Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Parenting Online

What is Cyber-Ethics?
In a nutshell, cyber-ethics can be thought of as responsible use of technology. Activities such as hacking, threats, bullying, stalking, copyright infringement, and virus distribution, are all unethical and many young people do not see the harm in them.

Advantages of the Internet
According to Parry Aftab, creator and Executive Director of, there are “wonders around every cyber-corner.” The internet can answer any question, allow you to communicate with people near and far, display your artwork, research your family tree, and much more! Try Yahooligans!, an internet search engine for kids.

R- respond politely
E- engage in proper use
S- send positive messages
P- protect yourself
E- educate yourself and others
C- carefully explore
T- tell adults about problems

Common Sense Rules for the Internet
1. Don’t talk to people you don’t know.
2. Do not bully others online.
3. Don’t share personal information.
4. Set family rules or guidelines.
5. Ask for help from your family or teachers.
6. Don’t copy other people’s work.

Technology Tools
There are some easy ways to be cyber-safe cyber-citizens. First, everyone should use a search engine with good filtering options. Second, a list of family-friendly sites can be found at Next, online safety can be learned at,,, and Lastly, parents can put blocking software on their computer to help keep children out of unwanted places.

Internet Rules List

1. You may only use the internet with a teacher’s permission.
2. If you have signed up for a time slot on the computer, please be sure to log off when your time is up.
3. You may only use the sites contained in your “Favorites” to research or explore.
4. While researching, use your own words to write notes from the information, and be sure to cite the author and other bibliographical information.
5. If a form comes up on the computer, do not enter your name or any other information. Get the teacher.
6. If something inappropriate comes up, get the teacher to help, or immediately hit the ‘back’ button.

Internet Safety Sites

Internet Applications

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Education Podcast Network

I was excited to discover the podcasts at this network. I first listened to "The First Ammendment Minute." It is great. The podcasts are truly one minute long and both interesting and succinct. I listened to 2 one-minute podcasts about freedom of speech in television. I listened to one about divorce and religious freedom, another about billboards and censorship, and lastly about church buildings. I have a short attention span, so this network is perfect for me.

I searched on and found "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow." Here I found Jim Crow stories, shared by people that lived in the south during this tumultuous period. I listened to Wilhemina Baldwin talk about not being able to drive her Cadillac, so instead had to buy a Chevy. Blacks had curfews then, and in theatres, they had to sit upstairs. I also listened to George Kenneth Butterfield, Jr. as he spoke about when his uncle died because the white doctor did not arrive until more than eight hours after the accident. It is amazing to be able to hear these first-hand accounts.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Enhancing Museum Content

I recently took my fourth graders to Ellis Island. I was thrilled to go, as I had not been there before. Once there, we had a fabulous tour guide that made the trip worthwhile. Some of the other teachers went on a different day and had a different guide. I bring this up because one never knows how good a tour may be. At Ellis Island, there was computer technology being used. You could order your relative's name to be put on "The Wall." You could also look up your ancestors on a data base. My students also had the opportunity to play a Jeopardy game that was on a SMARTBoard or other projection-type device.

In order for the experience to be the best, research should be done ahead of time. People can go on and search the passenger manifests. The students that had the opportunity to look up an ancestor, were much more invested in this trip. Scholastic has a great website on immigration at The activities and photos can be used as a pre-trip activity and a post-trip activity. I wouldn't want to take away any of the excitement and sense of wonder by sharing too much of Ellis Island with them ahead of time. On the other hand, if they go there with no background information, it is just a big building next to the Statue of Liberty.

Some of the technology from the Sony Wonder Technology Lab could be integrated into the Ellis Island experience. There could be a virtual experience/simulation in which you could choose an immigrant that you would like to "be" and follow them throughout the program as they go through all steps of the actual immigration process. They could have choices about their belongings, money, occupation, health etc. Another idea would be also simulation-based. You could "be" one of the inspectors at Ellis Island. You would then be presented with a virtual immigrant. You must decide which tests to perform. Another type of technology could be a video-timeline of the immigration era.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Google Earth

I have explored Google Earth in the past, as my own children have shared tours and explorations with me. For this assignment, I decided to look at my hometown and various other towns that I have lived in. I also searched out famous places like Stone Henge and the Eiffel Tower. Once this assignment was given to us, I searched where I was born, Johnson City, New York, and then searched Pleasantville, New York, which is where I live now AND is one of my favorite places. I found out that these two places are 182 miles apart, and would take roughly 3 hours and 12 minutes to drive. While exploring, I also found the Route 66 Tour and followed along the trail for a bit.

When trying to use the Google Touring, I got very frustrated. I spent some real time in Alaska two years ago, and I decided to Google Tour the area. I began to put placemarks on the certain sites that I had been to, and I got confused. It seemed that my placemrks had moved. I got quite frustrated and vowed to try again.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Google Maps

I was not familiar with Google Maps. It was fun to explore, measure, and view maps on Google Maps. I can see many classroom connections, as the students learn to read maps and learn about directionality. Google is a wonderful tool.