Open Your Eyes

Ok so this is my last blog post and I really wanna knock this out with a BANG! It has been a pretty weird experience, doing this whole blog thing, especially since I have a hard time every knowing what to say when I put things on the internet (my struggle with Twitter) and doing this blog was no different but easier then Twitter for sure. Pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I can write basically as much as I want. So I figured a major weakness that I have when it comes to writing is being able to say what I want to say with as little words as possible. Well doing this Pecha Kucha assignment helped me with since I had to explain the point of a picture under 20 SECONDS. So lets talk about the Pecha Kucha. . .

A Walk Through A Slide
So our Prezi dealt with the same topic that my group tried to incorporate into our blog (evident in the title) the effect that images play on society based off of use of Web 2.0 and everything that comes with it. So my five slides dealt with the effect that images can have on little girls, and more specifically the images the pertain to being beautiful. So I chose this image of Barbie, the most beloved toy of almost every little girl in the world, including me. I have yet to throw out any of my barbies, they are packed away in the attic. I had barbie everything growing up, from the mansion to the town house, multiply cars, airplane, beach house, and enough clothes to cloth an army. Barbie to me growing up was one of my favorite toys, so of course I had some thoughts on why my hair, skin, and body didn’t necessarily look like hers or why they were hardly any black barbies on the shelves. So this plays directly into our topic because this is a toy that is everywhere from her own website, music videos, stores, and she even has her own Facebook page. So this toy is what is considered beautiful and we are throwing this in little girls face, who are unselfconsciously being taught that looks matter. So from this, why wouldn’t little girls want to look like Barbie, she is the definition of beauty that society has put out into the world right?
The NY Daily News did an article “Artist recreates Barbie with real-life proportions” which I quoted the measurements of Barbie’s waist versus the average 19 year olds waist size. This slide digs both on the emotional and logically side of people who viewed my slide, really hitting home for the viewers. All of the pictures make an impact but this leaves the viewers with the question of, if this regular shaped Barbie would actually sell? So can some of the damage that has been done, be changed?

“Who looks like this? Her tiny waist to long legs, the face of the little girl industry has been corrupting the views of girls for years. Parents have thought twice when giving toy this to their baby girls. She has the unrealistic measurements of 36-18-33 whereas the average 19 year olds is 32-31-33.”

My other group members talked about the effect that images have on women as a whole, the using of technology to develop this false sense of beauty, while I focus on the effect on the younger generations. This photo makes it clear in the direction that I was taking the focus of our project. But since nothing is perfect, in my narrative I may have focused more on the size and how it is impossible to be that size. I could have mention how Barbie’s life would be if she was real.


What I Learned About My Blog Topic
In this class I have done all kinds of readings that have further helped me understand this thing called Web 2.0 and some of things that go along with it. So trying to keep with the theme I decided to research some ways the children now see learning in the classroom, which went right along with what I was learning in my Educational Technology class. In that class I was learning how to use the programs, and the articles talked about the use within the classroom and their effects. So in the article “Web 2.0 in the Classroom” by Bray and Alden, they discuss these new ways for children to be taught with programs that I have heard before but now they are being broken down into ways that the programs can be used. So this directly affected me since I am working to become a kindergarten teacher. These programs will help me, better help my students.

Then I found out that there are websites out there that more interactive then the online coloring books or these dressing games. The web has developed in a way that anyone can use it for anything. This is changing the way we look at the internet, especially when it is made to look so pretty. The We Feel Fine website accomplished that with their different “movements” to express the information that was being feed to the user. So if this was a shock to me, I can only imagine what a shock it was for people back in the mid and late 1990’s when Kelly discusses the way people saw the internet. If they could see what it has become now, who know if they would believe it simply because of the responses that some people said about the internet like, “ in late 1994, Time magazine explained why the Internet would never go mainstream: “It was not designed for doing commerce, and it does not gracefully accommodate new arrivals.” Newsweek put the doubts more bluntly in a February 1995 headline: “THE INTERNET? BAH!” The article was written by astrophysicist and Net maven Cliff Stoll, who captured the prevailing skepticism of virtual communities and online shopping with one word: ‘baloney.’” (We Are the Web) Before I never even considered that there would be nay-sayers to the idea of the internet, but this reminded me that with change, there will always be those who don’t support it.


Teachers on Twitter

So I was completely new to Twitter when this assignment was thrown in my lap, and before now I still didn’t have a desire to be on Twitter. Even now I am still on the fence about the whole Twitter scene, and the idea of following someone and being followed. Yes I know the same thing happens on Instagram, but it took me a long time to finally get one of those too. I am sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I will feel like I have nothing to say, but with Instagram you are just putting up pictures mostly, that’s easier then words, for me.

