Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reflection Post

Throughout these past 15 weeks I have learned a great deal. I have learned that even though I have grown up with technology always around, I had not a clue what to do with it as a teacher. I found out that I'm not as ready as I thought I was to start teaching with technology. However along the way I have found great tools.

One of the most helpful resources I was introduced to was the website Edutopia. They have many different resources that will help not only myself when teaching, but also my students. As we learned from the last chapter in our textbooks, you get more out of students if you give them a chance to help in the learning process. Why should I change something in our classroom or introduce something without showing the students why I want to try or do it? I think that the website is a great tool to use in the classroom and is one that I know I will be using in the future.

One of the videos from Edutopia that demonstrates democratic schools is shown below:


Another great tool that was given to us was the Delicious account we were told to make. I honestly didn't use this site as much as I probably should have. That was because I didn't truely see the purpose. There weren't websites that I was constanly looking for to help my future students, or news that I wanted to use for this class that I thought I had to save. But with our E-portfolios that were due this past week I saw the purpose and how easy it would make getting information across to my students and parents alike. This is something that now I see the purpose and how to actually make the account usefull that I will also use in my classroom. That is if I have to have an online website set up for my students.

That was another thing that I noticed. This course set us up looking at the idea that we would have to set up on online aspects to our classrooms. That was something that I have a hard time coming to terms with. I don't see weebly pages that have everything on them helpful to the students. I know that with my courses, as soon as all the powerpoints and notes are available I no longer see the purpose of pay attention to class. Why wouldn't other teenagers in a normal high school? With this in mind, I don't see myself using a weebly page, or creating a website for my classroom. What I do see is possibly creating a wiki page.

When we had to do a group wiki page, I saw this as being something that could work well in a group setting. I could give students a topic, or the powerpoint, and they have to work off of each other to get all the answers or find questions. This would then help both myself and the students. It would help me by seeing what topics I need to go over more. It would also help my students learn how to search the web or their textbook for more information. Also, it would help them learn how to work with others in finding useful information.

Overall, I think the textbook was very helpful in covering all the information we needed to learn to cover the objections that were given to us. I feel confident that I have learned something, even if my final project wasn't the best is could have been. The discussions made me re-read some of the chapters and concepts because what I didn't catch other students did and I wanted to understand what they saw. The assignments covered real life experences that we would be dealing with. I feel like I am prepared for teaching with online concepts now.

References:
 
 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chapter Eleven

Summary

This chapter is about engaging students in performance assessments and reflective learning. To start us off, the textbook starts by talking about the purpose and ways assesssments can be done on page 277. there are three different types of assessments: New teacher assessment, Student assessment, and Student self-assessment. New teacher assessment is a way for the employeer to see how well the teacher is doing their job, or to see if that person is ready to become a teacher. This is type of assessment is also helped by the Student assessment. The student assessment is very baisc in the sense it is something that all students have grown up with. Whether is was short answer or multiple choice, the students groaned and study until the late hours of the night for these types of assessments. This data is then used for two things: how well are the students processing the information, and how can the teacher change their teaching style to help. Finally we come to the Student self-assessment. This gives the student a chance to look at the assessment and say, "maybe I shouldn't have waited until the day of to student" or "Hey those flashcards helped a lot". This gives both teacher and student a chance to help each other and find the best route to success (pgs 277-278)

These three styles of assessment are all contected to each other though. Without one, you could not have any way of understnad what your students do or don't know. Or, perhaps, find out that you aren't ready to become a teacher because you didn't pass the General Knowledge test. These assessments are very annoying, but are very much needed in school so then everyone knows how they are doing, and where they can improve on things,

Next in the chapter we difital teaching portfolios. Which, on page 279, are defied as, "A collection of educational and professional materials stored in a electronic format. It serves as an organized collection of materials that shows a teacher's growth and development over time." While I understnad the purpose of this type of profile, I'm still not quite sure why it is so important or how it shows growth. I mean I understand the idea of organizing all the links or papers or videos that a teacher finds to use in class because it would be much easier than trying to remember a URL or bring a USB drive with them everywhere. However, the growth I'm still not so sure about. 

