Karen Jones

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  • Karen Jones 6:03 pm on October 24, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: cloud applications,   

    Ha! What more can I add to those applications listed so thoroughly by Angela? With the exception of Edublogs, I use the exact same suite of cloud tools, as well as Glogster and GoogleDocs with my students. I love the freedom that the cloud gives me when students can access their projects online from home […]

    Continue reading Clouds clear confusion! Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • ashleyross 10:47 pm on October 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but you can actually publish the file(s) directly to the web through Google Docs. You do so by selecting “File” then “Publish to the Web”. It will give you a URL that you can give people to access your page. It does not change your visibility settings though, so only those who have permission to edit will be able to do so but anybody with the link will be able to see your page(s). It also updates everything automatically when you edit the Google Doc. You can read more here https://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=183965

      • Karen Jones 8:42 am on October 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Ashley,

        Setting up the set of class Googledocs alone would be easier than setting up individual emails, as well. Thanks for the tip!

      • Deb Kim 11:32 am on October 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thank you, Ashley.
        I didn’t know either that you can publish the file to the web through Google Docs.
        Good information to know.


  • Karen Jones 6:15 pm on October 20, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: ,   

    Since we are using a blog for ETEC 522, what features do you think could be added to make our learning experience even better (keeping in mind we are adults, and our focus here is K-12 students)? Do you think there is room for another venture? What would move blogging from good to great? This […]

    Continue reading Anyone for a Vlog? Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Deb Giesbrecht 6:50 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree Karen – recordings do not necessarily give you the advantage of skimming without missing something. I have used voicethread in other classes and have found it quite user friendly. I think it has something to do with listening to the sound of your own voice that throws people off. I have noticed though you do have an option to use the video comment function on this blog! Maybe we could all try it at least once!

    • Juliana 9:14 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks Karen for your post! I agree with you about written word verus spoken word. You can’t really skim through a speech 😉

      Although I do wonder if we defer to text because it is easily searchable for terms. Wouldn’t it be interesting if technology evolves and we can post videos or voice threads, but the computer can do a search for the spoken word? If technology does evolve in such a way, there is the possibility that we won’t be relying on text as much.


      • Karen Jones 8:13 am on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Great idea, Juliana! The technology to screen the spoken word has to be around, doesn’t it, no doubt developed as a way to monitor key words in spying applications!

        • khenry 10:09 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hello Karen I do believe the technology exists as well and if not as you presented at least elemnts of, for example speech recognition. What though of accents?

    • jenaca 12:08 am on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Karen, I also like to skim through the text versus having to listen to a voice repeatedly until I understand what is being said. However, that being said, I do think that using voice is a great way to change up the over used readings…I sometimes enjoy listening to the radio and hearing what is being said, versus reading the newspaper…Maybe for this class it would be useful to use both? The readings could summarize what the voice recording discussed?
      Just a thought

    • jarvise 8:11 am on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I’m with you on the skimming. I think it can be accomplished with audio, though. When I skim through a Blueray disk, the name of the ‘chapter’ will appear along the bottom. It would be a cool function (that could make someone some money) to create a skimming tool that highlights (in text) key words at different points along the audio or video track. I often will pass over a podcast if I can’t immediately (within the first few seconds) see that it will have something I’m looking for.

      There is definitely a place for audio and video in the context of different learning styles. Now to make it more user-friendly. Perhaps a word cloud generated through the audio clip, so we can see what the main points are going to be?



    • Doug Smith 12:23 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I must admit that I’m not a big fan of vlog / voicethreads. I think there is a narcissistic trait inherent to them that turns me off. When someone creates a written blog post or comment, there are different ways that I can consume it, in terms of my setting, my timing, my environment. When it comes to a vlog, I get the feeling that it is all about the author/presenter. My consumption is now very much on their terms.

      While this likely does not represent the author’s purpose in creating a vlog, it is how I see it after it has passed through my own “Doug” filter.

      • khenry 10:38 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Doug,
        You raise some interesting points. Text indeed offers more neutrality but being a one way conversation implies even greater care (also with voice thread I suppose)) to avoid misinterpretation

    • Angela Novoa 1:42 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      i too agree. I was thinking that by providing different opportunities to fostering different skills we are intending to cover more students’ abilities for achieving the same learning outcomes. For example, those students who have difficulties on writing will have opportunities for enhancing their performance by integrating voice thread to writing (and vice versa).


