Thursday, April 15, 2010

So, I think this is it...

Welcome to my blog. I'm pretty sure I got everything. I actually had fun making it and exploring different aspects like posting movies, pictures, etc. (Watch the movies, they're worth it! And they are short.... ) ANYway, enjoy!

Technology Interview

From my interview, I learned that some schools just don't have a ton of technology and there's not much we can do about it. We just have to get creative and work with what we have. (Either that, or write a killer proposal to get stuff in your school.) It also made me think that it would be important to find out how much access kids have to computers at home-- if our schools lack a ton of technology, how are the homes in the area? Are kids getting their greatest exposure to computers at home or in our classroom? If its in the classroom, then we need to be making sure we teach them as much as we can, even if we have few resources...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Week 12

After watching the movies "I love Spiders" and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" I learned that technology can be a very effective way of involving people outside of the classroom. Parents can become more involved by watching what children have put together with technology, and other classrooms and students and teachers can be brought in to enrich the learning process. I thought that was pretty neat, because the more teachers and parent involvement, the better. I also thought it was interesting and pertinent to know that for some kids, the exposure to computers they get at school might be the only time they learn how to utilize and play around with a computer. This will probably change a little as computers are playing a larger and larger role in our everyday lives, but there will probably always be children who have very little experience with computers. As teachers, we should teach them life skills that will allow them to succeed. Certainly using a computer for basic needs is one of those life skills.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lesson Plans-- 10th Grade Social Studies

Lesson Plans-- 7th Grade Language Arts

Lesson Plans-- Science 2nd Grade

Week 11-- TPACK project

Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge--

TK-- techological knowledge is required to understand and use technology, or tools. (Downloading, knowing what software does what, where to find it, etc.)

PK-- pedagogical knowledge is related to the general methods and skills of teaching.

CK-- content knowledge has to do with knowledge of certain subjects or topics like math, history, etc.

Combinations of these 3 components are good, but in order for a teacher to be most effective, they need all 3 together: content knowledge, knowledge and skills to teach that content best to kids, and the technology to make it interesting and fun and applicable for kids.

There are also different ways to teach a concept with representations, such as:
Textual-- reading
Visual-- look at pictures, graphs, etc.
Auditory-- listening to speeches, podcasts, etc.
Dynamic-- usually has to do with technology that allows children to interact (a website that allows them to control and explore)
Multimodal-- Contains a combination of several of the above representations
** Which will be most interesting and of most benefit to students? **

Most of the technologies we have looked at in this class are dynamic, which I think would be more interesting to kids, especially SpEd kids.

Week 10

Voicethread-- this is a type of community blogging tool that utilizes video, audio, and messaging. It's pretty cool and versatile. It allows a community to comment, keep in touch, and contribute to a topic or page.
It is free on the internet.

Kidspiration-- This is a kid's page to help them learn and interact. It helps kids have fun, get involved, and learn things in school. It is also free, and it is already downloaded on the computers in the McKay Building TEC lab.

Stellarium-- This allows students to pick any place in the world at any time and look at the sky there. They can use it to study phases of the moon, stars, planetary motion, time zones, etc.
It can be found on the internet for free, and just needs to be downloaded.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Internet Safety Reflection

*****795000000-- population of those interacting with cyberspace
20 % feel safer online than in the real world
50% identify anonymity with freedom online
81% spend at least 1 hr online a week
risky behavior online (giving personal info) increases with age
* Porn pages-- 270,000,000
90% of 8-16 have viewed pornography online, mostly unintentionally
* Companies target kids with pop-up ads and purchase domain names (typo squatting) to intentionally deceive= Truth and Domain Law
20% of children's sites allow gambling ads
* Hate sites are showing up faster than pornography sites and are meant to attract kids.
50% of high schoolers plagiarized from the internet in 2001
30% of kids say it is easier to chat online than in person. 15% have recieved mean or hateful messages.
* Cyber-bullying-- "the new bathroom wall..." with sometimes deadly consequences of murder or suicide
* Cyber Predation

* Educators might be in a better position than parents to know what kids are doing on the internet!

