Thursday, December 6, 2007

Career Choices

Today in history: - Dec. 6

  • Fifty years ago, on Dec. 6, 1957, America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed as Vanguard TV3 rose only about four feet off a Cape Canaveral launch pad before crashing back down and exploding.
  • In 1790, Congress moved to Philadelphia from New York.
  • In 1889, Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, died in New Orleans.
  • In 1947, Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Truman.
  • Discovery Education made some drastic cuts and I was jobless.

The first event may have helped prompt people into going into technology. I believe so because we now have satellite TV and directional units such as my Garmin that keep us from getting lost. The second event may not have prompted too many career changes, but I wish I could prompt my friend Chris Marshall in running for Congress eventually. The next event caused a change of positions and career thoughts. The 1947 event I added only because it dealt with Florida. The last event is personal and had me thinking about what type of job I could do now that I was without.

I loved technology coaching. I really did. That's why I love to do the trainings as much as I can. Luckily I had two companies offer me a job before New Years, and now I'm with netTrekker. They're a small company with a HUGE heart and I'm happy to be apart of their family.

When others face this type of crisis, I wonder what they do? Do they turn to other similar companies and try to find a similar job? Do they turn to a new path? I hold a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Technology in Education. What am I qualified for? (Don't worrry- I'm not looking to change jobs - just curious.)

I found one great site with wonderful information about the different types of jobs based on your interests at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I like to read, and would love to write, but nothing else really appealed to me. Maybe the librarian, however I'd have to be quiet. I worked at a bookstore once, really loved it - but Hernando County is missing a bookstore. They're building -but it's not here yet.

I found another great site about careers you never knew existed. They even have games to help "experience" the job. Now I love my CSI, and I would love to try my hand at the board game. I remember once as a child my friend Terri and I dusted for fingerprints the cafeteria window that was left open because we thought the person we saw on the third floor broke in. We were collecting evidence before we called the cops. Turned out, he was the janitor and we were out a bit later than we were suppose to be. However, I don't think I'd make a very good CSI in real life. Why? My knowledge of science is not very extensive for one. But the real reason - I hate blood. I could never look at the dead body or theblood and make it through the scene to solve the case. There'd be so many open cases, I'd be fired.

Another fun site was "Could This Be Your Life? " For $7.95 I can take this test and see which Career Key will open doors for me. I can find other tests by going to the Career One Stop.

As a former career teacher, I love the new items that are online for students to get a real grasp of what's out there and what they would be succesful. I know some think that elementary is still too young to talk careers, but in truth - that's the best time. They love to act things out and "play" different roles. Give them a reason to work hard in school.

Back to my sudden career change - I did love my job and I value all the DEN members and my fellow coworkers. I met some wonderful people and had some great times. The move to Florida was great for Joey. And while I'm sad that my run with them only last less than a year, I'm happy that the FL DEN picked up and continued so strong. I'm also very happy that I was able to link up with a wonderful company and I hope that all of the other former field managers were also able to pick up the pieces and move on. I have heard from Susan, Katherine, Kristen, Jan and Gerard. Every once in awhile I see Rachel, Linda, and Dawn online. I still keep in touch with Karen. And I'm lucky enough to still get to work with Chris. (RUN FOR AN OFFICE CHRIS! GO INTO POLITICS CHRIS!). I'm glad to still be in education and working with teachers and am thankful that I did not let go of the pulse with what's going on in educational techonology. I don't think I could ever truly leave the field of education and be happy. (Unless the city of Tampa hires me to be a Sports and Education Link Specialist for the teams to promote them in a positive way to help meet state standards. Oh wait, that would still be education.)

Enjoy the career links and have a great day of teaching!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cyber Bullying

I've been following the sad story of Megan Meier on the Today Show and on other blogs. For those who are not familiar with her story, Megan was a 13 year old who suffered from ADD and depression, along with self-esteem issues. She was taking medicine, staying involved in school and athletics and was really trying to turn her life around. She ended a friendship with another girl though and the girl's mother (Lori Drew) decided to do some snooping. How? She used MySpace, created an account of a mythical boy and had that "boy" flirt with Megan. The mother's reasons- to get Megan to talk about her child and see what she was saying. I'm not sure if Megan ever said anything, but after so many weeks online flirting "Josh" turned on Megan and was really ugly to her. Megan took that to heart and hung herself, just shy of her 14th birthday.
Megan's mom say they did monitor her time online. They made a call today on the Today Show asking for schools to step up with the cyberbullying lessons. More on that in a bit. I want to add my 1 Cent on Ms. Drew's abuse.
1. On MySpace it says you're not suppose to post messages to harrass. Calling Megan the names she did, well that's harrassing.
2. The Terms on MySpace also say that " all registration information you submit is truthful and accurate". Obviously the person who created the account of "Josh" did not. My Space- step up and prosecute. Show that you are not going to allow people to abuse your services like this! Set an example!
3. Oops! Megan's mom is in violation because her daughter was not 14. No one under 14 should be on MySpace. There are reasons for that. One is for safety of the children, the second is because usually children under 14 do not have the mentality for online social networking, and I'm sure there are 3rd, 4th and more reasons.
4. Prohibited content on MySpace includes:
is patently offensive and promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual (Drew's last post by Josh was offensive and promoted hatred of Megan.)
5. The following content is not allowed:
a. harasses or advocates harassment of another person (Drew to Megan)
b. solicits personal information from anyone under 18 (Her thoughts were personal, and that was the reason she created the account to begin with - to solicit what Megan was saying about her daughter)
c. promotes information that you know is false or misleading or promotes illegal activities or conduct that is abusive, threatening, obscene, defamatory or libelous (Her information was false, misleading and was abusive to a troubled teenager. She also defamed Megan.)

Yes, I believe Drew should be held liable for her actions of posing as a teenager when in fact she is a mother of a teenager. This is not the first case of abuse online that has caused a teenager to take their life, but it is a case of a grown adult (a mother!) against a child.

Okay, I'll stop rambling. I have more thoughts on that but I want to get to the cyberbullying in schools.

There are a lot of schools that have embraced the 21st century skills and are teaching these to the students. Look at people like Jennifer and Vicki Davis. They are teaching blogging, online collaboration, and using other online tools. The ones who are teaching these skills, then cyber bullying is part of their curriculum. I dare say that the teachers who are not teaching these skills or who are only glossing over the use because they know they should but not because they totally believe in them forget the importance of teaching ethics with these skills.

If there are any parents who are reading this, check with your children's teachers and ask if they are teaching cyber ethics along with the technology skills. If you are a technology teacher (whether a classroom teacher who uses technology or you teach technology)- make sure others are also teaching about cyber ethics. I know when I taught business ed, the first week of class was always the safety in a business classroom and when using online technology. Safety for me included ethics. My colleague who taught the exact same thing did not teach the ethics part. She was more concerned about the students sitting properly and leaving the room right and then producing well typed out documents. But there was a difference of beliefs and techniques and so maybe that's why her computers were the ones the students practiced sending viruses on. My kids went through that portion in ethics.

And parents, have your child sign an AUP for home use of the computer as well. They cannot use the computer without you sitting over their shoulder unless they sign an agreement of behavior online. Make sure you enforce it. My son's not a techno kid, but we have our own agreement for video games and online activities. He was caught cheating on a game with his cousin and lost the rights to his DS and multiplayer games until Christmas holidays.

As a community member, a parent, and a teacher we need to encourage ethical use of computers and model the behavior as well.