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February 21, 2006

Where Are You Going?

Now that we have the beginnings of our web presences up and running, let's take a moment to focus in on what might be the ultimate goal of it:

What is the deeper thinking and "big idea" of your website! How can you go beyond a simple "vanity site" to help your students to learn more than before? How might it enable you to teach better than before? Make sure you examine the question of whether the Internet and a web presence is even worth your time.

Here at the beginning it is well worth the effort to think clearly through these ideas. The idea is that this week you can choose what might be your final project (an instructional unit? webquest?) for this class. Please be ready to present to the rest of the class your tentative thoughts on a final project. You need not make a decision right away, but it is definitely time to start thinking it all over.

February 15, 2006

Rome Was Not Built in One Day


After looking around at what other teachers have done with Web pages, blog, and bulletin boards, what use can you find for the World Wide Web in your own classroom and teaching? Where do you see yourself going?

What might you want to focus on as final project in this class? What can you build? How will your students benefit?

Think through the next five years... understanding that nothing great was done overnight. See the long term; what vision do you have for yourself online?

Take a step back in this blogsite posting and see your web presence in the larger picture of your career and professional growth as a teacher!

February 08, 2006

What Good is a Web Presence to a Teacher?


In this first assignment we are going to examine exactly why might a teacher use the World Wide Web in their teaching. What would be an appropriate and useful pedagogical task via the Internet? What is mere "fluff" and a waste of time? It would be wise to toss around these "big ideas" before we jump off and start authoring for the Web.

So let us get started: Can a teacher webpage help you to teach better and students to learn more? How? Why? What are some examples of how you might be able to use blogs, bulletin boards, wikis, and webpages to do your job more professionally? How might the World Wide Web in your classroom enable students to learn more than they would otherwise. What do you think?

Secondly, think over the next decades of your career and where technologically we are going as a society. Do you think the World Wide Web will play more or less of a role in our society? Will computers and Internet access become as ubiquitous as phones and TV sets? How might your teaching mirror these changing technological trends in the larger American society? Technology never rests and is always changing, and it would be good to stay on top of the learning curve and anticipate how you might adapt to increased bandwidth and omnipresent computing.

Or is Web pretty much a waste of time? Are we going in the wrong direction educationally and culturally? Or is the Internet useful sometimes and a waste of time others? EXPLAIN!

Please explore these questions please in this blog posting. Enjoy!

February 07, 2006

Evaluating Extant Teacher Websites


As we start this class in educational web design, please take some time to cruise the World Wide Web and see what other teachers have already done. Most teachers I know would agree with the claim that they learn best from other classroom teachers, not specialists hired for "in service" training. Much of this technology is still very new, and "early adopters" are breaking new ground in how the World Wide Web can be empployed as a tool for teacher instruction and student learning.

There is no need to re-invent the wheel. Get ideas from other teachers, "tweak them" to your liking, and make them your own. Get out there and see what other teachers are doing - the good, the bad, and the ugly!

For this blogsite posting, identify THREE teacher websites that you think are very well done and from which you might learn and even copy; and then one site that is a total stinker, a waste of time, and which holds no value whatsoever.


February 06, 2006

Different Models of Private Education


In this blogsite posting, let us examine the diversity of schools within the private school realm. Tonight in class I broke you into four different groups looking into the mission statements of the four following kinds of private schools: Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and non-sectarian.

So please go ahead and research out on the World Wide Web and find an intriguing school mission statement on your assigned kind of private school and “copy” and “paste” in into your blogsite entry. Please remember: no repeats of schools, and “first come, first serve.”

The Fieldwork Interview in Preparation


Before you even show up to your interview with a school administer, be sure and do your homework. In particular, make sure and research the numbers with respect to the school you will visit. What "numbers"?

Well, there is the API score, the ethnicity and socioeconomic status of the students. There is the number of students on free and reduced lunch programs, and the languages spoken at home. What is the average years of experience of the teachers, and how many are in their first year of teaching? What is the class size average? You can see all these scores at greatschools.net. The “numbers” do not tell you everything about a school by a long shot; on the other hand, the numbers don’t lie.

Secondly, decide here on this blogsite entry exactly where it is you want this interview to go. Why did you choose this school? What is it that interests you? In the very first part of your interview, you may want to explain that

1.) you are a La Verne University students who is conducting this interview on behalf of a requirement in a class on educational philosophy dealing with ethical and political issues schools face today;
2.) and why you chose to visit this administrator’s particular school.

Once this administrator knows where you are coming from, it should allow them to understand what is going on and to help get you the information you need.

So, to sum it up, in this blogsite posting please post some of the raw data about the school you chose; and then explain in four or five sentences why it is you chose that school. Besides satisfying this week’s homework requirement, you will be only that much closer to being ready to sit down for your interview with the school administrator.