I chose to read Elder Bednar's talk "Things as They Really Are." We also watched the video about the stats of the internet-- it also discussed cyber-bullying and -predation, and how involved kids are with the internet.
My most important realizations from the talk and the movie were that technology is everywhere, critical to our lives today, and an amazing tool for good or evil. It is not a question as to whether or not we will use it; it is a question of how we will use it. Kids need it, especially if we are going to teach them effectively. Hence, we need to learn how to use the internet safely and responsibly, and teach our kids how to do the same. There is no avoiding it, so we need to make the most of it and educate our kids.
I talked to my brother and mum about the "doing" experience-- both my mum and brother had read the talk, and had thought a bit about it. Our family is not way into the technology scene, so it kind of surprised them but the agree with it, as do I. I think this has helped me, my brother, and my mum think how we need to be more educated about technology and especially the internet so we can teach others and so we don't run into something stupid ourselves. It really made us think about how we need to use all this technology, and especially use it in a positive way.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Week 9

We as teachers can tell if we have successfully integrated technology into our lesson if it simply teaches the kids what we want them to learn in a fun and constructive way. The technology should not detract from the material being taught, and it should be relevent. If the class gets out of control or the students become bored or confused then those are pretty good indicators that our technology was not as useful to our lesson as we would have hoped.

In order to be a constructive and useful addition to my lesson plan, I would want the technology I use to relate very well to the lesson material, interest the kids without disrupting the learning process, and motivate them to continue learning about or using both the technology and the subject matter it was meant to help teach.

Week 8 -- TPACK

Problems with learning TPCK skills-- (First of all, there is a problem learning what TPCK even is, because the article we were told to read seems as if it is almost trying to mask the meaning of this process-- one has to wade through a large amount of unnecessarily wordy vocabulary and badly-structured sentences in order to discern how TPCK can be used by the teacher. But that is merely my opinion, and neither here nor there...)
A potential problem with TPCK is that it emphasizes using technology as a learning resource and for activites, but there are schools with such limited funding and support that one might not have a lot of access to technology as a teacher. The article also points out that the possible learning activity types are countless, and therefore teachers might be overwhelmed when it comes to integrating this in their classroom. However, for the most part it is pretty logical (TPCK, not the article) and seems like a very effective mode of teaching.

Main idea of article-- How TPCK came about and how it is useful in the classroom.

Ideas that lead to main idea-- Since technology is "not yet well-integrated" in most classrooms, two birds can be killed with the single stone of technology. Using educational technologies both introduces and familiarizes students to technology, and learning activites integrating technology can be used to accomplish curriculum-based learning goals.

How TPCK is important to me as a teacher-- The idea makes sense. Students nowdays really can't afford to not learn about and use technology. If I, as a teacher, integrate the use of technology in teaching the curriculum, it will teach my kids both the curriculum and how to use the technology, while keeping their interest and providing fun and interesting activities.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Week 7 PLE

Technology allows us to make our teaching more dynamic by giving us a plethora of resources we are able to see and therefore experience so much more! We can see kids in Africa, see how a cell functions, and access information easily and quickly. It's pretty incredible what we have access to becuase of technology.
However, in some ways technology can detract from learning. Observe our class every Tuesday, for example... with the internet at our fingertips, it is difficult to keep listening to one person talking when Facebook or email is up. Also, because of the huge amount of info available to us, sometimes the quantity of information overwhelms the quality of information. Also, our human connectedness (necessary for learning in public schools) can be neglected because of technology. For example, how many kids have more interaction with other kids around the world they have never met and never will meet playing computer games, than they do with their own teachers, classmates, or parents?
Effective technology can be tricky, because it all has potential to be both effective and ineffective. On my mission I was very grateful for technology like phones, that allowed us to waste less time-- in theory. Of course cell phones could be abused, and waste huge amounts of time. Most of us use email every day-- a very effective form of communication. Also, I am starting to realize how much cool technology is available to people with special needs. Different computer programs and the like are extremely effective in helping people learn in their own ways.

