Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reflective Post

Photo Credit to Miquela Cuellar
My thoughts and reflection about the textbook:
           I really liked the textbook. It is new and up-to-date on a lot of current information. Most textbooks are old and worn out and don't offer actual insight to things you'll be working with in the future. In our textbook there are tons of tech tools, which I really enjoyed, and questions at the beginning of every chapter that get me thinking about how I will use technology in my classroom. There were concepts that I would have never had thought about if it was not for the textbook. It was smaller than I had anticipated but it held a lot of useful information.Other textbooks I have had in the past were full of information that was completely irrelevant to what I was learning and what I wanted to do as a career.
Photo Credit to: on Flickr
           Usually I do not like text books because I find them dull and boring. This book made me feel better though because it was not a big book and it was easy to read. I had to use it throughout the course for my Journal Posts here on blogger and at first I did not like having to make blogs but after a few posts I found that I was looking forward to doing my next one. Some classes have Ebooks but I personally find those hard to read and enjoy the hard copy. This class also offered one for the students who do like to use them so there was variety there.

My thoughts and reflection about the discussions:
           The discussions were quite interesting. I really liked the fact that we were given options on what we wanted to write and discuss. There was room for wiggle on them. Some professors have everyone answer the same question and that tends to get boring, especially when you have to comment on two other students' posts. The only thing I did not like about the discussions was that we had to post on two other classmates posts. I know it's a good idea to do but after having to do it for every online class discussion it started to get repetitive. Other than that the discussions made me think and got my mind rolling on new topics that I had not thought about before. While reading some of my classmates works it gave me insight on how others thought and perceived ideas and how sometimes we thought the same thing.
           One major thing that I liked about the discussions was that there were not many of them. Some teachers pile them on and have them due every week. This course spread them out and made them interesting so I did not mind making them. The first discussion was fun to do because it had to do all about me and I got to post a picture of an owl, which is my favorite animal.

My thoughts and reflection about the activities and assignments:
Photo Credit to: tachyondecay on Flickr
           The activities and assignments were different from what I was used to. I had to make accounts for different websites and do things I wasn't used to doing. I liked this but at the same time I didn't like it. I did not like it because I would sometimes forget my username and password for the accounts. I know I should have wrote them down but I tend to forget that. It made it difficult sometimes to remember. However, I did like that I was using new material that I could use in my future education and in my future classroom to help me teach. I really like the last assignment about creating a website because I had never done that before. Although it was difficult and uncomfortable for me to use after a little bit I really started to enjoy myself. I liked the collaborative assignments as well, especially the one with the wiki because I got to work with a group of students instead of just with one other person. I also liked using Flickr. I had never used it before and I find it extremely useful when searching for pictures now. 

Improvements for the course:
           This course was really well prepared. The big assignments were not due at the same time and everything was spaced out evenly. The only thing I would like to see improved is that there be more smaller assignments. That way if you don't do so well on one of the bigger assignments there will be more leeway to bring it back up.

My overall thoughts about the course:
           Although there were times when I would fall behind in this course I really did enjoy the class. The professor made sure that she would check up on me if I hadn't done assignments, which helped keep me focused. The course was interesting with a lot of new concepts and ideas that I, as a teacher, will be using throughout the rest of my teaching career. This course was difficult but at the same time it was not because I was genuinely interested in what I was being taught. This course has taught me many different things and I am truly glad that I took this course.
My own classroom:
           I plan on becoming a teacher no matter what. It's what I love to do and although it will not always be easy I plan on doing it. The technology and strategies I learned throughout this course will be used all the time in my future courses and in my future classroom. There will be technology everywhere from the students to the teachers to the parents and even to the faculty. I just have to be able to manage the technology that I will be using and the technology that will be used in my future classroom. 


           Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Journal Post #11

Chapter 11 Engaging Students in Performance Assessment and Reflective Learning 

Focus Question: How can students become actively involved in assessment and evaluation using technology?

Students and Assessments:
           Anytime students hear the word "assessment" they will most likely groan about it. Even though I am in college I personally do not like doing any type of assessment. Throughout the students school years they are given multiple assessments multiple times. The students grow to not like them and some honestly stop trying when it comes to them. In the beginning of the year most schools give students reading and math assessments to see where they are academic wise in those subjects. The students then take the same test at the end of the year to see how much they have improved. Honestly to a student any type of test or assessment will seem boring and pointless after they've already done them throughout the year.

