Thursday, December 3, 2009
It was also said in the chapter that these options for managing the classroom with one computer should match your teaching style. One that I really liked was called reward time. This is for students who complete their work early. This will motivate less productive students to finish their work on time to get the reward of having computer time. I also thought that a rotating schedule works well too. Students are allowed a half hour on the computer to do educational activities, then they are responsible for handing the computer off to the next student on the list. This way, everyone gets equal time on the computer and the teacher doesn't have to intervene. The only problem I saw with this is that it may disrupt other lessons that are going on at the time. It is important for students to have quality experiences with technology, even if not much is available. These ideas on managing the classroom with one or two computers really were interesting and useful.
Using a computer as reward time is another good idea because not every student has internet or even computer access at home. Allowing students to do fun educational activities as a reward can motivate students to complete their work efficiently and on time.
Using the computers for students to complete work that they haven't finished can also be a good use of limited computer access. If there is work that students can do on the computer, it may be more efficient to have various students finish their assignment using the computer.
I think that it is unfortunate that not every classroom has more than one computer or a computer at all, but as this reading states, it is important that teachers make the best use of the equipment they have and continue to implement technology into their lessons.
The book says that if your teaching strategies seem to be working, "it is probably better to leave well enough alone." I disagree. I think that there is always room to improve, especially now that there are so many ways to include technology in a lesson.
I feel like students now-a-days are so accustomed to using technology, through video or computer games, that incorporating it into a lesson will be beneficial.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I really enjoyed working on the WebQuest activity because I feel for teaching math, it is a great way to implement group projects. It creates a chance for the students to work together as a team and really get to understand the mathematical concepts. I feel like Photostory, on the other hand, would be harder to use in a math class because the best way to learn math is to physically do the problems. I think the Photostory can be helpful in other subjects, but I find it difficult for students to really take a part in a Photostory activity.
This project was especially enjoyable to make. I had fun finding pictures on my topic and then inserting them into photostory to create a sort of slide show. Recording my voice was a little tough, since I wanted it sound right, but I eventually got it to work. While creating my photostory, I thought about how useful and beneficial something like this could be in a classroom, especially with elementary students. Photostory is a device that would be fun and hold their attention as well as be educational.
Webquest was fairly difficult. Finding the webquest and deciding which parts of it to modify was easy, but putting on the wiki site is where I hit some rough spots. Some times when I saved a page, it wouldn't save all my modifications. There were other times when I was trying to enhance the font or insert a picture, I had a hard time doing so or it would mess up the entire page. Although I little bit of a hard time with the project, I think that if done well, a webquest can be fun and educational as long as it is kept simple.
I enjoyed working on this particular assignment because it incorporated various technological resources. I had previously never created my own photostory and I now feel confident in my ability to do so and use photostory when teaching at the elementary level. I think that younger students would really enjoy an educational photostory because it presents accurate information in an engaging way. I think that photostory is a good resource because it provides students with an audio and visual learning opportunity. Overall, I liked my experience working with photostory and could see myself using it as a resource as a future teacher.
Modifying a WebQuest I found to be more challenging. It was difficult for me to find a WebQuest that I could modify and that had up to date website links. It was also challenging to choose one specific thing to focus on and alter. I think that WebQuests are a great way for students to learn via technology, but they may struggle navigating through the assignment. I tried to break down the WebQuest that I chose so that the assignment and information for students would be clearer and easily accessible. I experienced some frustrations working on wikispaces in the way in which I wanted the format, but I feel that the modifications that I made are appropriate and allow special needs students to have the same learning opportunity through technology.
I like the idea of using Photostory in the classroom, yet I still feel it will be a bit difficult to successfully incorporate them into a high school math class. I now understand how we can do it, I just have to find appropriate times to use them. I believe I would use them as an introduction to a lesson to get students intrigued, rather than as a learning tool.
WebQuest Experience: Although I would have liked to make my own WebQuest, I think that modifying an existing one was a great introduction. I now know what I don't want to do when I make my own WebQuest. I love that we were able to incorporate teaching students with learning disabilities into this class. In previous education classes, we spent time reading about learning disabilities, but not actually applying what we know. I now have a better understanding of how to teach to students who have different strengths and weaknesses. Just like PhotoStory making a WebQuest will be time consuming, but well worth it.
