Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Professor Tag

I had a lot of fun with the "Dog It Out" DS106 Design assignment this week.  It was frustrating at first to find a good photo editor program...I tried fotor but I couldn't  figure out how to add clip art and then I tried pixlr but that seemed way too complicated for me. In the end, I used PicsArt on my phone and I love my finished product!

Once again, there were very few assignments that related to my focal theme, there were two and I wasn't impressed with either, so I got creative and tied another assignment into my theme (technology and education).

**Maybe I am not searching in the right way...how are others finding assignments related to their theme?**

The goal of this assignment was to take a picture of your dog or any animal and upload the picture to a photo editor program.  Then we needed to edit the picture to make it something unique, interesting and make people smile!  I think I accomplished those things...you be the judge!

I now introduce to you Professor TagDog...

I ended up using the PicsArt app on my phone, which is very simple to use!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Week 3 Reflection

Week 3 Reflection

How well do you feel you completed the requirements of the week’s assignments?
This week was better for me than last.  I was able to check out more work from my classmates and respond to posts accordingly.  I had more time to mess around with Twitter, Tweet Deck, and Feedly, I even spent hours revamping my base camp.  I found digital stories that peaked my interest, one was older and one I saw live on The Today Show.

What gave you trouble? What did you enjoy most? What did you learn?
I found the digital story on blogging in the classroom first.  It was fairly old (all things considered) so I set out to find a more recent story on blogging in the classroom, but I struck out.  I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast two stories on blogging, one from 5+ years ago and one from today.  I will keep looking and see if there is any current research on blogging. 

I really enjoyed critiquing the bullying story I watched live on the news.  Before this class, I would have just let that pass me by and not thought twice about the story.  But when I watch news or look at social media now, I am always looking for new stories to critique.

One thing I learned or thought about differently was the reasoning behind the dotcom crash and the switch from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 in Lankshear and Knobel (as I blogged about here).  It was something I never really considered and was interesting to read about in the chapter.

What would you do differently? What questions to you have?
There is nothing I would do differently this week, I feel like I have the hang of things!  However, I still have questions from the reading, but I am not sure how to ask them or what exactly I don’t understand.  I feel like I get 50% of the reading and I am missing the other 50%.  I am hoping the more I read, the more it will all start to click, but until then I will keep pressing on.  I would love if the authors would add a quick summary at the end of each chapter with the key points.  I feel sometimes they are long winded about ideas/concepts so I have a hard time picking out the main ideas (sounds like my students!).

What are some of the larger issues surrounding your work?
I still don’t think I have dove in quite as deeply as I could.  I am having a hard time finding DS106 assignments and digital stories on my theme (I hope my video on Nokia phones counts) and that is frustrating, especially when you would think technology is a pretty important deal in 2015.  Maybe I am not looking in the right places, I will keep looking!

Grade: 10/10    


Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Kid Would Never Bully...Or Would They (Critique #2 for the Week)

I was sitting here this morning watching The Today Show and drinking my coffee when a story came on that caught my attention.  Natalie Morales has been doing a series called 'My Kid Would Never Do That' and today she focused on cyber bullying.  This caught my attention for obvious reasons but I thought it ties in perfectly with some of the posts I've seen this week about digital citizenship, specifically one I replied to by Emily May (@emilysmayy).

Here is the story

Three traits were chosen from Jason Ohler's rubric to use in order to critique this story:

1. Sense of Audience
2. Media Application
3. Story

1. Sense of Audience- How well did the story respect the needs of the audience?
I don't always have time to watch TV in the morning so I was not aware of this series that Natalie Morales is doing...although I love the idea because I know so many parents that have that mindset of 'my kid would never do that.'  So I think the story appeals to all viewers because cyber bullying is a relevant topic and effects all age groups.

Score: 10/10

2. Media Application- Was the use of media appropriate, supportive of the story, balanced and well considered?
Obviously, being The Today Show, the media application was well done.  They had hidden cameras, interviews that supported the story.  They had a good mix of video from the hidden cameras, from Natalie's viewpoint and also from the parents.

Score: 10/10

3. Story- How well did the story work?
I love the idea behind this story but I think it could have been done a lot better.  For example, when they say the focus group turns 'cyber' I was confused on who said 'weird girl likes Weird Al'.  Where was it posted?  How did the girls see it?  Was it a text?  I think more explanation would have helped there.  Then towards the end of the story, Natalie says she turned the tables and she was the bully in front of the adults and "their reaction was priceless" but we never see it.  Perhaps I need to watch Dateline to get the full story?  This is such a huge topic that all kids and parents are going to have to deal with eventually and The Today Show is a pretty powerful show...I think this story could have been done better to get their point across.  I would be curious on other's opinions on this story!

