Thursday, December 9, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Looking back on this semester and all of the projects we have worked on, I feel so much more equipped as a future teacher. Everyone claims that technology is the future, but I didn't really know exactly what that meant in regards to education. Now I have so much more knowledge about the up-and-coming technological trends, like Google earth and photo story, for example. From this class I have not only learned how to use these technologies, but I have also learned how they can be applied to different subject areas across the board. Another lesson I learned was about patience and adaptation. Although I was initially frustrated with my blog account not working, I learned to be patient with technology. Also, I learned that being flexible and being adaptive to each situation is key; to solve my blog account issue, we decided that I would email my blog posting each week. This taught me that sometimes you just have to work around the problem and do what you know how to do.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Currently working for 10 college campuses across the nation, Sill is a website where students can submit their personal problem and concerns, where they will be received and replied to by trained student supporters on campus.
The article discusses the benefits of this website; colleges can finally find out the real problems that students are facing- the problems that they don’t know who to talk to about. Allstop, creator of Spill, says that colleges can use this information to help with their campus’s “student retention, risk mitigation, and suicide prevention.”
The responses to the anonymous Spill posts are written by trained students. Each post has 4 to 6 responses, giving different perspectives on the issue and hopefully gets the poster more engaged.
I personally think this is a great tool that will help the college or university become more in sync with their student body. Allstop says that only “15 to 20% of students feel comfortable talking face to face with a school counselor,” so I think that Spill would be a great asset to those students that need help but are too embarrassed or shy to talk to someone in person. I see this as a great use of technology in the educational field.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
This new service will help both students and the schools alike. This service will help schools see what is really bothering their students and can aid in suicide prevention, risk mitigation, see suggestions for improvements in the school, and can boost retention rates. It also collects the data from all the schools and allows the school to see where students are having the most problems within their own institution and compared to the other subscribers to the service. It's great because it's non-threatening to students who are receiving help and allows the schools to see where help is needed.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
It is becoming common practice for employers to check candidate's Facebooks to see what kind of person he or she is. I went to see Lindsay Pollack speak last year, and she had said that employers call it "checking on [the candidate's] judgment." With job markets as competitive as they are, employers need to use every resource they have, which means that people need to start watching their social media outlets to ensure that they never have any problems. I feel that the Social Media Sobriety Test can be an easy way to help make sure that social media sites stay clear of all posts that could be deemed "bad judgment calls."
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I found this article very inspiring and uplifting. So many stories in the news show schools negatively through cutting programs and laying off teachers. We've also talked in class about how districts are building excessively elaborate school buildings but not having the funds to run them. This school on the other hand, is doing something extremely positive and effective for the environment and their schools alike. I hope that more schools can adopt this concept to improve our environment and redirect where money is being spend. It excites me to know that this New Mexico district is so focused on making such improvements.
To be honest, the webquest project has not been my favorite assignment. I have enjoyed projects such as smartboard and digistory because they involve more artistic and visual creativity. However, I will definitely incorporate the webquest technology into my future classroom and student teaching experiences.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Though this article has very little to do with education or our class, I'm still very intrigued by the concept of free wi-fi while flying. Oftentimes, while flying on long cross country flights, I get bored and wish that I could access the internet. The article brought up a good point that it would be useful to contact family members that a person is going to visit while they are in the air so discuss pick up times and last minute plans.
I'm quite impressed that google is taking such drastic measures to promote their name. However, a lot of people are going to benefit from the free internet and likely use their services. Way to go google.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
One of the ongoing issues in education is the gender gap. This article specifically targets the gap that is present in the science, technology, education, and math (S.T.E.M.) fields. This means that each of these fields are dominated by a specific gender, which sometimes makes it intimidating for the minority gender to want to study in that field.
This article discusses Arizona State University’s new web resource available to help close the gender gaps. The website will have “HerStory” video clips of women that have started up careers in these fields that are dominated mostly by males. These videos will depict women of specific professions, as opposed to women studying in the general field of math or science, for example. ASU believes that by giving examples of real women in specific jobs will help boost the morale of other women hoping to get into on e of these “STEM” fields.
I really think this is a great use of technology. It gives women a way to gain confidence that they can choose whichever field they want to study. I also think this article brings up another point; would this idea of “HerStory” videos be suitable for younger students as well? I almost feel that college may be a little too late to be providing the inspiration, so maybe ASU should look into using their idea for high school aged students.
