Friday, January 18, 2008

introduction

My name is Linda Morgan.  I'm a third grade teacher at Jasper Elementary School in beautiful Jasper, Alberta, and I'm the mother of 2 great daughters - my eldest is in her second year of studies at the U of A and my youngest is attending Grade 12 in Wales, in the UK.  My maiden name is Appelgren, hence the "human rebus" supplied.

Setting up my blog has been a bold step for me.  I'm a self-confessed Luddite who waited until my mid forties to purchase a microwave oven, I still prefer roll-down car windows to power ones, I secretly harbour the belief that cell phones are bad for my health, I've never understood the allure of big screen/satellite dish television and I applaud those few among us who still use snail mail and survive sans home computers.  And yet, here I am!  Like a smoker who's kicked the habit and becomes the staunchest and most outspoken anti-smoking lobbyists EVER, I'll probably end up as a technomaniac!  (As well I should, given my position as an educator, and considering the powerful roles that technology can fulfill in current classrooms.)

Diving into the information on technology has been a little like holding a water tumbler under the faucet but getting a Niagaran roar when the tap is turned on.  Or, it's a little like herding cats. (You've got to see the cat herding video: www.metacafe.com/watch/66347/cat_herding/.  I'm going to try to set up a link to the video at the end of my post.  Hold your breath!)  It seems like I'm being deluged with information and "running madly off in all directions" (can't remember which Shakespearean play to credit that with) at times, but I am determined to soldier on and I know I'll be glad I did.

I chose my blog publisher on the recommendation of one of my daughters and because it was one listed in the Assignment 1 Overview portion of the course.  Setting up the blog was much easier than I thought it would be.  I'm looking forward to expanding it and adding other things - such as links and videos.  I have also signed up for Facebook.  Interestingly, there was an article in Thursday's Edmonton Journal regarding young people (14 to 20 year olds) switching to Neopia more and more, as so many of their parents have signed up for Facebook.  The article suggests that Facebook is a kind of national water cooler for adults, while Nexopia is "the corner convenience store attracting their pierced and tatooed kids" (Edmonton Journal, January 17, 2008).  While my third grade students don't fit the demographic of Facebook users or bloggers, I'm guessing they'll eventually buy into blogging - or whatever shape it morphs into in the future.  Considering that and given the varying teaching positions I've held, it's not improbable that some of my future teaching assignments will be with students who are avid social-site networkers, it would be reasonable of me to keep a pinkie on the pulse of technology as it applies to an important part of my students' lives.

I'm looking forward to the challenges of EDES 545!




9 comments:

Jennifer said...

Linda,

The cat herding video is fantastic! Thanks so much for getting your blog up and for your insightful comments on all of this. I read the Journal article too and thought that it wasn't surprising. If I am on Facebook then teenagers won't want to be.

Jenn

Arlene said...

Hi Linda, I loved your introduction. It made be laugh - particularly the cat herding. I first saw it at a PD session and remember the roars from the participants. I also saw The Edmonton Journal Facebook/Nexopia article. As Jenn mentioned, not surprising. Arlene

John Lobe said...

Hi Linda - Awesome blog and a very funny video. I know what you mean about running madly off in all directions. There are just too many things to try.

Cindy said...

Hi Linda,

I love your choice of blog names and accompanying picture...nice connection!
I also read the article about Facebook vs Nexopia. I was not at all surprised. I have 3 teenagers and a preteen. The oldest two are often found on Facebook but have Nex accounts. The third definitely uses Nex exclusively as most of his friends do too. The 12 year old uses MSN and I think it will only be a matter of time before he hooks up with Nex. I am wondering if it is a bit of a gender thing as the older two are girls and the next one is a boy. The girls do have a number of friends and relatives that they connect with through Facebook. I'll have to monitor their response once I tell them that I am on Facebook.

Cindy

steph ippen said...

Great intro Linda. I'm with you in my somewhat stunned reaction to the volume of brand new experiences that will be the main focus of this course. I keep reminding myself that some of the best learning is fun...playful even!

elizabeth said...

Linda, great name for your blog. I hear you on resisting the pull of technology and wanting to keep life simple and healthy. I like how you called it keeping a pinkie on the pulse, so true. (At least I think that is how you put it, I haven't figured out how to go back to your post and check without losing what I have typed.) I often feel like one of the cats in the video in these courses and a herder of cats in my classroom. thanks for the chuckle.

Joanne said...

Hi Linda,

I didn't read the article in the Journal about Nexopia, but it reminds me of my brother (who is almost 30) who said that he would never invite (or accept) my parents as his friends on Facebook--there are too many pictures of his multiple tattoos posted there! I think it is funny, though that now that Facebook has caught on with 'older' people, the kids are going elsewhere! That's why we'll never catch up...

Joanne

Elisa Orton said...

I wish I had seen the article you mentioned Linda.
I just finished getting my son to bed and as I sat in his dark room processing thoughts in my head (while hoping he would quickly fall asleep) I was thinking about whether it was too soon for many of the technologies we want to use for teaching to be used for educational purposes.
Facebook has lost its allure to youth because an older generation is using it.
Do we need to wait for the use of items like text messaging and ipods to lose their allure before they can be educationally useful or do we create the (possibly resented by youth)change we begin trying to use them to enhance students' learning:P?
I wonder what a student would say to me if I told them they could "text me" his/her homework... might try that tomorrow:)

Ronda said...

Hi Linda,

Just this past week I stumbled across an article which reminded me of your comments about young people losing the allure of Facebook. If you haven’t read it, you might want to glance at this article: “Young people, sometimes grudgingly, adjust to sharing tech turf with adults” by Martha Irvine (Jan. 22, 2008)

So, I'm wondering when the Nexopia "take-over" will happen? :)