Sunday, September 30, 2007
So that is my frustration of the week when it comes to the wikipspace...not to mention the idea of every one having access to it...I just don't see how it is beneficial for a collaborative group of young adults to do one web-page works. I just feel that we could have learned how to change the web page but really wrote our analysis of other websites on our blog. I am just tired of my work being erased...oh well.
However, I did like navigating through those websites that were given to us. I can tell a lot better what is a more developed and scholarly website than a fun/mediocre one. That is all for now...
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
However I was a little frustrated while using the class website today. I know it's because everyone was trying to load things at the same time, but it seemed really inconvenient to create a project that is collaborative and independent. I was frustrated when I would save something and override something that someone in my group had just published. It seemed very counter productive to me. And as far as the project being collaborative, I feel like we divvied up the tasks and then split, that is not working collaboratively to me, it is quite the opposite. I think it is useful to create a page with reviewed websites that are relevant to my content area, but I feel like there are some better websites out there than the ones that I reviewed. I look forward to seeing the final product of this project because hopefully it will create a list of helpful and unhelpful websites.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
However, I do enjoy the online tutorials offered to give and refresh new ideas when it comes to PowerPoint, I just wish that we had more time in class to go over newer ways to enhance our projects. I have a difficult time straying away from linear/symmetric projects because I am kinda OCD about that. However, I am enjoying the concept of preparing a unique presentation.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I can see the benefits of doing some things with powerpoint, especially when lecturing to a large number of people, but for a small classroom, one that is trying to be more interactive, I have my doubts. I know that powerpoint can be a great asset to an English classroom or maybe even a Spanish classroom, but I have trouble seeing it for a math classroom. I could just not be seeing the creativity, which is quite possible, but I hope to be able to change my mind about powerpoint as we continue with these projects.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I was also more familiar with the Psychology programs for gathering and organizing data, so Excel was apparently too much for me to handle this week. =/
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
My project for Tuesday deals with interactive graphs. I can definitely see that function being helpful to further my students understanding of the effects slope and intercept have on the visual representation. Graphs are extremely important and if students do not understand how they are formed then they will not get the full concept. I know there are plenty more tools like interactive graphs that Excel has to offer. I hope we go over some more in class on Tuesday.
So at my high school at home, the district went to putting all grades online so that parents can check them whenever. I have mixed feelings about it. I think it is a great way for parents to be involved in a child's education, however, I feel like some respect or trust was lost between the teacher and student. I feel like too many parents will become "addicted" to checking up on their children instead of letting them try to get through high school on their own. My mom is checking my brother's grades to make sure he is doing well and it just makes me think. Like I said, I have mixed feelings on the idea.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
However, learning about all these forms of Word is beneficial because knowing and understanding the product, you can then decide which program will benefit what you wish to teach. I had never really used Excel before and I enjoyed the interactive choices to have students involved in the lesson. I don't know if I was the only one, but it had been a while since I had learned anything about Excel and it is always nice to have a refreshing view of programs.
I was talking to my mom about my friend student teaching right now. My friend mentioned that many of the teachers she went to high school with didn't enjoy student teachers. My mom was shocked (being a fellow educator) and said that she loved having student teachers in her classroom because it is refreshing and keeps lessons from becoming stagnant. She especially looks forward to learning new ways to incorporate technology because it has advanced so much at universities compared to public high schools. I didn't really ever think that the tools we learn in college not only benefit our ability to incorporate technology in the classroom but maybe help teach new uses of technology to our cooperating teachers in the field. With such a rapid increase in the use of technical based projects, it is good to always be refreshed in the field.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I also took some time to explore other tools and options in word to refresh my memory. For example, I used to have a hard time with adding columns, or text and pictures. It is definitely important that as teachers we are more than familiar with Word because this is a key program for writing. Most likely, Word will continue to develop and add new features that we must continue to learn. We need to make sure that we attend technolgoy workshops as teachers so that we can stay updated. My mom is a teacher and she is constantly trying to stay knowledgeable with Word and other technologies, but her knowledge and familiarity are no where near younger teachers because she did not grow up around these technologies. We have to be prepared for all other tools and programs that our future students will be growing up with.
Monday, September 10, 2007
So, while thinking about my problems that I have with technology it reminds me what problems some students may have with certain assignments, ideas, or projects if they are not used to the concepts or practices. I am just used to doing many things by hand or hard copied that I sometimes forget the benefits of a web-based world. Maybe I just have to get used to the demands of technologically advanced professors and keep in mind of all the user names, passwords, shortcuts, web pages, links, and many other things. Sometimes having a problem of ones own helps in the long run because I will always be reminded of struggles that some people may have when it comes to the concept of using certain kinds of technology.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
On the other hand, I really enjoyed learning about the electronic editing. I have had professors here at IWU use that feature while editing my papers and I really like it. I think it is neater, and it ensures that I am able to read their comments without difficulty. I can truly see myself using this in the classroom. Especially because I will inevitably be reading many papers and editing for my students as an English teacher. As our professor said during class, it is much easier to edit on the computer than it would be to carry a lot of papers home and edit them by hand. The only flaw in this plan is if I work in a school or district where students don't always have access to computers. If that is the case I'm sure I will be able to figure something out. But, I look forward to making good use of electronic editing. I think this class will offer many useful new features and tips that will be very useful to me in the future.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
One of my classmates in another education course made a comment that got me thinking. She said that basic math isn’t as important as it used to be because students of all ages have calculators available to them. She proceeded to say that she would much rather just give her students calculators and have time to teach them other things, than concentrate on simple math which they don’t really need to know.
