Coleman's expressions

Monday, January 30, 2006

Multiple Intelligences (week 4)

Multiple Intelligences
I have studied and applied Howard Gardner’s research on Multiple Intelligences for at least a decade and find it not only intriguing, but usable. When I helped to open a new high school with “state of the art technology” a number of years ago, we spent many hours writing integrated technology and interdisciplinary lesson plans, including a focus on MI. I incorporated a brief survey for 9th graders to help them understand the intelligences they tapped into and this led to other metalearning techniques and discussions. (update: this site provides a survey, though not interactive, perhaps it will be a start!
It is also an area that I include in my curriculum for teaching EME 2040 – Introduction to Educational Technology. Listed below are some paths for using MI/curriculum links for the rather broad topic, Civil Rights Movement. I hope you can relate to some of them!

Verbal/Linguistic – The History of Jim Crow website is a rich resource of many facets from which the backdrop of the civil rights movement developed. I’ve highlighted the following URL which leads to vast array of formal literature connections and applicable lesson plans. If using directly with students, one would focus into a more detailed area, but I couldn’t help but share the “big picture.”

Logical/Mathematical – Using timelines is an effective way to engage the logical intelligence. This website is a chronology of Martin Luther King, one of the leaders of the civil rights movement. The use of a multimedia, interactive flash component makes it more appealing.

Visual/Spatial – This website, Powerful Days in Black and White, is an excellent collage of photos from the civil rights movement taken by photojournalist Charles Moore.

Musical – Play the audio clip, “We Shall Overcome” for an authentic and emotional facet of the times. The song reflects not only the gospel/spiritual genre, but the determined and gentle protest inherent in the civil rights movement.

Bodily/Kinesthetic – Visiting the digital archive of Terri Shaw, a freedom worker during the civil rights movement, one links to this site depicting the program of the Free Southern Theater’s presentation of In White America (4 pages total). I would challenge students to develop their own version of the dramatic presentation to get them moving in their learning!

Interpersonal – Using cooperative learning techniques, this WebQuest requires students to play roles and interact with each other to study the question and produce the final result.

Intrapersonal – This site points students to various blogs regarding the civil rights movement and gives them a chance to reflect on their thoughts, as well as respond, if desired. I liked that there was a chance to view and reflect on both visual and verbal stimuli.

Naturalistic – This Natural Park Service website salutes one of the crowning events of the civil rights movement, the road to Selma, Alabama.

Existentialist – the big picture! I think this WebQuest helps to represent the essence of existentialist intelligence by putting some of the pieces together for students, as well as challenging them to synthesize and evaluate, using those higher level thinking skills. It also utilizes a variety of other intelligences.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Privacy Issues

Anyone following the “domestic spying” controversy in the national news?  As I understand it, the Bush administration is defending the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping on cell phone conversations and e-mail communication as a requirement for an effective fight against terrorism.  As reported by Eggen and Pinkus (January 24, 2006) in the Washington Post, the spying “did not constitute a ‘driftnet’ over U.S. cities.”   I wonder if blogs are included in their “spying”?  And, if they are, I would guess that would not be an invasion of privacy as the argument against “spying” on cell phone conversations and e-mail communications since the blogs are considered “public.” Will that have any impact on our use of blogs in education? Comments?  

Also consider another privacy issue:  The Department of Justice asked search engines to submit their search engine records and most complied.  Google did not submit their records and now the DOJ is asking for a court order.  DOJ’s justification relates to the Child Online Protection Act, while Google’s defense is that it not only needs to protect the privacy of its users, but also the user information provides them confidential information for improving their product. For more information, link to Mercury News and an update from Search Engine Watch.  

The issue of privacy has always been an important one and inevitably returns to the need for balance.  The current affairs indicate to me that not only is this a good concept to introduce and discuss with our learners, but also serves as a “real life” application!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Culminating Activity

Culminating Activity:

For my EME 5405 Culminating Activity, I opt to write a book review on Thomas Friedman’s, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century.  I have selected this option for a number of reasons:
  • I am not currently in the classroom this semester and have already had the experience of creating Internet-based curriculum activities and developing a web page (options 1 & 2).

  • This book has a direct relationship to the foundation for my teaching EME 2040, Introduction to Educational Technology.  It is a recent bestseller and therefore appealing to a broad audience (I hope!).  I have always been interested in social forecasting and remember well when I first read John Naisbitt’s fascinating Megatrends in the mid-80s – also interesting to look back now at the new directions that did transform our lives!  I have some of the same expectations for Friedman’s book and hope the information gleaned and critiqued will offer new perspectives in my teaching/learning venues.

  • Perhaps with additional time and editing, I can prepare and submit my book review for publication to an online journal related to instructional technology. Okay, that may be ambitious, but I’m always thinking of bigger challenges!  

My plan for successfully completing this assignment includes reading the book with extensive use of note-taking regarding not only the content and application, but also for critique and evaluation; researching resources from the book; and writing a review with the rubric criteria in mind.  

For this post, I’m using Blogger for Word which I downloaded from the Blogger site.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


In exploring RSS this past week, I thought I would share the following blog sites that appear to be excellent for educators - just in case you want to add to your own bloglines!

The Strength of Weak Ties - David just posted two RSS resources for teachers and has other applicable postings with additional links!

