December 7, 2006

WOW!!

It was very interesting to see classmates' website projects today. I liked them a lot. I learned so many ideas I can use for my future web development. I appreciate all my talented classmates and instructor. Thank you very much.

I still cannot to create a page right (right, Jerry?), but at least I could finally get started on what I had been dreaming. Tonight, I will start creating a real website for my class that does not require Dreamweaver. Someday you will encounter my website on world wide web, until then "Sayonara~!"

December 3, 2006

11-30-06 Assistive Technology

We had a guest speaker again this week. I am using Campus Infinity in school and I love it very much. It is easier to use than the other soft similar to it in other school districts. It is easier to navigate, clear to use for teachers, parents, and students, functional to manage all students' grades, attendances, test scores, other extra curricular activities, family information, and any special needs.

We also saw assistive technology which enable people with disabilities to live connected to the society. I emby American society where all people have rights to live better life. Japan is still far away from this society in terms of assistive technology. In Japan, students with a few learning challenged are recommended to go to special schools. Parents are trying to hide the fact that their children have disabilities. We do not have a good system to support people with disabilities in Japan. My great aunt had disabilities and because of those, she never married and stayed her entire life in our house until she passed away. She used to love to look outside from the window all day long. As a child, I was very embrassed to see her looking outside talking to herself or staring at the city. So just watching people with disabilities living in a society with harmoney with new technology made me embrassed what we have in Japan. I am sure we have many technology to support for people with disabilities in Japan as well, but they are not discussed or aware of people's attention.

Very often, importance of a life is ignored in a society. It is true in school system. Technology is developing and changing every second. I hope all future technology are for all students, teachers, and whoever using the technologies in order to function this global society better place for every single human being.

11-16-06 Geometer's Sketchpad

It was fun working on Geometer's Sketchpad once you know how to use the software.

I personaly like to teach to use paper, pencil, and ruler to create the same thing. It makes more sence to me if I create the graphs and lines with my own hands than computer already made it for me.

I taught the same topic to my middle school students a while ago, so I wished I should have known the software back then. I could have my students to creat and give assignments by using it.

Comparing average students in the US and Japan, US students are less precise when they creat graphs and charts. So I really recommend math teachers not to use these software unless it is crutial to use the technology. The students need to learn how to learn accuracy and ligibility without using technology in order to practice thinking skills and obervation skills.

It was attractive though.

11-2-06 Schooling and Learning in an Information Society

Kathleen really liked this article, while I was little confused to figure out the atuhor's point.

Experience is the best teacher, but when we cannot have that experience right away, technologies enable us to feel like "we experienced it." Like, after watching a movie in the theater, you feel like you were there and lived the same life the character lived in the movie.

Technology in schools made possible for students to have opportunities to show their multiple intelligences and skills by applying their knowledge to real life situations through different projects like audio or video tape recording, visual art display, multimedia communication, physical movements, active debates, community services, etc. to make their learning alive.

However, technology is not a super power for education. Teachers need to be aware of how to use technology in class. Technology is not a cure for education neither. It is just a tool to support learning and teaching more interesting, approachiable and meaningful for diverse populations of learners and teachers.

I do not know what is happenning to technology in schooling and learning in next decade. I wish we are using it as our paper and pencil right now, and all students and teachers can own it as our paper and pencil.

Google Earth

Google Earth is wonderful because it is FREE!!! I installed it to my computer a while ago, but since then they add so many features we can do by using the software.
We have learned we could use GPS Photo Linker, GEO Tech, iPhoto, moodle, Google API..and so on. Unfortunately, my computer was not fast enough to go to these tools; moreover, I am not fast enough nor a computer literate to follow all of his instructions.
However, what I saw on the big screen were very fascinating and I definitely want to use Google Earth in my class when I talk about Japanese geography, how Japanese cities, roads, buildings, housing areas are planned. My students can write a report on how development of cities gave an impact on Japanese group sprit, communal life, and harmony within a groups and a society. I also like the idea Joan mentioned about English literature class to make a map of places where a focused author lived to create the novels. I can use a map of Japan to create “The Path of Ukiyoe (wood block prints) Artists� or “The Path of Haiku Writer.� It will give better understandings for the students how they created arts by traveling places to places. I saw some maps are all in Japanese, so I can use the map for reading practice after students learned kanji (Chinese characters) city names.