I completely disagree. Even though, calculators will most likely always be available, it is still important that everyone be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide when they have to. Just like people are expected to be able to read and write, they should know simple math. Not to mention that math is a very vertical subject. If you want to do any kind of higher computation, you must know the basics. I think calculators are a great tool to make things easier AFTER you have learned the math, not in place of it.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Monday, September 3, 2007
While browsing many databases for articles about instituting technology in the classroom I found it more difficult to find information about integrating literature with the use of technology. Looking back into my education path, I have never had a class establish a use of technology in any language art classrooms. I feel there is much that a teacher could do to incorporate the advances in technology.
While reading an article called “Integrating Literature and the Arts into Technology-Based Instruction: A New Model for Educators” the author even states, “…the importance of reaching students using all the paths to learning, regardless of the curriculum standards that are in place. While technology is certainly a tool to help students master content, it also offers higher-level experiences that allow students to apply their learning in meaningful ways”.
I found this quote moving because I think some educators forget that technology can enhance a students ability to apply themselves in that subject matter. Most students are aware of the information they can obtain from the uses of technology, however I feel that teachers underestimate the ability students have in furthering their education by applying it through the use of technology.
I remember working with my seventh grade classroom last year and the teacher incorporated the use of video. She had her class divide into teams and had them create a project in reference to a book they read. The only requirement was to use the video camera and the editing skills they learned to do the project. This allowed the students to develop their own understanding of the book and further their education by producing something rather original. This also incorporated another form of learning; which was a change of pace from the typical book report.
It is important though to recognize that some classrooms do not have all the opportunities as others when it comes to the use of technology. I know that my small rural school did not even have a computer lab until I was a sophomore in high school. This is when teachers need to get creative in how they use the resources available, but still is possible to help students use their own resources to not only incorporate technology in their education but apply what they have learned in new ways.
Just some thoughts…
The problem that I have seen with technology in the classroom from both the teacher and student perspective is that sometimes technology can be overused. Constantly using power points instead of lecturing will cause students to become tired and bored with the power point technology. Also, focus is often directed away from the lesson and onto the specific technology that is being used in the lesson. For instance, if a teacher played music from the Civil War to help create an 1860 American aesthetic, students could become more interested in what is on the ipod rather than the reason for using the ipod: to establish the 1860 atmosphere.
The solution to focus problems are simple: enforce strict rules when applying technology and do not overuse it. This will make sure students focus on the lesson rather than the technology. It will also assure that the reason for using technology, to enhance the lesson, is maintained.
“Technology-Based Math Curriculums” is about how a high school in Pennsylvania collaborated with a local university to create a computer program called Cognitive Tutor to assist in math lessons. The high school teachers and university professors each used their own observations and ideas as to help create the program.
Based on what I read, I think that using such a computer program to aide and foster the learning of mathematics is more than just appropriate, but a superb idea. The article mentioned how the program uses real world problems that students will encounter in the work world. I think that this is important because, as the article also mentioned, students, who are tired of contrived problems, are much more interested in calculating the life span of a threatened rain forest, or how many trips a Medevac helicopter can make on a set budget, than in solving meaningless equations with no context. Furthermore, the program also presents problems in such a way that the students have solid numbers for their starting point, but do not know the ending point, instead of starting from an unknown point to reach a known goal. This is because the researchers at the university believed that students were more successful in solving problems in which they had solid numbers for their starting point. As it turns out, the word problems were easier, and students were more comfortable knowing their starting point.
I also thought it was very advantageous that the Cognitive Tutor was programmed to build a profile of the learning patterns of its users. The program tracks a student’s learning style and pinpoints flaws in reasoning. As mistakes are made, the computer gives the student clues for rethinking the problem so that he or she can get back on track. However, if a student still cannot solve a particular problem, the Cognitive Tutor does not simply tell the student the correct answer. Herein lies where the teacher comes into play. The student must ask for extra help from the teacher in order to solve the problem. I think that this component of the computer program is very important. The teacher must still be involved in the process; we do not want technology to completely replace the role of the teacher because then it would get too impersonal. However, I think it is great that a computer can provide such individual attention to each student. That is one of the difficulties that teachers face, especially now as class sizes continue to grow.
I would definitely like to see this computer program at work, not because I doubt it, but rather because I’m sure that there were plenty of details left out of this article. I have always been a big fan of integrating technology into the classroom, especially considering the fact that technology has become such a big part of our everyday lives. However, I think that teachers who do use technology like the Cognitive Tutor in their classrooms need to remember to not solely rely on the technology to do all of the teaching. I don’t think that anything can ever replace the personal teaching that comes from an actual human being. As we get more and more technological developments to aide in the learning process, teachers need to integrate those technologies while still remembering that they are the teachers and at the end of the day, they are responsible for what their students will learn.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
In conclusion, these two teachers have found that by blending technology and Spanish the students have created outstanding work. The students are motivated to learn when these two disciplines are combined because they feel that they are accomplishing a lot by combining two subjects into one. The teacher, too, can benefit from combining technology and their subject matter because it allows for professional teamwork among different departments.
I highly recommend this article for everyone in our class because the examples provided are easily applicable to all subjects. This article is easy to read and understand. It offers simple and sensible suggestions in how to incorporate technology into the classroom.