Monday, March 26, 2012

The Power of Words

One thing that I absolutely love about books is that the only interaction is with text.  The text has the power to create images and emotions.  Written words, simply words on a page, can have you up in arms or in tears.  They have the ability to move you.  They can persuade you, keep you open minded and empathetic, or can support a believe and provide foundation.
When I become a teacher, I want to start everyday by writing a quote on the board.  Not necessarily focus on it, but hope that the students will read it and ask about it.  I've written a few of my favorites down and even have some from memory.  Perhaps I'll make them relate to the lesson, but I don't think it would be necessary.
Everything from Aldo Leopold's "Education, I fear, is learning to see one thing by going blind to another," or Emerson's "Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense" or even "I've gone to look for myself. If I get back before I return, keep me here.- (I don't know who said/wrote it)"
  I was just thinking that we all have works, texts, and words that have impacted us, and many times a quote has that power.  It may be another way to get the students interested in the power of words.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What we're up against...

I don't know why I read articles like this, or like this, or like this.  I try to remain optimistic about teaching aspects, but realistically... its becoming more and more difficult to see a silver lining of the dark clouds.  Budget cuts, ALWAYS! I'm not against accountability, but is this fair?  Testing is EVERYTHING!  How are we to teach successfully?  Does that score mean everything?
  Even before I planned on being a teacher, I understood how important teachers are, and how important (and constitutionally right) public education is.  I fail to understand why this is happening all around. 
I know one does not become a teacher for the money.  I know one should not become a teacher for vacations.  Teachers main driving points are to make an influence and help students reach a potential that the students did not even know they possess.  It is because of that that I hold on hope.

I wish I had known about Zotero earlier in my ed career

I should start by saying Mozilla Firefox is the ideal for this Zotero program.  This is a great way to keep online research organized, while also allowing you to keep bookmarks, citation information, highlights, notes, and many other features on a page.  I'm still playing with and learning about Zotero, but I wish I would have found this earlier for all the research papers I have had to write.  It is free and I think this is a great program for students.
We have discussed many sites that allow for bookmarking, highlighting, organizing, and collaborating, but I find Zotero to be superior to them.  Like I said though, I installed it onto my computer at the beginning of the semester, so I'm still learning its features.  One of which, unlike the ones discussed in class, is that you can open your browser offline and still have access to the webpages that you have added into Zotero and edit the page with your highlights and notes etc..

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Podcasting Project

As odd as it may seem, I actually enjoyed making the podcast.  I've had Audacity on my computer, and I thought it was pretty easy to use.  I was able to edit music, place where we wanted to record, edit separate tracks, add effects... it was easy and fun.  Even the host-site we used, podbean, was easy to figure out and looked pretty good.  Just wish Jake and I weren't both battling colds and sore-throats for the recording, but still turned out alright.