Score: 7/10

Overall: 27/30

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Classroom Blogging...Good or Bad Idea??

Classroom Blogging

This is a short digital story I found about the pros and cons of blogging in the classroom.  I was unable to embed the video, but you can find the video here.

Three traits were chosen from Jason Ohler’s rubric to use in order to critique this story:
1.       Story
2.       Research
3.       Flow, Organization and Pacing

1. Story- How well did the story work?
I believe this short story did work.  It covered a lot of information in a short amount of time.  It is a relevant topic (despite being created in 2009) and I think will become even more relevant in the upcoming years as blogging becomes even bigger.  Blogging in the classroom is a great way to address digital citizenship (as she briefly mentions) while teaching kids how to type, navigate the internet, etc.

Score: 9/10

2. Research- How well was the story researched?
I am split 50/50 on this one.  The author did have facts and statistics about blogging in general, but she didn’t listed them in the credits (not a huge deal but would be nice to see).  She also did not have facts or stats about blogging in the classroom specifically.  I liked her pros and cons about blogging but again, did she come up with them on her own or did they come from somewhere else?  More information here would have been nice.

Score: 7/10

3. Flow, Organization and Pacing
I wasn’t thrilled about the organization of this story.  I felt it jumped back and forth too much between pros and cons; I would have like to see it organized all pros, then all cons.  This effected the flow of the video as well.  Her pacing was also a little fast and I had to watch the video a few times to get it all (maybe there was a time constraint?). 

Score: 7/10

Overall Score: 23/30

Other comments:  I think I was a little hard on this storyteller, but I did like the content.  While I don't agree with all her pros being pros and cons being cons (I don’t think kids being slow typers is a problem, I think it is great practice no matter how long it takes), they were good thoughts and something to think about.

The Shift from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 - Chapter 3 Response

This chapter took me 2 days to get through and process and I still have questions.  However, for my response today, I am going to focus on what concept kept coming back to me while reading; the idea of Netscape vs Google and Britannica vs Wikipedia and ‘new ethos stuff’.  I remember using both Netscape and Britannica when I was younger, and I remember teachers telling me I can’t use Wikipedia in academic papers as a source and I shouldn’t “trust it” because anyone can edit.    

Until very recently, I still considered Wikipedia an unreliable source, even though it is always my go to for quick answers.  It was something I read last semester in a class that I began to really understand how Wikipedia works and how it is becoming a very reliable source (look it up if you don't know, it is quite interesting).  When I was in middle school, I thought I was so lucky to have Britannica online (in addition to a set of encyclopedias my grandma bought us one Christmas) and I could put the CD-ROM in and become an expert on my research topic.  As I was reading, I began to understand the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.  I don’t remember the specifics of the dotcom crash but it all makes sense now: the companies that were interactive and allowed users to contribute were the ones that survived. 

I think I have taken all this ‘new literacies’ and Web 2.0 stuff for granted.  This chapter really helped me understand how it used to be and how/why it has changed.  I even created a website for a class solely dedicated to Web 2.0 tools and I never really understood what a Web 2.0 tool was until now.  The examples Lankshear and Knobel use to help describe the shift (Britannica to Wikipedia) were really helpful to me.  They say, “In the Web 1.0 business model, producers create the product and make it available.  In the Web 2.0 business model, customers or users actually help build the business for the ‘owner’, by using the software to generate content - such as ideas, data, texts, images, video content, etc. - that creates value, and where this value brings advantage to the ‘owner’ of the business” (p. 69).  Again, this chapter was a lot to soak in but if I thought of it all in terms of Britannica to Wikipedia, it was easier for me to follow. 
Now I think I have a grasp on the shift, I have so many more wonderings about the future.  Will there ever be a Web 4.0 or 5.0?  Will the internet become too saturated with information and Web 2.0 tools that we have another crash?  What will the future hold in the next 20 years?  Looking back at my last internship in Marketing/PR before I decided to be a teacher, my job was advertising and promoting events through ‘grassroots marketing’.  When I interviewed I had no idea what that meant, I knew about blogs but didn’t really get them.  I think about how much I have learned in the past 5 years (Twitter, blogs, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, etc.) and I can’t even imagine what it will all look like in another 5 years!      

Out of curiosity and in an effort to find images for my post, I Googled "Web 3.0" and this image really struct me!             