Something else the textbook mentions is the fact that many teachers seem to forget that their students have a voice and want to learn other things than what is on one test at the end of the year. By involving students in the learning, you get more motivation out of them because they choose to learn it, or creat it, or just research it (281). That is why I love the idea of democratic shools and classrooms, and hope I get to work in one. Democratic schools and classrooms are schools or classrooms that have an open conversation between a teacher and their students about the curriculm, or rules. or school climate. This can be over-run if the teacher doesn't control the environment. But letting the students have a say in using a powerpoint instead of just a lecture, or be allowed to work in group for a project is nothing too out of hand (pgs 281-284).

Tech Tools 11.2
Survey and Poll Resources and Apps

Online surveys and polls are great ways to get student opinion on something. It can be completly anonymous, so the students don't feel as pressured to put the "right" answer. Or they can log in wth an account and create some great discussion in class after the poll or survey has been looked at. 

I personally have used SurveyMonkey for nearly ever school project I have ever done. The website itself is an easy-to-use format, and very basic when it comes to setting up your survey or poll. There is no need to get to over-complecated on a survey. It doesn't have to look amazing with graphics coming out, or music playing in the background while they take the survey. The only negative thing about this site, is the limit amount of people who can respond to a survey. As our book state on page 287, only 100 responses per survey, This would not be good for multiple classes on the same subject, unless you made a seperate survey for each of your classes. 

Below is a screenshot of the SurveyMonkey app from my iPad!


Focus Question
1) What is performance assessment for teachers and for students?

A performance assessment for teachers can be seen in two types of assessments: New teacher assessment and Student assessment. These two forms of performance assessments look to see how well you did when teaching. The New teacher assessment looks to see if you are ready to become a teacher through your shadowing and as teacher in a classroom. Student assessment is pretty self-explanatory. It is given to students after a lesson or subject is either finish or reached a break. This is too see how much the students are learning, but also how well your teaching style has helped them learn the information (pg 277)

Reference
 Textbook- Maloy, Robert, Verock-O'Loughlin, Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chapter Ten Journal

Summary
This chapter is focusing on engaging learners through technology. First we talk about the diversity of students in our schools and the many different ways that teachers are trying to enhance not only their learning oppertuinties through things such as creating culturally relevant curriculum (246), connecting classrooms with communities and cultures (247), online language translation services (247), multilingual web resources (248), international newspapers and maps (248), and pointing out word origins for English words (248). 

Then there is the practice known as differentiated instruction which, according to our textbook, "is an instructional approach in which teachers create different educational experiences as ways to meet the learning needs of individual students (248). This is something that I have never heard of. I feel like this is something I would include though in my own classroom if I could. If students work better one way, why not let them openly learn that way. Also it is a great way to get others to try different way of learning. This seems to be very similar to the universal design for learning though in the idea that kids have multiple areas and ways to engage themselves, demonstrate the idea, and get the information (250). 

The rest of the chapter talked about technologies that are out there for students who need it, such as electronic spellers and dictionary and word clouds. Also the different accommodation levels -low, mid, and high-tech (253). 

Focus Question
1. How can technology engage and inspire learning for diverse students?

Technology can engage and inspire a great deal of students from many different background because it can be transformed to fit any type of need. Whether that be a computer talking to a blind child, or changing the language on a page to that of the student knows best. This enhancing the chances of those students actually learning the material. This also helps teachers show diversity to their students through multicultural education that is talked about on page 246 in our textbooks. Teachers are being told to teach students about other cultures and embrace them. With the help of technology this movement can be very smooth. 

