Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm back from deep sleep

Here I come,

Finally I get in touch with my blog again after a long time sleeping. Hope you don't mind. I'm trully digital immigrant. Tonight I am with ICT class with all my friends from English teachers from 9 provinces in Indonesia. For my new friends. Let us enjoy ICT as our close friend even as intimate friends in our lives. :)
Sharing with new friends from different places has been a great experience for me. It made me realize and remember how I was before getting in touch with computer and internet. Nice to share... wow... how's life has always been nice for me...Thanks to Allah for all. Alhamdulillah

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Response on The Essentials conditions for Technology Integration

What A Brilliant Dream!
A response on an article entitled The Essentials conditions for Technology Integration in Digital-Age Literacy for Teachers

When I read an article entitled An Educator's vision of the future by Annemarie Tammerman the first response I could say was what a brilliant dream! She had clearly mentioned in details how we, educators, should be very engaged with the technology that ,whether you like it or not, has come into every single cell of our life. She has become an instructional technology consultant in North Carolina Department of Public Instruction where she had get in touch so closely to developing teacher's competence and interaction into technology. That is why she really has a detail in her vision. A vision that is really possible to be a truth. She mentioned in her article that in the year of 2026, a classroom will be videoconferencing across the United States and the teachers are tutoring of twenty students each. Students can join the seminars called the Socratic Seminars. At the same time the teachers are maintainly developed in a special professional development centers.

I wrote those response as my introduction on the Essential Conditions for Effective Integration reflection because that is exactly we need as teachers and educators to face the 21st century. Students nowadays are really the native of digital era (Marc So if teachers do not want to change, be open minded, and put the best efforts to dive into the digital ocean, they will be drown by the waves of technology. As it is mentioned in the article that to change the paradigma, it needs all efforts from the educational community. Not only the teachers, but also the leaders and decision-makers in educational system, wherever it is in the world. Networking and working hand-in-hand, helping each other country is the key to make a Global village, global community.

In order to change the whole system, it needs the whole parts and body of the educational system to change as it is mentioned in the Essential Conditions for Effective Integration, as follows:

Table o.1 : Essential Conditions for effective technology integration

Support Policies
: School and university policies, financing, and reward structures are in place to
support technology in learning

The question now, how to encompass the challenge we face now? while on the other hand, our students have been flashing with their ability with technology. They are hypertext generation, multitasking and splitting brain community. What I mean by splitting brain is that the students now is can split their minds into different focus at the same time, and yet still connect to the recent or main focus. That is something I cannot do. Well, what can I say, I come from a digital immigrant society. I can only focus on one thing at one time. It seems that while I am studying in United States, the circumstances and the communities I get along with, make me learn to be in brain splitting (or mind splitting?).

Back to the question, Tammerman said in the article that the leaders in educations should have a vision to make an Instructional revolution to make a rapid advancement in information and communications technology.There are different roles done by the whole education community that I noted were mentioned by Tammerman. In her Instructional Revolution she dreams of, she firstly mentioned about the changing role of the teacher. The teacher play as a developmental mentor that is paired to students called cherubs to help, guide, and advising the students to choose the modules they are interested in. They are paired only until the module finishes.

The next important part is the lessons and the class done. The class is done in such interesting way, with high bandwidth videoconferencing and with attendees from different part of the states, even the different part of the world, by using the name the Socratic Seminar. It takes place in virtual design ce nter with high advanced technology, with holographic view and students are using virtual projection.

The third one is the use of Immersion methods of the Instructional strategies. It means that the instruction are integrated one to another without distinction and all subject are diluted into one single big topic contains of different shapes.

Those parts are even supported with the research life like the technology Institutes and higher education who give biggest contribution by making real life connection and latest invention to be understood not only by the college students but also the k12 students.

The last thing she mentioned is the real-life bounded lesson designed to interact and educating so that students will easily apply to their real life.

In short, I could only say that as teacher we cannot just stay in our comfort zone, teach the same thing year by year until reaching thirty years of teaching because the world has rapidly changing into digital and virtual wolrd. It is possible that someday humankind all in the world live in the same dome and share the same smile and no hatred with one to another.

I remember once a leading educator in my country, my dear teacher and my dear colleague at the same time say these words: “Teach ten lesson plans in one year but never teach one lesson plan for ten years ( more or less similar the her original words).

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My response on R-Directed Thinking

Reshaping Our Thoughts to make a Better and more Ethical Generation
( A response on Daniel Pink article: Introducing Six Senses, in A Whole New Mind, 2006)

Being an Asian woman I could say that I am very lucky to be in community that teaches me to always live in Harmony. I was taught that life was never find a meaning if you live with no balance between thought and feeling, between ethic and logic. We can see how many people who were very clever at school, with no ethics at all, taking advantages from somebody’s mistakes and weaknesses for their own purposes. Before I continue my reflection, The following will be the excerpt I am trying to conclude from the article.

