Friday, February 26, 2010

Social Bookmarking with (NETS-T I, II, III, V)

Eight educationally relevant websites have been included as social bookmarks on my account.  Each website is linked and described below.
#1 National Archives: “Looking Back on the American Century,” a photographic exhibit at the Harry S. Truman Museum and Library in Missouri

The 20th century is the century that the United States establishes itself as a preeminent world power. This exhibit brings to the student primary sources of a variety of photographs of events or people that made the 20th century so important. Access to these primary sources is much more important to students as a learning tool because seeing that actual items can relate the history to visual learners much easier than reading in a text book. It brings realism to the student learning about Eleanor Roosevelt, the dropping of the atomic bomb and the significance of Sputnik by reading a newspaper article. It shows not only the significance of the event but the person behind the name, the vastness and power of the detonation of the atomic bomb and the sentiments of the American public of the launch of Sputnik. For many students, it is easier to understand and retain a history from a picture than from text.

#2 National Education Association

The National Education Association website lists those students at highest risk for experiencing an achievement gap are students belonging to racial and ethnic minorities (such as American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, and Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender people); English language learners; students with disabilities; boys in the early years and girls in high school math and science; and students from low-income families.
Coming from corporate America, I’m a true believer in mission statements and in making sure the mission statement of my employer or school is in sync with my own. Having a common goal that the whole community believes in and strives for brings it together and provides a common thread through it from which to build strength and unity. If my school has a weak or non-existent culturally competent mission statement only because it has not done so formally (otherwise why would I be teaching there), I would form a committee that would address that shortfall. This cultural competence committee would not only be a part of re-writing the school’s mission statement to include a cultural competence but also to insure that it is an integral component of all the school’s activities. In addition, have the mission stated to include cultural competence gives students structure for how to behave and model themselves in more ethnically difficult issues. Students look to the teachers and administrators to set the standards and students need to know the direction to follow.

I would welcome the opportunity to either offer my room and/or time to gather and organize resource materials related to culturally diverse groups for use by school staff and student groups. In becoming a more culturally competent educator, having the resources readily available is very important for several reasons. The first is the need to educate others. Providing a resource to staff and students will invite them to learn more and propagate the message. In addition, as more teachers become proficient in becoming a culturally competent educator, they will discover new ways that work for them and sharing that knowledge by making it an available resource provides an opportunity to collaborate and improve materials. Lastly, it is so frustrating to someone new to a culturally competent philosophy to not know where to go to gather materials or discuss ideas. Designating a room/teacher allows me to take ownership so that can be that “go to” person.

As designated resource and gatherer of resources for my school, I would make sure my resources included a network of "natural helpers" at school and in the community as well as "experts" who have knowledge of the culturally, linguistically, racially, and ethnically diverse groups served by your school. In addition, having those resources of helpers and experts available to staff and students would play a huge role in the success of a culturally competent program. There are so many within our own community that can qualify for these roles. Natural helpers would be students from the ethnically diverse student population can be interviewed and play a role in activities. Parents and businesses could be utilized as experts about their culture and be asked to come in and speak to classes and answer questions from students. Things from home, such as artifacts used in everyday life, which are unique to one’s culture, can be easily brought in to tell about one’s culture. This can be done on a very small scale such as in individual classrooms or in larger venues such as an assembly for the whole school community.

#3 Stop Cyber Bullying

After reading about cyber bullying for the first time, I was appalled but not completely surprised about the occurrence of bullying of a person on the internet. As with the discovery of all new technology comes the responsibility to use it for the betterment and not detriment of mankind. The website not only defines cyber bullying but also goes into some strategies for teachers and schools to educate students, parents and teacher; resources such as; pointers on internet-related risk management; community programs; and recruiting students to help promote internet safety within their school. One recommendation for schools is to be proactive by outlining an acceptable use policy which reserves the right to discipline the student for actions taken off-campus if those actions are intended to adversely affect a student or the safety and well-being of a student while in school. In addition, when cyber bullying does occur keeping a level head and trying to involve parents, teachers and the student in the resolution is key in getting past the emotions of the defamatory behavior.

#4 Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators

Kathy Schrock’s website is a wealth of information on many subjects all available on one resource. Because I’ll be teaching high school chemistry, I of course, looked at her scientific/chemistry links. Although I found some of the links on her site were outdated and no longer worked, the list of resources was still useful. I was particularly interested in freeware and the site provided a variety of links from academia specifically useful to chemistry educators. There was also much more available from commercial sources if the cyber sleuth was willing to pay a price. I found the Teacher Helpers section not too helpful for high school chemistry teachers but there were a few interactive pages that had chemistry and scientific themes. Those pages can be used as part of a chemistry-technology exercise for students. It will be a site that I will use as a future resource as a first step in carrying out chemistry pedagogy research.

