Thursday, February 25, 2010

Computers are closed...

So Computers and Technology class comes to an end. I started this blog because I thought it was a part of an assignment. Slowly I forgot about that assignment, and slowly I started to write things a little more liberal than one would think for an assignment. After about two weeks and a couple of posts, I had forgotten the purpose all together.

My blogging has turned into the reflection period of my teacher training. I like it. I think its useful, and it gets ideas out of my head.

I was talking to one of my friends today (my hairdresser subsequently), and she mentioned how she had thought about going into jouralism. Her issue with that was that she thought it was a dying career. Her reasoning for that was blogging itself.

Media and information can be found anywhere on the net. A lot of the time it is simply someone's opinion, point of view, or the knowledge they have gained. This is what blogging is. One day I hope my blogs can evolve into a source of information that is valid for others. So far it seems like an online diary, but who knows.

The next step is likely to center my blogging topics and make my voice have purpose. I found that as I had my computer class and education to blog about, it wasn't so hard to find something to say.

I think that as my teaching career continues, I will keep it up. There is a lot to be shared, and I think that connecting and collaborating with other teachers will be important to my career.

In sum, unless I think of something to say, this will be my last post here.
I wouldn't mind creating another blog for my student teaching reflections. Heck, why not. WTH, I might even use this one!

Who knows. My journey into the realm of online communication and collaboration surely hasn't come to an end here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What about the old media's literacy?

Just food for thought really... but I tried to use an overhead projector and didn't know what to do.

Using computers and the new aged technologies in the classroom is very important, but I guess I need to brush up on the traditional "teacher technologies". Blackboards and whiteboards I've got down, but I didn't ever think using an overhead projector would be so awkward!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Literature and Social Studies

I just read an interesting article (yes, because I had to) about connecting literature study and social studies. The research was done in the US, so the topic was about Texas in the 1900's, but I think it could be useful for anything.

The research was done using book clubs, and three different kinds of literature: biographies, historical fiction and informational books. Each time a new type of literature was introduced, the teacher would read one aloud, and then the students would choose to become members of 1 of 3 book clubs.

The researchers found that it improved, well, everything! The students inquiry was more indepth, their knowledge base was larger, they asked much better questions, their misconceptions about that time in history were cut in half, and on top of it they enjoyed it (So the researchers say).

I just thought I'd blurb (or blog I guess eh) about it since finding curriculum connections is something we are drilled about in our B ed program. According to these guys it works. I could see it, reading a story about Louie Riel, rather than hearing about him or reading a textbook about him would likley be more fun. That topic could get a lot more interesting, depending on the writer's opinion, and the grit they chose to put in the story.

Back to homework, Cheers

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

End of the world at school?

In our computer class here in good old BU ed, we have to develop a multimedia presentation. It has to be able to be used in the classroom. I've decided to go with something about sustainable development.

A question I've always had, and have been meaning to confound my Social Studies Methods teacher with, is how do you approach the statement, "but the world's going to end in 2012." It is a main stream idea that is buzzing around these days, but if it was going to be touched upon, it would be in Social Studies class, right?

I guess it is like the Y2K bug, but I don't remember that being a big deal.

Promoting sustainable development would be the answer in my mind. Its important, our world needs it, and people are smart enough to do it these days.

What does sustainable development involve though?

I plan on making a multimedia presentation following a piece of garbage or a piece of recycling from my house. I think that works. Or maybe, create a digital story following the concepts brought up in the video The Story of Stuff.

I'll write again when I have little more to say on the topic, but the aforementioned question about the trendy end of the world is something that has been stuck in my mind for a while.

Watch the video if you haven't, its kind of cool, but in ways not entirely age appropriate for my future students... Whats you think?

Thursday, February 4, 2010


This morning I woke up, had a shower and all that jazz, ate some orange juice (the pulpy kind, its like eating), then had some coffee. With my coffee I scoured over facebook. I didn't read a paper, go to a news site, look up anything interesting at all, or even read over my study notes for my quiz. Nope. I read facebook. Its a bad habit gone entirely far-wrong.

How does this reflect on technology? It likely implies more that I need to get my priorities straight, but is technology steering us in the right direction?

Time for a change in the breakfast routine.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Sunday's are supposed to be a day off, right?
I have done just that. I have taken a day off. Not by request, but by necessity. The issue is that I have a lot to do. Its my fault, so I'm not going to complain, but its hard to do things without any motivation. I don't even have motivation to move. Television is good for this. The lack of water in my living room isn't so good for this.

Do teachers ever get Sundays off? I haven't had a Sunday off in almost two years. One was because I actually worked every Sunday, the next year was because Sundays are for homework. Will lesson plans take up most of my Sundays? Or assessment, marking, planning, research, etc.

I was thinking the other day about camping, and how much I love it. Its really a lot of fun. Its messy, and unorganized, cold and hot at the same time, and you get to start a fire whenever you want. Really though, I enjoy camping, and find it hard to picture myself like my parents, reading books outside in a lawnchair under a tarp in a campsite, sipping wine all day long. Thats a pretty mature vacation. Will I get to do that? Oh riiight, there's no school in the summer! Boo Ya.

