Sports Blogging is Fun

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Final Submission

The Flat Classroom Project (FCP) was a very unique project whose main emphasis was collaborative learning with its content based on Thomas Friedman's Book and Video, whose theme was based on his talk titled, “The World is Flat”. The whole experience was on the emphasis of how technology has changed the way people communicate, socialize, and do business and ultimately how it is going to affect education in the near future. In a nutshell, everything has become very fast, very easy, very accurate and more often than ever very enjoyable to do.
It was the first time in my life to hear about the FCP at the beginning of this semester in Emerging Instructional Technology (EIT) class. However, I had known a little about Thomas Friedman and the lecture he gave about, "The World is Flat" , had watched the video based on it and read the book before from another class I took at UNI as an undergraduate student. I had some ideas of all the flatteners revolving around the subject. Watching the video again helped me recall them vividly therefore giving me confidence about what I was going to deal with the whole semester.


During the FCP, I got involved with a couple of roles that I played. I signed up on the FCP as a member on their web site and the ning. Once I became a member, I signed up for a group that included students that I was to give advice as well as collaborate with. The group was assigned a topic of study to research and learn from each other about aspects related to that topic. The topic that my group was assigned was globalization and outsourcing, which the students appeared to get into deeper as they became interested to know more about the topic. The whole reason for FCP was mainly to collaborate with other student from different social, economic, cultural, educational backgrounds and geographic regions. By doing so, students learned that the world is hypothetically very small and is moving very fast and. Consequently, whoever can be able to learn fast will equal to the demands and opportunities that come along as a result of globalization. It is a very effective way of learning as it turned out to be. Though I was inconvenienced by demands of my schedule, I enjoyed the FCP every minute of it.
The expert adviser’s job was to help direct the students, answer their questions and give them focus so they do not derail into other topic areas. I finally signed up to become a judge for the group that I was assigned to evaluate. The videos were part of the project intended to express their thoughts about what they had learned throughout the semester.
Overall the projects went fine and actually, we achieved the over all objective of collaborating. The organization was okay, except that as a class and I, personally did not know what was ahead of me in advance so I could prepare for it. I would suggest that for tasks that the student (us) are going to be involved in the FCP, should be in a central location (site). They can be serialized in a manner so the students know the flow of event, deadlines and what is expected of them all along the way through the semester. For the purpose of reinforcing this point, the reason for collaboration is to create a common understanding or awareness so everybody gets even. Sometime during the semester, there was some kind of confusion, miscommunication or misunderstanding as to wear to go for instruction or sign up for a task.


 In terms of communication during the group project, it was very difficult to get the kids to express themselves or even ask a question on the discussion board. I posted my introduction, gave them compliments for what they had already done so far and welcomed them to ask any questions several times, but no one did. At the same time, many of the students shied away from befriending me so I never got to know how many students I had all together. That is something that I would particularly like changed because without people to talk to in the first place, there can never be collaboration. I had the feeling that the kids were also not prepared to interact with the advisors over the internet and so they went on with their work, on their own.  It looks like they were warned to be worry about strangers over the internet, whereas this was a class project! They all never activated their discussion boards as reflected on their blogs! My suggestion is that a way be devised were the students and the advisors can be formally introduced to each other.
I faced a number of challenges. Though I knew I had to have a computer, I did not know it specifically had to be a laptop computer plus other accessories that I had not budgeted for.  At one point I considered dropping the class but my inner voice told me to stay put and keep doing what I can. The lack of all the computer requirements forced me to accept a job offer off campus in order to be able to acquire whatever I needed for the class. Also the FCP came to me as a surprise since I was not expecting a class oriented in that manner.
The project that amazed me the most was the video production done by the kids. Although some of the videos had glitches here and there, it was fulfilling in on itself. Watching the videos, it looked like a lot of the students had a very enjoyable time putting their work together. Most of the students did a very good job of incorporating all the required elements into their work. The most important thing that the students were supposed to take out of this great project was to acquire collaborative skills, learn about different issues affecting everyone mentally, psychologically, socially and economically.


