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(013) article response pt.2 | Teachers' Views on Technology in the Classroom November 30, 2010 / 02:17

Most of the ideas featured in the videos have already been brought up and discussed from other students in class. I also think half of the ideas aren't worth pursuing because we already have a netbook system similar to the iPad and iTouch systems that were shown in the videos.  Though iPads cost more, it would be a better device to use than the iTouch as it does the same functions but provides a larger screen to work on. But overall I don't feel that having iPads would enrich learning because it is an efficient way of having information, you are still learning the same material you would learn from a textbook. iPads also provide software and web tools that the netbooks allow. 

The American School of Bombay's laptop program showed an innovative way of learning. They used Skpe and Google Docs to share ideas with people from other countries. Students can do something similar to learn about different cultures. This idea would not be hard to accomplish since we already have our netbooks. The use of technology furthers an idea suggested earlier by Jenny in her Enriching Technology post. Her idea was to use the netbooks in classes to communicate over Skype with specialists in a certain field. By communicating with other people outside of our school, students get a more in depth look into a certain profession/topic, or they can relate their views and lives to students from other countries.


(012) article response pt.1 November 28, 2010 / 21:05

The issues addressed in this article are very recent and does depict the reality of teenagers and their attachment to technology.

Vishal's lifestyle and use of technology is very similar to my own. Whenever he's on the computer Facebook and Youtube are open at the same time as he edits his videos. I share the same habits. Every day I usually, almost always, go straight to my room and turn on my laptop when I come home after school. When I open my web browser Facebook instantly pops up as my homepage. Even though I don’t use it very often, I always keep a tab dedicated to Facebook among the many other tabs along my tabs bar. I always have a bunch of tabs in one window, including Facebook and other social networking sites that I find it hard to keep away from. My time online definitely distracts me from my school work, and that may result in less time to complete my work, which may not allow me to put my full effort into my work, but I wouldn’t say computers are my sole distraction. If I didn’t have a computer/internet I would preoccupy my time with something else, like reading a book.
Like Vishal, I put effort and time into things that I’m interested in. My marks aren’t as bad as his cause I do care about getting good marks.

Alan Eaton’s sentiment that technology has led “balkanization of their focus and duration of stamina” is partly accurate. Technology has definitely made it easier for people to do multiple tasks at the same time and to complete such tasks without much effort. Thus making it difficult to focus and people to come accustomed to staying in one spot. However I mainly agree with Mr.Reilly’s ‘fight fire with fire’ tactic – to drive the focus of students by having technology in classrooms. I think this does help with connecting with students and getting them engaged to the lesson.

But I also find Ms.Blondel’s evaluation of technology in the school so also be true as well. Sometimes I prefer reading from a book than watching videos on Youtube, and when it comes to writing notes I mostly prefer writing them out on paper.  In Vinshal’s case he mostly focuses on making and editing film, and dismisses school work as unnecessary for his future. But there are other aspects that he should learn - not just thinking about the skill. There is more to learning that can’t be done with technology. We are living in an age where technology is rapidly advancing, and for students to be learning with technology may not be a bad thing.That’s why I think there should be a balance with the technology in classes.


(011) Interview Summary November 4, 2010 / 14:53

We interviewed Ms. Mancini last Wednesday on what she wanted us to do for her class. Her class is currently working on making documentaries adn film trailers, and she wanted to use the netbooks for her class to edit the footage. She told us about the kind of footage they filmed and what kind of problems would arise such as volume settings. Our group decided we would come in during one of the classes and give a tutorial to the class on how to use Windows Movie Maker. We discussed what we would teach to the class from a step by step lesson on how to use Movie Maker to tips and strategies on editing videos.

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(010) Placement Update November 2, 2010 / 14:21

1) Last Wednesday we were able to interview Ms.Mancini on what she wanted us to do. She told us that her class is working on making documentaries, and she wants to use the netbooks for her class to edit the footage. It was decided that our group would come in during one of the classes and give a tutorial to the class. We discussed the possiblity of us making a sample video for us to us in the tutorial. We recorded the video and made an outline of what we are going to teach to her class.

2) This week Ms. Mancini has booked us to help teach her first period class about Windows Movie Maker from Tuesday to Thursday. During one of those periods we are to give a tutorial to her class on how to use Windows Movie Maker. After which we will also start work on making website for her.

