Over the past few months I have been working with some other individuals on a project. The project is called CEEC (pronounced “seek”) and it will be a social media platform aimed at establishing authentic connections that ultimately builds supportive communities. Ultimately, it is the vision of the project to change the way that people around the connect with one another. CEEC believes in the power of communities, which is the belief the project is based on.

At this link http://cmurcexchange.com/Step2.aspx?LoadOrg=8 you can find the funding site for the project. CEEC has a goal to raise $1000 in order for the CMURC to match it and move into Phase 2. Please give the link a visit and send it to anyone who may support the project.

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Blog #5

Cultivating Tech-Savvy Teachers Should Be Higher Priority, Report Says

The article talks about the need to make sure that teachers are fully equipped and able to teach using the latest advances in technology.  They may be the undisputed academic authorities but many teachers have much to learn when it comes technology.  The articles discuss that the focus on improving teachers skills with technology should be a priority for all schools.  Administration to take actions to alleviate this problem and institute professional development programs for knowledge of technology.  They discuss the many different aspects of technology education that need improvement including, educational infrastructure, personalized instruction, and so much more.  The report also goes to explain some of the reasons there is a lower familiarity with newer technology in the schools.  A big reason being that many of the school administrators and teachers are in their 50’s and didn’t grow up even remotely close to the technology we have in this day and age.  The article finishes up by calling for action to help fix this problem.  Enacting policy’s to ensure the professional development of teachers to familiarize them with technology.  Giving them robust clinical experiences because of these policies that will ultimately fix the problem.

Q1: How does the news, issues, and trends relate to other issues or theories you’ve learned in this class or other classes?

It affects a lot of the different issues that I have been learning about in my education and technology because it is a very encompassing idea that talks about the advancement of technology in general.  All the things that I have learned in my EDU 290 class essentially are accomplishing what this report discusses because it is getting young teachers ready for the technology they will have to use in their profession.

Q2: What limitations or criticisms of the idea are important to consider?

I think the biggest issue to consider with this article is the ability of school districts to carry out the discussed technological professional development.  In school districts that are less fortunate and have money troubles may not easily be able to help their teacher learn more and more about the newer advances in technology.  In the same respects school districts who have money issues may not really need the professional development.  That is because they may not have all the latest or new advances in technology for their school so there is really no reason for them to push for those technological education programs.

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Blog #4

Live from the First iPad Summit

The article was a report about some of the main issues covered in a recent summit on the iPad as an educational tool.  The author begins by introducing how the summit went and what it was about.  The summit focused only on the iPad as an educational tool.  They never discussed any large philosophic or pedagogical ideas about education, just how the iPad might be implemented.  There were many speakers throughout the weekend from all different backgrounds in education.  The keynote speaker was Tony Wagner, Ph.D. and many of his topics revolved around the theme that we must use this technology to innovate our education system and not stay stuck in our old ways that our causing our system to fail.

The reporter took three main take aways from the summit and briefly outlined each.  The first thing was that the iPad is simply a tool, not something that will on its own change the education system.  Teachers must become familiar with it and understand how they can use it to add to their lesson and help their students learn.  Second they discussed ow if a district is going to implement an iPad program they must be committed to the professional development of the teacher to know how to use the iPad.  You can’t just expect even the best of teachers to understand the iPad and how to best use it.  The last main point is that when integrating the iPad it can’t be just simply a replacement.  Educators must use it for innovation, to accomplish things previously believed to be inconceivable, only then will the iPad be truly effective.

Q1: What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I believe that the issues covered in this article are very important the the current development of the education system.  It is really important that we look to innovate our education system by integrating the newer and better technological advances into the system.  I also thought that is was very good that they included the information about how its more than just simple throwing a bunch of iPads into a classroom.  The schools must take the time to develop their teachers and prepare to completely and effectively use the iPad for education.

Q2: What limitations or criticisms of the idea are important to consider?

Sadly I think one of the limitations of this idea that must be considered is the cost of implementing the iPad into educations.  The iPad is not a cheap item, it is a very expensive piece of technology.  I hate to have money have an impact on the innovation of the education system and ultimately the betterment of society, but money is a big part of our current society.  It should be ver important to consider were this money is going to come from and how effective and big the program will be based off the funding available.

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Blog #3

Using digital tools to make a difference

This article discusses how new advancements in networking through the Internet has lead to the increase in young students involvement in making a difference in the world.  The author starts by expelling the ways in which he would attempt to make a difference.  One example being raising money with a lemonade stand then donating what he made in profits to a charity he cared about.  He also talked about even as an adult he to most he would be able to easily give back was to donate or volunteer at a homeless shelter.  This is still important but it didn’t really reach out to make a difference outside of his community.   So compared to his experiences, networking has lead to way more opportunities for people, specifically students, to make a difference.

