A learning tool is defined as any software of online tool or service that you use either for your own personal or professional learning, for teaching or training or for creating e-learning. With that definition I was surprised to find that Twitter was the number one Learning Tool, and has been for the past five years. I didn't even know Twitter had been around that long!!! I am shocked; I thought Twitter was perhaps two years old!!! I was surprised that social network only occupies 3 out of the top 10 spots, and that there are two file storage tools in the top ten. Another surprising thing is I have actually heard of half of the top 20 learning tools listed in the article. That is amazing to me. Sadly, however, I haven't heard of much more than that. A few here and there as the list went on, a couple from being in this class, but most of them were not even remotely familiar to me! The fact that shocked me the most is the fact that You Tube was number 3 overall. I go to You Tube to learn about anything and everything. My five children use You Tube for much more than I do when it comes to the "How To" department. So I am most shocked that You Tube was not the number one Learning Tool on this list! It just goes to show that I have a lot to learn when it comes to learning tools on the web!
Web 2.0 Tools 5/30/14
There are a lot of neat 2.0 Tools available on the web. I found two that I really liked. Pandanian is so simple and it is free! It is a tool that allows you to create an ebook. You can easily copy and paste images as you create the book page by page. With five children and a ton of photos, I can easily create books for each of my children. Slide.ly is another favorite of mine from the list. It allows you to search for photos online or use your own and combine them with music to create musical video-like slideshows. Again, this is something that appeals to me for my personal life, but it is very cool and something that I would like to try. One of the 2.0 Tools that I found that will be more of a benefit to students is one called, "In Focus" It allows you to highlight a section of any webpage and then provides you with a unique URL address that links to what you've highlighted on the page. Introducing this to my students could be beneficial to them in research they do or in studying for different subject matters. How the internet is revolutionizing education (infographic) URL was a most interesting read. It is amazing to think that therea re currently 3 million online-only students in the U.S. and that is more than the total number of college students in France. To me that is mind boggling! To see what the Khan Academy, University of Phoenix, and the Open University in the UK have accomplished is mind boggling as well! In 1989 the University of Phoenix had only 12 students and now it is the largest university in the U.S. with more than 500,000 students! The internet is definitely changing the way we learn. Higher education can be attained by all as anyone with an internet connection can educate themselves.
Online Productivity Tools 5/29/14
There are so many Online Productivity Tools available to users today. I was most surprised with the number of to do list sites available! Nineteen total! I found the to do list "Remember The Milk" the most user friendly out of the ones I perused. I was interested in the personal organizers because it sounded like something useful for me with all of the calendars it provides as well as the to do lists I was interested in and the added bonus of a time management software app. Backpack was the one I went with, but Backpack is no longer taking new customers. It did give me a link to Basecamp which "does most of what Backpack does and more". I didn't find it to really be a personal organizer as it was more business oriented. That was a bummer because I was very interested in what it could do for me! eyeOS allows you to access a modern desktop from any device (PC, tablet, phone). You can create groups, projects, sharing files, and calendars. It also allows you to synchronize files between your private cloud and your computer. You can work online or offline and eyeSync will keep everything updated. The Online Productivity Tools were interesting to look at and something I will consider for use in the near future.
Incorporating Technology 5/28/14
I have learned so much about technology in such a short time. I am not technologically inclined to say the least. I got behind in this class in the first week because I failed to scroll down.....that's when you know your skills are lacking! I have already learned a number of things that I can and will use moving forward in my career. The Facebook Fan page allowed me to create a page I can direct my students to. I have not directed them there yet, but I will be updating it for use beginning in September of this year. They say you have to go where the people are and having just created my own Facebook for the first time I was amazed at the number of friend requests I received in a matter of minutes! It is obvious Facebook is where the people are, especially our students. My personal web page will allow me to track my achievements and accomplishments as I go forward in my career. I see it as a virtual means of promoting myself should the need arise for new employment or perhaps a part-time teaching or coaching position in addition to my current one. I also see podcasting as way of communicating with students. I am looking into ways of implementing them into my curriculum. I also envision it being used with a substitute. I could record a message to my students that might include reminders on behavior or perhaps even a prompt for a written entry in their portfolio. This will be explored and most definitely implemented in the future. Finally, PLN allowed me to create a site where I can get updates from my most frequently visited sites all in one location. It has drastically reduced the amount of time I am surfing the web! I am so excited about all that I have learned in such a short period of time!
Podcasts and iPods 5/27/14
Using podcasts in education is an opportunity to reach the auditory learners who thrive through listening. For the auditory learners written information usually has little meaning to them until they hear it spoken. Podcasting is being adopted by more and more universities. This is evidenced in the article (Doug Hoagland/The Fresno Bee) about Fresno State instructors who are recording lectures so students can listen to them later on computers and iPods. Some instructors see this as a way to enable students to miss class, but others see it as a fair and reasonable means for conducting class and maximizing the learning opportunities of all students. The realization that students are more wired than ever before has to be recognized by all instructors. The more we permeate into the comfort zones of our students, the more we are going to reach them. Allowing students to access learning material at their leisure provides them with a more active role in the learning process. Students should be allowed the opportunity to use the devices that are innate to them; that they are comfortable with. We as educators must cater to our students, and if that means becoming more familiar and comfortable with technology then that is what we must do!
Social Networking in Undergraduate Education 5/25/14
The use of social networking in undergraduate learning can be beneficial to supporting social learning and student centered learning. It is definitely a tool to help keep students engaged in the lessons so long as they don't become distracted by all that is available to them with their personal networking. Social networking is a definite means to enriching current classroom instruction and existing curriculum. Social networking can help build a sense of community within a learning environment. I am feeling this in just the two weeks of being a part of this cohort. I don't personally know any of the people in my cohort, yet I feel a sense of community. I am reading about them and their thoughts and experiences through social networking and I feel a sense of belonging. Students entering college and even graduate school are technology natives and for them it would probably be foreign no to have social networking a part of their classes. My students are used to checking the class website in order to plan for instruction, testing, and their current grade. I don't necessarily use social media, but they do email me and I do post on the class website daily.
