Reflection Post

Technology for educators was a thoroughly enjoyable classroom experience.  I really enjoyed the flexibility and diverse selection  of assignments. This was one of the few courses where I can say emphasis was truly placed upon learning and improvement rather than letter grades and final scores.  The variety in classroom discussion and assignments kept me engaged and made the classroom dynamic interesting and interactive. One of the difficulties of this class was the fact that we were only able to meet once a week. A.  Meeting only once a week was difficult for me to retain information as well as recall instructions and expectations.  I felt my contributions to the class were honest and pertained to classroom discussion of the corresponding topics.  Out blog posts assignments was a great way to motivate people like myself who do not find interest in reading textbooks, to engage in the text in a different manner and really gain insight and valuable knowledge for future reference. I was astounded at how much knowledge I gained about copyright and the dos and dont’s when dealing with academic projects as well as personal use.  

The collaborative assignments were some what  frustrating for me because I feel I work best and to my full potential individually.  For me it is much more stressful to wait on classmates to complete assignments and to complete portions of others.  I work around fifty plus hours every week which is why I find it more difficult to collaborate with my classmates for group projects. There were a couple times my group wanted to meet and I could not because the times coincided with work.    The web-quest which I had been introduced to for the first time in this course was a very enjoyable project. The webquest is something I certainly want to take and put into practice in my future classroom.  I also enjoyed the Instructional wiki assignment it was similar to the webquest in my opinion but used for a different purpose.  I like that the wiki provided easy ways to communicate with others editing the wiki from the same place.  Most of all I enjoyed the teacher e-portfolio, although I was a little confused s to who the portfolio was supposed to be geared towards, I was able to be creative and I really made an effort to create something I could really use in the future.  I learned so much from this course. What I really like is that everything I learned I will actually be able to use now in my personal life and also as a future educator. 

Journal Post 11

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

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Throughout this chapter different forms and means for teachers to assess and evaluate their students are introduced. It also discusses how we as teachers will constantly be assessed and evaluated throughout our careers.

One of the most influential methods I find interesting for the assessment of students is the participation systems and use of online surveys. I feel that through participation systems students will feel more of a responsibility for becoming familiar with the material covered, as they will be asked to provide feedback not only for their teachers but for their peers as well. Teachers can use student contribution and interaction methods to successfully evaluate every learner in different ways. A great way to evaluate students through participation is by allowing these students during class to answer or discuss a specific question and or topic. By using discussion and participation, not only does the workload lighten for teachers, but also students can engage in peer feedback and help one another reinforce strengths and weaknesses of particular subjects. In chapter 11, online surveys are discussed as a technology tool for assessment. I like the idea of providing students with the option of taking a survey online to assess their daily knowledge individually or to simply have a balanced starting point from which to start a lesson on. This also reminded me of the application “socrative” which we were able to use in class as an assessment tool for feedback for the material covered that day in class. I thought that was an effective way to get everyone’s opinion and feedback in a way that would not make anyone stand out or feel behind. Teachers along with students benefit from the engagement of both participation systems and online surveys. They can assess knowledge of the entire content in real time while providing more time.

I think that we as educators have an advantage more than every before thanks to technologies such as these that we can use to engage students and receive feedback relating to course content immediately. It saves time and energy that can be applied to things not dealing with grading and assessment and uses it towards the advancement and enrichment of each students learning process.

Tech Tool 11.2:  Online Survey Building Sources

Online surveys as introduced in chapter 11 are tools to aid in the engaging and pre-assessment of students. These surveys provide teachers with a simplified way of keeping track of student progress both individually and as a group. The three survey tools discussed in the text are Zoomerang, survey monkey and poll builder. Zoomerang has customizable and predesigned layouts that can be used to center around a specific theme. These are all available upon a free membership of the site that also keeps a record of surveys created, used and shared. Survey monkey is very similar to Zoomerang and can be used on a daily basis to understand and keep track of the attainment of student learning goals. Poll Builder which is a much more simplified version of both survey monkey and Zoomerang.

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2011). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson

En los países con pocos recursos naturales los estudiantes logran mejores resultados académicos. (n.d.). – 20minutos.es. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/1336807/0/paises-recursos-naturales/mejores-resultados/escolares-educativos-ocde/

 

Creating Universally Designed Classrooms

How can teachers use technology to create universally designed classrooms?

