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20 Books in 2011 January 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — LC @ 2:39 am

Well, thanks to a Miss Sarah I was introduced to a new years resolution that I never achieved…and thanks to a Mr. Harry  Potter…I finally completed that new years resolution.

2011 was the first year I ever completed my new years resolution to read at least a book a month.  With teaching full time, coaching, grading, and grad schooling, this was a slightly difficult task (thus why I failed for several years).

A few reasons why I think I achieved it this year:

  • I wrote down every book I read on my bookmark with the intention of writing this blog post at the end of the year.  As a lover of crossing out items on a to-do list, it felt really rewarding to write that books name down on my list.
  • I gave up tv/internet two days a week during lent — reading a book with dinner = lovely!
  • I gave in a finally read Harry Potter

So here we go, the run down of all the books I read in 2011:

WARNING: I make no bones about it…I love young adult novels.

1. Using Blogs to Enhance Literacy – January

Uhhh, I told you I was in grad school! Very basic read on blogging and the classroom.  Ironically, I get better classroom blogging ideas via my ed tech blogs & twitter.

2. Don’t Bother Me Mom! I’m Learning! – January

“How computers & video games are prepping your kids for twenty-first century success!” Very interesting read on the effect of gaming on learning.  Cool fact: most top surgeons were also heavy gamers — there is some links bw the hand-eye coordination.   This book helped focus my graduate research topic on technology.

3. The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels – February

I had read most of this already via her blog, but theres much more added.  I liked reading about the struggles & reality of her first year of marriage.  I struggled finishing this book due to external life factors.

4. My Life with the Saints   – March

In honor of my St. Ignatius year I wanted to read a book by a Jesuit–no better modern choice than Fr. James Martin! Easy peasy read — Fr. James picked about 12 saints, wrote the first few pages of the chapter on how he was introduced to this saint, then spent the majority of the chapter teaching on the saint, then ended the chapter on how he maintains a relationship with that saint.  Great book to introduce people to the Catholic stance on saints, find out about some new saints, and fall back in love with your faves (St. Therese!). Book was just what I needed when I was having a lukewarmness in my faith.

5. The Film Club – March

Book has a cool concept: son struggles in school – dad allows son to drop out of school as long as he watches movies with him weekly — they discuss movies — learn about life.  Buuuuut the book had A LOT of dry parts.  Book has a movie list at the end…I wanted to watch a lot of the movies….never did.

6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – April

This was a re-read…I had read it in high school and loved.  I actually have my grandmother’s loved copy from when she was a girl, thus I love snuggling up with this hardcover and thinking of grandma! If you had read & loved growing up, give it another read…its like chatting with an old friend, absolutely loved the second time.  I’m considering making it an every few years read…

7. Teacher Man– April

I really wanted to like this book a lot more.  I wasn’t expecting so many flashbacks & personal life stuff– and he dissed on the Church a lot. Kinda sounded like he didn’t even like being a teacher…

8. Sleepwalk with Me – May

Easy & fun read.  If you’ve seen most of his stand up/moth/this american life…you’ve basically got the gist of it already.

9. Bossypants – June

Pretty sure I read this in 2 days, fun read.  The end dragged on a bit with all her Sarah Palin talk…

10. Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt – July

A friend of a friend of a friend recommended this book.  Note to self: don’t go down that far in degrees of recommendations…this book was so blahhhhh. I saw it on clearance at Borders, so I picked it up…that shoulda been another sign to stay away.  Took almost all of July for me to read (granted I was also living in community at the Farm…always someone fun to play with!). Pretty sure I left this book on purpose at the Farm bc I was over it…

11. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone – July

Okay, Okay, I know I fought these books for so long — but when every hammock at the Farm is reading it, you get sucked in! I’m obviously like 10 years behind this trend too.  I loved this first book so much bc it reminded me of my Roald Dahl books I loved growing up.  I read this in a day, almost entirely in a hammock. : )

12. Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets – July

Funny how book #10 took me almost all of July, #11 took one day, & #12 took about 4 days (mostly bc it was an ordinary farm week so I couldn’t touch HP till 8pm).  Loved reading about the bonding & growing friendship bw HP, Ron, & Hermione.

13. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban – July

I got really into the ending of this one — stayed up later than I should have to finish it.  Rented the movie the next day because there were so many things I wanted to see on the screen…sadly the movie cut a lot of it out : (

14. Art of Racing in the Rain – Aug

This would probably be my top book recommendation after 2011.  Just so good. Read it.

15. Nanny Returns – Aug

Boooooo! I loved the Nanny Diaries and was so excited for this sequel 12 years later…don’t waste your time

16. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire – Sept

Took a loooooonnnnggggg time for me to finally get into this one.  I was never really into the quidditch plotline, so obviously that was a struggle in this book. The giddy girl in me loves all the Ron – Hermione awkwardness in this book.

17. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix – Oct

Took awhile for me to get into it again, felt bad for my HP though with all the Hogwarts corruption.  By the end I was already a self-proclaimed member of Dumbledore’s army.

18. Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince – Nov

I think this one is my favorite. Loooooved the Voldemort back story. Love Dumbledore & HP spending so much quality time together. Love Snape plot as well. Genuine tears at the end. Started #7 about 20 minutes after I finished and sent out several texts.

19. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows – Nov

Obviously amazing. My favorite part is the return to Hogwarts, thats when the tears flowed.  Only negatives: forest plot line went on FOREVER & I was frustrated between horcruxes & hallows…pick one and go with it!! Obviously the Theology teacher in me loves the Christian allegory angle & the Paschal mystery.

Great article on Harry Potter 

20. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?– Dec

I needed to book fast after HP, just to take it all in.  I almost didn’t make my new years resolution– thanks to this easy read I made it happen.

So there it is, 20 books in 2011!

I’m already 2 books into 2012 — I may try to beat 2011 and go for 21 books, but no promises…

PS: If you read all this and you are not Laura Zerhusen…I’m impressed


(PS: this is my blog for grad school…)


Addtl. Research December 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — LC @ 5:15 pm

Thomas, D.A., & Qing, L. (2008). From web 2.0 to teacher 2.0. Computers in the Schools, 25(3), 99-210.

  • “educators must grasp the nettle of this change and use its energy and momentum to shape the evolution of web-based & assisted teaching & learning” 200
  • “today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors…these “digital natives”, may challenge traditional education values, beliefs, and programs, they are likely to embrace and support exciting, technology-rich education innovation” -200
  • “Web 1.0 opened our eyes to other possibilities: a nonlinear, nonheirarchial, interdisciplinary presentation of information empowering students to decide where, when, and how they acquire information. “ 200
  • “web-based information and learning is that the web is neither hierarchical nor linear. Web-based pubclications and online education also differ from traditional education in their emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches, contextual settings, and student-centered learning”-201
  • …in reference to search engines “what these technologies do not do is recognize meaning (i.e. semantic relationships) or information presented in images, such as mathematical notations, proofs, graphics.  Consequently, there is no fast, reliable way to judge the valie of any online document, data, or resource based on text-based search engine results” 201
  • “web 2.0 is defined as a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of static websites to a full-fledged computing platform serving web applications to end users” oreilly 2005—206
  • “it is wifely accepted that web 2.0 represents a shift in the focus from information warehousing where users are passive consumers, to sites promoting and facilitating user participating. In web 1.0, users gain information through surfing, browsing, and consuming.  In web 2.0, the focus will be on connecting, collaborating, sharing, and developing. In this sort of environment, consumers become produces and produces become consumers”- 206
  • “In convergence (of learning  & web 20), education at all levels will become less textbook driven, less linear, less hierarchical, more interdisciplinary, and more collaborative in nature.  In other words, Education 2.0 will parallel in many ways the structure and functionality of Web 2.0” 208
  • “In web 2.0, online learning will emphasize a collaborative knowledge generation and promote the development of new ways of thinking, learning, and sharing. Learners will take center stage as creators and producers of knowledge. Traditional, authoritative printed material will no longer serve as the standard and channel for sharing information—learners will share their work through self-publishing in print, image, video, or audio media, and online syndication of learning materials in a do –it myself open source approach”-209

