Thursday, December 6, 2012

The end has come

The time has come to say goodbye to the 2012 fall semester at Edison State College. It has been a great semester and have learned a lot. One class that I will take away a great deal from is this very one, EME 2040. During the course of the semester I have worked on things that I have never even heard of such as a pecha kucha, a pecha what? Yes, a pecha kucha. Other assignments that were tackled were a collaborative lesson plan, a wiki based on instructional strategies, and even a webquest. Each of these assignments/projects allowed for personalization and creativity which I so very loved. Given a rubric on how and what we would be graded on we were given full free space to create and present as we wished.Getting started on projects was not as easy as it seemed, even though we were given the topic how you wanted your message to get across or be viewed was the hard part. Anyone can create a boring lesson but when you start using images from Flickr or videos on Youtube, the possibilities are endless as to how you can improve your lessons all by the use of technology. When given the opportunity to work in groups such as for the collaborative lesson plan and final wiki project it was exciting to see all the ideas that everyone was coming up with for just one assignment, ideas that involved technology not just your basic simple minded worksheet. For the collaborative lesson plan I really enjoyed being able to use Google Docs to communicate with my fellow contributors. We decided that the best way to complete the project without running short on time and the fact that all three of us had different schedules and meeting up in person would not be possible would be to use Goggle Docs. I loved this tool! We could effectively communicate as well as see the work that been contributed which was helpful in making sure that all did their part. Not only did it allow us to contribute and communicate but also critique. If I had liked something I wrote but someone deleted it I could easily find it and return it to the document. Using Google Docs for our collaborative lesson plan made the project easy to do rather than stressful, the only thing I could possibly say negative about the project was the lack of direction, given a sample lesson plan questions were still asked as to the format to follow. Had it not been for Google Docs to effectively communicate and direct tasks our group may have been in trouble!  For the final project, the instructional wiki, I was not a super fan of this. Not for the project itself but for the lack of communication that went on. Only allowed to talk on the discussion board provided in the wiki I felt as though no one really stayed on top it to check the posts that had been going on. As to contribution I felt as though one person really took the reins as to who I can say but can the educator? Overall for the wiki the homepage looked great as well as my own which is i truly cared about since my grade was resting on it lol. One thing that I enjoyed and wished we did more of were the discussion posts. I enjoyed being able to express how I felt on a topic and see all the different responses from my classmates. As a future educator, assignments and projects learned here that I will take with me will definitely be the webquest and the geo-chaching. A webquest to learn about deep sea creatures ( I already made it!) or to learn the path/flow of blood or geochaching to find a fossil that lies in the dirt. Two projects that are not your typical class lesson. The use of technology for both of these will allow students to fully be hands on and possibly get a better understanding of their assignment all with the help of technology. One thing that I found out and will push for as a future educator is the SMART board! I can not wait to use it!

 Thank you Professor!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Engaging Teachers and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection

Focus Question: How can teachers use student participation systems as effective assessment methods?

    Teachers can use student participation systems for effective assessment methods by changing the experience of the classroom. Students who are usually frightened,discouraged, and/or embarrassed when not knowing an answer may avoid answering the teacher by looking down at their desk, avoid raising their hands, and give answer such as "I don't know" when called upon. Using student participation systems, it allows the members of the classroom to respond collectively while the educator is able to produce a quick assessment on the academic material  to get an idea of what the members of the classroom know or still need to know.

Tech Tool:

     Discussed in this chapter is the student participation system itself. Using clickers students are able to answer questions instantly. Educators may set up true/false, multiple choice, yes/no, even short answer questions that can be easily integrated into every lesson. With these clickers educators may instantly get the results of the classroom formed into a pie chart to see if students understand the lesson with the amount of correct answers.

Video Credit to SMARTclassrooms on YouTube

Summary & Connection:

       This is the second product I incorporate from the SMART corporation. This is the future. As a future educator I hope that by the time I step into a classroom, this technology will be available for my usage as well as for the benefit of its members. If not I hope to be the voice in order to get these in our classrooms. From using student participation assessment systems such as clickers to using preassessments such as surveys from Survey Monkey to better determine what my students may know or can already do in order to better shape my plans for teaching.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"This I Believe" Essay

 Robert will promote learning success for his students that need to pass the writing component of the state's English/language arts by integrating technology. For the drafting part of the "This I Believe" essay students can use speech recognition software to turn their spoken ideas into written text. With this technology it allows students to brainstorm and freely speak of their ideas for their essays. Students can also use their ipods to record vocal podcasts and then replay all their recorded ideas and personal values. For the revising part of the essay students can use grammar and spell check programs. Handheld spellers and dictionaries will also help the students revise/edit their essays. Each student may want to present their essay in a different technological form rather than just the usual pen and paper. Some examples may be power point presentations, movie-making software, digital portfolios and many more. When it comes time to read and hear other types of " This I Believe" essays, Robert can use the digital projector to find and read essays out loud and also use screen reading software.  Students can build their confidence by grasping and knowing that any word or picture in their head is interesting and important, with technology students can build and build on their confidence knowing that they having something to say, something to revise, something to reflect and something to write. After the "This I Believe" essays, students should feel more confident on being writers as well as being better writers in general. With further practice and newly gained confidence the students shall perform successfully on the state's English/language arts writing component as well as keep writing skills that will last beyond the classroom.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Creating and Sharing Information with Multimedia Technologies

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

  Multimedia is the presentation of material using both words and pictures. Using media tools that integrate sound, voice, animation, and video. Teachers can effectively create and share visual information dynamically in their teaching by using tools such as Powerpoint, educational DVDs, podcasts, television programs and many more.

