Friday, February 26, 2010

Photo Story

I really enjoyed the Photo Story project. I think that this idea is a great way to introduce a new topics, start discussion on current topics, or quickly review a topic at the end of a unit. The finished projects we viewed in class were all very creative and well put together. It was very interesting to see the different ways in which my classmates all started with the same program and basic idea and yet used it so differently to relay their message and standards. I can definitely see myself using Photo Story as a future teacher to integrate yet another useful technology into my classroom.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Technology of the Week

I enjoyed learning about Dipity today in class. I would use Dipity when I become a teacher. I think it would be need to have students create a project introducing themselves to me. It would be neat to make my own Dipity timeline about myself to tell my students a little bit about myself at the beginning of the school year. I could include picture and information about my life. Students then could create the same time of timeline for themselves. I would also like to create a timeline about first grade. It would be a great way for students to look back on what they learned during the school year. I would include pictures of my students on the timeline. The students could then have a digital scrapbook of the year.

Dipity is aslo a great tool for any subject. I could see myself using it the most in history. It would provide me with the opportunity to create a timeline of history in different cultures that we study.

I enjoyed watching the photo stories today. I was very impressed by everyone's movie. I could see myself showing these types of videos in class.

photo story

The photo story project was a lot of fun, and seeing some of the examples in class, I really understand how effective these kinds of presentations can be for students. The audio and visual component together make the subject seem to come alive, and by introducing a unit that students may find somewhat boring using this kind of technology may get the students more engaged.

I found the photo story project somewhat challenges in the way I had to cut down the information I wanted to share with students into the time frame. It makes sense that after a few minutes students are less likely and less able to pay attention, and I found I had to cut out some of the examples I would have liked to share. Also, pacing the voiceover so as not to speak too quickly was also challenging as there was so much information that I wanted to get to.

While my project focused on the steps of the research process, fulfilling the fifth goal of the state objectives, I can really see how photo stories could be used to introduce a novel. Background information, fun quotes to look forward to: there are numerous possibilities that could be effective in getting students excited about a new literary unit!
I thought that all the photo stories I saw were very informative and i think that doing one every once in awhile would be a great change in pace for student. I think its important not to use these stories all the time because it is important to do hands on teaching to. But, every week or so mixing in a short introduction to a topic or talking about a certain event would be very helpful.

Photo Story

I really enjoyed working on and creating this project. It was an interesting look at how to summarize such a broad topic (Civil Rights Movement in my case)by using pictures and presenting it in this style. From all of the videos I got the chance to see during class today, I can tell that this will be a useful tool in presenting information to students in a more interesting way to them. By keeping the Photo Stories to the point, they can be a very good tool to keep the students attention during class, and also a way to create a good introduction to a new topic or unit being taught in the classroom. I was worried while making the video that I would have an issue with the vocal recordings, either that they would turn out too loud or quiet, but when I finished with the project, I was very satisified with what I heard from my video.

Photostory projects

After viewing all of the photostory and Imovie projects I feel that this was a very useful project. Seeing all of the different project materials and how each individual put their own unique parts into the project makes me realize how much of a great tool photostory can be. Not only would it be useful to show brief introductions of different subjects in a math class but it would also be a great tool to use as a project. I feel that photostory and imove can both be used as a way for students to do their own projects and explain what they have learned so far. The photostory project would be a great summery tool for mathematics and all of the other natural sciences. The advantages for this project would be threefold. One, the students would be able to summarize the lesson and I would be able to evaluate how much they actually learned. Two, the project is very fun and exciting, how cool is it to make your own movie! Three, it would allow the students to work with technology and gain experience with problem solving techniques. Overall I was very pleased with the photostory/imovie project and can see its uses in a future classroom.


I feel that having an opportunity to view other people's photostory projects really opened my eyes to how photostory can be used for any subject or grade level. I feel that at any age, students would be excited to view a photostory their teacher made. I know that viewing other people's projects in class increased my interest level in the subjects that were addressed and made me want to learn more about them.

Dipity is also a great resource for creating timelines in the classroom. I thought that the idea of using it to have students create a biographical timeline on this site was an excellent idea. In most elementary school classrooms, students do create timelines of their lives. Incorporating technology in this project would be an excellent idea.

At the beginning of the course, I felt very insecure about using new technologies. However, after going through tutorials and becoming familiar with the technology available, I feel much more confident and competent in regards to integrating technology into classroom instruction when it comes to Smartboard technology, Wiki, and photostory.

