Friday, December 17, 2010

So...are they? Or aren't they?

The blogosphere is abuzz with rumors that Delicious is going to be shut down. And then there are other articles - like this one from Yahoo! themselves - that says that they won't. So what to do? Do you believe them? Do you export your stuff, only to find that you just did a lot of work that you didn't have to? Do you rely on Delicious, only to find that one day all of your precious bookmarks are gone?

So...not that you asked for it, but here is my advice. Start exporting. Move over to a different bookmarking site - like Google Bookmarks - and maintain your account at Delicious. See which one you like better. If you still like Delicious, then keep using until they shut down (IF they shut down).

To me, the end of Delicious will be an end of an era. Do we not care any longer what other people are bookmarking? If so, what will this mean for technology and the use of the internet? Will the "next big thing" isolate us more - or ultimately continue to connect us further? I can't imagine my life without the ability to search through tags and have my friends recommend pages for me. But then again, I could never have imagined myself twenty years ago with the ability to talk on a phone while driving or writing for free in a forum for the whole world. So, I guess there's that.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Overly flattered, incredibly humbled

I have to admit, I was not expecting the email today. I had long given up the idea of blogging here. It's not that I don't still try to do cutting edge tech stuff in my classroom. It was that I got busy, life got complicated, and I didn't want to put my energies here anymore. one was reading, right?

This is where I was wrong. I received an email that informed me that I am on a list of the 2010 Midwest Teacher Blogs to follow. I can't believe it - I haven't posted in over two years! Then I went to my blog and started reading it....and there are comments from this year.

I am SO sorry to those of you who have asked me questions. It might take me a bit, but I will get to answering all of them. I will post more. And finally, I will try more ideas in my classroom and post them here.

So on that note, anyone have anything they would like me to talk about? Anything you want me to try? I'm up for about anything.

Oh - and thanks for reading. I am humbled by your faith in me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What will you do different next year?

Over the past week or so, I have had a lot of time to think about how I use technology in my classroom. I am helping to create the Computer and Technology Literacy curriculum that our 7th graders will use in our district, and in so doing, have had to look at what I use in my own classroom.

My findings? I do use more than the average teacher, but I don't do nearly as much as I would like. I think for next year, I am going to try to do even more. How you ask? Just by a little creative thinking.

Here are some of my ideas for next year:
  • I am teaching a tools class - a fundamental skill-building class. I plan on using online time management applications to help them track their projects and such.
  • I also plan to show them how to keep an online portfolio, as well as online storage tools, so that "I saved it at home" is never an excuse.
  • For my French students - we do weekly dialogues, or speaking tests. Instead of having them perform them live, what if they had five minutes in class in which to record it? No notes - just them and a computer? I think that could be powerful - and easier for me to grade, too!
  • For my psych students - I did a wiki with them, but I think a weekly blog entry might be great for them to really think through what we are doing in class - not to mention make sure they are paying attention.
  • Again for psych - what if we did a cell phone poll in class? Totally anonymous, and totally fun!

I'm sure there are more, but that's what I've thought of so far. What about you? Do you have any great plans for next year?

Technorati Tags:

Summer, Education, Technology

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Okay, I'm back....or am I?

So this was a great deal longer than a 'brief' hiatus. I did, indeed, finish my Masters.  I stand now at the end of that educational road, but am wondering where I should go from here.  In terms of my education, I could become certified in educational technology, or go for me PhD. in educational technology.  Or, I could go totally crazy and become certified to teach something different altogether.  

Likewise, I stand in a similar situation regarding my blog.  I want to be innovative - to bring up thoughts and ideas that are different than what others have thought to ponder before.  Perhaps this is just year-end burn-out still talking - maybe I'm full of ideas that I haven't even come up with yet.  Or, perhaps, I am placing too much pressure on myself to be an innovator.  After all, I can be an innovator in my workplace by spouting out some of the different information that others have been touting for the past five years.  It all depends on who your audience is.
Some of my least favorite student projects have been those where it is obvious that the student has just tried too hard to impress me.  Perhaps I am doing the same thing, here.  

At any rate, I am back, and I will be posting.  If you have any topics that are of interest, please let me know.  Also - I am beginning to lay out my consulting schedule for next year.  If you want me to come into your school/district, please email me at sroustan [at] fhps [dot] us.  Happy summer!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tech thoughts will return after this brief hiatus...

Yes, I'm still here.

Yes, my family is healthy and doing well.

I, on the other hand? Am crazy.

I have finished my Masters project, and am nearly half done with tennis season.

I am slowly getting my life back. In the meantime, I apologize for my brief hiatus on podcasting and blogging, but I promise that I will be back. Soon. I swear.

I have a lot to blog about, and I miss the network.

If you have any ideas for future posts, or things you'd like me to write more about, comment here! Thanks for your patience!

Technorati Tags:
Random, Beyond Podcasting, (dis)connectivity

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Are we really quick to accept technology?

UPDATE: My point to this post...which I'm not sure I ever got to...was that Stager was indicating that teachers have a knee-jerk reaction to adopting new technology - that we adopt things without really thinking about the best practice behind it. My point was - really? IMHO, I have found that teachers do have a knee-jerk reaction about technology - of fear. As in, "A Cellphone? In a classroom? But students could cheat and text each other answers and...". I don't know any teacher who uses technology in a classroom setting who has a knee-jerk reaction of "This is cool! I don't know how I'll use it, but let's try!" Am I wrong? What do you think?

=*Live Blogged - Please excuse spelling/grammar errors.*=

I'm sitting in Gary Stager's session on being careful with what new technologies that we let into the classroom. He is bringing up some valid points - just not in a way that I would. He is coming off really negative - not sure if that is intentional or not.

One of the points that he is bringing up is that there is nothing new in education - he is saying that we are still saying the same things today that we were hundreds of years ago. The "Newly Ancient" philosophy - that we should take the old and find a way to make it new -which I totally agree with. He pulled a quote from 1917 that directly related to what we would consider to be best practices.

However, I feel that some of his generalizations are not fair. He mentioned that high school English teachers only make projects because it is too hard to grade 300 English papers. I don't know what it is like at every school in the country, but in our high school, our English teachers to projects and papers. And they spend hours grading them.

He also said that Twitter, while good for quick questions, is not effective as a personal learning network. I strongly disagree with that - as I have bounced many theoretical notions off of my network. In fact, those are some of my favorite conversations with my network.

Also, I checked out his website: and I was disappointed in his review of Friedman's The World is Flat. Friedman makes a great argument for the globalization of the world...and I'm not sure you can argue with him. While the theories have not changed in the last hundred years, the tools have - and the kids have.

I'm agreeing with Stager now, though - he is talking about adding Higher Standards - and that is very true. Just like the type of knowledge is shifting, you must add higher standards or you soon won't be expecting anything from students.

He's now comparing the difference between community and community of practice. You can be a part of a community - like a city - and not know about everything and everyone in it. Likewise, a community of practice, you don't need to know everything and everyone in it. A community of practice must grow. He's saying that the community of ed techers celebrates newbies, but there often isn't anything for those people who are either intermediate/advanced. Very true. "Entry into the community is based on a willingness to mimic the behaviors of the masters." "Common commitment to progress" You must do something together, and have shared stories and histories.

Overall, an interesting session. He started off a bit negative, but I think there was a message of hope there somewhere. Interesting thoughts, though, about technology and education and being careful as to what/how to integrate.

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Gary Stager, macul08, Twitter