Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Everybody's Different...

During our class tonight, I really noticed how everyone can hear the same thing and come up with a completely different understanding of what they heard.  We all bring our own filters to the table.  People who were familiar with Learning Theory Families knew certain things and the rest of the class played catch up.  The ones who understood the way the product could look or what it should represent, didn't necessarily understand the content.  THANK GOODNESS we had each other.  We all come from different backgrounds and don't all have the same starting point.
  After examining some of the products, I knew we shouldn't have second-guessed our inclination to have some text in the product.  I felt like the link we created for the two families was not clear. Halfway through the exercise- I realized someone else had joined our team, so that was a surprise.  When I tried to load Ryan's PowerPoint, it fragged my macbook and I had to switch to another macbook. I was lucky I had another on hand.  Whew!   I may have to re-download the Office for Mac software because I think my PowerPoint is corrupted.  I have had trouble a few times with it and I do not have time for that in this class.  It just won't do if my macbook freezes up when I open a PowerPoint.  Half the time we are opening PowerPoints.

Our Class- as different as the two sides of the brain
 I was unaware that we could have two wimba rooms, though we can't be in both at the same time.  If we can I haven't figured our how to do it.  I truly enjoyed working with new people tonight. Even though we each brought different understanding to the communal table, I feel like we worked well as a team.  We LEARNED as a team, made decisions as a team, what emerged was our shared understanding or misunderstanding, which is an example of George Siemen's connectivism. Here is a link to a nice Connectivism glossary.

I love pot luck suppers because you never know what you are going to get, and there is always the potential to find a new dish to enjoy.  In the case of this class, the mixture of students who are familiar with each other and the students who are fresh to the group are going to make this an interesting and rewarding semester.  The scavenger hunt activity was fun and we were so careful to leave breadcrumbs.  Consequently, when we opened another group's hunt, we were laughing because they left just the bare bones for clues, and we still found what we needed to find.  It goes to show that one method can be just as right as another, or there is MORE than one way to skin a cat.  I wonder who came up with that saying? Who wanted to skin a cat anyway?

Sunday, January 23, 2011


"The tendency to approach problems at much too complex a level and fail, not because the tasks are difficult, but because they are too simple." (Elkind)

Trying not to over-think the tasks in front of me, hard to do. I couldn't even make breakfast happen right this morning, burned the wrong sausage- the plantains not ripe enough, not happy with rice cooker, hated the back-up breakfast choices, and over-thinking my schoolwork enough that I don't even feel confident enough to take the syllabus quiz. I should have moved past this stage during adolescence, but apparently, I am still stuck. Sorry for complaining, trying to move past it all. I would help if I chose ONE direction to concentrate on for more than five minutes. I keep going back and forth. You can tell because I am here blogging instead of working.  My process of learning stinks on a regular basis, and today it is just a mess.

Ok, after a little nap and some amazing macha refreshing me, I have returned to life, though I do not plan on cooking or baking anything until I am sure the curse has worn off. The syllabus quiz was too easy for all the stress I assigned it (I hate timed assessments), and I have looked at many examples of  Synectics.  I am taking it slow, I will get to the personal learning theory papers next after I am done looking at all the synectics examples.  I am grateful that they are all posted for our benefit in the course materials section.  It would be helpful to know which ones were the best- if there was a rating system so we know which are the absolute BEST examples.

 After looking at a few websites that showed "best practices"  I came to the conclusion that it is easy to slap a "best practices" label on anything.  As we have peer-reviewed articles available to us through the library or other internet sources- it would be helpful to have peer-reviewed websites for all teachers to access for any best practices claim. I know there was some talk about an alternate internet of only peer reviewed "stuff"  Forgot what it was called.  Waiting for it... we all know what works BEST for us or for our students, to have websites rated not by number of hits but by scholarship and experience would be amazing (Plus just think of all the jobs that would be created this way).

On another positive note, I  was on EBSCO and realized that some of the articles has associated mp3's what a boon to my tired eyes!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Learning Style

I had to decide what my learning style was, I think this is it.  I like a model, I am not very creative on my own, but I can find applications and tweaks ONCE I have a model.  Tonight's class was good, some fresh faces and lots of familiar faces as well.  Brian is mine, hopefully he and I have fun discovering Synectics, I have NO idea what that is.  Sounds fishy to me.
The syllabus is a furry, smelly beast right now that I have not yet made friends with. I know once we start rolling,  it will stop having eight heads and a thousand claws, but I also know it will be a lot of work in a very short period of time.  So enough of my jawing, I have to get back to work.  Honestly I do.  My readers need to ready themselves to read another smattering of weekly class posts interspersed with my real life, my non-academic life, which fits into like TWO hours of my day, when I should be sleeping, or showering or something extremely creative or fun.
My Learning Style
I have planned some fun in the next week and then officially my life is over until this class is behind me.  I will be done by Easter break, that is a blessing because I plan on visiting some friends far away. I posted a plea for an epal from Paris, France, I will have to see if I get one. I need one for this course, so if you know anyone, and DRINNE, I am sure YOU do, please let me know.

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's all who you know

Biggest Hit Day Ever

Thank you David Pogue, you brought my obscure blog over 5,000 hits in one day.  You tweeted my post to your over 1,328,181 followers, and I was famous for my 15 minutes (My brush with fame). You also have me tweeting again after a little hiatus.  I have forgotten how much information and how many cool people I met on twitter. New items I learned from twitter this week: how long the lines were are SeaworldDelicious is up for sale, and people get real sappy around the holidays. Mr. Pogue, since you were so generous with me I will re-post your latest book here in hopes that anyone reading this will run out and support your latest endeavor. 
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Colonial America

Colonial America Wonderful resources for teachers with smartboards or one-to one laptops focusing on Colonial America studies.