Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How cool is the library of congress website?

So just recently I learned about the library of congress website ( Maybe our government is struggling with our economy, health care system, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, PUBLIC EDUCATION, and climate change, but they definitely offer a great resource for teachers on their library of congress website.
While I played around with the website, I ended up spending a lot of time on the Hispanic Americans primary sources sets, specifically the "Hispanic Exploration in America" section. This part of the website offered so many cool sources. It has all kinds of resources about the conquest of the new world, and the conquistadores themselves. Some of the sources themselves are the following, Hernando Cortes, the first voyage, the world map in 1507, Fransisco Pizarro, Ferdinand de Soto, etc... For each of these sources one has a whole PDF as a description. As a Spanish teacher, I found this really helpful since it deals with a very important part of Hispanic culture in the U.S. Many of my students are unaware of the influence that Hispanic culture has had on the U.S. Resources like this one on the library of congress website help me show and explain to my students this influence. I recommend this website to all teachers, maybe our government can't fix everything, so let's take advantage of the things they've done right.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Eliot-The Waste Land

Alliteration Examples:
roots rain
Summer surprised
little life, winter kept us warm, forgetful snow feeding

The final part of this poem is very CONFUSING!!! As a person who is solely bilingual I am confused by the various languages he uses at the end. He does start the poem in a foreign language, so what better way than ending it in even more languages. It is possible that Eliot was trying to continue causing confusion because I am very confused right now. The ending of it is simply CHAOTIC!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Experiences with Second LIfe

So recently I have been exploring the on-line community that goes by second life, and wow am I blown away. I think it's really cool that such an on-line community exists in which anyone in this world can join. It is kind of weird that one can go to Tokyo and chat with random people, but that simple idea is really mind blowing. However, even though I think it's a great program, I really don't prioritize it as something in my life. As a teacher in the inner-city I'm just trying to be the best teacher that I can for my kids, and when I do have time off from teaching and grad school, I want to rest. And to be completely honest, even if I had more time on my hands, I still wouldn't be on second life much. Even though I think it's a great concept and program, it is not the type of thing I would spend my time on. It serves as a great resource, but it definitely is not a hobby for me.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Are we allowing kids to be kids?

So I read this article recently(Childhood's End: Growing Up Too Fast., and had this to say.

Unfortunately an article like this has to be written in order to realize what's happening to our children. I teach high school students who come from tough neighborhoods and witness more than most people do by the age of 15. I remember the day my 17-20 year old students went crazy for some stickers as a prize. Or the day they enjoyed working on a Spanish color by number worksheet, even though most of them had seen someone get shot, or on drugs, and even sell drugs, they were kids. It is very sad to think that our children are feeling this pressure at the age of 5, an age that I was able to enjoy by playing outside or coloring, I was a kid. This disappearance of the traditional childhood is an injustice that our society is doing to our future, so lets make sure that as parents, future parents, or teachers, we remember that our children are KIDS.

What do you think?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Avatars and Authenticity

After reading this article, I see dead people: Kurt Cobain and the Humanity of Avatars( I was taken back the popularity of Avatars and the issues it is causing when it comes to the duplication of some popular stars. I think Courtney Love is just out for the money because true fans of Kurt Cobain know that his image is not affected by his avatar singing Bon Jovi music. On the other hand I do understand that it can be disrespectful to some artists who have created an image that took years and hard work, and with some simple clicks their image can be ruined. The question is whether the artists' image is actually affected. I guess it depends on the artists and the act that may cause a change to the original image of that person.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who needs TV or Marvel?

So last week I discovered some really cool websites that I had no idea existed. However two really caught my attention and time, hulu and pixton. I had heard of hulu, but never visited the website, and WOW! was it awesome. It had every TV series for HD quality. As an avid office fan, I was excited since I miss the new episodes on Thursdays due to Hopkins classes. Thanks to hulu though, that's okay, who says you need TIVO? If you haven't discovered hulu please go now, it is amazing.
The other great website I learned about was Pixton. Through Pixton one can basically become Marvel comics because you get to create your own comic, it's great. Not only do I find it fun, but useful for my classroom. As a Spanish teacher, I am able to create Spanish dialogues between characters I create, and have my students answer questions about it. Before Pixton I would only write the dialogues, now I can give my students a visual representation of them. I'm thinking about making this into some type of project for my Spanish 2 class next semester. I had planned to have them write an autobiography, but that might change into a comic instead.
In the end, if you're oblivious to Hulu or Pixton please google them now and get ready to get blown away.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thoughts on a lesson from google apps for education

I just recently learned about google apps for education, an amazing tool which allows you to incorporate technology into your classroom.  It's definitely the kind of tool that makes you realize how google is taking over the world.  Anyways here's the link to the lesson,

I thought the lesson was breathtaking, it used technology to bring the past to life.  Through google earth it was able to capture the images of the civil right locations the students were studying.  Students were even able to communicate through blogging.  It is a great example of what should be going on in classrooms all over our country, however the reality of the situation is a lack of resources.  My students would love to use technology in this way, but not all of them have easy access to computers, and I don't have a classroom set of computers.  While I agree with the increase of technology in the classroom, I also recognize the obstacles faced by many inner-city public schools and its students.  Most of my students only have access to computers in school therefore sending them home with assignment that require blogging can be a problem.  This year I have incorporated more technology into my classroom, but my hope is to reach a level that parallels this lesson plan.