Photostory Presentations

I really enjoyed watching and listening to everyone's projects today! It was neat to see what everyone chose and see how they put it together. It was neat to see presentations that were geared towards elementary and others geared toward secondary education. I think all of these presentations could be used in our classrooms later, and I think the students could really learn a lot from them! It is really neat how we could use pictures and narration to get our point across. I think photostory is definitely something the students would enjoy using too. We could not only make our own to show them but teach them how to use it and let them create their own! Again, everyone's projects were very interesting! Great job guys!

Photo Story Thoughts

This past week as a class, we worked on our Photo Stories. My subject area was about physical science. So, I chose to focus on the body--mainly the teeth. I wanted to focus on February being dental hygiene month and the keeping and caring of teeth. I am very partial to teeth because four members of my family are dentists and one is a hygienist. I had fun talking about something that is so interesting. I used only a few websites to help me because the audience for my project would be very early elementary. I basically wanted to focus on how not to get cavities and the proper way care for young teeth. The program Photo Story 3 made it pretty simple to edit and record my information right into the program. I preferred using the microphone on my laptop to the one on my headphones, it simply sounded better. My one issue with this project was inserting music. I tried countless ways to turn my music into different formats to get it to work. I had really adorable music I wanted to use too (Yo Gabba Gabba and The Wiggles anyone?). Either way, I put music into the story. I ended up creating my own custom music for the story using the music maker feature in the program. Overall this was a really fun project that I would definitely like to use in the future!

PhotoStory Projects

I was really pleased with how my photostory turned out. I enjoyed putting it together and creating my own lesson, and then on top of that it actually worked! Plus, seeing people's end results for the Photostory project was incredibly interesting! There were a lot a creative ideas and good information being presented. A lot of the elementart lessons were really cute and educational at the same time, and I think they would really hold the attention of younger kids. And the lesson on calculus actually helped me understand the subject a little better! This technology can be used in so many different ways and is a great instructional tool for students. The music adds a really nice touch, and it gives students a visual on what youre talking about. I really enjoyed this project a lot and I think that I will definitely implement it in my classroom.

The only frustration I had with this project was getting the music to work with the program. Some types of files weren't compatable with Photostory, and it got frustrating when I couldn't use the ideas I wanted. But in the end, everything worked out alright.

Photo Stories

I really enjoyed watching the photo stories in class today! I believe they would be incredibly helpful in any classroom, whether it is an elementary, middle, or high school classroom. The photo stories enable students to learn new concepts in a new way, rather that simply listening to a teacher explain them. Photo stories appeal to both visual and auditory learners because students are able to learn the content by listening AND looking at relevant pictures.

Photo stories would be very useful to introduce a topic, practice a new skill, or summarize something that has already been taught. I think students would really enjoy watching photo stories every once in a while because it adds variety to classroom instruction and holds their interest. In my educational experience, I remember enjoying photo stories that my teachers showed in class because they are concise and interesting.

Sharing photostories!

Today's class was really interesting. I enjoyed watching the different photostories that people created. I think everyone did a really great job with the narrations! While watching them, I couldn't help by picture myself as a high schooler in the classroom, having to watch a photostory as part of a lesson. I think it is a great break from the traditional lecture/notes, but it still offers a ton of content. Also, the time length of about 3 minutes is perfect! It is short enough to keep students engaged, yet long enough to be able to contain substantial information. One of my favorite presentations was the causes of WWI by Andrew. History is one of my least favorite subjects and I have a huge problem with learning it, but the 3 minute video we watched today was extremely helpful. The pictures, music and narration kept me interested and the breakdown of causes was really easy to understand!

I really like the technology of the week. I think timelines can be incorporated into many different activities and can really help students visualize when things were happening. Also, like I said in class, it can be used (at least in foreign language) to offer a reenforcement of tenses, concepts or vocabulary.

iMovie presentation and Tech of the Week

I really enjoyed the result of my iMovie presentation. Although it took a lot of time to research the material and find photos to correlate with the concepts I presented, I think it turned out really well in the end. Once I had all my materials, it was easy enough to record my voice and incorporate other music into the project.

One of the hardest parts of this project, however, was finding photos that were not copyrighted. Wikipedia actually had a lot of photos available that were either open to public domain, or were allowed to share with attribution to the original photographer. Another great site that I used was the, which I found from the Flickr presentation given on the Tech of the Week google site.