    • mcquaid 3:10 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Like Doug, I don’t think I would like a voice-only blog. It would seem like too much work, or that I was being forced to sit and listen instead of choosing to read what I wanted to.
      VoiceThread’s cool – I’ve used it before, too… but I wouldn’t blog with it. Plus, how would people with hearing loss do when they visited your site?
      I do think voice comments on a blog would be cool, though… to actually get a voice reply from an author when you make a comment? That’d be neat.

    • verenanz 8:32 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      I helped my daughter’s kindergarten teacher create her class blog. She used voicethreads often to help the parents and students at home with pronunciation. Like you alluded to…not many people “answered” in an oral form.

      This her is blog, check out the “stories”- they are all voicethreads I think..


      So…I would suggest that this is a great option for a primary school teacher, but it is still teacher focused rather than student focused at this point in time.


  • Karen Jones 6:51 pm on October 17, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , , K-12,   

    I have to confess to being a closet blogger. That is, I personally have used blogs to organize and collect things I’ve done and learned online, but I admit to not using them that often in my classes.  My first blog was created using Blogger in 2009, but its lack of ability to make pages […]

    Continue reading Creepy blogger! Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Everton Walker 1:40 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Nice work! I also like blogs that allow me to be in control. As a result, students think about what they plan to post as it will be deleted or not published if guidelines are not followed. I have also noticed that if the blog is not frequently updated and social media features integrated, students will show little or no interest in it.


      • Deb Kim 8:31 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Karen and Everton,
        I agree with you that I also like blogs that I can control.

        I agree with you Karen that Blogger Dashboard was much harder to use compared to WordPress. I’ve been using WP for my classes since 2 years ago and students like how I’ve set up the blog.

        Everton, you are right that students would not be interested if a blog is not updated frequently.


    • Juliana 4:28 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for the compliment! And I agree that sometimes blogs can look a little overwhelming. When there are long pages of text it can definitely get overwhelming and sometimes the page options of WordPress can decrease the overwhelming feeling.

      I agree with you about Drupal and necessity of downloading everything to your computer. In a school system where you have to meet with IT requirements, a system like Drupal can be very cumbersome. I get the feeling that if you were looking at blogs like a venture that was targetted for the K-12 environment, you would prefer to see a cloud-based system. Is there anything else that you would like to see in blogging platforms to make them even better for your applications?


      • Karen Jones 5:49 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Juliana,
        I am glad for this opportunity to investigate different blogging platforms, and find myself preferring the ones that start to look more like multimedia webpages, i.e. Edublog and Posterous. I think the ability to impose privacy limits for class- or educational-only access is important in all web applications that are used for teaching, although that could be seen to impede a real community of learning, I guess. There is a definite approach to encouraging student participation in blogs, as Everton points out above, and I think it’s a case of me needing to play around a bit more in order to tailor the medium to my students’ learning styles and preferences.


        • Juliana 4:54 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Karen,

          Thank you for your post. I think in this day and age, it will be very important to have some sort of security features on blogs. I think that is a definite drawback for some of the free ones out there.

          You also spoke of encouraging participation in blogs. What challenges have you seen with respect to participation?


    • bcourey 7:38 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with you that in the MET program we can be overwhelmed with the multitude of requests to create a blog for our eportfolio, but do you see the benefit for students to do the same thing? and would they too be overwhelmed if various teachers requested the same assignment? I am glad you are exploring the various platforms that are available for blogging – our question will be, is there a tool that would do an even better job?

    • ifeoma 8:40 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,
      It sounds like your class is the digital village for the digital natives of today. Good job! I enjoyed reading your post! particularly because I found a lot of things there that I could relate to myself, e.g. reading other peoples blog and not making mine public. I find that the way you use blogs in your classroom resonates with my ideas about using blogs in the classroom. I am not a teacher but I completely agree with having Moderator rights to review posts before they are published. I like that feature because I think it will make life easier for both teacher and students in preventing inappropriate comments.


