Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harris: Chapter 2 Replacement p.15-40

Chapter 2 looks at how Harris Structures her web telecoloboration projects. She use three principles:

(1) interpersonal exchange, (2) information collection and analysis, and (3) problem solving. (Harris, 2004)

Interpersonal Exchange Consists of:
(a) Keypals - The use of e-mail, chat, bulletin boards to communicate information. I wonder if blogs are included in this?
(b) Global Classrooms - A group-to-group exchange of information.
(c) Electronic Appearance - A person who speaks to the children in real-time or through a delay channel. I wonder what is the difference between this and the videos? More interactivity?
(d) Telementoring - A student actually signs up to be buddy with a mentor from a university or a field to work on together studying.
(e) Ask an Expert - This reminds me a lot of Ask DrMath.com from Drexel University.
(f) Impersonators - This is where a person, impersonates a famous person online to interact with the students.

Information Collection and Analysis

(a) Information Exchanges
(b) Database Creation
(c) Electronic Publishing
(d) Telefield Trips
(e) Pooled Data Analysis

Problem Solving

(a) Information Searches
(b) Peer Feedback Activities
(c) Parallel Problem Solving
(d) Sequential Creations
(e) Simulations

I am very curious to know how much time and structure is needed to do these activities? Also, the actual implementation of putting theory to practice.

Bruce - Credibility on the Web, 2001

Bruce presents philosophical answers of what gets determine to be credible on the internet. He presents the problem of the internet being an exponentially growing database of just about anything (this includes the things that have little if no meaning at all) He presents a few philosophies into the sifting through that data:

(1) Exegetical
(2) Dogmatic

"There are two major problems with conceiving of web searches as simply looking up information. The first is the practical one that we are often frustrated. The answers may be "out there," but if we search inappropriately we get useless data back from the search. Interesting questions require some effort ahead of time to be formulated well. Moreover, good answers typically develop out of interaction with rich material and not as immediate prepared texts. All the general rules for searching suffer from the fact that the method of search depends on the problem being investigated..."(Bruce, 2001)

Bruce is talking about maybe a free wielding search of a topic. For example, running a search on Bird will give you hits of what you meant and probably what you did not meant.

"This leads us to the second problem with conceiving of web searches as simply looking up information, that it obscures the web's potential importance for education or other life activities. The true value of the web lie in the way it can open up our questions. We ask one thing, but the web leads us to ask more questions and to become aware of how much we do not know. A recognition of these problems leads us to move from a conception of searching the web to find a piece of information to one in which a search is embedded in how we think: How can searching become not only "looking up," but truly productive inquiry?" (Bruce, 2001)

Bruce questions the true value of really just "looking up" a term. It leads us just to more questions. Here is question that I have of Bruce, is that what learning really all about? An absolute truth.

Another, question I may propose to Bruce would be is the learning of knowledge: Is it a Science or an Art?

New York Times Article: 2/13/2005: Teaching Students to Swim in the Online Sea

I really do not have much text to quote and comment about here because I understand the purpose of David having us read this article. There is a severe issue of the control of the information that we receive on the internet. Worse off, people are mislead into thinking that they can control what is useful and what is not useful for their purposes. The World Wide Web is billed as, "The Information Superhighway". I think people in this society takes this far too seriously.

Harris: Chapter 1 Replacement

Harris start off by saying make a list of all the things that I can do on the internet:

(1) Chat
(2) Create a personal website
(3) Write e-mail messages
(4) Read my news
(5) Surf to my favorite websites
(6) Download various media files
(7) Play games
(8) Type on this blog!

Harris explains in this article that there needs to be a structure of the use of "tools" of technology in order to maximize learning. He highly suggest that instructors move to a creative apporoach of learning, rather than a recycle version of the information.

"I can hear what some of you are thinking now: "I donít have time or space in my curriculum to be an artisan!" It's true that as the years pass and our schools and communities change, preparation time for teachers dwindles, while demands for additions to our curricula increase in number and complexity. So, I won't be suggesting that you "reinvent the wheel" or add anything more to your already-crowded program. Instead, I will propose the use of some "wetware tools," or thinking apparatus, that will help you to engage in the important design processes that we know are essential to powerful, regular use of new tools in our classrooms. These thinking tools are created in such a way that they can assist your design work in a time-efficient, energy-conserving manner." (Harris, 1998)

Harris challenges the current use of technology in the classroom (esp. internet.)
  • Will this use of the Internet enable students to do something that they COULDN'T do before?
  • Will this use of the Internet enable students to do something that they COULD do before, but better?
If the honest answer to both of these questions is "no," there is no reason to use Internet tools or resources in the way that we are considering. Our time, effort, and resources would be better used in another way. In any particular instance, if using traditional tools and approaches can allow students to learn just as well or better than using new tools and approaches, it doesnít make sense to use new tools in traditional ways. It isn't "worth it" to do so, for students or for teachers." (Harris, 1998)

Then he presents one of his lessons in the form of a word activity that she does with her students in which students create new words by combining them to form a meaning.

Now...how might educators typically classify that activity? As a Language Arts activity? A vocabulary activity? A middle-level activity? Letís study this example quite differently, so that you can understand what an activity's structure is. Let's "extract" both the content and the grade level from our description of the activity, and see whatís left. In this "vocabulary sniglets" example, students individually used units of meaning as building blocks in combinatorial action, then deduced definitions from the playfully-formed concatenations according to what they knew about the meanings of the individual units, and their placements with reference to each other. (Can you see how this description of the activity depicts only what what the students do, without reference to the content area or level of learning occurring?)" (Harris, 1998)

"How might the structure described above be used in a
different content area, and at a different instructional level?" (Harris, 1998)

Harris finally provides examples and a general framework a teacher can use to create this structure of learning.