Assessments and Technology:
           Most assessments are now taken online. As soon as the student submits their assessment the teacher is usually able to pull up the grades right on their computer and see the weaknesses and strengths of each individual student. With some different assessments students can also pull up their results and see how they did in each different sections of the assessment. I know on the SAT and ACT you can look at your results and it shows how you did in each different section. At my old school there was an online pinnacle where the teachers put the grades of assignments and the students could log in to their pinnacle and see how they did. I personally loved this feature because I didn't have to wait until the next school day to see my grade.

Photo Credit to: Mr_Stein on Flickr 
 Tech Tool Survey and Poll Resources and Apps:
           Online surveys and polls are engaging ways to conduct instructional pre-assessments and to generate classroom discussion among students. Zoomerang  provides prompts and templates that help make the purpose of the survey apparent to the students taking it. SurveyMonkey is an easy to use survey tool that has multiple ways to formulate questions and collect information. Micropoll is a customizable poll for websites and blogs that has real-time voting and results that can be viewed by voters. Flisti is an easy poll builder making adding links to your favorite social networks immediately. Some different apps that could be used are Poll Everywhere. This is an app that allows students to use cell phones to submit responses to questions. There is also Show Of Hands that is for users to participate in local and national polls on topics that range from politics to culture, to health and sports.

           Students and teachers everywhere are starting to incorporate technology more and more in the classroom. On  canvas I can test possible grades to see what my grade would be depending on how I did on each assessment and I love that. Students like to be involved in their grades. Some may not admit it but they really do love to see how they can improve or what their strengths are. Being able to see both strengths and weaknesses helps a lot because it is not only telling what you're doing bad on or what you need to improve on but it is also showing what you did really well in and what you don't need extra help in. Being able to submit responses from a cell phone is amazing because students almost always have their cell phone on their. Incorporating things that students use everyday is a great way to reach out to students and keep them involved in their work.

           Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Journal Post #10

Chapter 10 Promoting Success for All Students through Technology 

Focus Question: How does technology promote learning success for young writers?

Technology and Writers:
           Technology is a great way for young writers to get their work out there. One of my old friends loves to write. She used to write all day in her notebook. She had countless notebooks filled with different stories. She used to post them online and would have people read them and give her feedback about what she needed to improve on and what her strong suits where. This was a great opportunity for her. It helped her in so many ways become a better writer and a better person. She learned how to take criticism in a positive way. It taught her how to take what people said to her and try to improve her writing. Students need other outlets for showing their work. Showing it to teachers help but some students want their writing skills to reach other people and they want more feedback than what their teacher can give them. Having feedback from many different people can help young writers grow so much in their skills and how they work.

Photo Credit to: Doug Dunderdale on Flickr

Tech Tool 10.1 Interactive Whiteboards:
           I absolutely love interactive whiteboards. They give the students a chance to physically write on the board with different colors, or highlight on it. The class loves them because it's something new and teachers love it because it keeps the class interested. My math teacher uses her interactive whiteboard for every class. It helps so much because if we need more examples she can just create a clear page and give us examples. When you write on a whiteboard then you can change it to actual text and change the font and color. The whiteboard is said to be going out of date but I personally don't believe that.

           Technology is constantly helping students grow, not only in writing but in other areas as well. There are countless websites to help any student doing any type of research or if they need help with something. Technology does not only have to be the internet though. It can be helping a student read or type. There are a number of different things technology has accomplished in helping students accomplish their goals.

           Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Journal Post #9

Chapter 9 Expressing Creativity with Multimedia Technologies

Focus Question: How can teachers create PowerPoint presentations for maximum teaching potential and learning impact?

PowerPoint Presentations: 
           A PowerPoint used to be a unique way to show work and get students interested in learning. However, now most PowerPoint presentations are dull and boring. Some teachers now use a PowerPoint to have students copy notes off of. This is extremely boring for the students and if the teacher doesn't go over the content then the students learn nothing. There are other teachers who make a PowerPoint and go over them but they read directly from the slide. The slides of the PowerPoint are not meant to be directly read off of. Students are fully capable of reading the slides themselves and having you read them to them may be insulting to some of your students.
           A PowerPoint presentation is meant to engage your students in what they are learning. One of my professors uses a PowerPoint for every class but she never reads directly from the PowerPoint. She has her own side notes that are not on the PowerPoint to help her keep track of her thoughts. By her doing this it lets me know that she really knows what she is talking about because she doesn't have to read directly from the PowerPoint and fully knows the content that she is going over. I never know what she is going to say so that also helps to keep me interested in the content she is going over. There are so many ways to make a PowerPoint engaging and interesting. There are different themes that can be used in PowerPoint. You can also add animations, sounds, videos, and pictures. You should always try to keep your students interested because if they are not interested then they won't learn anything.

