Monday, December 1, 2008

Web Quest feedback

Web Quest response:

After viewing the web quests, I got very excited to see where technology could really benefit students learning if it is done right. I think how much more exciting social studies and science kinds of projects could be taught through this venue. As a young student, I would have loved to do this kind of quest or research to guide my learning in primary school. It is very inspiring and motivating to see these examples of instructional lessons that are developed in a way that is fun for students to learn how to find information and apply it in many different ways! It's even more exciting to think about the possibilities in sharing webquests with eachother especially when thinking about culturally relevent kinds of webquests that will benefit all the students who live here in rural Alaska. What other kinds of webquests are out there and how do we get access to them as teachers?

Here is my reaction to the webquests that we had to view.

Quilt-quest. Not very exciting to me. boring, unattractive, but good project to get students working collaboratively while searching for information about the 3 different Native American cultures.

Bowhead whale-excellent example of critical pedagogy. I like how the students had to put themselves in each of the roles and learn from that angle or point of view. What an exciting way for students to learn. I especially liked the Real World Action page where students could go to the next level of activism. Very powerful, indeed! I would say this was designed with the altitudinist in mind. Seemed geared more towards the older kids.

Immigrants-quest was layed out very well. I liked the ruberic in which students are able to self-evaluate critically and clearly. I also liked how this led itself to characters that you might find in a Host a Murderer party. I also liked the journal idea, tv host, and creating a costume that fit the role. These are all great ideas that put students in the immigrants shoes and all the challenges that they faced in order to survive. I would lean towards the affiliator on this one.

North Carolina Zoo was filled with web references and seemed like information overload to me. I thought the design could have been better layed out. Don’t get me wrong, though. I immediately thought of Atan’s animal report when reading this webquest. There are great activities to get students learning about the different animals that are found in zoos. This person is definitely a technofile.

Egypt webquest was very kid friendly. I liked the pictures and design. It was appealing and seemed to be written in a manner that students could relate to and understand. The use of missions was clever and creative. I actually felt like I was on a real live search for something real and exciting… each mission was so in debth with critical kinds of questions that helped guide the direction of students learning. This was my favorite one.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Response to Materials Development Grant

Material Development Grant Ideas

I think that it is great that you will be working on this grant to help develop materials for the Yupik/English program. I think it is a worthwhile project that will benefit and strengthen our Yupik language programs even more once lessons and activities are created. The stakeholders are the teachers, students, and parents. If the lessons are created by teachers that already work for the district, I don’t see any problems with sharing materials with eachother on the Yupik share folder that Sally already uses. I can’t really see myself being able to participate in this grant until I am finished with this Masters program. I am also confused about it in the sense that it may just involve the Yupik teachers and not the ESL/ English only teachers. It seams like there is enough websites and curriculum in English, but maybe not in the sense of culturally relevant kinds of activities that are tied to this unique area and culture.
I feel that one important part of the grant should be to focus on the history of the Yupik people and where we came from so that students feel like there is a strong sense of identity and pride built into the curriculum. It would be interesting to talk to Cecilia Martz who was my college professor in Alaska Native Studies to see how her knowledge could be somehow put into some Yupik Eskimo Social Studies guide or curriculum. I remember how powerful her class was to me as a college student because it was like I was learning about myself and where my roots were for the first time because it was never told to me before. I feel like the core values of being Yupik is taught through the central grain of the curriculum, but I wonder about our past history and all that we can learn from the taboos, qasqik, and the struggles that our people had to endure to survive. I don’t know how much of this is being passed on and feel like there is a lack of pride and identity in many of our youth today due to the influence of television, technology, and possibly gambling (bingo).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Native Languages and the Internet

