Sunday, March 10, 2013

Final Summative Project!

  Embedded in this post is my final summative project for my Internet For Educators class.  My very last class in my entire life I might add!  Woot woot!! It is weird to think that all these years of schooling has come to an end, but then I just begin to think that I'll be in a classroom for the rest of my life!  Feels quite good to be at this point!  The Internet for Educators class was a great class to have as my last class, and if anyone is reading this who is going to be going into the Faculty of Education at Brandon University, I highly recommend taking it.

  It took me awhile to figure out how to make all my audio one file, and then how to put it into slideshare, but once I did it turned out to be a really good tool to use.  I will be using it in the future!

  Thanks to everyone who was with me for my journey, and good luck to everyone in the future!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What the Future Will Be Like...

 What's next?  Who knows really.  All we have are assumptions, and little hints of what is in store for us.  From a technological stand point?  That is even more of a mystery.  Technology surprises me everyday, in more ways than one.  Years and years ago I thought that the Sega Genesis was the most amazing piece of technology out there!  Playing Sonic the Hedgehog and Power Rangers all day was my idea of the pinnacle of the tech age (I had no idea what pinnacle meant back then).  Then, time goes on, and better video game systems emerged.  Ipods became available and wow were those things the next big thing.  Then every day something new comes out.

  The Horizon report highlights a few directions in which it thinks technology might go towards.  Personally, I found one extremely interesting portion of this report to be about... wait for it... you've all heard of it... dun dun dun... the cloud (Oooooo..... awwwww).  Yes, 'the cloud.'  What is the cloud.  It is this magical online storage space, where for you to access, doesn't involve chords (good... I hate them).  Things are moving towards this storage capacity, and there isn't a thing we can do about it!  Everything seems to be connected to some form of 'cloud' someway or another.  My iPad uses the cloud, and so does my iPhone.  My laptop tried to use it (getting a little old), and so do all of the applications that I have.  The cloud sort of scared me in the beginning.  Why?  Storing everything somewhere, where millions of other people store their stuff... pretty sure I wouldn't store my wallet in a changing room locker with even 8 other people.  Nuh uh.  So i was hesitant.  Then... I realized that I didn't have to carry around all of my stuff with me everywhere I went.  Quite handy if you ask me, because I carry around enough textbooks that sometimes my laptop is an afterthought.

  Schools may start to do this more too.  Why not allow kids to save over the cloud, so they can access their work from anywhere?  First of all, it doesn't give students the excuse of "Oh... well I forgot all of my stuff in my locker... soooooo didn't do it."  With the cloud, we as teachers can say "HA!  you could have accessed it from home, so don't give me that."  (I would say it nicer that that of course, but for dramatic effect I thought it would suffice).  Use the cloud, and use it well.  Online courses will benefit from it, and so will many other things.  I just hope that it doesn't get to the point where students think they don't have to come to school because they can now do everything at home, because we don't want it to start looking like this...

I've had so many classes here... It is actually quite sad knowing this may be the very last time I am sitting in this spot.
It won't though... right?  No one can actually say for certain.  It is scary to think that it may.  The internet and technology is just so influential, that it is impossible to predict it's influence a decade from now.  Here is to hoping that the picture above never happens, because we need that personal connection, no matter how many other ways there are to talk with people.  Until next time... CHEERS!!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Keeping Up With the Podcasts

  I have subscribed to podcasts for quite awhile now.  Never educational ones though, which I probably should have.  I have subscribed to such podcasts as the College Humor podcast, the Pardon The Interruption podcast, the Jay and Dan podcast, and a few others.  I have always like them, whether they were audio or video.  They provide a great way to catch up on missed events (such as sports highlights).  I have now recently understood the benefits of them educationally.  I have watched TED Talks ones before too, but I'm sure most people have heard of them before, so I am going to introduce you to a couple that I have come across and come to enjoy.

    I have used the mobile classroom podcast to help me get through some technology difficulties I have had.  The podcast is set up as sort of a video in picture styled format.  The video serves as the audio, while a words and pictures are splashed onto the main portion of the screen.  The first one I watched was about Evernote.  I use Evernote quite a bit, but there is always something to learn, so I decided to watch it to introduce to some things I may not have even known about.  It did help me quite a bit.  This podcast is more for the teacher than for the students.  It can help teach you some tips about different technological tools, so that you can better use them in the classroom, or so that you can better teach your students.  Give it a try.  Look at the list, and you will probably see a title that is linked to an internet tool that you want to know more about.

RSS... something I still need to know more about.

   The "Cool Teacher Podcast" with Barbara and Chris, is an audio podcast that gives hints and tips of how to make your classroom a "cool" and "fresh" place to be.  Essentially, they give some suggestions about how to keep your classroom different.  They also discuss a lot on the topic of assessment, which is something that all teachers should learn about.  One podcast, they talked about those awful computer generated comments that exist on some report cards.  Those take away from the personable connection between students and teachers.  I remember reading those comments in high school, the "a pleasure to have in the classroom," or "good and consistent work habits."  Seriously?  Thanks for caring.  Anyways, this podcast talks about real issues, but puts an interesting spin on them.  Please give this one a try.