Tech Tool 10.2 page 258
Extra-Large and Online Calculators
With the first tech tool in this chapter being interactive whiteboards I was slightly hoping that the second or third would be more interesting because I have just had to go through a course about interactive whiteboards for my university orientation, and then this came up. At first I was slightly confused because I never would have though that calculators could inspire or help students do much of anything actually important other than be a quicker way to solve math equations. Then I read the sections. 

On Martindale's Calculators On-Line Center they have 24,000 different calculation programs. I didn't even know you could use a calculator in so many different ways! I use an app on my iPad called calculator pro, but I never thought about all the good it actually does for me. Below is a picture from my iPad of the app. 

Resources

Textbook- Maloy, Robert, Verock-O'Loughlin, Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chapter Nine Journal

Focus Question
1) What is multimedia technology and how can teachers use it to effectively create and share visual information dynamically in their teachings?

Multimedia technology is "combing multiple media -text, data, voice picture, and video - in a single applications or technology" (217). Teachers can use this effectively by creating powerpoints, or adding podcasts to their lesson allowing students to hear and see many different forms and opinions on information. They can also ask for their school to buy interactive whiteboards which will help the students who just can't stay seated during lesson move around and pay more attention. 

Tech Tool 9.1 page 222
Digital Projectors and Document Cameras

Document cameras are something that I have grown up in school with. I have seen them progress over the years. Before document cameras we had overhead projectors which had a copy of our worksheet or a blank page that we would get to volunteer to wash after we were done using them. From those days in elementary school, we moved to Elmo document cameras. It was the same concept, just no washing needed. These devices also came with an interactive whiteboard which made all the students pay more attention hoping that they would be picked to draw on the board. Moving through the grades, and different school, I have gotten to see how teachers use the document cameras in different ways. 

In my own classroom I plan on using a document camera for the students daily warm-ups. Rather than having to print out a warm up for each of them, I'd rather save the paper and make them have a journal. This also gives me the chance to bring in more books or pictures that I can't get onlline and bring them in for the students to see through the document camera. 
 
Above is the older version of a document projector that I started off using back in elementary school.
Technology Equipment in Classrooms. (2014). 

Summary 

This chapter is all about explaining multimedia and the parts it can serve in the classroom. Within the first few pages the textbook seems to focus on how this approach can be used for science lessons and experiments. I think that it is strange that the authors didn't mentions the other ways teachers use this technology until page four pages in. However,the textbook finally mentions what some of these multimedia technologies are on page 220. The three they talk about are digital projectors, document cameras, and PowerPoint. All of these programs I am very firmiliar with, so I won't spend too much time on them in this summary. These are technologies that are used to present information to a large group of students. Teahcers are using the computer to create a presentation for their student when they use PowerPoint, and sometimes even with a digital projectors. The document camera is for when the teachers want to focus on a object, or even worksheet, and want everyone to see it. All of these are great tools when it comes to teaching.

Then for the next few pages it talks about how teachers can format their PowerPoints to help their students and get the most information across to them. After this the textbook talks about videos, on page 225. Videos get students excited. No matter what age or grade, as soon as you find out your teacher won't be talking, you are a happy camper. So student interest increasing when using this tool. There is also a great number for videos, clips, and movies about different subjects, so they won't get boring over time. Finally it is a unique way to teach your students something. The textbook mentioned how it could be used for Macbeth, when debating how people act as Macbeth, or what is happening in the scene in general. Another great video source is your own students, who can creat a video just as well as anyone else. Thus how we get on the topic of YouTube.

Then we are given tips, which have been drilled into me for years by my own teachers so, I think we can skip to the next subject, why photo-taking and movie-making can be helpful. Well according to this textbook there are four major reasons given to us on page 229. It engages students, it forces them into documenting learning as well as active learning, and finally it starts their information creation sides. They can do this through digital cameras which are simply and easy to use. 