Wehrli, B. (2009). Technology as a fence and a bridge. Horace,


  • Banning technology (headphones, etc) “we are essentially telling our students, what matters most to you—music, pop culture, your phone, socal networking—doesn’t belong in school –in banning the devices, we ban the conduit for the culture that matters to students. Schools have a choice—build against technology, or use it to revitalize education
  • Get notes from distrupting class…


Williams, P. (2008). Leading schools in the digital age: A clash of

cultures. School Leadership and Management, 28(3), 213-228. doi



Chapters 1-5 Notes November 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — LC @ 8:56 pm

Chapter 1: Understanding Action Research

  • Goal of educational research is to “explain, predict, and/or control educational phenomena”—manipulate and control variables
  • Action research: systematic inquiry conducted by teachers, etc to gather info about how their schools operate, teach, & how students learn
    • Identify an area of focus, collect data, analyze & interpret data, develop action plan
    • Critical Action Research: emancipator action research bc of its goal of liberation through knowledge gathering
    • Practical Action Research: more of a how-to approach rather than philosophical

Chapter 2: Ethics

  • Ends do not justify the means!
  • Action research should: be transparent to IRB, admin, teachers, students…

Chapter 3: Deciding on an area of focus

Review of related Lit:

  • Search online resources
  • Evaluate sources:
    • What was the problem statement of the study? Who was studied? Where was the source published? When was the research collected? How was the study conducted?
    • Abstracting:
      • Creating abstracts by reviewing, summarizing, and classifying your references
        • Classify & code article—are there any mac apps that do this? Eh?
  • Literature Matrix

Variables Considered

Author(s) Year        
  • Write an area of focus statement (pgs 60-63)
  • Define variables
  • Develop research questions
  • Describe intervention or innovations
  • Describe the membership of the action research group
  • Describe negations that need to be undertaken
  • Develop a timeline
  • Develop a statement of resources
  • Develop data collection ideas

Chapter 4: Data Collection Techniques

  • *Using
    • Qualitative! Enquiring à survey

Chapter 5: Data Collection Considerations: validity, reliability, & generalizability

  • Validity: how we know the research we collect accurately gauges what we are trying to measure

Research Notes

Filed under: Uncategorized — LC @ 8:10 pm

My current notes on research concerning gender & the digital divide:

Notes from diff articles


1. Varma: pre-college experiences with computers; finds significant differences in how students develop interests in computers; exposure to computers at home, availability of computers in hs, hs prep for college study in computers


  • Lack of early access to computers and information tech has been seen as a deterrent for women (38)
  • Early career interests in computer related fields can be grouped into 3 areas: bias in socialization, structural barriers, lack of proficiency in STEM fields
  • Boys playing video games end up feeling comfortable with computers—designed with boy interests in mind (39)
  • Significant gender differences among students on early exposure to computers ( varma 41)
  • Boys have instinctive interest to “tinker” with computers (42)
  • Access to computers in home-44
  • Females had late exposure to computers both in home and at schools; females were not influenced towards computers in hs (varma)
  • Social & institutional contexts matter


2. Cooper: Females are disadvantaged relative to men when learning about computers or learning other material; fundamentally a problem of computer anxiety whose roots are deep in the socialization patterns of b & g

  • Women are under-represented in use & ownership of computers, women take fewer computer classes in hs, less likely to graduate with IT degrees (cooper 321)
  • Social stereotype that links technology & gender creates the atmosphere that permits the digital divide to continue (322)
  • Video games: competitive nature of games—reflect male game play. This is then incorporated into the classroom to make “learning fun”—disenfranchises girls. Result for girls: lowered interest, negative attitudes, lowered performance, and computer anxiety (323)
  • Context matters: social context matters when the gender composition of the groups is considered—same sex groupings work better (324) in mixed gender groups girls had their competence criticized (cooper)
  • Those who write the software are males (cooper 325)
  • Selffulling prophecy of stereotypes-329
  • No innate differences bw boys & girls in ability to use the computer/girls socialization into computers in a world where stereotypes exist—leads to computer anxiety, leads to negative attitudes, which affects their willingness to approach computers-321
  • “The negative impact of gender stereotypes on computer anxiety and computer attitudes has a recursive effect that feeds and nourishes the negative gender stereotypes”-321


