Saturday, July 19, 2008

Learning so fast...

In my limited experience with myspace and livejournal page customization, I've taught myself a little bit of html and taken one workshop on web design. My accomplishment of the day (besides catching up on some sleep, eating two delicious meals made by my roommate and making a pot of coffee) has been figuring out how to add web videos into a post manually, without the help of the little "add this to blogger" button. It's actually pretty easy, but I'm proud nonetheless. Rather than being one of those people who proudly states that I'm "technologically impaired," like our fellow edublogger lamented, I am determined to learn how to do this stuff one step at a time, and have fun while I'm doing it.

If any of you are interested, you can see my addition on the other blog I keep with some friends from undergrad, Angry Poststructuralist Mob (the videos are really funny, although perhaps not totally relevant here). Despite the esoteric sounding name, it's really just a bunch of gender studies majors taking issue with the wack world around us. My friends who blog with me are witty, brilliant and a pleasure to read, so I'm honored to get to blog with them. If you click on my profile it will give you a list of my blogs and you can read that one, I'm pretty sure. Please let me know if there are any problems with the privacy settings.

Despite realizing that I'm going to have to work on my time management skills this year if I want to get my work done and have a life worth living outside of school, I'm really glad to be in this program right now. I'm feeling lucky to be among such inspired and interesting classmates and can't wait to get to know the folks in my content area - and everyone in Group B, for that matter - better. Make sure to check out Rena's poll about one potential method for doing this... :).

Also, I'm interested to know if any other SMACers (professors or students) have ideas about how to use technology in the classroom to cover the election in (social studies or other) classes this fall. Does anyone have any recommendation for a particularly good newscast site for this sort of thing?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This picture of Carmen is my favorite use of technology 
so far...
Although Chatzy is pretty great, too.  It's taken some getting used to, but I think that this doing-five-or-eight-different-things-at-the-same-time-in-class-thing could really work for me.  And MAN do I want to keep this computer.  The last couple of weeks have been such a whirlwind of mastering new tools (from our snappy little cameras to Inspiration, Macbooks to CTools, Chatzy to Backpack and for some of us die-hard Mac users, even Word has been a struggle), I want to congratulate everyone in the cohort for not going all luddite on us and writing egomaniacal editorials to the New York Times.  I much prefer Eugenie's idea of sending a productive piece of poetry into the New Yorker of the Atlantic.  Everything else aside, what a luxury to get to master all of this stuff before we get into our classrooms.
Something I've been thinking about a lot, however, and that I'm looking forward to talking about in class, is whether many public schools have the kind of technology that we're learning about, and how much we can rely on all students having internet access.  If two or three students in my class don't, I don't want to conduct the class as if everyone does.  Despite the wealth of wireless on campus, my impression is that computers and connections are still a relatively major marker of economic status, and while I know it's important to teach all students how to effectively navigate and utilize web resources, I want to pay particular attention to how to do this in a fair and equitable way that doesn't advantage those who already have the privilege of advanced technology in their own lives.