Sunday, September 28, 2008

Using the Web

I am just amazed at technology these days. Am I seriously reading about a class website? This is crazy to me since in my school days this was unheard. This chapter makes the web seem so easy and beneficial too.

Easy: Anyone can use it and most people are familiar with the basic tools of the computer anyway. You could use ADDIE or Myschoolonline.com and it will guide you on how to create a website.

Beneficial: I really like the idea that students could incorporate mulitimedia tools in to their writings by using the web. Teachers could also test their students online by using Quia.com. With this website teachers could create interactive quizzes and then the results would be posted immediately-I thought that was so neat.

I really enjoyed reading the story about Ted Nellen and how he felt like people would benefit from posting their writings online because other people would be able to read the work. Most people write just so their information and opinions can be read. A class website provides the perfect opportunity for those students.

I just cannot believe I went from knowing the basics of word, excel, and the internet, and am now learning things I never knew existed. A class website seems really interesting and beneficial, but I don't even know the first step to creating one. So I'm anxious to see what I'll learn next.

Websites and Reflections

As the beginning of this chapter says, "the Internet is, at its heart, a community (89)." I completely agree with this statement. Although many of us may not want to admit it, we rely heavily on the Internet for communication with the people in our lives. I know that I spend massive amounts of time on Facebook catching up with my friends at different colleges. Well, someday the students that we teach are going to be using networking sites like Facebook too. I believe it is important to start out early with incorporating the Internet into our curriculum.

One great way to do this is by creating a class website. We are all on the Internet so much as it is, why not make it part of our homework? A class website can allow teachers to stay organized and have the students constantly know what is going on in the classroom. I know there are times when I have to do a certain project for a class and I wish I had some resources and help from my teachers. Well, a class website would be able to have these resources readily available to students. Also, a class website could cut down on the paper usage in classrooms and benefit the environment as well.

There are often times when I am sitting in classes trying to think about how I would personally make that class more exciting. Up until I took this course, I was unsure of how I would do that. But now that I am experimenting with different forms of technology, I realize that is quite simple to make lesson plans more interactive and entertaining for students. I have enjoyed learning about the possibilities of PowerPoint, and I even learned a few things from my classmates during the presentations. I honestly can't wait until I start implementing all of these ideas into my own classroom.

The Possibilities of Websites and Reflection on PowerPoint

As a future high school English teacher, I found this week's reading especially interesting and useful.  Going through high school with the use of the internet myself, I know how helpful it can be for the student.  This chapter expanded on and emphasized the numerous possibilities the internet provides to really aid in the classroom and the learning process as a whole.  

By creating a classroom website, a teacher can really show his/her students what all is available to them literally at their fingertips.  As we learned in putting together our PowerPoint presentations last week, there are so many resources out there - you just have to know where/how to look for them.  By finding some of the better resources and putting them together in one place, a teacher can illustrate the power of the internet to his/her students without the frustration they may feel if they are looking on their own (at least at first).

The text also emphasized how a website can be a great place for students to post their writing.  I definitely agree that some students have more motivation to write to the best of their ability when they are writing for a real audience.  Also, I know for me, there have been some instances when posting a blog (and reading other posts) on a course website has forced me to think more critically about something or see something in a way than I might not have otherwise.  

This course has already taught me so much about the possibilities of technology in the classroom.  In doing the multimedia presentation especially, I have begun to see how even though I knew the basics before, I now can bring something completely different into a classroom - something that is interactive and hopefully will be able to reach students on a deeper level.  I think learning to create my own classroom website will be especially helpful.  Even though there is a lot on the internet that is far from educational, teaching students the right way to use the internet is definitely worthwhile.