Hello All,

Welcome to my blog area where I will be sharing about different things that I see and live around the world.  I am hoping to discover more about the technological world through this class and hope to experience new ways of implementing this technology into my courses in the future.

The title of the article I chose is The Use of Alternative Social Networking Sites in Higher Educational Settings: A Case Study of the E-Learning Benefits of Ning in Education.  The main reason for my choice in this article is due to the fact of it grasping my attention.  I was reading through some of the article titles and this article included a title that applies well to me as well as my career and current situation as a university student.  Upon reading this article, I noticed a general trend throughout most of its content.  The primary discussion in the article was between social networking sites (SNSs) and course management systems (CMS).  Social networking sites are being perceived to not only be of a higher popularity throughout the world, but additionally, social networking sites are helping improve students’ learning.  Course management systems holds some positives, but as compared in this article, CMSs do not carry as many benefits as SNSs.  As one of the sentences stated, “course management systems (CMS), such as Blackboard and Moodle, tend to be very focused and lack the personal touch and networking capacity that SNSs offer”.  It is time to take a look at the facts, students today want a personal touch in their education and life.  Furthermore, with SNSs involving larger networking capacities, students are more able to interact with others as well as experience peer teaching in a whole new manner from a wider range of people.  One of the SNSs that has recently been allowed for many educators is Ning.  Ning is an SNS that allows for student collaboration, learning, and peer involvement; but at the same time it lowers the corporate garbage, advertisements, and lack of privacy that are found in commercial SNSs similar to Facebook and MySpace.  From conducted research, these authors discovered the effectiveness and importance of Ning, a positive professional SNS.  Their findings include, “seventy percent of students indicated that they agree or strongly agree that Ning allows for more frequent collaboration with peers and colleagues within a course as compared to a face-to-face course, while 82% agreed that it aids communication outside of the classroom.”  Overall, educators can observe that SNSs are good for teaching, and Ning is one of the most effective types of SNS.                 

The article that I found and decided to pursue more of is The Relationship Between Epistemological Beliefs and Self-regulated Learning Skills in the Online Course Environment.  This title jumped out at me while I was scrolling through articles and I decided to read it to discover more about epistemological beliefs and self-regulated learning in online courses.  First, the definition of epistemology found on www.merriamwebster.com is “the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity.”  It is always a great action to take to discover and expand your vocabulary.  Moving forward, the article went into detail about self-regulated learning verses epistemological beliefs in online learning.  One of the results of this study led to the realization of the importance of self-regulated learning skills in online learning.  From this point in the article, they researched further to discover more of what makes self-regulated learning skills so important for online courses.  The results of their research concluded that self-regulated learning skills need and cooperate with epistemological beliefs in the online course environment.  Stated simply, self-regulated learning and epistemological beliefs rely on each other.  Lastly, the article even discussed the high probability that self-regulated learning skills is the mediator between epistemological beliefs and academic achievement.  Students who take online courses need self-regulated learning skills and with this, they will more successfully earn academic achievements.

The Slideshare presentation that I chose from the large list is  “Classroom 2.0: The Best Places to Learn Online”.  The author of this presentation is Dr. Chrystal.  The reason I chose this presentation is due to several facts.  The first detail that I looked into is the newness of the presentation.  Technology is changing and moving forward daily, the more recent the presentation, the more accurate is its current representation.  The second factor that I kept in mind during my search for a presentation was the amount of times it has been viewed.  If the presentation has not been viewed many times, then most likely it is not worth viewing unless it was just posted in the past week.  Using my deciding factors, I found this presentation and discovered more about Web 2.0, online learning, and resources.  I was amazed as the presentation included pages of possible resources for different types of situations and courses.  Such resources and websites included Princeton, YouTube, Explore, Ted, and numerous more.  I hope to take some more time to discover other resources that I passed over.  Throughout this presentation, the screen shots were clear, Dr. Chrystal was enthusiastic, and the slide pages were relevant to current websites and information throughout the world.  Overall, I really enjoyed going through this presentation and plan to put more time into exploring the resources that were shown to me on each of the pages.

