Monday, July 13, 2009

I finally figured out how to embed my YouTube video into my blog! I watched a YouTube video to learn how!! Hey, I am more "with it" every day!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Steve Hargadon – Classroom 2.0
Submitted by Kay Dean
In Partial Fulfillment of the Class
EDU 255

Interestingly enough, Steve Hargadon showed up at the conference as a participant, and ended up a presenter. The two points I have chosen to comment on are: Point #2 Topic or content may not be as important as engagement and Point #4 A network must fulfill some compelling need.

The President of Bennington College, Dr. Liz Coleman, would definitely not agree with Steve on Point #2. I don’t agree with a lot of what Dr. Coleman said, but if I am to use a Ning in my classes, then topic and/or content is NOT “trumped” by engagement. In the literature block of courses, engagement is certainly important, but topic and content still reign supreme. In mathematics, for instance, content and topic definitely are the priority. Engagement may assist in obtaining knowledge about the topic, but does not surmount it. It is debatable whether or not, as Mr. Hargadon states “that engagement changes our lives and sense of learning in ALL (emphasis added) areas we are interested in [sic].

His point about a network fulfilling a compelling need certainly rings true. Folks need to have a good reason to come to a site and spend valuable time and energy interacting with others. So, for example, a student in my class will have to design a Ning site that classmates will want to use. This will need supreme monitoring from the instructor, as middle school boys and girls are pretty much focused on aspects of social interaction that will require censorship.

In summary, Mr. Hargadon makes excellent points including important aspects for our entire society – be polite, understanding, encouraging, supportive and make things better.
Social Networking Sites
How I Learned to Love Blogs, Wikis, Nings, Bings & SNSs
Submitted by Kay Dean
In Partial Fulfillment of the Class
EDU 255

Well, having been a novice to the world of social networking sites, Facebook was my first foray into the arena. Prior to this class, I would have shunned any kind of site that would have me put my picture up for the world to see. Heck, now my picture is all over the world, in less than a month. I joined a Math/Science Portal (MSP2) ning and now have been asked to join their teacher education group. I am emailing people I don’t know, where I used to hit the delete button if even a slightly “suspicious” name showed up in my mail list.

This particular assignment intrigued me, so as I viewed the graph composed by Danah Boyd of UC Berkeley and Nicole Ellison, MSU, I was surprised that there weren’t more on the graph on page 6 of the article. So, then I decided to read the article : ).

Upon reading the article, I found out there are “hundreds of SNSs”. Scholars and researchers have spent untold time, energy and money to study SNSs to figure out why people initiate, join and follow these sites. The authors state that “networking is not the primary function on many SNSs.” I found that statement as something on which I could cogitate.

Another interesting comment made in this article is that SNSs are unique, not that they enables strangers to meet, but that they allow users to articulate and make visible their social networks. Thus, individuals can connect who might not otherwise meet, but who have shared off-line interests. The structure that is set up as to access, and visibility is one of the primary ways that an SNS differentiates itself from another SNS. Both private messaging and public comments are popular on the major SNSs, but not all SNSs have these features.

These SNS sites vary in the history of how they started out. Some started out as IMs, community sites, ethnic discussion forum tools, or blogging services, to mention a few. A large number of these “early” (1995) sites re-launched later on, adding SNS features and structures. Interestingly, Orkut was launched in the United States with an English-only interface, but Portuguese-speaking Brazilians quickly became the dominant user group (Kopytoff, 2004). Are you ready for this? There are even SNSs for dogs and cats, but to quote the authors, “their owners must manage their profiles”. SNSs usually have a global target audience in mind, but often that changes to be more homogeneous as the adage “birds of a feather flock together” occurs. The first recognizable SNS was launched in 1997 - After only three years, closed because of its lack of becoming a sustainable business. Some folks think SixDegrees was ahead of its time.