I found this image from a blog, but after further reading, the image was created by Dr. John Moravec 
(Now, where does this fall under 'New technical stuff and copyright'??)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Product Evolution...The Nokia Cell Phone

For my DS106 video assignment, I was thinking about my focal theme and how I can tie this assignment into my theme.  I searched 'technology' within the audio assignments and two popped up. I was immediately drawn to the first one and thought it would be so fun to look back at the evolution of cell phones (this was a much taller order than I originally thought, who knew there were so many of them?).  Most kids these days have cell phones so it relates to my focal theme of technology in the classroom.

When I was a kid, my teachers didn't need to worry about students having phones because they weren't around.  As I went through middle and high school, the only thing teachers needed to worry about was phones ringing or some kids playing snake (best game ever!!). A few friends of mine were lucky enough to get to text but not me!  Anyway, now phones in the classroom are an ongoing battle that most 3-12 grade teachers need to deal with (sometimes I miss the simpler days).

I chose to focus on Nokia because they were the first phones I had. The Nokia 252 was my first cell phone and man did I think I was cool when I changed the face...have I mentioned snake??

Here is the history of Nokia phones:

All images were taken from Google...the final image can be seen larger here.

Where I Stand...

With everything going on in our country and the world today and with the upcoming holiday, a lot has been on my mind a lot lately.  I decided to take a picture of the American flag which is the view from my front porch where I was tending to my tomatoes.  It stands for our freedom and so much more.  This might be a little deep for The Daily Create today, but it's "where I stand" metaphorically and physically and what I am thinking about right now.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Back to the Story Spine...

Ok, here goes my 8 sentence story about an important event in my life.  I used the famous Pixar story spine to write my story.  (I am totally going to try this with my 3rd graders next year, but it was harder than I thought to make all the sentence starters work...)

Once upon a time I was sitting in an office, staring at a computer screen
Every day it was the same thing over and over and over
But one day, I decided to make a change
Because of that, I talked to mom about possible careers
Because of that, I decided to go back to school to become a teacher; I did a lot of student teaching and subbing
Until finally I got my first job and just finished my second year
And, ever since then I will never sit in an office again!

Can you guess the song??

Ok, here is my DS106 audio assignment...I have a feeling people are going to guess it pretty quickly and if so, I will try a harder one!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chapter 2 Response

I chose to focus on two questions this week in responding to chapter two.  I feel my responses tie in together so I am combining the response.

What are your main insights and ideas from the given L&K chapter?
How does this reading challenge/expand/contradict your definition of (digital) storytelling?

I was frustrated when I got to the end of this chapter because I feel like a lot of what they wrote in chapter 2 could have been simplified into a few pages.  Parts of what they wrote were too complicated and hard to follow; I am a big believer in simplicity and less is more.  However, I found the section on encoded texts very interesting and thought provoking.  On page 45, Lankshear and Knobel write a discussion question about encoded texts and it got me thinking.  Encoded texts are digital stories.  They are texts that can ‘travel’ and be interacted with and never ‘frozen.’  They could take the shape of any story or photograph someone shares with another person.

According to Lankshear and Knobel, literacies are “socially recognized ways in which people generate, communicate, and negotiate meanings, as members of Discourse, through the medium of encoded texts” (p. 50).  When I first read part of this definition at the beginning of chapter 2, I was confused, but by the end, I understand what it means.  To me, this definition of literacies expands upon and confirms my definition of digital storytelling.  Early last week I had to ask people and Google what a digital story was exactly.  Now I realize there is no exact, perfect answer.  A digital story is any form of the definition of literacies above, it’s communicating and interacting through a variety of means and people are free to negotiate and interpret the meaning how they see fit.  Literacy does not have to be just learning to read and write as I previously thought. 

Before chapter 2, I didn’t think of Facebook or blog posting as digital stories, I thought digital storytelling had to be more formal, like Ted Talks or a news story.  I now realize that the whole feed on Facebook or blog role can be considered a digital story, they tell about an individual overtime.  What Jim Gee describes as Discourse, to me, can also be considered interpretation and how different people make meaning.  So I look at Facebook as informal and casual, while someone else might look at Facebook as a digital story of a person’s life, more serious.  I could be way off here, but like I said, I found some of this chapter to be hard to follow so please correct me if I am wrong!      

(Side note: I also felt like Lankshear and Knobel gave learning how to use Facebook too much credit in terms of becoming literate with the website.  What they were saying in that section was a stretch for me; however, I was part of the first group to join Facebook my freshman year of college in 2003/4 so perhaps because I have been using Facebook ‘the longest’ it comes easier to me.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Look at Our Kids During the Summer

This is a very interesting digital story from Education Week summarizing the summer job trends of our youth in America.

