

Web 2.0 Presentation March 4, 2011

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“Students are required to select a Web 2.0 tool related to the focus of this course. Each student will make a presentation face-to-face as well as online using the Slideshare’s slidecasting feature……”

The tool I chose was Go! Animate. It is just what the title suggest…..animation. Of the animation sites that I look at this one was the most customizable, easiest to create, and had a good price, FREE! There is a teacher addition that allows you to bring 100+ students. You do have to get verified by the site administrator which only took a day for them to get back with me.

The beginner’s tutorial is step by step and easy to follow. It is a simple drag and drop creation process. In addition there are a lot of backgrounds, character props, and special effects to choose for to make a great cartoon or video.

I like the use of animation in education for several reasons: It’s great for content delivery with examples, announcements, directions, meta-cognitive, building community, creative expression for students and edutainment.

I was very pleased with the “Video Game” feel of the site from the profile with a personal experience level and the opportunity to earn badges or trophies. In a classroom setting this is a great way to spur  on a little bit of competition.


Assignment 8: Social Networking March 4, 2011

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“Create a social network with Mixxt. You are free to create your own social network for anything. However, it must be public………..”

 This may have been the easiest of the assignments for me. Mixxt was very simple to navigate and very customizable. The front page setup was made simple with the drag and drop features. I have had experience with only three other SNS: Live journal, Facebook, and blogger.com. One again I would have to say that for educational purposes Mixxt would be the more suitable. It has a variety of look from the casual for leisure time pursuits to the serious for a more professional appearance. It is my intent to use Mixxt in my class as a reference site to give students yet another means of communication with each other and with me. I would also like to expand the memberships to other professionals who may have insight to a particular project. Another aspect I liked was that ease and the amount of control options available to an administrator. Considering this is a free site there is a lot offered. Due to the age group I am currently dealing with it is nice to have multiple means of control.


Assignment 7: PodCast March 4, 2011

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“Create and post a Podcast that is related to curriculum in your area. Some possible ideas are…….”

In this assignment we were to create a podcast that was related to a education topic. I chose to do a podcast that was intended to be broken in  three or four parts. The topic of discussion was being a successful student and what tool I feel are necessary to be successful. The three tools that I identified were problem solving skill, independent thought, and creativity.

The podcast ended up being just over two minutes. The pod-o-matic application used for recording the podcast was fairly easy. The process was straight forward and easy to navigate. I liked that you could edit the podcast in part. In other words you did not have to delete the the whole file and start over from scratch. Podcast in general I do not like making for the simple fact I do not like the sound of my own voice. If I do not have to narrate then I am fine with with the podcast.

I do like the podcast concept and do believe that they can be a very powerful tool for education. I just do not like the sound of my own voice. See for yourself:


PodCast address



Assignment 6: Moble Web Site March 4, 2011

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“Create and design a mobile Web site using mobiSiteGalore. You mobile site must have a menu of at least five items…….”

In this assignment I created a moble website. This site could be accessed at anytime anywhere by a moble devise. I created the site with the intent of having a technology based theme. I tried to have a varity of different feeds. The feeds ranged in topics from entertainment like Marvel comics to serious tech reviews from yahoo. I am intreagued with the whole concept of mobel web sites. I see there potential and not just in education. So far this may have been the most enjoyable fo the assignments. I can see myself intergrating a lot og these moble sites next year in my class and in my personal life just for fun.

However I do have one major complant, for lake of a better term, getting the feed from twitter. I followed Dr. Yuen’s instruction to the letter but I still could not get the feed to work. I know it can be done IU just cold not figure it out.

winksite WynnTech

Assignment 5: wiki March 4, 2011

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“Create a wiki using PBworks. You are free to select any topics or themes. However, your wiki must have….”

So far everything that I have been introduced to in this class has been very useful in my career. The Wiki and wiki books may be the most useful. I see how this could be a fantastic tool for student collaboration as well as with my peers. Another possibility would be the access to an entire course lay out this could eliminate the need for text books. At the primary and secondary grade levels this could be a great financial relief. This means instead of spending money on new “updated” text books that may or may not meet the curriculum these funds could be put to good use elsewhere.