The one thing that was obviously different in this approach of teaching was the way we and any other individuals or group of individuals were incorporated in the project. Each individual came along with different ideas, values, and culture, status, family and educational background, social, geographic and economic differences to work towards a common goal. This was accomplished very successfully. I learned a lot of things, for example I had not blogged before, but now I have a blog and I am still enjoying it. I actually will still keep the blog. If it is rendered irrelevant, I will definitely set up another blog. Another thing that I never wanted to consider was twitting. In fact, I never even knew how to spell the word tweet, but now, I not only know how to set a tweeter a count up, but also how to use it. Other things that I felt were relevant to this class but did not get as much attention as the ones mentioned above were SL, texting, email, Skype, VoiceThread and organization gadgets such as igoogle and tweeter deck. I came to learn that second life is actually going to be the way of the future 3D interactive internet. The High school kids must have experienced an overload of information. If I wanted to introduce such a class to my students, I will start very slow, then gradually build from what they know.

FCP Journal

 As I participated in the flat classroom project(FCP) I kept a journal. The following is an outline of activities I got involved in with the high school kids and their dates. It was a very engaging but fulfilling project that needs a lot of time and attention in order to accomplish tasks in a more timely and satisfactory manner. I am pleased that I made it, despite schedule issue. Below is a log of my activities during the the project.

10/25/10– I became a member of the Flat Classroom Project and signed up for  My Wiki 
10/25/10– Signed up for Expert Advisor on the FCP page- Expert Advisor 
10/26/10– Requested for friendship from some of the students.
10/27/10– JasonLcvhs befriended me on The FCP. I visited his page frequently and every time his discussion link was not activated. - JasonLcvhs 
11/10/10– Introduced myself to the students on the discussion board for the project group 6. Globalization and Outsourcing (G&O)
11/10//10– Andrewmcvhs befriended me on The FCP. I visited his page frequently and every time his discussion link was not activated.- Andrewmcvhs
11/16/10– Wrote on the discussion board. Congratulated the kids for what they had done so far.
11/16/10– On the discussion board requested for feedback but no one responded at all.
11/18/10– BriannaC befriended me on The FCP. I visited her page frequently and every time her discussion link was not activated. -BriannaC
11/20/10– Signed up to be a judge of the FCP
12/13/10– Video Judging- Accessed the video made by kids and rated them
12/13/10– Survey completion-Completed and submitted - Survey 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Second Life (SL) a growing learning resource, social, commercial and endless opportunities!

 Second Life (SL) is fun but very useful learning environment. On SL you will find Landmarks which are islands that people have bought land, designed houses and other structures of their interests and put them up. Apart from fun and learning, it is a commercial place where business thrives. Hey! who knows what other potentials that this great resource bequest  on us?

SL is not widely known art this particular point in time, but it is definitely going to be the future of Internet. You can not imagine going shopping in your own kitchen or bedroom and looking at items that you want to buy in 3D, like you are  physically in the store! Meeting people and socializing like in real life because you can see, listen respond and even feel them, is what it is and designed for. It is very important that every person knows about this online resource and so I want to share with you the information below to start with. Please, take time to visit this places and send me feedback about what you think at at The University of Northern Iowa.You might find it hard to navigate SL at first, just know that it take time for one to be comfortable to any new thing. At the same time, you are most welcome to ask any questions you have by a way of email above too. Have fun!

This is a place where people just hang out and have fun with friends playing games.
Deal, Zyngo, Solitaire. Weekly and Daily high contests, the newest games, NoDevil and many more.

Christmas is gone but some is still here with us! At Winterwonderland you will enjoy the holiday season by skating and having fun with friends and family.

Another place to have a feel of Christmas. This spot is very beautiful to hang out. If you've got the Linden Dollars (L$) visit the largest mall on SL. While here, shop and enjoy the beauty of Christmas. Visit The House of Avron

What a Christmas to celebrate?, very noisy for those that like a calm environment. It can be fun  at Summer Place for those who love horses, please check this out. The Amaretto, Streetwear, Event, Party, DJ,Ozimals, Bunny, Building, Houses, Häuser, Bauen , Lowprie and much more.

At Tuzandi you will enjoy Flowers, trees and very beautiful shrubs. There is a garden center, garden shop, garden decorations, trees, roses, palms, and cactus. 

