Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Final Media Presentation Website

Below you will find a link to my Final Media Presentation Website for Full Sail University. I will be graduating on February 5th with my Master's Degree in Education Media Design and Technology.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Student Definitions of Cyberbullying

This Wordle was created in www.wordle.net as part of my media project.

Wordle: Student Definitions of Cyberbullying

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Full Sail University EDM641 Learning Management Systems and Organizations: Darla Jolene Tucker November 2009 Final Report Chapter 2

In writing Chapter 2 of my final project report, I find that there is a plethora of information available regarding Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Personal Learning Environments (PLE).  I was stuck with which direction I wanted to take this conversation, but I have decided to explore the limitations involved with these fantastic tools and the effective utilization by teachers in public school settings.  I do not wish to offend anyone by this negativity, but it is a frustration point for me right now and I would like to find a way to overcome some of these obstacles.

The following quote is precisely one reason I am disappointed in public education, at least in my school and district. David Hopkins (2008) states in his article eLearning, where do we go from here?, “When they (students) get to further and higher education they ‘expect’ that they will use a wiki, use a blog or be given a podcast (or be asked to produce their own). So we, the teachers and Learning Technologists, need to be able to offer this so we can match, and even exceed, their expectations.”   I am often limited as to what sites I can visit with my students due to firewalls placed by the school district.  Also, I’ve been told that I cannot access the school’s wireless Internet from my personal computer.  This frustrates me because we are a PC school and there are no Mac’s available for my use.  While trying to teach podcasting to my students, I was limited because I wanted to utilize GarageBand and my school doesn’t have any accessibility.  I decided to use my own computer anyhow and I just did my uploading from home, but it seems senseless to me that we can’t access such amazing tools.

Rodd Lucier’s presentation of Ten Trends for teaching and learning in the future is phenomenal and, in my opinion, a must view for every educator, administrator, and district leader.  His ten trends include: right brain thinking, web-based apps, creative commons, the wiki workplace, social learning, wireless web, world wide web, walls are disappearing, open source attitude, and virtual worlds. 

In response to Rodd’s post, the disappointment continues.  If there was a way for me to tap into the minds of every education professional to open their eyes to see the possibilities that are available for all students and for a much more conducive learning experience, my life would be complete.  This presentation is very thought provoking and encouraging.   In looking at a “classroom of tomorrow”, the possibilities are endless.  To expand upon a few of the trends listed in the presentation, some are being utilized, I’m not sure how effectively, but several are being censored, so to speak.  For instance, the understanding of right brain thinking and basic Internet usage is often encouraged, but the opportunity for social learning, Wikipedia exploration, and virtual worlds are almost non-existent my school and district.   In my school and even throughout this program, the use of Wikipedia has been discouraged.  I personally think that it is a great way for students to learn to discriminate between factual and fictional information.  I don’t allow Wikipedia to be used as a sole source for information, but it is an appropriate starting place in my classroom.  As far as social networking/learning is concerned, I’d love to say that it is being encouraged, but it’s not.  Our district blocks MySpace, Facebook, etc. and some blog sites are even blocked.  To me this tells our students we don’t approve of such environments, which can also lead to parents’ disapproval.  I believe that social networking is incredibly valuable to learning and healthy self-expression.  For the last one, the use of virtual worlds, the jury is still out on this one in my mind.  I find that Second Life may not be appropriate for students, but applications like Spore, Sims, etc. are extremely effective for student creation, right brained thinking, and even the acquisition of entrepreneurship skills.  I teach career research and I find that the simulation games/virtual worlds are effective in teaching financial and budgeting skills, as well as entrepreneurship skills for entertainment and profit.

My district, like many I’m sure, is bound to teaching the state standards, and some administrators and district leaders have a difficult time grasping that standards can be taught in engaging and various ways.  I am not your typical ‘textbook’ teacher.  I use the textbooks when necessary, but they are not my sole source for information and teaching.  I try to get to know my students at the beginning of every year and I play off their strengths and interests when preparing my lesson plans.    At this point in my career, I am very disappointed in the public school system in my district and I can only imagine that if I am feeling this limited and locked down as an educator, how the students must be feeling. 

Does anyone have any suggestions for tackling these limitations and getting the administration and district level professionals on the side of the teachers and students?