10-19-06 “Public School Teachers Using Machines in the Next Decade�

No technology is accessible in every single classroom. However, cooperating world, we cannot live without technology these days. If you go to stores, they cannot function stores without computers, if you go to a restaurant, you will realize waitresses and waiters use computers for entering orders and checking out, when you buy anything, computers are involved somehow. If you go to a bank, all systems are computerized, if you see a lawyer, dentist, doctor, psychiatrist, whoever you name it, they all use computers and their computers are right there, but not for the teachers. In my case, I teach at three different schools, so it is much easier for me to carry my own laptop and do attendance and grading with my computer whenever I have a chance to use it. But my school told me that I cannot bring my own computer to school because they cannot be responsible for personal use computer. (then, register my computer!!) It takes time to sign up for using projector and computer center because Japanese is considered “less technology important class.�
School districts are always carrying tons of issues and problems, and usually teachers’ problems are discussed last or never. Administrators listen to parents and students, but not teachers because we are not tax payers. I hope “the latest likely scenario� can come true sooner, but it will take another decade to make it happen for all the district and schools in the United States. Comparing to the U.S.A, Japan is much behind on technology use in public schools. It is wonderful that at least, the US educators are much more aware of importance of using technology in schools.

My Favorite Website

http://momiji.jpf.go.jp/kyozai/index.php

This i s my favorite website. This site is created by Japan Foundation(an independent administrative institution), Japanese Language Institute in Urawa, Japan. In this institute, they offer teacher training school, Japanese language courses, give away free matereials, and news letters.
It is my favorite because: this is a very good Japanese language learning website for beginning learners created by experienced teachers in well-organized manner, students can learn grammar on their own pace and be able to focus on specific grammar points, this site gives well organized exercies, worksheets, listening comprehension practices, writing practices, and this site also gives on-line test adn assessment which students can test their understandings, and achievement.

This site is information tool, but it can also be mind tool depending on how teacher use it.
I hope people can use it as a resource for talking about Japan and its culture and language in other subjects.

November 9, 2006

Google Earth is Cool!

Google Earth is wonderful because it is FREE!!! I installed it to my computer a while ago, but since then they add so many features we can do by using the software.
We have learned we could use GPS Photo Linker, GEO Tech, iPhoto, moodle, Google API..and so on. Unfortunately, my computer was not fast enough to go to these tools; moreover, I am not fast enough nor a computer literate to follow all of his instructions.
However, what I saw on the big screen were very fascinating and I definitely want to use Google Earth in my class when I talk about Japanese geography, how Japanese cities, roads, buildings, housing areas are planned. My students can write a report on how development of cities gave an impact on Japanese group sprit, communal life, and harmony within a groups and a society. I also like the idea Joan mentioned about English literature class to make a map of places where a focused author lived to create the novels. I can use a map of Japan to create “The Path of Ukiyoe (wood block prints) Artists� or “The Path of Haiku Writer.� It will give better understandings for the students how they created arts by traveling places to places. I saw some maps are all in Japanese, so I can use the map for reading practice after students learned kanji (Chinese characters) city names.

November 5, 2006

Teh Computer Delusion

This was an interesting article about use of computer in school programs. I think that computer is just a tool. It is no more or no less than academic devise which can aide student's learning. The computer will not be able to improve students' intelligence. Computer is attractive for students because they can get any information they want to get through worldwide web while they are sitting in a classroom. It is interesting and can delude students' intelligence. Computer is attractive for students because they can get any information they want to get through worldwide web while they are sitting in a classroom. It is interesting and can delude that students' learning and teaching significantly improved by use of computers. In the article they mentioned that "computer enthusiasts insist that the computer's "interactivity" and multimedia features make this machine for superior to television." Computers and television can aid teaching and learning more exciting and interesting because of their accessibility to bigger world. However, they will never be able to substitute teaching solid skills in reading, thinking, listening, and talking; organizing inventive field trips and other rich hands-on experiences. We hear so many bad and sickening news of children, adults, and adult children who do not interact with others in normal society and computers are their only friends. These people were created by leaders, administrators, politicians who like to play with money games. And always regular people are their victims.

October 19, 2006

10-12-06

If I Teach This Way, Am I Doing My Job?

When learning takes a place, “students learn by taking in information from the world and constructing their own meaning from the experiences as opposed to someone telling them bits of information.� People are all learners no matter how old they are. When we take information from the experiences, it all matters that how much time we spent on exploring the experiences of everyday lives. Through all education classes I took, instructors emphasized on to develop the student-centered, meaningful, and engaging experiences for students. And technology enabled teachers to plan more student-centered lessons than before. As examples of Elizabeth’s classroom, students get excited when they use computers because the students can feel more authority on what they are doing, and they can work on their paces. It is like an Individual Educational Plan. When I was in high school, technology was a story in near future. I bought my first computer when I graduated from high school. I was not interested in computers, so I am still afraid of technology. So I hesitate to use it in my class. Teachers like Elizabeth know how to use it and how to utilize it effectively.
I teach language with less technology. Only time I use technology in my class is to have my students contact with Japanese students through internet. They are exchanging e-mails with Japanese students and making friends in Japan. I had my students make movies about American High School Life as a final project for Level II. My students loved doing the project because they knew they were making videos to send their friends in Japan.
The best way to teach languages is to send students to the country where the language is spoken, but it is not possible for everybody. So I keep trying to use as many technologies as possible in my class. I really like the websites and resources that Kazue introduced during her presentation. I wish we have more computers in school, (hopefully computers in every classroom.)