The article says that these videos would be used primarily in classrooms and laboratories, but also notes the implications they could have for advertisements, car and airplane design, and military training. I think that, if made readily available, this technology could have a huge impact in the classroom, specifically for science lessons. While it is currently possible to do virtual dissections online, there is much debate as to whether or not they are as valuable as real-life dissections. With this 3-D video technology, students could actually watch live dissections and get the full effect as if it were right in front of them. Similarly, advanced students could watch more involved procedures that they would not otherwise be able to witness, such as cadaver dissections and autopsies. This technology could also be useful for virtual field trips and conferences with experts and other students.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
What concerns me more at times, is the way information is presented. I have often stumbled across tests and assignments and powerpoint presentations that some high school teachers have claimed as their own work, that has clearly been lifted "word for word" from someone else's website. The "tech-savvy" student who finds these instances is really getting mixed signals from their instructors.
It is okay to "borrow" complete lesson plans from someone else without giving credit, but it is not okay for the student to go to the same site and "borrow" the answers. I think that teachers should consider what their expectations are of their students and make sure that they comply with those expectations as well. For example, my sister told me that her AP teacher stood in front of the class one day and when on about how he had chosen specific picture in a powerpoint presentation for some very profound reasons - implying how long he had worked on getting the presentation "just right". Yet that same afternoon, as she was looking for information on something else, she stumbled across the exact powerpoint, with everything identical except the author. That same site had her AP History packets - which are assigned weekly and consist of 8-12 pages each of three and four part questions posted, along with the answers. We wonder what the consequence would be if she simply copied those answers and turned them in as her own.
I think we all have to remember that we each have a moral and ethical responsibility to ourselves and to others, to give credit where credit is due. It is fine to expand on someone else's ideas, but we should never claim them as our own.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
This article gives readers a look at a new search engine that may give Google some competition, according to the author. It’s called Blekko, and it has a few new “dimensions” that makes it interesting to new users.
The author of this article was originally skeptical about this new search engine, but he put it to the test and found that it can definitely compete with the trustworthy Google. So, here are some of the features of Blekko that are newer than what Google is offering;
The “tag” feature allows registered users to add important tags that may apply to the site they are looking at. As long as it is used properly, the tag feature would help let other web surfers know more about the site before they open it up.
The SEO (search engine optimization) feature is great for the owners of a website because it allows them to compare different sites.
The “IP” feature shows the IP address under which the current site is operating. If you choose to use the IP feature, you can see what other sites use the same IP address. This could be interesting to see if this would help you find extra websites, if you were doing a research task, for example.
There are other features like the links, chatter, cache, and spam feature that set Blekko apart from Google as well.
I think this search engine is an interesting concept, and I would love to hear if anyone has any input to see how this could be used in the classroom or maybe just for the benefit of teachers? I seem to think that these features could somehow be put to beneficial use.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I think that this article is articulating everything that we have been talking about in class. The survey stresses that using technology in the classroom is becoming increasingly important to students.
The survey noted, "Students, regardless of community demographics, socio-economic backgrounds, gender, and grade, tell us year after year that the lack of sophisticated use of emerging technology tools in school is, in fact, holding back their education—and in many ways disengages them from learning." I feel as though this statement alone expresses everything that I have learned so far in my education classes. In order to close the achievement gap and ensure that our students are succeeding to their highest potential we need to find innovative ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. This semester has really taught me the many ways that I can accomplish this very goal. The report identifies three essential elements of a new emerging student vision for American education. They are:
- Social-based learning: Students want to leverage emerging communications and collaboration tools to create and personalize networks of experts to inform their education experience.
- Untethered learning: Students envision technology-enabled learning experiences that transcend the classroom walls and are not limited by resource constraints, traditional funding streams, geography, community assets, or even teacher knowledge or skills.
- Digitally-rich learning: Students see the use of relevancy-based digital tools, content, and resources as a key to driving learning productivity, and not just about engaging students in learning.
Overall, I was really impressed with the way that this article truly describe everything that we have been learning in class. I'm really glad that we post all of our stuff online so that we can access these resources and use them in our future classrooms.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
As it is probably clear to most of us already, with the new century came new technology and new technological skills to be learned. This article discusses the possibilities of creating new assessments that are directed towards new technological skills. 43% of the schools that responded to the survey stated that their school district already implemented new assessments to test skills like problem solving, teamwork, and critical thinking.