Hopkins, D. eLearning, where do we go from here? Message posted to http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/blogging/elearning-where-do-we-go-from-here/ (2008, December 3).

Lucier, R. Classrooms of tomorrow. Message posted  on http://thecleversheep.blogspot.com/2009/11/classrooms-of-tomorrow.html/ (2009, November 14).

Full Sail University EDM641 Learning Management Systems and Organizations: Darla Jolene Tucker November 2009 Final Report Chapter 1: My Udutu: Tackling "The Taming of the Shrew"

The following is a document created using the Pages application to describe my project.  My Udutu project is Tackling "The Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare and I am currently teaching this play in my intensive reading classes.  My goal for this project was for my students to have a study guide to supplement as they read "The Taming of the Shrew" and the enrichment activities at the end will offer expansion for any of the students interested.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 4--What I have Learned Project

I'm going to be completely honest here.  It has been a hectic month and I honestly didn't get the time I had hoped to explore very much new media.  I was really looking forward to spending some time working with Photoshop, but ended up only having time to work with the iPhoto editing tools.  I will take what I can get!  I decided to take what I learned while playing with the iPhoto editing tools, reading The Art of Possibility and responding to the discussion boards this week about my dream job and I used Comic Life for my project.  My plan is to print and post this in my classroom and in my house as an inspirational reminder to reach for my goals and continue to dream big. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 4--The Art of Possibility (Chapters 7-12)

In my last blog I talked about how I wasn’t feeling half-full and I really didn’t want to change my thinking, but it is a new day and I have a new outlook, or at least I’m trying.

Chapter 7: The Way Things Are

Sometimes it is really hard to maintain a positive attitude when everything seems to be working against me, but in reading this chapter I know that it is worth trying and I need to learn to take the good with the bad. There are a couple of quotes in this chapter I found that I need to adopt as learning guides in my life. The first is “The risk the music invites us to take becomes a joyous adventure only when we stretch beyond our known capacities, while gladly affirming that we may fail” (pg. 103). I have always been a risk taker, but then often fall apart when I don’t achieve whatever I set out to achieve. This quote is a gentle reminder to me that I must accept the fact that I may fail, yet not give up the risk. The second quote is “Nature makes no judgment. Humans do. And while our willingness to distinguish good and evil may be one of our most enhancing attributes, it is important to realize that “good” and “bad” are categories we impose on the world—they are not of the world itself” (pg. 105). This is probably the biggest eye-opener for me. In working with nature this summer I learned more about the circle of life and the natural food chain as well as how to accept that as the way it is. I need to bring this example into my life and understand that things happen for a reason and people come into our lives for a reason. There is no right or wrong, good or bad imposed upon me. I make that choice and I have to be the one to live with whatever choice I make at that moment and make the most of the outcome.

Chapter 8: Giving Way to Passion

Passion, what is passion? I have a theme that I try to instill in my students and that is to dream big, laugh a lot, and live life to its fullest. This theme is posted in my classroom and I refer to it often. I wish I could adopt this as the theme for my life. In this chapter I learned it’s important to avoid the downward spiral and to embrace the possibilities and that I need to participate wholly and not hold back on my dreams and pursuits. I will be reevaluating my passion. Am I actually moving forward or am I just sitting in neutral? What do I need to do to give way to my passion?

Chapter 9: Lighting a Spark

The story about his father really touched my heart. His statement “Certain things in life are better done in person” (pg. 123), is so true. I have always had a face-to-face policy when discussing serious matters or concerns. I’m an expression reader. I have to know that the other person completely understands my concerns and is accepting and I find that it is easiest to know this when looking someone in the eyes. I like the idea of enrollment as it is discussed in this chapter. In order to be a light for someone else, the passion has to be evident through my eyes. I think about my students. When I’m teaching subject matter that I’m excited about they are much more engaged, but when I’m teaching something that I’m not dedicated to, the connection and energy is lost and my students quickly lose interest.

I know I’ve talked a lot about my summer job, but now I’m seeing that’s because it’s something I’m incredibly passionate about. I found this summer that I have a knack for bringing positive energy into an environment. I am generally a pretty bubbly and energetic person and when I’m excited about something, it is evident to anyone in the vicinity. Through this passion, I found a way to bring smiles to faces that had been missing them for some time and I began to see positive connections being made with people around me. In thinking back, I now believe that the best way to light a spark for others is to wholeheartedly enroll in the objective and share the passion.

