Thursday, April 22, 2010

I found that most of the technologies that we learned about would be very helpful when it comes to teaching. Not just the technologies created for teachers like teacher tube, or geoGebra. But other technologies that we use every day like skype. I plan on staying on these accounts and start pieceing together possible lesson plans and other works.

Overall Reflections

Overall I think this class has helped me out a lot. I am not the best with learning new technologies so it was nice to take this course and gain a better understanding of how to use some of the more popular projects. I especially enjoyed doing the photostory and webquest projects and will definitely use those when I am a teacher. I will also definitely take more of a look at all the projects we learned about today and am excited about visiting the web page later and using some of those tools too!

Final Post

Overall I feel that throughout the semester I felt more and more competent every time I would use a computer. Through all of the new technologies I learned about every week, I constantly gained confidence in using new tools on the Internet. I plan to continue to use most of these technologies in the future, but the ones I plan to use most are Google Earth, Dipity, and Teacher Tube. I like the features of Google Earth a lot, mostly because it has so many different uses, and can be applied to almost all of the different topics covered in a social studies class. I liked the tour alot, I feel that there are plenty of different uses which I could get out of that in a history classroom. Dipity is very useful for a history teacher, because not only can I ealisy create presentations for my students, but since it is such an easy technology to use, I could easily help my students navigate through it. Teacher Tube will also help me alot since history videos are very plentiful and easy to find. It is also good to use to give the students something else to see and listen to. Overall I am very glad to have taken this class and learned about all of the new technologies.

Course Evaluation

I have definitely become more aware of different kinds of technology due to being in this class. I have also learned how effective technology can be in the classroom when used correctly, and how interactive assignments can be very engaging for students. I think I have gained some competency in regards to technology that I didn't have before this class, and have discovered some great ideas for future projects for my students along the way. I want to continue learning about new technologies and how they can be used in a language arts classroom so I don't continuously fall back on traditional teaching practices once I am with my own students. By keeping up with new technology I can keep my students fascinated by literature and interested in coming to class.

Reflection

This class was extremely helpful since it allowed me to learn many technologies that I will be able to use when I begin teaching. I was unaware that many of the technologies existed before I began the coarse. I feel much more confident in my abilities to include technology in my classroom everyday because of what I learned. I will continue to use these technologies in the future since I believe they are an excellent tool for the classroom. I am interesting in exploring more technologies past the ones we learned about in class. As I begin my classroom experiences next year, I will create lessons that include these technologies. I am also going to spend time this summer practicing using the technologies we covered in class. I have already taught my friends some of the technologies, which in turn has helped me become confident in my abilities.

Final Thoughts on Technology

After taking this course, I have realized just how much technology is available to implement in the classroom. The number of resources available to enhance lessons is overwhelming. There are so many tools that can really get students activiely involved in their learning. I feel that I have a good grasp on how to work these different programs. I usually have trouble getting used to working different programs, but I feel confident in working all the ones we have worked with this semester. After all the different projects we completed and presentations we saw I have realized that using these technologies is not very difficult. I think that in the future I will find them to be very useful.

This course is a great idea for education majors becuase I feel like a lot of people dont realize how useful technology can be. After taking this course I feel that I can be more resourceful as a teacher in bringing new, creative activities into my lesson plans. I will be able to find videos much easier, create fun presentations, and even get my students involved in interactive games. I have really learned a lot this past semester and I can't wait to get to put all these new technologies to use.

Course Experience

Overall, I believe this course helped me find valuable technologies that can be used in my classroom in the future. There were some technologies that I had heard of, but never actually experiences, and some technologies that were completely new to me. I'm glad I was introduced to these teaching and learning tools, and had a chance to experiment so I can start off with at least the basics in the future. My plan for the future includes exploring some of the educational sites that we learned about where I can branch off to the new and upcoming technologies that will be useful in my concentration area. Also, I can always come back to this website and review the technologies we learned about in order to incorporate technologies I may have forgotten about into my plans. I think the lesson plans that we invented for the projects will be a good starting point for my own lesson plans and projects that will be useful for the students to undertake.