As far as Dipity, it seems like it would be hard to incorporate math into timelines. The only projects I could think about that would be relevant for a time-line would be the history of math, when certain theories and breakthroughs occurred, which would give students the ability to see how long certain math concepts have been known to the world and accepted. This would be able to show students how far back mathematics goes in history, as well as the current discoveries still being made, like larger and larger prime numbers being discovered more recently.

Photo Story Sharing and Tech of the week!

I found all the photo stories that were shared in class today to be extremely interesting. I loved Karin's hawaiin lesson and thought that it did a great job appealing to the younger students. Bobby and Andrew's photo story were both great because they did a great job triggering the lesson towards the older students, yet not making it too boring. I think it's so important that the tone of voice fits the type of students you are aiming to teach. I found that the photo story was a fun way to teach students and interact with them in a unique way.

I thought the tech of the week was really cool and I actually can't wait to use it myself! Dipiti was really neat, because it provides me with all the information I may need throughout time. I can see utilizing this program in the classroom all the time no matter the age level.

Monday, February 22, 2010

chapter 10 reading

In chapter 10 of my reading, the authors spoke a lot about how using programs such as powerpoint not only ensures that students understand the material they are taking off the Internet, but it also allows students who are not as comfortable with public speaking a way to participate in class presentations. The reading said that with a powerpoint to back up the speaker, the audience's attention is placed on the visual aid, not necessarily on the speaker himself. I agree that this will help students who tend to be on the more shy side, but I do have my reservations about powerpoint. The author did speak about how too much writing on a single slide can be harmful to the effectiveness of the presentation, and I fully agree that this is a common issue when a student powerpoint presentation is assigned. But overall, if done right, I do agree that a powerpoint presentation or similar assignment can be beneficial to ensure student understanding.

Math reading and Imovie project

For the math reading, I found it very helpful that technology helps to not only understand the problem itself, but also the concept behind the math that can be applied elsewhere in life. In that same context, the Imovie project is a really interesting way to connect mathematics to everyday life or even math found in nature. I'm really looking forward to the final result of the Imovie and I think projects like Imovies in math classes would make things more interesting for students and give a more central view to math outside the classroom.

Elementary Reading: Drawing

I thought the reading in this chapter was really intriguing. In many classes it's hard for teachers to get students to pay attention while using a computer. Many of them are used to having one at home that they use to play games and surf the web. As teachers we can now show the students that they can have fun with computers while learning by using the drawing programs. I think this is a great transition for students to have.

One thing I loved that this chapter included was the idea of portraits. Self-portraits can be utilized at any grade level and the drawing tool can help with that. The book also talks about growth processes and how drawing programs can be used for that. I remember in science we learned so many processes that can now be easily taught with drawing on the computer. Students can use these programs to interact and learn hands on.

As for the photo story, I'm finding it really cool how you can teach students in different ways. I think this is something I would definitely use and would be so helpful for students who are absent.

Elementary Reading: Drawing

I thought this chapter was interesting. I do not often think about using computers to draw pictures. Thinking back to when I was younger, I remember how much I enjoyed using drawing and painting programs on the computer. Kid Pix used to be my favorite drawing program and I would often use it when I finished my homework at night. Drawing programs are the perfect tool to use for non-linguistic representations as the reading started. These programs would be especially useful for hands-on and visual learners.

The ideas for using drawing projects were insightful. I will be able to use many of the drawing examples when I begin teaching. The four squares project seemed very useful. I could see myself using this project when I taught students about various processes. The drawing programs also are prefect for tessellations. I remember creating tessellations by hand when I was in elementary school, but the computer would make the process much fast.

My photo story project is going well. I could seem myself using this tool when I begin teaching. It provides students with another medium to learn from, which would help keep students engaged in the lessons.

Photostory Project and Readings

I think that the photostory project is very interesting. It's an easy tool to implement in the classroom to enhance a lesson, or provide a refresher on different concepts. You can control the level amount of information you give, and it provides visual connections for the students to make. It was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be. This technology is definitely something I would incorporate into my classroom. I also believe that this would be a great program for older students to use as a tool in preparing for presentations and projects. I think students would really enjoy making their own little movie lessons. It adds a new level of excitement and creativity to whatever concept your teaching.

