The more I get into this course, the more I feel proactive than ever before about copy right issues. At every moment I used a whole lot of documents, pictures, you tube videos, etc, for my personal demands, there comes a feeling of invading others’ right at varying degrees.To make a confession this moment I was having a miss conception on “using online resources freely as far it is for educational purpose just throwing copy right laws out the windows” formerly, just as many students do so. In this regard I do not forget how Jeff has taught me at the beginning of course one the risks of plagiarism professionally through grading comments. Having that as a digital life code, now I am in a position to claim for the best educators’ guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons; that I can use to teach myself and my students in class. What a big breath “THE EDUBLOGGER” site offered us to work in a safest way concerning digital property rights. After we are taught on how to embed in blogs a cc licensed pictures in course two a big burden of guilty consciousness has gone. The question on crediting the huge you tube documents I have been using in my blogs up to now is urging me to dig more in relation to this following video document.. More than any thing I do care for the quality of my digital foot print. I am stretching forward to harvest any suggestion raised on how to respect others right through the quest for digital literacy in addition to the document offered above by educators’ guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons.
It was in the first week of Course 2 that we started doing this project in a group of eight. The original deal was to work on ICS technology use policy which is already functioning now. Later we made a broader insight to further work on Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency (ENALA), one of the biggest archive centers of Ethiopia that currently give the most reliable library service to researchers and the wide public aided by digital multimedia. In a country where individuals could not privately own PC and internet easily, having such a reliable institution having a strong technology use policy is not an option, but a must. This is because any inappropriate use does affect many thousands than an individual. So as of my view we have made the tone of use policy in ENALA stronger compared to ICS technology use policy.
The problem of ENALA’s policy was the bulk of the document (almost a book size)and the lack of English version , that made it inaccessible to foreign users. So our group has tried to do three activities after we get the project permit from the agency: (i) translated the Amharic version to English, (ii) produced a compact review of the bulk and (iii) arranged a power point that can easily be embedded in the agency’s website so that users can frequently view it online.
As of my personal view again the Amaharic breed of this document shall be included mainly for the local elders in the public that couldn’t understand English. The next step on this work should be collecting the users reflection and make improvements accordingly at least in a yearly interval.
It was the 31st of December, last morning of 2012. Being online my Google reader has filtered a post ” A Teachers’ Guide To Social Media ” in Online Colleges.net website. The infographic I have seen in the post attracted me to go through. The info has been so amazing as it can easily be seen below. My question was not only how far powerful the information was, but also how it was produced. Would this attraction force be unique only to me or many others’ or every body’s nature? My quest now is not to review the power of infographic for education which is a universal reality, but it is on how to produce it efficiently using the web technologies in hand especially to ease the challenges of science lab instruction sheet interpretation while conducting an experiment in limited period of time. Just as of the statistics below I searched the way until the point of all the packages for infographic development.
The Adobe Illustrator was the famous one. Immediately a copy right issue came on the search and our IT team confirmed that the software need to be leased first before using it and I agreed as a digitally civic citizen. But until that we can appreciate how far powerful the tool is using a free trial release on line guided by adobe illustrator tutorial below. I think this part is going to be our future COETAIL course. In my case I found it really a priority to have the software as one of our school’s techno package soon and act on it as of Moodle.
(I fear that the word stereotyping by itself may be stereotyped in usage mostly to gender issues in the wide public). But, it will be of good value to raise the issue any way.
It was few years back, when I have been serving as a part-time science tutor using mostly interactive science softwares that really make students so enthusiastic in the class than the passive chalk and talk method.
Mind you, that was only a Web 1.0 level of technology application. Although the topics were bulky, we managed any way to cover the courses on time and the matriculation result was a far better average than passed three years in the school. Teachers of that same batch who were my own friends frequently argue on my approach saying that students may undermine the values of subject areas as of the film /video they are watching at home. Here comes the danger of stereotyping. Question one: Is the film/video that students are watching out of reality and valueless to them? Or to the people who already stereotyped the fact? Question two: Which one is more closer to the day to day real life, the video or the abstracted subject we have been teaching based on books whose secret is hidden mostly without teachers’ guidance?
