The following is a guest post by Ted Levin.
Despite my youth I find myself to be quite an old soul who rebels against eReaders in favor of paper books. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology’s innovations through online media, blogging, and the instant information available.
But there’s no better feeling than holding a book in your hands, the fresh smell of crisp pages, and the ability to write little notes in the page margins. Yes, I write in my own books. In college, one of my favorite professors emphatically told me, “You must write in your book to own it! Write in it, interact with the text, and learning will become easier.”
Experience lends me with a natural distaste for online reading, but due to technological advancements in today’s age I have surprisingly found myself more open to growing trend of online education. This sounds impossible, but let me explain.Read More
I have recently rediscovered the amazingness of Dropbox I’ve had an account for some time now, but because I still was on the first generation iPad and my classroom didn’t have such a great internet connection, it was frustrating for me. However, since I upgraded to iPhone5 and my school’s system is much better, I am beginning to really enjoy the wonder that is known as Dropbox. It has allowed me to be more efficient with sharing files with my students and colleagues, and allows for access to my personal files anytime, anywhere I even got to use it to share photos with a friend of mine that I took on my phone when we went to the beach. It was easy, peasy sharing! As compared to email, which takes a long time to attach, this was quick. Sure there were a few delays when my internet signal dropped, but all in all, it was great
As a teacher, I like how dropbox makes file sharing and storing very simple. The space allotted for a free account is good enough too, although if you really want to keep your files there for long, you may want to follow simple steps to upgrade your storage allotment. Most of them are free too
Dropbox is definitely another one of those tools for the techie teacher! Check out and sign up for dropbox here: http://db.tt/ehxlNVEPRead More
Last night while browsing in Facebook, I came across this photo in one of my dear blogger friends timeline:
OMG…It’s Dorothy and the Good Witch Yey! One of my most favorite stories/movies from childhood, besides the Sound of Music and Charlotte’s Web, is the Wizard of Oz. I loved it so much that my mom recorded it in Betamax for me to watch over and over and over again.
This August 18, Repertory Philippines will debut The Wizard of Oz in Greenbelt’s OnStage theater. I can’t wait! Will definitely make time to watch this in between Yoga Teacher Training. Come what may, I will find the time to watch it! Come with me???
A few days ago, I was in one of those gadget stores in a mall and I saw a kid, about three or four years old if I’m not mistaken, pull her mom to the displays and say, ” Mama, buy ipod touch“. A few minutes later, she walked out of the store with her very own “toy”.
Hmmm…some parents would frown upon such a behavior, but for me (okay, I may not be a mom, but… :)) I think it CAN be a good thing. Granted it isn’t ALWAYS a good thing, I think it has limitless potentials. When my fellow teacher friends and I were discussing it, we talked about how different it is not to educate young kids. We now have so many modern ways of teaching the basic academic competencies, many of which were unavailable when we were starting out.
As I have said many times over in this blog alone, modern technology continues to evolve and new gadgets will continue to be invented. We can’t fight that, and so the best thing we can do is not just over-gadget our kids, but to make sure we find the potential of each of these gadgets to do good for our kids. Maybe I think that way because in a way, my mom indulged me with gadgets as well, but to be honest, it was through those gadgets that I learned many, many things.
Some guidelines, I think, that can be helpful are the following:
- set a “gadget schedule” which allows you to monitor the amount of time spent on such activities
- enroll your kids in more “active” activities, such as sports and the like so they have alternative activities too.
- utilize the gadgets as educational tools by downloading educational apps and ebooks
- monitor, monitor, monitor their activities on the gadgets
Have funRead More
This Christmas, Teacher really, really wishes she gets a netbook. Or an iPad. Teeheeeheee
I know that I already have a laptop, but for the past few months, my laptop has become, errr….a portable desktop? Haha. It no longer works without it’s charger because I think I accidentally killed my battery, thus it no longer carries any juice at all. According to the Mac store, I used up all the charge cycles already. They blamed it on the fact that I very rarely recalibrated the battery and that I was not very consistent in draining it or what not.
So, while I still super duper love my Mac, I still want a netbook for the holidays….I need the portability!!! Haha. The question is, what are the best netbooks to choose from???Read More
Do you still remember Kiko Matsing and Pong Pagong? And Manang Bola with her bolang bilog and Ate Sienna? Yes, Batibot is making a comeback!!!
Batibot returns starting tomorrow at 8:30 am to be aired with our Kapatid network, TV5
Random bit of trivia: when I was a child, I actually auditioned for Batibot…yes, me Oo, shy type ako. Mwahahaha. That would have been the start of my showbiz career. But…..fail. No, hindi ako nahiya but this is where the audition went downhill.