Seriously, I think I'm going to have a lot of work. We're all going to have a lot of work. It will likely take the place of homework, hense the "work". Only, we're not getting marked on it, we're getting paid for it, and most of all we are shaping children's learning with it. Right now I fit it in because I have the time. I don't have a full-time job, slowly I'm gaining a family, and I seem to put friends and hobbies on the wayside (Thats another rant, I'll blog about it another day). I should be able to do all of that, and be in a classroom all day, or simply working full-time.

Sundays just might become work-days. I hope everyone is okay with that, but I'll try not to bother anyone with it.

Lost is over, and Desperate Housewives is on. I think I can get something done now.. I think.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I have a lot of learning to do.

Through the Social Studies Methods class and the Science Methods class that my classmates and I are enthralled in at the moment, I've realized that I have a lot of learning to do still. It's okay though, because its all kind of neat.

I wonder where that line was, or is for all people, where the stuff you learn in school suddenly becomes interesting. Suddenly, facts about the physical and social world that surround us are suddenly items of interest, things we should know, or ideas and that inspire us.

Reading through the social studies curriculum, my mind is attacked by the need to know, the need to understand, and the desire to be able to recite all of this information. For what reason? I don't know. The science curriculum is much the same. When I was in school I think I was interested, but simple concepts like optics and fluids didn't grab me like they are now. Like, viscosity. I'm not sure of the exact definition but it has to do with the amount of friction exerted by a fluid, affecting its ability to flow. (Thats not exact but I think its close). Now, why at age 24 does that suddenly amaze me. Suddenly I want to know all about it. When I was 13, when this topic would have been taught, I could have cared less.

Perhaps it has to do with my personal drive being present and goal orientated these days, but I think it also might have to do with the teacher's perspective that I am taking on it. I don't remember science from grade eight. But something tells me I should.

I want to inspire creativity, critical thinking, and two things most of all: interest and purpose. Science is applicable in one facet or another, and so is social studies. First, we need to be interested, then we need to do something with that interest.

I've lost my train of thought, so I'm likely not going to have a conclusion here. The only thing I can come to is that I want to teach. But to teach, I have a lot more learning to do.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Memiary - Another Link Stolen From my Teacher

I just read another blog that Mr. Nantais posted on Twitter. It was great. Very honest, down to earth, and talking about how terrible people can be. (Read) There's not much reason to be terrible. I know I want to be sometimes... but man its a lot of work.

He suggested a Memiary. A daily list of 5 good things you did that day. I figured I'd try one out on here instead of signing up for something. I've signed up for a lot of things lately.

1. Ate Pizza for breakfast
2. Only had six cigarettes
3. Hung out with Lucky the dog
4. Got my girlfriend a coffee at work
5. Watched a good movie

hmm.. thats too personal for my blog presence as of yet, so I promise I won't do that again :P

Something like that could help out when we're done our preservice teaching days and hopefully take on professional teaching. I bet it could be stressful, and I bet anyone would take that stress out on one or two of some thirty odd kids in the room. Who wouldn't!... Thats not fair though.

Snapping or having my head explode isn't very fun. But I'm sure I could find five things that happened or that I did that were good in every day as a teacher. I guess stress and personal well-being are things that I'll have to consider..

On we go! Thanks again for the link Mr. Nantais.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Maybe I need to take more time..

..and learn how to use this site!

(Lot of italics... blockquote... I dunno.) :P

Learning is pretty hard..

I just read a blog post, found through a link that was sent to me and many other people, through a tweet, via the Twitter site.. I may have stretched that farther than it needed to go, but all of that happened in a matter of minutes. The next two minutes consisted of me scanning the article and "scanning for headlines", and I came across the point (bold heading number 5) that tells me to "Remember Why I'm Here".
"Learning isn't a race, it should be a pleasurable experience. If you're racing
to keep up with feeds or tweets, maybe its time to thin your subscriptions."

I haven't ran into this problem yet. In fact, I don't think I even qualify in the realm of internet intake I subscribe to a day to even be eligible for this advice. I do find that it applies in many different areas though, especially education. Realizing points like this was a turning point in my education. Its not a race, slow down and take in as much as you can. Learn to cut out things that aren't necessary, and most of all, remember why you're here. You're hear to learn. Not to fill empty space. Take it all in while remembering what is important.

I liked the article, check it out for a breath of fresh air. Thanks Mr. Natais for the link (above).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

First things first...

After reading my blog for a few minutes, I'm sure you'll realize that I am not a doctor. My first name is Dale and my middle name is Robert. Sorry for the inconvenience :)

I have created a similar blog for the Into to Information Technology course I took in my undergrad. I didn't take that course very seriously, and thus didn't get a very serious mark. Now that I am in the B. Ed. after degre, the information technologies I am learning about seem to make more sense. I can apply them directly to my progress in becoming a teacher. Personally, I also have a goal. When I took an information tech class three years ago or what have you, I didn't. I was.. drifting a little bit you might think. At that specific point in time I thought I wanted to be a business man. Wow was I wrong.

We are two weeks into this course and it seems to be going well! I am enjoying it, and learning about new tools that I wouldn't have taken the time to get into otherwise. I started a Twitter account. If you asked me three years ago if I was going to sign up for facebook I would have told you it was stupid, or something along those lines. Facebook and myspace later, I'm tweeting. Wee.

I guess technology oriented learnin is the direction Education is going. It is definately the direction our society seems to be going, so as an up and coming teacher I better know my stuff!!