Thursday, November 19, 2009

Photostories and Webquests

Webquests and PhotoStory are two projects that I was very excited to get started on, but I was not sure if they would benefit students and help them learn as well as much as others. I had never even heard of either of these forms of technology, and I definitely was never exposed to them in high school or elementary school. After making them, I feel that I would have learned certain topics much easier and faster if I had been exposed to them. PhotoStory is almost like watching an educational movie for students, but it keeps their attention more. Elementary students would love to see bright, bold digital photos set to music or a voice. I feel like these images would stay in their heads longer than a lecture would. PhotoStories also really benefits auditory learners. PhotoStories and Webquests are also much more fun and interactive for children than just listening to a lecture. Webquests would be very helpful for students to do in groups and therefore enhance cooperative learning. I really enjoyed being exposed to these projects and look forward to trying them out in my classroom.

Photostory/WebQuests

I feel like that both Photostory and WebQuests are helpful tools when it come to teaching. The Photostory allows the students to become engaged through visual interpretations whereas the WebQuest allows the students to get their hands dirty in the information and apply the concepts necessary to complete the task. I think using both of them in a classroom, not just one, can really the range of students you are academically impacting because you are using tools that help a wide variety of students.

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.

Photostory and Webquest: A Reflection

Photostory:

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:

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.

Reflecting on WebQuest & Photostory

Photostory
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.

WebQuest
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.

Reflections

I really like that we modified a webquest rather than created a new one. This gave us an opportunity to work on different skills than the other projects in our class. I don't usually imagine myself teaching students with learning disabilities, but the fact is that we will all be working with students at all levels. Thus, it is important to be prepared. I need to remember that students with learning disabilities will be in average level classes and we want to do our best to help them succeed. I feel that we can use the techniques that we did on the Webquest project and apply it to other aspects of our teaching. For example, if we ever make a Powerpoint we should be sure not to make it overwhelming with too many words. We should try to be as clear and concise as possible so that every student has equal opportunity to learn.

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.

PhotoStory and WebQuest experience

PhotoStory Experience: The PhotoStory took a lot of time to complete. It required me to think outside of the box and be more creative than I'm accustomed to. I was extremely frustrated in the beginning of the project because I could not think of any way to make a PhotoStory about statistics. However, after talking through ideas with Nillas and A LOT of thinking, I feel like I came up with a good PhotoStory that presents concepts in a fun way. This project made me realize that I can portray math concepts in more ways than simply writing an equation on the board. It has finally set in that I can use technology in the classroom.

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.

Photostory and Webquest

Photostory: I thought the photostory was a very creative way to introduce a new topic. I did "Geometry in Sports," and I feel this story would really help students get excited about a new topic. When we watched other students' photostories in class, we all were genuinely interested in each topic. Everyone had a creative way to express a new idea, and it was very entertaining. The program was very easy to use with very few complications. I could really see myself using this program to introduce a new lesson in a classroom some day. It is something you can use, see how students react, and modify it year to year for clarification.

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
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.

PhotoStory
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!

WebQuest and iMovie

I definitely enjoyed the iMovie project more than the WebQuest one. They were both very helpful in terms of what I can use in my classroom someday, but i Movie was just much easier to format and use altogether. The hardest thing about both of the projects was finding something in English that would be applicable. There are only so many different genres of books and literature, and making everything different is difficult. However, I am grateful that I found something that worked.

WebQuest is a project that is very useful in the classroom. Although I don't think that I will necessarily be using many of them in my own classroom, doing this project helped me learn the time and thought process that goes into a full project for students. That lesson itself will be great once I get into my own classroom. It also demonstrated the thought that needs to go into making a project work for every student. Some of the students would understand a brief outline, but others don't. Therefore I am very thankful that I got to experience using both the WebQuest and iMovie/Photostory software.

Photostory and Webquests

Concerning photostory, I really enjoyed working with the program. I know that in the future I will use it in order to create possible lessons or even for personal photo projects. I think it's a fun program to work with that has great potential to be a strong aid for a class in any subject.

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.

Photostory and Webquest

I really enjoyed creating a photo story. I have seen photo stories used during my observation hours and I have found them to be very effective tools. It is a creative way to present information and it keeps the students engaged.

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.