Monday, April 20, 2009

Awesome Teaching Tool...Flip Video Camera

I recently borrowed a Flip Video Camera from my brother to check out the quality and ease of use. I heard they were very reliable and compact, but I was concerned about the quality (video and audio). The three weeks I borrowed it, I am amazed with the quality. With all the trips I have planned this summer, I need something small. The camera is very compact, it will actually fit into your back pocket. I have a small camera case that my digital camera goes in and they both fit into it. It will definitely come in handy going through the airport. The previous blog on Competition has a video the flip camera shot. You can purchase the camera from anywhere between $89-$179. They also now have HD, but you'll spend over $200 for those models. In the near future, I hope to have some video-blogs posted using this camera. My mind has been going crazy lately thinking about all the things I can use the flip video camera in my classroom with. Writing prompts, video podcasts, short videos, short commercials, the list goes on and on.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where's the competition?

To start, I may be a little off base here. I'm not really sure and I am NOT complaining...just curious. Now that I've added that disclaimer, here we go. I took my four year old son and five year old daughter to a community easter egg hunt. They had it at the convention center with other events. There were hundreds of people in attendance. The egg hunt was divided into age categories 3-4, 5-7, 8-10year olds. As the first hunt was about to start, the announcer said that each child was limited to five eggs. He then said that if your child does not receive five eggs, they just need to tell someone and they would be sure everyone received five eggs. What that tells me is, a kid can stand around and pick his nose, make no effort, and still get the same amount of eggs as a kid running his heart out, picking up the five eggs as fast as he can. I can remember hunting eggs when I was about 8. They turned you loose and it was every kid for himself. You were not guaranteed any certain number. If you ran into the bigger kids, sometimes they took your eggs, sometimes you got pushed down. My question is: what are we teaching our kids if they work hard and do more and receive the same reward as the kid who does nothing? It doesn't sound fair to me, but what is fair?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What Role? Experiencing a lack of FOCUS...

As my second year of teaching comes to an end (7 weeks left), my eyes have continued to be opened with the challenges that plague education. We deal with lack of funding, lack of parental and administrative support, just to name a few. There are many people out their advocating for change in education, former Illinois Teacher of the Year Joe Fatheree and former California Teacher of the year Alan Sitomer to name two. At the end of year two, I’m beginning to question my role in education reform. Where should my focus be? A teacher can be pulled into so many directions. I want to be the most effective I can be, first and foremost in the classroom, but I also want to shape the field of education for the future. As I was reading today, I came across this quote by Robert Kennedy, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” I do not want to be the person who sees the problem and does nothing. People can sit around and complain all day, but change only occurs with action. I want to be the person who dreams and develops the vision and does the unimaginable…I’m just needing some help with focus.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Is globalization nothing new?

People have been sharing goods, services, and ideas for many years. It is much easier today, given the technology available to us. In Cohen and Kennedy's Global Sociology, they discuss major historic events and its relation to globalization. Since 1945, the United States has become the dominant power militarily and economically. My question is, if this idea of globalization is nothing new, why do a lot of people struggle with accepting it?