Overall

Overall through this course I believe that my computer competency has gone up dramatically. I am very pleased with the number of new technologies that I am now capable of using in the classroom setting. Technologies such as photo story and GeoGebra really caught my attention and I would like to explore these further.

Through this class I feel that I accomplished my goals about learning new technologies. With Google Earth, Panoromio and Flicker I hope to add my own photos to share to my class one day in the future.

By combining some of these technologies (such as the example mentioned above) I have learned that one can do some pretty amazing things in the classroom.

Overall Reflections

After taking this course, I definitely have a much better understanding of the various technologies that we have access to as teachers. The independent projects were incredibly useful because we were each able to study one technology in depth and share our knowledge with the class. Overall, we learned about many new and existing technologies that can bring a great deal of variety into the classroom and keep students engaged. I plan to continue learning about new technologies by learning how to use any new technologies that I hear or read about, and by keeping myself updated on the technologies we have discussed in class. It is crucial for teachers to remain up-to-date on past, current, and future forms of technology so that they can provide their students with the most interactive, engaging educational experience possible. Overall, this class has been a great help to me, and I plan to keep myself updated on developing technologies.
Before this class I felt like I was able to navigate around the usual computer programs and I wouldn't have classified myself as technologically challenged. However, this class taught introduced me to programs I will be using as a teacher in the classroom and was able to take away a lot from it. I now feel comfortable going into the classroom as a student teacher and creating lesson plans and interactive ideas for the students. I'm so happy Smart Board was used in this class, because I feel like it's being utilized in a lot of schools now. The various tech of the weeks I learned were so helpful to have a unique style to my teaching curriculum.

I think the worksheets that you had us provide for our independent project at the end was a great idea. Now we all have an idea of how to work different programs. This class helped me feel at ease with my technology skills and now I feel comfortable going into the classroom using the resources I gained here.

Course Assessment

I feel that this course has made me feel much more comfortable with technology. Before I took this course, I felt quite timid about integrating technology into my teaching and working with technology in general. I was unsure about my abilities and felt incompetent even at times. As a result of this course, however, I came to appreciate technology and all it has to offer. I am now familiar and comfortable with the Smartboard, photostory, Google Earth, and all of the "Tech of the Week" topics. In addition, I realized that teaching with technology is very much possible and gets students excited about learning.

I plan on integrating technology into my teaching quite often next year. I just took a job at a school district that has great technology. There are Smartboards in every room, computer labs, and iClickers. These technologies are all things I am familiar with now and will be able to use often when I teach.

The one thing I learned about myself and technology through this course is that before learning a technology have to tell myself that it is okay not to know everything about it right away. I have learned that in order to learn technology you must play around with it first before you will master it. I look forward to using it into my classroom next year!

End of the semester

This class has been great in introducing me to a bunch of educational technologies that I did not even know existed. I am now really excited to use some of these technologies in my future classroom. As I continue through my curriculum courses I hope to be able to use some of what I have learned in this class. I have discovered a lot of way to introduce subject matter that I really think elementary students would find fun!
I do feel more confident in my computer and technology skills, although I still think that there is always a lot more that I could learn. More than once I had a project not upload or transfer correctly, all learning experiences.

Final Thoughts

While sitting here recalling the past 4 months of this class, I realized I have learned a lot of useful information. I have become more comfortable using programs such as Google Earth, Smart Board, and Photo Story. I can definitely see myself using these types of technologies in the next few years when I get my own classroom. I have seen an improvement in my willingness to try new things. I was skeptical to use some of the technology, but found out that after I gave them a chance and put some work into them, I really enjoyed them. I plan on continuing to expand my knowledge in the use of technology by possibly taking future classes about it. Additionally, I hope to just constantly be aware of up and coming technology in the classroom. I think this class is a great idea for future educators because it really opens up your eyes to millions of possibilities. Technology definitely makes learning more exciting, even if there are a few glitches involved. I hope that in the future I can use technology to help my students learn and become more educated about the world around them. I am excited keep up with many of the technologies we've utilized and will be more than willing to help others learn about them along the way. I have gained so much knowledge in this class and am really glad I decided to take it.

