Sunday, March 29, 2009

Online Learning

Not to sound to overly simplistic, or arrogant, but an online course is only as difficult as the learner makes it. It is true, that some educators dish out quite a few assignments due to the fact that it is an online course. More often this isn't that case, but you have to take it in stride. I believe that I am a good online student because I like working in the comfort of my own home. I also believe that I bide my time quite well and I see not time constrictions. It helps a bit being young, and working on your degrees one after the other without break while living with your helps a WHOLE LOT :):)
When tackling an online course, make an outline of what needs to be done. Visit the sites you will be working with the most. Register (become a member of) with the sites and write down all of your usernames and passwords. Become familiar with them and email your instructor in case of problem. If your course is so simple as just logging in, grabbing your assignments and going at it, then consider yourself lucky. With a technology course, you may find it overwhelming the amount of info that is presented to you. But please relax, it is...just info. Nothing that requires you to become a rocket scientist to absorb. Take a deep breath, read your material, then proceed. More often than not with a tech, ETEC course, you will be using different sites to post your findings (research) so don't stress. Perhaps some blogging to show your classmates how you feel about a certain subject, and even some critiquing of online articles to show your breaking down of thoughts. Whatever you do, do not FREAK out. You will be fine if you lay it all out, and work on your assignments a little every 1 to 3 days. 

Online learning for the k-12 students can be a wonderful idea. The up and coming generation is already on their cell-phones, on myspace, facebook, youtube, blogger, ning, and so many other sites. Introducing them to some online instruction via the methods they already use will more than likely work like a charm. The instructor however can not get too loose with the students because he/she can lose track of attention from the students. Keep all the blogging assignments separate, or perhaps as extra credit at the beginning to see how it works out. I think this can be an excellent way for classmates to interact with each other. Have them go to a class chatroom and be anonymous. Chat with your students, as an educator and see what is going on with them. This can be an excellent way for someone to overcome a problem, personal or other and can relieve the student of some burden. Talking to someone, even if you do not know exactly who they are, you know its your classmates and it makes you feel at ease. It can offer a different spin on educating students. Nowadays, learning just has to be fun for the students to pay attention. You can't fight fuel with fire ;)  :) 

As far as my philosophy tell me if it ties in to the k-12 environment. Anyone can learn any technologies regardless of AGE ;) With patience and understanding all is possible ;)  ;)  ;)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Three types of Interaction

Upon finishing the read of Mr. Moore's article, I simply just couldn't agree more. He mentions distance, and how it's definition is used in a widely general sense. We use it to describe the separation between the learner and the instructor...and that's pretty much it. Too few users use the more specific meanings that should be discussed when we mention distance learning. The term distance is used to describe how we learn outside of a set education environment. You can have just as much interaction with the instructor of the course through distance learning, as you would if you were face to face. With email, phone, skype, IM (instant messaging) and blogging, you can really get all the help you need...without having to be in the classroom. There is another word that loses its meaning through a general view of it and it is interaction, as I mentioned earlier. For the majority, interaction is the face to face communication that people, or a group of people have. The year is 2009, and interaction has so many levels that many are not aware of. I mentioned email, phone, skype, IM and blogging earlier, and that is what makes up interaction along with a face to face format. There are so many definitions that take on a general meaning, and most of the times the sub-meanings get swept under. More often than not due to convenience, and without many definitions you have less of a complex outcome. That is what the majority of us believe, more definitions = more complexity. Little do we know, with the many sub-meanings, we have a better understanding of the word(s). 

As important as the instructor is to the classroom, nothing is as important as the content, and what it means to the learner. As Mr. Moore states, without the understanding of the content there is no education. The learner-instructor interaction can help you with better understanding the content however, the instructor can only put so much in someone's brain. We as learners have to take the initiative and try twice as hard if there is a subject matter that we cannot comprehend. The instructor is there to guide us through, and give us the knowledge that we need for the problems. 

The interaction between learner and learner for some isn't very helpful, and for some quite so. It's the way that one looks at the situation. You can be happy that someone else is there knowing the same thing, or be intimidated. You can also be happy that there is another learner there that does not know much; or you can be embarassed and not want help from either the instructor or the other learner. Some are not comfortable with learning together, and some are just fine with it. It's the way of the learners, how easy or how hard something is, is up to them.  

