Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Final Project #16

Sean Whatley and I worked together to prepare a tutorial of essential tools on the SMARTnotebook. The tutorial showed me and Sean teaching viewers a basic “how to”. We started our presentation of by opening SMARTnotebook. From there we explained step by step how to use and access the available tools. Here is a basic outline of what was covered:
  • orient
  • toolbar adjustment
  • keyboard/ text
  • pens (regular, creative, and highlighters)
  • the eraser
  • shapes (shape recognition,making shapes, and lines)
  • grids
  • fill options (colors and page recording)
  • Inserting images (interactive images)
  • Shades
Through this project we were aiming for students and teachers to begin using the SMARTboard technology to its full potential not just as a “expensive white board”. I would consider this a great beginner tutorial for students and teachers. The possibilities are endless with this piece of technology. We hope you enjoy the tutorial and learn something new that you can use in the classroom (teacher or student)!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blog Post 14


In my third attempt of going 24 consecutive hours without use of electronic entertainment or communications I have came to the conclusion that without these tools life would be slow and boring. After making that statement you yourself has probably came to the conclusion that I did not make the 24 hour mark. Your conclusion is correct.

In the first two hours I did an outstanding job of staying away from my beloved electronics. I cleaned the house completely. After that I found myself just sitting around doing nothing productive. I began to wonder what my friend Clarissa was doing that night. So as you might guess, I picked up the phone and dialed her number! The bad thing about this was I did not even realize what I was doing until after I had got on Facebook via IPhone to see if our friend Kyndal wanted to join us that evening. I exited the app and I told Clarissa well just call me when you get off work. Yes, that means when she called later that night I totally forgot about the “no electronics”! In the meantime between the end of our first conversation and the next I preceded “no electronics” attempt two.

Attempt two lasted a total of 5 hours. I was on roll I got in my vehicle and was just about to turn the radio up and caught myself. I rolled down the windows so that I could have some kind of noise while driving to Lonnie’s house, my fiancĂ©. I got there and we had a “work day” in the yard since hurricane season is coming up. We cut down some old trees that were dead, mowed the grass, and pretty much tidied everything up. We burned some old limbs we had cut and rearranged the yard furniture. Everything was going smoothly until… my phone rang. It was Clarissa calling. I answered with a “Hello” and she said “Hey” then the rest of the conversation consisted of “Oh my gosh! I did it again!” Giggles come from the other end of the phone and here I am explaining what I was attempting to do. We agree on a time and a place to meet and we end our phone conversation. After that I figured I better call everyone else and let them know we were having a get together and that they could no longer call me for the remainder of the day. After that I embarked on my attempt to master “no electronics” for 24 consecutive hours.

I began attempt three at about 9 o’clock p.m. I was still at Lonnie’s house and our friends began to show up. At this point in time I had turned my phone off and was determined I was not about to fail again. We sat around the table on the porch and started talking. We talked a good hour about random things. Then we decided to go in and play charades. We sit in the living room and play charades for two hours at least (by the way this turned out to be hilarious!). After two hours we end up back out on the porch and this is when I broke my vow of no electronics.

As we were sitting there Lonnie started telling a friend of ours, Arch, about the Doritos commercial that was played during the Super Bowl last year. Arch said he had never seen it and we all start talking about how funny it was. So my friend Kara pulls out her IPhone and searches for it on YouTube. We all gather around trying to watch the hilarious commercial. After watching it, and about five others, Clarissa brought it to my attention that I had yet again failed.

Strike Three
After sitting there discussing to the others what she was talking about everyone started leaving. On the way home I thought to myself man here I am not able to go one day without using some type of electronic device. And yet, with this on my conscious I am driving with my radio on "). I am continuing my 20 minute drive home, and yet it was not until I arrived at home, that I realized I had used three electronic devices in those 20 minutes. I walked inside my home turned on the TV and "facebooked" (here I go again using electronics) a friend of mine that is in the military.  As I lay in bed I think to myself what would this world be without electronics.

As a soon to be educator I start thinking of the many ways our students would be "handicapped" if we were not technologically advanced as we are today. I believe the students I teach will be more knowledgeable in technology than the students that were in my class the past year. What I mean is every year more and more advanced technology comes out. The children are becoming more and more exposed to it. Things change over time but, technology changes rapidly. That means what we use today in the classroom will be outdated next week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog Post 13

Box of Tricks

In Top Ten Tips for Using Technology in the Classroom Jose Picardo lists and briefly describes ten ways to incorporate beneficial technology and tools into the classroom. They are as follows: 

  • Streaming video 
  • music
  • teleconferencing
  • interactive exercises
  • interactive whiteboards
  • podcast
  • blogs and wikis
  • social networks
  • internet tools 
  • gadgets

Streaming video, such as YouTube is a key concept because it allows teachers and/or students to get on the internet and view others thought and ideas. This can allow students connect with the world by viewing others actions, beliefs, and more.

Music, like ITunes as Jose mentioned, can play a great role in student’s life and learning. Through ITunes you can relate to students with music. You can also upload lectures and etc to the ItunesU. This would allow students that may have to miss class an opportunity to catch up on what they missed. This would also help students that need a “refresh”. What I mean is it would allow students to listen to the lesson one more time and “refresh” his or her memory. Another plus side to ITunes is many students own devices such as mp3 player’s or IPods and are already familiar with the tool and its uses.

Teleconferencing tools, such as Skype, are very handy. This tool will allow you to communicate with students around the world. The possibilities are pretty much endless with Skype. I believe this would allow students to have a “study group” without ever leaving the classroom. It also allows the exploration of other people from different cultures.