  • Karen Jones 7:00 pm on October 13, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , struggling readers, text-to-speech   

    Much has been discussed this week with regard to the affordances of  eReaders, and while I enjoy using the device recreationally, I wanted to see if there were any studies documenting outcomes for struggling readers. I found little research, with the exception of one dissertation that examined the impact of eReaders on this population of […]

    Continue reading Ereaders & Struggling Readers Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
  • Karen Jones 6:13 pm on October 11, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Sony e-reader   

    I share a number of the same experiences with Brenda regarding my e-reader.  I first bought a Sony PRS-600 after seeing my husband enjoy his Aluratek Libre for under $100 at Costco. We had just come back from Palm Springs and, like Brenda, had paid $50 for being 5 kg overweight in our luggage. Both […]

    Continue reading I <3 my e-reader! Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • Doug Smith 8:32 pm on October 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I bought a Sony PRS-300 a couple of years ago. What pushed me over the edge was going on trips, packing a few books, and then reading them all and not having anything left to read. Since buying my Sony, I’ve read a lot of books while commuting, camping, and traveling through SE Asia. I also used the Sony for reading some papers for MET, although pdfs are not eReader’s strong suit. I also use Calibre to manage my library.

      The 5″ size of the PRS-300 is wonderful to me. I’m a fast reader, but I still find it very efficient to read on the smaller screen. I don’t have a problem with page flips. The extra portability (I can carry the reader in my pocket) is great.

      I am surprised at the votes for the Kindle. Considering the education context along with Kindle’s proprietary book format, I think it makes more sense to go with the Kobo. I’ve read lots where people have wanted to do markup and make notes with their ereader, which means that the Kindle and its keypad would be nice. I’ve never wanted to do that, and I’ve never actually seen anyone do that.


      • bcourey 3:52 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        We purchased Kindles for our schools for one reason – it was the only ereader that had text to speech at the time – which was necessary for some of our weakest readers. We tried 6 different models before we settled on the Kindle.. I would have preferred the Kobo (we are supposed to Buy Canadian as much as possible, but the Kobo did not have the needed feature.

        • Karen Jones 7:07 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          That’s interesting that you’ve used e-readers in this manner with your students, Brenda. How are they receiving them? Do you all read aloud together at times, or are the students reading silently on their own? Have you seen a difference with the text to speech? I am interested in text-to-speech apps/plugins for browsers to use for Internet research with our weak readers, as well.

        • mcquaid 7:53 am on October 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Interesting point on the text-to-speech. A local school was going to do a class tablet project/test, but there were problems with having to download apps at home (maybe they wouldn’t work through the school’s server/filter), and perhaps costs.
          I dream of the day kids all have their own mobile/tablet (whether it be personal or school-given) that they can read on, do research with, etc.
          We’ll have to get wireless to be commonplace before that happens, though.

    • jenaca 1:51 am on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Karen and Doug,
      I recently bought a Kobo and love it! I specifically bought it to read eBooks on. I really haven’t used it for any other purpose because I like using my MacBook for typing and searching the internet.
      I am very interested however in the Ipad 2. I think this is a great technology device that truly has included all aspects of learning…Reading, typing, using files and software…
      What do you think about it?

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 7:05 am on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello All,

      From what I have been reading, many users of ebooks use it mainly because of its every useful to take your book with you anywhere you go without the stress of “weight” and also its each of use. However, what are some of the features you would like ebooks to have in the future that would help you in your everyday lives?


    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 7:10 am on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      *Corrections to previous post*

      From what I have been reading, many users of ebooks use it mainly because it very useful for taking your books with you anywhere you go without the stress of “weight” and its ease of use. However, what are some of the features you would like ebooks to have in the future that would help you in your everyday lives?


      • Karen Jones 7:42 am on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Keisha,

        Regarding future capabilities of e-readers, I think I would use hyperlinks to multimedia, especially in historical fiction or non-fiction where you want to find out more about context. Obviously, a networked e-reader would be a necessity for that. As well, links to related novels and reviews from other readers, perhaps via sites like Shelfari .

        Interesting question,

    • Deb Kim 1:53 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      Is the attached picture the one from Sony that you mentioned? Wow, it looks cool. I especially like that it has a small lamp to help you read a novel at night. I’m a little disappointed that this model is discontinued.
      How does an eBook reader work? Does it have a collection of novels saved in the reader already? Or do you have to install eBook apps like the ones on iPhone/iPad?


      • Karen Jones 7:02 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Deb,
        Since my e-reader doesn’t have networking capabilities, I have to download titles to my computer, and then transfer them via software to the device. I was initially surprised that most dedicated e-readers are not backlit, and so need some sort of light at night. This type of screen, however, makes them easier on the eyes that that of a computer or iPad, I guess.

