Wednesday, October 6, 2010

College Yearbook Collections Go Digital

Making old yearbooks and course catalogs available online is a truly excellent idea. It makes information about the universities much more accessible from an academic standpoint as well as being a great way to preserve memories. If primary sources aren't digitized, they are only available to a very limited number of people at the university. They're usually kept in private collections, and very few people know where to go to access them, or that they even can. In high school, I was on the yearbook staff and one of the coolest things we got to do was to look through the old books, and use them as resources. If you don't have a book available, you can't do that. Last semester my roommate was in a course about the Black Jazz Age and one of their assignments was to write as though they were a person living during that time period. She chose to be a student, but had to jump through numerous hoops to try and track down information about schools during that time. Having resources like yearbooks and course books available would have made it easier then trying to track down phone numbers and send e-mails to get said information; and could even make assignments like that feasible and much easier to achieve with younger students. It could make for a very fun lesson.

Smartboard free write response

Smartboard software is an excellent teaching tool, when it works. I was really excited to learn about all of the interactive features that are already included within the program. I didn’t realize there was quite so much just available right there at your fingertips. The number of tools and interactive activities that you can just plug stuff into was great. It was also fun trying to find online resources that could be fun to do “hands on” by literally clicking on the Smartboard. I think the number of multimedia components that can be used and taken advantage of on a Smartboard is great, but utilizing all of those was quite the feat. I had a number of problems, I feel like it may have been because I tried to include too many elements. I had the whole file wipe out on me at one point, which was really discouraging, but I guess that’s a price to pay when working with technology. On the plus side, the internet is a really great resource for trouble-shooting. It’s very likely that others have had the same problem as you, granted it took me three or so hours to fix one of my problems trying different things, but I was still able to.

Before starting this whole unit, I was a little concerned that smartboards wouldn’t lend themselves very well to teaching subjects like math or music. I kind of just thought it was a fancy, interactive version of power point, and I’d never seen a math or music presentation before so I was really worried. To my surprise it actually worked out quite nicely. Liz’s presentation included a lot of the same ways we learned to conquer those subject areas hands on, but by using technology. Instead of trying to keep track of a hundred small coins, you can do it all on the smartboard etc. As far as music, being able to used sound clips with images is a lot cheaper than having actual instruments to demonstrate. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to have each child try a virtual piano keyboard than to get each student one etc.

Overall, I think smartboard would be a great asset to every classroom. In the long run, the benefits outway the initial costs, I’d say.

Do students need more online privacy education?

I think that online privacy education is something that should be used in every school. It obviously become a huge problem in colleges because of the sexual videos and images being posted. However, I'm becoming concerned for middle and elementary schools having similar problems. In reality, many children are engaging in sexual activity at younger ages. Without proper education, they could easily disclose this same personal information online which could result in the same tragedies that have been prevalent among college campuses. Besides posting inappropriate videos and pictures, online bullying has become a great concern over the past several years. If we are to incorporate e-mail, blogs and other types of online technology in the classroom, we must ensure that our students are properly educated in online conduct.