Chapter 10: Being the Board

This chapter made me realize that sometimes I tend to blame others and situations for how I am feeling or responding, but ultimately it’s my problem and I have to be the one to decide how to handle each person or situation when it comes my way. This week I have been really down in the dumps. First of all, I’m in a full leg cast which limits my mobility and I am unable to be as independent as I usually like to be. On top of this, my birthday is coming up and I had plans to attend a show this weekend. I was very excited about this show and time with friends, but received an email from Ticketmaster that the show has been cancelled and this knocked me down yet another notch. Throughout the week, I’ve been in a crappy mood and thinking negatively, but I now realize that I’m the only person that can determine my mood and how I’m going to react to the cancellation of the show. By making myself the board in this situation, I realize that since my friends will still be with me, I will still be out of the house, and we will still enjoy a delicious dinner, it’s all good! I’m choosing to change my attitude and I know tonight will be a blast.

Chapter 11: Creating Frameworks for Possibility

I find that this chapter helps me recognize the importance of setting boundaries, avoiding the downward spiral, and enrolling in the objective. When I set boundaries I find that it’s easier to achieve the goal, because I’m not distracted from outside interferences. As for avoiding the downward spiral, I find this can be accomplished best by being passionate and enrolling in the subject at hand. These last two chapters help to tie this book together for me. The story about the little girl with leukemia really touched me because my dad has leukemia. I give the teacher kudos for her assistance in helping her students see the importance of accepting this little girl, but in reading Joann’s blog I was intrigued “The story about the teacher shaving her head brought tears to my eyes. However, I must admit I am at a bit of a loss. The problem was the girl's and the solution came from the outer world. The girl did not make that happen, the teacher did. Am I misreading this example or I am confusing the practice?”, so I reread this section to see what I could gain from this story. This little girl didn’t solve her own problems, but it was done for her by the teacher. I think the connection may have been intended to recognize the teacher for her efforts and passion for her students in this situation.

Chapter 12: Telling the WE Story

This chapter is an excellent ending to an equally excellent book. This chapter discusses what connects us, our goals, dreams, and possibilities. I have been taught over the years to always approach items of conflict with an “I” instead of “You”. I think this is what this chapter means. When explaining my frustrations with someone or something I try to word it in such a way that it brings this issue back to me and avoids placing blame which ultimately reduces defensiveness and allows for a team solution to be made. I have found this to be an effective problem solving technique over the years and I’m going to do my best to remember it in the future.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and the positivity it has brought back to my life. I will keep it close at hand and will take time to reference it whenever my glass begins to empty or when I just need to be uplifted a little.

Zander, R. & Zander, B. (2000). The art of possibility. New York: Penguin.

Week 4--Blog Response to Katarina McCleary

Monday, October 19, 2009

Week 3 Stickam Chat
Well, that was interesting!!! I really see why we don't use the audio on Stickam. Initially, my group could not figure out how to get our video to show up, but when we put our minds together we finally figured it out. It was also interesting when the group members forgot they were on video and made a really crazy face(ok who am I kidding it was me). Anyway, I think we are all set for our group Stickam and Skype tomorrow.

Posted by kswmccleary at 7:45 PM


Amy White said...

My daughter is still laughing at your "pig" face! :) So funny! I can see how Stikam could be helpful to meet with groups, but I'll have to figure out a way to make it more private. You should have seen the dirty IM's that "shyguy" was sending me! Ugh. Reminded me of the people you got in a fight with in SL. *Another* funny night!! HA!
October 19, 2009 10:17 PM

kswmccleary said...

I don't think I could forget the SL drama if I tried!! What a horrible experience SL has been!
October 20, 2009 7:23 PM

jojoteach1109 said...

Stickam was fun ladies! I was a little frustrated when we couldn't get in, but eventually all worked out. I thoroughly enjoyed our Stickam session. It was more fun than I expected. The funniest part was hearing our audio on Skype and waiting for our videos to catch up. I had a hard time not smiling at everyone when the camera was on. The camera is great to keep attention (right, Brandi?), but can be distracting because I found myself making sure my hair still looked ok and that I was centered on the screen. I loved the funny faces and sillyness too. Ya'll have been a great group!
October 23, 2009 9:35 AM