The reading for elementary this week discussed the use of drawing programs. I had never realized how beneficial those programs like Paint and KidPix were. I remember loving the time we got to play with KidPix when I was elementary school. These programs can help with motor skills and coordination--students have to learn to have control over the mouse and know where they want color and lines. There were a lot of really great suggested activies. You can incorporate vocabulary and have students draw the object and label parts. You can also compare periods of history and have them draw what life looks like today compared to 100 years ago. I really liked the idea of gallery showings, where you have all the students leave their drawings up on the computer and then walk around and look at all the different versions. The kids can see all the different variations of color. Drawing programs are definitely a good idea to include in elementary schools.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Elem. Reading and Photostory

My reading this week was about using computer drawing programs to support student achievement. The reading argues that allowing students to use drawing programs on the computer supports non-lingusitic representation skills (creating visuals to represent things like vocabulary or curricular concepts). At first, I was hesitant to agree with this argument because I believed that students could simply create these visual representations using paper and crayons. To me, letting students create their drawings on paper saves me the time and energy I would have to use to explain how to use programs like Kid Pix or Microsoft Paint. However, after I read further, the argument was made that the computer motivates some students in ways that drawing a picture on paper never will. I had to agree. I know from experience that for some students, getting to use Kid Pix is a real motivator for them. The reading also gave examples of how I could use drawing programs for things like drawing illustrations, creating a hundreds day chart, and making portraits and tessellations.

My photostory project is going well. I just added my commentary to my pictures and I think it looks and sounds pretty good. I am still trying to figure out how to add music over my voice. Every time I try to add a music clip, my commentary disappears. Any help on this would be appreciated!

Reading, project 2

My reading for this week was an article about the incorporation of instructional "soaps" into the classroom to help in language acquisition. I think this is a great idea and I know throughout my Spanish learning experience I have had to watch several soaps, including the one discussed in the article, "Destinos." I didn't really like this show, but I 5 years later I can still tell you the main characters names and the basic plot I guess it was doing its job! It was really helpful in learning vocabulary as well and in offering a first hand view into a part of the Hispanic culture. Another show I watched was "La Catrina," which I found a lot more interesting. That is where I learned that "estoy embarazada" does NOT mean "I'm embarassed," it means "I'm pregnant." I'm happy I learned that through the show rather than making the mistake myself! Overall, both of these shows were useful and educational...but they were also extremely cheesy and lame. I haven't seen any recent soaps, but hopefully within the past few years they have come up with some better ones that seem to flow a little bit more naturally. I think that is the only thing the soaps I saw were missing.

I'm excited to work on the photostory...but I think it is going to take me a lot of time. I'm really not good at all the intricacies of creating a photostory. Also, my voice is not the best for doing all the I am not looking forward to that part, so we will see how it goes!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thoughts on Technology of the week and Imovie project so far

So far I am every pleased with the Technology of the week topics.  Getting to know all of these different tools which can me used in the classroom is really neat.  The examples that each presenter has posted on the website seem to demonstrate the technology very well.  Not only that but also the ability that that certain technology has to cover all content areas. 

            Also it is very cool to learn how all of these different technologies work.  For example I have always wondered about java flash animations and applets and how they work.  Now I know thanks to tech of the week!!

            Another thing that I am very excited about is the Imovie project.  It seems to be a very cool idea and one that can be used for all subjects.  Being a math major the obvious uses for math are not necessarily teaching math, but teaching the history of math and key concepts such as applications to everyday life. 

            With such a simple program to use and create lessons I wonder why I have never been introduced to this technology before.  It seems very advantages in all aspects of teaching.  

Friday, February 19, 2010

Photo Story Project

I am really excited about the photo story project! I have so many ideas of what I want to do, the only thing I am struggling with is how to get all the information in that I want to, in around 3 minutes. The other thing I am worried about is using the moviemaker software. I hahve never used it before so it'll be a learning experience. Luckily I do have an idea of what I want to do so I am really happy about that! It will be cool to see and hear everyones stories!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photo Story

I too am excited for this Photo Story project. The samples we viewed in class made by past students turned out very well in my opinion and will be a great teaching tool in the future. The Photo Story program seems like a great way to either introduce a new topic or provide a quick summery at the end of a unit.

For my project I was assigned Social Studies at the elementary level. I am planning on outlining my presentation as a virtual field trip to see different geographic regions of the United States. It is starting to come together well and I am excited for the finished product. I am a little concerned about the amount of time that we have to complete this project, especially since I do not have this program on my laptop to be able to really work on it outside of class. I also can't wait to see the projects of my classmates. Good luck and have fun everyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Project 2

After being introduced to Photo Story, I am very excited about how our projects will turn out. As we viewed and listened to sample projects, I could already tell that this is another project that will come in handy in the future when we become educators. I can picture myself using photo stories to add variety in the classroom and to introduce topics in a fun and interesting manner.