There is many ways that teachers can use technology to create universally designed classrooms. Making good use of technologies that are easily accessible to reach out to diverse learners can easily be implemented in any lesson plan.
Chapter ten discusses “Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design for Learning”. Differentiated instruction is when teachers create diverse experiences to teach the same lessons to meet different student learning styles. This chapter really focused on the specifics of learning with technology in the classroom and its benefits in reaching all learners. There truly is a surplus of assistive technologies that any teacher regardless of familiarity with technology can employ in their class. Every student regardless of disabilities has the ability to learn, achieve, and grow in an inclusive classroom. Technology tools can even help facilitate learning and interaction with students who may struggle with behavioral, mental or emotional challenges. In reading this chapter it made me think about smart boards, although I am not to familiar with classrooms here in the area are, where I used to live in South Carolina, every elementary teacher has a smart board in their classroom. When I assisted in classrooms there, I realized what an amazing impact white board had both for teachers and students. The flexibility of ways to use technology, along with lifting a major workload off of the teachers makes me wonder why anyone wouldn’t choose to incorporate it in their daily curriculums. Students really are engaged through the use of digital media and technology because they have grown up with the use of computers and Internet. It only makes sense to use the method in which this generation is accustomed to and comfortable with. Technology is medium that can be used to connect and interact with any student whether they be a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, English speaking or gifted and talented. I believe that the uses and possibilities are endless when you do not limit the way you use these technologies at the attempt of reaching all of your students.

Tech Tool: 10.1 –

 

Tech Tool 10.1:  Extra large and online calculators

Calculators are a common tool used within classroom settings, whether provided by the school or required for specific courses calculators are necessary for many subjects and learning goals. Students are expected to be proficient in using the appropriate methods and functions when using calculators throughout their various academic years. Calculators can provide basic and simple functions along with extremely complex functions as found on scientific calculators. The app store from Apple provides a plethora of options as far as calculators and calculator apps. When taking physics in college I do not know what I would have done without the “myscript calculator” app. I would highly recommend it to any student in the middle grades and above. It is an online calculator that performs conversions of any kind and solves equations of any kind including statistical. It allows a person to write/handwrite any mathematical expression on the device’s screen and MyScript will perform the operation transferring your writing to digital text.

 

Maloy, Robert W., Ruth-Ellen Verock-O’Laughlin, Sharon A. Edwards, Beverly Park Woolf, Transforming with New Technologies, print, 2011, Boston, Ma.

SMART Interactive Whiteboard meetings Marketing Director. (2010, June 16). YouTube. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKp2_XqK6UU

Multimedia Tools

How can teachers create PowerPoint presentations for maximum teaching potential and learning impact?

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PowerPoint is a great tool for educators to incorporate into their classrooms teaching and learning experience. The PowerPoint application makes it fairly easy to present information visually and in ways that engage and encourage participation from students if used properly. If teachers are gearing their PowerPoint presentations to spark interest and curiosity about the information being presented, students will be more apt to provide feedback and participation versus “passively viewing” the slides. There are many simple ways in which teachers can improve student involvement and reach maximum learning potential; by not overloading slides with too much information, and making them appealing to students including visuals that pertain to the ideas and themes being conveyed.

Chapter 9 discusses information communication and the use of PowerPoint along with other multimedia tools that can be used for immersing students in creating sharing information, communicating and enhancing overall participation and learning potential. Utilizing a multitude of different technologies from pod casts to videos, DVDs, social networking as discussed in the text, teachers open the possibilities of student learning and creativity. One way, in which PowerPoint can be used to introduce material, as I experienced in a prior course, is to assign chapter units to student groups and have them present the material and share with their peers the insight and or knowledge gained from that unit. This was a great idea because it pushes you (the student) to really know the material and it offers students different delivery methods, as all students will teach the material distinctively different from their peers and teacher. Another upside to using PowerPoint is that it can be posted for later use or reinforcement if a student has trouble understanding in class. The same principle would go for any other multimedia tools used in class, many of my teachers will post their pod casts or videos and they are a great help if I am unable to attend class, I can always reference those tools for help in studying for exams.
I believe that we have such an advantage with modern day technologies that are not only so easily available to us but also available and constantly used by students in their everyday lives. The saturation of technology can be used to our advantage as educators to engage students in learning by allowing them to use digital tools and resources that they already feel comfortable with. Allowing them to work together electronically and make learning fun by engaging social networking tools and sites would certainly grasp the interest of any student.

