Reflection: A Changed World

Hey again Blog Family,

This week we are going to discuss some of the changes in our educational world thanks in part to technology. This was a hot topic in this evenings EDTC 300 class, and I would venture to say that the class chat room was the busiest it has been all semester; which I would argue speaks to the number of opinions on this topic.

After a brief trip down nostalgia lane (MSN messenger, napster, dial up internet etc…) we dug into the new generation that is ‘born digital’. And quite frankly, some of the statistics regarding digital footprints and children are terrifying. Now, I will readily admit that I am decidedly ‘old school’ when it comes to posting online. I go out of my way to keep my limited social media usage professional and clean, and I certainly do not post any videos or pictures of my children. Before I turn this post into the ‘get off of my lawn’ type of rant, I will try to turn this back to an educational reflection.

I think the discussion we had regarding ‘The Big Changes’ was the most eye opening to me. The Big Changes were grouped into Content (Netflix, YouTube etc…), Tools (cell phones, computers etc…) and Relationships. To me, the content and the tools are categories that explained themselves pretty easily; however, I was interested to hear where our instructor would go with relationships. After a few good memes and some insight from the instructor, my eyes were opened to the idea that relationships have become a public forum for peoples judgement. That today’s relationships (some, not all, but a growing number of them) are no longer “Private by Default and Public with Effort” but instead, “Public by Default and Private with effort“. I took this wording directly from the presentation our instructor provided.

As a future teacher, that’s a scary thought, and it’s even scarier for a father of two girls.

There is no doubt, that today’s teachers and those of tomorrow will need to work towards helping students understand the importance of positive internet behaviour. How will the teacher go about this? Good question. One I do not have the answer to. I’m not sure if anyone has a full proof answer to this. My best guess is that it would involve a delicate balance between dictating the students every internet move and letting them find out the hard way how harsh the web can be. With each individual student needing a sprinkle of this or a dab of that based on their personality and the teachers relationship with the student…Ah ha! There is that word relationship again. It just won’t go away, and nor should it. Relationships are the foundation of human interaction, whether it be online or face to face and the ability to form relationships is vital. In the below video, Michael Wesch goes into great detail about the not only YouTube, but the internet, media and their role in Anthropology. He said that “The web is about linking people” (6:30) as well as he said he thinks of media as “mediating human relationships” (11:51).

This video in conjunction with our class lecture has led me to the opinion that technology can be used to help form and strengthen relationships. Conversely, it can be used to damage and destroy them; and it is up the individual to determine how they will let technology effect their life, because it no doubt will.

 

Cheers,

 

BDA

Bruce’s Baking Bash. Step 1: Time to get messy

Hey Gang,

I’m off to the races! I officially have begun to make the cake I referenced last week. I intend to follow the steps below:

  1. Make cupcakes
  2. Make icing
  3. Place cupcakes on cardboard to hold the shape
  4. Smother in icing
  5. Devour cake on my youngest daughters birthday.

Step one is complete and somehow, went off without a hitch. I searched online for very basic chocolate cupcake recipes and as you can imagine there were thousands that appear. Needles to say this was overwhelming. Luckily for me my wife was close by and pointed out that she knew this would happen and bought the pre-made cake mix so I had less to screw up. I will reluctantly admit that she was very correct.

After dropping an egg

 

and spilling the milk the mix was finally complete. Now the hard part: pouring the mix in the cupcake pan. Oh boy was this a mess! Below was only part of the mess. My oldest daughter was busy cleaning (licking) up the rest of the chocolate.

 

The only thing left was to put those bad boys in the oven and hope for the best. Let me tell you, that was the longest 12 minutes of my life. I felt like this…

 

However, much to my surprise (and my wife’s) I nailed them!

Next time I post about this it will be the final project! We will get to see how the icing, shaping and devouring go! The last image is a picture of how we will go about shaping the dinosaur cake. Sorry about the orientation…I’m still working on this blogging thing.

 

Cheers,

 

BDA

My First Look at Twitter for Education

Good morning everyone.

Last night the EDTC300 class I am taking was asked to participate in a live twitter chat about education in Saskatchewan. We used the hashtag #saskedchat. Go ahead and search that hashtag on your own account and you can get an in depth look at the exact commentary.