End of Semester Reflection

Although this class was a challenge for me, I learned a lot of new information. I think my overall computer knowledge and skills have increased a lot, simply because I had the opportunity to be constantly learning new applications and tools. I am much more advanced at using the specific technologies we have worked on throughout the semester and I feel like I am much better equipped to learn new technologies in the future.
My plan for the future is to continue learning about new technologies. I will definitely incorporate some of the technologies we have learned about in my teaching. For example, if I ever was going to assign a powerpoint presentation to my students, I think I would switch it up and have them do a prezi. I think that not only knowing the technologies myself, but sharing that knowledge with my students and colleagues, is an extremely important part of teaching and constantly evolving.
Overall, I am really happy I took this course. It was frustrating at times and I generally hate relying on technology to do everything. However, it was extremely beneficial. I loved how each project was geared toward each person's content area---I now have projects that I can practically use in my classroom.
Thanks for helping me learn more about technology and become a better teacher because of it!
:)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Webquest, Google Earth, and Tech of the Week

As I have completed the last couple projects, I have really come to realize there are so many possibilities with English Language Arts that I had not considered before. The webquest was a really interesting activity as I had to basically do the project myself to make sure it would be something that my students could do. Adding that element to an assignment makes it all the more effective and engaging. I also think it makes the teacher-student connection stronger because everyone in the classroom has done the same work. My tech of the week was also really enjoyable, and I definitely see myself using Jing in my classroom. Screen capture software makes it possible to give students corrections on his or her paper in a more personal way, once again enhancing the teacher-student relationship. My Google Earth project proved to be the most challenging. While I see how Google Earth could be extremely useful in contextualizing novels or author's lives, the limited amount of projects created in relation to English Language Arts made my project that much more difficult. Overall, I am excited to culminate the semester with my final project and continue to learn the new and different ways in which technology can enhance my classroom.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reflections on Webquest, Google Earth, and Tech of the Week

The past few weeks have given me a lot of ideas for using technology in my future classroom. Webquest was a very interesting project for me. It allowed for work to be done in a few subject areas rather than just one. My project used math skills, as well as social studies. I think it really gives students an opportunity to push themselves while seeing how the skills they learn in the classroom can work together in the real world. The only hesitation I have in using Webquest is that the activities seem to be geared more for older students, perhaps at the middle school and high school levels. Some of the material available to incorporate is a little too dense for elementary school. But there are certainly ways to make a Webquest activity more age appropriate. I think it is a great way to push critical thinking skills as well as allowing students to be independent in their work.

Having worked with Google Earth before during the Smart Board project, I enjoyed exploring the program in more depth this time around. I think that this is a great tool for giving students a chance to learn about the world around them, not only in a geographical sense, but also about culture and landmarks. Google Earth can provide basic information about places around the world if links are incorporated in the right way. It was actually enjoyable for me making the worksheet and learning about different places. I think Google Earth is an excellent tool for helping students relate one geographic location to another and be able to see actual satellite images of these places they are learning about. It gives them a deeper understanding than what they might get from a simple two-dimensional map in a textbook.

Tech of the week has continued to be very enlightening for me. I never knew that there were so many different tools out there that can really enhance lessons and be applicable to the school setting. I really like the iClicker. I have seen them used in classrooms in my observations so far and the students really seem to enjoy using them. It gives everyone an opportunity to be involved in a lesson or game, and that makes everything more exciting. I think Dipity is a great interactive tool for any age with virtually any subject area. It can really be beneficial in helping students organize thoughts, ideas, events, etc. The Java application provides interactive games as well that can present material in a new way that makes learning more enjoyable for students. I think my lessons will be able to reach the next level so I can engage my students much more easily than with a simple chalkboard and overhead projector.