I am a little concerned about my own project, however, because I haven't thought of any great ideas yet. I have a general idea of what I want to do, but I am having trouble being creative with it. My content area is elementary math, and I am thinking about doing something related to comparing whole numbers (greater than, less than, equal to) and comparing the number of objects in different groups. Hopefully it will come together for me soon!

I do believe, however, that this project will be very beneficial to us in the future, and I can't wait to see how they turn out!

Project 2 Thoughts

This past Tuesday in class, we finished putting together our contributions to our wiki site. It was good to see everyone had collaborated and put some useful information on the site. This is definitely a good resource to use if we ever need help with Smart Board in the future. We also were introduced to Photo Stories. As a class we used our headphones (these make me feel like I am a pilot, by the way) and listened to some stories done by local high schoolers. These were interesting to listen to because they discussed local histories of the surrounding areas in Bloomington, Normal, and Eureka. I enjoyed the ones about local theater and woman's athletics. We also got assigned subjects to compose our own photo story. The topic I am doing is related to physical education and the state of the body for elementary students. Personally, I find the body more interesting so I am gearing my story towards hygiene, drug use, and healthy eating. So far, those are the broad ideas. I also downloaded songs from Yo Gabba Gabba and The Wiggles on iTunes that pertain to these topics...AWESOME! I am interested in starting this project because I have never worked with the program before and am excited to see the final result. Happy blogging everyone!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Technologies of the Week

I have really enjoyed the technology of the week presentations we have had in class so far. The google earth presentation was cool because I never knew how many programs there were that went along with the initial program. The different programs will be very useful in a history or geography class since you can show different progressions, and 20 years from now when they have 20 years of pictures it will be good to show the students how much areas have changes in the past 20 years and it will give some prespective on how much the world has changed in the thousands of years of human history. I also have found a lot of help from the podcast presentation. Podcasts are also very useful for history, since many news sources are producing podcasts now and these will be good to use for current event issues, and it will also be good to show students how people were assessing history as it is being made now compared to how things end up in the future. I have even used the search engines provided with this presentation to help my smart board project. The Flickr presentation was also useful to me since I never realized how much you could actually use Flickr for educational purposes rather than just entertainment.


I did not know much about podcasts before having to research them for my presentation. I knew they were broadcasts you could download and listen to, but that was about it. While researching for my project I realized they were actually much more than that. Podcasts can really be utilized to be extremely important in the classroom. If your class has its own podcast, it is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and creates much less work for the you (the teacher) in being able to keep absent students up to date and struggling students more repetition. I know I mentioned it in my presentation, but I think it would really help take some stress off the teacher. Finding podcasts is fairly easy and therefore makes them accessible to everyday lessons. I had no idea podcasts could also come in video format, which is great for foreign language. Not only can the students hear about new stuff, but they can watch it as well. I know I found a great podcast on a specific vocabulary unit and showed images of the vocabulary words as it was said out loud. Also, the one posted on the website with Tulum is a great representation of the cultural possibilities. I never had much culture incorporated into my Spanish learning, and I think that in school today culture has a much bigger emphasis. Therefore, it is important in not only telling students about these cultural places and events but also being able to show them.
Flickr was also very interesting to me. I had never even heard of it before, but I think it can also be a great tool to use in the classroom. I can definitely see myself using it in the foreign language classroom.
I'm excited to learn about all of the future technologies of the week, because just with the past 3 I have learned so much and I feel like I am really expanding the possibilities of my teaching. I am really excited about that, because I love feeling like I can use all of the technologies to put in lesson plans that I know my students will react well too. I'm ready to use the all I need is a class!

Technologies of the Week

For the three different technologies that were introduced to us, I think the Google Earth was probably the most useful technology I could see myself using in a classroom for math. The uses for population, geometry using real examples of land and space, and even creating your own buildings can be used to make math seem more tangible. Podcasts, as well, connect students to real life applications of math, as Bobbie mentioned about NASA having a podcast that could update daily about math they use. Flicker seems like it would be the hardest to incorporate into a mathematical lesson, however I think it would be the most optimal way to view how math is evident in the most basic parts of nature. I'm excited to see the future technologies to explore how I can use different technologies within my future classroom.

