Welcome to Modern Educator

Here on this blog I hope to get a conversation going amongst students, teachers, administrators, and parents about who, what, when, why, and where we should teach technology skills for the 21st century. I am technology teacher at Truckee High School in Truckee, CA and currently teach classes like digital media, e-learning, applications, and keyboarding -- yes...still important! :) Please Join the Conversation!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

President Obamas's Speech on Libya

Today in web 2.0 class we discussed the use of social media and web 2.0 technologies by the White House and President Obama to get his message out to the people.  Students watched his speech about the military actions our nation has taken in Libya and listened to his explanation of why they were necessary and justified.  Students then watched other news video on the situation to see for themselves what is going on right now in this country and to try to understand firsthand how it relates to them back here at home.  They also listened to differing viewpoints on whether or not this was the right decision by the President to help them decide for themselves what they thought. 

After that, students blogged about their reflections below to my prompts and we discussed how to join in these conversations online in safe and responsible way.  This is an important issue with digital citizenship.

Watch the President's speech here:

Assignment for students
Now that you have watched the President's speech and researched the situation online on various news sources; please respond the following prompts.  Please sign in anonymously and just sign at the end of your post with your first name.  Mr. Halvorsen

1.  Do you think the President made the right decision? Why - explain.
2.  What do you think the United States and UN should do now in Libya?  How would your choice affect the future of this nation and the rest of the Middle East which is very unstable politically right now?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Creating an Online Private Identity - Avatars

Today in web 2.0 class my students and I discussed how to create an online identity, with personality, while still protecting our privacy.  To do this, I had them explore different web sites where they could create Avatars.  Avatars, as one student explained, our a "digital self".  Some sites even provide tools to help you animate them and add voice.  You can either record from your phone, computer mic, or type text and have the site generate a computerized voice saying what you typed.  Pretty cool ...... and the students had a blast creating their avatars in class as witnessed by all the giggling!

Check out my avatar I created for the Modern Educator using http://www.voki.com/

Some other good sites to explore are: http://www.buildyourwildself.com/ , http://www.manga.com/ ,  http://www.tektek.org/dream/ 

Reflective assignment for my students:
Now, write a blog posting about your avatar. Tell which site you used to create it, how you made it, and why you chose the options you did. When you tell which site you used, be sure to make the site name a hyperlink so that your visitors can easily click on it to visit the site. Whenever you refer to another website or page in an online posting, create a hyperlink to make life easy for your readers.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Marketing in a Web 2.0 World

How do you sell more of a product or promote your organization or business by using web 2.0 technology without flooding your customers or targeted audience with direct advertising?  There are many different strategies, techniques, and tools to use that can assist one in achieving these goals.  Web 2.0 and/or social media are here to say (experts agree) and students hoping to have a successful career in marketing or business development are going to need to learn these 21st century skills.

Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about this topic: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122884677205091919.html

Please share your thoughts below about this topic and any ideas on how you think web 2.0 can best be used to promote a product, brand, or company/organization without turning off your potential audience?  COMMENT!