The article also discusses the issue of cyber bullying, and it states that 34% of school districts said that anti-bullying and other computer safety policies have already been implemented.
A final point brought up in the article revolves around the push towards electronic “textbooks” if you will, rather than traditional printed books. The problems that would need to be addressed before making the switch would be to make sure each student has equal access to the internet outside of school, which seems to be a problem for many low-income areas. It is interesting to note that 24% of schools that responded to the survey said schools should move towards electronic reading because textbooks are boring. However, I feel like this may be a controversial issue. I personally have trouble reading long texts online, because I feel like if I cannot write on the text (underlining or highlighting important information) I have a lot more trouble understanding and remembering what I read. So, besides the issue of availability, educators should look at all perspectives before making the switch.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The University of Phoenix, the nation's largest online university, will begin offering a free, 3-week trial run for potential students, in which time they will be able to tell if they can handle online courses and at the difficulty level of the university. This program is in response to the federal government re-evaluating its regulation of for-profit colleges and universities, due to the amount of debt students are leaving with. The company that runs the University of Phoenix, Apollo Group Inc., thinks that the government’s re-vamping of colleges and universities is only going to lower the chances of lower-income students to be able to get into college. The university is going to have fewer people enrolling, which translates into less revenue.
This program ultimately comes from the fact that the government believes that universities are recruiting students that simply are not ready for, or cannot handle, the life of a college student. These students drop out without another, better-paying, job prospect, but still need to pay back their students loans. When students cannot pay back their loans, the loan goes into default and taxpayers end up paying for it. The government has decided that if students are leaving a college or university with too much debt, or if too few students repay their loans, it will limit the amount of federal financial aid a school receives, which makes it harder for lower-income students to attend. Because of the new changes to the school, Apollo Group expects the enrollment rate at the University of Phoenix to drop by 40%, which of course lowers the amount of revenue the school receives. Investors are worried this trend is going to continue in the world of higher education.
While I agree that students do leave college with too much debt, I do not think it is right for the government to without federal financial aid that is given to students. What will happen to lower-income students that try to get into a school like Wesleyan? Because in general, our students do leave college with quite a bit of debt, that means that if we are affected by this change, some of our financial aid could be getting cut. I know that if it were not for my financial aid, I could not afford to come here, so what will happen to the lower-income students? Are they expected to go to a cheaper school that may not have the academics that we have simply because they are lower-income? I sincerely hope the government realizes the problems with this new plan before it gets implemented at any other schools.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
This article describes the ins and outs of video lectures. InterCall did a survey on college students and in their results, over half said they “learn more effectively and improve their grades” when lectures are posted online. This seems to make sense; if students can review the material online again, they can better absorb the information. However, the online lectures have turned into an excuse for skipping class altogether. InterCall also reported that a majority of the students said they would only go to class that day if there was an exam scheduled or if they had to borrow notes from a classmate. This means that online lectures are allowing for students to be lazy by doing a minimal amount of work for their classes.
What really disturbs me about this trend is its implications for the future; if college students would rather take a nap to skip class, how are they going to fare in the real world when they have real jobs? I think this shows the immaturity of a lot of college students.
So, although I do think there are many advantages to the online lectures, I think we need to find a way to keep students in class and only using video lectures as a supplement to their classroom participation.
Friday, October 15, 2010
This article focuses on the advancements in technology use that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to fund to help with college readiness and completion. The Gates Foundation really wants to help out with this cause because, although access to higher education has become more available, by age 30 fewer than half of Americans have earned a college degree. So by funding the use of up-to-date technology for postsecondary education, we can hopefully increase the amount of students that earn a college degree.
Here is the proposal that addresses some specific challenges that should be taken on in the postsecondary education world:
1. Increase the use of “blended learning models” (this means combining face-to-face learning with online learning)
2. Strengthen students’ engagement through interactive technology
3. Support the availability of high-quality open courseware
4. Help institutions, instructors, and students benefit from learning analytics, which can monitor student progress and customize personal support.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
This article focuses on schools that are beginning to accept Web 2.0 into not only their classrooms, but into the district in general. In a compendium, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) profiled 6 different school districts that are embracing Web 2.0. This compendium includes a profile of each school district, the ways in which Web 2.0 is incorporated and librarians’ takes on the importance of school media centers when it comes to implementing Web 2.0 into the school districts.