Overall, you have to love podcasts.  You can get them automatically downloaded right to your computer or phone as soon as they become available, and you can listen to them as easily as listening to music on your iPod.  I use them, and will for quite sometime.  I will especially be using them for educational purposes now.  So, until next time.... CHEERS!!!

Putting My Foot On The Ground.... Digitally

  Searches, posts, comments, views, pictures, videos, and all of those other things you do on the internet... what does it leave?  It leaves a digital footprint.  Not a carbon footprint (which is probably vast because of what we all consume), but a digital one.  A digital footprint is what we leave behind from being online.  There are two sides to the footprint... a good, and of course bad.  

  I have actually googled myself, and to be honest I was a little disappointed.  It took me forever to find me.  My name is quite common however, so that may be the reason, but even after typing in my hometown I couldn't find much.  I found some football stats from high school, and my Google+ account, which I had just activated about 2 weeks prior.  I couldn't find my facebook, or my Twitter.  Is that good or bad?  Depends on how you look at it I suppose.

My digital footprint... literally.
  The good side, are all the positives you can leave behind.  If you create something wonderful, or write an amazing paper, of course you are going to want people to see it, so post it online.  It will go towards giving yourself a really good online presence.  You want someone to google your name and see amazing content.  Which brings me to the bad.  People do stupid things, its a fact (no offense).  Everyone has done something stupid in their life, but only some allow it to get online.  This is where the bad portion of the digital footprint begins to show.  Imagine you are a pre-service teacher, and you have just finished your second year in the ED program, so you are going out to celebrate!  Pretty harmless: a couple of drinks with some friends, some pool, maybe some VLTs.  Then, on the walk home you decide to go to the washroom, right where you are standing, and your friend decides to take a picture.  Harmless?  Not to the possible employer who just googled your name.  (Side note:  This story was completely fictional, as I just made it up on the spot)  Being responsible in general is important, because there are too many ways for our doings to become public.  Act responsible everywhere, and you should be fine.

  Overall, a digital footprint can be scary, but also empowering.  Be smart, act right, don't watch reality television (joking), and you should have a good digital footprint for life.  Let's face it, it'll be there for that long.  Until next time... CHEERS!!!

I don't think she's been irresponsible with her digital footprint... or has she?

There Is An App For That... Seriously There Is An App For Almost Everything

    I love apps (applications)!!  Being the Apple, Inc. enthusiast I am, I love anything that has to do with apps.  I have an iPhone loaded with apps, as well as an iPad full of them.  I even went onto the App Store, to buy an app, that tells me about apps, and when apps become free (yup... I'm that guy).  There are apps for information such as weather, movie times, banking, news, etc.  There are apps that are games, such as Angry Birds, Ghostbusters, Rat on a Snowboard, Plants vs. Zombies, etc.  There are also apps for social media such as Twitter and Facebook.  If you want something, there is an app for that.  What about education?  Are there apps for education?  If companies want to make it anywhere these days they have to incorporate education somehow.  Due to my overuse of Apple products, here is one of my favorite apps to use, and I plan to use it in the classroom soon!


ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard

I have had the ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard app for awhile now, and it has been awesome!  Essentially it is a whiteboard for your iPad!  This can also be downloaded through android devices as well, but I will explain from an IOS stand point.  You start it up and you are given a blank white screen, with a pen option (with multiple color options... oooooo), as well as a clear all, an eraser, and a couple other options.  There is also a record button.  Once you are ready, hit record and start your lesson.  While you are writing (I suggest getting a stylus pen for convenience) your voice can also be recorded.  A great use for this app is to do lessons, whether it be math, science, english, or whatever!  Just write and record.  You can then share it via Twitter, Facebook, email, or embed it in a website or blog (like I did below).  You could then hook it up to your projector, so the whole class can see it.  My favorite feature is that you can share it.  This is a great function, especially if a child was sick that day.  If a student was sick and missed a long division lesson, one could easily do a quick ShowMe lesson and then email it to the parents or put it on the classroom website so the student could watch it.  Another awesome feature is that you can even search lessons other people have made.  There are thousands of lesson covering all subjects and topics.  If you are looking for a really good lesson on science just search it up and it will most likely be there!  Lessons can also be viewed over their website.  All you have to do is create an account (which booyah is free), select what subjects you like, and it's all learning from there.  If you have a tablet this is a must get, and if you don't, the website with all of its recorded lessons is a must see!!  Below the video is a link to the app store!  Until next time... CHEERS!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

This Week in I4ED... Presentations!!!

  So this week we got to present our group presentations.  I would first like to say congratulations to everyone because they are all very well done!  Every group presented confidently and strongly, and the best part was that each one was beyond the usual slideshow presentation! So good job everybody.

