Saturday, April 21, 2007

Media, Technology, and Teaching

I was listening to NPR last week and was intrigued with a story on blogging - so much so that I have to blog on it. As someone who has found blogging (especially reading other teacher blogs) to be beneficial and as a student in Louann's Visual Texts Class I am curious about news stories focusing on new technologies and the integration of old and new. This story shows that it isn't always the old means of distributing information going to the new. An Icelandic based publication is piloting a newspaper in Boston that uses bloggers for some of thier news.

I am most interested in teaching implications. Take the idea of publishing student writing... Is blogging considered publishing? If so, why does a blogger in this story who focuses on her life's attempt to get publish comment on wanting to see her name in print? (Money is not a factor as the newspaper is not currently providing financial compensation) This lead me to thinking about the value of various media forms and how educators place value on a genre or writing form based on habit or history. Blogging may be a great step in a student's writing path, or, if the blogging newspaper catches on, maybe a step into a career.

Another thought that I've had with teaching and blogging is in the areana of cooperative learning. This is a new medium of encouraging cooperative learning. I'm wondering how blogging might level the playing field for students who are too shy to speak up in class or in small groups. Also, are there different leaders that emerge as a result of this type of discussion? I've been reading other blogs and perusing student blogs, but I'd like to know what changes, if any, teachers have noticed when adding blogs to the class discussion.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wiki Help!?

I'm moving through the stages of fear in terms of incorporating more and more technology into my classroom this post by Dana Huff has inspired me to learn more about wikis. I like the classroom examples and ideas that she provided, and plan to use some of those in the future. What I need first is some guidance. I have found this site (PBWiki). Are there any other suggestions?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

View of the future?

Many state that with all the new technology, we are always connected whether it is by phone, IM, email, blogging, etc. There are many who state the dangers involved in this. I read an interesting book last summer about the downfalls of this prospect. It is called Feed by M.T. Anderson. In his post, Troy Hicks gives an excellent summary and raises some questions. While I'm an advocate for the benefits of technology that we have, it is important to think about the downfalls. This book (hopefully) exaggerates the future of our society. While it was not an uplifting book, I felt better about only having to contend with cell phones and texting while I am teaching.