WebQuest: The WebQuest was also a very fun project. Finding one to modify was fun because we were exposed to all the different kinds of projects a teacher can do. There is a wide variety of Webquests that already exist, and each student in our class went about modifying them in a creative way. This project differed from the others we have done because we had to adapt the project to suit the needs of a learning disabled student. The project introduced us to different things to keep in mind when creating projects for a classroom filled with students of different abilities. It will be fun in my future classroom to create my own WebQuest, and not only modify an existent project. It was interesting to look at everyone's projects and imagine how each would work in a classroom.
WebQuest was a little bit more difficult than the past programs to use. It was frustrating to have to deal with the problems with spacing. I also had issues with the fact that I added my Graphic Organizer, but when I came back t was blank. I also had issues changing the fonts of some of my sections. For some reason, certain sections would not change, and others would change but not stay. Once I started to figure it out, it was nice to use. There is so much room to be creative with WebQuest, and it's nice to be able to put something out there so that other people can hopefully look at it.
The PhotoStory Project was a fun project. I especially enjoyed it because I was able to use my own pictures and experiences in it. Since I did a social studies lesson on California, I used the pictures from my trip with my dad two years ago. It is a lot easier to create projects when they have personal meaning to you. This software was great to use to. It was fairly easy to use, and I did not have any major problems with this project. It is nice because there are so many great features that are available for use. Adding music and recording our own information was a great addition to the project. I would definitely like to use this program again!
Concerning webquests, I think that when teachers create them, they should be a little more realistic about the questions and expectations that go along with them. I understand that is a main reason why modifications were a necessary part of this project. But it is helpful to know that webquests can be modified depending on class needs.
Both of these technologies will be very helpful in future class settings in order to help instruct and clarify information. They make learning fun and engaging, which is extremely important for any classroom.
I also thought that creating an LD webquest was an excellent learning experience. It's important to remember to break information down into steps for students so that seemingly difficult concepts can be understood. I also think that a webquest is a great way for students to learn something new while using technology. It teaches students how to search for things on the internet; which is something they will be doing quite a lot in older grades. Understanding how to navigate a website or use a search engine is important, and one of the most effective and entertaining ways to do so is to use a webquest.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Another point that I thought was very useful was the fact that in order to find a WebQuest that is suitable for students, the teachers should complete the WebQuest by him or herself. This is something so simple, but yet it is often forgotten. I definitely want to use WebQuests in my classroom, and I want to make sure that my students have every chance to learn that they can get. It is so important that the WebQuest works for every student, so adaptation is key. I remember working on my podcast project and picking a video that was presented in American Sign Language, so that if I have a student who is deaf in my classroom, they will be able to participate the same way as other students. In that respect, it is extremely important to adapt WebQuests to your students' needs. I want to teach my students the material in the most effective manner, and WebQuest provides a great opportunity for thorough teaching.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Not only will Webquests familiarize students with the internet, but they can also improve many skills involved in everyday math problems. The main advantages discussed in the chapter were improvements in problem solving, reasoning, communication, making connections, and representing the information. All five of these strategies are extremely beneficial in a math classroom and later in life.
One major thing a teacher has to keep in mind when introducing a Webquest activity is its purpose. Its intent is not to have a student go to his or her favorite search engine and blindly look for answers. It is a way to learn where to find useful, reliable information, figuring out what that information means, and how to present the results made in the requested manner. Through all of the projects we have done this semester, we all have stressed the importance on keeping the purpose in the forefront. A teacher's purpose cannot get mixed up when teaching an important concept.
I liked the fact that while using word processing students are able to find more colorful words using the thesaurus. This will help students build their vocabulary! I also am completely for keyboarding classes. The keyboarding class that I took in 5th grade was one of the most important classes that I have taken in my schooling career. So many of what we do is on the computer, involving typing; it is crucial that we learn at an elementary level the proper fingering etc. for typing!
I also liked the creative word processing activities planned in this chapter. I really liked the hundreds chart idea where the students use a table to create a reference tool for math. Field trip reports, research reports, and virtual e-mails were all great ideas for the classroom as well. Using word processing to write poems is also a great idea. It's a great way to help students creatively present their poems. It also helps students grasp the ideas of using images in word processing.
