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Journaling Out Loud

Journaling Out Loud

Well, I’ve never really been one of those people that post when they go to the grocery store or the gym, but I’m going to try and keep up with what’s going on in my world here for a while for those interested in the productive part of it.

On the 17th through the 20th of June, I was in San Antonio at a conference. So I’ll be back two weeks on Thursday. Before I went to the conference I knew I was going to make a trip to Haiti in July. Wow, have so many things connected in so many strange ways since then!

First, while at the conference, I attended a demonstration of a 2D cutter. It’s one of those fluffy scrap booking things that can eat up all of your time. Now I’m not into scrap booking, but this was about using the 2D cutter in education. It is a great tool for making the 3D connection for students. (Spatial reasoning is an area that is typically low on testing scores.) So I thought “That will be perfect to take to Haiti and show the kids there and it will be fun.” It’s that teacher thing. You just can’t go somewhere that kids don’t have education opportunities without wanting to do something educational and fun!

So I started talking about the supplies and different ideas that were used for some of the other projects by my cohort members. 2D shapes made into houses, windmills, etc. They aren’t the easiest to find though! Luckily I figured out how to use the trace feature!

One thing has led to another. If you are unaware, Haiti has a sad educational situation. Even though there have been many positive efforts post quake, not all of them have been, lets say, effective. So my brain automatically goes from what can I do this one trip to what can I do on a larger scale? Shortly after that, I was emailing with my professor about options and grants and what can possibly benefit the orphanage I will be visiting in Haiti. She mentioned a laptop initiative. I sent an email and had a reply right back. I didn’t really understand the benefit of what I was told so that ended there. I accidentally sent a blank email to the address again the next day when I was forwarding information to my sister in law and the guy from Laptops.org called me to see what I needed. Adam Holt and I talked for about an hour about their organization and all of the questions I had as I try to find ways to help education in Haiti.

After some more emails, I set up a Basecamp.com site on a trial basis to allow us to all communicate about what would help for the orphanage I was going to and what would help on a larger scale with what they were already working on. You see, Kids Unleashed had just the month before started an initiative to get laptops to kids in Haiti. Amazing connection, huh?

So, here I am not even two weeks later with connections to some of the greatest collection of volunteers to make mountains move!

Of course, I haven’t even made my first trip to Haiti yet but I can see myself going again. To help get laptops and the “cloudless server” running. (Adam called it the cloud offline, I think.) I can see my dissertation evolving from something from this adventure. I had hoped that I could find a grant that could also be used to help others and this may end up being that situation.

I’ll let you know what happens!

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Christmas Medley

Christmas Medley

Well, I couldn’t decide which one I liked best so I put them all together!

Christmas Medley

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CECS 6511 Blog Post

CECS 6511 Blog Post

This week is nearing the end. Something I ran across a statement that I think says it all this week. Harold Wenglinsky, 1998, stated that computers are not a cure all but when used properly, they serve as a useful tool to improve education. (Paraphrased.)

I think education is just now really starting to use the technology tools properly after years of trial and error. New tools with so many capabilities sometimes take a while to determine what all can be done with them. Unfortunately, in education we often have new tools that we are too lazy to figure out! Technology has such potential to create an innovative, fun way to learn. Educators can’t hide their head in the sand and ignore them. We have to use our skills, learn new skills, and do the job we are meant to do!

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Week 10 Reflections (Discussion Posting)

Week 10 Reflections (Discussion Posting)

• How useful are phenomenology and linguistic analysis to educational technology research?

Phenomenology is clearly a one sided opinion. With appropriate discourse and agreement to openly elaborate and discuss participant opinions, phenomenology can be a stepping stone to a new understanding of information or content. If research is to be authentic, it should include a variety of opinions in the decision making process.

From my viewpoint, linguistic analysis is very important in research. Clear understanding can only be obtained if the information is explained on as basic a level as possible as not to allow for misunderstandings. Of course, as I am typing that I’m thinking that there should be an easier way for me to state these thoughts!
• What do our studies contribute? Where do we sit in the field?

Our studies contribute more input based on the variety of our experiences. Think about it. In an ideal situation you would know every possible aspect of experience a person has had with product A. When the data is summarized, you can’t possibly be wrong. But when there are so many variables (experiences) that are unknown, you are only providing a sampling of findings.

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CECS 6010 Week 10 Post-Blog

CECS 6010 Week 10 Post-Blog

My interpretation of the Prawat-Floden article is that an open mind is required to achieve true learning. Some of our other articles have referenced discourse and learning. The only way to consider new answers and ideas is to question the ones you have. While math concepts may not be arguable, other areas are.

Like minded people can create some really awesome content for education when they have the opportunity to work together, discuss, disagree, and then find agreement on content.

Tonight’s snack brought to you by:

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CECS 6010 Week Ten Pre-Blog

CECS 6010 Week Ten Pre-Blog

Winch’s point about social behavior involving acceptance and the following of rules got my attention this week. I feel that this is an accurate reflection. As you observe students in school, you can tell how important “fitting in” is to them. For the most part people act this way. Sometimes based on age or upbringing, individuals are found that don’t follow the crowd and do what they wish.

Kuhn reminds me of a politician. Of course, it is election time!

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CECS 6010 Week 9 Pre-Blog

CECS 6010 Week 9 Pre-Blog

So Habarmas is all about modernity, Derrida is thought to be post modern yet does not talk about modern or postmodern. The two have experiences who made them who they are. This makes me think about cloning. I was once involved in discussion about the use or benefit of cloning. Yes, you can make a replica of a being but that being will never be the same as the original. We are who we are because of our experiences and only because of those. Without all of the same memories and events, we are never the same.

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CECS 6010 Blog Post Week 8

CECS 6010 Blog Post Week 8

So this week has been about Alexander and Habarmas Chapter 4.

People are what they experience. Pretty scary when you consider the differences in countries and how they are “educated”. By that I mean the Nazi education or the education that some receive that make them think it is alright to kill others based on what they have been taught to believe is a good thing. It seems hard to hold some actions against people when they really think they are doing right. The whole “someone has control and decides what is best for you” is very scary. Makes me think of The Matrix and there’s another Angelina Joli movie where one guy is deciding who has to die. I can’t think of the name right now. But, he actually started deciding himself instead of trusting the loom. Well, if you know the movie, you’ll know what I mean. All this said, I agree with Chomsky about challenging who determines what should be learned. All the more reason we should be our own teachers and decide what we need to learn ourselves.

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