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Storybird 

 

Tech Tool 9.3 – Digital story telling and digital art making
The book provides two resources for interactive ways that students can use digital media to creatively share stories and or create their own art. Digital storytelling allows for students to create their own personal stories by using text, audio, and video and picture imageries and combine them to make a final story presentation. The Digital art making as provided by the National Gallery o Art encourage students to create projects with the easily navigable website that they have. Both of these tools remind me of an app I came across on my iPads that is a combination of the two and create an eBook as the final project. Storybird is an app that allows students or teachers to publish their own stories by using their own creative art and they can share with anyone in the world. They are visual stories and have templates that can be modified or edited if need be to fit each story.

Resources:

Create Read and Share Visual Stories. (n.d.). Storybird. Retrieved October 25, 2013, from http://storybird.com/about/

Maloy, Robert W., Ruth-Ellen Verock-O’Laughlin, Sharon A. Edwards, Beverly Park Woolf, Transforming with New Technologies, print, 2011, Boston, Ma.

Mr. Lau’s Blog. (n.d.). Mr Laus Blog. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from http://owen2012.globalblogs.org/category/

Journal 8 : Collaboration tools

Students are engulfed in an environment saturated by social networking and media entertainment, it is no wonder they find collaborative technology tools engaging and interesting within the classroom. Collaboration tools provide effective ways to connect, keep students and teachers informed, accessibility to share information, ideas, and provide flexibility to get things done! Chapter eight in our text focused on the benefits and various ways that both students and teachers can utilize new technology software and programs to facilitate and improve collaborative learning.
So, how is it that teachers promote collaborative learning? In the text we find there are several ways including but not limited to:
– Wikis
– Educational websites
– Email
– Instant messenger
– Blog
– Specific educational softwares

Wikis are web pages that are created and maintained by multiple computer users but usually by teachers. Blogs are personal WebPages that are created by one user and usually updated on a regular and more constant basis. Both Blogs and wikis help with the collaboration of lesson plans and content development especially for discussions and group projects. Educational websites help to reinforce subjects and material discussed in class. Many times educational websites provide trivia, games, quizzing and multimedia that explains topics, this is helpful in reaching all different kinds of learning styles. Instant messenger enables real time communication that is immediate; this is a great tool to use for quick assessments, questions, without having to worry about the issues email usually gives way to. Specific educational softwares allow for wider ranges of collaborative learning environments where students can work together in a variety of different ways. These educational softwares provide opportunity for students who are absent or struggling behind to keep in touch and get feedback all while still being able to access the material outside of school. Also, there softwares usually have the ability to configure content and filter unwanted content. It makes it easy for faculty and students to create, discuss and manage information. If less time is spent keeping track of papers and student progress, teachers can focus on other things that will help enhance learning strategies.
In the end all collaboration tools offer individuals and groups to create an atmosphere for sharing knowledge and applying what is learned amongst an entire group that is working towards the same goal. It aids in reaching all skill levels, learning styles and social skills. It provides opportunity for all to voice an opinion and exchange ideas with one another, an essential skill to have for careers in the future. Collaborative tools help the flow of curriculum delivery and can help take productivity to new levels.
Tech Tool 8.1 : Teacher website and Blog building Resources
This tech tool provides teachers with important approaches and suggestions to creating their own websites or Blogs to share resources and communicate with their students. The three ways provided, to customize sites and Blogs are: website and blog-building software, commercially available templates and open source software. I would personally choose an open source software because it provides the most flexibility in functions and is the easiest to use.

What are intelligent tutoring systems and how can students and teachers use them successfully?

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Educational software supports and promotes problem solving and inquiry learning for students. Such tools allow for teachers to have a variety of options and outlets to engage their students to many subjects, which are often found as daunting or extraneous to them. Tutoring systems instructional opportunities that require little to no additional funding for teachers especially in math and science. Students can benefit from using these new intelligent tutoring systems because they all come with adaptable activities, track progress and enable learners to pursue information and progression individually. Most of these tutoring systems promote skills based learning and problem solving which enhances critical thinking, a skill necessary for academic success in higher-level education.

Instructional tutoring systems serve as personal tutors that review material and topics presented in alternative ways all while tracking student performance and adjusting based on the students learning needs.