In general, I thought this chapter was very helpful and I agreed with most of what was said. The Computer Apps. courses that I took in high school have been very helpful over the years and I would have loved to have the chance to learn more about word processing programs at a younger age.
This Chapter also brings up the issue of typing and just how early students should learn proper typing techniques. According to this chapter, it is commonly disagreed on when students should be introduced to typing. Some argue it should be taught as early as kindergarten and others say as late as junior high. I think that learning it the earlier the better. Like the previous chapter on technology, we know that technology is such a large part of education these days and it is only becoming more prominent. I think that if students are introduced to it early on, they will have an easier time adapting to the constant changes. I also think that the programs students can use on the computer are fun and educational. On the other hand, I also find it vital that students know and learn the importance of handwriting. There are a lot of situations in life that require hand written material. I think that a good balance of teaching handwriting skills and typing/word processing skills is optimal for a classroom.
This chapter gave an example of using a WebQuest to link math and basketball. Students had to collect data on offense, defense, and win-loss records of teams. Then, the students represented the collected data in bar graphs. After this, the students used reasoning to find the link between offense, defense, and win-loss records. So not only did the teacher incorporate a fun topic into the classroom, but also the teacher presented the students with problem solving, connections, representation, and reasoning. And all this was done through a WebQuest.
I hope I can make WebQuests for each topic I teach because it ensures that students are actively involved in learning.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I think that introducing & using word processing at a young age could be extremely helpful for students as long as they have knowledge about how to type. As chapter 7 addressed, students' ability to type will greatly affect the success of word processing within the classroom. The question is when is the appropriate age to teach & enforce keyboarding? Many teachers & parents have varrying opinions which creates inconsistancy within a school. I think that if the school or district as a whole could discuss this matter & make a decision as to when students should learn keyboarding, then word processing could be used to its fullest potential.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
At first, I wondered why it would be more beneficial for a child to use a computer to draw rather than doing it by hand. In the book, it mentions that students need to learn how to manipulate a mouse and keyboard. It is also mentioned that the computer can motivate some students more than a box of crayons can. It would also be helpful for non-literate students to express themselves through drawings.
I do like the idea of children using this software and expressing themselves through it, but I don't think I would rely on it. I still feel like hand made drawings, especially for younger elementary students, would be the better option. As the students get older, the software would help when designing diagrams of the water cycle or drawings of habitats. I also feel like younger students, such as kindergarteners, would like the idea of actually using crayons and markers as opposed to a computer program. I wouldn't mind using a computer program as a tool, but I would not rely on it.
Monday, November 2, 2009
After reading Chapter 6, I found that my mind was a little changed in regards to using computer paint programs in the classroom. I definitely agree that they are an excellent tool in teaching younger children that the computer is not just a toy, it is useful! I also agree that drawing projects can help the student practice manipulating a mouse; improving his or her motor skills. Our society is turning "totally technological" and I think it's great that programs, such as the ones discussed in the chapter, are helping to prepare students for the future. Yet I still just can't help but to think that art projects that aren't computer generated have a certain charm to them that can't really be replaced. Even after reading the chapter it's still hard for me to think that diagrams/pictures/drawings are better when they're computer generated.
As a teacher I will definitely be using the programs mentioned in this chapter ---- I just will not use them all the time. When my siblings show me their art projects from school, they are all "comptuer-ized". They have barely gotten to experience making a home made project. I understand that creating something on the computer is its own type of art, I just think that in elementary schools today, it can become overused - I've watched it with my brothers and sisters.
I think that all of these reasons are excellent and support the idea that technology is a necessary component of any mathematics classroom. As long as technology is not abused or solely relied upon, but rather implemented as one or all of these tools, it can only benefit the students and teachers who use it. I agree with the statement on page 289, "Equally essential is that we use technology thoughtfully... so that we are not merely implementing technology for the sake of technology itself."
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Since technology is becoming more prevalent in today's society, it is important to expose your students to new forms of technology so they can become comfortable with it. If your students leave without a proper knowledge of technology as well as mathematics (or whatever the subject may be), then they will have more difficulty down the road when all of their peers have been exposed to a certain technology and they have never even heard of it. In order to avoid that situation, it is important to incorporate technology that can be helpful for them in the real world. By showing the class simple manipulations in data using graphs and tables and letting the students explore the data as well, then they can learn both mathematics and technology. Using technology is such a great way for students to visualize the information and really get their hands dirty in the content.
