Thursday, December 9, 2010

Final Posting

I really enjoyed learning about all of these technologies this semester, and it really made me feel more secure in my decision to pursue an educational contract major in visual literacy. Technology and visual literacy go hand in hand and this course was really helpful to me even though I'm not going into teaching per se. I think these websites and technologies are really useful for students as well as teachers. I think that they really helped me with my other courses, projects and study skills in general. The use of Dipity timeline was quite helpful in studying for art history exa,s. zamzar helped me add sound clips to other presentations etc. I've taught a lot of my friends about these resources too and they are all utilizing them as well. Knowing that there are resources out there like this is very reassuring and I can't wait to see more developed.

Final Posting

Coming into this class, I was not sure what to expect. I anticipated that we would do a series of projects that would teach us how to use technology in the classroom, but I never guess that my entire view of teaching and technology would be altered. Not only have I gained a skill set that will undoubtedly help me to succeed in both student teaching in my own future classroom, but I have also accessed a whole new world of technologies to use in everyday life. For example, I have been using Google maps for many years, but up until I was working on my final project I had absolutely no idea that I could create my own map with placemarks and paths to follow. I am extremely excited to use these websites and technologies in the reminder of my academic career and professional life.

Final Post

I have never felt very confident with technology in the past, but after taking this course, I really feel like I've mastered several essential technologies. It was very beneficial to practice using wikis and blogs because they are so versatile and can be used in so many ways in the classroom. I also really liked learning how to make a photostory. I've already used that technology in writing one of my lesson plans for the Science Curriculum class. But for me, the most important project we did was the Smartboard project. It was very frustrating at times, but I discovered so many functions and features of the SmartNotebook software that I didn't know about before. It is highly likely that I'll be expected to use this technology in my student teaching and my future classroom so I'm very glad that I've gained some experience with it. I'm also glad that I was able to problem solve and brainstorm with the SmartNotebook software to get it working for me. That was a very valuable experience.

Final Post

I entered this course thinking it would be just another technology course like I took in high school. I am SO glad I was wrong. This course has taught me more in one semester than I learned in four years of technology classes in high school. I know how to use applications that I will definitely use in my classroom. Not only will I use the applications, but I may also use the actual projects I have made. This Google Earth project will really come in handy when we talk about different places in France. I feel much better about student teaching (the SmartBoards worried me last year) and being the head in a classroom. I've been recommending this class to my education major friends because it is so beneficial. Knowing how to use these technologies will definitely make me more successful in teaching.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Final Posting

Liz Exo

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

Website Lends and Ear to Student Woes- Then Reports Trends to Schools

Liz Exo’s Blog Post:

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

Text messaging: a lecture hall epidemic?

This month a study was released that examined the in-class texting habits of students from Wilkes University. Two psychology professors created a 32 question survey to study the texting habits of this Pennsylvania University. The survey was answered by 269 students and the results were very alarming to many professors. Over 95% of participants said that they bring their phones to class and 3/4 of the survey noted that they had been distracted in class by a ringing or vibrating phone. Deborah Tindell, one of the professors who created the survey, noted “It’s becoming a bigger issue as cell phones are changing...Technology has changed pretty drastically in the past few years. … You used to have some proficient texters, and that was it. Now, almost everyone does it.”
Nine in ten students in the study said that have sent and received text messages during class. A very small portion of these students, however, believe that professors should allow unlimited texting in class as long as it does not disrupt the learning of other students.
Alarmingly, "Research from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows that half of teenagers surveyed send 1,500 text messages a month, and one-third of survey respondents send 100 texts every day, or 3,000 per month."
Another professor at the University argued that students who text frequently in class should automatically receive failing grades in the class despite their scores on papers and tests.

I have very mixed feelings about this article. On one hand, it can be very frustrating when there is a person sitting next to me in class who is texting profusely on a phone with loud clicking buttons that vibrates or makes a noise every time they receive a text. This person is unlikely to be paying attention to the professor and is becoming an obvious distraction to people around them. Conversely, many students check their phones once or twice a class and type short responses and then put their phone away. Oftentimes, this can be done without creating a distraction or detracting the student from what is going on during class. I am very guilty of the later habit, however, I feel as though this behavior is becoming a normalized part of our culture. Outside of class, students are connected to their friends 24/7 via text messaging and Facebook. For example, my best friend goes to school in Carbondale but I talk to her nearly all day using text messaging, Facebook posts and Skype. When we are so connected to others using cellular devices at all times, it seems nearly impractical to not respond to them just because we are in class. I never respond to my friends to be rude to my classmates or because I am bored in the class, but rather because I am so used to responding and people in our generation typically expect an immediate response when they sent a text message.
When I look at this topic from the perspective of a future educator, I can see how this behavior would be undeniably frustrating. I imagine that it is also very distracting for professors to look into their crowd of students and see them all ignoring the lecture and texting instead. I completely disagree with the professor who strongly believed that students who text deserve a failing grade automatically. I feel as though there are better ways to handle the situation than throwing and "F" at the student. The professor could easily pull the student aside and ask them to cease their in- class texting. If the student is not compliant, then the professor can enforce more serious consequences. The survey even mentioned that if professors set a "no texting" rule in their syllabus during the first class period, students will be extremely respectful of the professors wishes. Personally, when I know that a professor will not tolerate texting, I do not look at my phone for the entire period. When a professor does not set this president, however, most students do not feel as though they are restricted.
Overall, I think that very brief texting in class is not a serious issues. Sometimes there might be an important situation that a student needs to deal with in the moment. However, texting can get very out of hand when students spend their entire class period texting, are not paying attention to the professor and are distracting other students.