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Should teachers be concerned with copyright infringement?

22 Mar

I have gotten many lesson plan ideas, activities, or games to use in the numerous lesson plans I have written. I am sure that I will continue using the public domain of the Internet to collect ideas, show my ideas, and always have something new in my classroom. But should I or other teachers be worried about copyright infringement? “Copyright is a “deal” that the American people, through Congress, made with the writers and publishers of books,” (Vaidhyanathan, 21). Teachers have numerous online, text, references, and resources for developing unit plans and activities for their students.

If it’s from the online public domain we don’t have to be worried about copyright because all rights to the ideas expire once they are on the Internet and anyone is allowed to use and distribute the ideas, activities, or lesson plans on the Internet. This is important to know because from one idea generates another and since there are numerous ways to teach a lesson the more teachers can share the more we are able to collaborate. Thinkfinity.org is a free online public domain for teachers to find, share, and connect with other teachers. It is a search engine website that only generates to other teaching websites, links, and online resources. It is an absolutely amazing domain to look through for any lesson plan. You can search a topic, a subject, or even curriculum standards and pages of information will turn up at the click of a button.

http://thinkfinity.org/

Although most things educators find on the Internet are safe to use we should still be aware of what copyright means.

Copyright was created as a policy that balanced the interests of authors, publishers, and readers…Copyright is more than one right. It is a       “bundle” of rights that includes the exclusive rights to make copies, authorize others to make copies, create derivative works such as translations and displays in other media, sell the work, perform the work publicly, and petition a court for relief in case others infringe on any of these rights. (Vaidhyanathan, 20-21)

Since teachers mostly like making numerous copies of worksheets or display different forms of media in the classroom some may begin to worry about possible infringement. However, the online public domain makes it harder (not impossible) to break copyright laws.

http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech121.shtml

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You Tube Phenomenon

15 Mar

After watching An Anthropological Introduction to You Tube it made me think about my own “You Tube Journey”. My dad is very technology savvy and is always telling me about the new phenomena on the internet.  I remember when my dad first told me about You Tube and of course it was around the time You Tube first came out.  Nobody really knew what to think about You Tube but I remember him telling me, “Look Laur, you can put yourself or anything you want up on the internet. You can become your own little star.”

This was all happening while I was in high school, so You Tube was exploding around me.  When you walked down the halls you would hear about the new video on You Tube. I used You Tube in high school to figure out how I would act out a certain song on stage because everyone put their performances up on You Tube. I finally made my own account and put my first video up. The video was of me in Footloose singing Let’s Hear It for The Boys.  It didn’t catch on like a lot of other You Tube videos but to this day it has over 1,000 views.  If you think about it one thousand more people saw that video, and that is amazing.

You Tube is an amazing phenomenon. It gives people the opportunity to do things such as create movies, music videos, instructional videos, and much much more. It’s a powerful tool for freedom of speech. You can also use You Tube in the classroom. It is a great place to get free material and every teacher likes educational material that is free. We should not sensor You Tube from the schools. We should learn how to use it to our benefit. You can actually learn a lot from You Tube. For example my brother made three experimental steady cams and learned the concepts all from watching You Tube videos. You Tube gives people the opportunity to show the world what they can do. 

Can Technology Better The Way We Teach Reading?

10 Mar

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better: it’s not.”

            This notable quote is from the Dr. Seuss Book, The Lorax, who would have celebrated his 108th birthday on Friday, March 2nd, 2012. The month of March is known as the month for “Read Across America” as students are challenged to read as many books as possible in this given month.

This quote is relatable to the education system in New Jersey and the United States. If something is wrong, nothing is going to be fixed unless a person or people really care about the education system. An important part of being involved in schools is finding more ways to better our education system. One of the currently popular topics involved with the educational system is the use of or ways of technology in the classroom; furthermore, there is the possibility of using different forms of technology to teach reading, something that the famous author Dr. Seuss was very passionate about. Seuss’s books are still loved by children all around the world today in thousands of schools.

The article “Technology and Teaching Children to Read: What does the research say?” by NEIR*TEC, provides numerous ways to use technology to teach phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. These five skills are important for all students to master in order to become successful readers. Some of the technologies mentioned were computer software, E-books, multimedia, computer- based games, or computer drill programs.

Although Dr. Seuss is not around to see the transformation technology has provided in the classroom, he would most likely have embraced the interaction technology brings to the table when teaching young children to read. His books about Truffula trees, Whoville, the Cat in the Hat, Star-Belly Sneetches, Fish, Grinch, Lorax, and hundreds more, were all meant to bring children into the world of “Seussville” in an interactive way. Technology and creative authors like Dr. Seuss can change the way reading is taught to children in a positive and far more interactive way then schools have ever seen before.

Other Links to Look at:

Technology and Teaching Children to Read

Seussville Online

Factors about Schooling Areas

9 Mar

 

Every new semester I have an opportunity to visit different schools around my area and observe what they do. We are also suppose to research some contextual factors about the area. Contextual factors are defined as “attributes of areas that derive from structural or social characteristics of the area” (hsph.harvard.edu). The following is how contextual factors can help educators and what they can tell us about the area.

Contextual factors can help us in a lot of ways. They can help us identify the area we are going into and what to expect. For example in Bridgeton New Jersey there is a high population of Hispanic speaking citizens. You need to know this because you need a plan on how you will communicate with the parents. Also Bridgeton has a lot of poverty, and diversity. These three contextual factors should and will affect the way you teach.