        My e-reader came preloaded with 100 titles; classics from the Gutenberg project I’m sure, but I get my titles from allllll over, including the local library, although there are waits for the most popular ones! Who knew? Right now I have 40 titles from the NY Times bestseller list that I downloaded, and am working my way through the least junky ones 😉

        I thought I was dedicated to paper, but I haven’t been to the library since the spring. Similar to others, I found I wasn’t reading much because of MET courses, but now I pull out the device whenever I have a spare moment.

        Thanks for letting me ramble on!

  • Karen Jones 12:43 pm on September 26, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: biography, BrainPOP, entrepreneur   

    Avraham Kadar, M.D., Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of FWD Media  The Venture: BrainPOP (http://www.brainpop.com) is an online subscription site owned by FWD Media that produces short curricular-based animations (Wikipedia, 2011).  Geared toward grades K-12, these movies, hosted by characters, Tim and Moby, span seven subjects: Science, Math, English, Social Studies, Health, Arts and […]

    Continue reading Avraham Kadar: the Brains behind BrainPOP Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Deb Giesbrecht 5:13 pm on September 26, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Excellent post Karen!

      I agree – I find myself more or less self-disciplined ( depending on who you talk to) but seriously lack the skill in starting a new venture. I can hardly lead a team of 8 down the path of clinical informatics supported by the provincial government, never mind finding funding, running with a new concept and crossing my fingers and hoping the money comes in. I am not an ‘out on the limb’ kinda girl. I like my life predictable and know my monthly finances. I will leave the creativity and knuckle bearing rides for others!

      • Karen Jones 1:17 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Ha! I’m sure your ability to get things done is exemplary, Deb. There is a place in the world for us methodical types 🙂

    • andrea 9:22 pm on September 26, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen, the genesis of this venture is really interesting — the way you described it it’s easy to see how the idea came about.

      Regarding whether or not you’re suited to starting your own venture, my self-assessment results also suggested ventures aren’t a good fit for me. I think that’s why it’s interesting to try out ideas in the safety of this course. I’m unlikely to start my own venture but it’s good to push beyond my comfort zone and look at other ways of doing things.

    • kstooshnov 10:37 pm on September 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for the report on the excellent resource. BrainPOP features on important detail that is missing from the Khan Academy: attention to well-designed animation to appeal to most students’ taste. The Tim and Moby show is fun and challenging enough (woo hoo! I got 10/10 on the Shakespeare quiz ;-)) and as you mention, designed to inspire deeper learning. For your own inspiration as a venturer, if you have a good idea, others will find you. Like our own students, we all have excellent ideas that just need to found and nurtured by others. Like Andrea says, this course is a ideal, safe environment to get our ideas known to other.

    • mcquaid 5:08 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      First of all, let me just say that… you stole my topic idea! 😉
      Now that that’s out of the way…

      Excellent, well-researched post. I found it very interesting how Kadar initially set out to just explain things to his patients… he wasn’t out to create some site or money-making content. He was looking to enhance some aspect of his own job.

      My only unique warning flag with Kadar, really, is the fact that his family is involved. His family may be totally qualified and capable, but sometimes work and family just don’t mix.

      Like you, I’m missing some entrepreneur qualities. I took the quiz, and found myself to be below the grade in every area but ability, I think. I’d like to think we’re both just waiting for the right opportunity to make itself appear before we pounce…

      • Karen Jones 12:17 pm on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Ha Steve! I am surprised at the number of classmates who were attracted to BrainPOP as a topic, but then again, I shouldn’t be, given its universal appeal! What good ideas you have! I have exactly the same approach to entrepreneurship as you do, if the ideal situation presents itself, it will be impossible to ignore.

        Thanks for your comments,

  • Karen Jones 12:39 pm on September 18, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , , Peekabu Studios   

    As the Provincial Administration IT manager of SET-BC (Special Educational Technology), I am always on the lookout for new technologies that can assist students with disabilities. Peekabu’s pitch for a “new way for people to interact with their computers without ever touching a mouse or keyboard” sparked my interest. Peekabu 60 Second Pitch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQSWm1-5ffk&feature=related [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQSWm1-5ffk&feature=related] […]

    Continue reading Pitch Critique: Peekabu Studio’s Gesture Computing technology a nice touch but seems out of reach just yet. Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • jarvise 7:12 am on September 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      Great analysis (and good digging, detective!). I agree with you that the use of “what if…” questions as an introduction is effective in establishing the need. Nice way to set the stage. The more pitches I watch, the more I reflect on how the tips we teach students on effective strategies fro writing persuasive speeches are the ones we are noticing here.


