Educational Philosophy

I had fun making this Educational Philosophy video on imovie! Of course, while I was figuring it out was a little frustrating, but diving right in is a great way to learn. I love that almost anybody can make and edit a movie today.

I feel that in order to prepare students for the future, we need to arm them with critical thinking skills, and that art is a great way to develop them. To learn more, check out my movie!


Energy Project Reflection

As I previously stated in this blog, I have recently done a research project on how my personal consumption of paper coffee cups effects the environment. What have I learned? I learned that making paper takes a lot of trees, energy and (surprise) water. I learned that paper coffee cups are made from virgin paper and cannot be recycled. I learned that I use about 168 paper coffee cups per year, while the US used about 16,000,000,000 in 2006. I now notice paper coffee cups everywhere I go. I am optimistic that I can be responsible enough to bring my refillable mug with me everywhere without losing it.

On the technical side (after all, this is an Ed tech class) I re-learned how to use a spread sheet and I got more practice using PowerPoint. I learned how to use Dimond’s camcorder, upload the video onto my computer through iMovie and then onto YouTube. Wow, I’m impressed! Here is my presentation on YouTube.

How did I do? I used to be terrified of public speaking but after a few years of teaching/ subbing I’ve lost the paralyzing fear. This was not my best presentation, but I feel that I did all right. It is a little strange to talk to an empty room and a camera…

I seem to be relatively calm
I speak slowly
I keep still
I don’t read too much

Fillers! ...so….because...okay…um..FIRST OF ALL...
I tend to trail off or quiet down at the end of my sentences
The phrase ‘paper coffee cups’ seems repetitive
I’m fumbled by all the figures
My screen went blue towards the end (need to move the mouse more often)
I seem a little unenthusiastic

This project, although a lot of work, was truly worthwhile. It made me, and hopefully others think about the consequences of my actions, and I learned some techie stuff at the same time!


Article Assessment 3

Bethany Waggoner
Tools for the Mind
Mary Burns

In the 1990s optimism was high for the potential of using computers as “mind tools” to promote higher order thinking skills. Since then, that optimism has faded along with the faith that technology can improve learning. In Tools for the Mind, Mary Burns claims that today is a good time to reassess what our original goals for technology use in the classroom were, and to note how we have diverged from them.

Teachers have been trained in technology skills but not given ideas of how to use technology to enhance student learning. Districts have not supplied teachers with sufficient professional development in technology, hardware, software, instructional time, or technical support. Schools have put student engagement ahead of learning and thinking. Instead of using technology for higher order thinking such as problem solving, analysis and evaluation, we most commonly use applications such as PowerPoint and Word, which focus on simple cognitive tasks. According to Burns, spreadsheets, databases, geographic information systems, computer-aided design programs, and simulation software programs are tools that promote high-level thinking but are rarely utilized by teachers.

Burns concludes that in order for computers to aid us in expanding the critical thinking skills of our students, we must know how to properly utilize them.



Paper Coffee Cup PowerPoint

Paper coffee cups have seriously got me fired up now. I spent time on Saturday and Sunday in Kaladi Brothers working on my PowerPoint. It was torture. A sea of white paper coffee cups surrounded me, mocking. Mind you, these cups were being used by people who were drinking their coffee in the shop. Don’t you people know? Paper coffee cups are made from virgin paper and cannot be recycled! How hard is it to ask for your steaming beverage to be served in a mug? It’s actually nicer to drink out of a big coffee mug, isn’t it? You might save a few cents, too! I wanted to show the baristas my PowerPoint. Do you ask? Do you ask if they are drinking it here? No, of course not. You are underpaid, and it’s probably more work for you to wash the ceramic mug after the customer is finished. Was I going crazy? Perhaps. Too much coffee and homework can do that to a girl.

This project was eye opening. We know that the earth cannot sustain our current consumption habits. A paper coffee cup is an example of unnecessary waste that many people use every day. In 2006, the US consumed about 16,000,000,000 paper coffee cups. I estimated that at my current rate, I use about 168 paper coffee cups per year. Each of these cups uses wood, water, and energy, not to mention it creates TRASH! For more fascinating and horrifying details, check out my PowerPoint.