Personal Learning Network 5/25/14
A Personal Learning Network or PLN is a great way to get a tremendous amount of information and multiple resources in at one place. I chose scoop.it as my PLN because for me it seemed the most user friendly and easiest to follow. I chose the resources that appear on my PLN because Physical Education is a topic that is near and dear to my heart and I want to stay abreast of my profession. Finding other people who share my same passion and sharing information with one another is of great value to me as an educator. Common core made its presence in my district this year in the core subjects with the rest of the subjects to follow in the next few years. As an educator I want to get the best information I can get and start learning about it so I am prepared to implement it in my course work in September 2014. http://www.scoop.it/t/physical-education-by-sharon-moore-pulsifer
The Internet, Technology, and My Learning 5/25/14
The internet has impacted my personal learning tremendously. I have always been a person that wonders about random things and previously they were just passing thoughts that caused me pause for a few moments and then I continued about my business. With the introduction of the internet I find myself running to Google to type in any keyword or phrase and being mesmerized at the search results in a matter of seconds. The internet has allowed me to act on the thoughts I have. Google is not my only go to site. I also use YouTube very frequently. The convenience of how to videos is perfect for this mother of five!!! I see the internet as a never ending classroom environment. You can learn about anything your mind or heart desires. Like all good things, the internet can be distracting. Sometimes when searching for pertinent information I do find myself wandering away from the initial target. It is important to be disciplined when you are using the internet for research in online courses or other school assignments. I am more open to technology now that I am older. I see the value it has to offer and the fact that technology is the future and the future is now!!! I am already so technologically challenged that I can't afford to lose another minute not learning about and from all the internet has to offer. The advances in technology over the years is just mind boggling to me. I am hungry to learn all I can since starting this class. I see it opening my eyes to all I have missed over the years!
From a very young age I focused almost all of my time on sports. By the time I was in middle school friends would comment on my "obsession" with sports and the fact that my sports were all I ever did. I used to feel bad about this and would try and shy away from the sports and venture out to other things, but I would always return to my love, my passion, my desire. Hearing Marcus Buckingham speak about playing to your strengths and really using them makes me feel better about the choices and decisions I made. All of those years spent feeling bad about being a sport maniac, was really time wasted. I feel validated by his video! I totally agree with his statement in which he said, " If you can find a role that you play to your strengths most of the time-everyone wins." What better way to share your gifts and talents than to play to your strengths. I feel that way every day in my role as a physical educator. I find my "sweet spot" in teaching new skills and concepts to my students. From the time I was 11 years old I wanted to be a physical education teacher, and I know that this is my natural strength. There are times when I feel out of my areas of strength and this would be in managing 54 students at one time. There are times that lessons call for assessing and testing, and those times can make you question your classroom management. It is definitely an area that makes me feel out of my strength. I also had an "Aha moment" when he talked about the myths. It is so true that people tell you your focus will change as you get older and you'll become interested in other things, when in fact the most dominate parts of your personality stay the same. Additionally, I am going to change the way I have been parenting my 5 young children. I don't want to be part of the process that ingrains the myth of "you will grow the most in the areas in which you are the weakest." It is so true that we grow the most in what we already know. I can see this already with my oldest child, and I see that she has learned in her areas of weakness, but she has done so with great effort and difficulty. I want them to see the leaps of learning and feel it as well. I will encourage them to focus their creativity and energy in the areas where they have natural strength.
Microblogging in Education/Athletics 5/22/14
Microblogging is a great way to reach many people instantly. In education students can use microblogging to send notes, links, files,m alerts, assignments, and event to each other. I see this as a way to remind my students of upcoming assignments, events, tests, or a change in plans previously discussed. It is a tool that definitely all athletic programs should look to incorporate. It can tell fans about upcoming special events, game results, or a change in schedule. It can be used to remind people to come support the individual teams. And because the advertising is free, it can be used to attract new fans. It is an essential tool in reaching a broader fan base than other technological means like email or a website. Many people microblog on a regular basis so the information sent can be seen by a vast array of people. Just as microblogiging can promote a program it can also damage the reputation of it as well. The key to successful microblogging is keeping posts appropriate at all times.
Personal Web Presence (PWP) 5/22/14
I have never heard of a Personal Web Presence (PWP) until enrolling in the Master's Program at Fresno Pacific University and getting handed this assignment. I have no reference on what a good PWP looks like or the information it contains; I will have to search that out. Its sounds as though the PWP is being used as a self marketing tool for universities and employers. It appears from the description that you can put a lot of information on the PWP and have it act as a resume, or portfolio if you will, that is easily accessible. From the looks of the directions contained in the assignments, it appears that I am going to build on this PWP as the course develops. Hopefully it will not continue to be a pitiful representation. I will consider this a work in progress at this time and hope to make it better moving forward.
My First Blog 5/22/14
My name is Sharon Moore-Pulsifer and I know absolutely nothing about blogging, twitter, Facebook, or any other social media. I am already extremely behind in this course and not feeling very hopeful right now that I will be successful in figuring all of this out. I am exceptionally overwhelmed at this moment. Besides that, I am married and have five children. I have been teaching Physical Education for 20 years at Jordan High School in Long Beach, California. I teach Intro to KPE to the freshmen students. My favorite activity of all time is basketball. I have played it, coached it, kept stats and scoreboards, and I watch it as much as I can.