Casting Director: What’s your name?
CD: Do you like to sing and dance and act with the rest of the gang in Batibot?
Me: Oh yes!
CD: Okay, lets see nga. But wait, can you speak tagalog?
Me: Of course, po.
CD: Ay mabuti. So…anong pangalan mo?
Me: Um….yes po.
Parang beauty queen lang. Ktnxbai.Read More
Yesterday I had my kids write their letters to Santa. I do this every year and much as I’ve never really been a big fan of Christmas, this is something that always makes me smile. Since my kids are now in the Seniors class, I try to encourage them to work on writing by themselves, which includes spelling. Yes, they often misspell words because they still approach the task in a very phonetic manner and they have not mastered phonetic rules much, but I am one who places a lot of value on this part of the process: the invented spelling part.
Before I let them put their letters in envelopes, I discussed with them the different parts of a letter and what should go on the envelope. Because it was to be sent to Santa, I asked them where they would send the letters. And this is what they said:
Cuuuutie right?!? Hehe. Oh, and can you figure out what this little girl wanted?
As for Teacher Ria, this is what she would have said:
I’ve been so super good this year, but yes, I’ve had my moments so maybe I don’t deserve that iPad or iMac yet, but but but…that little red Sony VAIO P Series Pocket Style PC sure would make me soooo super happy. Please, please with a cherry on top? Okay? Thanks, Bye.
Yesterday a friend and I were talking about new advancements in technology that can be used in the classroom. She told me about this new touchscreen lcd monitor that can be used in class, instead of the typical projector that simply reflects the content of your powerpoint on the screen, and I got to thinking how much more interactive classes would be should we get those in our classrooms. Wouldn’t it be so amazingly fun to have that?!? Whether for my preschoolers or for my college kids, I’m sure that would take teaching to a whole new level!Read More
I am lucky that I get to do a lot of my online work in my own computer and that no one else uses it besides me. It’s not that I don’t like to share, but I guess there are some drawbacks to using public portals. For example, when I get too lazy to bring my lappy to school, I end up using the PC in the library and when I type in certain things in the browser bar of Firefox (or Chrome for that matter!), previously visited sites are listed below. Because I’m not used to clearing the recent search history and cache before I disconnect, I guess I leave a bit of my self on those computers, right? At least now I remember to log out of my accounts hehe.
Seriously, though, there are times when this behavior can either be dangerous or embarrassing, especially when you are browsing things that you shouldn’t be browsing. I remember once, in an internet cafe nearby, there was this young kid (she must have been about 8 or 9) who accidentally ended up in an adult site because of the previous user. Of course the mother was livid! But after looking at the history (which actually included sites like www.testosteroneboosters.org, fora on reproductive dysfunctions and reproductive health as well as family planning) and explaining that it was an accident, the mother calmed down. From then on, I always made sure to clear whatever history there would be after I use a computer.
To be fair, I don’t think anyone would ever get into trouble if they accidentally browse my browsing history hehe!Read More
Yet another one of my favorite preschool stories is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? written by Bill Martin, Jr and illustrated by one of my all-time favorites, Eric Carle. I have done a lot of fun activities with this, including asking my kids to make their own version of the book after we read it. When I have the chance to, I will scan some of the samples they have done. I love how they can go from real animals to imagined ones and really be able to illustrate this fully.
In the meantime, here’s another video that can surely add to a teachers resources:
A few months ago, I wrote an article about keeping kids safe online. Entitled “A Keystroke Away from Danger“, the article talked about the many, many dangers lurking online, especially for children. From cyberbullying to falling prey to sexual offenders, children and adolescents, and even some adults, may find themselves in the throes of danger if they are not careful. This is why, as a teacher, I make sure to highlight the importance of being vigilant and aware about the potential risks and dangers modern technology post. For example, when I talk to my little preschoolers (yes, they do know how to use the internet! and believe it or not, some of them even have their own Facebook pages), I tell them to stay only on the sites that their parents allow them to be on and to not just simply follow those pop-up ads or links that say “click here“.
I think the most important part of internet safety is being educated about it. In this day and age, there’s really no going around the fact that modern technology and the World Wide Web. It will and always be an integral part of our lives so all we can do is arm ourselves with the know-how to navigate safely in this world.Read More
One of my favorite stories for class is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. As I shared in a past post, I once was lucky enough to come across a real caterpillar about the same time we were discussing the story, thus we were able to use it as one great story stretcher. I also was able to use the story as an inspiration for my classroom decoration.
One other story stretcher that you can add to your collection is a video such as this:
For sure, the kids will love this!Read More
One of the highlights of this week in the Seniors Class was P.E. Day. However, rather than it being a typical P.E. day, I decided to integrate vocabulary building into the activity. Keeping in mind the song “Going on a Bear Hunt”, the kids and I played games that let us go over, under, through and around things!