Reflecting on Technology

So far in class, we have worked with Smart technology, Google Earth, Flickr, and Podcasts. Some of these technologies I had been aware of previously, but others are completely new to me. Flickr is one I had never heard of before. I think there are some really cool opportunities there to manipulate and create with images that students can find about different subject areas, or even for art in general. I think it can really provide a hands on experience--which would be very beneficial for kinesthetic learners in particular. Plus, it would make projects in any area more fun. Flickr can also provide some good tools and activities for us to use in our future classrooms.

This past week I worked a lot with Google Earth, since I am focusing on Geography for my SmartBoard lesson (at the Elementary school level). I think that Google Earth can really come in handy for geography and science lessons. I was able to record a virtual tour of the U.S. looking at various land forms, such as deserts, mountains, forests, and wetlands. In my lesson in particular it came in handy to give students a visual on how many different climates and landforms with have just in our own country and where they are in relation to each other. It is more exiciting than simply looking at a map with texture because the students know that they are looking at actual satellite images.

All in all, my experience with all these technology has really opened my eyes to the endless learning tools that we have at our fingers. There are so many more options now to create activites that hold interest and present material in new, unique ways. I think that education can really benefit from all these different tools we have learned about in the past few weeks.

Monday, February 8, 2010

technology of the week

So far I have definitely found the technology of the week projects really helpful and interesting. I was immediately intrigued by the podcasts. I have never really used or listened to podcasts before, and doing my smartboard project I found that I could use a podcast of a reading of the novel I am teaching to make the exercises more engaging. Instead of just reading from the board or from their books, the students can hear the text. Without the technology of the week presentations, I don't think I would have even considered using podcasts in my project. I also like the idea of Flickr because it allows for more creativity in an English classroom. I think any time you can incorporate images and students can actually see something other than text in front of them, they are going to immediately be more interested and pay more attention. Flickr is a great resource to find writing prompts, share photos, create image projects, and much more. I am using both of these technologies in my smartboard project and am sure I will be able to use them in a future classroom.

Thoughts on Google Earth, Podcast, and Flicker

Thus far I have found all of the technologies of the week to be very cool and interesting.  I see great potential for each one in a math classroom.  Google Earth seems especially interesting for uses in mathematics.  All of the websites which are posted on our wikispace show great examples which explain how Google Earth can be used as a tool in the math classroom.  I really like the example about calculating population changes and the one about calculating angles of buildings and roads.  Podcast also seems to be a good fit for the math classroom.  With podcasts from NASA and other science agencies there are bound to be daily podcasts, which deal with math and could be used to show students the practical daily uses of math.  Flicker, the final tech of the week, seems to offer an infinite amount of possible uses in the math classroom.  Several pictures have to deal with geometry and thus would make a great fit in the geometry class.

            All in all I can’t wait to see what technology is presented next in tech of the week.  The three technologies which have been presented so far have been very interesting which only makes me impatient for the next technology we learn about.  

Technology of the Week Reflection

As a future elementary school teacher, I found the Google Earth program to be the most useful technology out of the three we have discussed so far. I feel as though it would be a very beneficial tool in the elementary classroom because it enables students to learn about the Earth, moon and solar system in depth. Students can zoom in to various countries and cities around the world as well as specific stars in the sky to study them. I can see myself using Google Earth for science to teach my students about aquatic diversity, as Professor Nillas demonstrated in class. I could also use this program for social studies to allow my students to explore various countries around the world.

I also thought the Podcasts were interesting because I never knew much about them before this class. They seem like they would be fun for students to use and a good way to maintain diversity in the types of lessons and activities used in class, which will hold the students' interest. I especially enjoyed the Great Books Audio podcast, because it seems like a good way to inspire students to read and enjoy the process.

As Jenna said, I enjoyed learning about Flickr, but I do not believe it will be as useful in the classroom as the other two technologies we learned about. However, the websites Katie included seem to be interesting and fun for students to use.

Overall, I have enjoyed the Technology of the Week presentations because I had never learned about any of these programs in depth before. I especially appreciate the websites that each person has included in their presentations because they are good resources and will likely be useful to me as a future educator.

