Sunday, September 23, 2012

What an Educational Blog Post Should Be Like


  Last weekend, my son asked me why leaves of trees are losing their green, which I couldn’t answer in a way he could understand well. All I had to say was just ‘to prepare the winter.’ I could look up my encyclopedia to find the terms and explanations but the problem was the terms and long explanations were not something he was wanted. What he really wanted to know was what the colors have to do with preparing the winter and how trees can feel the winter is coming soon.

The post entitled “Why Do Leaves Change Color? Video and Graphic” seems to show exactly what my boy was seeking. It was so valuable to me for the following several reasons.


1)     The post contained some the carefully selected links to videos and pictures with terms, which you don’t have to create your own version because there are so many. Instead, the blogger just browse and selected the best material for its educational purpose for his viewers including teachers and learners.

2)     The post was short and interesting, adapted to its viewers. Yes, this is another aspect we should not forget. Sometimes we encounter very long posts that discourage you to read on screen. When you, as a bloggers, browse the Internet, long and complicated posts are more likely to fail to interest your viewer. There are a variety of viewers of your blog. If the blog are to contribute your educational purpose, your posts should be simple and clear. Long posts do not guarantee that you are smart.

3)     The content was very timely. Another important advantage of using blog for educational purpose is that it could provide information that learners need right away, which regular textbooks or handouts cannot give.

  There were so many blog posts related to education and technology but this impressed and taught me the most. It did not contain much information on how to use technology as an educator, but it just showed me how we can use blogs in a meaningful way both to me and to my son.

Monday, September 17, 2012


When was the last time you used a pay phone?
     – many things that we don’t realize about students

When was the last time you used a pay phone? And the last time you sent a film to be developed? This video shows a lot of things we, as educators, might miss about the students and society of today. This was originally to promote the educational changes the New Brunswick Community intend to make but it also has many significant points for any educators in the world.

The first unique impression of this video, compared to the video clip “A Vision of K-12 Students Today” that has similar message was that this one uses more delightful way to show the message including bright music and active animated images that interest its viewers. It contains many meaningful messages include:

-Changes in our society
-Changes in class in relation to using modern technologies
-What the modern schools should be like
-How the modern learners uses technology to gain, create and share knowledge
-What changes we can bring about to enhance young learners’ learning and knowledge-based activities online
-What important skills the 21st century learners needed for their career
-How we can provide the technology-rich environment for students
  The message it shows was quite simple and well-supported by various data and images. As I mentioned above, the best part of this video was how they approach to the topic. Considering the topic they deal with in the video, using creative design and images along with various animation effect and bright music seem to work well to many viewers. Whoever sees this video might feel what is needed clearly, I believe.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Teach Me to Think ...

Teach Me to Think

      Review of Video Clip “A Vision of K-12 StudentsToday

  Many people around the world argue that education needs to be changed. But not many people seem to have the answer of how it should be changed. This video clip seems to have at least one way of the change.

There are many teachers who feel using technology in classrooms could be dangerous since it distracts students’ attention on what they REALLY studying and I was one of them. This video mainly shows how important the information processing skills are important in the society the students will live in and the society they belong to today showing the statistics of modern kids.

Even though we live in an information society where processing and creating information is our primary condition of all social behaviors, many educators might feel the knowledge in their textbook is the bible they should stick to and, therefore, reading should be recommended than any other activity using various technologies. They seem to miss the point that the students today spend more hours per week playing computer game, texting, blogging, and involving other form of information technology than reading books. It is not about how you can be benefited from using this technology. Rather it is about how we have our kids think, communicate and create using various technologies because, whether we like it or not, technology has become an essential part of the life of today’s kids.

Considering the amount of time they spend online, the variety of work they do or will do, one of the main roles schools are endowed to do is teaching students how to use technology properly because that is what schools are for. This is the message that the video clip is trying to tell to people, especially to educators. As long as we regard technology in education as taboo, the message a child was holding in this video -- “Teach me to think” will never be put down.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

How can you use blogs for your writing classes

1.     Using blog posts as a writing assignment

In an EFL situation like Korea, the students are not provided with many chances to practice the language they learn in class due partly to the class size and to the lack of needs to communicate in the target language. Considering this situation, using blogs that allow students to post class-related further writing as their assignment could add the variety and interest for learning. Since virtually all writing genre in EFL countries involves web-related information such as writing e-mails, submitting online application or sharing opinions, this could be particularly helpful for the development of students’ writing skills.

-       The standard met:

#4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

#8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.



2.     Using blogs as a cyber writing center: providing grammar games, publish writing examples or group writing works, providing writing correction on demand  

Teaching writing inevitably involves much practice by individual learners as well as individual work. By using blogs as a cyber writing center, teacher could provide much experience for students to use their writing skills. Specifically, students can use grammar quizzes or games related their writing course work, while the teacher can publish some of the writing examples or students’ work. If needed, students can get help from the teacher or other students to improve their writing by sharing questions online.


#11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.

#12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes.

Thursday, September 6, 2012