The kids had a blast! I guess I can say I did too…even though I was dripping with sweat the whole time through since it was quite a warm day. I was huffing and puffing my way through it too, especially since I know I’m not very fit nowadays! The activity was quite a workout! Admittedly, activities like these sure can beat even the best weight loss supplements in the market! Maybe I should do a little more of these and soon I’d see results…imagine that…teaching kids plus losing weight! Woot!
Anyway, for those not familiar with the song “Going on a Bear Hunt” , here’s how it goes (it comes in different ways, but here’s what I often use)
Going on A Bear Hunt
I’m going on a bear hunt
I’m not afraid!
Can’t go under it,
Can’t go over it.
I guess we will have to through it!
I’m going on a bear hunt
I’m not afraid!
It’s a great big tree
Can’t go under it,
Can’t go through it.
I guess we will have to climb over it!
I’m going on a bear hunt
I’m not afraid!
It’s a bridge
Can’t go under it,
Can’t go through it.
I guess we will have to walk over it!
I’m going on a bear hunt.
I’m not afraid.
It’s a river!
Can’t go over it
Can’t go under it?
I guess we will have to swim through it!
I’m going on a bear hunt.
I’m not afraid.
It’s a deep dark cave!
Can’t go over it
Can’t go under it
I think we are going to have to go in it.
I feel something furry!!
It has a big nose!!
What’s that??? (pause)
IT IS A BEAR!!!!
Run out of the cave
Swim back through the river
Climb back over the tree
Go into the house and slam the door. BAM!!
I wasn’t afraid. Were you?
Check out You Tube too, there are lots of fun versions of it. This is my favorite:
I was able to catch an early screening of the Karate Kid and I loved it a lot! I don’t really remember much of the first three installments of the film, but this last one was a blast
As usual, the teacher in me got to thinking about how I can use the film in my class. What really struck me about the film is that it is really more than just a story of karate (or should I say kung fu) but it’s a story about patience, perseverance and courage in the face of anything. On a personal level, it reminded me of the value of being centered and tapping into “quiet energy”. Another thing I was able to appreciate in the film is the reminder that life should be a balancing act between work and play.
The Karate Kid definitely has earned it’s rightful place in Teacher Ria’s shelf of movies to use when teaching class, particularly for leadership and self-development Read more of my review on Karate Kid here.Read More
In recent months one of my favorite discoveries on television was the Bio Channel. From biographies of celebrities to shows like Intervention, Hoarders and I Survived, I spent countless hours watching the channel, even when though a lot of the episodes kept getting rerun and rerun. However, since Nat Geo has been having Air Crash Investigation and Seconds from Disaster on a lot, I’ve been switching back and forth.
After several days of hiatus from my Bio fix, I punched in the numbers 1-5-4 to catch up. It was a feature on LL Cool J, but I wasn’t very interested so I channel surfed. I told myself I’d go back later on because there was a feature on Sarah Jessica Parker. It slipped my mind to go back but when I finally did, I was shocked at what I saw: E16: service is curently scrambled. And it now reads Star Gold.
NOOOOOOOOO!!!! They took away my Bio channel!!! In the short run I had with it, I was able to get a lot of insights for my various psychology classes so it was really sad when I discovered it was gone. I hope it was just transferred and I just haven’t found it, but I haven’t received any updates from Sky. If you know where it is, do let me know please!!!Read More
Even as a child, I was always a techie. From V-tech goodies to the Nintendo and Family Computer, my mom always allowed me to play with these games because she saw that there was a learning potential to it. At first, she was quite stringent about controlling the time I spent on these devices. However, because I was able to maintain my grades and finish my chores all the time, she became more lenient about it.
Nowadays, parents have to contend with more of these gadgets and distractions that can influence a child’s study habits. I am not a parent myself yet, but I think it might be harder to monitor a child’s fascination to these gadgets. In my case, I only had a few types of gadgets to choose from and I was hooked, what more now? Nonetheless, despite the potential for distraction computers and the internet can bring, I feel that it is a great learning tool.
I have not yet tried this particular netbook but I came across it’s press release and it seemed interesting. ASUS in partnership with Disney has come up with the Netpal which is designed for children and tweens. Reading through it made me one to check it out…for myself hahahaha! Wanna see why?