Visit the Lawst Paradise Gallery - Painting, paintings, oil painting, fractal, fractals, sculpture, sculptures, art, artist and much more

Here is a kids' place. Hang around and have fun with your kids or just friends and play all kinds of games all day. You can adopt a kid here at
too  Yarna!

How about a place for higher education? Visit Oregon State University to see what is going on there. Do not forget to visit The OSU media center  Media center, it is fun.

Doctor Experience
place. Oldest and largest Doctor Who fan region in SL, host of the Doctor Who Podshock.

Just see the skylab, there might be something that interests you there.

Classy female clothes, shapes, skins & amp; accessories. Most at $20 or less. At Artsea Women’s Ware
Please sign up and try this places.
Evans Mudanya

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Flat Classroom Project

What I think about the world being flat! The world has grown smaller hypothetically due to the increased efficient and effective high speed Information technology. For example, we used to wait for weeks to receive a regular mail from overseas, right now, it takes a few seconds to receive an email For those who communicate by text messaging or chatting in the chat rooms, it is instant! Another good example is the telephone. When landlines phones were on fashion and their bills so expensive, this is not to long ago. Probably less that a decade ago, it was so hard to use anyone landlines phone. 

Right now there are cellphones all over the place and they are of reasonable price and value. Thousands of kids in the US and even developing countries have them too! They all, as well, come with very important applications for both pleasure while being effectively and highly functional. The Information landscape has turned into gold fields, very highly paid data analyst, web designers and webmaster do data mining to gain an edge over their competitors.  The age where gold mining  (manufacturing) mattered are gone, because these jobs (service industry) pay more than if one was a gold dealer. 

The bigger effects, big companies being rendered obsolete  for example xerox. Others being forced to change the way they do business in order to survive. 

Practically, an  increase in efficient, effective (larger) and safer modern means of transport technologies,  has been brought about by information technology. As a result, although there is all the lightning speed trains pioneered by China and dreamliners, the landscape has changed so much that it is not necessary to travel from one place to another for certain duties as it used to be. Some can easily be taken care of through telephone conferencing, video conferencing or online conferencing. 

Unlike before educator and school around the world have caught the wind and now the question is; Is the traditional brick and motor school system becoming extinct/ obsolete? What is going to take over the place of schools if it becomes obsolete? Is going to school or even a household name like teacher going to be of relevance in the schools of the future? Or is the Internet going to replace them for some other kind of jobs as it has happened in the commercial sector. Becoming a computer savvy person as a teacher is definitely going to help in the advancement of education in future. Why? because today almost every new born is born holding a computer of some sort in their hands. By the end of education vatualization, there will be a huge change , every teacher has to be prepared. For there is no turning back.   Therefore The Flat Classroom Project is an excellent initiative by the two pioneers Vicky Davis and Julie Linsay.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Where is Kenya as pertains to Global Online Colaborative learning?

This information is only as far as education is concerned since technology use in Kenyans commercial sector is somewhat ahead of most countries in the world. This is not to say there is great technological advancement in schools. In fact, it is the other way round. The technology used for commercial purposes is bought. One good example is m-pesa(directly translated as Mobile money). This is cellphone transfer of cash from one bank to another without going to the bank at all, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This technology is going so far as taking retail banks hostage as Michael Joseph, one of the mobile phone CEO warns banks. Another is the electronic networking of the judicial department of the government for quick expedite of court cases. A judge could be in Linn County while presiding a case in Brima County. This is just to show there is edgy technology in Kenya, but mostly for the users and not so much for schools. That is why the government is working so hard to equip schools with computer and staff.

In the past connectivity speed was the major hindrance to technology advancement in school coupled with limited resources. However connectivity has greatly improved since 2006.
The first fibre optic cable to land in Kenya was in 2006. The Kenyan government has all along known using fibre optic cables is definitely one of the most efficient data transmitting devices around, transferring information in quick time. Unlike normal cables this is one of the most useful and long lasting data transmitting devices, which require no lengthy waiting period.
Fibre optic cable has so many advantages. It is made from threads of glass that sends data and information through modulated light waves. Metal cables do not have as much bandwidth as a fibre optic cable and are also less susceptible to interferences.

