Wednesday, December 12, 2007

PLN Reflections

I want you to take some time and really reflect on our use of Personal Learning Networks. Think about the following questions and compose a detailed and thoughtful response in order to guide our use of PLNs for second semester. You must incorporate #9 in with your response.

1. What do you like about PLNs?
2. What are some challenges of PLNs?
3. What do you think of the PLN presentations in class on Fridays?
4. Does it help you to get the reactions of your classmates to your presentation? Should we be reflecting, in writing, on each other’s blogs more often? Do you actually read them?
5. Are the categories of your subscriptions helpful?
6. When you don't complete an assigned PLN, why don't you?
7. Are there any suggestions or changes you think we need to make for next semester?
8. What skills do you think you acquired? What will you take away from these assignments? How will you improve and hold yourself accountable to do that?
9. What is the value of your learning? Would you see this as valuable if you weren’t receiving a grade? Is learning important to you?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mango Blog-The Meaning of Success

Please answer the following question-make sure to also comment on at least one other person's opinion in your own reflection.

What does it mean to be successful? Where did you get this ideal from?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Example of a Personal Learning Network Blog

Hey class: I wanted to show you my own personal example of a blog for our PLN's-mine is a little long because I ranted for some time. Notice that I linked the orginal article to my blog.

“Spears charged with hit and run” from BBC news feed

Once again, the media has graced us with more important life information regarding Britney Spears and her many foibles. This time, she is not baring her lack of undergarment use, atrocious fashion faux-pauxs, getting bashed for her horrendous lip-synched song at the VMA’s or raging in Vegas till the break of dawn as her children wait with her nannies or whatever personal assistants she has; now, she has been charged with hitting a parked car (once again-it’s time Ms. Spears visits traffic school) and driving away as well as not having a valid driver’s license.
BBC states,” The 25-year-old could face six months in jail and a $1,000 (£495) fine if convicted of the misdemeanor charges.” Along with these allegations, she has been ordered to have random drug and alcohol screenings, due to her habitual use, during the custody battles of her two children with former husband, Kevin Federline. The judge also ordered her to go to parenting classes (you think?). If this wasn’t the cherry on top, Spears’ new album has been dropped by management due to the public criticism about her performance.
This may be the smartest thing a record label has done- no offense to those of you who enjoy digitalized voice-overs and cheesy lyrics, but pop music is already on the decline and to spare us from an album that was supposed to drop in November is something that I thank them for. As a teenager, she sang, “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.” Has she ever left adolescence? When will Britney grow up? Why is it that I cannot watch or listen to anything without the media sensationalizing celebrity lives? Why should I care? The fact remains, our society is obsessed; we get sucked into the jaws of people’s misfortunes and problems and we worry about the state of Bradgelina, who is shopping on Rodeo Drive, who dropped fifty million on a yacht, and we judge their fashion sense and compare “Who Looks Better” in an outfit. Our ideals and priorities are jaded as to what is important in this world. We want and desire for too much; we don’t truly focus on what we NEED; we are living in “ME” times; we crave gossip and do not look away.

It’s like the Tool song, “Vicarious,”
-‘Eye on the TV/cause tragedy thrills me/whatever flavor/it happens to be like/ ‘Killed by the husband’/ ‘Drowned by the ocean’/… ‘That’s my kind of story’…/ Don’t look at me like I am a monster/ Frown out your own face…/Stare like a junkie/into the TV/Stare like a zombie/Cause I need to watch things die/From a distance/Vicariously, I live while the whole world dies/You all need it too-don’t lie’…”
We are consumed not only by violence and tragedy, but the lives of people, who I must say, do not have normal lives. People, Hollywood is NOT REAL-it’s the land of the fruits and the nuts and the flakes! Hollywood exists to take us away from what is REAL. I can’t even go to the grocery store without seeing celebrity faces plastered on the covers of magazines talking about what drama has ensued. Why are we so concerned? Do we not have enough going on in our own lives that we have to allow ourselves to get sucked into this media frenzy? I’ll admit I do sometimes.
As far as Britney is concerned, there are obvious issues that I don’t care to analyze any further. It’s sad, but we, the public, feed her problems. I’m not going to defend anything, nor do I have to. I’m incapable of small talk anymore. I don’t have children, but I look at who young people have for role models, people who are close to their approximate age, and it saddens me (at least as a whole-there are some good role models doing amazing things for the world-but we don’t hear about that too often). Who do our young girls really look up to? Do they think that a Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, the girls from “Laguna Beach” or anyone else our media puts out there for us to see, EVERYDAY, is a strong role model? How are these values, or lack thereof, reflected in our youth? We already know kids are influenced by their peers most of the time more so than their parents or teachers. That’s not to say that adults do not influence positively. But what do these young women teach our young girls? What do they think when they see these bulletins flashed across the media networks? I think they do pay attention. Who is teaching them to be strong, independent, intelligent women who do not have to act a certain way to get attention? I see some behaviors that are very concerning within our young girls. Where are they getting it from? You may think I’m over-generalizing, but I think there is something to be said for what is out there that our youth, who are like sponges, grab a hold of. Maybe we’ve been blindsided. Maybe it’s not our fault. I don’t believe everything I see or hear, but I do believe that what I do see and hear becomes a part of what I believe everyday. Sometimes, I feel sickened by it because I think I’m not focusing on what is truly relevant and real. As far as this world is concerned, I’m sick of hearing about self-indulged, privileged, selfish individuals when we could be paying attention to all the good that is around us. I’m already scared that our country is becoming more divided and people are losing their patriotism. I ‘m scared about the state of some facets in our Constitution. I’m scared that people turn the cheek because they don’t think they can make a difference and just settle. I’m scared that we don’t think about WHAT TRULY MATTERS. Throughout this rant, one idea has become apparent in my head-I can voice my opinions, and I can teach my students how to write a good blog entry and be critical thinkers about the world around them-but only they are capable of caring about what is around them. I want them to see that there is so much out there that they are blind; maybe these Personal Learning Networks can open them to possibilities and questions they never knew existed. I do not assume that my students don’t seek to discover new information or know what events are going on around them-but if they open their eyes that much more they can find truth, knowledge and find a sense of self-true constructivist learning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Summer Reading

Over the summer, you were asked to read at least two novels of your choice.

1) Please tell me briefly what you read, including the titles and authors.

2) I want to know what you liked about the books, what you learned and, more importantly, what matters to you about the book's content.

Make sure to adhere to proper conventions and proofread your response.

Your Learning

Please answer the following questions: (Make sure you proofread and use complete sentences)

1) What is the value of learning?

2) What is your role as a learner?