Article Assessment 2

Bethany Waggoner

The Educator’s Guide to the Read/Write Web
Will Richardson


The Internet is no longer a spectator sport. Through new digital technology, anyone can publish their own writing online through blogs, contribute to and edit collaborative websites called wikis, and create podcasts, amateur radio programs which are broadcast online. Richardson relays how these and other technological advances have changed the classroom, and the role of the teacher.

In this age, the audience for student work has expanded from the teacher to the world through the Internet. Richardson claims that to be literate today, you must be able to do more than read and write. You also must be able to edit and identify an online source, as well as make a judgment on the authenticity and relevance of the information.


Energy Project

I love me some coffee. I make a cup every morning to drink as I get ready, sometimes I buy another cup in one of those drive through stands on the way to work, some days I buy an americano at the Dimond Espresso Stand. The point is not where I buy the coffee, but what I drink the coffee out of.

How many paper coffee cups do I throw away a year? What resources are used to produce each cup? How would using my refillable thermos change these figures?

I am not the first to address this issue, there are many websites out there urging coffee lovers to bring their own mug, not only to save the environment, but to save money too! Even the coffee giant, Starbucks has gotten involved.

For this project, I will keep track of how many times I buy coffee out of a paper cup in one month. Using that information I will calculate how many paper cups I use per year. To find out what resources are used to make all the cups I use in a year I will use data from the paper calculator of the Environmental Defense Organization. I will then compare this data to the amount of resources it takes to make a stainless steel coffee thermos.


Dimond's Technology Culture

For this class, I was assigned to be a sort of technology detective at Dimond, sniffing out technology in the school wherever I could find it. I first interviewed our Principal, Cheryl Guyett, to find out whom I should talk to about technology at Dimond. She sent me over to Charles McCubrey, who is Dimond’s Technology Coordinator. After interviewing Mr. McCubrey, I then questioned my mentor teacher, Les Matz.

All three people that I interviewed seemed pleased that someone was taking an interest in technology at Dimond. Mrs. Guyett and Mr. McCubrey helped to answer my technical questions, and I learned more about Dimond’s history with technology and current strengths and weaknesses from Mr. Matz.

I often start conversations about technology in the field of art with Mr. Matz. It seems he appreciates new technology, but doesn’t want to be a slave to it. Art is one of the few classes where you actually craft things with your hands. A printing press was considered technology at one time, a tube of paint, a kiln, a potter’s wheel. Now we have Photoshop, but that doesn’t mean we should dismiss the value of creating things manually.

Technology-wise, Mr. Matz is facing the problem that many art teachers of a certain generation are, the change from slide to digital format. He has many slide shows made, but says that he cannot find new slide projectors anywhere for sale that fit his slide size. Mr. Matz’s projector is on its last legs, so he must go through the tedious task of scanning his slides one by one and forming digital shows from his laptop. He does have access to an ELMO which is nice for some demonstrations, but something like a SmartBoard where you can save your work would be very useful his room.

In general, Dimond prides itself on its technology, but it falls short from my perspective. The technology it does have is concentrated in one area of the school, and there is a lack of opportunity for student involvement.

Full Report on Dimond’s Technology Culture


Article Assessment 1

Bethany Waggoner

Listen to the Natives
Marc Prensky


Marc Prensky declares in Listen to the Natives that educators must change with the times and embrace technology in order to be relevant today. Prensky describes the gap between today’s students, who are digital natives (those who grew up using technology), and educators, who are digital immigrants (those who learned how to use technology later in life). Prensky acknowledges that digital immigrants will never be as savvy as digital natives when it comes to technology, but gives ideas on how the two groups can work together.

To be successful, we as educators must leave our comfort zones and allow students to be somewhat autonomous in their own education. We must find a way to incorporate students’ knowledge from their digital lives into the information covered in class. In doing this, we will fully engage students, as well as fully prepare them for the future.




A. How would you “grade” or assess Fox Becomes a Better Person, and School Train?

When grading any sort of medium, I think it is necessary to make your expectations clear beforehand.

With School Train, you stated that the assignment was to show understanding for the concept of a metaphor. Under those guidelines, I would say that the students were very successful. I can tell that they truly understand what a metaphor is, as they made multiple connections between school and a train. They also were extremely creative in the design of the video, incorporating train movements and sounds into the school setting.