Tag Archives: Education

Module Project Part 2

20 Dec

To be completely honest, I actually really enjoyed getting to work with Prezi. It was a website that really made you dig deep into your topic, so that you can get to the meat of the idea and back up what you were talking about with images, videos and movement. This creates a different type of learning that will over take schools in the future.

In my project I based it one on thought, writing is sharing. I explored how in the music industry the sharing of ideas, thoughts, feelings, and new material can be spread with the opportunities that these writing spaces can provide for them. I also look into the connections that different writing spaces can make between authors. Because in the end writing is sharing.

Check out my Prezi Presentation and let me know what you think!

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Blogs have Refashioned the Idea of Writing: Now Refashion Your Classroom by Incorporating Blogs!

21 Nov

After reading Bolter’s, “Introduction:Writing in the Late Age of Print”, it is clear that all new writing technologies refashion its predecessor. I am new to the world of blogging and I wanted to explore my own question on how blog’s refashion past writing technologies and how they can be incorporated into the classroom. My writing tools have evolved from pencil onto paper and then to the keyboard onto word processor and now my words spill out onto blogs. Blogging offers something different than other writing technologies; it offers collaboration which could be a monumental tool for the classroom.

Blogs are a collaboration of words, images, video, audio, and links which really give the reader an insight into what the writer is trying to share. Even though I once handwrote words onto paper along with hand drawn pictures (mainly crappy looking stick figures) and I still type into word processor and occasionally copy and paste a still image, blogging offers a much different experience. Rettberg explains this difference very well, “In most forms of print publishing, such as newspaper articles, novels, or poetry, the author is not in charge of the way the text will look. The text is written in a word processor (or on a typewriter, or by hand) and submitted to an editor who, usually with a staff of designers, determines the layout. Bloggers, on the other hand, choose their own template and often spend considerable time adjusting the way their blogs look and work.” (Rettberg’s, 4). Blogging gives authors more ownership over their meanings and intentions of style. It puts the author in more than just the role of the writer; the writer also becomes the designer.

What I like most about blogging is the social interaction. Blogging is like a healthy virus. It spreads all over. It “links” writer’s in so many ways. Research articles may reference an idea of another author through quotes or paraphrasing, but how often do we search for that other author? The author shares an idea of another author, but the connection stops there. I have never put a paper article down to search for works of that referenced author that the article mentioned, simply because the work of that author is not readily available. But when reading blogs with hyperlinks, it’s too tempting not to click on the link to see where it will take me. “Student blogging is powerful and stimulating and enriching. The online capacity to link-reference makes for a punchy way to write interconnectedly.” (www.guardian.co.uk). I don’t even think twice about clicking on wherever that writer is wanting to take me and when I click, I am introduced to a whole other site I probably would have never came across my own. The connection of ideas is genius. I think of blogging as a selfless act. The authors of blogs give credit to other authors, web designers, and a variety of other creators so effortlessly. It brings the idea of collaboration to its fullest capacity. Blogs have totally refashioned the static website.

In my future classroom, if I am teaching a higher level of elementary, I will definitely have a classroom blog for my students to participate and collaborate with me and their fellow classmates. I believe it makes the idea of writing and learning much more interesting and engaging for the students.  I think reluctant writers will become more involved and eager to write. The blogs can be used for many different purposes in the classroom; free writing, storytelling, researching, interactive lessons, informative videos, student collaboration with responding to other students, group projects, study tools, etc. It is also a great way to get the parents involved. Parents can view the collaborative classroom blog to see what their child is learning. It forms a learning community which is one of my goals as an educator; for everyone to have a sense of involvement and importance in the learning process. The student’s can become the designers not just the authors of their ideas. To combine words, images, audio, and visual for a well-rounded learning environment. Students learn in many different ways, some students are more visual learners whereas other students are more auditory learners. Blogs can help to differentiate the instruction for the many different types of learners.

To Be Or Not To Be, Internet Is The Question

20 Nov

Bolter makes many valid points that can relate easily to the Elementary Education field. In today’s classroom, many students use different technologies on a daily basis to further the implications and real life connections from that day’s lesson. But in order to respond to a blog, for example, or do outside research, they need to understand the act of writing itself, and the overall product. In addition, for many students, the Internet and Web are the spaces in which they write and express themselves, whereas in other parts of the world throughout different times, students had different means of expression (papyrus, bound paper). The demands for paper bound books are decreasing immensely, and as Bolter writes, “communities of readers help to define the properties of the writing space by the demands they place on the space and technology.”

I do not, however, think that students value their own minds as a writing space, based on my observations in my field experiences. They see the computer as an endless pool of ideas, instead of using the Web to further their own ideas. At times, I think using the computer as a resource actually masks the knowledge each student possesses, and instead has them using previous concepts as their own. Students should be taught to write independently, using outside sources as support instead of a base. Technology also creates a separate area for students to share their ideas, and add to them based on viewer feedback. The revision process seems to be largely emphasized with Internet based learning, as seen on Wikipedia pages, or even with the quick response of a teacher’s email. Students have the opportunity to receive quick and efficient feedback from outside sources to correct information and enhance the learning experience. This seems to encourage collaborative learning. They can also use writing as a means of social interaction, in addition to a writing space, which I think most students are familiar with. Using blog posts and Facebook related assignments in place of pen and paper relate more to students today, and this may be where the writing space and the writers’ minds connect.

Completely opposing my view above, I do think that the Internet and Web provide a valuable learning space for many different learners. Visual, musical, verbal- every type of learner can be addressed within Internet based differentiated learning.  In my field experiences, the many uses of technology have positively impacted the classroom environment. Document cameras aid visual impairments, mathematics online learning programs assist those with verbal difficulties and SmartBoards encourage bodily kinesthetic learning.

Bolter also questions this new writing space’s effectiveness of communicating ideas to society, and I, myself cannot chose a side.  Collaboratively of course, the Internet poses a great space to add on to whatever is already out there. But individually, it could pose a problem to the classroom if students are using others’ ideas as a jumping off point for their own purpose. While this “new” writing space allows many different discourse communities to make connections to one another, individuality and credibility becomes limited with the expansion of the web.