Monday, August 5, 2013

Chapter 1 Digital Connections in the Classroom (Marcovitz, ISTE, 2012)

Reading the introduction and Chapter One.

Internet Basics.  

Basically explained history of internet from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and basics of HTML language.
Listing of Browers and how to read URLs endings.

Metcalfe's law that the networks usefulness is related to the number of people who use it.   More people mean more useful.  Although you can get to the law of diminishing returns.   If you are thirsty a glass of water is great, but every glass after the first is less desired until not wanted at all.    We have all done the Google search and got millions of hits.  It would take years to go through them all; however, if you are to specific you get so few results they are useless.

I found this chapter very basic info.   How about you?


  1. I also found this chapter to be very basic. I did find the brief history and evolution of the internet to be interesting and laughed after Marcovitz stated “the details are a lot more complicated” then his brief explanation of how URLs, HTTPs, and domains work. That was complicated enough for me, I'll just stick to using the internet.

    One thing I liked was how Marcovitz made me think with his very first line, “What does your classroom have, and what is it missing?” As I pondered this question, almost everything I came up with had to do with technology. I would love a document camera and LCD projector that were installed in my room (I don't like sharing and needing to set it up every time I use it). If I'm being greedy, I'd take a digital projector (turns your white board into a SMART Board) instead of just a regular LCD projector. But, I would also take basic things like a printer in my room or (at least one on my floor), headphones for my students, feedback clickers, and tables instead of desks. I think if you asked other faculty members, their lists would probably be very different and maybe not some technologically based, but I wonder what the kids would say. If we asked students to provide a list or 3 things that would make their classroom a more exciting and engaging learning environment, what would they say? (After they get past the vending machines, video games, and no school at all ideas).

    He also made a good point about HTML codes and how websites are all suppose to look the same regardless of what browser you are using, but sometimes they do not so it's important to have multiple browsers on your computer (Kindle: Location 263/4336). I typically use Chrome for everything, but for some reason Chrome doesn't get along well with the administrator's side of Moodle. Uploading and organizing my Moodle page is much easier to do in Safari for some reason.

    The brief explanation of Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0 was also helpful. I have heard Web 2.0 mentioned before, but never knew that it pretty much sufficed to using the internet to “create, communicate, and interact with others” (Kindle: Location 353/4336).

    Marcovitz mentions bringing in experts to your classroom via Skype or Google Hangouts. Is there somewhere you can look up people that would be interested in doing this with your class or do you blindly contact people you hear about/find?

  2. I have just contacted people. For example, I was able to get the guys from Howe and Howe Tech (had a tv show on Discovery Channel and build vehicles for movies, military) I just found email and they skyped in. For them it was 20 minutes out of their day... but for my kids it was outstanding. I just did a google hangout with a class in Mexico that has nothing... and we are going to work on doing a robotic war (like we did last day of sti) but control over the internet with these kids.

    Remember the experts LOVE to talk about their fields so they don't mind talking to your class you just have to fit their schedule and only for a limited time frame.

  3. I, too, found this chapter very basic. Marcovitz does do a nice job explaining and providing examples, which I like even though a lot of this information was not new to me. I am anxious to read on to chapter 6 to see what "tips and tricks" he has for finding information and other chapters on how to use the internet to expand our instruction to make student's learning experiences much more powerful. I am teaching 4th grade, and I know they have grown up in a very technological world, but I still feel like I need to take a step back and help them with the basics. They need to be taught how to find the best information. I am hoping this book sparks some ideas for me to use in my classroom.

    One idea that I already have in my mind is to bring Skype and a variety of experts into my classroom. I think it would be very cool to Skype with an author or use the internet to expand our Maine Studies unit (we can't physically go everywhere in Maine, but this could help). I am definitely going to check out some of the resources he suggests like ePals, iEARN, and the Flat Classroom project to connect with another classroom.

    1. I would recommend Google Hangout over Skype because you can have multiple people on at same time.

  4. As it has been said already, I agree that there are lots of basics here in this chapter. I too found that first line "what does your classroom have, and what is it missing?" very thought provoking! I'm excited to say that this year my classroom will have 5 laptops in it. This seems small, but it's a step in the right direction. It means I don't have to share the COW and hope people took care of the laptops and plugged them into charge when they were done. I also have 2 desktop computers for student use. That means 7 computers in my classroom. Although it's not 1-to-1 computers, it's a big upgrade from years past. I also have the Promethean board that has a million uses! Having these things and putting them to use are completely different things. I'm really going to work hard to utilize these tools daily with my kids. When they go to 6th grade in a year, they will have their own laptop. I feel it is my job to help them know what to expect with that laptop and how to properly use it (type, Google search, evaluate sources) to help lessen the anxiety of the transition to middle school. As Kayla mentioned, I'd also like to utilize Skype more in my classroom. One of the teachers in the Brewer district does wonderful things with Skype (she's been in the newspaper many different times). It's a tool that can help my kids "see the world" and "meet people" that they may never get to do otherwise!

    1. If you have the kids with google accounts they will be able to log in and out keeping their stuff on the "CLOUD" so they can go back and forth from other school computers or their home one. You can also make the kids rotate through so they have limited time... but will get them to work faster.