As of my current understanding unless the design of teaching learning process is advanced to a more engaging, attractive, interactive and reality based approach in where the mind of the youth is found (I mean the web), the resistance many students manifest towards learning as a whole will even
be getting severe through time. The stereotyping some teachers show on relevance of technology in today’s teaching-learning process can practically damage the constructivism philosophy of contemporary educational theory , that is the idea of using technology as a key means to achieve the expected goals of learning, that is an individual’s capability to solve the challenges of this dynamic world.
This reminded me again the golden saying of John Dewey “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we are robbing them of tomorrow“, which I used to reading it at every moment on the mail of our school’s technology director. What a powerful message it is? This message especially sounds much for all contemporary educators to take actions of safest side away from the dangers of stereotyped sayings all along the chronologies of technology such as : “…TV made students not to study at home…”; video games damaged the learner’s mind not to concentrate…”; “…social media diverted the attention of students in class rooms…” etc. only one question can reveal the above misconceptions about technology. Wasn’t it be the role of the educators to come up with an option of tech-based learning environment for learners that can at least compete or win the misusing danger of the technologies we have been through?
As of my view the solution to this problem of hasty generalization can be two sided. One is committing the inner self to exercise a paradigm shift from the non-engaging instructional mentality to constructivism learning packages based on the scenario of technology use in education.The second option is getting out of the game and leave the place for the enthusiastic generation in the field of technology to act on education.
Four months ago, there was one hot issue all over Addis and the thirty local universities of Ethiopia about a real picture of a university stud-
ent abused on the face book by her campus boyfriend who had been her intimate formerly.
The thing was he had been taking photos of their “private affairs” while they were in good terms to each other. The challenge came when their relation get cross. Her partner in an act of revenge posted one of her taboo photos on face book lighting the therm-oil on public that automatically forced her to withdraw and hide herself in deep dark sorrow.
The other painful consequence was her father who is a teacher has contracted a sever health risk and failed to continue his work in addition to the back biting burden from the wide public.
Now two things are confusing me. One is the strength of the judiciary action to be taken as of the constitution and the second most important one is could such an act be controlled in this booming constructivism mentality of the youth with the power of ambient findability where we can find any one or any thing from any where at any time mainly for negative act than good/constructive things.
The core question as an educator is, how to convince her to return back to her education before further risking her’s and her father’s life. My deep heart seeks your wonderful comments publicly. I think this is one way of saving our digital generation.
The moment I googled my full name for the first time, I have seen myself through the eyes of others and felt deeply guilty, scared, …, I can’t really express the other feelings in words. A mind blowing question, “Would there be any negative thing or reputation that might affect my future life? ” , I rushed over many of them with a very firm privacy seeking mentality, then a sort of mixed up feeling again. On one side I felt safe and happy that there were no bad things on it with my name including the face book. On the other extreme that same moment I started evaluating how far the packages sound professional, so that the viewers can at least get some thing in it, but all of them were not more than mere sign ups of the respective sites.
My mind inside forced me to compare the non-digital CV in my hand to the digital profile I currently have knowingly or unknowingly which could be a sound way to judge how far guilty I have been. Here I am, willing publicly for evaluation, how far blocked I have been on the digital world especially for the last five years. Enjoy learning from my mistakes because wise people do learn from others’ while fools do so by their own.
The unpublished CV of mine says: as an effective HS student I have written a short novel entitled “A Lover as a Guardian” for the inter-school literature competition and awarded level four among top ten students(1993), but nothing on the digital profile; an under graduate student who reviewed the challenges of malaria control in tropics the case of Ethiopia for the fulfillment of B.Sc. degree in Applied Microbiology(1997), but nothing on the digital profile; an effective HS biology and chemistry teacher for twelve years in both local and International schools, who built his own exam bank of all the years, of which one package is selected as a model exam of one district in the country(1999), but nothing on the digital profile; a member of distance education biology text book revision team in Alpha University College (2001), but nothing in my digital profile; a researcher on the area of microbial bio-fertilizer development that identified some indigenous acid soil impact tolerant species of Rhizobia (Nitrogen fixing bacteria) for common bean production in the country through a successfully defended M.Sc. degree thesis that is used as a research beginning document by Ph.D students in AAU (2009), but not published in any of the wonderful research sites online where I used to seep lots of scientific findings duty free except for the act of citation credits on the thesis reference; on the community service side as a volunteer science and ethics teacher in some local orphanages, but non of the lovely experiences on the kids’ life improvements were not foot printed on line, I am so sorry.