Finally to end the chapter we discuss podcasts and vodcasts. These can be very helpful for the same reasons any type of videos are helpful. However these can also be made byteh a tudents for other students, or even by their own teacher. On page page 235 it talks about the pros of podcasting or vodcasting which includes letting the teacher listen to themself so they know what they can improve on.

References:

Technology Equipment in Classrooms. (2014). Retrieved from https://tech.msu.edu/classroom-technology/classroom-equipment.php

Textbook- Maloy, Robert, Verock-O'Loughlin, Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chapter Eight Post


Summary:

Thiw chapter is all about communicating and collaborating with social media. Right on the first page of this section we are told the five ways this can be done. Email, teacher websites, blogs, online discussion, and wikis are the post useful and popular ways to go about this (187). Having done major projects with many students over the years I have learned how social media can be very helpful when passing information around. Just last year to help share photos of a lab experiment, a partner posted them onto Facebook so the whole group could see them, as seen below.

      (Top picture is just one picture that was posted on Facebook. The bottom picture is a screenshot of the album which is still on Facebook)


There are two different forms of communication though, synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous is when parties respond to each other in real time like on the phone or webcam. Asynchronous is when there is a delay with someone while talking such as email (188). This is something that should be taught to students for them to use when it comes to their jobs and such.

Following this we also talk about how teachers are starting up networking sites through social media to help each other out. This is something I find helpful when I am not sure where to look for lesson plans or goals/standards. These sites because a God sent. However they also help the students. This extends the teachers' hours in a way, and also let's families communicate with the teacher as well.

Personally I believe that every teacher should have some sort of website to publish directional d power points and reminders because it makes everyone lives more organized. Also, you won't have students saying they never got something if you posted on the website a week prior. You are forcing the students to be more responsible. 

Honestly this chapter seemed very redone-dent to me consider I have grown up using these skills when I tutored. Also I attended a high school where these skills were already put into practice. So my summary is very little this week simply because I didn't find that much that caught my eye and I thought needed to be retold. Bottom line is social media can be a great teaching tool if used correctly. A website is better than a blog because websites cause you to post information and have comments; while blogs let you talk and talk and talk with no real end in sight. 

Tech Tool 8.2 pg 201
Communicating with Skype.

Skype is a great video calling program. It is something I have used for many years to help tutor those who couldn't stay after for a tutoring session. Having already known this I wasn't surprised by this being in the book. What I was surprised about was being able to look up people or classrooms to talk to about certain subjects. This is something that I will look into and see if I can use it myself in my high school English course.

Focus Question
 5. How can wikis foster collaborative learning among teachers and students.

On page 187 in our textbook they described a wiki as a website that teachers and student create and edit together.  This is the deffinition of collaborative work! The class is working together to create this page filled with information that will help the class. When they see information that they don't think is right they can change it or comment about it. This then helps both students learn. Possibly the teacher even learns something thT they over-looked on the subject. Wikis foster better communication between all parties involved.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chapter Seven Journal

Focus Question
1) How do teachers use technology to promote problem solving and inquiry learning among students?

    Well, with this form of learning teachers present students with real-world situations and issues to engaged the students actively (159). Problems are worth answering, in so answering the age old questions of "why are we learning this". Because real world issues can be servilely complex, and considered ill-structured problems, computer apps and games can be a better way to come up with real-world application to work. With the multitudes of games and apps out in the world students can changed the level and are free to reset if they realize their first idea was wrong and can see more clearly where they went wrong. This also lets the student use surface or in-depth thinking (160).

    While this can also be done with simple handouts, or reading books, computers bring out the active parts of the students brain. The students know that they are solving math and science problems when they play River City, however, they don't realize that they are also learning about economic and social outcomes of those problems (160). Teachers aren't lecturing, or assigning work. They are asking the students in many cases to play games which make the students eger to get on the computer and creates a more active classroom. 

