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.