Web 2.0 Assignment

Here are 5 web 2.0 teaching tools being used in the education world today:

1.  WordPress
Purpose- This is used for blogging. Others can get on and view/ comment on your blogs.
Ideal for- Secondary, because it is almost like using forums like we used in high school and college, and also secondary students use technology more and communicate and comment/ give feedback on others work more than elementary students.
Link- http://wordpress.com/

2. AuthorSTREAM
Purpose- Allows you to publish and share your PowerPoint presentations as a video.
Ideal for- Secondary, because in elementary school students don’t make PowerPoint’s but in middle/high school students do
Link- http://www.authorstream.com/

3. Edmodo
Purpose- A social learning network for teachers, students, schools and districts. You can connect with your students, share assignments, students can connect with their teachers, etc.
Ideal for- Elementary and Secondary. It is like Oncourse at IUE or where I went to school it was called Progressbook and you have it from Kindergarten to 12th grade.

4. Blogpoll
Purpose- A simple polling tool that can be embedded into any school website or classroom blog.
Ideal for- Elementary and Secondary. It is as simple as getting on the computer and answering questions which any student can do, no matter what their age.
Link- http://www.blogpoll.com/

5. Masher
Purpose- An online video editor that allows users to create by mixing together video clips, music tracks, and photos from their own uploads or from their large resource library.
Ideal for- Secondary, because a student won’t start making videos in school until they’ve had a computer science class and that starts in the 7th grade.
Link- http://www.masher.com/


End of Class Reflection

W131 went a lot better than I expected. I always thought I wasn’t good at writing. I have always struggled with thesis statements, I guess I never really understood what they were. In this class I learned what thesis statements were because Dr. Harris spent a lot of time going over them. For that I am very thankful. I think coming to this understanding helped me in my writing. My first two grades on papers were 90% and 95% which I thought was great. I feel like I have a better understanding on how to analyze readings/ videos. It can’t be based on your opinions, it has to be based on reason and argument. The digital story assignment I thought was going to be hard. Once I got started on it though it just came together, and it came together quickly. I was glad about that because I thought I would struggle. Overall I feel I have done very well in this writing class and I’m glad I chose to take it because I think it made me a better and stronger writer!

“Cool Moves”

Cool moves was a digital story that we watched in class. You could tell the creator of the digital story put a lot of research into it. She had tons of examples to prove her point. Having all of those examples helps prove her argument of how movies express “cool” through music and dance. Cool moves was also sort of like a timeline of movies and dancing. She started off with jazz which she says were the first movies to incorporate sound into moving picture. She went through different genres of music/ dancing all of the way up until the 2000’s with Step Up. She explained why the music and dancing in each particular era were considered cool. I like how as she was explaining a movie and how the music/ dancing was cool she had a clip of the movie playing in the background. This helped the audience visualize what she was talking about.  In my video I already know my topic really well since I am using something that has happened to me, so I don’t really need to do a lot of research. I am going to use the timeline technique and include a beginning, middle and end. I am also going to have pictures/ possible videos explaining what I am talking about.

Digital Story Ideas

For my digital story I think the topic I am going to use is the story of how I went blind. This has to do with the research I have already done because it was how have I overcome being partially blind. To make this a story I am going to use a beginning middle and end. In the beginning I will explain me going blind all the way up until I wake up from surgery. For the middle I will explain me waking up from surgery until coming home and learning new ways to do things. For the end I will explain how I have dealt with being partially blind and the stuff I have to do for the rest of my life (doctors, medication, other surgeries). The digital strategies I am going to use are voice over or text on screen. This way I can explain my story. I am going to use images. That way when I am talking about something I can show a picture to better explain it.  I also may use music. I think it could have some emotional appeal but I haven’t decided if I am going to use it yet. This is basically all I have thought of so far. I’m looking forward to actually getting started and seeing what it turns out like!

Writing In Action- 2 sources

My research question for my Writing in Action research paper is How have I overcome being partially blind? (for those of you that don’t know I’m completely blind in my left eye).  At least that’s what it is for right now. My first source is a interview of my self. If that makes since. This is my primary source. I’m going to include in my paper life experiences that I have had and how I feel I have over come being partially blind. It’s a primary source because it is a first hand experience and something I have went through. My second source is Coping with Vision Loss. It is a book and is a secondary source. It takes a look at the effects of being blind- socially, emotionally, psychologically and physically. It also gives some coping mechanisms people who are blind use. I found this source using the IUE library. I wasn’t really surprised that there weren’t a lot of articles on overcoming blindness. It took me a while to find the one that I found. I can maybe improve my results by typing in different keywords to see if more articles are found.