3. Kirmani: roots of gender inequalities are based in environmental factors from a young age. Social orientation & the role of media and instructional materials that contribute to these differences—results: differences in use of computers for work & play and in social interactions in and around computers

  • types of toys & play activities children are exposed to further help to embed gender specific choices (17)
  • children observe women in lower level computer work (kirmani 17)
  • differences in how they use computers: women for maintaining relationships, men use for career enhancement, game play (18)
  • the familiarity of gadgets leads men to approach computers as toys—more willing to tinker, explore, construct
  • strategies to reduce bias: give females more time to explore, single gendered groups, enhance female role models,


4. Broos: results show postitive relationship bw ICT experiences and ICT attitudes; more computer experience—less anxiety; differs for males and females though

  • computer experience has a direct positive relationship with computer attitudes (23)
  • experience: more men than women (25)
  • women more computer anxious than men and have more negative attitudes (25)
  • period of time using a computer correlated positively with computer attitudes(26)
  • positive relationship bw the extent of computer use, self-perceived computer experience, and computer anxiety attitudes(27)
  • impact of computer experience is different for males and females—for males prior computer use shows less computer anxiety; for females the diminution of computer anxiety starts at a later stage of computer use and the effect of the period of computer use on computer anxiety takes longer. For women computer anxiety only diminishes noticeably when they have been using a computer for a year (27)
  • for females no difference bw those who perceive themselves ahead and those who perceive themselves behind—not much effect on anxiety (27)


5. Colley & Comber: some evidence of a reduced gender gap; yet boys still like computers more, more confident, use during school & for game play. Older girls have the least positive attitudes—possibly due to cultural pressures and gender stereotyping—increased exposure has not closed the gap

  • internet & widespread use email has failed to impact dramatically female attitudes; despite being “female friendly” (156)
  • enhancing access to computers does not solve the problem (157)
  • more boys than girls had access to computers; more b than g had access to gaming computers, ; more boys than girls were considered the “owner” of computer—both had them in homes (159)
  • boys were more self confident with computers, liked them more, rated themselves higher than girls on computing ability (161)
  • gender differences found for music technology & computer games
  • no differences for word processing, graphics (162)
  • increased participation in particular application areas have improved, but computer attitude results sow relatively little evidence of change (163)


6. Atkinson: there are differences in how well a student may learn and perform in different teaching situations and that these differences are more marked for pupils of a certain cognitive styles and gender. CAL: Computer Aided Learning

  • boys are behind girls in terms of achievement when they first enter formal education, girls make greater progress bw the ages of 11-16, although girls opt out of math & science careers—they do match boys in terms of achievement (662)
  • girls were more accepting of computer aided learning (668)
  • no significant difference bw CAL and cognitive styles (669)
  • verbalisers achieving the highest mean score and analytics the lowest (670)
  • in CAL environment girls were shown to have a more positive attitude and to have benefited more from the materials (675)
  • girls outperformed the boys in the cal environment (675)


7. Anderson: research shows that senior hs girls tend to perceive advanced computing subjects as boring and they express a strong aversion to computers

  • 5 factors that dissuade females: ICT subjects are negative & nerdy, male bias in software, females feel inferior & dominated by males, lack of role models, poor knowledge of ICT as a subject (1306)
  • Girls did not associate ICT subjects with their future careers (1312)
  • It was not statsiticallly significant that males were involved (1312)
  • There are other paths to ICT careers beyond classes—game play (1313)
  • 2 factors associated with aversion toward formal subject pathways: perception that the subjects were boring & an aversion to computers (1314)


8.  Baloglu: investigates the multivariate effects of gender, ownership, and frequency of use on computer anxiety levels. Affective anxiety, damaging anxiety, and learning anxiety

  • computer anxiety has been conceptualized as a multi-dimensional construct including psychological, operational, and sociological components (2640)
  • clear associations bw ownership & frequency of computer use (2642)
  • girls did have higher levels of anxiety compared to boys (2646)
  • those who own a pc—less computer anxiety (2646)


