Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ideas for Activities in Photo-Sharing--In Math?

Activities for Photo-Sharing in Math Class

Here are plans for a couple of photo-sharing activities in my Math for Elementary Teachers Class:
Activity 1:  Similar Figures versus Congruent Figures
Description:  Take a tour around your town or city with your digital camera or cell phone.  Take at least 10 photos of architecture which displays similar figures and congruent figures. Tag your photos with where the photo was taken and what is being displayed in the photo—is it an example of similar figures or congruent figures?  Upload your photos to the site…
Activity 2:  Ancient Numbering Systems
Description:  Find photos of Babylonian, Mayan and Roman numbering systems on the Internet.  Share via the Discussion Board with a brief description of what these numbers mean in the photo.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I researched MySpace because it was the first social network site that I heard about.
1.What was the target audience for this social networking site?  The target audience for this site started out as a place for bands to connect.  It quickly evolved into a popular site for teens in about 2004.  As I peruse it, I see that it definitely targets teens and young adults with the nature of the entertainers featured on the log in page.
2. How long was the site in existence?  MySpace has been in existence since 2003.
3. Why was it popular? What was its demise?  It is still in existence.  It was popular because music is popular with youth.  Bands wanted to be able to contact fans.  And fans could connect with their favorite bands.  “Friends” were affiliated with common music likes.
4.  Is/was there another competitor in the same market that was more popular?  It would seem that Twitter and Facebook are MySpace’s competitors.
5.  Would you ever consider creating an account and using it?  Explain your reason using a personal experience as an example.  I would not consider creating a “MySpace” account.  “MySpace” seems to still cater to a younger audience.   I am on “Facebook” and have found many long lost pals through it. 
I find myself checking Facebook a couple of times a day and adding another social network for me is not a good idea.  I simply don’t have enough time.  Also, I see that many of my “friends” on Facebook are on there  hourly and posting totally useless stuff which I find annoying sometimes.  Oh well…

Reflection on Steve Hargadon and Social Networking

I totally agree with  Steve Hargadon when he states, “There is very real value in “moderating” or “guiding” your network.  The nature of a social network site encourages free response and uncensored posts.   If one were to use a social network within their classes, clear cut expectations for responses must be communicated.  Inappropriate posts must be dealt with immediately as inappropriate behavior must be dealt with in a face-to-face setting.  It just wouldn’t be that someone would post something offensive, but rather, posts might begin to diverge away from the classroom topic at hand.
I definitely feel that some disciplines lend themselves better to a social network than others.  Humanity types of courses where there is much verbal expression of ideas and writing would be better types of courses for the social network.  Math classes would benefit the least from a social network setting.  Writing is a valuable tool in math.  However, the type of writing is often more technical.  For instance, students might be asked to explain their approach to a problem.  Their explanation may involve math symbols which are not easily available through the mechanism of a social network.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Role of the Wiki in My Classroom

After investigating wikis and trying to build a wiki on my own, I can see that they could be a useful tool in my math classes.  I would design a wiki for each course I teach and organize pages by course content.  The wiki would have generic titles of pages by topic instead of by chapter or section.  This would allow it to be a work in progress and not tied to a particular text or program.  Any notes that I would post would be under the appropriate page.  It would be great if Tegrity videos could be posted under a page as well. 
I am not sure how I would make this a requirement in my classes at this point.  However, I do see it could be useful in getting students to share their problem solving strategies.