Friday, October 2, 2009

Illuminating Math

This chapter discussed how to connect the teaching/learning of mathematics with the internet. Specifically, the chapter focused on a website called Illuminations. This website is very interactive and has a wide range of resources for students and teachers alike. I found the goals of the website very intriguing. They mention that an important factor of learning is the motivation of the students. Thus, the activities on the site are designed to help students make the math their own. 

Another point that was stressed in this chapter is challenging the teacher to learn as well. All too often I believe that once a teacher finds a style of teaching that works for them, they give up on welcoming fresh ideas. The opportunities on Illuminations makes it easy for teachers to incorporate technology into their teaching. The website also give suggestions that will help teachers ask the type of questions that will get students to think further. Resources on this website probe teachers to reflect on the practice of teaching and investigate further ways to engage students. In so many ways, this website encourages teachers to learn more and become better teachers. For these reasons, I think this site is a huge success. But it doesn't stop here. I believe sites like our wikis will help in our teaching. We will be able to connect our students together and provide them easy access to websites such as Illuminations. 

Creating Websites in English Classrooms

After reading Chapter 9 of the Technology book for English classrooms, I now have a much better understanding of why websites are so useful. The most important thing about using websites in English classes is that they create a wonderful creative outlet for students. One aspect of websites that is often overlooked is the fact that they have to be written properly because of the availability to the world. Having students publish their writing online allows them to interact with students all over the world.

In addition to publishing writing, using websites allows students to use multimedia to accompany the writing in ways that they would not be able to use otherwise. I love the idea of using a website to help bring my class together. There are so many ways to create assignments around websites. I would love to have my students put their writing on the website and then be able to edit and comment on each other's work before they turn in a final draft. I think that it would be a great way for them to help each other without getting really embarrassed by having people read their work right in front of them. I would do anything to help my students become more comfortable sharing their work, whether that be in person or online.