    • David William Price 12:42 pm on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great points in your critique! As this is an elevator pitch I guess there are limited ways to incorporate demos. But he seems to like to use his hands in distracting ways while talking…. so why not use his hands to demonstrate the gestures he’s talking about?

      I hate “what if” pitches. I prefer “here’s the problem, here’s how we solve it” pitches. He could demonstrate with body language the problems he is trying to solve and how he will solve them. He could identify the markets for this technology and what the (presumably failing) competitors are (like Dragon Dictate for instance). To me this seemed like a pretty thin pitch that didn’t describe its markets properly, competitors, or where money would come from or even how far along the product was in development.

      Again…. good critique on the missing points!

  • Karen Jones 9:51 am on September 13, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , , , , higher education, , ,   

    To the average educator, the pace at which new technologies appear may be overwhelming. The 2011 Horizons report has narrowed down the number of technologies judged most likely to impact teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education over the next 4 years, from a list of 50 to a more manageable top 6. SUMMARY […]

    Continue reading NMC 2011 Horizons Report: A critical analysis Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • kstooshnov 5:23 pm on September 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      I’d be interested to hear which of the technologies make the cut in your pro-d presentation, and if possible, bring these ideas to your North Van home for the teachers there. NMC’s Web version is amazing, isn’t it?!


    • bcourey 5:38 pm on September 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I too appreciate the breadth of the Horizon report (but like the Navigator even more now that I have explored the site) and we have used it in our department planning meetings when selecting what tools we would include in our blended learning projects. I will definitely look for the K-12 edition you are referring too. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • Everton Walker 8:44 pm on September 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Karen Jones,

      Interesting report. However, do you think the 6 selected technologies with be significant globally or just in a few locations? Even though it qualitatively done, I would really like to see some stats to get a better understanding of what actually took place and reasons for decision taken.

    • Deb Giesbrecht 5:24 am on September 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      It is interesting that they focus on higher education versus K-12. Wondering if that is a more economically viable environment? or is that where many of the technological changes are seen?

    • Angela Novoa 9:18 am on September 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Deb, I was wondering the same thing. I posted a critique about ELI’s 7 Things you should know about… and I had the same sense….
      Karen, About your ideas, I also read the NMC report and two things that kept my attention was that they specified who were behind this report and that its focus is global.


  • Karen Jones 4:19 pm on September 6, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: alternative education, learning disabilities, online learning environments   

    Hi!  My name is Karen Jones and I live in North Vancouver and teach in Richmond, BC. This is my 22st year working in a small alternative program for grades 9 and 10 teens with behavioural issues, to whom I teach science and English. My B.Sc., B. Ed, and Diploma in Computing Studies were all […]

    Continue reading An alternative approach! Posted in: Week 01: Introductions
    • David William Price 5:58 pm on September 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      You might be interested in this article on Neuromyths in education.


    • Karen Jones 6:42 pm on September 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the link, David. I agree with the statement that it is dangerous to pigeonhole students as one type of learner or another. Ideally, in a perfect world, the educational path available to children would be comprised of a variety of choices regarding both topic and medium in which to engage and express learning. Unfortunately, we as teachers seem to constantly be reinventing the wheel, and discovering different approaches is dependent on access, time, and willingness to embrace change. Although there are many digital collections of materials, wouldn’t it be great if there was a searchable central innovative learning resources repository by province? country?

      Just wishing:)

    • mcquaid 4:24 pm on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think your wishes, Karen, will come true… perhaps sooner than one would think? I believe one of the most important aspects of the web and information in general now is how it is labelled, tagged, categorized, etc. With so much out there, people are going to need to find things by key words / tags more and more. With this becoming more common, finding info by place, subject, etc. should get easier… then we just have to decide what to do with everything BEFORE now. :S
      Like you, I think a strength of tech can be things like blended environments that better support the “diversity of learning styles, interests, and abilities” of students.


      BC seems like such a nice place… I really must visit. Even just for the sights & breweries if I can’t make it to see my relatives & friends! 😉

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