And another mother lode is Will Richardson's Weblogg-ed - after reading this site, it makes me wonder how I could have missed such great teaching/learning opportunities. He is also just about ready to publish a book, Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts..., which sounds like a good one to review (not sure it will be available before this class is over, so keep it in mind for future!).

With my research so far, I would definitely see this social software as a springboard for many educational lessons - it also is more than an operational tool, but a true application for educators.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Week 1 - EME5405

I have had great fun reading my colleagues' introductory remarks this week. As usual, I'm always amazed at how "small" our world is and though we are all unique beings, there is usually a form of commonality among us (even beyond the goal of successfully completing this class!).

In my haste of posting the initial introduction, I neglected to specify some of the criteria for the assignment, so I will itemize here:

  • Current job title: Financial Aid Facilitator at L. Walker Institute of Technology - I accepted this role to try to increase the funds for retirement (since it is 236 day contract) and have applied more counseling and teaching to the position that may be required, otherwise I would be bored to tears...the student population (disenfranchised high school age through adult who are more successful at hands-on learning) is especially rewarding for me and fortunately, I am able to also assist with staff development and programming decisions. I don't anticipate staying in the position much longer, since I tend to move around fairly frequently, but the older I get, the more difficult it is to move...
  • EME 2040: When teaching this class, I engage students in a variety of application-oriented projects. As a survey/introduction class, I don't dig deep, but instead focus on giving many experiences. Students are exposed to application of theory (constructivism) and standards (both Sunshine State and ISTE) to technology, hardware (primarily basic and networking terms) and software applications/evaluations, rubrics and portfolios, WebQuests (wish I had time for them to build one, but...), Internet scavenger hunts, and of course the production of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher applications. Sometimes, I sneak in digital camera usage or handheld computer (PDAs), but tough since the equipment is limited (mine!). I always try to model various instructional techniques (i.e., KWL, graphic organizers (Inspiration), jigsaw, etc) so the students understand the integration. They are challenged to develop one technology integrated lesson plan and to participate in a Project Based Learning problem (which is where I incorporate blogs). The last couple of classes, I used WebCT as a tool for discussion boards, as well as online tests - I tested a couple of online lesson plans, but since the class was not advertised as "distance" learning, I had to be careful about what I did.
  • Current use of the Internet and other technologies: teaching a class in technology requires constant research and application of the content, so I use the Internet daily for both professional and personal purposes. Of course, e-mail is a "mainstay" anymore...surprisingly, even my 84-year-old mother depends on it (that and her cell phone - who would have known ten years ago?). I am interested in, but not had a chance to learn more about, digital video and video editing as it relates to educational technology. I embrace all of the technologies (thinking about blogs, RSS, and e-books is often over-whelming, but also exciting!), but I'm not convinced that either students or teachers know all they need to know for effective and efficient use and application - I am particularly concerned with ethical usage (validity of sites, plagiarism, etc), the lack of effective use of search engines, and the acceptance of technology as the "end-all".
  • My goals for this course: I am a very self-directed learner and utilize classes as a way to carve out time for transformational learning. I've always felt comfortable learning in a isolated sense - between me and the content/sometimes the teacher, but I've really grown to believe in the social meaning of learning and think that our current and future technology tools will help me explore that in many new ways. So, it is especially relevant that the focus of this class is on social software (I'd never heard the term before, but it is a connection for me)! I know my learnings from this class will lead to new pathways in my roles as teacher, employee, and individual.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

New Year - New Beginnings

2006 - a new year and opportunity for new beginnings! I am delighted to once again be participating in an Educational Technology online course (3rd one) through UF!! I look forward to interactions and learnings that will provide continual challenges in my ongoing journey of life...

Unlike many (probably even most) of my classmates in this course, I am "old" (at least in chronological years)...I have been in the business of education for almost 30 years. My experience ranges from teaching to counseling to administraiton with a variety of ages/levels: 9th grade through adult (both basic education and graduate teaching). I currently work full-time (not in the classroom) for Collier County School District in Naples, FL at our post-secondary technical center, which will offer a on-site high school with a career education emphasis, beginning next year. I also usually teach EME 2040, Intro to Educ Tech at our community college, but not doing so this semester.

I earned a doctorate in Educational Administration nearly 20 years ago and have continued to learn via formal or informal education settings since - the epitome of lifelong learning - it works for me! My master's was in Guidance and Counseling and my bachelor's in Psychology, so teaching is something I added on with certifications.

Using as much technology as I can on a daily basis, I consider it a necessary and vital tool - how did we live without it! I am always interested to learn more, but time is often an obstacle. Thus, this class, I hope, will help me to focus on pursuing additional educational technology integration and applications. I'm already psyched to learn more about podcasts (I've used blogs before, but was unaware of RSS, so I've had fun this week exploring new podcasts to add to my subscription!).

Between work and classes, there's not much time for other priorities, but I do volunteer at our Neighborhood Health Clinic and am in the continuous mode of remodeling the house. My precious 14-year-old Huskie and a wellness routine are also a big part of my daily loves...
That's Sheitan "staring down" her fish toy - actually, I think she is sleeping... :^)

Looking forward to a fun and interesting class with lots of learning!!