9. Gender gap remains the widest in relation to programming and software design.  Web developers have applied feminist theories to create content for girls that might increase their interest in computers. Includes: appealing to traditional feminine interests, nontraditional masculine interests, and gender neutral interests. This study proposes to integrate appeals to girls traditional and nontraditional interests—and focus content mor clearly on learning about computer design itself

Lynn, K.M, Raphael, C., Olefsky, K., & Bache, C.M. (2003). Bridging the

gender gap in computing: An integrative approach to content design

for girls . Journal of Educational Computing Research,

28(2), 143-162.

  • Higher ed, employment, life chances increasingly depend on one’s computer skills (144) These factors contribute to the dramatic and persistent gender imbalances in employment in technical fields
  • Men & women entering college now report that they use computers frequently and in equal numbers.  It differs though in how they use it—women use it more as a tool to accomplish tasks rather than an object of interest (144)
  • Gender gap involves more than just the amount of time spent on the computer—but how they use said technology (144)
  • Study explores one means of closing the gender gap: designing content (games, edusoftware, and websites) aimed at increasing girls understanding of the relevance of computers to many aspects of their lives, as well as their self-confidence  and interest in using computers (144)
  • Lack of suitable content for girls is often sited as a cause of the gap: early experiences tinkering with computers, games, etc builds familiarity and confidence in skills. These games fail to attract girls bc they are designed primarily for a male market, employing combat and sports themes and lacking female characters (145)
  • Internet attracts females interest in communcation, information, & collaboration (145)
  • Rather than force girls into male dominated norms about computers; the culture of computing needs to adapt to the needs of females. Secondly, efforts should be focused on addressing females’ lesser confidence and interest in these aspects of computing so that women can take their place as not just a consumer, but as a designer, leader, and shaper (147)
  • As computers become easier to hide in toys & other objects, playing with them may paradoxically become less relevant to building technical skills and confidence with something that is recognizably a computer.  If the gender gap is now more about programming and design, then content for girls may need to focus more on demonstrating the relevance and interest of these activities if it hopes to further progress toward equity (150)
  • Motivation to use computers, interest in computers, & perceived relevance of computers (155)
  • Results show that integrgating appeals to traditional and nontraditional feminine interests, and demonstrating how computers are linked to both, can influence girls to have a more positive orientation toward computers than they do now. Interest shown in both motivation to use computers, but also in programming and design (157)
  • Future testing: traditional, nontradtinal, gender neutral, and integrative


10. spatial ability differences in relation to gender & the digital divide

  • Computer gaming adds to spatial performance 433
  • Men test better spatially & have more spatial experience 434
  • Increasing #s of computer facilitation (Related to both business & personal use) are deepening the economic and educational rift bw those who use computers regularly and those who do not or cannot 434
  • Motivation factors may underlie differences in spatial/cmputer experience. Men & women use computers for different tasks—which fosters differential skills
Terlecki, M.S., & Newcombe, N.S. (2005). How important is the digital
     divide? The relation of computer and videogame usage to gender
     differences in mental rotation ability. Sex Roles, 53(5/6),
     433-441. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-6765-0

11. Gendering the Digital Divide: kennedy, wellman, klement. Compare women’s internet use with men—use more for social reasons & men use for instrumental & solo rec reasons

  • Not simply just an issue of access—but of obstacles to internet use 73
  • Differences bw gender & sex—gender is more than just  anatomy & physiology—accompanying social behaviors 74
  • Historically women were assigned to clerical work which focused primarily on information processing via computers 76
  • Sense of community; internet adds to community rather than destroying it 81; volume of interactions increase. Women have more postive experiences with internet communication—consistent with the argument that women actively work harder than men to maintain kin
  • Gender differences fit women’s classical roles as maintainers of kinship & friendship 80
  • Men use web for: work, product info, buy products, money ,finances, games/women: only difference lies in the nurturing role and finding health info  85
  • Data shows internet differences in: communcation, information, & recreation 87
  • Gender responsibilities in the home shape how much time women spend online
  • Internet has become more embedded in how people carry out all aspects of their lives from work to socializing to shopping—no distinction bw virtual world & real world 89