There are numerous reasons for why teachers should use drawing programs in their elementary classroooms. A few that the book discuss are that computers are an integral tool of the classroom and students need to learn how to manipulate a mouse and keyboard, the computer can motivate some students, and they can help disabled students (non-literate students) to demonstrate their knowledge. This chapter provided great reasons why these programs are useful and examples of computer drawing projects that would be beneficial to use in the classroom, however my concern would be when there would be time to do these things.
While working in elementary classrooms it has become more apparent that time goes by quickly. Teachers barely have enough time during the day to cover core subject areas such as science and social studies. Also, not every classroom in every school has enough computers for every student, so again it could be difficult to use drawing computer programs. I think that using these programs in elementary classrooms could be beneficial and enhance some learning, but finding the time, space, and materials to make it all work may be difficult.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This chapter focuses on the learning experiences children can gain from drawing. Kids can be asked to draw the life cycle of a plant, or the different seasons, and in this way they are having fun and learning at the same time. Through the use of the computer, kids are introduced to technology at an early age, which will bode well for them in the future considering the increasing amount of technology used every day both in the home and at school. So not only are children learning about a certain subject, but advancing technologically all while having fun!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Technology can be used as a management tool because it helps teachers and students work together. Some examples of using technology as a management tool include internet home pages including activities, review, and lesson plans. Other resources include grade-book programs, spreadsheets, and databases intended to help teachers organize and prepare daily activities.
Next, technology can be used as a communication tool because it allows teachers to share ideas with one another. In the last chapter we learned that there are podcasts set up in which teachers can share lesson plans with each other. This is one way technology can be a communication tool. Also, teachers can communicate with parents and students at home through web pages (like the wikis we are creating).
Technology can also be used as an evaluation tool because teachers can use video observations or grading software to give their students feedback on assignments. Personally, I don't know if I would make video observations for each of my students, but you never know.
Lastly, technology can be used as a cognitive tool. Technology, if used correctly, can provide ways for students to understand mathematical concepts more clearly. Technology usually lends itself to hands-on-activities, which is a great way for students to fully understand "mathematical algorithms, procedures, concepts, and problem-solving situations" (280).
Who would have thought that technology could play so many roles in a mathematics classroom? As a management, communication, evaluation, motivation, and cognitive tool, it is clear that technology is a must have in the classroom.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
When I was in high school, not too many of my teachers used technology in the classroom to express ideas; however, the few who did are memorable. Concepts are embedded in my memory better when I have seen them or heard them in different words than the familiar manner of my teacher. The greater variety of ways teachers can express information, the more able different types of learners are to absorbing the information.
I enjoyed finding the video podcasts because I think having a visual while hearing the information helps young students to make the connection between the facts and the subject. National Geographic video podcasts are excellent resources that could be played for the entire class or in small groups.
The podcasts that I found for science were accurate and I could see myself using them in the classroom to help incorporate science and technology.
I also think podcasts are a great way to introduce young learners to technology. They will be working with audio, visuals, videos, and other sources of media. Teachers could easily use podcasts to no only make subjects more interesting, but also introduce the technology aspect. For example, I observed in a sixth grade class at BJHS last year and they listened to news podcasts every morning. They then had a chance to use their computers to make their own news photo story podcasts. The students took a lot from the activity; they were able to creatively work together!
I will definitely be using podcasts in my classroom, just for the simple fact that it is a stimulating way to teach a lesson. The technology aspect helps too :)
Podcasts/videos are also great because they can be shared with so many people. It is harder to distribute books and other things, but the use of the internet makes things available at that instant. A teacher could make a video in another country, and I could have it in a matter of seconds.
Podcasts/videos are good because they resemble something that many students enjoy, television. If we start to get students interested in positive forms of entertainment, they may be more inclined to want to learn. For example, if I showed a SchoolHouse Rock music video, the students would probably be more likely to remember the information as opposed to me just telling them what they need to know. Another example is the use of the video in which Darth Vader explains math concepts. Children who like Star Wars will be interested, and will probably be more receptive to the lesson.
