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.