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.

Journal Post #5

Chapter 5 Teaching Information Literacy and Digital Citizenship

Focus Question: How should teachers respond to problems of plagiarism when students use online sources?

Teaching about Plagiarism:
            I believe that to avoid plagiarism in the classroom teachers much first teach about plagiarism. Teachers should teach what it is, how it occurs, and how to avoid plagiarism. I can say from personal experience that I did not know what plagiarism was until I was in college in my first composition class. Teaching about plagiarism at an early age is extremely crucial in getting students to not plagiarize further down the line in school. Some students do not even know what plagiarism is, let alone know that they could fail a class because they plagiarized.

How to avoid Plagiarism:
           Teaching students how to not plagiarize is an important element that they will use for the rest of their school life. How to avoid plagiarism in the classroom is by using citation. Now when I was in high school I had never even heard the word citation. My composition teacher went through an extensive lesson teaching us how to use citation. We only had class once a week but she spent about 3 weeks going over citation and how to do it and where to find sources to help use figure out citation throughout our book. My teacher also went over ways on how to avoid plagiarism. One of her methods was to read the article and takes notes as we read. Then when we were finished reading and were ready to start our essay she would have us write the essay only using our notes. We were not allowed to look at the website at all. She also told us that if the sentence we had written did not come straight out of our minds then we had to use citation and that if we weren't sure if the sentence needed to be cited then to cite it anyway just in case.
Photo credit to: glenmbaker on Flickr

Responding to Plagiarism:
           There are different ways that teachers can address plagiarism. Some teachers may just write an F on your paper and tell you that you plagiarized. I don't see how this benefits anyone though. If I had to deal with plagiarism in my classroom then I would pull the specific student aside and figure out what they needed help in when it comes to citation. My composition teacher would have rough draft sessions whenever we had a major essay due. She would let the class get in groups of two and let the students evaluate each other's work and give feedback to one another. While the class was doing this she would also go around and look specifically at the citation of the paper and if she felt you needed more help she would give you helpful hints on how to improve it. This was also the time when you could ask for help if you needed any. If I had a lot of students that plagiarized on their paper then I would go over citation and how to use it, when to use it, and what plagiarism is again. I would have them rewrite their essays if they wanted to or if they felt they did a good enough job they could leave their paper as it was.

Tech tool 5.1 Photos and Audio Resources on the Web:
           Pictures and sound are valuable sources for creative teaching. Students love it when there are videos attached to a PowerPoint and creative images throughout it. Resources, such as photos and audio resources, keep students engaged and help them concentrate on what the teacher is trying to say. One photo resource that is listed is Flickr. Here you can locate, organize, and send photos that you have taken or that you locate within the site's online collection. I use Flickr for every Journal Post that I have written. There is also LibriVox. This offers free audio recording of published books and other materials that are in the public domain. The site's goal is to make all public domain books available free in audio formats. The last one listed is Creative Commons. This site is an online clearinghouse of photo and video resources for use by teachers, students, and the general public. This site also allows students to freely copy, distribute, edit, and even remix material on the site, but they must give recognition to the authors and artists who created the material.

           Plagiarizing in any paper that you write is a serious matter that needs to be addressed. As I said I didn't know what plagiarizing was until I was in college. I did not know how about citation or works cited pages at all. These are things that should be taught in middle school even elementary school. Granted in elementary school they may not fully grasp the idea but at least it will put a starting block on what they will learn in middle school and high school. Dealing with plagiarizing is not an easy thing to do but my composition teacher was my savior when it came to writing papers. She did not want us to fail over something that could be easily avoided.  Teachers like her are who we need and should value the most.

           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.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Journal Post #4

Chapter 4 Designing Lessons and Developing Curriculum with Technology

Focus Question: How can Teachers evaluate and assess students' learning? 

Evaluating students 
          There are three factors that strongly influence how teachers think about assessment. One is person experiences. This basically means that teachers taught the way that they were taught when they were in school and they assess the way they were also assessed. However, teachers can also use portfolios, creative writing, group work, daily conversations, and other tools to evaluate students. The second factor is standardized testing. Teachers can use past tests to help teach and assess how their students are doing in the class. If the student is not doing too well on a certain assessment then action needs to be taken. The third factor is teacher tests. Most states require new teachers to pass a test before earning a teaching license. This tests goal is to make sure that anyone receiving a license to teach has the competencies need to do the work, as shown by passing scores in reading, writing, and knowledge of academic content fields. 

Photo Credit to: co-laborate! on Flickr

Tech tool 4.2 Web Resources and Apps for teaching 
           This tech tool lists the Fair test and teaching channel under the web. The Fair Test is a free online resource for keeping informed about testing policies and the wider education debates about the effectiveness of standardized tests in assessing student learning. The Teaching Channel is an online video resource for teachers that contains materials in all subjects and across all the grade levels. In app it has Cram, QuickVoice and a few other apps. Cram provides content review through customized flashcards and short quizzes and tests. QuickVoice lets teachers record classes as well as a way to review and improve teaching practice and performance. 