You can use podcasts as an alternate form of teaching. Instead of boring your students through writing on the board every day, you can play videos to keep students interested. Some of the podcasts I found also provide interactive activities. Math podcasts often provide examples where students are expected to solve them and then continue the video to see if they answered correctly. Like I mentioned before, podcasts can be used in the classroom and then be made available to students at home so that they can relearn the material. If a student needs further explanation, they can consult the podcast. Also, if a student misses class, they can watch the podcast or video and have a better understanding of the topics.
I would use podcasts in my classroom to demonstrate new English concepts as well as reiterating material. However, there is a new challenge that is brought up by podcasts. Teachers may have a student who is deaf, and therefore they are not able to hear the podcasts or the audio for the videos. Therefore it is important to make sure that they feel as though they are included. I included one video where a woman is explaining English concepts through American Sign Language. This would help the student understand the same concepts as the other students in the class were getting through regular audio podcasts. It is important to think of all possible situations when coming up with new ideas for the classroom.
I believe that even math teachers can benefit greatly from using podcasts in a classroom. It is a unique way to introduce a subject to students in a fun way. Probing students with questions to answer while listening to a podcast increases their listening skills: something helpful in all subject areas. Intructional videos are great for math because if a student is struggling or misses class, there are many resources for them to watch and learn what they missed. Finally, I believe that podcasts or videos of catchy songs are particularly beneficial for math since there is necessary memorization that is difficult for some students.
Podcasts can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom and at home by the students. The students can review a topic after it was just introduced earlier that day, when struggling with homework, or to review for a test. Parents of the students can also watch and listen to podcasts with their children so they can help with the homework assignment. Another way to use podcasts in the classroom would be to have students create their own to share with the class. When a student is assigned to teach a topic, they are forced to become very familiar and confident with it.
This project has allowed me to realize how many different multimedia tools are available out there to help me teach math in a classroom someday. After all, I have always found that one is far more likely to remember and work hard at a topic which he or she enjoys. Videos and podcasts definitely help in that area.
In a classroom, I would probably use a podcast or video to introduce a topic or just for a fun change of pace. I would use it to spark conversation and pose questions about the topics presented and get students excited about the subject concerned.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
A lot of this chapter talks about incorporating the internet into our lessons, but what interested me the most in this chapter were the forums that teachers can use to share ideas with each other.
The Inquiry Learning Forum, ILF, is one of the websites included in our reading. The ILF is just one of many websites that uses video to improve "students' learning in mathematics and science by supporting teachers in better understanding inquiry-based teaching and learning" (255). I found it interesting that there are forums to teach teachers. Instead of using videos to teach a class, which I believe are very effective, one can also use videos to help teach teachers.
I am not a member of the forum, so I don't know the exact layout of the website, but our book told us a little about the forum. One cool aspect of this website is that it allows teachers to post videos of their lessons and links to their lesson plans. This will aid teachers who may need help coming up with a lesson plan for a specific topic. Teachers should not be required to know exactly how to teach every single topic, so by having forums such as the ILF, teachers can ensure that each of their lessons are sound. By using this website, teachers can share ideas and lessons and enhance their classroom. Teachers can be resourceful and collaborative--which is SO important.
Monday, October 19, 2009
One resource that really stood out to me was the use of digital cameras with elementary students. These cameras can be used in field trips. In the reading, the author mentions that photos taken by students are much different than photos taken by teachers. Teachers tend to take action shots of the students, while the students take photos of their new learnings. Teachers can assess these photos to see what a student learned during a field trip. Then, the students can use these photos to create a slideshow or a collage of their trip. I noticed in my field study that the cooperating teacher allowed her second graders to take photos during their field trip to the zoo. Then, they hung their photos up on the wall in the hallway.
Another resource that I liked was blogging. Blogging can be used to continue classroom discussions. Blogging also may guarantee that all of the students can be heard. In the classroom, shyer students may be overshadowed by more outgoing students who dominate conversations. Blogging can show opinions of these students that may have gone unheard in the classroom. The only problem with blogging is that some students may not have computer access at home. In that case, the blogging should be done during school hours on school computers rather than as a homework assignment.
Once again, I had never thought to use such technology in the elementary classroom. I can see now how using these can greatly benefit the students and only enhance their learning.
I liked how the book introduced some great websites that students can use to understand the curriculum better. While beginning to read this chapter, I thought that I wouldn't like the idea of letting a computer screen teach students important concepts. Yet I remembered the computer game Treasure Math Storm that I used to play when I was little (everyyy day). The game taught me how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide better than my teacher could at times. It was entertaining, at MY pace, and fun.
