Sunday, September 10, 2006

Poor Pluto

Poor Pluto got kicked out of an exclusive club called the "Nine Planets of the Solar System". Is this a good or bad thing to occur? I have very mixed feelings about the denotion of Pluto. Ever since I could remember, Pluto was considered to be the ninth planet of the solar system. Of course, Pluto was a quite different planet from the other eight. However, none of the planets were really exactly alike.

Apparently, the debate over what should be considered a planet has been going for a long period of time. It is important to determine the criteria for an orbiting body to be considered as a planet because new celestrial bodies are continually to be discovered. According to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Pluto met 2 of the 3 notions on what is considered to be a planet. As a result, Pluto is considered to be a dwarf planet.

In the field of science, many ideas and principles change periodically. I believe that it is important to illustrate on how science can change, Pluto makes an excellent case. It is important for students to realize that everything printed in a science textbook is not static. In terms of scientific lesson plans, I believe that Pluto should still be included. Pluto is particularly important to illustrate to students on how far it is from the Sun. Sometimes it is very difficult for people to realize on how far is far.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Done with Ed Tech

Wow!!! My first 4 weeks of graduate school are over. When I entered the program full-time, I was quite overwhelmed with the assignments and keeping track on what is due when and for what class. As for Ed Tech, it really tested my knowledge on Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and blogging. It was a quite a review for me with Photoshop, which I have not played with in the past 4 years. As for Dreamweaver, I never really got to experience it before the class, so I had to learn it on the fly. Dreamweaver was made available to us in the lab, however, at home, I have Front Page at my disposal. Frontpage is considered to be Dreamweaver's rival in webpage design. In Ed Tech, my biggest challenge is to be able to help whoever needed some help with their pages. Educational Technology can be quite confusing to some people, but I needed to know where I can help some of the students. Usually, it would take me 3-5 minutes in order to determine the problem and how to fix it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How to prevent plagiarism

Plagiarism is easily done with the web but teachers need to come up with ways of preventing it in the classroom. There are social, ethical, and human issues behind why should plagiarism should be prevented, such as students need to learn how to responsible with technological systems which is one of the standards assessed with ISTE.

Is a paper accessed from a web-oriented business an easy A? No, because the papers are uneven....some are better than others. So, it is important to illustrate to a class what a good paper and a bad one look like. This may prevent students taking risksand spending valuable money on a paper written by another person. Also, teachers can allow students to turn in their papers in sections (outline, early drafts, sources, and the final draft) as a way to see how the students are doing with their research. A third way to prevent plagiarism is by having students give an oral report on their paper. If they can give a good one, this means that they understand the material rather than faking it.

Bolkan, J.V. (2006). Avoid the plague: Tips and tricks for preventing and detecting plagiarism.
Learning & Leading with Teaching March issue. p. 10-13.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Are Wikis worth the trouble

The Wikis encyclopedia is highly known on the web to have a variety of information. But it is worth my trouble to go there in order to get some information at a topic? Yes and No. I can definitely go to the website to get the basics of some valuable information but I would not go much further than that. There is no way of knowing all of the information is correct because anyone in the world has the ability to change the information, which might be a notion that information can change more rapid than it did in the past. But, there is no authority on how correct the information is as if it was a reliable website from a governmental agency, university, or an organization.

the chalk board has vanished

This new strategy will change technology forever--giant, touch-sensitive computer screen. It is interactive and computer-driven, which can allow students and teachers to share assignments and surf the web by using their fingers as pens. By using the interactive computer screen, students can demonstrate how they came up with solutions to various math problems, which are eventually saved onto the teacher's computer. It is a way to illustrate a wide range of learning materials including video clips without using a TV plus VHS/DVD. I believe that this new form of technology would make teaching engaging with kids that have technology surround them everywhere they go.

Cohn, D. (June 9, 2005). Boards get brains, chalk vanishes. Wired News [Online]. Retrieved on August 6, 2006 from,67710-0.html

My homestate and grad requirements

I have mixed feelings after reading an article from the Dallas Morning News about there are new graduation requirements in my homestate. Starting this year, students will need more science mathematics courses in order to get a high school diploma. In the past, the state required three years of math and science. According to the article, the state has some of the toughest graduation requirements in the country. These new requirements would help aspiring students to enter careers in science and engineering but it would hurt the future artists and musicians. Also, it would require students to take fewer amount of elective coursework. For students that want to take a lighter load need to have parents', counselors', and the school administration's permission in order to do so. On top of these new requirements, students have to also pass the TAKS test, which replaces the TAAS test, in order to receive a high school diploma.

Back when I was in high school, the minimum number of credits for science: 2 and mathematics: 3. However, I took 6 credits of science because I was able to make time for it due to that my high school adapted to block-scheduling (6 credits vs. 8 credits per semester). Now, the majority of the Texas high schools have adapted to block-scheduling model. Students can find a way of squeezing in required courses while still taking classes that they are passionate about.

Hacker, H.K. State to require more of grads. (July 16, 2006). The Dallas Morning News. [Online]. Retrieved August 6, 2006 from

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My new life as a future teacher

People say that sometimes good things happen when you hit a rough spot in one's life. Well, it is true. Let me tell you a story. During Spring Break of 2004, I reflected on my first quarter at Oregon State University as a post-bac student. At the time, I was a geology major that had high hopes of entering the back-door of the graduate school to become a hydrologist. However, that was not the case when I had problems with my first term, which was a very tough one indeed. During the first week back from Spring Break, I discussed with my advisor about what can I do with my bad term. I knew that I am excited when I get a chance to talk about science. So, we determined that education might be a good road for me. That first term, as a potential science educator, I took an Educational Psychology class. For some reason, the class became very natural to me and I seemed to be comfortable with it. The Educational psychology class was a break-through for me, it showed where my true niche was, education. But what was funny, I never truly believed that I would become a teacher. For two years, I was very persistent on getting into a graduate level teacher-prep program. During the first year, I was called in for some interviews. At one of the universities, but I will not say which one, the dean of the school believed that I would not do well in education. The following year, I was very determined in trying again. This year, things turned out very well because I wanted to stay in Oregon and I obtained admission to a wonderful university with many caring professors and fellow future educators. I strongly believe that if one works very hard and is persistent, dreams do come true.