Tech of the Week

I have really enjoyed learning about new technologies this past week in class. The technologies that we have learned about will serve as excellent learning tools for students in my future classroom. The three technologies, Podcasts, Flicker, and Google Earth seem like they would supplement the curriculum at any grade level extremely well. Since I have never used Podcasts, I was not aware that they were used often in an educational setting. I thought it was very useful to learn about different websites we could use to find educational podcasts. I am going to begin searching for podcasts which would be relevant to classroom material and subscribe to them. I was also not familiar with Flicker. I have never used Flicker and was unaware of all of its capabilities. I could not believe the projects that could be created using a photo sharing site. I am excited to be able to create photo books. Since some students are visual learners, this would serve as a wonderful teaching tool for those students. I can see myself using Flicker often when I am teaching about other cultures. Although I have used Google Earth before, I enjoyed learning about the update tools. I never know that you could look at pictures of animals and places when you clicked on certain areas of the world. I will use this tool when I teach students about different parts of the world and different animals. It would help students better understand these topics if they were able to see them within the world context. I have really enjoyed learning about these technologies so far. I am excited to see the presentations in the future so that I can learn more tools to use in my future classroom.

Tech of the week

Though I was really stressed out trying to get my tech of the week project done, I think the idea of it is really cool, and I am learning a lot. It has been interesting to see how each piece of technology can be used it not only the obvious courses but in each course we will be teaching. Before taking the time to do research on Flickr, the only thing I thought pictures could be used for is to add an image to a power point but when I spent some time searching the web and just sitting down and thinking what pictures could be used for I was amazed by all the things I could think of! One of my favorite projects I have had to do to this day was in my 3rd grade class where the teacher handed out random pictures and told us to write a 1 page story on it... it was soooo much fun! And it was so interesting to hear what everyone's stories. Thinking back on it now, that was a great way to let us students use our imaginations to have fun with writing. The things I loved most about Flickr and think I will use in my classroom are Flickr map, photo story, and locating shapes in the outside world (math).

I really liked learning about Google Earth and Podcasts as well. I have Google Earth and have played around with it before, but did not know it could do more than just locating pictures of people's homes. I really liked that it can also be used to look at images in the oceans and in space! How cool! With Podcasts, I really never thought about using them in the classroom, but they can be very useful. After class I was listening to a few of them that Kari posted and they were really neat! I think all 3 of these can be used when teaching, not only as teachers when lecturing but the students can also use these applications to learn.

I did not realize until Professor Nillas mentioned it on Thursday, but because they are posted online, in a few years when we are all teaching we can go back to this site and look at the examples to help as we make lesson plans. Overall I think this has been really neat and I am excited to learn more as the weeks progress.

Tech of the Week Thoughts

I have definitely enjoyed the tech of the week spots each week. I have at least heard of the ones we have covered thus far. It is really cool to see how one can use these technologies in the classroom because I would have never thought about it. These websites and activities force you to be really creative in the way you teach. I liked Google Earth because it could be so useful in the elementary setting. I would definitely use it when teaching social studies because you can virtually take your class almost anywhere in the world to explore different cultures or even land forms. I also liked Podcasts because there are SO many different activities you could come up with to tie one into. It was really neat to see that there are podcasts out there for literally almost everything and anything. I also did not know you could subscribe to them on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Definitely worth a try in the future. Finally, I enjoyed Flickr, but I am not sure if I would use is as much as the other two in the classroom. It is hard for me to imagine creating a lesson based on a picture or series of pictures. Although I did like the idea of creating a picture book for a lesson. (Hopefully someone else would pay for it!) Overall, I think technology is a great thing to bring into the classroom because it helps all the different types of learners. They all can take something away and put it to good use, which is the key to it all. I am excited to see the rest of the technologies that are in store for the rest of the semester.

Podcasts and Flickr

I thought both of the technologies that were introduced this week were excellent resources for teachers. I liked the podcasts because it allows students who are audio/visual learners to learn in a way that will meet their needs. They are great for teaching things like different languages, social studies, and reading and they provide students with an opportunity to improve upon their listening skills as well as comprehension skills. Podcasts are also useful in the sense that you can subscribe to certain podcasts that you feel will supplement your teaching.

I really liked Flickr because it is a resource that teachers can use when they want their students to be creative. I liked the idea of having students find pictures to tell a story. Using pictures will help supplement students' stories and will benefit those students who always say they never know what to write about. This is because if you help these students find 3-5 pictures to get them started, it will give them a basic idea of what they want their story to be about and will help them get some ideas down on paper.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tech of the week & a little side note on Smart board

I thought the technology we learned about this week was especially interesting because they were a perfect example of something a little extra you can incorporate in to your lesson. One thing many teachers have a tough time doing is keeping there children's attention. With podcasts I feel like it's the perfect amount of an attention grabber for students, while still being extremely educational. I loved the Great Books Audio with tons of classical books right there for students to listen to. Thought knowing about Flickr before it was presented this past week I still felt like I learned a lot of great ways I will be able to use this application in the classroom. I loved the prompt idea using a picture. I think it's a great way to get kids imagination going!

