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.