Here is something that is really interesting. YouTube has teamed up with the Vancouver Film School to give us an exciting opportunity for our students. A contest for three VFS scholarships is now on and it is FREE! All your students have to do is submit a short video and after the shortlisting, the YouTube public will choose the three winners. Check out the details here.
Theme: What Matters to You. Deadline: May 9th, 2008
Flock - The Social Browser : This browser has a very nice set up for the digitial producer / consumers out there. The user is able to set up their usual account in a bar on the left hand side of the page. Once you are set up, you simply click on the site your wish to use, ie. Twitter, Blogger, Photobucket, Youtube, etc., and you are automatically logged in and on your page.
The other nice feature I have bee using is the media bar found at the top. One can quickly find photo's or videos while multi-tasking. Once again, there are multiple features in the media bar.
The final feature I have tried is the auto blog entry. By clicking on the icon, you are given a window similar to your regular blog entry window. Simply create you blog entry and save it, this automatically publishes it to you blog account previously set up in left "Accounts and Services bar".
Tonight I attended the Midget Boys Provincial Final Hockey game. As we arrived to the rink, I could feel the excitement in the air. That excitement quickly turned sour as fans turned attitudes from cheering on to out cheering to out rude'ing. As a watched the game unfold I began to think about my two year old son and what he would take away from this; new vocabulary, how to point your finger in someones face ... OR ... spirit of sport, camaraderie, sportsmanship, etc.
I then thought of how embarrassed I would be to call myself a citizen of our opponents team, based of the representation of fans at the game. Am I proud of my town, ya for the most part, but how do we promote citizenship. The following questions came to mind, the same questions I will ponder as I write my next post on digital citizenship.
1. What makes a good individual citizen? 2. How do individuals influence each other as far as citizenship goes? 3. How can we as teachers in the fish bowl, promote citizenship? 4. What inspires people to act in such outrageous and despicable ways that they convince themselves that it is proper? 5. As a technology leader, I have less control on what I teach or speak of ... how can I influence my students to stand up for what is right, in the right way? 6. Am I influence my students positively?
After a meeting with my division In-tech's, I shared a few tutorials and came up with some other ideas. Besides that, Jen thought it would be good that we share these with each other. So here is my rant of why tutorials are useful and where we can share.
I have tried to put on after school sessions on how to use some of these web 2.0 devices. These sessions were not what I would consider successful. In my investigations, I found out a few common reasons why.
1. Teachers are busy and cannot always set their schedule around tech meetings.
2. Teachers feel embarrassed about their possible inabilities on the computer and are afraid
of making mistakes.
3. Teachers like myself do not make great students. We know our learning styles and
usually enjoy a more comfortable and independent learning.
ie. We don't create unit and lesson plans in the staffroom and collaborate with non-
subject like staff on it.
4. Teachers hate waisting their precious time. If the technology fails, they shut down.
After finding this out I decided to try and make things easier. That is when I began creating tutorials. I downloaded a program called Camstudio, a screen capture program, and started with what my staff were having the most problems with. I found that with technology, many people would rather screw up by themselves or one on one with a trustworthy individual. The video tutorials allow teachers to make mistakes, stop, watch the video, try again, make more mistakes, rewind the video and so on.
Now we all know the power of numbers and networks, so I suggest we use them. I have created a wiki, Teacher Tutorials, to store teacher based tutorials. I would like to invite you to view, add, remix, or whatever you like. It is my hope that this wiki is something for professional educators all over the world can use.
Technology can be frustrating so let us share our easy buttons.