My smartboard project is coming along pretty well. I'm finding it's tough to find activity's suited for art for the elementary goals. Since art is such a hands on thing, I think it should be interesting how it turns out! I'm glad I've gotten the opportunity to work with smartboard and experience it's features so I won't feel lost when I enter the classroom. :)

Friday, February 5, 2010


As I am finishing up my Smart Board project lesson I feel that things have gone very well. The biggest problem that I have encountered is that I felt like each time I went to work on my project I just kept changing aspects that I had already finished. I kept finding new games and activities that I had never seen before and wanted to use those instead. The possibilities with the Smart Board technology are really endless. This has been a fun experience, learning about this technology which was new for me, I can't wait to hopefully implement it into my classroom in the future.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Project So Far...

I am pleasantly surprise by how much I have enjoyed working on this project so far. I was at first overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options and activities to incorporate, but as I have spent time exploring and creating a lesson, I really feel that using Smart technology in the classroom provides amazing opportunities for children to learn. There are activites friendly for all ages and subject areas. Working with geography at an elementary age has been fun--I'm designing a lesson that identifies continents and oceans, as well as going over basic climates/biomes. We are learning basic facts about deserts, forests, wetlands, and mountains, all of which can also be found in the U.S. This project is a great learning opportunity for me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

smart board project thus far

So far I feel that my smart board project is going very well.  Some of the things that I feel are going well include the integration of the material for the lesson onto the smart notebook.  The Notebook is very easy to use and seems to know exactly what I want it to do.  Another aspect of my presentation, which I feel, is going well is the use of Smart boards formatting materials.  The smart board allows my presentation to look very clean and well… presentable. 

            So far it seems the only thing that is not going well with my smart board presentation is that I cannot find the symbols I am looking for.  I realize that this would not be a problem in math if I had the math version of the smart notebook, however making due with what I do have has proven to be somewhat difficult.  I am sure that with a little more time I will be able to find the exact symbols I am looking for and complete my presentation. 

            I am enjoying working with the smart board and hope that my experience with the smart board continues down this very positive road.  

Monday, February 1, 2010

Smart Board Project

As I continue to work on my project I am begining to find things are coming along slightly better. While working on the preliminary phases of my project, everything was very basic and seemed to me to be below par compared to what could be done with the smart board technology. The more I am able to use the software, the more I am beginning to understand it which is helping me to make a better project. The only problem for me is I am still struggling to find an interactive way to teach the Bill of Rights and Branches of Government. I have some video links, and I am trying to incorporate some games, but I still feel like I need to find more ways to make it interactive for my students.

Thoughts on Smart Board project thus far...

As of last week, I have made a lot of progress on my Smart Board project. My topic is science for the elementary level. I am using three sub goals from ILS goal 12. With these goals in mind, I am attempting to create a science lesson that is both education and interactive. So far, so good. I am focusing on animals and their characteristics and life cycles/styles. I have used key groups such as mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish. I am talking about thier eating habits, shelter, body types, and how they give birth. I forgot how interesting most of that stuff really is! I really think children would enjoy this lesson because it is filled with so many fun activities. I have quizzes, pictures, and sounds to enhance the learning experience. Personally, my favorite slide so far is the one called, "Can you hear the mammals?" It's very cute. Overall, I am having a good time learning my way around Smart Notebook. It is different than any other program I have ever worked with so, it can be confusing at times. But, like anything, I am exploring and giving it my best shot, which it's all about in the long run anyway!

SmartBoard Project

As I continue creating my Smartboard project, I am becoming more and more amazed at what SMART notebook is capable of. I had no idea that SMART notebook had so many interactive games, activities, and lessons. At first, the Smartboard project seemed very daunting to me because I was unfamiliar with SMART notebook and all that it is capable of. However, as I work on it more, I am realizing that anyone can incorporate the it into their lessons as long as they are familiar with how to use it.

One aspect of the SMART notebook that I particularly like is all of the interactive games available for teaching, reviewing, and assessing students. During my job search many districts want to know how I will use technology as a resource to teach students. Referencing this project as well as everything else I have learned so far in this course has helped me answer that question. Understanding how to use the technology to enhance student engagement is something school districts are now expecting of teachers and I think that that is why a course like this is so beneficial to us as pre-service teachers.