Webquest, Google Earth, and Tech of the Week

These past few weeks have really opened my eyes to all the technologies available to classroom teachers. Webquest, Google Earth, primary sources, jing, and iClicker are all sources I plan on using when I become a teacher. The webquest is particularly helpful becase it incorporates higher order thinking skills as well as requires students to become familiar with navigating the web. For my webquest, I had students creating a monument for an Egyptian pharaoh. I could have had them look at books to complete this project, but making it into a webquest made it so much more interactive. They were able to go on online tours, watch videos, and had immediate access to a wide range of information. I feel that my students would benefit greatly from webquests and plan on incorporating them into my insturction.

Google Earth really amazed me in terms of what it had to offer students. There is so much information available at students fingertips on Google Earth. This is both good and bad. It is good in the sense that there is a lot to explore and choose from when planning lessons, but it is bad because students may get lost, overwhelmed, and confused when working with Google Earth. That is why I think it is so important to create a recording to show students exactly where they will be going and what they will be doing. This eliminates confusion and provides clear direction to students.

Primary sources, jing, and iClickers are all excellent technologies that will be beneficial to me as a teacher. I liked primary sources because students get to work with real documents, letters, and sources that affected history. I believe that primary sources have the power to have a real affect on kids, especially in social studies. Jing is an excellent writing tool that I would most likely use if I taught older students. Elementary students typically do not submit papers electronically or type them out, but if they did I could see this tool being very beneficial. Finally, I liked iClickers because they have the ability to provide immediate feedback and encourage all students to participate. Too often students do not participate because they are embarrassed about not knowing the answer, but with this, no one has to know how others responded.

I am so glad to have learned about these technologies. It is so much easier incorporating technology into the classroom after you have a firm understanding of how they work. It is nice that I am getting this knowledge now as a pre-service teacher instead of having it all thrown at me my first year of teaching.

Latest Projects and Technologies of the Week

Since our last update via blogging as a class, we have accomplished a lot. Our two most recent projects were a WebQuest and a Google Earth activity. I really enjoyed the WebQuest because I was assigned data analysis. However, I'm horrible at math so I had to come up with something creative and fun-- for my sake. So I started thinking about current events that had to do with data. Then it hit me, the 2010 Census! So I began to work and came up with a pretty creative project that is suited for middle elementary students. I had them explore the U.S. Census' website for kids. Next, they had to gather information about the state of Illinois and a state of their choice. They first had to answer general questions about them then I had them look at numbers for amounts of toy stores, ice cream shops, theme parks, etc. Finally they graphed their findings in a bar graph. I also provided a website link that showed them step-by-step instructions of how to make a bar graph.

Our latest project, Google Earth was also interesting. I chose to have my students take a tour and gather information about the "Seven Wonders of the World". I liked this topic because each wonder is located in such a different place than the next. The tour I created went all over the world to show them how vast and different each place was. In the activity itself, I had YouTube videos linked to each question so they could actually see the wonder itself. I also linked Wikipedia pages to them as well so they could get a little bit of background information on each place. I had them conclude with an essay question that follows, "If you could nominate an eight wonder of the world, where would it be and why?" That way, students could pick a place they may have been or wished to go. It was a great social studies activity for the students.

Lastly, we have touched on a few technologies of the week. I really enjoyed iClicker and Jing. Each of those could definitely be used to make learning in the classroom more fun. I liked Jing because you could take really clear screen shots of anything you were doing. A student could use that technology for any sort of class or group project. I also liked the use of iClicker. It seems like a great way to get instant feedback on questions. I also like that it keeps information neatly stored for you (grading). I would love to have an iClicker station in my classroom one day. Overall I have really enjoyed all of the projects and technologies we have been working with lately, they have all proved themselves very useful and creative.

Projects and Technology of the Week

As many others have said, I have enjoyed working on the various projects we have completed and learning about new technologies through the Technology of the Week presentations. The WebQuest project was one of my favorites because it enables students to do research on the internet in a guided manner. This will be useful for them in their education because research is required to complete many assignments in school, and it is incredibly important for students to learn how to find accurate sources and use the information to create a specific product. The WebQuests are also an interesting and fun activity for students to do, and they are yet another way to include a variety of activities in the classroom to engage students.