Daniel Pink in his article mentioned above, talked about the R-Directed Thinking, that is, the six senses to compliment the L-Directed reasoning to make a harmony in someone’s mind. The six senses he mentioned are Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning.
In teaching and Learning Process, we can describe Design as how we, as teachers, create materials or lesson plans which not only has a function, that is achieving our goal, but also how we can create it emotionally engaging. The lesson should make the students feel engaged and tied up with the lesson. We are not only “teaching” but also”educating”.
In teaching, it is not merely only on how good your argument on one topic. It is more on how you deliver it, communicate it, persuade it, how message is narrated, the STORY, so that students will get in touch and get connected to it. I remember my friend from Tennesse once said about her restaurant. “It is not a matter how good your food in the restaurant, but how can you attract people when the server offer the food with such a beauty of language, so that people will try to eat… and come again next time” It is all about story.

The next sense is Symphony. Talking about Symphony, you will talk about how things run smoothly and simultaneously and in harmony at the same time. Like when you hear a symphony in an orchestra, all instruments plays simultaneously and yet we can hear it beautifully. When we teach usually we need to be focus on particular topics. In fact, it is not the only thing that matters. We should also combine it with different elements, different perspectives, so that our lesson will bring a more thorough lesson. For example we teach about technology. Besides teaching how to use technology, we should also give the ethics of using it so that it will bring goodness to mankind.

Nowadays, people tend to think and see things whether it’s rational or irrational; logic and not logic. This is L-Directed thinking only. We should start teaching our student to have empathy to others. Teaching understanding towards others is difficult. Because before we teach it, we are supposed to apply it first so that we can feel and understand our students better. By trying to understand our students, we will see things on their view, and in the end we can give them direction to feel empathy to others. Teaching empathy require us to see beyond the problems, beyond what it is seen. By then, we could see reasons behind things other people say illogical or irrational.In short we can say about empathy is putting yours before mind, thinking yours before mine.

The next thing that Pink mentioned is Play. By Play he meant that we treat problems and see things seriously and yet, laughter at the same time. Teaching should be treated and delivered seriously in achieving the goals. At the same time, we can do it in a fun way so that the students will catch the lesson more thoroughly. It can apply to any level. For example, teaching history. Instead of using “sage on the stage” method, we can create discussion, role play and socio drama. My history colleague teacher usually uses socio drama and cartoon sketches to tell about events or history of nations. And it worked. My 13-15 year old students enjoy the role play when they had to act in front of the class.

The last sense is Meaning. When gaining something are not only, Pink said, doing accumulation, but also meaning. It mean nothing if we can accumulate many materials in the world if there is no meaning inside. We may be rich by then, but will feel so empty. So back in teaching, it is very useless that we give lots and lots of materials to students just to get the curriculum done. It will be meaningless if they graduated with nothing that can bring into life and apply things they have learned so far.

In teaching our next generation where money and materials are almost becoming a GOD for many people, those six senses will at least give an impact, if we cannot make a change, and shape their personality. Before doing and teaching six senses, I believe we have to shape our thoughts and personality with the senses first. Because a role of a teacher is not only giving or directing to knowledge but also ethics. And how can we teach something that we know nothing and no experience in it? In Indonesian language, called Bahasa Indonesia, teacher means GURU. GURU has a philosophical meaning in Javanese language, my native ethnic language. It is derived from two words diguGU (is listened) and ditiRU (is followed). According to Javanese Philosophers, a teacher should act gracefully and in harmony to make the teacher is listened and is followed by the students. I completely agree on that. I see so many teachers, anywhere in this world, are not listened by their students because they lost the meaning of being a teacher. Teacher for them are only a “job” for making money, the more hours they teach, the more money comes. And I see, or read about successful persons, always mentioned their teachers that were shaping their personalities. I never find myself a good teacher yet. But I always try my best, thriving to be a better teacher than I was before, for the sake of my students. Shaping their thoughts to be the better next generation is something that I always put in my mind. Last thing I could say to all my friends is that shaping our thoughts before shaping the students’ then the greatest men will come from your hand.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My response of What's in the News reported by Priya Jayakrishnan

This is my response towards my friend’s Priya report on article:

When I read this article, I found it interesting and insightful for teachers. Digital stories can help broaden students knowledge on people personal stories and can help them start writing their own stories. Digital stories in my country, it can fit into several subjects and can be an integrated and interdisciplinary project. It can be a IT project, English, Bahasa Indonesia (our language) or even to social sciences when the stories tell about a country hero. My friend Priya then asked,

“How can digital stories fit into Math and science? I think it is more apt for the humanities and the arts.”