         I really liked all the tech tools that were listed because I am still a student myself and a lot of these websites and apps can really help me in my own journey to becoming a teacher as well as inform me in what are some other ways to teach my students instead of just the same way that I was once taught. The way that I was taught was good but there is always room for improvement and technology will help get us there. 


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 5, 2014

Journal Post #3

Chapter 3 Transforming Learning with Unique, Powerful Technology 

Focus Question: How does computer technology promote unique, powerful, and transformative learning for students and teachers? 

Computers and Teachers
           There are many useful things a teacher can do on her computer in the classroom and now even at home. Teachers are no longer restrained to having to use handwritten grades or just using the computer in the classroom to make lesson plans or input students grades in their grade book. Teacher now can keep a students record on the computer and it makes it easier to gauge how the student is improving or what they need help improving on. Teachers can also use interactive learning experiences for their class. There are educational software, educational websites, digital cameras, and video resources that can help a student learn. Teachers are not forced to have to do something a certain way. There are countless ways to do homework or studying that were never available before. 

Computers and Students
           Being able to use computers almost anywhere and greatly helped students when it comes to the classroom. Most teachers now require that if you have to do an essay  that it has to be typed. There are other requirements that some teachers may have but they are simple, like the font size or having the document be double spaced. I know having a laptop in school has been my savior in some classes. I'm able to do homework at anyplace that has Wi-Fi. For some homework assignments you don't even need internet. Your homework just may be to write an essay about your favorite trip that your family took. Students can also take classes online, this class is a perfect example. You can choose which class to take, when to do the homework and when you want to do the work. Teachers set deadlines of course but the class is more flexible and can meet almost anyone's needs. Students can also do academic research on almost any computer or laptop. Edison has a library that is available to all its students. This library only contains academic related journals and works. This way the student will know the site they are looking at is credible.
Photo credit to: TNewsome_MiniProject2 on Flickr
Tech Tool 3.3 
           This tech tool lists web resources and apps for communication and collaboration. It says there is a web scrapbook that allows individual students or classroom groups to place electronic information, such as images, documents and webpages, in and online folder and then discuss and annotate its contents. Another web resource listed is Discovering Antarctica. This site teaches historical, scientific, environmental, and zoological information through videos, maps, charts, graphs, puzzles, and activities as well as describing what research occurs there. Some apps that are listed are Words with Friends, where students can play an online version of Scrabble with friends and classmates. There is also Zite, where you can create and curate your own digital magazines. 

           The possibilities are endless when it comes to the computer and apps. Technology is always expanding, changing, innovating and creating new ideas and ways to do things. Computers now make life much more easier doing research and learning. Online courses help students go at their own place so that they do not feel as rushed in to doing something as they would in the 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.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Journal Post #2

Chapter 2 Understanding Educational Technology Issues and Trends

Focus Question:   How can teachers more closely connect learning to the experiences of the digital natives   who are their students? 

Students and Technology 
           Students in this era are technology raised. Starting from a very early age children are surrounded by technology. There are countless websites and apps that children can use from any age the parent seems fit. Some of these websites include Disney Junior, PBS, and National Geographic. Children who are just entering pre-school even get individual time on computers, playing games that the teacher has deemed educational. As children grow older they use technology every single day. This could include texting, social networking or getting on the internet to do research for homework. Technology is something that students use every day. Not all of what students use it for is educational but students now may know even more (technology wise) than some older teachers 

Teachers integrating technology
           Teachers are doing a better job now more than ever before when it comes to integrating technology into the classroom. Back when I was in elementary school if we had a project to do it then it was all done on a poster board with markers and colored pencils. Now teachers can have students do so much more. The students can create a PowerPoint, a Prezi, or stick with the old fashioned way that is a poster board. Getting information for projects is easier than ever for teachers and students the only issue that teachers need to make sure students know is to check the credibility of the site and to use citation. Classrooms all over the U.S are posting homework online, having students do research papers, and using SmartBoards in the classroom.
Photo credit to: Old Shoe Woman on Flickr
 Tech Tool 2.1 
            Using apps for educational purposes is becoming more and more common. I'm currently tutoring my boyfriend in math so he can get his GED. There were tons of apps that we were able to download onto his phone that listed out questions and after you gave your answer it told you if you were right or wrong. If you were wrong it then explained how to do the problem correctly. This type of studying is phenomenal. Anyone can study anywhere and it is easily accessible. There are tons of apps that students can find that can help them further their education. Almost every student has an android phone or a smart phone and apps are easily downloadable on to these items. Some classrooms even supply the student with a tablet during class hours if all their work is complete. 

         All in all education is growing in generation. Teachers now more than ever need to find new and creative ways to make education interesting for their students so that they stay in school. Some schools are boring and are not interesting for students at all. If teachers integrate something that students use everyday into their daily routine then the classroom wouldn't seem as boring. Students now are becoming the teacher when it comes to technology so teachers need to make sure they are at the top of their game when it comes to learning new 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.