Archive for July, 2008

Vote for me!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2008 by Mister A

Yeah…vote for me…thanks Scott Merrick!!!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Viral marketing interface for electio…“, posted with vodpod

KerryJ’s Idea – tips for noobs like me…

Posted in Educational with tags , , on July 30, 2008 by Mister A

I just read a blog post by Kerrj about tips for newcomers to SL and I commented on it…I thought it was such a good idea, I decided to do the same thing with my I don’t know if I can think of 10…but I will think of as many as possible…

1. Read the blog post at KerryJ’s Blog. There are some excellent ideas there.

2. If you are engaged in any type of animation like sitting or doing the salsa, don’t teleport somewhere until after you stand up or stop the animation…or else when you get there you will look normal to yourself and be in animation to everyone else…

3. Don’t do things (like pole dance) that you wouldn’t want other people to see you do…because everyone there has a camera.

4. Sunn mentioned this, I think…Read blogs by teachers in SL.

5. Don’t be afraid of Unicorn-Rabbit-Snakedonkeys…They are people, too.

6. Help others whenever you can…I think that is a good way to reinforce your own learning.

7. In your own profile…you can save your favorite places in the tab labeled Picks.

8. Dance.

9. ctrl-shift y turns the lights on.

10. ctrl-shift h sends you home

11. Be moderate your online activity…it can be addictive…so learn to balance…something I really struggle with…

I hate stopping on non prime numbers so I went to 11…If you have any tips for newcomers to SL…please post them in the comments…they will definitely help this newcomer…Thanks KerryJ for this excellent idea…I will make a similar post in my blog since I just wrote all this anyway…

Quest Atlantis

Posted in Educational on July 29, 2008 by Mister A

One important change that has occurred for me recently involves my belief that Multi User Virtual Environments (MUVE’s) will have tremendous impact on education. I recently completed a professional development workshop in a project run by Indiana University called Quest Atlantis. The project is led by Dr. Sasha Barab. I believe educational tools like Quest Atlantis are going to normal in our classrooms in the near, possibly very near future. Not only does QA (Quest Atlantis) meet curricular objectives from all subject areas, but it also lets students develop a variety of digital literacy skills that will have great positive impacts on the students who are able to utilize this terrific tool. Students complete activities called quests by completing a variety of educational activities and collaborating with students and other teachers, from a variety of different places. All activities are related to the following 7 social commitments:

I met with my supervisor this morning and I have been given the okay to begin utilizing Quest Atlantis in my classroom. I was even able to download the program on 3 out of the 10 computers in my classroom. I think I need administrative rights on the other seven. Ed Gentry, always helpful, was there and I was having a conversation with him before my boss came in. It was amazing to my boss that I could be talking to a person in Indiana through an avatar and instant messaging.

On a personal note:

People I talked with this morning from Australia…Hard to tell who is who though…Australians sound a lot alike to me…These are great teachers and they talked to me…I don’t know how amazing that I talked with them is to them…but it still boggles my mind…Annabel, Al Upton, Saphire, Dewi, Outback, and last but not least, Slammed…our conversation occurred at Dewi’s place on the islands of Jokaydia. We were discussing IWB’s (Interactive White Boards) and how to use them effectively in the classroom…and Star Wars too…

Diigo updates – July 28th

Posted in Educational on July 28, 2008 by Mister A

I am trying my updates this week using a different format…not a list but a paragraph…

Scott Merrick let me attend a workshop he put on in Nashville via skype (see Day 2 info). He used his cell phone and Gcast to podcast a summary of Day 2…while he was driving, I might add. A colleague of mine at WaldenU has begun blogging at J9defteacher’s Weblog. I could not believe all the resources at the following site – The complete Web 2.0 sites directory, same goes for Welcome to FunnyMonkey! | FunnyMonkey – Tools for Teachers. Angela A Thomas is another outstanding Aussie Educator, and I found this interesting article on networking…Techlearning > > Social Networking—Why Are We Afraid? > May 1, 2008.

List is easier…I will do a list from now on…

Fence Building with Mnelson

Posted in Personal on July 22, 2008 by Mister A

I have a close friend who helped me build a fence. He has been teaching for the past 17 years at Highwood High School in Highwood, MT. The fact that my fence is so level is a testament to his ability to pay attention to detail. That ability is probably one reason that he has been such a successful coach for the Highwood Mountaineers. They play six-man football there and he has been their head football coach each of those 17

that is a level fence, dude...

that is a level fence, dude...

years. He has done an amazing job, winning 10 state championships in his stint as their Head Coach, most recently in 2006. Earlier this month, he retired and is moving on to bigger and brighter things and a new profession. He will have more time now to spend with his own children, something I know is of highest priority for him. Highwood will have a hard time replacing this excellent coach and educator and I know he will be sorely missed by the entire community, especially the players he has coached. He will be working less time and not have to pay to drive 50 miles to and from work each day. And most importantly, I will never again have to be the offensive coordinator for little guy football.

Hey Dean, they need a football coach and a Math teacher in Highwood, Montana…hehe

Walden Week 4

Posted in Educational, Masters work, Personal with tags , on July 16, 2008 by Mister A

Week 4 Discussion – Initial Post

During a spring Wikispace project my students worked on called the Far and Away Project I interviewed several students about their internet usage both at home and at school. There were ten students involved in the project, most were 7th graders. One thing that was surprising to me at that time was the ease with which certain students could bypass our district’s proxy server. In fact, students were able to login to their web mail accounts and check their email whenever they wished. This was pretty amazing to me since all forms of web mail including msn, yahoo, and gmail are all blocked in our district. I had always heard they could get past the blocker if they wanted to, but had never seen it done until I worked with kids on the Wiki Project. This made me think that many students have more access at school than many of our teachers since most of our teachers simply give up when the big yellow screen with a stop sign in the middle pops up. Dr. Thornburg’s analogy of digital immigrants and digital natives is very appropriate in my school. If certain teachers at my school can’t figure something out, many, including me, will ask students how something works. I consider asking a student how to do something an effective method of losing my teacherly voice.

Another thing I learned through those informal interviews is the power that social networks possess for students. It still boggles my mind that some students who, to me, seemed to be the most scattered I had, could keep track of over four hundred global friends on their MySpace account. The most innovative teachers have already begun taking advantage of the power social learning has for students with wikis and educational blogs. I think something even more powerful that is currently developing in various educational arenas is the use of MUVE’s in education. Global Kids and Quest Atlantis are both excellent examples of programs that utilize Social Learning in a contextual framework.

In the coming school year, I will provide my students with more opportunities for group activities and projects. One way I will accomplish this goal is by having a classroom wiki. I also plan to begin utilizing Quest Atlantis in my practice. To be a more effective teacher, I need to begin taking advantage of middle school aged children’s natural social nature .

On a personal Note:

We said goodbye to our beloved Sloopy last weekend by taking her ashes on one final camp trip and could not resist taking a look at some other pups at the dog pound…Buster is our new dog’s name 🙂

Diigo Updates

Posted in Educational on July 14, 2008 by Mister A

Here are this weeks Diigo updates. BetchaBlog has an excellent intro to web2.0 page. Konrad Glogowski writes the Blog of Proximal Development and is currently having a South African adventure…Computer Clubhouse will help me with my computer club next year…and I met some new Australians…

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