Words as big as a screen response/power point ideas

What an interesting article! Tracey McHenry did a thorough job in describing Native American Languages and the complexities associated with language revitalization efforts using technology. I loved reading about our own Yupik Immersion program in the article and Iutzi-Mitchell’s research that he has done in our region. I just wonder what ever happened with his proposal for a new language policy? I recognize some of the efforts in revitalizing the language are happening here right now in Bethel with the college with the creation of a program where a person can get a Bachelors in Yupik. I also see myself in the article when she discusses the question of ownership and conducting research about our people and the issues that so called “specialists” or district office personnel deal with when trying to determine what is best for our students and the unique language culture that we live. The community issues that the author discussed were relevant to my research. I felt like she touched a common cord when she mentioned that there are many community members who want to make sure that learning the Native language will not interfere or slow down their child’s ability to learn English or be successful in larger society. I feel like this is a common concern for many parents when dealing with the placement of their child in an English only or Yupik Immersion program and thus a valuable resource for me to use in my research. Finally, in regards to technology, I appreciated her insight into the use of technology and how it can benefit Native language efforts in schools. I am excited to look at Tulalip Elementary School’s Lushootseed page to get some ideas on my power point lesson. I’m especially interested in the TPR section of that web page and hope to get more ideas for my assignment.
For my powerpoint assignment, I know that I want to incorporate pictures in some of the common songs that I am teaching. I also want to figure out how to incorporate the song onto the page so that the words are highlighted as we sing the words together. Is that possible through garage band and power point together? I might need your help doing this if it is possible. I already picked out some songs, but am having a difficult time putting all of my ideas together. I need to set up a time to go over my ideas with you or anyone in Bethel that knows how to do this. Please let me know if you can help me.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Reaction to Sally's paper on Power Point

I enjoyed reading Sally’s paper about the pros and cons of power point. I was very impressed by how much Sally knew about power point and wondered how long it took her to get to the point that she is now at. I like how Sally uses power point to teach vocabulary words with the audio and visuals. I also thought how great it must be for her students parents to have access to the lessons as a way to build a stronger bridge between the school and the home as a way to reinforce the second language! I am hoping that she is sharing all of her lessons with other teachers who are less tech savvy so that all students and parents can benefit from her lessons. Finally, I appreciated her advice on the difficulty in transferring power point lessons onto her web page.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Technology issues and concerns

I found this article to be interesting and informative on the impacts of technology in the school and social environment. The question of power and ethics that are involved in the use and possible overuse of technology definitely are a concern to me as a parent and educator. Do we want our students to grow up relating to a computer rather than each other? As a parent of two boys, 11 and 13 year olds, I have struggled with this issue at home. Both of them are always wanting to get on the computer to check their emails, my space, or play computer games. My husband and I are constantly monitoring how much time they spend on the computer and it has become a power struggle at times. I even find myself preoccupied and zoned out into the computer when I am feeling bored and distracted from work, home, and school. I wonder about the long term impact that technology, cell phones, ipods, and computers will have on the future generation of our children. How much is too much information overload? Like the article mentioned, I am especially concerned about those students who over rely on technology through email and my space, to fill the empty void of social ineptness that they may have in real life contexts. I also worry about a teacher’s over reliance on computers to teach a class without providing a social contexts that involves problem solving and critical thinking among the students. This article shed some light on the questions and concerns that should be discussed when using technology in the classroom setting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I now understand why technology is important and how it can be used as a tool in second language acquisition. This generation of learners are technologically advanced and it is important for us teachers to keep up with the times. I just had to laugh when I read that the goal of technology standards is for a “smooth and seamless integration of technology into the curriculum” on the first page of the article because technology has never been that easy for me. As a K-2 grade teacher of music and gym, I struggle with the way that I can enhance the learning of my students using technology. Everything I teach is interactive, hands on, and filled with movement kinds of activities in my classroom that is conducive to language development. Anything that lowers a child’s affective filter so that songs and poems are more comprehensible and meaningful is important. I try to scaffold my instruction so that students learn songs in small parts, with gestures or motions to build upon their language development. I want to use more technology in my class instruction, and hope to eventually use garage band during Friday Morning Showcase. I think technology is a great motivator for all students including language learners. Both of my boys love computers, ipods, and any kind of electronic game. They are naturally drawn to them and know more about them then I do. It has been great to learn about the new technologies so far in this class and I hope to become more familiar with them in the future

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ch 9 Evaluation

This chapter gave some insight to the different kinds of evaluations that are out there. The more I read this book, the more complicated things seem to be in our entire education system. It amazes me to think that someone actually took the time to break up all of these broad terms into even smaller pieces all to help us better understand the system that we belong to. Now I can understand why some people who may have all the degrees in the world, can often lose sight of the real problem because they are so caught up in all the rhetoric. I just hope I don’t end up being one of those people that lose sight of the bigger picture. Aside from all of that, I do believe that evaluative measures and procedures are important when looking at language programs and development. I know that our school is wanting to improve our language curriculum, and is testing some new programs but feel like it is lacking a very important component and that involves teacher. Too often we get new curriculum that we have to implement, but do not receive the proper training that is required to implement it effectively.