A person may easily notice that the field of technology is moving quicker than ever.  Each day, maybe even each hour, a new development in technology occurs.  With quick additions and innovations each day in technology, teachers must be well prepared to help students understand that there are certain things that are safe and unsafe to use online.  I am not just discussing the topics of dangerous and harmful websites, but I am furthermore talking about students of all ages using material from the vast world of websites.  Everyday students are asked in at least one of their classrooms to develop a small or large presentation and or a small or large project that involves the use of technology.  Meaning, each day a student may copy a picture, quote, story, lesson and or something else from the Internet which is not a product of their making.  Though social media is moving faster than our legal departments, students still need to understand that laws are laws and if they did not create a certain piece of their project, then they need to know to properly cite the person and or company who did create it.  I definitely think using other people’s ideas is healthy for students as long as they use other ideas to reinforce and or show the other side of their main idea.  Students, and people in general, however, should not just take premade material and create a project/report using the same information.  This is where teachers step in and must educate students about the importance and reasoning behind giving people credit for their work.  I think this is part of the main idea in chapter 7 of Web 2.0 new tools, new schools, to teach and persuade teachers to share copyright and property right laws with people, starting with their own students. 

In addition to teachers conversing with students about legal requirements and ethical behavior online, teachers should share this information with parents and get the parents involved in the students understanding of the online laws and ethical situations.  Some teachers may be able to even use a parent as a guest speaker to share about proper safe and secure actions when using other people’s work and borrowing other’s ideas from a website.  As the teacher informs and involves the parents/guardians, the more the students will learn and be fully aware of crediting the information that they received from someone else.  Overall, the world of websites is growing rapidly and if a person does not receive the rights from the administrator and or person who formed the ideas, then the person should cite the administrator and or maker in their work.  Lastly, if in doubt, one should always follow legal requirements and cite the original founder of the material to keep safe and secure online.

             There is a question that arises as one stops and observes different school districts around the nation and even around the world.  Do we provide equal opportunities for all the different grade levels and for the different type of students to learn efficiently?  Some educators, administrators, and school boards would state that this is impossible while others would say that it is possible, but the road to reach this equal opportunities will include much time to change, funding for supporting the change, and cooperation among the teachers. 

            Recently, I was teaching at the Liberty Center School district and as I was talking to some of the students, they were informing me that it was not right that younger students were getting to use numerous different types of technology and the older students did not get the luxury.  An example they gave is that the younger students get to use iPads and iPods while the older students get in trouble if they use them in class.  Whether students with disabilities, students with English as their second language, young students, or older students; equity needs to be established as similar as possible amongst the grade levels and students.  It is true that technology has really proven to be largely impacting for students with disabilities and ESL students.  This is a great fact as the book Web 2.0 new tools, new schools described, but if the teachers put too much attention to certain students, then inclusion will not be occurring, but the student roles of seclusion and inclusion will reverse.  In similar thought, if technology has proven to be productively impacting to students with disabilities and ESL students, will technology not also show impact for the rest of the students? 

            The design to bridge the digital gap with Web 2.0 tools could fall if teachers and education systems do not monitor their resource allocation.  I feel that the students I talked to at Liberty Schools would be thrilled that the younger grades are using higher technology if they too could use it to learn.  Furthermore, all these upper grade levels need to know the reasoning behind the technology use.  As an education system, it is important for teachers to be logical with the higher grades and show evidence behind the thought process to mentor them for higher thinking.  To learn about further information, tools, and resources for students with disabilities and or families that have little English speaking experience, check out the websites below. 

 The last thought I would like to share is the question found in chapter 8 of Web 2.0 new tools, new schools: “Can assessment be authentic and simultaneously prepare students to succeed in the standardized testing that they will face?  Think about it, respond, and we will see what needs to be discussed about this topic. 

An arising debate in the education field is the effectiveness of the classroom towards efficient student learning.  Questions such as “Is the classroom worth my child’s time?” or “Does the classroom educate my child or harm their desire to learn?” flow around the communication channels on a weekly basis.  Educators, administrators, parents, guardians, students, and community members all have similar questions.  There is nothing wrong with asking these questions, but it is the post response that needs the most attention.  As technology keeps rapidly changing, it is our privilege as teachers to change the classroom parallel to technology and parallel to students personalities.  Teachers need to bridge older teaching strategies to the more innovative and current teaching strategies necessary for the most effective education for our students.  A statement in the book Web 2.0 new tools, new schools phrases it the best: “Most schools continue to educate kids in the way they always have, most teachers continue to teach in the ways they always have, and most administrators remain in their offices focusing on the things they focus on.  There is a gap between what is and what should be.”(180)  Students have been changing over the generations and require different learning styles and techniques than the previous generations.  Technology has and continues to change over time and needs to be implemented into the classroom to help educate students about 21st century skills.  As an educator, take the time to develop the classroom into a 21st century elite learning center.  Encourage your fellow teachers to do the same, and may we work together to create a dynamic education that will be on the forefront of society.   

