Monday, September 29, 2008

Call Me Old-Fashioned

Call me old-fashioned. When I read the first sentence "The Internet will change the way teachers teach and students learn," I was irritated. Personally, I was all about the real library with real books, encyclopedias, and sources rather than the "virtual library." HOWEVER, this chapter helped me expand my views.

I never realized how wide-scale the Internet is. Yes, I know that it is huge and you can find just about anything you want on it, but for teaching purposes, it can help a student's work grow. They are still getting the same skills (critical thinking, problem-solving, written communication, and the ability to work collaboratively). It also helps the students write effectively for an audience other than the teacher. Maybe, this would motivate the student to write more towards that audience and enjoy writing, rather than writing for the sole purpose of an assignment for the teacher. The fact that a student can correspond to a student in a different country with a possibly different view or opinion is amazing! What struck me the most was Ted Nellen's story saying "but my classes have the special-ed kids, the bilingual learners, and the visual learners...and what the Web does is provide access to the world so that my kids can fly." Considering that I hope to work with students who are not your typical AP English students.

The other thing I took from this chapter was the different templates to make a website off of. It is no longer a chore or a hard task to make a website. Fill in a couple of lines, pick an organizational type, and you can have a website. Now that they are so readily available, anyone can do it, even a teacher without and experience or a student using it for the first time.

Overall about the class, I am finding it challenging but overall a great experience. Many things that we are learning are things that I would have never even had time to experience or learn. I see so much possibility it creating these different documents for future teaching and see so many more possibilities in making a website for our next project.

chapter 9: class websites

This chapter provided a lot of great information about the importance incorporating the internet and class websites. Creating a class website provides students with access to many beneficial resources and is an easy way to exchange information. I liked how the chapter broke down the important steps of creating a website. It is important to think about classroom goals before creating a website. I also liked the emphasis on getting feedback from people viewing your website. If there is a problem with your website, people will tell you about it. Also, I thought that using the internet to edit students work and taking advantage of telementors is a powerful tool. I found the checklist for developing websites to be helpful and very relevant to the process of creating a class website. So far I have learned so much from this class. I am beginning to feel more confident about my capabilities to incorporate technology into the classroom. I am able to create an interactive excel and a powerful powerpoint. I am looking forward to learning how to create a class website and how to use smart board because I believe these are both important tools for the classroom.

class websites

I thought this chapter was very interesting because it showed me the benefits of creating a class website, as well as how easy it was to incorporate them in the classroom. This was important for me to see because I am always complaining about how I am bad with computers...this showed me that I don't have to be good with computers to do this!
This chapter discussed things like templates and predesigned formats, so that people who don't know much about computers can make websites just as easily. It makes it easy for students as well as teachers.
I also thought it brought up a good point when it said that not just advanced kids can benefit from this; special-ed kids do, too. I liked the one teacher, Nellen, who discussed how the computer is an enabling machine for them, "It can work if it is done correctly," he says, "It approaches Dewey's 'learing by doing' and Gardner's eight intelligences. This one machine allows for all of that." I think it is good to know that there is technology out there that helps special-ed kids succeed better in school.