An SNS launched to assist in business ventures in 2001. These business people linked together to support each other in their business. They believed they could survive without competing. The site closed two years later. So much for altruism. A dating site, Friendster, became “one of the biggest disappointments in Internet history (Chafkin, 2007, p. 1). This happened because their servers were unable to handle the sudden growth and Friendster began restricting activities of its most ardent followers. So, the fans of the site began to think the company did not share their interests. However, folks in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were loving the site!! After Friendster closed, Tom Anderson started MySpace, to attract disenfranchised Friendster fans. No one paid much attention. MySpace allowed underage users so soon bands and fans were being connected. Still not too much attention was directed MySpace’s way. Then in 2005, News Corporation bought My Space for $580 (followed by six zeros!) There has been negative media attention about sexual predators on MySpace. Research suggests that the concerns were exaggerated. In the Endnotes it states: Although one out of seven teenagers received unwanted sexual solicitations online, only 9% came from people over the age of 25 (Wolak, Mitchell & Finkelhor, 2006). Furthermore, only .08% of students surveyed. . .met someone in person from an online encounter without permission from a parent.

In 2003 Clay Shirky (2003) coined the term YASNS (Yet Another Social Networking Service). I love Couchsurfing – it links travelers to couch potatoes. The SNS that I chose to report on, MyChurch, joins Christian churches and their members. Blogging services with SNS features became popular. The authors note that Facebook was designed to support distinct college networks only, and it began in 2004 as a Harvard-only SNS (Cassiday, 2006). It was considered relatively closed and folks thought of Facebook as an intimate, private community. Facebook users are unable to make their full profiles public to all users. MyChurch seeks a narrower audience. Being an affiliation-focused site, MyChurch limits their target and thus is a smaller SNS. After reading this article, I now know what a Ning is – a platform and hosting service that encourages a user to create his/her own SNS!!

According to this article SNSs are primarily organized around people, not interests. That, also will take some cogitating on my part. Thus, we have a new organizational framework for online communities, those structured as person or egocentric. Interestingly enough, according to the authors, the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights, and 4th amendment “is not equipped to address social network sites”. They cite the example of whether or not a police officer can access information over an SNS without a warrant.

Also interesting is that librarians are against proposed U.S legislation that would ban minors from accessing SNSs at libraries, but that most librarians see SNSs as outside the purview of librarianship. I didn’t know that there have been accusations that there is nothing educational about SNSs.

The MyChurch SNS’s home page brags, “We’ll change the way you think about church.” The site was founded on January 26, 206 targeting folks who have “. . .been out of church for awhile, don’t see yourself as the “church type,” or just love the adventure of something new, now’s the time for you to get in on a fresh start.” What some people are saying about the MyChurch site is: I loved EVERYTHING about MyChurch. I’ll be back next week” “MyChurch is not your typical church. We can’t wait for next Sunday”. “I’ve been looking for a church like MyChurch for a long time. I’m so glad it’s finally here.”

The site has thousands of churches all over the United States. The site accepts donations “to help folks find their way back to God” at a P.O. Box in Columbus, Georgia. I skimmed their beliefs. No, I will NOT be joining them! There are a lot of personal reasons for this. One of which is, they believe that “the Bible is God’s word, written by human authors under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. . .the Bible is truth without any mixture of error. I don’t believe that the Bible has been translated correctly. I believe that the Bible has a lot of truths based on the parts that are translated correctly, but the Bible has been changed by political winds throughout the centuries.

I don’t find a competitor for MyChurch.. I clicked on the site’s Salt Lake City, Utah, membership list. Not surprisingly, there were no LDS churches as members. I knew that before I even clicked on Utah. I then clicked on an Episcopal church in Salt Lake. There are 4 people on the MyChurch membership. Hmmm. Not an enormous number, eh?