The article acknowledges that Web 2.0 does still have problems and that it is not perfect yet, but also points out that the benefits far outweigh the possible harms. The author also grants that the integration of Web 2.0 will differ greatly; some school districts will be totally open to Web 2.0 and will change lesson plans and teacher tools to incorporate it, and others will only incorporate what is easy for them to do. There will always be different levels of implementation.
I think the article makes a very valid point; some districts will want to change their methods of teaching and will want to integrate Web 2.0, but other districts will wish to stay with the white board and overhead projectors. A lot of school won’t have the financial resources to make the switch, or the teachers may not want to change their methods. I do, however, think that the districts that do incorporate more Web 2.0 will continue to grow and test scores will continue to rise; and the districts that don’t incorporate Web 2.0 will see the difference. Web 2.0 gives students another method of learning; Web 2.0 is hands-on in a way that has not been possible before and I think it can really help students who haven’t necessarily found their perfect learning style yet.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Especially as a future educator, I am saddened to know that a lot of technologies are literally inaccessible to so many people. I'm actually surprised that more hasn't been done up until this point with technology for disabled people. Technology can be a great asset in the classroom to people who may not always be able to do the same things as the rest of the students. For example, a student who has difficulties speaking can use a keyboard projected onto a screen to convey his or her ideas to a classroom and therefore can be a very active part of class conversations.
Overall, I am excited to see the changes that will be taking place in the technological world to make devices more accessible not only for the disabled, but for everyone.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
This incident is causing leaders on college campuses nation-wide to consider making online privacy education necessary for incoming students. I personally think this is a great idea. I don't know how many people realize that even if you delete a Facebook comment or a Tweet, it doesn't matter. Someone, somewhere probably saw it the second that person posted it. Just because someone thinks a phrase is harmless, or an act is a joke or that it's just between friends, as soon as it is on the web, anyone can see it. I think it is really important for students to know things like that. Even if most students know this information, a lot don't. I'm sure the roommate who posted the video never realized that people all over the world would be - or could be - looking at his Twitter account page or his Facebook wall, but they are. Posting one video, or making one comment can literally change a person's life. It definitely has changed the lives of the students at Rutgers University.
I am very glad we worked with SmartBoard in this class. I was not familiar with SmartBoard when we started, because at my high school we were still using overhead projectors in every classroom.
I feel that this technology is in the beginning stages and that it will keep getting better and be easier to use and better to teach with. SmartBoard has the wonderful ability to cater to different learning styles at once because of the combination of visual, auditory and hands-on aspects of the software. I was always really lucky in that I am generally an auditory learner, but most of my friends are visual learners. The fact that SmartBoard can include videos, pictures, and even demonstrations can really help visual learners whereas sometimes a plain white board or an overhead projector just aren’t good enough.
Even though this technology is fantastic, there are always downsides. For me, the main downside was the difficulty I had including multimedia in my project. I am not very good with computers, so I had to make a lot of phone calls when I couldn’t transfer a YouTube video into a flash file or into just an audio clip. Fortunately, I have friends that are good with technology, but some people may not have those resources. Also, when my file got too large, my computer would either freeze or totally shut down when I was trying to transfer my file onto my flash drive.
Overall however, I think this is a great new piece of technology that is only going to get better. This is potentially the beginning of a new era in education, in which we can cater to all learning styles at once.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Smartboard software is an excellent teaching tool, when it works. I was really excited to learn about all of the interactive features that are already included within the program. I didn’t realize there was quite so much just available right there at your fingertips. The number of tools and interactive activities that you can just plug stuff into was great. It was also fun trying to find online resources that could be fun to do “hands on” by literally clicking on the Smartboard. I think the number of multimedia components that can be used and taken advantage of on a Smartboard is great, but utilizing all of those was quite the feat. I had a number of problems, I feel like it may have been because I tried to include too many elements. I had the whole file wipe out on me at one point, which was really discouraging, but I guess that’s a price to pay when working with technology. On the plus side, the internet is a really great resource for trouble-shooting. It’s very likely that others have had the same problem as you, granted it took me three or so hours to fix one of my problems trying different things, but I was still able to.