We used TweetDeck as the platform for communication and it was fantastic. We were able to see not only our own timeline, but we were able to monitor the moderator and all the tweets that used the #saskedchat hashtag and to top it all off it was all on one screen! This was very cool visually, but became vital for keeping up with the chat as the tweets came flying in when questions were asked and people were providing answers. If it wasn’t for TweetDeck it would have been impossible to keep up to everything going.

 

 

 

As for the conversation itself, it was truly eye opening. You really don’t know what you don’t know. There were so many quality questions with even better answers. I found myself liking, retweeting and commenting on lots of the tweets that I was losing track of which question was being asked! I also realized that there were current teachers and administrators in the chat and found myself following their accounts once everything was said and done.

 

All in all, it was a really great experience. One that I hope to continue moving forward.

 

Cheers,

BDA

A Blog About Blogs

In this rendition of the blog we are going to look into…blogs. But more specifically educational blogs that I have found insightful. These blogs are not just the ones with the most followers or the type that post umpteen times per day. These are blogs that I have found via Feedly that have helped me become a better educator in one way or another.

The first blog I found which immediately came across as useful to me was Free Technology For Teachers. Now it should be noted that the link offered here is to the website itself and not the blog where I initially found the website. This is the one downfall to this ‘blog’. While it shows up as a blog on my Feedly page, it is basically a glorified link to the authors web page as seen here.
With that being said there are several articles on the website which offer links to multiple free learning tools as well as information on how to use them. Naturally, I was drawn to the free options, as the internet will try to weasel you into paying for anything and everything. So this was a refreshing sight. Also, as I am early in my educational journey (and new to the technological side of education) I felt like this was a great introduction to a number of new tools.
Another blog I stumbled upon was ‘Cool Cat Teacher’. The interesting part of this blog was the use of podcasts. Unlike most of the blogs I have come across (admittedly, I am new to blogging so its possible that this is just new to me and not the rest of the ed tech world) the author has posted hundreds of short (approximately 10 minutes each) podcasts revolving around teaching/educating. One thing I appreciated about the authors choice of topics is that they are real world problems so to speak. They are issues that a teacher/educator may only come across when in the field. Perhaps they are best described (at least to me) as issues that you are not taught how to handle (i.e. How to give effective feedback, 5 ways to overcome being overwhelmed and how to speak to kids about poverty).
After diving into educational blogs and seeing what information is out there I have a feeling I will be doing this again on a regular basis. The amount of information that is readily available from the teaching community is vast!
That’s all for now gang.
Cheers,
BDA

Bruce’s Baking Bash

Welcome back everyone. As promised, this post will dive into my learning project…Baking. I have no problems cooking breakfast, lunch or dinner (although, I’m sure my wife would disagree) but dipping into cakes, cupcakes and other desserts is something I have never done nor even considered until now. My youngest daughter will turn 2 in two weeks and has requested a dinosaur cake. Challenge accepted. I have decided to go with the pull apart cupcake cake style. My thinking here is that, I can hide the poor quality cupcakes that I am bound to make in heaps of icing and mounds of candies placed on the cake. As well, I think I am bound to get at least a couple of the cupcakes correct, while a big cake is a do or die prospect that I’m not ready for yet.

I found this video on YouTube that gives a nice short demonstration on how to ice the dinosaur.

 

As of now, this is what I will aim for. Fingers crossed.

I will continue to update you on the process and try to provide pictures next time.

 

Cheers,

BDA

The First Step Is Only Good If It’s In The Right Direction

Congratulations!

You have accidentally stumbled upon the Bruce Anderson Blog. This is my first post on my first blog, so I apologize in advance if this is not your ordinary blog. Blogging is a concept that I do not have experience with, as an author or reader. With that being said, I am going to give this the ‘old college try’ so to speak. Put your tray tables in the upright and locked position as we prepare to for take off!

Photo Credit: Irene2727 Flickr via Compfight cc

While blogging is a new thing for me, Twitter is something I have dabbled in a time or two. Follow me here for more insight on my trek through educational technology.

If you have read this far, thank you for toughin’ it out. I will do my best to make my next post (about my learning project…shameless plug, I know) better than this. As the title of this post says, the first step is only good if it’s in the right direction and I hope I did not stray to far from the beaten path.

 

Cheers,

BDA