Monday, April 25, 2011

Cybersafety Collaborative Site

Here is a link to our collaborative cybersafety website. I was responsible for the sections on cyberbullying and cyber predators.

Below is a snapshot of my cyberbullying page...


I used the software program 'Inspiration' to create this graphical representation of my brainstorming which assignments have helped me to fulfill the Nets-T standards.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Journal #10 (NETS-T 1-5)

Zanetis, J. (2010). The beginner’s guide to interactive virtual field trips. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(6), Retrieved from

This article gives an introduction to the concept of interactive virtual field trips, or VFT’s. These VFT’s allow classrooms to experience information from outside resources in a way that might otherwise be hard to obtain. Often times class field trips are limited to the immediate geographic area of a school, and also hindered by budget constraints. By taking a virutal field trip, you are not limited by geography, and there are plenty of options available at a low cost or even free. Students learning about marine science can take a virtual trip to Australia and the Great Barrier Reef, and interact with an actual biologist who is working at that location. The article explained two types of VFT’s, the first being asynchronous, meaning that the content is not live, but rather pre-recorded and loaded by the class at a time of their choosing. These can be podcasts of a museum director explaining the exhibits, to a interactive visual tour of an art gallery. The second type of VFT involves specific hardware that allows for the entire class to video conference with destination of their trip, and allows for video and audio interaction between both sides.

Question 1:
What is the classroom value of a virtual field trip?
I think the value of these virtual field trips is extremely high. I can remember just about every filed trip I went on during my school years, they were usually always enjoyable, and I came away with an appreciation for the subject that I didn’t have before. If you can duplicate this same feeling with these VFT’s, then it is certainly a resource that should be utilized. I remember always wanting to go on the field trips that went to Washington D.C. when I was in school, but had no way of affording it. A VFT would allow the class to view many of the same places I would have seen on the physical trip but in the classroom itself. To be able to connect the content with the student in such a way that it peaks their curiosity is a valuable tool in enhancing the learning experience.

Question 2:
How might you go about getting your school a hardware system to make VFT’s possible?
Like the article says, first I would see if the school already has the hardware to make this possible, if not, then I would check other schools within the district to see if sharing is an option. If these don’t work then you can go straight to the manufacturer to see if they offer assistance in obtaining one, either through them directly, or through state or federal grants. If all else fails, this would be the type of thing that I think students, parents, and faculty could get behind with a fundraising campaign. If you explain all the benefits of such a system, I would think that parents would want to help their children out by organizing a way to achieve the funds for such a purchase.

Journal #9 (NETS-T 1,2,3,5)

Waters, J.K. (2011). Teaching green. t|h|e journal, 38(4), Retrieved from

This article give a variety of online resources that would help to incorporate a “green” attitude into the classroom and curriculum. seems to be one of the most in depth resources, you can search for ideas by subject like social studies or math, or by topic like climate change or recycling. Another site that caught my eye has a heavy engineering angle to it, but I think students would really enjoy it because it is an online 3D game. But the students are on a world that is troubled by pollution and other issues, and they have to learn how to put up solar panels and other green technologies. Overall a lot of resources were given that can are aimed at a variety of grade levels.

Question 1:
Do you think it is important to adopt “green” lessons in the class?
I think it is very important to incorporate ideas on how to live in such ways as to help the environment. By teaching the students, hopefully starting at a young age, and continuing throughout their school years that the environment is something that is crucially important, and something that they can affect positively or negatively, they will grow up with better attitudes towards this issue than we did. I think it also helps that a lot of these lessons are created in such a way as to be fun, and not so much of a chore; this will help to make these “green” habits more of a natural thing to adopt rather than something a student would have to go out of their way to do, at least initially. As they grow up, hopefully they will see the benefit and then choose to go out of their way to adopt even more strict habits that are beneficial.

Question 2:
Can you use these resources beyond your own classroom?
Absolutely. I think it would be crucial for you to not only implement many of these lessons in your own classroom, but to also share them with your peers on campus. One class is able to make a difference on campus, but by sharing these ideas with the entire faculty, so as to expose all of the students to these ideas, you may be able to change the mindset on campus into adopting more “green” initiatives, and have everyone be excited about these changes. As is the case when any valuable teaching resource is discovered, it should be shared. Ideas like this are not meant to be contained.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Journal #8 (NETS-T 4, 5)

Bogacz, R., & Gordillo, M.G. (2011). Should schools be held responsible for cyberbullying?. Learning and Leading with Technology, 38(6), Retrieved from

This article explained the opposing viewpoints of two individuals on the issue of if schools should be held responsible for cyberbullying. The first author took the extreme viewpoint on one side that students need to be monitored so closely, and pretty much have no sense of privacy at all amongst their online peers. She explains that parents should have access to all of their children's online accounts so they can monitor what is said. She does also say however that teachers and administrators need to play a more active role in watching out for cases of cyberbullying on campus, and handle it quickly and effectively. The other author takes the other extreme point and says that schools are not responsible for cyberbullying, and that it is really an issue that stems out of a bad familial relationship at home. He says that schools should help to teach the parents how to handle this type of behavior, but that the schools themselves are not directly responsible.

Question 1:
Do you think parents should have access to all of their children’s online accounts?

I don’t think parents should have this much access. I think if the children are at a younger age, then their amount of online accounts should be limited already, and as they get older, they can be allowed to have more accounts like Facebook. I think it is up to the parents to instruct their children on proper Internet safety not only for themselves, but their friends as well. But giving their children a space in which they can be themselves is an important part of growing up, it just so happens that this space is turning into a digital one in these times.

Question 2:
Do I think schools should be held responsible for cyberbullying?

My stance lies somewhere in between the two authors of the article. I think teachers, administrators, and students need to be very vigilant in spotting issues of bullying, cyber or otherwise; and put an immediate stop to it to show that it will not be tolerated. I also think that parents do need to be educated on how to help this process at home. Many parents don’t realize that this is something they should be talking with their children about. I think the schools should take advantage of the times when they are interacting with parents to go over this issue with them. This issue is not limited to either an at home or at school environment, and the solution is not limited to one or the other either.