He briefly discribes some of the criticism of the “Clicktivism” type of activism.  The main argument being that “clicktavist” don’t really put any effort in long enough to make a real difference in the issue.  The author believes that as far as young students are concerned just giving them the opportunity to be involved will give them a drive to continue to be involved later in life, and make a real difference.  The author than gives six great examples of how students have made a difference showing that there is real truth in the fact that new networking opportunities help students get involved in making a difference.

Q1: What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I believe this idea of more involvement for students is very important for teachers to understand.  Personally I think one of the main purposes or reasons behind teaching is for the advancement and development for our society.  If you can show students ways to be involved in the world and instill a passion to make a change in the world for what they care about you will create great leaders that will in-turn accomplish the purpose i discussed of advancing the world forward.  You will also help the students stay away from, for lack of a better word, wrong path helping them for the future.

Q2: How will the issue affect your relationship with your students, parents, colleagues, and/or principals?

I hope that it would help my relations with all these people.  Hopefully my students would enjoy the fact that i’m helping them pursue making change in issues they really care about.  Their parents seeing how much I care about the kids and their futures and turning them into contributing members in society will be very pleased of my teaching.  I don’t think it would hurt any of my relationships with my colleagues and hopefully seeing what i’m doing they may get involved in doing the same things, and that would give us much to work on together whether we teach similar subjects or not. 

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Blog #2

The mouse faces extinction as computer interaction evolves

The article The mouse faces extinction as computer interaction evolves describes how the ever changing ways to interact with computers is changing.  Specifically they look at how the computer mouse is becoming obsolete as more and more touch screen, voice recognition, and motion control technologies are added into our school systems.  The start by discussing how foreign the mouse has become to young students these days, many not even knowing what it is or finding it very slow and difficult to use.  The article then looks into the hard evidence of how iPad sales in schools now doubles any standard computer PC sales every quarter.  Next it recaps the history of the Mouse and how many are surprised it lasted as long as it did for the primary tool for exploring the computer.  Finally the article explore the reasons why newer systems of computer interaction have become so popular, and how they actually have benefits to how the brain makes connections and interactions.  

Q1:What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I believe that this is a very important topic to be discussed within the education system.  It opens up many more opportunities for education and different types of learning.  The increased interactivity can increase a students ability to make spacial reasoning and connections.  It also adds a little more excitement and fun to learning which can help to get students more focus and actively involved in learning.  Some school even show an increase in test scores as they’ve increased the amount of this new technology in the classroom.  So I believe it is essential for teachers to fully understand this new technology and how to best employ it in the teaching.

Q2:How will the issue help or hinder your teaching practice? Why?

I believe this will greatly help my teaching, probably even more so than many of the other technological advancements being made in this modern age.  Being a music educator there typically is not much use for technology with in the grade school music classroom.  However with the increase of touch screens, motion detection, and voice recognition I think there will be many more opportunities for myself as a music educator to utilize technology.  Motion detection could potential be really effective when first teaching string instrument the motions used while playing their instruments.  So this added technology in the classroom could only be a benefit to many teachers.

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Blog #1

Kinect in the Classroom

The article Kinect in the Classroom looks into the use of videos games within the classroom, specific the Xbox 360 Kinect system.  The Kinect is an interactive system that reads the physical motions of the user and uses those motions for game play.  The article explains that having students be more active, which they will be using the Kinect, they have increased blood flow to the brain which increases brain functions.  By using the Kinect physical activity can be directly integrated into the lesson instead of having to take breaks for physical activity.  The article also explains questions to ask oneself while considering the use of the Kinect during a lesson.  The also gives insight to the huge library of already made lessons and programs made by Microsoft for the Kinect specifically for the purpose of teaching.

Q1: How will the issue affect your relationship with your students, parents, colleagues, and/or principals?

I think this would most definitely increase the relationship with the students because what kid doesn’t enjoy video games.  So the excitement brought to the students by the use of video games would most likely make them more akin to cooperate when employing this type of lesson.  However depending on the personality of the colleague or principal they may look down at me for implementing something as unprofessional as video games within my lessons.  I could also easily see parents being upset saying that they’re not sending their kids to school to play video games.

Q2: How will the issue help or hinder your teaching practice? Why?

I do not see it personally impacting my teaching practice in any way being a music teacher.  This is because I do not see it likely that the Kinect could implement something that would be more effective than the students being on actual instruments.  However, if there were a lesson that was possible with the Kinect I could only imagine it may help my practice by adding a different element and variety to my lessons.

Q3: How does the news, issues, and trends relate to other issues or theories you’ve learned in this class or other classes?

I think this article very closely relates to the increase of technology within the classroom that has been discussed within other Education courses.  In my introduction to education class I took last semester we spent quite a long time talking about the different technological advances that were being used in the classroom.  The use of the Xbox is a prime example of the increases of technology in the classroom. 

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