In summary, There is on-going discussion about the importance of SNSs, relating to how people present and hide aspects of themselves and connect with others. The church I belong to discourages the use of SNSs for several reasons – foremost is that (in my opinion) if one has time to spend hours on the Internet on SNSs, then one could spend those same hours more profitably reading, pondering meditating, and praying over the scriptures. It is a point that I agree with. (Ironically, there was a talk given in Sacrament meeting on June 28, 2009, about SNSs). . Having said that, in today’s Arizona Republic (June 28, 2009), there is a short blurb on A13 that “. . .BYU has lifted its almost three-year policy of blocking access to You-Tube [sic]. Administrators lifted the ban on Friday, citing an increasing amount of educational material on the site. . . BYU blocked the site in 2006 because administrators felt there was too much content that could violate school standards.” As I have said before, our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson has a Facebook page, I am told. I have never visited it.

I, myself, could probably become addicted to SNSs, because the study of people fascinates me. I, however, have far too much ranch work to do to even complete my assignments for EDU 255 in a timely manner, let alone spend hours online SNS’ing.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Using Wikis in the Classroom and Online Courses

I plan on including the Wiki I made in my class, (Wikispaces KayDean2 - piday2) by centering the entire Pi Day experience online. The purpose of using the Wiki would be that (a) the students will be motivated to find the different on-line stations that I will include (b) When I saw the Google video on "The Story of Pi", I was blown away! None of my, albeit "superior", teaching ever explained Pi in such a graphic, understandable way!

There is a plethora of content - area, circumference, reading, writing, and communicating.

As the students encounter sites that are relevant to the subject matter of Pi, they would be asked to add it to the Wiki site, with comments about how it pertains to their learning.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Beginnings of a lesson - (ID #3 Week 2)

Instructional Design, Part 2

(3) Process for starting the design phase for a specific lesson I can use in my own curriculum. Description of my potential audience (general characteristics, prior knowledge, demographics, and motivations) List any societal factors that may affect your lesson.

Determine audience: Sheltered 7th grade ELL students; speak very little English and are required to spend four hours a day reading, writing, speaking and listening in English. Integrate literature, mathematics and social studies.

Demographics: Small, rural K-8 school; each student has his/her own tablet laptop computer with Internet access.

Motivation: Students are highly motivated to learn English – their parents are supportive and the administration is innovative.

Objectives may include, but are not limited to:

1.0 TSW locate selected sites on a map of the United States
2.0 TSW predict which net will fold into which geometric solid
3.0 TSW predict which geometric solid will have the largest capacity
4.0 TSW estimate the amount of substance that each geometric solid will hold
5.0 TSW express orally own thinking and ideas
6.0 TSW identify and apply conventions of standard English in his or her communications
7.0 TSW listen actively to the ideas of others to acquire new knowledge
8.0 TSW use new vocabulary words from the selected text

Instructional Design Models

Instructional Design Models

Submitted by Kay Dean
Submitted as Partial Fulfillment of the Class
EDU 255

In contrasting and comparing two instructional design models, I chose Behaviorism and
Constructivism. The reason for my choice is because both of these two theories
impacted my life for my entire lifetime. I was raised in Behavioristic times as a child and as a K-12 student. Except there was no such thing as Kindergarten in New York in
1947. My major in college was vocational education. That area is hands-on and definitely Constructivist in nature. I realized the importance in my mathematics minor
for the Constructivist approach, so when I began teaching in Tuba City High School,
with Native Americans, it was an easy transition for me from a Behaviorist teaching style
to Constructivist.

I have chosen a Venn diagram to compare and contrast these two theories:

Behaviorism Constructivism
Instructor designs learning environment
The learner is passive and responding
to stimuli
The climate for learning is dependent
on the right stimuli to promote

Instructor mentors student interaction
and builds on known concepts
Learners create their own learning
The learning is designed to assist
students to build on what they
know. Students have a vested
interest in their learning and
want to involve real experience
Teachers are not the sole fountain
of knowledge
Teachers are co-learners and

In the overlap of the two circles are objectives, learners, teachers, written material of some sort, socialization, organization, frameworks and methods for revision.

A New Pedagogy? or A-bloggin' I Will Go. . .

