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Monday, September 24, 2007

Connections everywhere

Its amazing how much I can reference either this class directly, or something I found out about because of this class. Today, I ended up discussing a blog post about NCLB which I'd read with a classmate before our Calculus class. I thought it was pretty funny. Also, a lot of what got mentioned in my Technology in Education class could be related to this class. I guess it makes sense.
So much stuff is going on, getting a laptop and learning all the new technology and things that go with it. It was very interesting hearing about everyone's opinions on technology in education and what they would like changed, or at least their experiences with it.
The other day I had another classmate mention that an assignment was to 'disconnect' for a day. The idea is to not use the computer, cell phone, ipods, etc. for a whole day (when it can be avoided). I find it interesting because she mentioned that to get the full effect, she was going to do it on a day when she wasn't usually using computers for class or work. Its to really get a feel for how much we rely on technology. I had a related incident where my fiance noticed a gentleman walking down the street in a state of undress while my fiance was on the bus. No one else noticed it and he commented that they all had cellphones or ipods in use. Too much technology is bad for the observation skills, useful though it may be.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I have finally joined the queue in getting a laptop. I am playing around with it, getting familiarized with it and I shall have to get it set up for UNI's wireless tomorrow so I can start using it. Funnily enough, it was Dr. Z's son, Chris, who sold me the laptop. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blog to look at.

I found the Math Mojo Chronicles while searching for blogs related to my theme. My theme is based off technological applications for math and jobs requiring mathematical backgrounds. In short, the application of twenty first century skills in relation to mathematics. The Math Mojo Chronicles discusses mathematics in many aspects, what lead me to it was the blog titled getting kids to love mathematics. Its interesting and I hope it will give me many good ideas for how to integrate technology in mathematics along with links to other information regarding the same.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So, I just read the two blogs 2 c worth and Stager to go. I was very intrigued by the comparison to Starbucks and Education drawn by Stager. This is an incredibly valid point, especially as I look at it. You know why?
I am a Barnes and Noble Cafe barista. Barnes and Noble Cafes proudly serve...Starbucks coffee. I experience all these things that were being talked about in that blog. Certain things have changed to improve speed of service and to increase the number of dollars pulled in each day. As a Mathematics Education major I can also see how changing things to work around things such as NCLB have compromised the (if you will) espresso creation and barista/customer rapport of schools that is education and teacher/student relationship. By being forced to teach to the test teachers are loosing some of that valuable bonding and might as well be robots or digital images on a computer screen.
2 Cents worth was interesting in that I've seen how many people will spout things as facts and when I ask them where they heard it, the answer often is 'The Internet'. I despair of the future if everything is just googled and then stated, not researched, not looked at carefully to see if the information or informer is a valid source. We were always told in school when we began to use the internet to look for certain things to make sure the source is valid. I hope they continue to do so, because in the future, yes our children will have been using computers for most of their lives, but they will not inherently know how to check for valid sources.
As an educator these two blogs really hit home. Its not often I go on such things resembling tirades. :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

So, I was watching the PPT Presentation by Bebell, and I couldn't help but keep thinking, "this would be really useful for my other technology class." The one to one ratio vs shared laptops is a great way to illustrate how learning with technology has improved since computers first came into the classroom. Its great to see how students do better when they get to use their own computers and are more likely to spend time on the computer for school work than other things if they have their own. Its an amazing thing to see.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Issues with having a computer that is 'just enough'

So, I have previously downloaded Second Life onto my computer, but due to the basic graphics card I have on it, I've not been able to get it to run well. The images don't show up well and its very slow to run. Not quite sure what to do about it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Star Trekkin

Talking about digital natives and digital immigrants reminds me of one of the Star Trek movie (I think its the fourth one) with the whales where the crew of the Enterprise go back in time to get a pair of humpback whales. Its the scene where they're trying to get the plastic for the tank and Scotty starts talking to the computer and the guy hands him the mouse, so he starts talking into it. Here's the quote from :
[faced with a 20th century computer]
Scotty: Computer. Computer?
[Bones hands him a mouse and he speaks into it]
Scotty: Hello, computer.
Dr. Nichols: Just use the keyboard.
Scotty: Keyboard. How quaint.
I think its an amusing commentary on how sometimes technology gets too advanced like the kid who doesn't know how to dial a rotary phone. And mind you, this movie was put into theaters in 1986. A year after I was born. It still applies today.


I found this article on robots this afternoon. Its rather interesting how in the past robots were portrayed in science fiction as being humanoid or at least mimicking living organisms. There was Data from Star Trek, C3PO and R2D2 from Star Wars (among others), not to mention Transformers, K9 from Doctor Who (there's that reference again), Johnny 5 from Short Circuit and many others that featured in various programs and movies. But now we see robots in forms such as large arms or other parts of the body that are used in factories to mass produce products as well as the robots constructed for deep sea and space explorations. There are even robot toys like robopup and robokitty. Not to mention the cleaning robots that are being marketed now. Many people thought robots that were self directing would never exist. Maybe we won't have robots like Data (more appropriately named androids), but who knows? Technology will never cease to astound me.

Doctor Who?

I have found it rather odd how over half the time, either when reading for class or having a discussion in class, I've been able to find a connection to that wonderful show, Doctor Who. When searching for emerging technology, I pondered whether or not the sonic screwdriver would ever come to be. And then, in the second week's discussion about how to share information, I was reminded of the episode "The Long Game." It has an interesting way to share news and information. For those of you who are not fans of the Doctor, I apologize. I fear I may have many more mentions of him in the future.