Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chapter 7 - English

This chapter presented several good ideas about how to use WebQuests in an English classroom. I have never used WebQuest in any of my classes as far as I know, and so this was a whole new type of technology to explore. English presents many different opportunities for using WebQuest in the classroom. It reminded me a little bit of the Excel projects that we did, because there were several ideas about how to present new material to students. I would love to use this technology to help my students understand literary terms and concepts. Those are quite often looked over by teachers in the classroom, or quickly gone over. Therefore it would be a great advantage to students to be able to have another way of learning the material outside of the classroom.

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.

Chapter 7: Word Processing

This chapter was another very helpful one. There were lots of suggestions for fun activities in the classroom. Some great activities included a poetry study, writing stories, writing field trip reports, and making charts. All of these projects sound very interesting, and I think many students would enjoy doing them. They are fun and easy to do. Promoting creativity while using technology has been something that we have been worried about, and there are some great ideas in how to do so.
There are a few negatives associated with the use of technology. For one thing, you can't just take your kids outside and write a story. The environments are more limited than a pen and paper while in school. Another issue is the fact that some students will become too reliant on the technology. For example, many students are terrible spellers, but have just learned to use spell check. A student never has to learn basic rules like spelling and grammar if the computer will check them every time.
There are many positives about using Word Processing. One of the major perks is improving legibility. I, for one, have terrible handwriting, and the use of Word Processing would really help to make sure that everyone is able to read what the child is saying. Word Processing is also cool because there are many templates and other resources available to make many more things. If creating a project, you might not have time to create a ton of charts, but using technology might help you to create them more quickly.