A New Pedagogy?
“A-bloggin’ I will go”

Submitted by Kay Dean
In Partial Fulfillment of the Class
Edu 255

I have chosen three of our author’s blogs: “If We Could Start All Over, What Would We
Build?, “The Future of My Kids’ Work”, and “New Reading, New Writing”. These three are some of his newest postings, and they caught my eye immediately.
In “If We Could Start All Over, What Would We Build?”, the leading question is basically if we knew then, what we know now, how would we do things differently? Well, that is an age-old question, not unique to the 21st Century! Our textbook author, Will Richardson, has been blogging for eight years! Obviously, he walks the walk and talks the talk. Eight years is about the age of one of my sixteen grandchildren! So, I am really behind the times!
His musings on this subject began when he read an article by Tom Carroll, which was written in the year 2000—an entire year before Richardson began blogging. The Web 2.0 was in its infancy, and Mr. Carroll had a vision of what it could be and should be used for. Richardson feels that “most people” would find his 2000 article difficult to handle. He did not make it plain as to whose “these people are”, but he did refer to educators as being some of “those people”. I agree with him, mainly because I am an educator, and until this class, I had NO idea the ramifications of Web 2.0, let alone even what it was – a full nine plus years after Mr. Carroll’s article!
I resent Mr. Richardson’s generalized comment that “actually, there’s little “new” anywhere in the thinking about school and teachers and classroom learning right now.” I know lots of examples of schools who are on the cutting edge of education and effective teaching and learning. The fact that he believes that there are “only a handful” of educators in any student’s K-12 life really makes my blood boil.
Sure, with hindsight, we could have more foresight, but I for one, feel like the majority of educators are doing their level best to be better teachers and to stay up with the “emerging technologies”. (With one exception that I know of – me!!) The constraints that current day educators are under are immense. High stakes testing, low budgets, and the home life of a large percentage of students in their K-12 classrooms are just a few of the demands teachers have.
In “The Future of My Kids’ Work”, Richardson’s leading argument is that our workspaces/places will look very different from what they look like now. I agree wholeheartedly. He says we “may never get to retire.” I agree with him that there are worlds of opportunities out there, even now in this “depressive” state of the economy. Well, I’ve retired officially three times now, and I am still working, so that is not much different!
I’m not sure where he has been of late, but hello, women have been at the controls since Adam and Eve – they are just being allowed to do more now. I don’t see that shift changing, and neither does he, but I’m not sure that the word “increasingly” is the correct one to use to describe women being at the helm. Using the word “continuing” to be in charge, would be a better choice.
With 40% of the United States’ workforce being independent contractors by the year 2019, that is not that far away. I am sure Mr. Richardson is right that not too many (if any) classrooms discussed the Time magazine article that Mr. Carroll wrote. I didn’t understand, though, why after he had put credence in Mr. Carroll’s article, that Mr. Richardson made the statement “I know Time’s vision may not come to fruition”. That seems counterintuitive to me.
The third and final On My Mind blog by Mr. Richardson that I have chosen is “New Reading, New Writing”. His leading argument in this blog compares two articles/essays on the topic of reading and writing across the Internet. His description of how one can interact with reading and writing that someone else has done in cyberspace is fascinating.
I love his reflection on how “no one will read alone anymore”. This is a whole new idea to me. Mr. Richardson maintains that reading will become “a community event”, with each part and parcel of the book launching a global conversation not just a single person’s reflection.
In summary, I enjoy reading Mr. Richardson’s blogs, as well as the textbook for our class. He is logical and a deep thinker. He also is an innovator, and would like to see the emerging technologies being used more prolifically in the classroom setting. I remember a statement of one of my professors in a master’s level classroom. The reason education is called an “institution” is because institutions are stable, firmly foundationalized systems. Our government is an institution. My professor used the analogy of governments in South America. They are fluid systems that can change with the wind, so to speak. We certainly don’t want our government, let alone our educational system to be “changing with the wind”. That is the good news. The bad news is that when change is eminent, institutions are the last to change.