Recently, I had a conversation with  a teacher about students’ attention span.

Teacher A: You have used technology to engage students, which  will definitely help students focus on the subject. You know the learning style of this generation is really different. They need technology. The attention span is short….

Me: They need technology? Attention span is short? ….

Technology makes the lessons more interesting. I acknowledge that technology will definitely help to improve students’ engagement, collaboration, and creativity….and they live in this digital era as digital natives. They will need to learn the skills.

But my question is, has our students’ attention span been decreased or increased in  decades? why? Technology or teaching approaches( activities)? Does technology do the right thing?

If technology makes a short attention span, we use technology to improve their attention?

How to improve their attention span?

There are many web 2.0 tools to create a digital story. I have never created a meme so I would like to give it a try.  I used Quickmeme  to generate pictures and google some quotes.

In a classroom:


Tool Exploration Project—Educreations

Educreations is an online tool almost like “Show me” which allows  you to record your lessons online with your computers or on you iPads and share lessons to your students. You can also search lessons in the community.

Educreations V.S. Show me


1. Educreations can work both on Computers and iPads. (Showme works only on iPads)

2. Students can create accounts enrolled in teachers’ courses.  Therefore, teachers can track when students log in.

3. Organization: School/course/lesson

4. More than one pages.


1. less color inks to choose

2. Social networking is not well developed.

How to use Educreations: I have used Jing to record the instructions.

1. sign up an account

2.School –Course–Lessons

3. Get familiar with the environment

4.Create a lesson and save


Fair Use and Copyright

Copyright/ Fair Use  is an important but confusing topic in this digital era. For example, in this post, I inserted the following creative common picture which I downloaded from an article I randomly ran across. In that article, I did not see any given credit or reference, which reminds me that I should cite it.

From my perspectives, things put on the Internet (photos, videos, articles,…)are supposed to be shared with others. Right! if we do not want to share, why bother? I believe people want others to know things they created, invented, or discovered.






SO the Keys are WHY, WHAT, and HOW.

WHY? their purposes.

  1. to make the society better and progressive..
  2. to make money. Knowledge economy (business/commercial)                   ex.APPLE vs. Samsung

WHAT- related to which forms/ ?  drama or music?

HOW : how we use it? our purposes. or the degree or amount

As a world language teacher, in order to create a target language learning environment, I have used many online pictures to introduce new vocabularies, cultures and grammar/sentence concepts, and  have my students telling stories. I have also integrated a lot of online videos to engage them and help their listening and speaking abilities. Moreover, I copy, retrieve or  summarize  articles and paragraphs from books to books to give my students reading materials.

Creative Commons, Copyright and Fair Use all provide great solutions. Honestly, I heard Fair Use and Creative Common when I was an college student. Until now, I am still not comfortable with it. I am not against it but just feel it is complicated..In education, it is a great news that we have fair use. As teachers, we produce or use a variety of materials(slides, videos) every day in different topics, some of which we even are not familiar with. Thanks for the Internet, we can find almost everything we need. I  like the ideas of knowledge sharing culture,  standing on the shoulder and open source. I think giving credits is the basic thing we need to do but things sometimes go complicated. Personally, It is hard for me to tell if it is qualified for Fair Use or where to get the permission.  In our readings, Cornell University provides a great check list.

Flipped Classroom Social Media

I know many of you might have already heard about the term “Flipping your classroom” or  called “reversed instruction” or ” inverted classroom” in some articles.  The “Flipped Classroom model” is  one specific type of blended learning. I am doing some research about this topic so I wish I can share some here. It is a Free week! Any comments, thoughts, and suggestions will be greatly appreciated! Hopefully, some teachers  can share what they are actually doing in schools, or what they see other teachers doing this approach.

After taking this course, I started to pay attention on Social media/personal learning network.  This is the only community I have found so far  talking about flipped classroom practice. This is really helpful! Many teachers shares what works or not works in their classrooms.

(I am interested in its application in K-12 settings. Maybe it is a good place to start “snowball sampling” ??)

Other great resources:

You might be familiar with this ….but it does a great job explaining the concept.

Week 8 Post : LMS vs. Edupunk

I do not see these two ideas conflicting. Personally, I like the ideas of “Edupunk” : DIY learning attitude, taking the responsibility of learning and the process of learning. It seems that learners can have more creativity and innovation in Edupunk practices. I also believe that Edupunk idea can also be incorporated into instruction design in schools. It is a chance!

For me, the key is the balance between openness and privacy. PLN, DIY learning, MOOC, and Edupunk all have their advantages in connection, communication, community, creativity and comparison. Many educators also have utilized social networking sites as their LMS and put their materials online.

However, working in educational institutes, I will stick with LMS. What I care about is the privacy and  the Internet safety. Most LMS now have integrated social media features in the system(wiki, blog, chat room, and forum) The advantage of LMS is the function of monitoring the learning process and gathering data. Students can also find things in one organized place at their own learning pace. I kind of identify with Edupunk in its flexibility, free, openness, collaboration and networked connection and will definitely take advantages of LMS in its assignment/grading/attendance feature, and privacy for students’ work .

So, what is next /future ? I think LMS will tend to be more open and connected… Due to the development of emerging technologies and the popularity of  PLE/ PLN, Edupunk is  defining what true learning is and  going beyond the boundaries of informal and formal learning .

Week 7 Post-DIY Learning

As a student coming from the background of education in educational  technology program, I always seek the opportunities to learn more about computer science, and information technology  like web authoring, basic programming, server system management, or Internet network, which can be helpful and useful for my future career path.  When someone is talking about IT stuff, at least I can pick up some terms 🙂

  • iTunes U : “Intro to  Computer Science” I recently started to  download and learn with a course on iTunes U offered by Harvard University.  There is a wide variety of courses on iTunes U to choose from.
  • MIT Open Courseware : Introduction to Computer Science and Programming.  After taking this course, I begin to pay attention on MOOC. What a great idea!
  • Some Social media and Facebook/blogs

Week 6 Post

About. me

I like my page! The” landing pages” or the online business cards can be the first place where people get started to know each other. I have not made a lot of changes. The biggest difference is the  outlets I added, which is an great idea kind of coming from last week’s assignment of post and different accounts we have created. The landing page can also serve as a dashboard page!

The other significant change is the “tags”   After using Diigo, Pinterest, and Twitter…., I found “tag” is such an important and great invention in the Internet world. It helps people find right things or people of the same interest  just in seconds  and get connected with those. How amazing!  It also helps us in organizing information.

WordPress Blog

I have spend a lot time changing and selecting the theme of my blog but still can find a right one! Anyway, the improvement is the use of “categories” and “tags”. Also, besides the previous gadgets embedded like “ page” and “avatar”, I added more widgets of social media outlets and “tag cloud”. All these make things connected together.