Photo Credit to: p_a_h on Flickr
Tech Tool 9.3 Podcasting for Educators:
           There are 3 essential tools a podcast requires. These are a voice recording microphone or digital voice recorder, audio recording software and a site for posting and distributing podcasts. First you need to be able to record you content. There are different ways of doing this which includes a microphone built in to your computer, a digital video camera, or a digital voice recorder (these are not the only options you have). Once you recorded what you want to record you need audio recording software to eliminate unwanted or distracting material. An example for Mac computers is called GarageBand. Another example for both Mac and PC machines is called Audacity.  Once your podcast has been recorded and edited it's time to distribute it. There are many ways of doing this which includes listing it on iTunes, using PodOmatic (this is a free posting site for podcasts), posting them on your own website, or you may also be able to post podcasts on the internet server of the school system.

           A PowerPoint can be a very useful tool to use in the classroom but teachers need to be careful of how they use them and when. There are certain times using a PowerPoint in the classroom is pointless and will benefit the students in no way at all. When using a PowerPoint teachers need to make sure that the students are understanding the content and are not bored out of their mind. A student that is bored will not remember a thing you were talking about. However, if you can keep your class interested in what you're teaching using the PowerPoint then you've done your job.

           Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Journal Post #8

Chapter 8: Communication and Collaborating with Social Media

Focus Question: How can teachers use email or text messaging to foster information exchanges with and among students?

Email and Text Messaging:
           Let's be honest, most students have a cell phone and some also have computers at home. I know that I am still young and all of my friends have a cell phone, a Facebook, and an email. Teachers can use this to an advantage. I met a teacher once and she had made a text messaging app on her phone that she used with her students. The students could subscribe to her phone number so when she sent out a message to a certain class all the people in that class that subscribed to her would get that message. The students did not have to subscribe though. It was completely up to the student if they wanted to or not. The teacher also had the same concept for parents. The parents could subscribe to her and the teacher could even send out messages to just one specific parent if she chose to. Many students in the same class are friends with each other and most likely text or email each other. The teacher could set up an assignment for students to work together and the students could incorporate emailing and texting into the assignment. I know for other classes I would text my partner during the beginning stages of the assignment to brainstorm with them. Texting seemed easier than calling and interrupting them. When I email someone I may take long to reply so I find that texting is more efficient. No matter where you go there is most likely going to be someone on their cell phone checking messages or on Facebook. This is common among today's young people and teachers should use it to their full advantage.
Photo Credit to: Theo La Photo on Flickr 
 Tech Tool 8.2 Communicating with Skype:
           I personally used to love using Skype. With Skype computer users can make free phone calls over the internet and can instant message each other. Teachers can create unique assignments using Skype. One idea would be getting in touch with another teacher from another country or in a different state. They can then pair up students in each class with one another and have them learn about each other and create a paper based on this. This would be an interesting assignment for students. Students can also use Google Talk. I love using Google Talk. I use it to communicate with my boyfriend who lives in Hollywood, Fl and we both love the service. It is free and all you have to have is a Gmail account. Since most people use Google for every day searching that shouldn't be difficult. Students can conference with one another about assignments and make it easier to talk with each other if one person in their group is out of town. Gmail is easier to use on your phone than Skype is but both are great options.

           Text messaging and email is how everything gets done now-a-days. I know that all my teachers email me and it's just expected that I will receive them. Some teachers email me if I am running behind and others email me to let me know that I'm doing well in the class. Texting has not been incorporated in my schooling yet but I text classmates when I need help or I email some of them on Edison if I don't have their number. Teachers are using it more and more now more than ever since every student seems to have a cell phone on them. I predict that in the future teachers will incorporate them even more.

           Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Journal Post #7

Chapter 7 Exploring Problem Solving with Software, Apps, and Games

Focus Question: What are key debates about using computer games and simulations as learning resources?