Areas of your classroom to keep in mind (let your students help create this throughout the year):

  • Set-up and design (create a “beyond the classroom” area, maybe even a “home” feeling)
  • Environment (welcoming and inspiring for learning)
  • Technologically advanced in some area (there are not enough funds for you to have all areas of technology, so choose several to fit your curriculum and courses, and for the rest share with fellow teachers)
  • Atmosphere (make sure to allow for collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity)
  • The Game Course (students relate to games, if your course is set-up like a game, they will most likely strive even harder to be the best and apply themselves to the course training and work)
  • Instructional flow and management (evaluate student comprehension and application) 
  • Your taste (you should enjoy the classroom you work in)

Areas of technology to take a look into implementing in your classroom/school:

  • Podcasts/Vodcasts
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Media tools (video/audio recorders, cameras)
  • Twitter
  • Linked-in
  • Facebook (there are schools that have figured out great ways to use Facebook effectively and safely, talk to your advisory committee and school administrators before even entering this area)
  • iPads/iPod touch
  • Laptops
  • Smartboards/Mimeos (and other similar tools)
  • Online survey tools (such as surveypirate, twtpoll, or more)
  • Education direction software (tailored to discover students education needs)
  • Wii (be creative)
  • Skype (educate your students outside of the classroom without leaving the school)
  • Numerous software tools for your content

There are more tools and resources out there for creating the best classroom for student success.  Research some on your own, check out www.tfeinc.com and other similar sites that have ideas and tools for implementing technology in the classroom to meet the students learning needs.  Most importantly, take time to create a classroom for today, directed to help current and future students learn at their highest potential.    

 In reference to Appendix C of Web 2.0 new tools, new schools, starting on page 231. 

1. How could you create a similar experience for any business education curriculum and/or course?
The primary way I would create similar experiences in business education courses, would be formed through collaboration and teamwork with other teachers in different subject areas.  As I partner with other teachers, then we will be able to work together and share our curriculums in hope of continuing to develop challenging and competitive overlapping courses.  For instance, I would take the International Business Course and parallel it with the students’ history and English courses through technology and Web 2.0 tools. 

 2. What do you think is a strength of his scenario?

I think a strength of his scenario is that it encourages students to apply themselves to their education resulting in the course objectives being met.  With the competition of the scenario and the application to other courses as well as to life, teachers will observe students desiring and working to win.

 3. What do you think is a weakness of his scenario?
A weakness of this scenario is the time involved in setting up this excellent learning atmosphere.  Teachers will need to keep-up on different happenings in various courses in addition to developing ways to implement the other courses and material into their own course curriculum.

Shailey Minocha, Minh Quang Tran, and Ahmad John Reeves. Conducting Empirical Research in Virtual Worlds: Experiences from two projects in Second Life. “Journal of Virtual Worlds Research”. Centre for Research in Computing, The Open University, UK. Volume 3, Number 1. 2010.  

The first reason that comes to mind as I think about why I selected this article is due to the interesting title.  Think about this for a second, “Conducting Empirical Research in Virtual Worlds”.  This title has read me for important information written all over it.  In addition to the great title, I have been taught some about Second Life, but I wanted to study more to look for two more evidences.  The first thing that I wanted to see highly evident in Second Life is the room and potential for education opportunities.  The second piece of Second Life that I wanted to know more about and understand how people work is the business and sales aspect of Second Life.  I find it fascinating that students could meet up in a virtual area and learn about concepts, ideas, and things they are being taught in class.  Furthermore, I was surprised to hear that some people are making Second Life their job, and are able to make money off of what they accomplish in Second Life.  Overall, I needed to research more about Second Life and see if I could use it in my future classes. 