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(009) Placement October 27, 2010 / 08:15

1. Topics I would be best at working on:
  •Designing and developing websites
  •Teaching video creation and editing techniques using Movie Maker
I have previous experience editing websites and videos. I am willing to help teachers and I think I would do well in explaining the material. Both of these topics also allow me to use my creativity skills.

Topics that are not a good fit for me:
  •Finding online resources for teachers
I don't think I would enjoy sitting in front of the computer most of the time looking up resources.

Creativity: 8/10
I am fairly creative but it takes me a while to think of new ideas.
Responsibility - 9/10
I always take responsibly for my work.
Web design - 9/10
As I said before, I have experience designing websites. I am familiar with HTML and (some) CSS.
Developing action plans - 7/10
I can organize plans pretty well but they're not very detailed. Sometimes I would ask one of my peers to help me fix this.
Teaching other people - 8/10
If I know the subject well enough I can teach it though sometimes I have difficulty explaining things.
Meeting deadlines - 8/10
I try to meet all my deadlines but there are a few cases where I have handed in something late.

3. Not really. I am able take initiative if the situation requires it, but I'm not usually comfortable leading a group.

4. I would prefer to work with either a partner or in a team.

5. I would be comfortable working in English, Biology and Media courses. I'm not interested in Geography or History and have never taken a Business course.

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(008) Enriching Technology Conclusion October 26, 2010 / 21:17

Jenny and David both thought that while my idea was good, I should revise it in order to make it more realistic. I myself was not sure whether I should make adjustments or change it completely. After looking through their suggestions I've decided that with some alterations this idea might be worth pursuing.

As Jenny and David both suggested, instead of having a livefeed of the lessons, teachers can record important lessons and then upload them to their website for all of their students to access. Classes would need to have access to a video camera for this, or they could use the netbook webcam to record. I think science, mathematics and social science courses would be the best classes to approach this idea with.


(007) Enriching Technology October 25, 2010 / 14:53

Idea: Livefeed lessons for absent students

Subject Area: All subjects

Details: Students that are absent from can sit through a lesson from home through a livefeed of their class lessons. Classes can setup a webcam and livefeed in their classrooms through programs such as skype.

Technology Needed: Netbook/computer, Webcam, Livefeed Program

○ Don't have to worry about missing classes
○ Students can catch up on work easily
○ Innovative method of learning

○ Not very realistic
○ Technical difficultes might arise and it will take time to set up
○ Difficult for all the classes of all the absents students to set up the livefeed every day

What needs to Happen to Make the Idea Work - Who is Responsible
1. Accquire webcams and the appropriate technology
2. Train teachers on how to set up webcam & livefeed
3. Inform students on how to access class lessons from home


(006) Futureshop October 7, 2010 / 19:12

This contest will may be harder for us to win because our school is not as in need of technology as other schools might be. But there are ways we can show how a computer lab makeover would really help our school. Though we do have a number of computers, most of them are either really slow or do not work anymore. There are many students in our school but not enough computers to accommodate them all. We can also mention that our school has the MaCS program, which is partly computer based. Having access to more technology would really benefit the program.

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(005) Staples / 08:06

The Staples Recycle for Education contest requires one student from each school to submit a 500 word essay on their school's involvement in environmentally friendly activities. I think we have a chance of winning in this contest as there are a number of clubs/activities in our school devoted to helping preserve the environment. We can interview and gather information from members of these clubs. SWITCH is one club in particular is unique to our school. They have worked on setting up solar panels on the roof, and have gained much recognition from the media and the TDSB. Other clubs that have helped our environment are Gardening Club, Environmental Club and Envirothon.

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(004) project 2 choices September 27, 2010 / 19:39

1. In Depth Software Development
2. Web 2.0 Tools
3. Netbook Cart Team

I ranked Software development above the others because, I prefer to use my creativity than do hands on work. I'm also interested in helping and teaching others about the different software. I also wouldn't mind working with Web 2.0 Tools because I am and still being creative and helpful, and learning how to use a new tool.
Though I like working with groups of people I'm not very experienced in handling computer hardware, troubleshooting, or making things, therefore I wouldn't be very useful in the group.The Network Cart Team is very hands-on work and I don't feel I would be able to work to the best of my abilities.