Thursday, November 30, 2006

Blogging Theme #2

Hey everyone! I just checked out the cool cat teacher blog, and read and checked it out. I read a particularly interesting article entitled 11 Steps to online parental supervision of your child. This went through many steps that you as a teacher or a parent can do to ensure that your child is not abusing the internet. I found that this article closely goes with the Blogging theme #1 that has to do with online safety. So, with this blog one could say i am killing one bird with two stones.
I found it very interesting to read some of these steps to ensure that your child is safe on the internet. Some I thought were kind of far fetched and illogical. I strongly believe that it is imperative that a parent knows what their child is doing on the internet, but a parent also has to have some trust with their children. From my personal experiences, my mom always was checking what we were up to on the internet. She would come into the computer room when we were on just to talk about the importance of not talking to strangers, not giving out personal information, etc. I remember getting super annoyed with it simply because common sense was enough to tell me not to do these things. Sometimes i think we underestimate the common sense of a child. Children know not to do a lot of these things. Sure, some children are exceptions but do we really need to do this to every child, hover behind them watching every move they make on the internet when all they truly want to do is visit a good website? I do however believe that there is a need for some filteration. Things like myspace or even hi5 are great, but i do often wonder the valadity of it. I have a hi5 account and have recieved many "invitations" to be peoples friends. These people are usually men talking about how "beautiful" you are or somethign bizarre like that. Children know not to accept this kind of stuff! Hi5 can be good as long as you can only allow YOUR friends to view it, it can be a great place to see pictures, blog and do other fun stuff.
Overall, i think the key to this article pertaining to online safety is to communicate with your children. Give them some constraints on the computer and make sure they are aware of some of the dangers involved in online safety. If a parent sets up a positive communication in the begginning of a childs internet experiences it will be easier to help them understand later.

catch ya on the flipside

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

End approaching fast

Wow, that is the only word that comes to mind when i think about how fast this semester went by. It seems like yesterday was my last day of work and all the hustle bustle of moving back to the city. Oh well, now it is near the end of the semester and one takes time to think about their accomplishments, where they have failed and everything else. It is also a time to realize everything you have planned and "promised" over the past semester has come up a little bit short. All those big schemes changed and none of them happened. For example, I planned on the beginning of the semester that i would keep more organized and would not procrastinate. But once again, failed to do that! Oh well..then i think about my friends, the ones in Regina and the ones not. It is sad that we have not honored our plans to hang out. I lived in Rez at College West last year and made really good friends, i promised i'd be back so much to visit, turns out i have been there once! ONCE in 3 months..sad.. Also told my old roomate that we would have to hang out this semester, yup i've only sat down with her twice! Then i think about all the plans to travel to see friends. I certainly haven't been to Carlyle to visit a friend..only been to saskatoon once! Oh well i think that is just how things work. However, when i sit back and think about what i haven't done, it makes me realize just how much i HAVE done as well. I've defintely become better friends with some people here in Regina, i have had tons of fun outside of school and heck even inside! I have also even come to terms with some people who were said to be my "enemies" I think there comes a time in life when everyone thinks about where they are in life, and it is important to be constantly evaluating their progress. Anways, thats just my random thought of the night...

Catch ya on the flip side!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Telecollaborative Projects (tech task #5)

The Teddy Bear Project

So I did some searching and I found a very interesting telecollaborative project to be used in a classroom. When I was in about grade 3, my cousin did a project where they got a frog and sent it by mail to people. It was almost like a chain mail, but instead an object. Along with this frog came things like a care package, how to care for the frog as well as a diary. We had to take the frog everywhere for a week, then write about it before sending it on to someone totally different. The frog that I recieved from my cousin had just come from another one of her cousins in the United States. It was very interesting to see al the different thigngs it had done. The telecollaborative project I found is the "high tech" version of this! So how it would work is a classroom from somewhere across the world would send a teddy bear or another soft toy by air mail. When the class in say Regina recieved it, they would write an email at least once a week telling everyone what their bear had done. This gives a child from someplace far away to see first hand what life in a place like Regina, Saskatchewan would be. Children would also take pictures if they wanted of their community and landscape perhaps with the bear in it, also giving the children a good idea of what it is like. This would be great not only to learn things about geography but also about a whoel different culture! It would be great for any age group and every classroom would be excited to recieve something from another class from the other side of the world! A project such as this, shows how snail mail really is disapearing and the world of technology is entering! To check out this particular telecollaborative project just click the link at the top!

Catch ya on the flip side! Crystal

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tech Task #6

Arthur's 2nd Grade

We checked out Arthur's 2nd grade program for both windows and Mac. This program allows children to learn how to read, spell, synonyms as well as compound words. It also teaches math skills such as adding, measurement and telling time. This program also teaches students to be creative through arts and story writing. Besides this it teaches categorizing, as well as many special features such as progress tracking. The program has different levels for every different level of learning abilities. It was easy to install and fairly easy to use once in the program. The only problem we ran into was the accurateness that a child has to use while using the mouse and matching. It is made especially for children from ages 6 to 8 and in grade 2 level. The tasks to be completed on this program are geared towards this age group. The program is very engaging and the animations are very good and familiar to students. It is very organized and easy for a child to follow. It is set up through each of Arthur’s friend’s parents. They all have different jobs that they try such as accounting, where children learn math. The price of this program is very comparable to other educational programs such as this and runs for about $24.93. Overall, we would recommend this program in the classroom as it is very engaging and challenging for children to not only learn parts of the curriculum but as well as learning computer skills.

Crystal Ward, Sheri Missal, Krysta Wishlow