10-5-06

Using computer as cognitive tools can be challenging without “Hands-in.� We cannot think of classrooms without computers these days. Teachers create their worksheets using computers, give assignments using computers, taking attendance by using computers, communicating with parents, other teachers, and students with computers. It seems like there are no classrooms without computers these days.
My students do not use computers in class that mush, but they use computer at home, maybe, as passively perceive them as tutors or repositories of information. That’s how I mostly use my computer at home.
I give my students Video production as final exam at the end of school year. The theme is “High School in USA.� I assign a topic such as school activity, classes, building and departments, extra curricular activities, sports to each group of three students. They will create 5-10 minutes video on these topics. I am wondering if this was an example of usage of computer as cognitive tools. Some students can research and create wonderful video with cool effects and features, some create simple modest video. They use Japanese because I send the video to Japanese students in Japan to introduce our school in Minnesota. I believe that my students are using computer as cognitive tools through simple project.
Computer is a tool just like a knife. It made our life very easy in many ways just like a knife. It all depends on how a person uses it just like a knife. We can make a fire from a knife, or we can kill a person with a knife. Using computer as cognitive tools in classroom depend on how a teacher teaches how to use it and how to teach how to use it.
And I am learning how to use computer as cognitive tools through this class.

9-21-06

It has been a while since Hypertext became one of the main sources for information worldwide. I came to study at a university in US in 1998 with a little experience with technology. I had been using e-mails and chat in Japan but Hypertexts were not primary source for gathering information back then. When I turned in my first research paper to my college professor in 1998, I was still researching through books at the library.
We now can find almost all information we need to live through Hypertexts these days. We can reach information we need with less effort than looking through mountains of books at the library.

I can spend hours and hours just clicking words on a computer screen. Nancy Patterson argues teachers need to help students transact with hypertext and think reflectively about the meaning the students are constructing from that form of text everyday bit as much as they do with printed text. In fact, as she mentioned about printing hypertext whenever she needs it, I do print any hypertext which is important for me to read and keep it as hard copies. I hope our students are doing the same things for their learning. However, it is not always the case. They prefer to have hard copies given from a teacher. If I don’t prepare hard copies for my students, they think that assignment is not as important as given hard copies.

The author also talked about Louise Rosenblatt’s words and said the reader is always a center to the text. Hypertext gives authorities for the readers for sure because the readers are making decisions on what to read.

As educators, we can move a step or steps forward for our students. We will create wonderful lessons through this course, and give opportunities to our students to become coauthors and collaborators to Hypertexts. I really want to hear your opinions and wonderful ideas to use hypertexts effectively for students to become coauthor or collaborators.

10-19-06

No technology is accessible in every single classroom. However, cooperating world, we cannot live without technology these days. If you go to stores, they cannot function stores without computers, if you go to a restaurant, you will realize waitresses and waiters use computers for entering orders and checking out, when you buy anything, computers are involved somehow. If you go to a bank, all systems are computerized, if you see a lawyer, dentist, doctor, psychiatrist, whoever you name it, they all use computers and their computers are right there, but not for the teachers. In my case, I teach at three different schools, so it is much easier for me to carry my own laptop and do attendance and grading with my computer whenever I have a chance to use it. But my school told me that I cannot bring my own computer to school because they cannot be responsible for personal use computer. (then, register my computer!!) It takes time to sign up for using projector and computer center because Japanese is considered “less technology important class.�
School districts are always carrying tons of issues and problems, and usually teachers’ problems are discussed last or never. Administrators listen to parents and students, but not teachers because we are not tax payers. I hope “the latest likely scenario� can come true sooner, but it will take another decade to make it happen for all the district and schools in the United States. Comparing to the U.S.A, Japan is much behind on technology use in public schools. It is wonderful that at least, the US educators are much more aware of importance of using technology in schools.

September 14, 2006

9-14-06 Power Point Evil?

Is Power Point really evil?

September 7, 2006

September 7, 2006

I was too nurvous to touch keyboard today because I did not want to make any mistakes. I am not a machine person. In fact, I am not good with any electricity. For example, I just burn my ring finger yesterday when I was cooking. I burnt my wrist while I was cooking...I lost all my concept map before I saved it....I hate computer, machines, or any electricities. So I will see how I can survive in this class.