Manila, Philippines, May 06, 2010 – ASUS, the pioneer and leader in the netbook category with nearly 7 million Eee PC™ netbooks sold to date, announced the arrival of a netbook that is certain to put a sparkle into Filipino children’s eyes—the Disney Netpal by ASUS. The product of a collaboration between ASUS and Disney Consumer Products (DCP), every facet of the Disney Netpal—from its hardware to its software—is infused with the Eee PC’s™ trademark ease-of-use and Disney’s charm, making it a child’s study buddy and play pal, a perfect early back-to-school gift.
Globally launched last year, the ASUS Disney Netpal has Developed with parents and kids in mind, the Disney Netpal by ASUS boasts a durable, reinforced mechanical design, and offers a truly magical and engaging computing experience with its unique Disney user interface. Features include more than 40 robust parental control options, an 8.9-inch LCD display, Wi-Fi capabilities, Windows 7 Starter, and kid-friendly software featuring Disney characters and icons in stunning visual environments. Browsers and email have extra filters to assure that kids only get access to safe content, and parents can easily select whom children can correspond with via email. The Magic Desktop “gadget tray” offers a creatively designed 2D menu displaying Disney email, Disney browser and Disney parental control options.
Computing Is Fun: Disney-themed Desktop, Applications and Games From the lively Disney graphics on the LCD lid and Mickey-shaped webcam lens to the Disney-themed desktop* and special Disney applications, the Disney Netpal by ASUS perfectly captures the magic of Disney. Kids can dress their desktops—aptly named Magic Desktop—in a wide variety of customizable themes featuring the lovable characters from Disney’s and Disney∙Pixar’s animated blockbusters, including Cars, Club Penguin, Disney Classic Characters, Disney Fairies, Disney Princess, Vintage Mickey Mouse, Toy Story and WALL-E. Themes that appeal to slightly older kids, such as Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers styles, are also available.
Adding to the educational fun are Disney-developed applications such as Disney Mix* for music and media management, Disney Pix* for photo customization and organization, and Radio Disney*. The Disney Pix application features fun Disney Bobblehead software, which lets kids insert images of their faces on top of bodies, download them into videos and postcards and play wacky moving dance scenes, for hours of fun. The Radio Disney* widget streams real-time music and lets kids simultaneously submit song requests, if they wish. The Disney Netpal by ASUS also includes a driving game, memory game and photo scrapbook.
Computing Is Easy: Kid-friendly Magic Desktop, Applications and Widgets The Disney Netpal by ASUS is designed to go from package to play in just minutes. Its Magic Desktop is an easy-to-use interface specially tailored to kids, boasting large icons and visual instructions that make it easy for kids to operate the computer. Rounding off the Disney Netpal by ASUS’ kid-friendly edutainment features is a collection of easily-accessible widgets, including an alarm clock, a digital memo pad which inserts “reminder notes” on the Magic Desktop, and a calculator.
Computing Is Safe: Durable Design with Robust Kid-safe Features The Disney Netpal by ASUS is designed to be kid-safe, both in terms of durability and content permissions. In terms of the former, the Disney Netpal by ASUS has a reinforced mechanical design that can withstand significant abuse, a spill-proof keyboard that protects against inadvertent liquid spills, and ShockShield Data Protection that guards against data loss when the computer is subjected to impacts. It also has a stable embedded polymer battery, which is safer as it prevents kids from inadvertently accessing or removing the battery and thereby subjecting themselves to electrical dangers.
With regard to content permissions, the Disney Netpal by ASUS provides a kid-safe computing environment through robust parental control measures, such as allowing parents to choose the websites their kids can visit, the people they can communicate with via email, and the programs they can use. These permissions can even be scheduled according to a calendar, providing parents with a convenient, automated means of granting access on the days and times set by them. Parents can also pull up data to determine where children spent time, and for how long. Right out of the box, the Disney browser launches more than 40 safe, pre-approved websites.
Pricing and Availability
The Disney Netpal by ASUS is available already in the select ASUS authorized dealers at Php19,990.
Model Disney Netpal by ASUS MK90H Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Starter Display 8.9″ LED-backlit CPU Intel® ATOM N270 WLAN 802.11 b/g/n Memory DDR2 SO-DIMM 1GB expandable 2GB max Storage 160GB HDD Interface 3 x USB 2.0 ports Camera 0.3 M Pixel Reader MMC and SD (SDHC supported) Audio Hi-definition audio CODEC
Built-in stereo speakers
Dimensions 248mm (W) x 173mm (D) x 28.7mm (H) Weight 1kg with battery Casing Colors Princess Pink, Magic Blue
* Only available on models running English operating systems.
** Price may vary by location and specifications.
*** Subject to system configuration and usage.
Note: Specifications are subject to change without prior notice. Please visit www.asus.com for more details.
Sounds like fun, huh? pero sige na nga….I’ll look for a more adult mini laptop or netbook for myself!Read More