The two recent Technology of the Week presentations, Jing and iClickers, also seem to be a great way to keep students engaged. Jing will be helpful in the classroom when students must collaborate on a project, or when teachers would like to add annotations to student work to give to them as feedback. IClickers would be helpful at any grade level to quickly assess students to determine which concepts they understand and which need more explanation.

Webquest, Google Earth, & Tech of the week

The google earth project that I just finished was something I found very interesting. I did not even know this existed and I think it's something that can be utilized in the classroom. I love that it's perfect for all ages, so every teacher can really use the benefits of it. I actually am using it right now for my history class and I find that it helps a lot with map assignments. Creating the actual tour is really easy and something that any teacher will be able to do. The other assignment we did in class was the web quest. One thing the education program at IWU stresses is that the future educators utilize as many resources as possible. I think the web quest is a great way to meet that. Being able to see other teachers lessons and ideas and collaborating with colleagues is so important. This helps educators find the best strategy for their particular classroom. I loved making the web quest because it gave me the experience of being in the teachers shoes.
As far as the technology of the week goes, I felt like Iclicker was is something that many more schools are using today. It's fast, efficient, and reliable. I love how the students can be engaged and the teacher can get feedback on how she the class is doing. Also, it's great that students don't have to feel ashamed by their answer and embarrassed since other students won't know who answered what. This is great for teachers to assess how they are teaching and how well their students are understanding.

Google Earth


I believe that goggle earth would be a very interesting thing to use to supplement a lesson in history. I think it would be very interesting to map out events like the civil war and the word wars. It would be very useful to map out key battles and were treaties were signed and other events that shape these monumental events.

Another way to use this is having my students doing a similar project to what we did. This program is defiantly a high school level material but it is manageable and usable with only a little instruction. Overall this is a very useful program and im sure it will not be the last time I use this program.

Technologies of the Week

The technologies of the week that we have covered over the past few weeks have been interesting. I have not been aware of most of the recent technologies of the week, so learning about them will enable me to now have more resources to use the classroom.

The lesson on Jing was one of the most helpful. Although at first it seemed to be an extremely simple technology, I was able to see the many uses that it actually would have for teachers and students alike. It was easy to use, but still had relevance to many different types of lessons and activities.

Although I have heard of iClickers before and knew how they worked, I have never had the chance to actually use them. I was surprised with the ease of setting up the clickers to work with a PowerPoint. I could see many applications for clickers in an elementary classroom. Students would be excited to use them because they make it feel like you are playing a game. Also, students who are shy and worried about talking in front of the class could use the clickers without feeling nervous about participating in class.

Reflection on Techs of the week, webquest, GE

One of my favorite activities that we have done in class is the webquest. I really enjoyed making an activity for the students to do. The main reason that I like the webquest so much is because of the Internet aspect. By using the Internet to research data the webquest teaches students how to use credible sources. Also the webquest provides teachers and students alike to gain new information in a fun and interesting way.

The Google Earth project was very similar to the webquest project in that we made a worksheet for students to find the answers to using Google Earth. Google Earth is a very powerful tool and contains many cool features that I previously did not know about, like 3D models and the ability to view mars and the mood. While I found it challenging to incorporate a math lesson in Google Earth, I still feel that it is a valuable tool, just perhaps not the best for a math class.

As always our class explores a new technology each week called technology of the week. Recently we have gone over primary sources, jing, and Iclicker. Of these three technologies I find that Iclicker is the technology, which best fits the math class. While jing (a screen capturing tool) and the primary sources on the Internet may be great tools for an English or history class, they have very limited use in the math classroom.

Iclicker is a way for students to take quizzes and answer questions electronically and anonymously. A math teacher could make a quick quiz to test the student’s knowledge about definitions or terms in math and ask them to either pick true or false or just pick the correct answer. The Iclicker certainly has its limitations with only being able to do multiple choice or true and false questions, however I feel that it is a very powerful tool. One of its advantages is that it is completely anonymous, so students wont feel pressured and worry about getting the answer wrong in front of their peers. Another advantage is the games that come with Iclicker. Although they were not talked about in class there are games that students can play either separately or in teams. These games bring a new aspect to learning which should act to increase the students interest level.