Tech Tool: Interactive Whiteboards

    Interactive Whiteboards are changing the way teachers teach and present lessons in the classroom. SMART is leading the way in using interactive whiteboards in classrooms. Products from whiteboards, projectors, and even interactive response. Using interactive whiteboards allows teachers to connect to students on more than one level.

Summary & Connection:

   Multimedia technology, when used properly can be used very effectively in order to change the way teachers teach, dynamically. Using tools that go beyond the basic teaching style within a classroom like a SMART interactive whiteboard, Powerpoint presentations, podcasts, and so much more can reach each student on every level.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Planet Turtle

     Planet Turtle is a interactive math program that is based in a community environment with the same interactive features that have them glued to their video games. Students first create their own avatar and then go explore the different areas where they can play, just like in their video games. The student can pick the game but the teacher is actually in charge of the content. Teachers can have the virtual world match up with their instruction and access detailed reports on individual students or as a whole class that shows strengths and weakness. Planet Turtle keeps students engaged and on task while learning and acquiring the proper math skills.Monitoring student's progress the program keeps tracks of the student's performance as well as the skills they need to practice.
    During a math session I would use Planet Turtle in my classroom. I can teach the class by giving oral notes, providing practice worksheets, and visual powerpoints, but to truly involve my class and provide them with the interaction they need in order to become better math solvers, I would incorporate Planet Turtle with my teachings. Being able to control the content and the order of the material on the program allows me as an educator to teach and then provide the practice material to go hand in hand using technology. The program also allows me to access reports and keep track of students' performance individually or as a whole class. With this I am given the feedback on what lessons I may need to go over with as a whole class or where one student may be struggling and needs the extra attention.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Teaching with Educational Websites and Other Online Resources

Focus Question: What is information management and digital content

     A business term generally used to describe how organizations keep track of data for making decisions and setting policies. Information management when applied to teachers and students is the organizing, storing, and administering of all the different kinds of electronic information that need to be handled professionally and academically.

Tech Tool: Delicious

     Delicious is a web based bookmarking tool that organizes all your bookmarks in one place! Using tags one may organizes each link with keywords that cue you to the information on any particular link. Once this website was shown to me personally I was mad I did not hear about it before. In times during research papers, where at school I would find one good site to only go home and not be able to find that same information. With Delicious you can bookmark a site and then be able to open it back up again at any working Internet browser.

Summary & Connection:

   With this chapter we see how beneficial it is to use online resources and websites for information management with resources like Delicious for bookmarking and webquests and virtual field trips that help engage lesson plans. Educational websites make for great teaching resources with lesson plans and classroom activities like PBS Teachers and PBS Kids

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Researching and Evaluating Internet Information

Focus Question: What is the meaning of information literacy for teachers and students?

     Information literacy for teachers and students means the ability to access and assess the information from online sources. According to the American Library Association (ALA), information literacy is defined as the "ability to recognize when information is needed and to have then the ability to located, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." (Windham 2006) Transforming Learning With New Technologies by Maloy, Edwards, Verock-O' Loughlin, and Wolf. Pg 144. Para 4. Before using the new found information, teachers must determine if it is viable and reliable and then teach the students how to do the same. Teaching students how to properly recognize and utilize information for Internet research is a crucial element in information literacy. 

Tech Tool: Flickr

     Flickr is an online photo managing sharing tool that allows you to locate, organize, and send photos that you have personally taken or can locate within the site's online collection. When searching a topic such as Monopoly, 48,684 results appear. I can further advance my search to materials that have a Creative Commons License which means the material is copyrighted but allows other to tweak, distribute, and build upon your work as long as given credit for it. Results jump down to 7,762. Flickr is a great resource to retrieve visual resources for learning. It allows teachers and students to add visual learning resources to their curriculum and or project with providing valuable accreditation.

Summary & Connection:

     With this chapter it brings light to how great using the Internet for information can be but how to properly use the Internet and evaluate all the information it provides. Teachers and students can be taught how to access and assess the information they come by properly and effectively. Having done the website evaluation project I now know the steps needed to be taken when assessing a website for its resources. All teachers and students should know this criteria when determining the quality of a web resource.
  • Accuracy
  • Authority
  • Objectivity
  • Currency
  • Coverage