Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Final Post

Well the time we have been waiting for is finally here, the end of this program!

Taking in to account everything I have experienced through this course, it did take me a long time to figure out what I like and what I do not like. I really tried to hear both sides of any argument about new technology. I summarized my journey thought this course via a digital time line I created using Time Toast (www.timetoast.com). I was a neat experience to use something like this, it is very easy to use and it was the perfect fit to create the summative project. Time Toast does have some draw backs like: you have a word limit for each event you create, videos can be a pain to embed, and the site crashes many times (it does do a good job at saving your work). This program is free and you are able to publish your work after you are done for the world to see. This program could be used by students to create anything. I think my growth through the course can also be summed up by saying without it I would have never created something like this. I would have rather made something like a paper or slideshow. Hats off to you mike and all other presenters, you turned me.
Here is my summative project:

To all of you, I wish you the very best in you careers and I am sure you will all make great teachers. To quote Tom Skinner "good luck to ya!"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Copyright and Education

Instead of writing about our speaker (I missed him) last week, I will write about copyright and education.
I would like to start off by saying that I think copyright law have a purpose in today's society, they do provide some good. The real issue I have with copyright issue is in education and teaching students.

I do not think we as teachers should have the added worry about violating copyright laws when we teach our students. When we show our students video's or photos to try to help them learn, the last thing we think about is violating copyright laws, we care about the learning of our students. When I was in high school there was an English teacher who flat out refused to show movies because of copyright issues. Many schools today do not worry about copyright laws and just break them because the chances of getting caught are slim. All it takes however: is one person who is "passionate" about upholding those laws to make things difficult, but you will have to act as a professional and work with that person. We have most likely met one of those types of people, maybe during your placements.

What ever your view are on the subject, either for or against it will be apart of our teacher lives and we will have to deal with it. Let me ask this question: If you show a movie in to your class are you going to show the one that costs $25-35 or show the same movie that costs $200 so you adhere to the copyright law??

I know there is way more to this issue, this is just my opinion/rant.
Only 2 more days left!!!! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cool Apps

Here are two of my favourite education apps that are on my Ipod touch:

(1) ChemiCal: It a chemistry wonder it has: a periodic table with all of the parts, can figure out molar mass, dilution calculations, and it can find out the molarity of solutions. It can be useful in a chemistry class, but only if students can do the calculation on their own.

(2) Planets: Basically our galaxy in your pocket. It can tell you where each of the planets and starts are based on you location. It can be useful in any science classroom, more so in grade 9 science.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Online Course

I looked at the online course Applied Math 30S as I will be teaching it latter this mouth and have no idea for what I am in stored for.

The first thing I notice is the organization, it is very well done. The units are easy to find and each unit contains vast amounts of information. The unit I am teaching is Data management and Analysis, so I had a look. It provided me with information that is easy to follow and understand. It even offers me with questions and solutions, as well as some worksheets for the students. Doing a quick glance all of the other units offer the same sort of thing, which is great.  

Another interesting thing this online course has is software. You can use this software to solve questions that are presented within the units. You do have to download them, so I am not sure if
the school will let you.

Overall this is a really great course/resource, it can provide a teacher who knows very little about applied math some comfort. I do plan to use this course during my placement.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


The presentations that occurred this week were really well done. It was nice to see the different approaches taken.

All groups did a really good job presenting their topics, some of the things that were presented, I have never heard off, so I learned some new things. The creativity was also really nice to see. All of the groups could have easily taken at least 30 min to present because the topics were so broad, but everyone told us what we need to know.

Good Job everyone, the end of classes is near!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Can I do Now?

This week Darren Kuropatwa came into to our class and gave an excellent presentation. I do wish that all teachers would use the three principles of learning because I think that it is one of the best methods I have seen through out this program. I also think that all teachers need to be on the same page when it comes to how students learn. 

Having the students do some of the work is also of great interest to me, its not that I am lazy, it is just that students can learn far more from each other than they could with me. I would also work with my students, as a team. My classroom would not be a strictly student centered class room, but students will be able to provide input.

Two things that I keep hearing from our presenters: (1) blocking sites and (2) cell phones and/or "iPods" in the classroom. I think that these two points are major resistors for the technology movement into the classrooms. What are some of your thoughts?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A really good Chemistry and Physics blog.


This is an excellent blog for those of us that teach chemistry and/or physics. It is run by Tammy Skinner and she is a high school science teacher.
Why I followed: It is really tricky to find a good, up to date blog about chemistry and physics. Tammy gives so good ideas and resources that I or anyone could use in their classes. If you are unfamiliar with a concept, she provides excellent notes so you can learn it your self.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


After recently watching the video that Dean Shareski made it got me thinking would I be willing to share my own resources that I created. This is not a simple question for me to answer. Considering how much time and effort I put into those resources; is it worth me sharing to other people how did not put in an equal amount of time and effort. Maybe I am just not use to doing that sort of thing yet. I do not fell the need to charge people money for my resources, it just does not seem right to me.