Writing so far in Class

So far in class we have written a couple of short paragraphs at the beginning of class. We have also written two major papers, the digital story analysis and the contextual analysis. While writing my digital story analysis I wasn’t super confident that I was doing it the correct way. My goal was to make sure I had written 3-4 pages of work for my conference and that way Dr. Harris could tell me if I had the right idea. To my surprise she said I knew what I was doing. Which was good to hear. I had to fix some things like tying my main message into the whole paper and taking out opinion statements like “I think” and making them statements like “the audience thinks”, etc. Overall I was proud of my grade on the 1st submission draft. I got a 90% which for the first draft I think is pretty good. For my contextual analysis I felt more confident while writing it before my conference because I knew the kinds of stuff Dr. Harris would be looking for. I left out opinion statements and tried to explain things in detail to get my message across. I’m anxious to see what my submission draft grade will be, but hopefully it will improve from my digital story analysis since I felt like I knew what I was doing better. I feel like I am better at writing thesis statements. Which was one of my goals. Overall I feel really good about the writing I have been doing in class so far.

Wine to Water

So far in Wine to Water I have read eight chapters. I’m really enjoying this book. I like how Doc started the first chapter off with the shooting story. I think that got everyone’s attention and they wanted to keep reading to see what happens next. I like in chapter two how Doc gave us his background story. That helped us learn about him, and understand how Wine to Water came about. In chapters four through seven we really get to learn about what life is like in Darfur. You get to see the struggles and hardships that the Darfurians have had to face without water and dealing with the Janjaweed. Something that I found funny in Chapter six was the Sultan wanting Doc to marry his daughter because Doc brought him water. Some of the themes I have noticed are in the beginning, Doc’s self discovery. He grew up in a Christian home and always felt like a black sheep. He was always trying to fit in somewhere. He then got into drinking and became popular. An argument that I have about Doc thinking his life was so hard is I think everybody’s life is hard. We all feel at times that we don’t fit in or belong. That we don’t know what our place is in this world.  So I don’t think Doc life was that bad I actually think it was pretty normal. Another theme I noticed was the family theme. Throughout the book Doc’s family sends him emails. There is also a point in chapter eight that Doc gets to visit home. His family seems to be very tight knit, very close. He mentions looking up to his grandpa and having the utmost respect for him. Another theme I have noticed is the religion theme. His family seems very religious even though Doc may not all of the time. The last theme I have noticed is friendship. Once Doc hires on the men to work they almost become like family. They live together, work together and they have a tight bond. I think this is what gets Doc through over in Darfur. If he didn’t have this friendship he probably wouldn’t be motivated to keep doing what he is doing day in and day out. I’m really excited to see what the rest of the book has in store!

Digital Story Analysis Plan

My plan for completing the Digital Story Analysis assignment is to first of all find out which video I want to do my assignment on. There are lots to choose from so I am going to make a checklist of what I want my video to have. It will include things like pathos- something to get an emotional response, credibility of the author/ speaker/ creator, a clear main point, interesting images, etc. I will then do the process we practiced in class with outlining the text, brainstorming, and Idea Mapping. Next I will make my title page. I will then come up with a thesis statement. After I have my thesis statement I will start pulling the information I have gathered together and hopefully my analysis will start coming together. After I do my analysis I will make my references page.

What does storytelling mean to me?

To me storytelling can either be fiction or nonfiction. It can mean a story that actually happened and is told because it was funny, memorable, etc. It can also mean a made up story you tell to little kids, your friends, family, etc. Growing up most of the stories told in my family were stories of stuff that had actually happened. Now that I’m working at a daycare, most of the stories I hear are made up and their purpose is to entertain the kids. Fiction storytelling is a time that you can use your imagination and sort of go to another time and place. You can basically have anything you want happen in your story even if it’s not possible in real life.

Introduction/ Writing Habits and Goals

Hello my name is Taylor Shera. I graduated from Eaton High School this year and I am a freshman at IUE. My major is Elementary Education and my minor is Mild Intervention. I currently work at a daycare with preschoolers and school age children. My writing habits are what I have been taught in school. I use an introduction, body and closing paragraphs. I indent when I start a new paragraph. If I’m writing a letter I start with Dear (insert name) and end with Sincerely, Taylor Shera. Now onto my goals. I have never been great at writing thesis statements so I am hoping throughout this course I will get better at that. Also when I’m citing information I always forget the order and what information I have to put in so hopefully I can learn to do this better as well.