All in all I continue to be amazed with all of the new technologies we learn in class. I can see myself using a majority of these technologies in my classroom in the future.

Techs of the Week

Throughout the semester, I have really enjoyed learning about the different types of technology which have been presented. The technology I think I will use the most in the classroom is Google Earth. I think the vast array of programs which are already available for use make it a great program to incorporate in the history classroom, and with the new technologies that will soon be developed, it will only get better. Another program which I think would be very useful is the iClicker. I like this technology, because it would be good to use in order to see what point a class is at in terms of learning the material from a certain unit, and it will give insight into what areas need to be worked on more in order to get a class to the point they need to be by the end of the unit. I personally enjoy teacher tube a lot because this will be an easy way to both find information to show to my students, and it will also give me as a teacher a way to stay up to date on different informaiton in the teaching realm in a quick and easy way.

Google Earth and Tech of the Weeks

The Google Earth project actually turned out much better than I was expecting it to. I think its a concise and practical way to view real life uses of mathematics, and it lets the students view it in real world perspective instead of just out of a book. For the tech of the weeks, I enjoyed Jing and iClicker a lot. I think Jing would be a really good resource for going over problems on tests that students may have gotten wrong. That way they would be able to see the correct way of solving the problem, or would get to hear from me why I took a certain amount of points of if they only got partial credit. The iClicker would be really helpful for class participation and to determine the understanding or progress of a class. The harder part of using the iClicker though, would be to come up with enough multiple choice questions that would be worth using in class instead of time spent teaching the concept. I think finding the balance may be a little tricky, but overall possible.

Webquests, Techs, etc

I really enjoyed making my webquest. I think my topic, learning about the conquest of ancient civilizations, is extremely important and also very extensive. By making the webquest for my students and providing helpful websites, it really puts everything within their reach. They can navigate the internet and learn so much. Having them then take that information and re-use it in creating their own newspaper article is the biggest challenge and really requires them to follow the steps in the webquest closely. I think it would be a great project for the end of a unit in not only a foreign language classroom, but any classroom. I saw a lot of great webquests while sharing them in class. I would have loved to have the opportunity to do a webquest during high school!
The google earth activity was a little frustrating for me. I couldn't find a good file that fit my needs, so I had to adapt what I was supposed to be doing. In addition to that, I found it difficult to go to certain places and click on the boxes--my file had a lot of information, so I found myself constantly clicking on stuff on accident. Overall though, I think it turned out really well and I can definitely see the benefits of using it in class! I think in addition to a project/worksheet, it might also be nice view on a large screen and do class activities. This way, you can ensure that all students are seeing exactly what you want them to see.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Projects and Tech of the Weeks

I have really enjoyed both learning about and doing these projects. Though the webquest was quite a bit of work, I really liked my topic so that made it fun. I also really enjoyed my google earth topic once I finally found it. I think the technology for both of these projects was decently easy to use once we got the hang of it and I think both can definitely be used in our classrooms one day. I had a lot of fun putting these together.

In general I love learning about all the different technologies that we will have access to as teachers. I think these will all be great to usse in our classrooms and especially for Elementary I can totally see the kids having a blast using all of these different technologies. Though I have enjoyed them all, I especially loved the iclickr presentation. That is something I will definitely have to buy and use in my classroom. I am also very thankful that Christine included all that information on setup and how to use it. I also thought it was a really neat idea to do the presentation by making a quiz for all of us to take. So, great job Christine! haha. Really though, everyone's presentations have been great, I am learning a lot, and I cannot wait to be a teacher so I can use all of these different activities with my students.

Web Quest and Google Earth

I have really enjoyed putting together both my Web Quest and my Google Earth project. I think that the Web Quest is a great tool to introduce students to the endless resources of the internet. In today's internet dependent society it is never too early to teach students how to successfully navigate the internet. Putting the Web Quest together was a little challenging at the beginning though. There were so many possibilities of websites but finding age appropriate and dependable ones took a while.
Google Earth is so cool! You literally have the whole world at your fingertips! There are so many options beyond just the science and social studies topics that you might first think is all that you could use Google Earth for.