It was interesting to read through some of this article and gain more information about a possible growing idea, virtual worlds.  One of the first things that this article instructed me on was that virtual worlds are also known as synthetic worlds.  Some people would stop right at this sentence and say they do not want to know more, and others would say, “lets read on to see what potentials Second Life hold.”  The authors of this article asked themselves, what can Second Life provide for people.  These authors asked the questions of what types of possibilities Second Life can provide for education, and the process that people go through to sell things and run stores through Second Life.   The process that these authors and researchers went through to discover more about Second Life includes personal interviews, group interviews, tours, panel discussions, and group interviews.  These researches took time to meet new people, observe people’s actions, and converse back and forth with Second Life users.  Interactions and interviews occurred both offline and online to help understand more of the education and consumer behavior aspect of Second Life.  Through much preparation and hard work, the researchers found out more about Second Life and would go as far as saying that education and consumer behavior is different in Second Life due to people being virtually who they want to be. 

I would enjoy using this article in the Business Education setting because I have observed that it covers many of the ideas and concepts people need to follow when doing a research or interview study.  There is much that goes on when you want to research something, especially if you are performing interviews and questionnaires.  Through this article, my students could gain more current ideas and experience how studies are made.  With this information, I would relate the research skills and techniques to other products and services the students enjoy investing in. 

As far as this information for the business, industry, and health care environment, it could be used to help understand more about current and potential customers.  For instance, companies can view this article and read ideas that other people are using to do research on customers.  In addition, I think a business could use this information to see how they could apply their business to Second Life.  There is much potential out there in Second Life for businesses to do work, it just takes research and time.

I find this article and the research put into it  very necessary for our current business and education systems.  There is an area of growth and great potential in Second Life; and through research that companies, organizations, and people like my professor do, we will learn more about how we can use virtual worlds for better of education and business.   





The lesson in Chapter 6 of Web 2.0 new schools, new tools emphasizes the importance of leadership today, and the role technology plays in leadership.  To be an educator, you need to have an understanding of technology.  With this in thought, now think about how much the administrator(s) need to understand about technology in school systems as well as for administrative duties.  One is able to comprehend that current administrators should be proficient in 21st century skills and additionally model the use of technology with the 21st century skills.  Personally, if I was currently an educator at a school, I would desire to work for administrators that are well developed in the area of technology and 21st century skills.  Let us face the facts, students need and look for their teachers to use technology efficiently.  As administrators know and utilize technology and 21st century skills, then their teachers will start to teach 21st century skills more efficiently through technology resulting in the students enjoying their learning.  When students begin to observe that they and their friends enjoy learning, they will attend school with the desire to learn.  This should be our dream and focus as educators, to have students enjoy learning and desire to continue learning.

Upon reading chapter 5 of Web 2.o new tools, new schools, the idea of a global learning system has been running in my mind.  The primary quote and paragraph that started my brain to focus on this idea is found on page 103.  “Learning has gradually moved from the individual as learner to learning as participation in the social world, including numerous ways individuals are shaped by and shape the surrounding world.”  Our social world is changing and will continue to change with the advancements of technology.  For instance, the use of Podcasts, twitter, facebook and more has innovated the social world into a large conglomeration area of information.  For a small time frame a few years ago, many educators and much of the world thought the young generations social skills were decreasing when really the young generations were developing the social world into something it has never been; a global social world of vast diverse information.  I find as educators, we should continue this development and use technology to lead youth into a professional force learning from teachers, people and students from around the world!

