Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Final Blog

Going into this class I knew technology was becoming more and more involved in a classroom setting and it is something that is always changing. I knew it was important to use technology in classroom but what I didn’t know is how you can incorporate into a lesson plan.
With this class is opened up my eyes to all different types of big and small tools you can use in a classroom and for students to use at home. It is not all just about the big items such as smart boards but if you don’t have access to a smart board you can certainly use other tools, such as glogster, wordle, u-tube videos, voicethread, skype and the list can go on. You should use these tools even if you do have a smart board. These are great tools of technology.
This class made me comfortable in being able to use technology in a classroom and showed how easy it can be to incorporate any type of technology into a lesson. My opinion stayed the same but my knowledge and what I learned about technology has grown. I knew technology was important but my concern was how was I going to incorporate it into a classroom and with this class it has been answered.

Lit Review # 2

Use of Smart Boards for Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Kindergarten Science
BY: Chris Preston and Lee Mowbray – Teaching Science Journal 2008
This was a very interesting article to read. It provided positive information about smart boards and how it can be used in a classroom. Their examples where based on the subject of science. Smart Boards are every good piece of technology that should be used in every classroom. This a great resource for introducing lesson, fun activities and it engages all the students. A smart board for those who are not familiar is white board that displays the image from your computer. They come in different sizes and are usually mounted on your wall. You can control the white board with your figure or electric pens.
The article gave really good reasons why to use a Smart Board with kindergarten students. It gives a different learning environment, an environment where ideas can be shared. It supports many different learning styles, such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. When young students see technology in their classroom they become excited about learning. The smart board provides motivation in a class room. The article explains that kindergarten students have a short attention span and when using the smart board you can grab their interest and can change the mood of the classroom quickly. With a smart board you can integrate activities and projects and use step by step directions and stay together as a classroom.
I feel a smart board should become a need in a classroom. There are so many positive outcomes when incorporating the smart board into the classroom setting. Smart boards are easy to learn and are becoming more cost friendly. It makes the students become more involved especially when students are engaged in the use of the board. It is a great tool for research, games, instruction and class activities. It can be used to introduce new topics and to review topics. I personally have not used a smart board before but hope to have one in my classroom.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Equal Access

I think it is the schools, parents and teachers responsibility to equal access to the digital world to all learners. Equal access is a big responsibility and I think it is too big of a role to put on a teacher. I do feel the bigger portion of the responsibility is the teachers but the school needs to offer technology and resources to the classrooms and the parent or guardian needs to help extend the knowledge in their home. Some students may not have the technology at home and I think it is the school responsibility to provide those resources so that every student has the same opportunity.
It is hard to give equal access to each student everyday but it needs to be a goal of each teacher to meet. For example if a class room has a computer station make sure every student gets the opportunity to use it. In my lit review they used the clickers to answer questions this will help the teachers see who gets what is being taught and who doesn’t. The teacher then can help those that do not. There are many techniques of trying to make sure every student gets the same opportunity and help.

Lit Review

Instant Class Feedback
With the push of a button By- Kathleen Kennedy Manzo
Journal - Education Week - 2009

The student response system known as the clicker is becoming a popular tool in the classroom. The one in this article is like a garage door opener featuring buttons with numbers or letters and student press the one they think correspond with the question. There are many types. The use of this device started in colleges and they worked so well they migrated into district school systems. Some teachers love them as others do not.
This article was interesting because I can compare with it from our first day of class using the clickers to respond to questions. I really liked using them because no one knew my response, so if I was wrong it was not embarrassing. I think it is the best way to see if student understands the material being taught. If a teacher asked a question and has one student answer and gets it right, doesn’t mean everyone understands. It is like having one student answering for everyone else. When using the clickers the teacher is getting full feedback from each student. Students feel much more comfortable giving an answer if they don’t have to answer in front of everyone. Most of the time the kids that do answer out loud know they are right are not afraid.
The article didn’t mention anything about if they know which students get the right or not. That would be a very helpful tool. This would be helpful because if most of the students get the material and the teacher feels they can move on but a few don’t, the teachers can work with those students after. I strongly agree with the use of this tool in the classroom. It gives positive feedback that can help the student and teacher. I wish this was out when I was in school!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Classroom Social Network - Reflection

 The Classroom Social Network: It’s not just Fun, It’s Fundamental to Modern Learning
This K12 conference about social networing gave some insight on some ways to become more social Network friendly. Adrianne had talked about two main website to use with your kids, which are twitter and facebook. Twitter I was already familiar with me by using in our classroom now, but until this class I did not have a account with twitter. I do have a facebook account but until this presentation I wasn’t quite sure how you would involve facebook with your classroom students. I looked at facebook as be more of a non school social network but she proved me wrong. All though I do think you still need to be careful using facebook with your classroom.
The way she used these social networking site were more for outside the classroom assignments and to post reminders of when assignments are due. She also uses it for discussion. What I thought was great about twitter, which I didn’t know was you can receive the messages on your phone even if you do not have an iphone you can still get the message as a text. This way everyone gets the message. She brought up a good point she found that sending e-mails are harder because not everyone checks them all the time this way by using twitter everyone get the message the same time.
Facebook was the interesting part about her presentation. When using facebook you can create pages. She has a page for each class that she teaches. The pages she creates are not link to her personal page, so it still gives the teacher and student privacy. The student cannot see her page and she cannot see the students personal page in less it is public. Using facebook you can post pictures and link web pages. She had taking pictures of her white board with the notes and diagrams she drew for the class and posted them on facebook, so student can refer back to them and it is great for any student that missed class. I also think that is great for student that have a hard time listening and taking notes at the same time. They now can refer back to them as a backup.
             I never used blogs or twitter until this class and I feel is a great tool and gets students involved more in classroom participate and it is good for the teacher to see if students get the material that is being taught. I want to be a first or second grade teacher and it is a little bit harder to use these types of tools. What I would try to use is Skype, which was my previous blog.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