Well, like it is supposed to be, digital stories meant to be a storytelling in a digital form. Stories, yes I agree, is more to a humanities related text. But it can not be denied that there is a possibility to make stories for math and Science content. As you know, our Digital Native (Marc Prensky,2001) learn Math by Sesame Street and Barney. They learn Physics and Biology through games and software. So it is also possible to learn Science and Math through Digital Stories.
Some of us probably have or once had online course in the university. There, even lecturer or our professor explained the lessons and content material using voiced powerpoint or camtasia. Even when we learn difficult materials or lessons such as Math or Quantitative research (at least it’s hard for me), we could learn it digitally.
So again, for me, we can make digital stories for those two subjects as long as we shape and pack it in appropriate way. I remember a flash game about probability. There was a family of five trapped in an uninhabited Island need to be saved from a giant dragon. There’s only one almost sinking boat to save them with three holes and with capacity of two people (three with the boatman) and can only come to the island twice. How can we save the family? Here, we can see math problem, with a story and need solution. If we create and develop a story, it can now become a digital story, isn’t it?

The next question she asked was : ”What rubrics can be developed if it is used as a tool for assessment?”

For me, rubrics are made according to the objectives we would like to have for every specific lesson. Then, the rubrics may vary from one to another. If we are teaching English then our rubrics will be more to the language process, the content of the story, or and the grammar and pronunciation of the story-teller. If it is integrated to IT, then we can add the techniques and output result in the stories produced become a consideration. If it is integrated with other subject then the content matters should be evaluated. One thing that I mark from Understanding by Multimedia Design project that objectives is the most important thing we should set up before we decide what kind of rubrics we design.

How can one fit it into the school timetable, as it might involve a lot of time?

That is the next question she asked. I simply answered it depends on time allocation of each school. If we have a limited time, then it can be more on individual or group project done outside the class. In the class, we can only give the guidelines, show them how to do that, and ask for progress each session until the deadline. We can divide some steps of making the stories into several progress report, so whenever we have sessions, they can give new progress they made.

Her last question:
And finally, how can we learn to do this? Is there an online tutorial?

I think we can use voice powerpoint or camtasia and produce it as podcast or vodcast(videopodcast) or in avi file. We can practice it before we teach the students and produce a sample one. In the article it is written a brief tutorial on how we can make this.
Some podcast in the internet that I download shows simple stories, legends and fables that can be our ideas before creating it.
In short, for there is nothing impossible for learning things. There is only long time and short time in learning. The same thing learned can be short time to learn for someone and long time for others. As a saying: Practice makes perfect. We can learn anything if we open our mind , try to do it, and say to ourselves : We can do it, we should be able to it, and we will be able to do it. (this saying is a motivation that I always say to myself and to my students whenever learning something new).

Does anyone has a better solution on how to Digital Stories?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What I've learned so far...what I'm still struggling with...

My reflection on Multimedia Design class

I was so excited and got fascinated with the spread out of the technology used in this country (US) since the first time I landed myself on the ground. That is why I am so eager to learn about technology and use all time here to digest all. The idea is that I learn as much as I can so that I can bring home a lot of things to share with a lot of people and apply it into my classrooms.
Well in fact, it turns out to be a big issue. I forgot one thing that I was born to be a digital immigrant (term by Marc Prensky: I get used to read with paper rather than on monitor, hard to work online as I always had class on site. On my first class I wrote down in my diary ( look at my first entry) that I would like to learn this and that.
So how about the reality?
It is a little bit too much for me. I'm struggling with the given time with so many projects and asssignments in limited time as I am not like my American friends in the class who were born with computers. They are so fast on reading different articles at the same time(multi-tasking) or even when typing assignments. It needs a lot of time for me to digest each instruction, tutorials,browsing and a lot harder time to do things assigned such as webquest.
Well, don't laugh at me... for some of you who read this, will probably feel awkward or funny why I spend most of my time doing all the multimedia assignments like creating blog and webquest. It took me hours just to read article assigned by my teachers. What about making reflection? Well there's another issue. For the past fewe weeks, I kept printing all my readings, read it everywhere I was, in the bus, in subway, in trolleys, on my bed. But now I am learning to read with many windows in my computer. It took time and effort though, but I don't believe I cannot do it. As I always say to my students...YOU CAN DO IT, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO IT, YOU'VE GOT TO DO IT, whatever happens. What I can say is that I hope my professor will be patient of my being so deep immigrant. Dr. Kozloski, I apologize and I give my biggest gratitude of your patience in guiding me. Salute!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Dear diary

Dear Diary,
This is my first night of multimedia class.Things I already know about technology are :
I get used to do browsing internet, use hyperlink for powerpoint, skype, IM, a little bit of smartboard and dreamweaver.

Things I WANT TO KNOW about technology:
I want to know more on how to create blog,webquest. And also want to know how to create website in the easiest way and how to maintain it.

Things I hope to learn about technology are:

I hope that I can integrate technology to my teaching and use internet as a tool for my students to know better about the lessons