As I read the book Web 2.0 new tools, new schools, I stop and think about the whole education system.  The reason for thinking about the education system is that this book brings up excellent thoughts towards how the education system works and runs.  I believe that one of the first questions a teacher should ask them self before the beginning of the school year is “what am I preparing my students for”?  Honestly, if we look at the current education system, we can see a high emphasis on core classes such as mathematics, English, science, and history.  I am not downplaying these subjects, but the question does come to mind, do we place too high of an emphasis on these subjects?  This is beyond just a question in my mind, it was even suggested in the Web 2.0 book.  In chapter 1, page 11, a quote states: “It is clear that the U.S. and other rich nations will have to transform their educational systems so as to produce workers for the jobs that will actually exist in their societies. …In the future, how we educate our children may prove to be more important than how much we educate them.”  I do not think there is a better way to state the vision for the future of our education system.  If we jump back a few sentences, we notice our 4 main subject areas again.  As I look upon my own education in the past in addition to many other peers’ education, I infer and stand strong saying that the current system puts to high of an emphasis on the four main subject areas.  Yes, it is true that I find these to be valuable classes, but if we want to start keeping up with this highly competitive world, then we need to focus on developing a dynamic education system that is truly able to adapt to this ever changing world.  If anybody is in doubt about this need for adaptation to an improved education system, go check out the statements on page 17 and 18 of Web 2.0.  One of these great factual ideas states: “Education is changing.  We can no longer claim that the U.S educational results are unparalleled.  Students around the world outperform American students on assessments that measure 21st-century skills.  Today’s teachers need better tools to address this growing problem.”  Though I agree with this statement, I am not fully convinced that it is primarily due to the lack of tools.  I think tools add greatly to the classroom, but the question is not are our students performing well in 21st-century skills?  The question should be, are our teachers preparing the students to adapt, research and learn to react intelligently to this ever changing world?  The reason for this being the main question is seen when we stop to notice that our world changes so rapidly; by the time freshman in college graduate, what they learned their first year is basically out-of-date (depending on the class and major).  This is the main focus that leads not to only focusing on educating about 21st-century skills, but instead to furthermore educate students to be able to adapt and quickly learn about the changing world in hopes of continuing to be productive in the world.  It is possible that the answer for education is out there, and it is possible that the answer may have already been found.  Whether one or the other, the question is there and the solution for dynamic education needs to be implemented. 

Upon reading chapter 2 of Web 2.0 new tools, new schools, I noticed that my previous essay should go further.  As educators, we need to notice that the education system does not need to solely change due to the changing world, but the education system needs to change to adapt to the changing students.  On page 26, a statement is made that truly simply sums this change topic due to students: “According to Prensky, today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.”  This has been proven in many students and could easily be verified by psychologists, educators, business people, youth pastors, and many more professionals.  Students are changing and they are not the poster children for the education system of “sit down quietly and listen to the teacher.  Current students need to be interactive, they need the entertainment of technology, and they need their minds trained for expansion (not just filling of knowledge).  I found that Farris-Berg on page 32 mentions an important finding: technology is important to students education, it is not an “extra”.”  Farris-Berg developed these educational facts in 2005 from his research.  Technology should not just be thrown into lesson plans here and there, the use of technology must be there and be used effectively for educating the students.  As I heard a professor state with a strong emphasis, “technology is a necessary tool, but it should never be used as a crutch.  Teachers today need to be well trained to be creative, innovative, and up-to-date (near state-of-the-art) with all of the new technologies in hope of training students to be well rounded for the competitive world they are entering.

Education is an important part of any person’s life.  Think about it, the better the education you have, the higher the likelihood is that you will reach the “world success”.  Today’s society is centered around how much education and experience a person has obtained.  It is not a person’s personality that fully defines them, it is more so the amount they have comprehended, and how well they use what they retained.  As I ponder the impact of education, I wonder about student’s education and whether or not they have much of a say in what they learn.  Overall, the majority do not have a large say in their education, at least not in the United States.  In Germany, as a study abroad student explained to us this past week, “students in Germany know what career choice they would like to pursue at a young age.”  This means that the students get to choose what type of job and lifestyle they would like to have in the future as an elementary student; but I see this as being too young of an age to have students then placed in a career education path that is close to being in stone.  It is possible that I may be wrong about both my views on the United states, the fact that they do not put enough emphasis on career choices, and Germany’s education viewpoint of pressuring the students to choose their career path early in life.  The reason I think about this specific topic is from an idea in Web 2.0.    On page 33 of this book it asks “how would our students react if we gave them control to customize their education?”  This is an interesting topic and I believe that students would be thrilled to attend school if they were able to contribute to choosing which and what type of classes they need to experience.  With this in mind, there needs to be some boundaries.  Without any boundaries, the students would all just take easy elective classes and miss out on some of the benefits of the core classes.  A strong type of boundary is having the students be more involved with the guidance counselors and discussing different types of interests, hobbies, activities, career paths, and visions of future life.  Beyond increased interaction with the guidance counselors, students should get the opportunity to sit in on other classes that they wish to have next year as well as interview the current students and teacher of that class.  Lastly, the teachers should get an opportunity to market their courses to the target student body and give the students a small taste of what the teacher’s class involves.  With these main areas of guidance, I view students being more engaged in their learning and desiring to be attending their classes more often. 

