Tuesday, January 13, 2009

EDU 569 reflections

EDU 569 was a very enjoyable class. Technically it was over before Christmas but my professor graciously allowed me extra time to review the textbook. I am going to put multiple chapters in one entry for ease of posting. Click here for the first entry (which I actually completed on time.) This has not been the best showing of my ability to make deadline. However I am thankful for professors who are flexible and who are encouraging as I juggle working and grad school.

So here goes the rest of the reflections for EDU569, my Mind Tools course.

Chapter 3


A database is an electronic filing cabinet that can be highly specialized. It's compact and allows for quick entry. It uses a content domain, event, or set of records. It is organized by fields. Database manipulation tools can be used to answer queries. It is an organization tool. I think instantly of Flickr! After reading this I also am curious as to search language that some of my students use, with quotes and things....usually my tack is word combinations (semantic network anyone?)

Databases integrate and interrelate ideas, making them more meaningful and memorable.

In order to build a database, the builder must identify underlying dimensions. A teacher should guide, not direct, the creation of a database by a learner. Constructing a database involves analytical, creative, critical and complex skills.

It is a data model with content relationships.

Copying a database is not effective for a learner, only constructing/creating one is.

Just like in a network, the more data available, the more understanding in available. Databases are like semantic networks. (WORDS ARE POWER). Databases support other Mindtools.

Make a plan and review it often.

Assessing a database...p. 54 can be used for Ruris Scientia.

A database can contain stories, or related events. This inspires me to assign database creation for SAM (the video series I have been using in Spanish 1) next year.

Constructing a database is much more powerful than memorizing a database. It is a medium of social negotiation. (p. 55). It is collaborative as opposed to individual.

Chapter 4

Semantic networks are spatial representations of concepts. They are graphs consisting of nodes representing concepts.

They identify relationships between concepts. IDEAS are known as SCHEMAS (reminds my of my lit class at Orono, and all that talk of activating schema!). It organizes underlying ideas.

Knowledge is organized semantically in memory. Dynamic modeling involves declarative knowledge as well as procedural knowledge (the two are interrelated). Declarative knowledge is knowing what, procedural knowledge is knowing how.

Focus the process of studying in a constructive way. Can be used as self-assessments or a planning tool. P. 66 quote for Lit Review:

"A growing body of evidence is linking semantic networking to other learning outcomes, so educators are becoming more secure in their assessments of student nets as a learning outcome method."

p. 69 How to use in classroom.

Evaluating students' semantic nets: look for embeddedness, centrality, direct and indirect links. I would LOVE to evaluate a wiki using Statcounter and this model on p. 76.

Limitations: limited ability to present causal relationships.

Chapter 5


Spreadsheets were designed to replace ledger systems. This reminds me of collecting taxes in Talmadge and our ancient books! They are about formulas, and storing, calculating and presenting data. Spreadsheets amplify and reorganize mental functioning.

Spreadsheets use existing rules, generate new rules and organize information, allowing learners to offload data. p. 88 "Spreadsheets are calculators that offload cognitive effort associated with with computations."

Spreadsheets are a powerful manipulation tool! The user must identify all steps of numerical solutions.

I want my 4's to use spreadsheets to help them design the unit they are working on.

Spreadsheets can be used as a simulation model, how cool!!

Students can produce their own simulations, a simplified model of the world they want to create (how useful for a budget!!)

p. 99 "working in small, collaborative groups"....the more nodes the more knowledge.

This is a critical, creative, complex and logical way of thinking. Easy to adapt and modify.

Limitations: most effective solving quantitative problems.

Advantages: Spreadsheets demonstrate value and relationships. They support speculation, decision-making, and problem-solving. They integrate graphics with computation. They reorganize mental functioning.

Chapter 6

AI

Chapter 7

Systems modeling

Evidently a very powerful way to simulate phenomena. I found this chapter hard to digest, I need to see it "in real life".

Chapter 8

Microworlds

Chapter 11

Hypermedia--see above

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