Interactive exercises and interactive whiteboards pretty much seem to go hand in hand with me. “Tailoring” to the students needs, as Jose refers to it, will allow students to excel in areas. Also, having a board capable of doing so many neat things that students will be able to interact with and have a hands on learning experience should motivate the students to participate in in-class projects and or lessons.

Podcasting seems to be an effective way to allow students to work on their skills of reading aloud or public speaking. Podcasting seems to also be a great solution, like ITunes, to allow students to “refresh” what went on that day or to broadcast their opinion.

Blogs and wikis seem to be a great way to track progress of your students. It also allows like a “portfolio” of what has been happening in the classroom. It allows student, parents, and administrators to track their status or shall I say “performance” in the certain class. Blogs also could play as a calendar. A class blog could be set up in order for students to keep track of what is due and when.

Social networks may be a touchy subject. I personally think it would be better to stick with blogs and wikis that can be viewed publically instead of setting a “private” group on Facebook.

Internet tools and gadgets are great motivators in teaching.  Most of the time gadget and tools are free or students already have access to them. As a matter of fact, most students probably own an IPod or MP3 player. This could allow them to explore educational opportunities right at their fingertips.  

I believe technology is growing and education will always be here. Now we have to make the decision if we will use the tools available to enrich our ways of learning, growing, and teaching or, if we will deny technology’s growth and pretty much “shun” it from our kids. As a child exploring the world it will make you grateful for what you have, respectful of what others do, and more understanding as to why things work the way they do. So, I believe incorporating all of the above ten tips discussed by Jose into classrooms would be the smartest thing we could do for our future children and our future America. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blog Post 12

the  world in a robotic hand
In this blog assignment you will watch the video Ellen Using Assistive Technology (5:29) and write your thoughts on how this video shows the difference between using technology as a learning tool rather than just for entertainment. Include how you would like to have your students’ one day use technology as a learning tool and why.  Also, include how you would still have the student use it as a form of entertainment while having them learn at the same time. Write two or more paragraphs following the requirements in Writing a Quality Blog Post.

In this video it makes the use of technology so much more than just being able to find the newest movies, music or games. The use of technology to be able to give a child a voice of their own is one of the best ways I think it could be utilized. After viewing this video it has opened my eyes to ways that technology has true power in communication (other than just Facebook and Skype). Many times when a kid hears the word computer they automatically think game, and I’m sure learning is not the first thing that would come to their mind. 
I think that as a teacher I would be able to make technology as an everyday tool in my classroom. I would want to make something like an interactive PowerPoint to have students feel as if they are playing a game. Making a simple everyday lesson into a game show to have to kids look forward to coming to class, would make students want to come and learn. I think it’s important to have kids use computers almost every day because so much of today’s work force uses them! I think that if technology is used correctly then it could be one of the best tools to have students learn with!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blog Post 11

Kathy Cassidy Skype Session
Ms. Kathy Cassidy and students

In Ms.Cassidy's video and Skype interview I was able to see first-hand what a difference technology makes in a student’s life can start at a very young age. In the video Ms. Cassidy makes a comment on how when the whole project started she only had five computers and from there she developed a center of learning through technology. This video shows how much enjoyment the students get from learning with a different learning tool. Having students use the internet to learn about different traditions is one of the best ideas I have ever seen! In the video it showed how Ms. Cassidy’s students are able to post blogs about things they have learned which helps the parents be able to track their child’s progress other than a letter being sent home once every few months. I think this is a great way to help parents make sure that their children aren’t falling behind in school. While watching this video I was able to see how well the students work with the use of technology and how they know the difference between learning and playing. The use of a DS makes the idea of having a child think they are playing a game rather than learning so they don’t lose interest. I think that I would love to have technology used that much in a classroom of my own one day. I know that having kids use the internet at such a young age might be risky but can also teach the kids to be aware if the dangers that can come along with the internet! Technology is always going to be a part of life and what better way to teach someone by using something they will use every day?

Project 13

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Blog Assignment 10


Do You Teach Or Do You Educate?

This video shows the difference in being a teacher and an educator. The idea of information being put out in the open for someone to already know how to do it isn’t really the ideal method of teaching. Students aren’t always going to grasp the concept the first time it’s put out there. When I see the word educator I think of someone who would go that extra mile to make a lesson more than words in a book. I think the big difference that would decide if you just teach or if you educate would be the personality and the drive someone has. Anyone can read a book out loud to a student but when that student walks away in five minutes are they going to remember what the book was about?
There are a number of reasons I chose this major. I want a student to be able to say ten years down the road I was one of the people to make a difference in their life. I intend to educate rather than teach by first listening. I plan to listen to my students and get to know them. I plan to build a trust that will be unbreakable with them. Second I will vow to never stop learning. If I am going to education I will have to learn new things along the way just like a student will. Technology is the first thing that comes to my mind with that! I want to be able to connect with my students and make them excited to learn and to be at school.


Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home

This blog I believe is about how many teachers always seem to find the problem rather than the solution. I think this blog can be a learning experience on how as a teacher you should always want to take that extra step for the students. Learning in a classroom will only go so far. I think this makes you wonder how many teachers don’t reach out to ask for help from parents. A student expects to learn or be taught at a school type environment, but when the lesson is sent home what happened from there? I don’t think using some form or technology over a good old fashion pen and paper is going to change test scores, maybe it is how a teacher presents the material. This was interesting to read because it’s not a straight forward type of post. You have to find the message within the post and it’s got a way of truly making you think about what would affect a students learning.