More than all, even though there is a free institutional internet access in soil research center, Sandford International School and currently here in International Community School of Addis, I did not contributed further as an educator than just subscribing on few sites.
So do not you think that I am the one who made a well evidenced guilt on the quality of my digital profile on line. Who else will then be more guilty than me hiding behind his weaknesses not to capitalize his digital life package that would at least be referred by students, because they have the right to know who is teaching them in details, let alone helping them build a positive digital foot prints.
As of my total understanding then, being an educator having a poor digital foot print is not constructive by any means. Although late by yesterday I can overtake tomorrows’ digital generation through action. It is a peak time to wake up and act.
Shall I then stretch forward to my next blog asking myself again “Am I really private being online?”
In HS chemistry the unit Bonding is relatively vast and some how abstract for students to internalize the concept using only the classical chalk and talk method. So while planning this unit, I have tried to include a web-quest project where students are doing web research based on the specific objectives listed in the unit purpose. In doing so I have seen the actual challenge of planning for teaching purpose using electronic media technology. The unit plan I posted below took me about six hours not only to write it but to embed it in my blog too. The point was not only about educational technology skills but also about change in attitude on myself. Now I get convinced that individual effort only does not make any difference in learning if not collaborated with others in every foot step of technology adoption.
Generations can be characterized by their center of life influence. While I was reading the famous book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey; in the first three private victory chapters, the phrase ‘center of influence’ is mentioned now and then pointing how far this concept is life style defining for many people. Having this in mind it is possible to see the differences between the current net-centric generation to that of book-centric generation of the past. Lets see few comparisons. Refer History of technology and educatonion
In the first few years of my teaching career I used to prepare graphic organizers to aid my lessons especially at the beginning and end of topics. The biggest challenge of those days was producing up to date and quality graphs that require huge effort and self commitment besides the inevitable cooperation of school teaching aid development centers through resources allocation and skills. I do remember incidences where some interested students were participating in graphic organizer production.With those all efforts made it was lacking qualities to meet the demands of curricular flexibility and dynamism.
Soon after graphic organizers colored transparencies and digital projectors took the place making a reasonable progress on my lesson qualities and student participation as of the learning demand. I think that was the key foot step towards the birth of new generation of digital graph making tools.
Currently the free graphic organizer tools and production skills we have online as a 21st century students and educators are having an amusing qualities of flexibility and dynamism to make learning more realistic than ever before. One of those numerous tools is the eduplace that enable us just click and print any of the available formats and use it in class as needed .
Now to know more about graphic organizers go to Free Graphic Organizer for Educators
About 11 years back on my first day I touched a PC mouth in an introductory class of application software training, there has been a sort of mind set I felt inside, that was really difficult to describe well. It was a sort of mixed feeling of both courage and guilt at a time. The guilty feeling was a memory reflection of the incidence I refused the invitation of computer science department to be the first batch of science faculty at that time. The courage was owing to the inside hope of “I am not too late any way…….” that was the first paradigm shift I made. When I test myself from practical point of view my speed of computer skill development was not as I expected. One problem was lack of PC at home.
There comes the second traffic line that needs second shift in paradigm to invest 5000 ETB to buy the assembled AMD PC. Imagine that I was the only science teacher who has got his own computer at home among the teachers in the prep-school I have been working at that time. A year after many of our friends did the same. We were mainly using it to appreciate the bulk knowledge using Encarta. Mind you the paradigm of networked teaching learning was not yet evolved to many of us.
With a lot of pressure mainly from student counsel of that school, mind you not teachers, internet access was arranged. The leading users were the students almost without any age limit taking rapid paradigm shift on their mind set to use technology. I remember that many of the teachers at that time did nit have email address even. I this regard I am convinced even more after I read the true story of Shujaaz FM post on “The eLearning Africa 2012 Report“.
Had it been the knowledge gap factor for rapid adoption of new digital technology teachers were expected to be leaders, but that was not the case. Then what is holding us back except the resistance we built inside to take a step on our own mind set.
Many studies do agree on the fact that rapid eLearning paradigm shift in poor nations of Africa need collaborative work on the core stakeholders of the sector focusing mainly on the role of policy makers and technology financing sectors. As of my view if these sectors are managed by young actors the speed could be pretty promising.
Learning paradigm is one of the key factors that determine our life success through education. The mind set we teachers have about the role of ICT in fostering development need to be changed faster than at least our students.