12. Gender and the Internet/Jackson, Ervin, Gardner—mediators of gender differences in internet use revealed that computer self-efficacy, loneliness, and depression accounted in part for gender differences

  • Interpersonal communication drives the average person’s use of the internet
  • Females use email more than males—males use more web 372
  • Females report more computer anxiety/males more computer self-efficacy (372)
  • Females reported more depression/males more lonliness 372
  • Research suggests that females communication w/ friends and family via email lessens their lonilness compared to males 385


13. Digital Divide & Ed Tech

  • Equality in access is different from equality in opportunity
  • Girls are steered away from tech careers as early as elementary school through school culture, classroom climate, traditional gender roles, and other societal pressures, and video games!
  • 7% of all bachelors level engineering degrees were conferred to women & only 20 % of all information technology professionals were women
  • equality in access rates show a step forward, yet do not show an end to the digital divide
    • social, cultural, political factors
    • broden access to mean beyond physical acess to computers—acccess to support and encouragment to pursue and value tech related fields—educationally & professionally

What I plan to get done this month… September 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — LC @ 5:23 pm

I thought maybe if I wrote my blog/reflection/notebook on what I plan to get done concerning my research that could (hopefully) really help me organize myself!

So by October I hope to:

-Complete all of the required class assignments

-Continue research on gender & digital divide —> pay close attention to not only the results of the research but how they completed their research (ie: SURVERYS)

-Begin experimenting with Web 2.0+ tools that I hope to use with my students

-Not freak out




I just looked and saw that next weeks class is concerning research notebooks–so maybe I jumped the gun on this : )





What should I research Dr. T?!? August 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — LC @ 9:45 pm

Well, after leaving class last week I was surprisingly not so scared of action research.  It does help that I feel great about having you Dr. T as my professor for this course!

I am already getting myself a bit anxious already about all of this, just because I know my school year this year is going to be rough bc I’ve been strong armed into some extra activities and a fellow advisor is out sick for several months.  So, I am trying to take everything one day at a time–but I just know its all going to be a lot!

That being said…what should I research?! Most of my research I have already done for EAF and other courses have been based in gender and technology.  I have lit reviews already begun, lots of research, and I feel very comfortable with the information.

On the most basic level, I was thinking I could have all of my students take a survey early on in the school year on how comfortable they are using technology, then teach them all some cool new web 2.0 tools, then survey again to see their comfort level.  Thus, the the hope is that web 2.0 tools can be more friendly, inviting, and help girls feel more comfortable using technology.  Eh? What do you think?

Gender + fear of technology + web 2.0 tools = successful action research!?!?



Thanks Dr. T!





The Final Blog Reflection Post… July 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — LC @ 1:31 pm

In this course, I learned a lot about my own autonomy.  In the past I’ve been somewhat frustrated with the “three before me” Dr. T rule.  I’ve then had other students to turn to for advice, etc.  This is my first Dr. T class that I actually think I answered way more “community questions” than I asked (if I even asked any…).  I might just be getting the hang of this thing…

Participating in this course not only made myself more comfortable with being the student in an e-learning course, but a teacher in an e-learning course.  I’m still of the era in which many of my online courses and friends online courses we took in undergrad were considered “blow off classes”.  I’ve spent a lot of time this summer conversing with friends on how truly engaging online learning can be…I’ve become an advocate for e-learning! In turn, I hope to share with my colleagues how e-learning can help you as a professional, help organize your course, and make things easier on yourself (like using certain google apps).

I believe my teaching will change in that I can now make supplemental material for my students online.  I like the idea of spending more time in class following a more constructivist approach to learning because students have prepared through any pre or post online activities.  E-learning can in turn free up a lot of in class time and allow for more student-centered activities.

For other students taking this course, I’d highly suggest starting your CMS layout early and adding each element at a time as you go.  Also, to really make yourself available in “community questions”—this is where we can build relationships with our fellow students and become more of a self-directed learner.