The second area of topic includes the previous statements, but goes further into a perspective of our controlled education system.  Pause and think about all of your education in the past.  For the majority of your education, do you feel you were learning to pass a test, or where you learning to be educated?  In the Web 2.0 tools book, it discusses the idea of an overuse and over emphasis in standardized tests.  We all know it is true, much of the current and past education has teachers educating students about what is on the test, instead of educating students for the enjoyment of learning.  Think about the impact that educating students for the enjoyment of learning would have on students.  If students were taught to learn instead of taught to memorize for some test, then they would most likely see more of the fun in learning and desire to learn instead of desire to pass.  This is not some simple road to travel, for the majority of teachers to educate with this style, change would need to occur.  The primary spot of the beginning of the change would need to be the government standards, and then from there the change can move throughout the ladder.  If our nation reached a point of learning for the fun of being more educated, then I believe teachers and students would become more passionate about school/learning.  Until the standards become changed, teachers will need to let their creative sides flare up and engage in developing a thrilling learning atmosphere.

Every person eventuallly loses interest in a classroom.  This brings up one of the tasks for teachers of diversifying the learning styles.  Each class day should have some differences than the other class days.  Furthermore, teachers should find ways of implementing differentiated instruction into all of their lesson plans throughout the entire year.  This is a task in itself besides developing the lesson plans and managing the classroom.  So it is understandable if a teacher has a difficult time utilizing other types of tools for student’s learning; but for a teacher to be the best educator they are able to be, they need to use additional resources.  An additional resource of excellent potential is the iPod.  As more educators utilize the iPod into their lesson plans, the more you will see students relate to their teachers, resulting in higher levels of comprehension.  Part of this idea was taken from chapter 3 in the Web 2.0tools book.  This chapter brought up the idea of possible tools for teachers to use in helping students comprehend more of the information.  One of their tools which I find fascinating includes the iPod.  In my Teaching Students with Disabilities class, my professor explained and showed us possible ways teachers are able to use iPods in their lessons.  Whether the iPod is used for PowerPoints, podcasts, quizzes, presentations, games, notes, activities, and or more; there is no debate that teachers will find the effectiveness of using iPods in their student’s learning. 

Beyond the basic types of tools similar to Word, Excel, Access, Movie Maker and PowerPoint; the Internet provides a near limitless amount of tools and resources that teachers could use in their classes.  Imagine with me: a normal sized classroom with 25 students.  Each student most likely knows at least 5 reliable non-overlapping websites to use for research and learning.  That is a total of 125 resources at each students fingertip, via the Internet for one classroom.  What am I talking about?  I am bringing up the tool of social bookmarking.  The idea was brought to my mind on page 58 of the Web 2.0tools book.  Social bookmarking involves students sharing websites with other students via a site like delicious, where one person can save and access their reliable websites from anywhere and then share them with others.  With this all in thought, now think about how many resources the students and teachers would all have access to if a whole district shared their reliable websites with one another.  Not to mention too deeply, what if schools started to implement interaction with other schools around the world.  Resources in the school systems would literally be unlimited.  I do not observe our school systems being far from this, and as we get closer to this type of education, not only will the use of technology increase, but the size of the student’s retained information will increase.

Chapter 4 of Web 2.0 new tools, new schools brought up a good question to my mind.  What technology would I use in my classroom and how would I implement it into the lessons?  As discussed and shown through the chapter, there are many different types of technologies to be used in the classroom.  Whether the tools are gathered from this chapter, previous chapters, or further- on chapters, this book provides many ideas for educators.  Whether you are a teacher of mathematics or a teacher of a foreign language, there are web 2.0 tools that can be well implemented into your curriculum.  As teachers search and discover the vast amount of technological tools, they will observe their classroom transform into an atmosphere of high learning.  When teachers relate well to their students, then students tend to desire to listen to and respect that teacher more.  Upon more students listening and interacting, more learning and retaining will occur due to a desire to retain and due to a repetition of the information.  By the philosophy of successful teaching, technology proves to be an important tool in education. 