One particular thing that bothers me is when teachers are too lazy to make things for them selves. I have seen teacher surf the internet hoping they can find a resource that they can use, all because they do not have the time, desirer, and/or motivation to do so.

Dead does make a good point, your resources should benefit all students; If my resources are able to benefit students else where, then I did a good job, which could be "payment" enough.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Unintended Benefits

This week we had George Couros Skype into our class to give an overview on what his school does. It sounds like his students and teachers take social media very seriously at his school.

One thing I found interesting was the fact at his school the students get introduced to technology at a very young age. One thing that I have seen from the past is that if your start students on something new on older aged students (grades 7-12) it is MUCH harder to get them "hooked". It is good to see a school trying and succeeding using technology and social media and make me wonder why more schools are not trying it as well.

In terms of blocking certain sites, I think that schools should ease up on it a tad. Through out this course we have learned to try out new things, but one thing that seems to stand in our way is schools that block certain sites. Do not get me wrong there are some things on the net that just should be blocked, but some of the things they block are ridiculous.

Maybe one day we can stop trying to "bubble wrap" and shield students from the "dangers" of the internet, all it takes is some guidance and teaching. Students are not stupid, they can learn.    

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Web 2.0 and Online Tools

This week we learned some useful information about web 2.0. In terms of education I see a lot of potential about using some of these tools in my classes. The information shared and gained through these tools will benefit the students. Students will gain skills through social media, document sharing, find information that will help them if they are stuck, and interact with these different tools to showcase their work. This all seems to connect nicely from what we have seen in the previous weeks and I really look forward to see how this fits in with the rest of the course.

It will be really interesting to see if web 3.0 takes off, I think it has, but we shall see. What are some of your thoughts?

Sorry my post was late, I got caught up with Green Bay winning the Super Bowl...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Is the Internet Making us Smarter or Dumber?

After reading both articles, I can not really come to a conclusion. Both articles make a strong case and try to get you to agree with each. Long before the internet, research was a much longer process; one had to look up information in books and other physical sources. Now a days if you need to know something, just plug it into Google and you will have your answer in milliseconds. I personally believe that the internet is making us both smart and stupid at the same time.

For making us smarter, the internet is a powerful research tool, everyone researches information on the internet. If people need to know a simple fact they will use the internet to find the answer. The biggest issue I have with the internet is that, people will believe anything they see on the internet. If they see something on the net, it must be true. This is where I think that the internet is making us dumber. People are getting lazy when it comes to finding information, I think it has to do with the idea of time, they find their answer so quickly, but do not stop to think if the information is right or wrong.

I also believe that people take the net for granted, in other words they rely on it far too much. If the net stopped working for a week, people would not know what to do. Imagine if you did not have the internet for a week, what would you do?   

Monday, February 7, 2011

Animito Production

Here is the video I made; it showcases my recent trip to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. The girl in the photos is none other than my crazy fiancée, Chelsey. She put up with a lot of my shenanigans during our trip....


Sunday, January 30, 2011

The ICT World and Education

I really like the idea of using some of Dr. Gatin's suggestions in the classroom. Wikis, blogs, and Moodle are some of my favorites. Students can post new ideas, questions they have, question each other, and ask for help. How many times do you all remember struggling in school asking "I wish someone could help me with this?" These sorts of things could help prevent this from occurring.    

Doing some online activities could also be beneficial for students (ie homework, quizzes/tests, movies, etc.). One area of concern would be ensuring if all students have access to a computers after school hours. 

One thing that I am not too on is the virtual world thing; I just do not care for that sort of thing. I will explore it some more. I am not a person who enjoys that style, even with video games; I hate the interacting/role playing games. What were some of your thoughts about Second Life??

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Social Media

I have not seen too many teachers use social media around this area, none of my CTs did during my placements. I thought that John gave a good talk, he a really good reasons on why to use social media in the classroom. I see potential for it in my classes. The only issue I would have with it is putting in time to make it useful, I have seen many blogs that have just stopped with the last post being in 2009. I did find a directory for all science and math Edublogs: 
It does have some useful things.

 What are your thoughts of using social media in your classes?

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I though that this talk provided some useful information. I have used WBC's for resources in the past for some of my classes. Howard gave a good summary on how to use and request certain courses. What I would like to know if any one else has used them, What did you think of the courses? What were some pros and cons?
I thought that John's talk was really interesting and informative, I did not know that teachers communicated in that way.  I think communication and sharing between teachers is very important. I was also interesting to see that teachers can use social networking sites in a positive way. Do you think that all school will jump on board for this sort of thing?