Tech Tool 7.1 :Discovering Learning USing Squeak and Scratch (page 167)
    In this Tech Tool section the textbook talks about a website called Scratch. This website is a "tool" kit to help students create their own games, animations, or art. It has 2D/3D graphics, images, text, sound, video, and everythign else a webmaster could desire and more than enough for the average web user. This help students create their own way of learning or presenting the information. This relates back to our discussion for week when it relates back to how teahcers can help ELL students. Many of the responses, including my own, talks about allowing students to use clip art and other pictures to help the students get their point across while they still learned the information. This website would be a great deal of use to old students who understood the true purpose of multimedia and all that it could to do. 

Summary
    In this chapter we are talking about how teachers can use technology to enhance the experience of problem solving and inquiry learning through games and apps; along with the different kinds of programs available. First we start off with the basics: what is problem-based learning and inquiry-guided learning? Well it is wel students investigate and research a problem or issue and find questions for it. There is no "right" answer because it all depends on the how the student asks the questions and what point they are trying to get covered from the problem (159). The steps are as follows: 1- understnad the problem, 2- use the problem-solving strategies, 3- check results (159).
    Following the books talks about hardward and software and what the differences are. Hardware comes on the device (the basics) and software tells the hardware to do. There are many different software: system, application, standard, and open-source softward. Open-source software is when it is open to the public to use, copy, and recreate with no to little funds needed to do so (161). The main goal in using any type of software or app is making sure that the student is in charge of the computer, rather than the computer being in charge of the child. 

This is a picture from the opening page to chapter seven which I think gets the point of students controlling the computer point across. (pg 157)

    Then the textbook talks about Blooms's Taxonomy when it comes to lower-order and higher-oder thinking. Low-order describes basic recalss and interpretation of information. High-oder describes comparison and evaluation of theories and perspectivesn (163). With this in mind teahcers can use software and apps with there students to present both forms of thinking. The example given in the book on page 163 are vocabulary or spelling words. Remembering these words is part of low-order thinking. However putting the words into a skit of poem correctly is using high-order of thinking. 
    When it comes to problem-solving and inquiry-learnign softwares there are a few different ones available. These include: composing and calculating software, building, inventing, and creating software, and visual-thinking and concept-mapping software. One of the examples that is highly known is Google Earth. This is considered to be a part of the building, inventing, and creating software section because it helps creat the mood and setting for many different things (166). 
    Finally we come to another age old topic of discussion, what is the purpose of video games? Well we took a major idea from the gaming world when we decided to give groups points because they have done something. This is called gamification (169). I honestly think that gaming can be helpful. It is a great way for children to rid themselves of stress. If done right parents will balance the amount of education and fun video games their children play. However, teachers should take advantage of any education video games they can give to their students because it keeps their student more engaged rather than just have them sitting there doing a worksheet, they are sitting on a computer that is interacting with them as they figure out probelms. 
    When using games to teach students though, you must keep in mind four things. Teachers must watch out for games that just focus on one subject or skill. Make sure that a multitude of skills are being teasted and used. Also pay attention to how much the games focus on win or lose based on points. Students will add more stress to themselves and could lead to online chatting with others in the gaming universe. Make sure you talk to students about the games you have them playing, and their content. Perhaps even talk about some they play at home. Guide them into playing games that are on age que for them. Finally and most importantly, play the games together. The students will love to watch their teacher play, and you can also see what you have you students doing so you cna better help them if they need it (175-176). 

Resources

Textbook- Maloy, Robert, Verock-O'Loughlin, Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chapter Six Journal


Focus Question

1)      How can teachers benefit from using information management technologies such as bookmarking, social bookmarking, information alerts, and e-newsletters?

a.      Teachers can benefit from using these services because it makes sure that they have everything needed and then some. By having all of their online information stored that can easily pull it up to teach their lessons. Or if they find something at home, they don’t have to remember the address for later use. In fact if they use social bookmarking, their students could, if given the link, look up their teacher’s public shown links and get study help or essay writing help, and then in return add their own helpful links to the pool of information just causing it to grow (pg 134-135).