#5 Movie - Big Thinkers: Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner, the Harvard professor who first unveiled his eight multiple intelligences, speaks about understanding multiple intelligences and how that should influence teaching. His theory on multiple intelligence stated what many teachers already knew about students and learning; that all students do not learn in one way. Therefore, Gardner states that for students to retain what they are learning teachers need to teach in different ways. He goes on to say that he doesn’t believe that a teacher needs to teach eight different ways but that if there are students not learning, the teacher should make the proper adjustment to reach that child by teaching in another way. Gardner believes that there are too many subjects being taught and not much depth to those subjects. He would like to see more time spent in understanding the concept behind subjects. For instance, details of physics, biology and chemistry can wait until college but rather students should be taught to think “scientifically.” Gardner believes that school assessments should be more transparent for both teacher and students. Thereby, students will be able to carry-out their own self-assessments. They should be taking tests with known expectations just as how a football player always knows what his coach is expecting of him. On education reform, Gardner feels that four things need to be in place. First, the need for good examples of students to show it can work. Second, reform needs an administration supportive of teachers wanting to reform. Third, there needs to be a way to assess the progress of reforming (not the old multiple-choice option) and finally, a political commitment to reforming the educational structure.

#6 Teaching Tolerance

Relating tolerance to something as basic and well-liked as ice cream is a connection that I felt all my high school students could relate so I selected the topic, “What does ice cream have to do with controversy?” Students are given a list of a variety of items, concepts or titles (ice cream, boiled okra, professional, athletes, jazz, opera, rock 'n' roll, rap/hip hop, lawyers). They are to move to an area designated by the numbers 1-10 based on how much they like each one with 9-10 being love it and 1-2 being dislike it. They are to move with eyes open and no talking. In all cases, even ice cream, not everyone agrees. It is pointed out that specific issues may come up during the course or school year and as a class we should expect a diversity of opinion and experiences. The class is instructed to respect those differences in opinions. In the future when everyone cannot agree, the class is reminded that a discrepancy shouldn’t be surprising since the class can’t even agree on ice cream!

#7 Multicultural Education Equity Awareness Quiz on Ed Change Website

I discovered that I know very little about multicultural education equity as I received only 5 correct answers out of a total of fifteen questions. In some of the questions, I had answered close to the correct answer but two of my answers were surprisingly wrong. The answer that African American women are four times more likely to die in childbirth than White women due to inaccessibility to prenatal services. Why should that be? There are programs (such as Women, Infants and Children, WIC) in place for women in low-income families to receive prenatal services. There shouldn’t be this high statistic and I am curious as to why it is so high. Closely related is the surprising statistic on the United States and the United Kingdom rates as the two worst countries for treatment of children of the 23 wealthiest countries in the world. I believed that the U.S. treated its children well and to find out we are the worst of the 23 wealthiest countries make me question where do we spend our money? Perhaps question six (we spend the most of any country in the world on our military) can shed some light on that answer.

#8 Netiquette Guidelines :{}

Although I scored perfectly on the Nettiquette Quiz, it was only because I had read about the core rules as well as other pages on the website prior to taking the test. 8-] I would not have done so well prior. I could have benefitted by knowing some of the core rules in my previously career in corporate America. Thinking about a human at the other end of the email or “taking 5” before sending would have avoided a lot of unnecessary conflicts. :@ Damage control is so much more time consuming that proactive training. Students have an advantage today to learn from the mistakes my generation has made on the internet as there was not Netiquette Guidelines when I first started using the internet. :^D Being cognizant of the recipient’s time and using the technology with respect for the human(s) on the other end is reflective upon oneself. Perhaps the Netiquette Guidelines will soon expand to include chewing with one’s mouth closed when utilizing the web cams that currently comes standard on most computers. :->


  1. Thanks for letting me know that some links do not work on the chemistry page. I check them all by hand once per month, so I will be sure to do my check this weekend!


  2. Okay, I was totally impressed by Kathy Schrock's website for teachers and now I'm awestruck that she commented on my blog!! Kathy, how do you find the time? And to check your links all by hand once/month? You're not human?!

  3. Since the pool is built up by all the computer users, there may be chances that some good websites haven’t been discovered and saved yet. That means I may need to go back to use Google as a back up.Bookmark It