I also liked the idea of blogging for elementary grades. It's just an electronic journal! They are journaling, only on the computer. It's so helpful because in the future they will be "journaling" mostly on nothing but the computer. Almost everything they write will be on the computer - it already is like that today.
Using digital cameras in the class is an excellent way to use technology. I will definitely be using them to help reach all the different types of learners in my class. The students will also be excited to be using such "grown up" tools that they will be more enthusiastic about the lesson :)
I think that introducing different internet resources to students at a young age will familiarize them with technology and can enhance some learning skills. This chapter describes how some sites often address basic reading and math skills such as alphabet order, number sense, phonics, and arithmetic operations. I thought that this chapter provided a lot of useful examples of website resources that teachers could use, including virtual manipulatives. In general, I think that manipulatives are an excellent way for students to learn and grasp concepts, but I agree that these virtual manipulatives can give students more freedom to experiment using different objects.
I believe that e-mail and blogging can be a fun and easy way for students to communicate with one another and the teacher. However, as chapter 12 stated, this may not be the best option because not every student has access to a computer with an internet connection.
The idea of getting some digital cameras for the classroom can be extremely beneficial. Cameras can be used for students to take immediate pictures of their observations during field trips or class nature walks. Then, the pictures that they took can be uploading on a classroom computer screen to review what different classmates had learned. I believe that all of these different technologies can be introduced to early elementary students to enhance their learning and become familiar with technological advancements.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
The idea of using technology in the Elementary classroom is great. Learning at a young age will help the students in the future. I had never thought about using blogs in the Elementary classroom, but it really does seem like a great idea. Everyone can get their ideas out, and it's a much better way to communicate outside of the classroom. Blogging is something that I never did before college, and I really think that I missed out by not using it before. It opens up so many different worlds that are not readily available.
Email is another valuable resource for the classroom. The statement about teachers being able to only send it to certain students really stuck out to me. We all know that students are at different levels in the classroom, and it would be nice to put students in different groups and have them working on different projects. The age of technology really helps to get each student involved and have his/her ideas heard.
Bookmarks are another very valuable resource. I never thought about the fact that each time you want to add a bookmark, it would take hours to add it to each individual computer. The websites that help organize these are a great idea. All of these websites are very helpful, and it's nice that they are available for everyone to use.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
While I was shadowing, I actually witnessed a teacher using the smartboard to better enhance writing skills. She had placed sentences in to a table and then used the tools of the smartboard to point out sentence structure and sentence errors and corrections. It proved very helpful and the children in the classroom had fun while learning.
It is important for teachers to keep up with not only the new and different ways to teach writing skills, but how to teach these writing skills, for the skills and technology keep evolving.
I thought it was very interesting reading about how schools are using computer software to help students organize their thoughts. The color coding of all of the components of a well written paragraph also struck me as a good idea. I can remember writing journal entries everyday in first through fourth grade. We also color coded our entries, but with highlighers. Word processors can make this process much easier and quicker. This is very helpful because it helps student realize where they can make improvements in their writing and whether it is organized well. It was also interesting to read about the text to table conversion. Students can convert their paragraphs to one-column tables where each sentence has its own cell. This seems like a very effective way for students to learn. Students can assess their writing even further and add more sentences whenever they feel necessary in a new column.
This reading really opened my eyes to new ways of using technology in the classroom. I had never even thought of using word processors as a way to improve the organizational skills of childrens' writing.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
In grade school, we broke down sentences using different color chalk on the board, yet after reading Chapter 8 I found that word processing programs can do the same thing - only faster and easier. I also loved that the chapter included other programs that help with pre-writing or brainstorming. Those programs alone would be enough to convince me that technology can improve the writing skills of small children.
I took a math class (that I will keep anonymous) at Wesleyan and really could not apply the topics to anything that I had previously learned. Furthermore, I could not see how the concepts would be applied to life outside the classroom and to this day I can honestly not tell you one topic we learned that semester. However, I took managerial accounting last year and was able to directly apply what we learned in that class to my job this past summer. I remember a lot more from that class and will be able to use the information in the future. I actively engaged in experiences that deepened my understanding of the subject.