  The first presentation was about the debate on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).  Now, I can see both sides of the argument: about how it will just distract kids; and the other side saying that it will only benefit kids.  Overall however, let kids bring their devices!! If they have them, it is just going to cut back on how much the school is going to have to spend on other devices.  I understand that some families can't afford such devices, and we need to be mindful of that.  So, if a school is going to turn BYOD, then there has to be some form of financial aid system set in place to help those families in need.  Here is the link to the awesome presentation we got to see .  Great job ladies!!

  The second presentation was on the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of the internet.  This presentation made a lot of good points about how the internet can be an amazing thing, but also that it can be harmful and ugly.  For example, one of the presenters mentioned that someone could mention your name in a post or something else, and that that may be in a bad way.  Problem is that because you are not the creator, you cannot get rid of it, so if someone google searches you then it may appear.  That may not be a good thing if it is your potential employer searching.  Many benefits were mentioned as well, such as one major resource.  The internet is an amazing tool, and we should not discourage it because of a few of the downfalls it may contain.  Please view their presentation here...  Awesome job everyone!

  The third presentation was about how not to steal from the internet.  Now, I'm pretty sure everyone is guilty of stealing from the internet in some form or another, at some point in their life.  I don't mean illegally downloading something exactly, but even by not attributing where a picture in a presentation came from.  So this presentation was very informative, and it actually taught me a lot about copyrights.  It also began with a really informative and comedic video, so please visit the site   ( ) to watch it, and also to see this massive resource!  Well done all!

  The fourth presentation was about internet filters.  I dislike internet filters in schools... a lot.  First of all, don't block my YouTube!!! It is too big of a resource!!  They discussed a lot about how internet filters in schools are blocking students from accessing important information.  I remember in grade 12 biology having to do a presentation on body systems.  When I tried to find some information on the reproductive system... I couldn't.  Why?  The word "sex" was blocked with an internet filter.  Therefore, I was unable to search some information about the "sexual reproduction system."  Powers that be forbid I search for gender and nothing comes up because its synonym is "sex."  Pretty silly in my opinion.  Anyways, a great presentation, and presentation style!  Please check it out ).  A very good job.

  The last presentation was actually the presentation I was involved in.  Our group decided to do ours on cyber bullying.  Now, a couple weeks a go in an older post, I gave a little disclaimer about our video, letting people know that we made the video with a particular purpose (satirical), to show how we think the media may push things to make them seem scarier than it really may be.  I am not saying bullying isn't scary, it is awful, I'm just saying the media may portray it a little differently.  We had fun making the video, and we hope that everyone perceived it in the way that we meant it to be viewed in. We need to make sure that cyber bullying isn't taking the focus away from the bigger picture of bullying.  Cyber bullying is a form of bullying, but it is not the only form.  There are multiple forms, and they all can be lumped together as just bullying, which is what we need to focus on.

  Overall,  great presentations everyone.  It was a very informational, and professional class!!  Until next time... CHEERS!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dear Infographics... I Will Understand You... One Of These Days

  Alright it is confession time.  It took me a long time to understand this thing we all call infographics.  While looking at other infographics that people have made, I was thinking that these things were one of the coolest ways to organize data ever!  I also thought that it looked ridiculously hard to do.  Therefore, I embarked on my journey to create an infographic of my very own.  My first finding, was that it was one of the coolest ways to organize data ever!  My second finding, was that this is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I, personally, consider myself to be quite good with technology, so I couldn't understand why I couldn't figure this out.  I started by trying to decide what was the best way to make one, because there were so many options.  Well that took forever.  I came across one program that would allow me to do a simple venn diagram... easy right?  HA!! I had no idea how to even do that.  So honestly, I gave up for a little while.  Took me about two weeks before I decided to try again.  So i signed into to give it another go.  I stumbled upon this one called the "Twitter Account Showdown, which I have seen a couple of times previously.  I really liked the idea of comparing Twitter accounts, so I gave it a go.  The hardest part of it was trying to decide who to battle against.  I looked across the table to the left, and across the table to the right.  The one on the left just started Twitter, and had maybe 4 tweets (hello Adrienne), and the one on the right I'm pretty sure only follows 6 people, with 0 tweets (hello Kristan).  So i decided to pick a celebrity, but a worthy celebrity.  When I mean worthy, I mean someone who is involved in education somehow.  So, I decided to battle Bill Nye The Science Guy (@TheScienceGuy)!!  So it was easy as signing into Twitter through visually, and clicking a button.  BOOM!!  Done!  The results were not shocking at all, and the winner won by a landslide.  Bill Nye dominated me in the Twitter statistics.  He tweets a lot more than I do, and he has way more followers than me.  I, however, follow more people than he does, and I also beat him in mentions on weeks 2 and 4.  Woot woot!

  Besides getting a super smackdown from Bill Nye, I also learned a few things.  Apparently a bulk of my tweeting takes place on Mondays at 3 am.  Maybe I sleep tweet I have no idea.  The tool of infographics is still very interesting to me.  I am going to keep playing around on them to fully figure them out.  Mainly because I want to eventually use them in a classroom.  It would be a way more innovative and fun way to present data with the students, and I am sure they would love it!  Go infographics!!! (Sort of).

  Until next time.... CHEERS!!!

create infographics with