Other advantages to using fibre optic cables are that they are much lighter and thinner than metal wires. Furthermore, information can be transmitted digitally hence the reason for a less likelihood of interference. Metal wires transfer information analogically, which means it is transferred through an analogue signal (a long electronic signal that is continuous and varies over time). Digital signals transmit information through a non continuous process, usually in the form of pulses or digits. The digits are constant in their value; however, they do change abruptly from one digit to the other. This technology has existed for a very long time. It was not until 1996 that saw the very first fibre optic cables TPC5 used all across the Pacific Ocean. A year later FLAG (Fibre Optic Link Around the Globe) was established as the single most longest cable in the world.This proved that fibre optics is the strongest and fasted transmitting device across longer distances, having been used for the internet, telecommunication, medical facilities and imaging devices.

So, back in 2006 The Kenyan Government decided to include fiber optic cable onto its electric grid infrastructure basically to speed up the spread of the network while fighting vandalism. At this particular time, government owned Kenya Power and Lighting Company is leasing parts of the fibre optic fibre to major telecommunication companies in the country. The major telecommunication companies that lease fibre optic parts from the government include SafariCom, Wananchi group, Jamii Telecommunications Ltd, KDN, and Telkom Kenya. Alll major towns in Kenya are networked, however the network has not reach some villages yet.

Majority of Kenyan population understand the importance of communication technology and especially the importance of modern education. Most families, including the very poor send their kids to school, they understand that it is the law. The government has taken the initiative of providing Free Primary Education (FPE) for all primary school kids, so the parents have no good reason for not sending kids to school. The government is (partnering) with NGOs and donors on ICT pilot program in secondary schools. This is because one of the hindrances to Kenya communication Technology has been prohibited by lack of finance. But to say the least, the future is bright for online learning in Kenyan schools for the foundation is being laid. At the same time, the government in collaboration with the private sector is trying to connect Kenyans to the rest of the world by providing digital villages in communities.

I know this information does not address  Kenyan schools and what they are doing in regard to the flat classroom learning directly. However the Kenyan government is experimenting on different school technologies that are effective, effectiveness and sustainable.  I will keep on looking for that information. Meanwhile I welcome any comments or questions that you all might have.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It is very true that The World is Flat

In his lecture that I have just viewed on the internet Thomas Friedman articulately yet humorously  talks about how the world has flattened. As much as he makes it interesting, this is a very important issue especially at this particular point in time. He gives advice to student by giving an example of what his mother used to tell him when he was growing up that he shouldn't waste his food because children in China are starving. He says that today, he gives the same advice to his kids but it is no longer about food but about learning. He tells them to do their homework so kids from China do not take their jobs in future.   One key point that I picked from this talk is that nothing is going to stop globalization. Therefore, it is up to the countries to be ahead of the changes, and that the whole world even developing countries understand this.

Friedman’s list of “flatteners” includes;
  1. The fall of the Berlin Wall(11-9-89); It enabled the Eastern policies to influence the Westerns and the same to the South and North. At the same time as the Berlin wall came down, the Windows operating system, a single Graphical User Interface (GUI) came up.
  2. The rise of Netscape and the dotcom boom that led to a trillion dollar investment in fiber optic cable(8-9-95); allowing more people in more places to connect freely yet with limitless connections.
  3. The emergence of common software platforms and open source code enabling global collaboration; People can connect and work collaboratively with each other over standardized network  and softwares that enable us to communicate like never before.
  4. The rise of outsourcing, offshoring, opensourcing, supply chaining, insourcing, insourcing and steroids are as a result of the  above three flatteners. Friedman says these flatteners converged around the year 2000, and “created a flat world: a global, web-enabled platform for multiple forms of sharing knowledge and work, irrespective of time, distance, geography and increasingly, language.” 
I believe that every one including school kids should know this because actually we are running a little behind. Friedman states that once one understands the 10 flattenners, then they are in a position to explain the rise in energy consumption, outsourcing, MIT opensourcing, 9-11 and even Alkaida.

