Techno-Geek

Today the obvious has slapped me right across the face. Something that has been lurking in the front of my mind close enough to know it is there, but far enough away that I could not make it out, until now. I realize that I am becoming a techno-geek. Not that it is a bad thing, I still have around 20 years or so left in education and I need to stay ahead of the curve, (bad pun unavoidable). Afterall, what good am I in the modern era if I am teaching with strictly 19th century skills.

I am so fired up that I have been telling everyone I know about a new trick I figured out on my own today. No help from anyone, just me coming up with something new.

I told everyone left in the building, called a couple of people I work with who were gone, sent a couple of e-mails to others, I even posted it to my Twitter network…geek. Total geek. Before it was intentional. I was a geek to annoy those who annoyed me…now I have no control over it.

For those who have not heard, I embedded review questions into my class wikispace for the students’ quiz tomorrow. I did not know it could be done with my test generator program, until this afternoon.

Hopefully the review will be used by students and they will do well on tomorrow’s quiz. If not tomorrow, word will spread and many will use the ones I make in the future. It is useful and the kids should benefit.

I am an old dog learning new tricks…an old dog willing to teach others the tricks I learn…I have become… a techno-geek.

Student fear of Internet

I can not figure it out for sure, but I have a number of students who are afraid to use the Internet for their 20th Century President Projects. I know they utilize the Internet for socializing, I see them on the ‘net looking up stuff during study halls. I have stressed that I am not taking points off for having trouble with the technology and offered full help in working with new issues that arise from the technology. Yet, I have a group that runs when asked to use the net for something besides surfing. Actually, adding to the class wikispace is easier than the other type of projects they could choose from. I have given them the option of anonymity or first name listing for credit. I have tried to make the experience workable for them, but there is still a good bit of resistance. I wish I could find a better way to motivate them than just force them to participate with the technology. I do understand that it is not about the technology, it is about the lesson, however I want them to become familiar with the tools they will more than likely be using in life in their future. It is an issue to keep working at defeating.

Watching Kids Learn

My daughter is almost 16 months old. She truly is a miracle and we are very lucky to have her. I sit and watch her add daily to her repertoire of tricks and knowledge, it is truly amazing. My daughter loves to play on the computer. She will walk to either the laptop or desktop and gesture to be picked up to access the keyboards. My daughter is an avid typist, playing with the keyboard pushing buttons and watching what happens. I have published some of her typing to my other blog, but I think I will post her work here in the future, it is a more appropriate setting since she is learning. Once, as she was typing on my laptop, she reached rather quickly and grabbed my cold cup of coffee that was on the dining room table to have a quick drink while recording her thoughts down on the keyboard…I was quick enough to keep the coffee cup on the table and off the floor. Her reaction was to turn around and give me a big cheesy smile from ear to ear with a “gotcha daddy!” look. Now she grabs the mouse and acts like she knows what it does…I have read where kids like her will be more knowledgeable with technology by the age of 10 than most adults today. She is able to scan the screen and point at items that pop up, she really likes the task bar at the bottom of the screen for some reason. I can not figure it out, but she is very attentive. She also loves to curl up in our laps with a book, but only if you let her turn the pages and go at her own pace. I hope to be able to keep up.

Today’s Wiki-work

The students seemed to grasp the ideas with the notes on the Executive Branch.  We worked as a class and I showed them how to fiddle around with some of the options we can do. They are allowed to edit the space, so they need to be able to do these tasks successfully. They seem to like the group setting and I use their ideas, we will see if it transfers to work outside of the classroom.

Wikispace Knowledge

I need to expand my knowledge of the wikispace universe. I learned a neat trick last week of imbedding video right into my pages, but I need to learn how to indent the students’ notetaking work. The students are learning quite a bit, so I need to stay ahead of the curve to better help them with the site. The tutorials are easy to understand, I just need more time!

Modeling in the Classroom.

I have been trying to model notetaking on my class wikispace with both my Freshmen and senior classes. I believe I am making some headway, but I can  not be sure. I use the LCD projector and we work cooperatively with the class to brainstorm and edit notes from class sources. I am hoping that by showing them the process and that mistakes can happen and they will understand not only the information but learning process better. Sometimes it doesn’t show, especially when I turn them loose outside of class, but some seem to be getting it.

Online Resource info from Capella

The powerpoint has more information than I have time to research., though I started a Slideshare account so I could download the ppt. It looks as if I can move forward with my plans even if the school does not go with school-wide Blackboard next year, just a lot more work on my part. Link to powerpoint is on my Twitter and here:   http://www.slideshare.net/capelladoc/social-networking-tools-for-instructional-designing/