If I were asked, what tool would you implement into your classroom, I would respond with the use of podcasting discussed on page 82 of the Web 2.0 new tools book.  Beyond the fact of using podcasting as a tool to teach my students, I would use podcasting as a tool for the students to use and learn.  First I would use podcasting to allow the students to hear some of the lessons if they needed to while at home (of course making accommodations for students unable to have access to Internet).  This way, students are able to re-listen to the lesson and discover more of what they may have missed during class.  Another idea of why podcasting can be so helpful to the students and to me as a teacher is that students who miss a day of class, can then just check out the podcast and stay right on task with the rest of the students.  Once the students understand some of the podcasting and how the whole system works, I will then implement a fun activity that they can do over a longer weekend.  The ideas and methods of use of podcasting are vast and I do see it as a impacting tool in my future classrooms and career.  From this point-of-view, I wonder how I would get the students to start using it.  With time going by and the students comfort around podcasting increasing, I would have the students work on an in class project that involves podcasting.  It would not be a very easy project, but it would not be extremely difficult either.  My idea of educating is bringing about some challenge to the students, in hopes of opening up the options for growth.  As the students complete their individual podcasting project, I will have them do some presentations on their podcast and explain some of what they shared and why they chose that style for their podcast.  After some days and classes, I will then break the students into groups and have them work as teams to complete a project cohesive with the course.  For example, lets say I am teaching an international business course and the unit is global awareness.  Near the end of the unit as a final assessment, I would have these teams develop a podcast describing what a business would need to know about a country in order to help decide if they would desire to pursue investing into the country.  An idea for the time allowance would probably be around 2 weeks.  Overall, these are just a few ideas I have on the top of my brain, but I see the potential for using podcasting in the classroom.  The use of technology alone is what will be an influential part of my courses, but what will really drive the progress is getting the students interacting and guiding them only a little as they take the classroom to the next education level of peer learning.  I am excited to discover more possible technologies and how I can implement them into my curriculums’; the field of education is growing and my generation will be the ones to implement the necessary change.

I found a podcast site by Kiplinger, and the title of the podcast that I listened to was “Put More Cash in your Pocket”.  This was an interesting podcast.  My initial reaction to the podcast was that I felt as if I were back in my finance class.  The podcast was about personal finance and even more specific, bonds and stock.  This podcast was similar to an interview situation where a lady was talking to one of the experts and they were discussing in detail strong finance investments.  The main thing I took away from it is that investing into a foreign market could allow for a larger return in money (a higher return percent that here in the states).  The site for this podcast is located at  http://www.learnoutloud.com/podcaststream/listen.php?url=http://rss.sonibyte.com/rssfeed/15.xml&all=1&title=18806.

I found a podcast that would deal with one of my classes in personal finance and or economics.  I listened to two of the podcasts from this site and the titles included: “Get Connected” and “Are you wealth conscious?”.  This podcast included some gentleman doing a decent job of bringing great thoughts to the surface of discussion.  In the first podcast, he emphasized the need for getting connected with people, as us educators and business people know, this is called networking.  The second podcast focused on retaining and learning knowledge to better help yourself become wealthy.  His main concern is that we understood that knowledge equaled wealth.  This was an alright podcast, but I would not use it as a primary teaching lesson in my curriculum, I would probably choose a more professional podcast person/group.  The site of this podcast is   http://www.podcastalley.com/player/player.php?pod_id=68987.



I went on to slideshare and checked out this article by Andy Harjanto.  The title of the article is “How Your Business Can Take Advantage of Cloud Computing”. http://www.slideshare.net/Guppers/how-your-business-can-take-advantage-of-cloud-computing

Cloud Computing is a real idea that is fully working and being used by many professionals.  Who would not want to be able to do work from anywhere and save their information and data without having to be in the office all the time?  I would enjoy that luxury.  This slideshare presentation helped me discover more about cloud computing and gave me a focus on how it is beneficial to businesses.  Cloud computing can help businesses whether they want to grow and expand, downsize, and/or just put their information in the “cloud” for easy access and availability.  Andy first started the presentation off by comparing cloud computing to the decision of buying a house and dealing with all the house ownership tasks, or renting an apartment and not needing to deal with all of the time consuming tasks that come along with owning a house.  This picture really helped make cloud computing more clear to me and gave me possible ideas that I may be able to use later in my career as an educator and business owner.

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