K12 Online Conference - Seeds to Success with Skype - Reflection

This presentation opens my eye to whole new way of learning. I think using Skype in a classroom is another great way of integrating technology and learning for students of any age. The presentation mentioned several ways of why to use it and are all very good ideas.  Some idea that stuck in my mind are the following, To see what is happening in other classrooms, to read to younger students, to have an expert visit the classroom, parents conferences, to have another teacher teach a lesson to your students and my favorite, to include a student who is out of school for extended period of time.
            Seeing what is happening in other classroom is great experience for students. There is always a curiosity of what goes on in another classroom especially in another state. Shown in the video there are two 4th grade classrooms reading a book together and taking turns reading it to each other. Another lesson was an Oreo project and it was a fun challenging task of who can stack the most Oreos without is falling over. This gives excitement to students and keeps them interested in learning. Another way of keeping the students interested is having another teacher teach a lesson and having a speaker/expert come talk to the students. This changes the routine a little and gives the students a well rounded environment and change things up a little with a different teaching style. Having an expert talk through Skype is a great alternative if they can’t make it to the classroom. The student can still see and hear them and the expert can still answer questions.
            The video just mentioned the idea of having a student Skype if they are out for extend period but I thought this was a fabulous idea. I know if I had to miss class for a while I would be worried about what I am missing in class. Using Skype can take away this worry and still make you feel and be involved with the class room.
            I have no doubts about using Skype in a classroom and would definitely consider using it in my future classroom. It has so many positive effects about it to help student learn. This would be something I would recommend to use after seeing this presentation!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Digital Nation - Reflection

Watching the Digital Nation film was very interesting at many points, such as the video games, multitasking and what it can do to you. I knew that some people where into video games and that some are obsessed over them, but little did I know that there are conference held for each particular game.
The video illustrated multitasking. So many people in today’s world are multitasking. As I was watching the video one of the thoughts came to mind and that was do I do that too? Over the past couple of days I catch myself doing at least two or more thing at a time at some points. You don’t realize it until you stop and think about what you are doing. How can texting on your phone, writing notes and listening to your teacher talk in class or talking to a friend all at the same time be a good thing. How are we learning to our potential if our mind is trying to focus on three things instead of one? In some cases it is good to multitask but I don't think it is good in a learning environment. I also thought about how I lucky my generation is, which I am 24. When I was in elementary school we didn’t have the fancy lap tops the cell phones ect. We had the big computers and we used those to learn how to type and we had the overhead projections that you can right on and it would reflect it back on the board. We all thought that was the coolest thing. As we grew more and more different types of technology came out. So we can relate back when all this technology didn’t exist. I feel that is the best.
When the video showed that the brain is more active while searching the wed then reading a book. That took me by surprise. You would think the brain would have more activity reading a book then searching the web. As they explained that reading book come easier to us and that the Brian doesn’t need to work as hard. When searching the web your brain is thinking more about what you are doing then just reading words. So in that case it more sense. When reading a book you are doing one thing but searching the web you are reading and think about you have to next making the mind think more.
                 The video games and how kids and even adult become so additive to them is wild. Children and adults becoming additive was a lot more than I thought. The study on Koreans should that 90 percent of kids that play games on the computer 10 percent are at high risk. I found it shocking that they have to offer camps to children who have become additive to games. To me it didn’t seem that it was a very convincing camp. As the boy that they were interviewing just wanted to go back home a start playing again after he was out. As stated in the video from one girl that she wakes up at 9 starts playing and doesn’t stop till one in the morning and she start all over the next day. Some people have quit their jobs to play these video games.
                One of the school in NY from the video showed that using computer in class help them a lot but then found that it can become a big distraction. Student would go on it during class using You Tube, Face book and Games. This is something schools will have to monitor. Students in second grade are learning how to use a computer. They stated they are teaching the ethics, rules and how a computer can help them learn. Now that computer are becoming more popular to learn from  I think they should use them for certain areas and not all the time and also how to use it for the correct ways in school.
                I thought this video was going to concentrate on the good expects of technology but they really pointed out the negative impact it has on children and adults. There are good and bad and it all depends on the person and how they what to use it. Everyone needs to take responsibly on how they use technology. You can use to help you learn and you can use just to play games. Technology offers lot and it is only going to grow. With technology growing I feel as well that school can’t keep up. School will get some great new technology and by the time teachers learn how to use it, something new comes out. It is never going to come to a stop and it can only get better. We all just need to use it in the right ways to help us.