Click on the link above to view the interactive graph

Three traits were chosen from Jason Ohler’s rubric to use in order to critique this story (each worth 10 points):
1.       Project Planning
2.       Economy
3.       Presentation and Performance

1. Project Planning- Is there evidence of a plan?
Yes, I believe there was evidence of a plan because this infographic was not created overnight.  You can tell that the creator took the time to gather data from the past 50 or so years and present it in an interactive graph. 

Score: 10

2.  Economy- was the information presented through the story sifted and prioritized?
I do not believe there is a lot of unnecessary information in this infographic.  It is fairly straight forward and easy to follow.  It is prioritized because you can filter by age and gender or view all data for the age group.  There are different trends that can be analyzed or studied further if so desired.

Score: 10 

3.  Presentation and Performance- How effective was the actual presentation?
I think this is a very effective presentation of this data.  It is more than just graphs.  You can filter the graphs and see only the information you choose; for example, you could select females in the information industry to better view the trend line.  You can also filter the second graph and hover over the third to get more information.  The only thing I think is missing is any information on how many of these jobs are internships, if any.  Summer is a big time for kids to intern to get experience so that information would be helpful.

Score: 9

Overall: 29

Other comments:

There are a lot of interesting things to note while looking at these graphs.  First, I was surprised to see that the information jobs trend line hasn’t grown much over the last 15 years (I guess you have to keep in mind that these are just summer jobs).  I also found it interesting that Denver is one of the highest cities over the past 10 years for employment/population rations for major cities.  It’s also a little frightening that the percentage has gone down in recent years, interpret how you see fit...  

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Importance of Technology Education at the Elementary Level

The Importance of Technology Education at the Elementary Level

Finally, someone else is saying what I have been saying for two years!  OK, I know I am not the only one who feels this strongly about the issue, lots of people feel the same way, but I am happy to have found this video.  This is the first article or video that so closely aligns with what I have been trying to accomplish in my own building.  Only 2,000 people have watched this video on YouTube but hopefully after I start sharing it (to all 10 followers I  have) people will start listening.

The Importance of Technology Education at the Elementary Level


Kasey Dirnberger

Three traits were chosen from Jason Ohler’s rubric to use in order to critique this story (each worth 10 points):
1.       Story Flow
2.       Research
3.       Media Application

1. Story Flow- Was it a quality story that made listeners lean forward and wonder what was going to happen next?
While this was a short talk, I do think it flowed nicely.  She made her points and statements and then offered a solution to her points and ended with a strong conclusion.  I was not on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next, but I did like that she didn’t just state the problems with a lack of technology in the classrooms, she offered up what she thinks we should do about it, be an advocate and speak up.

Score: 9

2.  Research- Was the story well researched?
There was not a lot of research in this talk; she was more speaking from personal experience.  I think that is fine to do since she seems to know what she is talking about, but more concrete evidence or facts would have been nice to see to support her claims.  Personally, I was ok without the research part because as I said before, this is something I have been advocating for throughout my young career. Everything she said about internet safety, online state testing, typing,  and kids only knowing how to play games on a computer is spot on and are issues administration needs to look more closely at as we move farther into the 21st century!

Score: 8

3. Media Application- Was the use of media appropriate, supportive of the story, balanced and well considered?
Her media presentation was simple and connected well to her talking points.  She had a good balance of text and pictures and was not reading from her slides.  One thing that might have made it more engaging was, as I said before, graphs or charts of research on her topic proving her points.  For example, maybe a graph of the schools in her district that do and don’t have technology classes or state wide data.

Score: 9

Overall: 26/30

Other Comments:  This is the first digital story I have been able to fine on my focal theme and I am so glad I found it.  Her talking points are literally everything I have been saying to my principal and anyone that will listen at school.  I feel so strongly about elementary kids learning more about how to safely and properly use technology that I won’t stop until we do something at my school to address the issue.   I wish more people would watch this short story and help spread the word! 

If I Had a Time Machine...

What I would do if I could relive my childhood again...

I loved my childhood so I am not sure there is a lot I would change, I was very fortunate growing up so I don’t want to complain.  But, teaching third grade, I realize how great kids have it and how much simpler life was back then, so it would be great to go back! 

There are a few things I wish I could have done differently or done more of.  For starters, I wish I took the time to talk to my grandparents more and listened to their stories from the past...I am a huge history buff now and it would have been so cool to  hear it straight from the horse’s mouth! 