My philosophy/vision can easily be tied in with all of this because my vision/philosophy is simple and can be done by anyone. Anyone can learn any type of technology if they apply themselves, have patience and understanding. You get what you put in, you reap what you sow. Apply this philosophy either online, face to face or combined and you will be fine.   

Monday, March 9, 2009

Desktop Publishing/Movie Maker

How will you use these skills to empower you?

Imagine showing someone how to use a program...and they can actually see a video demonstration of it being used. The term a picture says a thousand words just blew out of proportions, how about a video? :) It can show your intended audience exactly how something is done, and that type of help is worth a thousand words. It can empower us by being helpful towards another person. Yes, it will make us feel good, and it will also help them feel good for being able to clear the hurdle of learning anything!

How do they align with your vision and definition for educational technology?

I like to help people. Being face to face is the ideal way to help people. However, it is a bit unrealistic because being face to face to with someone when we have a problem isn't a normal thing, it never was. It is 2009, and we must take advantage of the technologies that are to our disposal. Showing people how to do something, exactly what they need to do can help them feel at ease. It would be a joyous thing for me to be able to do that in the lives of people. To help them achieve a comfort that they could never achieve...thats the stuff!!:):)

Do you believe that the use of technologies like desktop publishing, movie maker, and other applications which incorporate the use of images is expanding?

Of course its expanding. All you have to do is go to ANY search engine and type Desktop publishing ir movie maker. You will find hundreds of tutorials on how to use these technologies. Along with the turorials, video tutorials, which is the thing now can be found on sites like youtube and can show you anything you want.

If so, why, and what are the implications for education?

The implications is an easier time for the students. Not easier in the way of receiving a grade, but easier in the fact that questions and problems can easily be erased with a click of the mouse.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Windows Movie MakerVid

This isn't great quality guys...sorry!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


My wiki is a tad simplistic but I would like to believe that it serves a purpose. It is for everyone to just vent a little about anything.
Getting something off of your shoulders can help with stress, can help with keeping your mind sharp and free of clutter. Students can discuss their different subjects, you can vent about your problems, or even ask questions about various computer related problems. In the future, you may also find some simple tutorials on how to do things like resizing your pics in paint:) :)

How do you think Web 2.0 technologies will and/or should impact education?

I think web 2.0 technologies have impacted education, but not to a very helpful extent. The only thing I have seen lately, on the news, is teachers on the secondary school level using text messages to get answers from their students. I have to say that is very clever, but not very productive. Not only that, you are more than likely making some students feel like crap because they do not have cell-phones. We should not take for granted that everyone has a laptop, cellphone, PC, internet at home. We can however give our students opportunities, if they would like, to take part in the cell-phone game. The teacher can hand out a paper that has sites like blogglines and blogger, delicious, ning, that way the student, on his own can go and check this stuff out. In a university level course, I am pretty certain that it is safe to assume that any student can have access to a computer. If not at home, then definitely at the university. However, getting into educational technology below the college level isn't easy. Unless the districts are willing to buy the student laptops for the school year, or pay for the students cell phones and text message bundles. It isn't fair to just plain ask the students to do these things, you may be bruising some hearts. In certain areas of the country, as is with every country, you can probably assume that students can have some of these luxuries. Maybe I am being a little to sensitive, but I guess I am remembering the time when we first moved here when I was 12. I wanted to have a computer, but we couldn't afford it. My first PC at the US was when I was 16 years old. Then I understood what all the fuss was about. Email's, bloggs, and all that stuff. How we can all keep in touch with anyone, anywhere in the world without a hitch. These 2.0 technologies are awesome, and for those that can have access to them, they are another way to make your life a little easier. Imagine never having to remember a site ever again. Just delicious it, and you are set for a bookmark all over the world. I told that to my mother and she was crazy happy. She bookmarks allot of things everyday, and she HAS to be at her home computer to access these bookmarks. Not any more, she imported, around 267 bookmarks to delicious and can use them anywhere. That is what these site can do for us if we embrace them. Let them help us, instead of thinking of them as a nuisance.

I will post about my wiki in a few hours :) :)