Math is a little harder to connect to the real world than business, which is why this Illuminations website, and others like it, are so beneficial in a classroom. By applying the concepts to something that interests a student (like a summer job), the student is then more able to understand and grasp those concepts.
Different writing computer softwares can help students to form and distinguish their writing skills through color coding and text to table conversion. As this chapter describes, converting the text sentences into a table helps young students to evaluate and revise their thoughts. These strategies can help the teachers stress the importance of revising your work in order to make it the best. I think that computer writing softwares can be beneficial in an elementary classroom because they would help to make ideas clearer and well-developed. I don't think that teachers should entirely depend on these softwares to improve their students' writing skills, but they would be useful in cleaning them up after the skills have been taught. It's important to create a strong writing foundation for students at an early age because writing is a way of communication and assessment.
The most important point that I took from this chapter was that the teachers should continue to learn along with the students. I know that the saying goes, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," but as a teacher, who wants to be classified as an "old dog"? It is vital for teachers to stay on top of the incoming forms of technology and how to incorporate it into the classroom. With technological forms such as Illuminations, it becomes quite easy for students to incorporate technology within the classroom. I believe that it is important for teachers to always search for new ways to become better teachers. By incorporating programs, or in this case websites, into your teaching style, you will be using a new way to engage your students and therefore finding a way to become a better teacher.
For these reasons alone, I find it extremely beneficial for a teacher to use websites within the classrooms. By learning about Illuminations, I realize how wikis sites can be advantageous. They provide ways for students to remain engaged in the content and an easy way for teachers to provide feedback to the students. By using technology within the classroom, teachers are able to create connections with their students and focus on what the needs are for each student.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
As I read this chapter, I thought about how effective a wikis site could be. If teachers can stay in touch, give feedback to one another about different lessons, upload lesson plans that were successful, and share activities that were effective, a wikis site could have great potential.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I felt that the smartboard session outside of class was extremely helpful. That taught me and allowed me to explore more of the uses of the smartboard. I really enjoyed this session and believe that it will be useful in my future teaching career.
The board also allows to touch on all different learning styles. You are able to satisfy the needs of visual learners, hands-on learners, music, art, etc!
Luckily, it seems that the creators of the notebook software are already aware of this because when we went to CLA, Professor Nillas showed us the updated software which has more mathematic options. I hope that the new features will help me be able to use the Smart Boards to their optimal capacity.
I hope that I am privileged to work at a school that has smart board technology because I feel that only lots of practice can help a teacher make lessons for students to reach the optimum benefits of it. I have learned that any subject can be taught using this, and I hope to be creative enough to find ways in order to do so. It is definitely possible using the smart board.
I also think that this is very important because it is such an engaging technology. Even I, as a college student, am in awe of the applications contained in the smart notebook. I can't even imagine how active students will become in learning if they have access to a tool such as this one.
I am very happy with how my project turned out. After looking at others' projects, I now have even more ideas on how to use SmartBoard in my future classroom. SmartBoard is a great way to incorporate technology in the classroom and engage students in the lesson instead of simply talking to them. I think this will be a great way to keep students, especially teenagers, more focused.
I feel that Smart Notebook is a great way to introduce a new topic in class and allow the students to have a hands on way to learn new material. Visualizing new concepts will hopefully help the students actually understand the information and retain it better as well. Another advantage to the Smart Notebook is the wide variety of ways a lesson can be taught. No two projects within our class are even close to the same. We all used different tools and activities to express new information. Creativity is key when working with the Smart Notebook. I hope that Smart Boards are available wherever I end up teaching because I think it can really enhance a student's learning experience.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I like that it is stated on page 223 that Illuminations has been designed with the idea in mind that student motivation is a main factor towards successful teaching. It actively engages students into the content by integrating all of it with modern technology. After all, with all of the vast knowledge available on the internet, a program like this can help to gather valuable online information easily.
A feature of Illuminations that I found interesting to read about was the Guiding Questions, which helped teachers "consider types of questions that would help focus students' attention on making sense of the mathematical concepts and the skills and applications associated with those concepts" (p.239). The choice of questions, or even how one phrases it, can make the difference for a student's understanding. Furthermore, I thought that the reflection activities were very applicable to Wesleyan student teachers especially, as reflection is an integral part of our framework.