Computer Games:
           Back when I was in elementary school I hardly ever used the computer except for testing my reading scores and taking reading tests. Being on a computer back when I was in elementary school was basically only for testing purposes. Teachers didn't use the internet to help us in class and we as students did not play any games on them. However, once I got in middle school and high school I started using the computer a lot more. One of my teachers let us go to Addicting Games once we were finished with our work and turned it in. This website had not academic purpose but it helped keep the class quiet while other students were still working. Teachers now in elementary schools have tons of learning websites that children consider games but they are still learning at the same time. 

Photo Credit to:  joe71102 on Flickr 

           To be honest I didn't even know what a simulation was or how it could be used in the classroom. In the book it is defined as "a game that dynamically represents one or more real world processes or systems" in which players are placed in a computer generated setting with conflicting goals and choices where they have to make decisions and experience (virtually) the consequences of those decisions. There was nothing like this even when I was in middle school. This would be higher level students though, like middle school or high school. This reminds me of the Game of Life. In the game you make certain choices and it affects how your life turns out, like what kind of job you have or how many children you have. Some people feel that their children shouldn't have to be shown harsher consequences but it all just a simulation, it is not real. It is just showing the children that what they do may end up having a negative impact on their lives. 

Tech Tool 7.1 Discovering Learning Using Squeak and Scratch:
           Teachers are constantly looking of web tools that promote problem solving and inquiry learning by students. With these tools teachers can engage students with learning using resources that have both an instructional and a cognitive function. This means that students will use the tools in a focused and thoughtful way. One electronic learning device listed is Squeak Etoys. This is and open source, free downloadable software program that supports inquiry learning and problem solving by elementary through high school students especially in math and science. Another source listed is Scratch, which is an electronic tool kit that enables students to make their own games, animated stories, and interactive art. 

           Computer games and simulations in the classroom is continuing to grow. It engages the students and keeps them interested in what they are learning and with some students that is not the easiest thing in the world to do. To know that I am going to be using this technology in my own classroom was at first a scary thought but these children are now being raised with technology, it's how they learn better, and to be a good teacher is to know what works for your class and what doesn't. If using computer games and simulations will help better my future classes then I'm all for it. 

           Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Journal Post #6

Chapter 6 Fostering Online Learning with Educational Websites and Apps

Focus Question: What are the advantages and complexities of online learning and virtual schools?

Online Learning:
           Online learning for some students can be very beneficial. One major advantage is that the student does not have to physically be in the classroom to be learning material. Some students learn better using and online class. I personally do not do that well in online classes because I like to be in the classroom setting. I feel that I learn better with a teacher right in front of me teaching material. However, not all students are like this. Some students would prefer being taught online. There may be some students that are one credit away from graduating and an online class would be perfect because they can move at their own pace.

Virtual Schools:
           Virtual schools have revolutionized how classes area being taught. Students no longer have to be in a physical classroom to earn a diploma. Some students feel more comfortable at home doing work at their own pace. Students would no longer have to feel pressured to keep up with the entire class and can feel free to do things their way. Virtual schools allows teachers to video conference with students if they need any help with anything. When I was taking English 3 online I would be able to email or text my teacher at 9 PM and she would reply to me. Of course there were some times that replies took longer but I felt that I could contact my teacher at any time. In virtual schools you are allowed to use YouTube videos to help enhance your students learning. When I was in high school even teachers were not allowed on YouTube on their computers. One complexity of virtual schools is keeping students motivated to do work on time. My friend is in virtual school and he rushes to do everything at the last minute. I think that if he was in an actual class with a teacher reminding him every once in awhile that something is due then he would not procrastinate like he does.
Photo Credit to: giulia.forsythe on Flickr

Tech Tool 6.1 Preselecting Websites for Teaching:
           Sending students to the Web without prior guidance is never a good idea. Students become easily distracted, lost, veer deliberately off task, and may visit inappropriate sites. Many teachers prescreen and select the web resources they want students to visit as part of a class or homework assignment. One web-based resource listed is Portaportal. It is a preselection tool that acts as an online library of the webpages you commonly use in you lessons. It enables teachers and students to manage web searches by bookmarking specific websites that are accessed and organized through your web browser. teachers can use this tool to focus students on websites that they have specifically chosen for their value as instructional and learning resources. Another resource for bookmarking is Connotea. This is an online reference management tool that creates bibliographies in correct citation formats. This would be extremely useful when doing research papers.

All in all I believe online schools and virtual learning is a great thing. I myself took an online courses and I wouldn't be where I am with my education if I did not have them. I know my strengths and weaknesses and although online courses aren't one of my strengths I am grateful to have them. I feel that online schools would benefit many students and could help them achieve great things.

            Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.