So for the assignment I had to “live tweet” while I was reading or watching the assigned materials, and I will admit, sometimes I would forget and have read and then remember I have to tweet something. Then I would go through this over thought out process of me thinking of what I wanted to tweet about the article or video. So my worry of not having anything to say turned into a worry of not saying the right thing. So I would go through all types of questions in my head like, “What if someone wrote something really similar to this? What if it isn’t interesting enough? What if no one else picked up on this? What if I forget to hashtag the author? (I always did) What if what I pick to write is boring and no one will read it? What if I never get retweeted, does that mean I am really bad at this? Why am I stressing over what I write, then I remember I do the same thing with picking captions on Instagram.” Then I finally get to the point where I know I have to put something down anything, and sometimes I like what I tweet and sometimes I don’t.

So doing the tweets put a little extra pressure or stress on me but, it did help me think more about what I was reading and relate it back to myself a lot easier. It sort of made my mind go in different directions surround the topic I was reading about, making me ask questions. So on December 5th I tweeted, “will there ever be hyperlinks in online movies? #tfwf13” and I then imagined myself watching a movie on my computer and they characters are throwing all of these facts at me about history and conspiracy of the Catholic Church like in ”Angels and Demons.” If a hyperlink popped up on the screen I could research the topic a little easier, with the movie providing me with the information they used and their sources.

This also let me express how I was feeling as I was reading the article, documenting my automatic thoughts to the words or images before me. In some of the materials given I just couldn’t help but tweet the first thing that came to my mind like, “my love for SCOOBY DOO is apart of … identity! #tfwf13” (Dec 3rd), “I play grand theft auto so apparently I am capabable of running a gang, kill people, and steal cars in real life. . . #tfwf13” (Dec 3rd), So this guy needs a longer attention span if he can’t talk with his gf without opening up a hundred other tabs #tfwf13 #noah.” (Nov 26) I couldn’t help those tweets, it was my automatic reactions.

Ok so I had to follow someone in my professional field, and she is a K-8 tech teacher for 15 years and has written 9 books. I really liked her twitter name, @AskATechTeacher and her post were all about providing her followers with all different types of information about Web 2.0 and using technology in the classroom. Most of her tweets had urls to different websites that she would use in her classroom or just extra information for using the new technology. The things she would tweet about are like “How Has the Internet Changed Education ”, “#26: Create a Storybook…  #firstgrade #kidpix #kindergarten #PowerPoint #secondgrade #story-writing #storybook” and even “How to Integrate Web 2.0 Tools into the Classroom – ‘Web 2.0’ is a term familiar to all teachers. Stated… .“ All of her tweets were similar in style with just different topics. She is very straight forward with her tweets, getting straight to the point about her newest topic. She discussed things that could be done in different classrooms, and when she discussed kindergarten I really paid attention. Her followers and following have about a thousand difference. She is following a lot of other educators and technology based twitter accounts.

I enjoy her cool tweets about technology that can be used in the classroom, and I think anyone who is teaching or planning to teach should check out her Twitter!

What the Children Will See.

So I am coming to terms with the fact that I do not know technology as well as I thought I was, the word “Digital Native” obliviously isn’t what I am , I am more of in the middle. I know I have a lot to learn, and I know what I learn can be used in the classroom. So I decided to look up ways that Web 2.0 in the classroom and first I was surprised that in the search engine after the word ‘the” a lot of different options popped up like, workplace, library, and future. But for today I only looked at one about in the classroom. Looking up charts about web 2.0 in the classroom showed me that people are collaborating this with Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains. Each learning domain has different web 2.0 applications that can help with that particle domain.

What ways can it be used in the classroom? So how can this be used in the classroom? Does it need to be a part of a child’s learning space? How can this benefit a student when in the classroom? So today I’m going to focus on the first question:

What ways can it be used in the classroom?         

So I found the article ‘Web 2.0 in the Classroom” by Barbara Bray and Melissa Alden. They have things on here that I have never heard of before. The article is divided into sections that these new web based programs can help in brainstorming, reading and writing, presentations, and collaborating. So I take two and discuss two in another post.

In the section about Brainstorming they discuss a program called Poll Everywhere. So I went to the website and I was shocked. The teacher can assign a question or topic and the students can text their answers in, creating a poll for the entire class to see. The teacher can look at the process of changing percentages with the information that the students give back. Reading and exploring the website, all types of teaching ideas popped into my head, but kindergarteners really won’t be able to use this, unless I put in the information for which defeats the purpose.

But another application was Wordle, which was a part of the Reading and Writing Section and also in the remembering spectrum of bloom’s taxonomy. This program makes word clouds of different color themes and shapes. This program takes any piece of writing and takes out the most used words from the piece. They give a good example that can be used in even my kindergarten classroom, “Try using Wordle to organize your data instead of a graph. Start one Wordle where you ask your students to come up and put in their favorite color or food. When they are all done, generate the cloud to see the bigger words which are the most popular colors or food.” So now I can work on new vocabulary words such as bigger, smaller, more fewer, and even most common.

Technology is really changing the ways we can teach, and I can’t wait to be able to put all of these new programs to good use!