Before starting this whole unit, I was a little concerned that smartboards wouldn’t lend themselves very well to teaching subjects like math or music. I kind of just thought it was a fancy, interactive version of power point, and I’d never seen a math or music presentation before so I was really worried. To my surprise it actually worked out quite nicely. Liz’s presentation included a lot of the same ways we learned to conquer those subject areas hands on, but by using technology. Instead of trying to keep track of a hundred small coins, you can do it all on the smartboard etc. As far as music, being able to used sound clips with images is a lot cheaper than having actual instruments to demonstrate. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to have each child try a virtual piano keyboard than to get each student one etc.
Overall, I think smartboard would be a great asset to every classroom. In the long run, the benefits outway the initial costs, I’d say.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Overall, I think that interactive whiteboard technology is the future of education, and educators should not hesitate to learn the many uses it has to offer.
After watching everyone else present their projects, I have gained insight into other tools that I could have used in different ways. In the future I would like to use more of the screen shade and side-by-side screen functions so that students can be doing more than one thing at once and can reference previous slides to help them with an activity. I'm excited to learn about more types of technology and the tools that are available online as resources in the classroom. Prior to this project, I would have never imagined using Panoramio or artPad in a formal presentation.
I'm frustrated, however, with the amount of problems that I encountered while trying to create my project. The combination of notebook and my mac caused the program to shut down and lose my work multiple times. At least I am now fully aware of how these problems can be detrimental when trying to use new technologies.
Overall, I think that I will use the smartboard quite frequently in my future classroom.
Recently Harrisburg University banned access to any and all social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, AOL…etc.) on the school’s network for an entire week. It was meant to serve as a reminder to students to see just how much they are hooked on these websites and how much time they spend on them during class or instead of focusing on academics.
The point of this experiment was not to show that Facebook or Twitter has a large impact of student grades (because research has shown that it really does not affect grades), but rather to make students more aware of how it distracts them during class. Many college professors have noticed that in lecture classes students just log in to facebook and ignore the lecture.
After the week ended, students reported that the ban was “annoying,” and students still found ways around the ban (using private networks or blackberry phones to log onto facebook). The article also leaves us with something important to think about… should the students’ bad reactions to the ban warn us about how students will adjust in the workplace?
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Are eBooks the next new thing in education? This article poses a few new thoughts to think about as an educator. Some tend to think that these new electronic readers will make reading more “fun” for students, and that they will be prompted to read more, simply for enjoyment. Since reading “for fun” has declined in its popularity as a pastime, technology may be the way to spark more life back into this traditional hobby. If I were a younger kid, I think that reading would be much more appealing on a iPad or a Kindle, just because it’s something new.
However, parents do not really agree with this new trend. Studies show that only a small minority (6 percent) actually owns an electronic reader, and 76 percent do not plan on buying one. So what makes this such a fun and exciting thing for younger generations, but not for adults?
I personally think it is a generational thing. Older generations are not as open to the latest technologies simply because they have not been brought up with as much of it as younger generations have. So, the moral of the story is; if we can use this technology to get younger generations back into reading, we should really try to implement these eBooks into the world of education.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Advocates of technology-based education are hoping that Poling's class will change the perceptions of these types of classes. If his class has the correct ratio of academic challenge to gaming, technology-based classes could become more accepted in the academic community.
While I understand that this class is more than just playing a computer game, I have a little trouble viewing it as a "real" college course. I do not see how a class where one plays a computer game and assesses others' gameplay can be on par with history classes or calculus. I think that bringing more technology into classes is almost always a good thing, but I do not think that going as far as centering a course around a computer game is where our technological advancements should be headed.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
I was really interested to read this article for many reasons; first of all, Wikipedia seems to be under such a hot debate in the world of education. As a student, I find Wikipedia to be useful when researching basic information about topics that are unfamiliar to me. It’s a great place to start, in my opinion. However, throughout high school all of my teachers have strictly denied Wikipedia as a credible source, saying that anyone can add information to the pages. While this is true that anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, there is a story behind it.