Having a high population of Hispanic speaking citizens, means that you might need a translator at parent teacher conferences. There are also students who are bi-lingual and don’t know a lot of English.  The best way to approach this is to be patient. In the Bridgton school district they have translators that can speak to students and help them with their work. In the classroom I observe we have a Spanish speaking aid that comes in everyday to help with the Spanish speaking students. I also learned from being in the classroom that it is hard to send home notes to the families if they speak Spanish. I would look into finding a translator for the letters I have to write home.

Another element adding to having a lot of Hispanic students is to make sure your classroom is still diverse and multicultural. Mark Chesler in Teaching well in the diverse/multicultural Classroom, states the following key points in handling a classroom of diverse culture: “Handle race- and gender-related incidents in the class with confidence, avoid racist behavior as an instructor, incorporate critical thinking about race, gender, help students deal with these differences in class.” Teachers should take these suggestions into consideration and apply them to their classroom. To make your classroom more multicultural you could have different books that talk about different parts of the world. You could also set up your dramatic play center to inspire children to go on air-plane rides to different parts of the world.

Poverty can affect a child but don’t assume it affects the way they learn. The pedagogy of Poverty Versus Good Teaching says that “you cannot assume poverty prevents a child from understanding the material.” You can help with having an enriched learning environment also. From Eric Jensen’s book Teaching with Poverty in Mind “An enriched learning environment offers challenging, complex curriculum and instruction, provides the lowest-performing students with the most highly qualified teachers, minimizes stressors, boosts participation in physical activity and the arts, ensures that students get good nutrition and provides students with the support they need to reach high expectations.”  To have an enriched classroom is to change up the normal routine and to explore many new things. Students should also be involved in the preparation of their class. “Whenever students are involved in planning what they will be doing, it is likely that good teaching is going on” (Haberman 82). When a student is involved with what they are learning most likely they will learn better. This reminds me of “Play Planning” from the Tools of the Mind curriculum that they use in Bridgeton. When students “play plan” they are planning out what they are going to do in the play centers.

The contextual factors in Bridgeton differ from other areas. To be a teacher in Bridgeton you must be aware that students come for Hispanic backgrounds and some from poverty. You also must introduce them to different cultures. The teacher must make sure that they understand the students and where they come from. Knowing what the contextual factors are of the school and students will help you in every way to be able to teach affectively.

Less Budget for Early Childhood Education

8 Mar

While this article (linked below) is for the state of Kentucky, who knows what’s going to happen for the other states including New Jersey. $7.5 million dollars LESS is in the budget for early childhood education which was originally $15 million. Though this still leaves a large sum of money, is it really enough?

As a student going to college to be an early childhood education teacher, this boggles my mind. The early childhood years are the most important years in fostering a child’s learning. How you set them up in preschool and kindergarten is going to set them up for their future in schooling. How could someone take away from that? Early years of schooling are what gives a child socialization skills, where they learn to write their name, identify numbers, letters, shapes, and colors, and many other things. Yes a child can learn those things in later years of school, but that is only going to set them back and put them behind on what they really should be learning at certain ages. Early childhood education isn’t any less of schooling then elementary or secondary education. If anything it is MORE important.

Even though they are assuring people that with less of a budget, the early childhood education for children will stay the same, how could it? Less of a budget means less room for children, less supplies, and less of other things. The budget should be cut in things that aren’t as necessary for children (which I’m not going to state now because that can be saved for another blog). I can only hope that budget cuts for early childhood education don’t keep happening.

http://www.wfpl.org/2012/03/06/house-budget-includes-7-5-million-less-for-early-childhood-education/

 

Can children learn from video games?

1 Mar

Video games are taking over and many argue that children learn from video games. I do believe that children can learn from CERTAIN video games, but not all. Children are not learning from video games where they are robbing stores, killing people, or bombing a certain race. The only thing children are learning from those type of video games are violence and how to hate a certain group of people. These video games make it okay for children to kill off an entire race of people, sell drugs, or run over people with cars. That is not the real world. If we teach children that all of these negative things are okay by including them in video games they are going to grow up wanting to do the things they learned from these video games. However, there are video games that are educational and do help children learn. They help children solve problems, strategies, learn math, etc. There are also many educational apps that help children with math, reading, learning the alphabet, or writing. If we are going to use video games as a way for children to learn, they need to be educational video games and not video games where children are only learing to kill people.

Video games

1 Mar

Video games have become a huge part of our generation and it seems everywhere we go there is someone talking about a video game or we walk into the food court at Rowan and there are multiple people playing video games for hours. I think we need to realize the huge influence these games and consoles actually have on our lives. While I was a huge video game fan when I was younger, I grew out of that phase and I only play games with my boyfriend every once in a while. Although this is true, I have also never thought of a video game as being educational, as I am sure many people would agree, but I can also say that after reading many of these articles, they really are.
The video games these kids are playing are not only providing a place for self identity but it also promotes learning. Many people that have played these games can learn how to solve puzzles, strategics, and learn new tactics. I think it is extremely important to realize that young kids seem to know how to play these games as soon as they are born. Babysitting, kids can whip out their controllers and immediately know how to play while I am using two fingers, struggling trying to follow what they are doing. Even with games that have just come out, like Just Dance, the kids learn the dance steps so quickly while I need to practice several hours to learn one dance. Video games are taking over and I think we need to start seeing them as good things that can help our learning, not hinder it.