Actually, the video is a very condensed version of the whole lecture running about 1.15 hrs but it is very educative as much as it is entertaining, Watch Video. This then, encourages me to take time and read the book which can also be found in a audio form that can be downloaded on an iPod or any MP3 player for those constantly on the move.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sports Blogging is Fun

Sports blogging is fun just like the sports you like to engage in. Here is a sports blog on yahoo, just to give a hint of how fun it is Yahoo sports blogs I have been reading some and I tell you, you will be overactive than the players in the field. Apart from the side shows that goes on around the field or playground, there is always a couple players that forget the spirit of the game. Despite the cheer efforts put up by the cheer leaders to create a positive friendly mood, some players take it a little too serious, a little too personal and a little too far, and start hitting each other. Just watch this one, its fun Hochey Fights . Hey!!!!!!, although this sends a really bad example to those being mentored, the ultimate goal for paying big bucks to be there and watch a game is to get ultimate enjoyment/entertainment. Just as it happened in the above hockey ice arena, some will argue that! But then, as much as we enjoy the game, we should take time to educate those mentored; the reason for playing is to be active and fit, to be an ambassador for your school or institution and most of all just have fun. Insist that fighting is not fun, there is a lot to loose and nothing to gain from it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Real Global Online Collaborative Learning still a stone through away.

As we have seen in our readings, chats and discussions, emerging technologies cannot be wished away in the present ever changing world and especially classrooms, but all the forces we know of embrace it eg social forces and economic forces. For the children who want to get a good education, they have to keep up with the new technologies like tweeter, blogging, IM, chats even texting, and not give in. With texting though, once they get of age to have cell phones the gadget stays in their hands constantly and so it comes easily. Here is a twist about  Text Messages

But what I can see and I have to say that this is just a layman retorting and not a research finding at all, is that although there will be more than enough end point user hardware around the world, there might be difficulties when it comes to connectivity. As we have seen in our readings (Web 2.0 and Disrupting Class text), some countries are far ahead when it comes to connectivity of the World Wide Web but none of them has reached the perfect level (100%). So this will always be hindrances as far as online learning and especially due to the financial, technical and logistical difficulties attached to it. For the majority of the countries finance is a problem, especially most of third world countries. We have to bear in mind that it is not collaborative learning until we hear from everybody in different parts of the world. At the same time, I believe that every country is doing its very best for their citizens to be connected and be part of this great experience and even better become global citizens.

Putting that aside, my take for a good education is not just mastering the lectures and readings provided by the teacher but also relating the lectures and readings to the real world events. For example, apart from just listening to news and getting satisfied by what you have heard, an educated individual will try getting other views from other sources using the internet, texting friends to know what they think and so on. Paulo Barsio explains this better here .

Social networks have grown very rapidly and they offer fast ways to organize things like get together, sharing, lazar fast communication and meetings as they collaborate. Such are the functionalities I think kids will benefit from but by using them for educational purposes other than just socializing. See this  Computer Games Another way that student can learn better is using online based computer games. This is well explained here Educational Computer Games

Linda Harasim on Online Collaborative Learning

Check out this Slide Share Presentation: This slide has provided vital pointers to collaborative learning. The most important take away is that online learning is not necessarily the cheapest option to acquiring an education. It could be very expensive irrespective of where you are. In the US though, it is relatively cheap though not for classes modeled around traditional brick and mortar classes. The other issue is that despite the expense, the graduation rate is usually high, something that is very encouraging. However, due to the advent of the information age, and the lightning speed with which it spreads, global online collaborative learning is yet to pick up like a bush fire on a very dry summer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First time blogging

Hey everybody. Welcome to my blog. I hope you are all excited too like me. This is my first blog and I cannot wait to blog more:)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Technologies

As we have seen in our readings, chats and discussions emerging technologies can not be wished away in the present ever changing world. For the children who want to get a good education, they have to keep up with the new technologies like tweeter, blogging, IM, chats even texting. My take for a good education is not just mastering the lectures and readings provided by the teacher but also relating the lecture and readings to the reall world event. For example apart from just listening to new and getting sutistied by what you have heard an educated individual will try to getting other view from other sources using the the internet, texting friends to know what they think and so on.

Social networks have grown very repidly and they offer fast ways to organize things like get togethers, parties, meetings such are the funtionalities that I think kids will benefit from but in an educational manner other than just socilizing. Another way that student can learn better is using computer game. THis is well expalined inthe following excapt