I also wish I hadn’t fought with my older sister so much, I was a big tattle tale and clearly not much fun to be around :) Finally, my two friends and I started a car wash business and one day I took $2 from the “bank” to buy snacks at a vending machine...I still feel badly about it! 

It would be so fun to be a kid again!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week One Summary

Week 1 Reflective Summary

Overall, I was a bit overwhelmed.  It was stated in the screencast that it’s OK to be frustrated and feel this way, so I am trusting this is normal and how others are feeling too.  I am going to answer the questions point by point so I don’t miss anything!

How well do you feel you completed the requirements of the week’s assignments?

I believe I completed all the requirements of this week well and as expected to do, although there was definitely some trial and error.  I appreciate how well laid out the syllabus is with details of everything so it is easy to follow.  By following the syllabus, I was able to get all assignments submitted on time.

What gave you trouble? What did you enjoy most? What did you learn?

A few things gave me trouble this week.  First of all, I found the DS106 site confusing at first and a lot of information thrown at me all at once.  I also find Twitter confusing (embarrassed to admit) because I couldn’t figure out where to find the daily create assignments and I had trouble deciphering between hash tags and handles (again embarrassing but I figured it out!)  I finally was able to set up a class list on Tweet Deck and found the blog roll on DS106 very helpful.  I like how it constantly updates with blog posts. 

With that being said, I enjoyed getting to understand Twitter better and Feedly, as well as DS106;  although I am sure there are a million more things to learn.  I also enjoyed the critiques because it was forced me to watch videos and read articles I might not have watched or read otherwise, and I came across a hilarious video (check out the real housewives of the PTO). 

What would you do differently? What questions to you have?

I don’t know that there are things I would do differently as this first week was very much just figuring everything out.  I think I have asked the questions I had on the course questions page as well as email.  For now, I think I am doing ok...

What are some of the larger issues surrounding your work?

While trying to find DS106 assignments and digital stories to critique, I was having trouble finding things on my focal theme: technology for elementary learning.  This is part of the reason I played it safe and stuck with Ted talks to critique because I couldn’t find much on my theme.  Now I am aware of the assignments each week, I can keep my eye out for stories on my topic. 

In case you missed any of my assignments, you can find them all here on my blog!

My score: 10/10

Best Time of the Year (minus the rain)

For my second #dailycreate assignment I chose to send flowers to someone.  This spring and early summer's weather has been less than ideal...I know, I know we need the moisture, but I am over it! One of the great things that came from all the rain however, was my garden blooming.  Today I dedicate this flower to all of my classmates in #INTE5340 as we move through this journey together, for me, the last class of my masters!!!!  Here's to navigating our way through week 1!

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Motto to Live By!

A Motto to Live By...

I chose this Ted Talk because I am a huge fan of Carol Dweck (thanks to John McDermott, my pedagogy professor, for introducing me to her book) and I think all teachers need to live by her words.  Her book is an easy read and it worth your summer reading list!

Three traits were chosen from Jason Ohler’s rubric to use in order to critique this story (each worth 10 points):
1.       Content Understanding
2.       Media Grammar
3.       Media Application

1.  Content Understanding- did the speaker understand the content?
Comments:   Yes, the speaker understood the content very well, as she is the author of a book on the subject.  Some of her researcher is older but she followed up with more recent research when she paired with scientists from the University of Washington. 
Score: 10

2.  Media Grammar- how ‘bumpy’ was the story?
Comments: Compared to other talks I have seen, this one was very smooth.  You could tell that the speaker has given many talks and was very comfortable speaking in front of an audience.  She spoke slowly and deliberately and gave proper wait time for the audience to view the screen and soak in her words.
Score: 10

3.  Media Application- was the media appropriate for the story?
Comments:  As much as I love Carol Dweck, someone needs to help her with her power points!  I appreciate simplicity and speakers who don’t read directly from their power points word for word, but a few visuals never hurt anyone.  She had some interesting pictures of the brain and neurons but not enough to keep my interest.  A few times the words on the screen were sideways which isn’t the easiest to read.  Overall, I think she needs to stick to the talks and her younger interns need to make the presentations.
Score: 6

Overall Score: 26/30

Other Comments: I teach her philosophy of the growth mindset to my thirds graders and it is amazing to see how their minds remember to say the word yet.  I haven’t quite seen the transformation of worst to first as Carol Dweck discussed but I do think it is good for kids to think with a growth mindset.  One way to make this talk better would be a better visual presentation as I mentioned earlier.  Also, she is a little dry in her speeches.  Talking about brain research isn’t the most exciting topic, but to a group of educators, what she has to say is exciting.  She could be more enthusiastic when talking of the successes she is seeing.