Tech Tool 7.2: A Math learning game “zoombinis” logical journey.

This particular game is one of many series in this kind that is designed o teach critical thinking problem solving and mathematical learning to students in grades k-5. This is an excellent game as it incorporates logical reasoning theory building, trial and error learning and theory building they have to go through obstacles puzzles in order to move forwards through journey. The game emphasizes predominantly on observation and problem solving versus usual computation and number arithmetic. What sets this game apart from many others is the fact that it embraces making mistakes as it is part of the process necessary for students to learn from them in order to progress. In making mistakes students are able to infer what strategies work and which ones do not making it easier to understand the problem and know how to solve the following ones.  This way of learning is applicable to life far beyond the classroom. I would love to use a tool like this in my future classroom, I believe it is a great asset to add to ones curriculum as it would reinforce, engage and help students retain information in a relevant realistic way.

 

Logical Journey of the Zoombinis for Windows 3.x (1996) – MobyGames. (n.d.). The Authoritative Video Game Database – Reviews and Information – MobyGames. Retrieved October 10, 2013, from http://www.mobygames.com/game/win3x/logical-journey-of-the-zoombinis

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2011). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN:10 0-13-159611-X, ISBN:13 978-0-13-159611-5

Interactive Educational Websites

How might educational websites provide interactive and engaging learning experiences for students?

 

Our current generations of students growing up have been born into a digital world and it is only right that we are open and fluent to speaking their language, a language of social media, websites, cell-phones and iPads being the norm. This is why educational websites are crucial to implement within ones daily curriculum to provide engaging learning experiences for students in ways that are not only familiar to them but also much more stimulating than a usual lecture. In using educational websites students are able to participate in gathering information on their own while learning how to come up with their own inquisitions on what materials are relevant to the topics they are learning. Becoming more engaged in the process of finding information within itself helps to retain what one has researched far easier than being told information. In the text “Transforming learning with New Technologies” they provide sample educational websites that I found to be extremely engaging tools that one could provide as a reinforcement tool in the classroom.

With mathematics being a usual unpopular subject in school, the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) is a great website to help engage and practice mathematical skills for all grades k-12.  Within his website lies a plethora of resources for teachers and students. Many games and tutorials (both interactive) are available for students providing them with the ability to visualize how to work out math problems step by step. Like using tangible manipulatives the NLVM provides visual concepts and examples that allow students to maneuver anything with the simple click of a key or mouse. I would have loved to have more of these web-based mathematical interactions growing up! Not only does it provide students with an alternative way to practice and learn but it also provides a one-on-one tutoring session!

Another way to use educational websites is to create virtual fieldtrips and laboratories. This is an exceptional way to create a different kind of hands on learning atmosphere in a atypical setting without having to neither spend any money nor leave the classroom. The Smithsonian website includes many organized links for students, to interactive games and exhibits from all subjects, predominantly social sciences. In searching around this website I found some pretty interesting links, most of them obtaining online exhibitions and photo galleries.

Tech Tool 6.3: An interactive online field trip: The Cave of Chauvet-pont-D’Arc

This tech tool is an example of the interactive online field trips available. The “cave of chauvet-pont-D’arc” is an exhibition of Cave paintings found in France. Students can actually browse through the sight and have the opportunity to see what some of the earliest cave paintings looks like. The website allows for a virtual tour that makes you feel as though you are there! This is a great tool to use within a lesson plan dealing with learning of ancient people of the past. The site also provides various maps and options to navigate to different sections and locations within the cave where you can view the actual drawings in them. I feel students would love to explore on their own and maybe even partake in a classroom scavenger hunt with this website.

Educational websites provide endless opportunities for all students to discover and draw inference and conclusions on their own. With little guidance needed from instructors, it provides room for each teacher to monitor progress, address specific needs and create an atmosphere of interaction with material in fun alternative ways.

Resources:

Portraits of Planet Ocean: The Photography of Brian Skerry | Smithsonian Ocean Portal. (n.d.).Smithsonian Ocean Portal | Find Your Blue. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://ocean.si.edu/brian-skerry

Textbook – Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2011). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN:10 0-13-159611-X, ISBN:13 978-0-13-159611-5

The Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc. (n.d.).Accueil / http://www.culturecommunication.gouv.fr / Ministère – Ministère de la culture. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/ch