In the article the author says that the ability to continually edit Wikipedia entries is very beneficial. From a historical perspective, it is really important that we document what everyone has written about a certain topic. For example, the author writes about the Iraq War Wikipedia entry, and how all of the edits have been documented in a series of books. This means we have everything that was written about the war in a physical copy. This allows us to look back into history to get the whole picture, as opposed to history textbooks that sometimes just give one side of the story. So overall, I think Wikipedia is changing the way we document our history, and it’s for the better.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
She makes it very clear that she disagrees with these intiatives, stating that teachers are losing the chance to teach what they find to be important and only being able to teach those areas that will help their students score satisfactorily on the state achievement tests. I completely agree with her; I find it ludicrous that teachers are being evaluated on their students' ability to be good test-takers. It is not fair that schools are having their budgets cut and teachers are being placed on probation because they are not teaching to the test. I wish there was a way to evaluate teachers in an effective manner without relying on test scores. Standardized tests can only prove so much...
The author also discusses the ways certain schools and even the government is handling the results of the standardized tests. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan rewarded the Los Angeles Times for listing in the newspaper names and pictures of teachers they deemed inadequate. Furthermore, major civil rights groups issued a statement discussing their opposition to NCLB and Race to the Top and scheduled a press briefing, but were "persuaded" by Duncan to cancel the briefing and release the statement without incident.
I completely agree with Ravitch in that NCLB and Race to the Top are hurting our schools rather than helping. One can only hope that as schools fail to meet the government's expectations, Secretary Duncan and President Obama re-think their methods of "helping."
Oftentimes, in high school, I wished that we had access to an E-mail account that connected us to our teachers and fellow students. Oftentimes, there was an instance where I had a brief question about an assignment while I was working on it at home that could have been easily resolved through a quick E-mail response. I believe that using E-mail has great potential for collaborative learning. As the text mentions, E-mail can be used to discuss books or class topics. Also, the concept of using E-mail to communicate with another class is a modern take on the traditional 'pen-pal'. However, using E-mail can immensely speed up this process and allow students to get immediate response from their peers. This can build strong connections and and relationships that are invaluable to our students.
Through my college career, I have found that blogging can be extremely helpful in the sharing of information between students. Multiple courses at IWU have allowed me to practice this tool. Like E-mail, I have found that this can be a quick way to share information with my peers.
However, both of these technologies have a downside. Teachers must monitor to ensure that students are not making inappropriate comments. Especially in a time where online bullying is quite prevalent, we must protect our students from hurtful comments.
Overall, if monitored properly, I feel as though E-mail, blogging and other online resources will completely change the way that students and teachers interact and learn.
Most importantly, my attention was brought to the fact that using word processing can 'level the field' for evaluating writing. Oftentimes, we can pass judgment on a student's work based on their handwriting without even realizing we are doing so. When a student has very messy and illegible handwriting, teachers will overlook the quality of the content that they have written. On the other hand, when a student has very neat handwriting, it is easy to overlook errors and give a good grade simply because the page looks more appealing. In this respect, using word processing can be very beneficial to our students success.
Monday, September 13, 2010
This chapter really opened my eyes to the many ways that we can incorporate the internet into classroom learning, even with younger children. Since I plan to be a teacher around the first grade or kindergarten level, I would need some resources that are easy to use with younger children. I think Starfall.com is a great website that can engage pre-reading students and get them on the track to becoming readers. I also like that it has good viusal learning techniques where students can get immediate feedback and can learn the information by seeing it in more concrete forms, rather than hearing it.
I also thought that the email idea was great! It's like a pen pal system, but online. It sounds so much easier and efficient to use email to connect with other students from basically anywhere in the world. I think students would be interested in using this tool, and since the correspondence is a lot quicker, younger students don't have to wait weeks to get another letter back. Not to mention that you can use email correspondence to learn about different cultures from students across the globe!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
The other part of chapter 12 that stood out to me was the idea of using mapquest.com to teach a lesson, thus making the internet more relevant to the lives of the students, making maps more accessible, and teaching the use of a website that the students will no doubt use in the future. This idea could be used for lessons in many different subjects. For math, students could calculate distances and travel time between various locations; for social studies, students could learn general map skills and geography; for language arts, students could write a story based on their maps; for art, students could draw or paint maps of their own. I think it would be really valuable to use mapquest.com in several different subjects in order to show students how the subjects can be connected.