Summary

               In this chapter we are talking about the many way teachers can manage their information online, online learning, the different types of educational websites that are out there for students and teacher alike, and finally how the educational websites interact and engage the students. Teachers can organize their online information through bookmarking, which is saving an address to your computer. However, this method is being taken over cloud computing because it can be accessed anywhere on any type of device as long as it has the cloud, or the information needed to get to it (pg 134). Then there is social bookmarking, which is multiple people adding to a pool of information on a subject (pg 135). This is one that I think would be best use for teachers and students. It isn’t just a teacher giving the students link. Both parties can put in links, and see what others in the world thought were important. This teaches the children about networking.

               The book mentioned other, but I don’t find them as important as these two. After talking about the multiple ways of on how to keep track of the online resources teachers can use, the books talks about how to organize them. One that is talked about is a tag cloud which shows the words, or tags, that are most used. The ones that are most often used are bolded and towards the front while the less used ones are not bolded and towards the end of the list (pg 139). I think this a great way to organize links because if someone is looking for links talking about Robert Frost, they would look for a tag that has that name on it, and up will pop all the links that the person has tagged Robert Frost in.

               The book then talks about WebQuests, which is pretty much a fancy name for an online class or element to a class. A teach sets up the lesson and the students proceed to do the work set up for them (pg 139). Honestly, I don’t quite understand why this is such a big deal. It is all sense an online class. The way the book makes it sound it is some huge difference from schooling. Instead of a teacher giving the student the paper work, they give the students websites. It is the same concept, just portrayed in a different way.  If I were to give my students papers on Robert Frost, they would still have to look up information on him. With the WebQuests, I am giving them the links on Robert Frost. The end result will still be a paper written about Robert Frost, with information gather from the internet. This is not something that I would use in my classroom, unless told I had to do so.

               Next the book mentions Virtual field trips. This is when students go on a computer and get to view some historical event “in person”, for lack of better phrasing (pg 140). This is something I see as being useful for younger students. However, I could use this form of teaching if I asked the students to write about something they see, such as the cathedrals or art museum that the book mentions (pg 141). Following this the book talks about videoconferencing, which is when a student and teacher video call each other (pg 141). This is something that I see as being very helpful if a student is homebound, or if it I am teaching an all online class. For a student to get behind in high school could be a tragic event. If I can get the information to that student, and teach them what they missed, it will end up helping me in the long run. I don’t have to hold back the rest of my class to help out one or two who missed an important part of a lesson. Also with the amount of students who are on teams and clubs that travel, this could be a great tool to make sure they understand the lesson while they are away from the classroom.

               Finally to end the chapter, for my purposes anyway, the book talks about online learning and virtual schools. Before I state what the book says on the debate going on with this who ideal, I hate the idea of virtual school. For students that are homebound, this is a great substitute. But, for those who can go and decided not to, I think they are cheating themselves out of an education. One of the only reasons I am taking an online course is because they don’t offer EME 2040 or AML 2020 on campus. There are some things that just can’t be read, they have to be taught. The book states on page 143, “… virtual schools employ fewer teachers at generally lower salaries and offer fewer employment benefits to employees, factors which contribute to an improved profit margin…”. This is after page 142 states that between 2000 and 2011, virtual school have seen a 3.5 million increase! This is insane to think about.

 Tech Tools 6.2 Page 137

               For this tech tool it talks about the website Delicious. We are currently using this, and I have found it very helpful. While I know that it is something that is going to be shown I haven’t been using the site to the fullest of its capabilities. Because of this I just downloaded the app for the site. Knowing myself I know that I will use it more if it at my fingertips. This is a much saver way of saving my links than just not closing a tab until I do what I need to do with it. I think I may also use this site for my other course and create separate tags for each course. Included I a link to my Delicious account.

Resources

Textbook- Maloy, Robert, Verock-O'Loughlin, Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.