Week 5 and 6 PLE

All right-- we are playing catch-up. So, about Google Earth. The most basic things it allows us to do is to see terrain and location. Which is actually pretty cool-- it's almost like flying in a plane all over a map that you are able to zoom in and out with. This would be a pretty darn cool tool to use in the classroom. I myself am directionally challenged, and seeing things in relation to each other, in 3D, no less, greatly helps me remember my geography and directions. For Special Ed kids, this tool gives them greater visuals, complete with texture and relativity that would make it easier for them to make connections and hence remember the material... plus, getting into the pictures, videos, slideshows, and articles would make this experience much more than just a boring lecture to them. They would be able to interact with it and see exactly what they wanted to see.

Week 6

In using a virtual tour, other sensory experiences would be very useful. For example, if I were taking a tour of Aboriginal Australia, I could play didgeradoo sounds in the classroom during the tour. If we were going to a chocolate factory, I could be making an easy chocolate treat in the classroom during the field trip, allowing them to smell the chocolate. Then, they would have a little treat at the end. ( I remember in 2nd grade my teacher made no-bake cookies for us in the classroom. Why, I do not know... but I remember it!) Or, if we wanted to go to India, I could start the class out by organizing a ginormous Bollywood musical number!! The possibilities are endless... :)

I really liked the James and the Giant Peach fieldtrip. I never would have thought to do Google Earth after a book. Using the ruler to see how far the peach traveled was a good idea....

The Celebrations around the world was also cool-- a lot of places could be done with that one. I liked all the movies of all the crazy celebrations. I think kids would like that one alot.

World wars are explained very well with Google-- students could see how far the influence of war was felt, and how each country participated, and how those events have influenced borders, terrain, and people today. I liked how the WWII presentation used Google earth to teach about the different theatres of the war...

Google Earth is very useful for all the reasons stated above: it is versatile, it can take kids all over the world, and hard places to see, like Aushwitz, could be viewed and the reality understood, but without the intense stuff that would come with actually being there-- which would be hard for kids to understand. Pretty much, the whole world is at our fingertips. However, a downside of Google earth is that sometimes the pictures are merely computerized renditions of buildings, and can be blurry and unclear. Also, in the case of historical field trips, we can't go back in time and see how the world was back then. We get only modern renditions and pictures. So of course there are restraints and a few drawback to something as amazing as Google Earth.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Technology/Google Earth Activity Map

Civil War – Virtual Field Trip

too see the real chart, click here
Otherwise, I just typed it up and pasted it below:

Google Earth
Travel the world without leaving home, see real-life things, more exciting and interactive than a textbook BUT current, and can't show us what it was like back then...

Assesses Internet skills, learn about more than they intended to BUT may run into inappropriate content on the web, may be difficult for students to research

Civil War- Experience the reality

(Video cameras)
Fun and exciting for the students, personal, get to see themselves, can replay it later BUT kids may get rowdy, takes time, students may be too shy or feel left out

They can see themselves or they can watch a TV BUT time-consuming

(Sound effects)

Makes it more real BUT can be too distracting, loud, scary

Civil War- Role play diaries/scrapbook

(Photo Story)

Fun way to display the pictures and information all in one place, utilizes creativity BUT may be too difficult, may turn into a very time-consuming project

(Add music)
Makes it more interesting, can make it more presentable to perhaps parents BUT may take too long to find, copyright issues

Civil War- Experience the Battles

(YouTube videos)

Makes it very real for students BUT may be too disturbing, graphic, emotional


Usually give students an even better perspective and usually tell a story BUT may be too disturbing, graphic, emotional

Civil War- Chronology of Events


Students can learn how to put the events in chronological order in a fun, visual, and interactive way BUT students may get too rowdy and competitive


Makes the game more fun for students to buzz when they have put the events in order BUT may be too competitive, rowdy

Civil War- Pros and Cons of the North VS the South – Study for Jeopardy with Voice Thread

(Voice Thread)

This makes the students use their oral and auditory skills- they can also learn to share information with their classmates and to study auditively and they can also feel like an expert in their area that they shared information about. Good review and preparation for the game show. More fun way to study, unique homework assignment.
BUT... This may be too complicated for fifth graders, may be difficult for visual learners, may not be the most effective study method for students


Jeopardy on a powerpoint makes the game more exciting than simply on a whiteboard- you can use sound effects as well to simulate a gameshow.
BUT... Game may get too competitive, may not be the best way to simulate Jeopardy.