(I liked the title to the information literacy lesson page because it moved a little bit from the link the book provided.)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I took a look at quite a few of the websites mentioned in the reading, and I'd have to say I was pretty impressed. All of them offered different forms of learning the lessons, and all of them were very interactive and fun. This book is a little old, so some of the sites have even more to offer now then when the book was published, which is great. I really like that these can be used as extra practice at home, or an assignment to supplement coursework in school. The student gets the instant feedback they crave and they're great study tools.
As far as teaching internet safety, I much preferred the cybersmart website (www.cybersmartcurriculum.org) to the netsmartz workshop. I found it more resourceful and easier to navigate. It also had lesson plans with activity sheets and information on which goals and standards are being addressed based on the national standards.
I work with websites a lot for my art major and often have the problem of not being able to access my bookmarks in class etc. The websites that allow you to keep track and save them are a really great resource for teachers and students alike.
I’m also a big fan of the use of e-mailing and web chatting with other students. When I was in 7th grade, we did a whole project in which we communicated with students from Azerbaijan via e-mail in order to learn about their culture, and vice versa. It was really cool and one of the things that stuck with me the most from that class. The only real issue in this is finding a contact for this to work as you don’t want your students communicating with completely random people. I’m fully behind the utilization of these resources, but it is something that will have to be monitored very closely.
This chapter was really informative to me, and I really liked how the chapter gave a lot of specific examples as to what to use databases and spreadsheets for. It's also really helpful and convenient that under each example they give the grade levels that could appropriately use these ideas. I especially like the idea of creating an acrostic on a spreadsheet. It may take me some time to figure it out, but I think it would be a great way to incorporate technology into the Language Arts/Writing portion on the school day.
I also really enjoyed the idea of using spreadsheets to graph weather changes for younger students to show the changes in weather. This is a pretty abstract concept for younger students, and by graphing the temperatures, students can physically see how it changes with the seasons. I just think this was a really neat example of how we, as future educators, can incorporate technology into everyday lessons.
Monday, September 6, 2010
There are a few easy methods to help students see this correlation. Teachers can make a rubric showing what they believe to be "good" to "unacceptable" effort in any category that they believe to be important in classroom success. They can then give the students blank spreadsheets so they can rate themselves. After they have graded themselves, the students can highlight the Total Effort and Grade cells and create a new graph in which they can see the coorelation between the effort they expel and the grades they receive. Another example the authors gave was a math teacher who used his unit on graphing to help his students see that in the relationship of effort and grades, when one works harder, his grade is generally higher than when one doesn't work as hard.
It is also imperative to show students success stories of older or past students. When students see that their peers have overcome the same problems they have now, it is easier for them to believe they can succeed, too. Rather than just telling your students of success stories, there could be a section on the school website where teachers submit stories of their students. Teachers can also send out surveys to older students asking about how they overcame difficulties by hard work; teachers can then show their younger students the results of the survey.
Until reading this chapter, I never thought about needing to teach students that effort is necessary; it was always so obvious to me. But just because something was obvious to me, that does not mean that every student grows up with parents teaching them that hard work is the only way to achievement. I was lucky in that my parents instilled a great work ethic in me; but I now see that as teachers, we may have to do the same for our students. Using other students' success can be useful; instead of students just assuming, "Well, I'm a girl so I can't be good at math" or paying attention to other stereotypes, if a younger girl hears the story of a girl going to State for math, the younger girl may begin trying a little harder in math class. I also love the idea of using graphs and charts to show students the coorelation between working hard and achieving what they are striving for. As students grow older, this will probably be the most effective method for teaching students what hard work can do. When students see their grades raising as they put in more effort, that is probably a much more profound realization that simply hearing about a success story of another student.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
If the world of education could implement technology to do anything, the GPS tracker is the best idea ever. The article describes how certain Illinois school districts are putting tiny GPS cards on each student’s backpack, and this chip can track when and where the student gets on and off the bus each day. Coming from a family with very cautious parents, I can immediately see how much less stress parents would have to deal with in regards to letting their children take the bus to and from school. I am absolutely all for this type of technology because it gives everyone involved the peace of mind that their children/students are getting where they need to be in a very effective and safe manner. Although this technology is expensive- costing one district $16,000 for 10 buses- I think it is totally worth it. Safety should be of the utmost importance, as I am sure most people would agree.