Shade: Protecting the Kids? Debates Over Internet Content

Shade presents in interesting look about how protection of children over the internet is a much more complicated issue than one may lead. Shade performs the study of multiple shareholders and comes out with some depression results. She provides a few suggestions for the readers to ponder below:

"Suggestions for improving coverage of the Internet as it relates to children and families
include the following. Coverage should be extended to include more critical analysis of
the role of Internet technology in the everyday lives of children and young people.
Newspapers should more critically assess the commercialization of Web content that is
directed towards children. Privacy issues should be examined more critically, especially
online marketing practices that secure personal information on children. More youth,
educators, and public interest groups should be consulted on stories about the Internet
and children. " (Shade, 2002)

Shade is wondering why pornography is receiving the bulk of the atttention when they are other things to worry about (Shade documents this about a Neo-Nazi website targeted for children in their recruitment practices).

"Why, then, has pornography received the bulk of attention as the content area that
most threatens children and young people? Could its obvious visible nature (rather
than the medium that carries it) explain why debates rage amongst and between free
speech advocates, feminists, and the Christian right? Lessig (1999) points out that in
real space (contrasted to cyberspace), pornography is extensively regulated–through
legislation, law, and social norms. Social norms, for example, include age restrictions
related to the purchase of magazines and videos, and venders must position
pornographic magazines so that children and youth cannot easily access them. In other
words, as Lessig argues, an architecture regulates access to pornography.
The Internet is different, however, as its technical architecture allows for anonymity
(users can create multiple identities), deception (users can lie about their ages, race,
ethnicity, and gender), and bypassing (information can be sent through multiple
channels, in multiple formats, and via different routes). An architecture that zones
speech (in this case, pornography) could demand a “Kids-ID” or an “Adults-ID.”
Browser profiles or the establishment of digital certification are other zoning solutions
(Lessig, pp. 176-177), but in both instances, the adult bears the burden to prove that
he or she is validated to receive “adult speech.” (Shade, 2002)

Shade brings up a very ineteresting point that could be discussed in class: What should be the balance between child protection and freedom of expression.

Bruce - Education Online: Learning Anywhere, Any Time

Mr. Bruce presents an interesting essay about how we should start thinking about change due to the fact that everybody is going online:

"We have set the center of learning in the classroom, just as surely as the astronomers following Ptolemy placed the center of the solar system within the earth. Today, a heretical group proposes to abolish that placement -- to deny the centrality of both the school building and the school calendar -- and along the way the textbook and perhaps the teacher, too. These 20th-century Copernicans want to allow the earth to move. They see learning, even fully accredited, formal, certificate-driven learning, to be possible any time and anywhere." (Bruce, 1999)

He proclaims of a breaking of walls of tradition, for learning to be more open. However, research on the successfulness of distance learning is very limited(?). Also, what defines what should be standard in the distance learning environment? You leave a place of big responsibility from the teacher over to the child when doing this environment. Most importantly if Bruce is implying of a change, he needs to realize that it is a process not something that is going to occur overnight.

"Economic forces and new technologies may together bring about a Copernican revolution in the nature of formal education, and there is ample evidence of change already." (Bruce, 1999)

Sadly, Bruce does not go into detail about this evidence of change, could be a topic of discussion in class tomorrow.

"The role of the teacher will change in dramatic ways. The lecture, already an endangered species in many contexts on pedagogical grounds, may have to be rethought entirely given the emerging technology for high-speed, low-cost delivery of video, or even virtual reality, on demand." (Bruce, 1999)

In the next few paragraphs, Bruce tries to explain that lecture of the teacher needs to be rethought due to increase of technology. With this lecture how much control does the teacher have with this influx of information.

"Schools and universities will undergo fundamental reorganizations. The lines between schools, community colleges, technical colleges, universities, museums, nature centers, and workplaces are becoming fuzzy. As more courses are offered online, students will find it easier to continue full-time work while studying. There will be less need for the local college in each community or region. How many institutions of higher learning will survive? One-half of those in operation today? One-tenth? Will students even continue to study through public institutions, or will they turn to corporations or new organizations for coursework?" (Bruce, 1999)

Is Bruce siding with the God of Economic Utility here? Are we just going to just do away with education all together just because the information is just a click away? Bruce is seeing into the future here and needs to realize that there has to be a gateway to this information and not just to sit and take in the buzz.

"Schools agree to use the computer lab 4 hours a day and let students see the advertisements that pay for the equipment. Moreover, they agree to let ZapMe! collect aggregate data on student web use and viewing preferences." (Bruce, 1999)

Here Bruce is talking about a company who donates technological items on the grounds of the above statement. How far will we go in order to have access to the right tools of information? Are we as teachers accepting of the fact what they could subject our children into.

A few word about curriculum: Bruce needs to realize that having a curriculum with this change is also a process in itself. In order for a curriculum to be created all stakeholders must be in for the writing. The more the merrier and better the curriculum. Curriculum, like change cannot be just written overnight.


Hello everybody!

If you come here you can sneak a peek at my reading notes for my class:

ET690 Telecommunications in the Classroom!

I hope you enjoy your read. Please give me a comment if you feel the need necessary!