Saturday, February 03, 2007


Last week I started a wiki for my colleagues, and I just sent out invitations to join this past Thursday night. I think that I invited about twelve people. I have posed the question/topic for contributions for our next staff meeting, and two staff members have contributed. On Monday, I am planning to ask the staff who I missed for invitations, and I am going to ask a couple of them for feedback. I'm not sure how this will work; hopefully they will use this venue to bring up items and try to collaboratively solve them. Time will tell.

Protecting Children From Technology?

Educators and parents spend a tremondous amount of time tyring to protect their children from evils, including the Internet. Should we continually and completely block and protect kids from the Internet?

Children need to be exposed to technology and not protected from it. Last week I was discussing the use of blogs with my grade seven computer info class. I was explaining to them that I was contemplating incorporating the use of blogs into our class, but that I was a little concerned about privacy and purpose. Later when the students had some free time to check their student email and Blackboard, one of the students showed me his friend’s blog. At the same time a student beside me, showed me his piczo website. Both of these sites were filled with pictures, names, comments… I was pleased and concerned at the same time. I spend a tremendous amount of time checking our media/Internet forms to ensure that kids have permission to have their pics on our school website. After viewing these two student sites, I noticed one particular picture of a student. This particular student’s parents have emphatically stated on their Internet form that they do not want any pictures of their child on the Net. Is it my responsibility to ensure that our students are not violating the privacy of other people? What should I do now? Most teachers have no understanding of blogs, piczos,.. I can’t possible police what kids are putting on the Net at home. I did spend quite some time talking to both students and then the entire class about placing things on the Internet. I think that now, I should get the kids to create blogs and/or sites and teach them about privacy and permission, even though there are no hard fast rules. It is crucial for us to take the lead. If most educators don’t understand what kids can do on the net, I can assume that there are just as many, or more parents, who are unaware.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Art of Podcasting

To date, I have created two blogs, one wiki, two podcasts and several post contributions. The first time that I created a podcast was very easy, of couse this was after spending a few hours downloading software, Audacity and Lame... I recorded the story "The White Canoe" for my grade 9 ELA class; they seemed to enjoy this. The second time I created a podcast, another story for my grade 9 ELA class, "How Nanbush Created the World". A couple of students listened to this story today, but most of them will listen to it tomorrow. This podcast took a very long time to create. I'm not sure what the problem was, but I tried 3-4 times before it would upload. I don't believe that I did anything different, but I'm not sure. The entire process took about two hours, which is that technical issue. I will create a few more over the next week. I have been contemplating other podcast uses, and I think that I might try a few different things.

I created a wiki, in which I have asked my staff to contribute ideas/issues for staff meetings. I haven't asked them this yet, and I am a bit hesitant. Some staff members seem to be a little impatient, and OK, perhaps slightly annoyed with my excitement when it comes to technology and the vast opportunities I imagine... Who can blame them? I don't understand them, but they should try to appreciate my efforts and enthusiasm, the same way that I appreciate and try to understand their excitement over drawing, basketball or a new mig welder. In case, you haven't interpreted my voice, I am trying to be funny, which I know I'm really not. In all honesty, I really don't "get" the importance of a mig welder or a lathe or whatever else is in the shop. What I do understand is the love that my shop teacher has for his students and teaching; he truly is inspiring, just like the rest of my staff. Anyway, I do plan on asking them to provide some input into my wiki to try it out. I just have to wait for the right time:)