Sites to Visit and Google Tools

Explore a battle site.
Lincoln Memorial--
Reminds us how Lincoln ended slavery and the importance thereof.
(Road view, tour inside)
Southern plantation--
Give the students a taste of what the Southern life was like for slaves and non-slaves. To show the differences between the North and the South.
(Weather and terrain)
To emphasize the reality and impact of how many people died.
(YouTube video)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

So, I am a bit tardy on this assignment, so I have only viewed a few videos-- but it was interesting to see the different ideas people had. There are so many ways to use all this stuff. (By the way, our video is posted below-- we figured kids would enjoy Harry Potter...)
I plan on viewing other videos once they are posted. The biggest challenge in using these videos in classroom would be making sure all the kids know how to use this stuff. I think if it is taught in a rushed or unclear way it might be confusing for a lot of kids, and maybe overwhelming for them. But then again, I think kids might pick it up a lot easier than I did.
On the other hand, I think kids would LOVE using this and making their own videos. In a special education classroom it might be trickier to have them do the technology, but they would probably love to be on camera, do voice -overs, and see the final result. I really like the idea of using this tool in the classroom...

Monday, January 25, 2010

I learned that one must obtain sources legitimately before Fair Use can take place, which is something I hadn't realized before. I think teachers need to be aware of copyright laws in order to use what they can to their full advantage while being fair to and protecting authors/artists and their work. In addition, students will be watching how their teachers use material and how they distribute it. If they see copyright laws violated, they will be under the impression that they don't matter. This attitude can carry over into high school, college, and the work place, where they could find themselves in some very sticky situations if they choose to disregard these laws like their teachers did. (I took the quiz... I don't know if we had to post that or not...)
Names:Lindley, Aubrey, Andrea, Sarah, Janessa

1: Introduction (Image of Hogwarts and Harry Potter)
Catching movie/book introduction. Have the students imagine what they would do if they found out they were a wizard.
“Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy….”

2: Characters: (Pictures of the characters from the actual movie)
Quick intro. Of each character: Hermione, Harry, Ron, Dumbledore, Voldemort.

3: Muggles (A picture of Harry at his aunts house) setting
Introducing how harry is different

4:Wizards/Friends (part of the conflict)…show image of Harry and his friends at Hogwarts)
Introducing the world of wizardry and

5:Rising Action: He is a wizard but is a very important wizard (show a picture of harry and his scar)
Describing that events at hogwarts leads up to his identity as a wizard and the power that he holds is critical to relationship with voldemort.

6:Climax: When Harry finds out about Voldemort and that he is the only hope for defeating him. (voldemort and harry picture)
Describing how all the events led up to this and when he finds out who voldemort is and his power over the evil voldemort.

7: Conflict: Voldemort (sorceror’s stone)
Harry has to get the sorcerer’s stone before Voldemort does

8: Cliff Hanger (voldemorts face)
Will Harry be able to get to the sorceror’s stone before voldemort does?

Credit Page:

Aubrey Barker
Andrea Smith
Jenessa Choate
Sarah Ure
Lindley Burton

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tok Box

I have never heard of TokBox before, and I think it is pretty cool. I think it could be used for both fun and practical purposes in the classroom. It would be fun to send to students to tell them to have a good day, or remind them of homework, etc. TokBox could also be sent to parents to help them understand what is going on in the classroom, if you need a meeting with them, etc. It would just be fun to send messages back and forth from student to teacher.
In class last week I learned just how much technology is out there that I don't know much about. I think I need to be much more pro-active in learning about and how to work with these new tools, although its hard for me becuase sometimes I think it is more incenvenient. But I have resolved to not bury my head in the sand when it comes to technology.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Week One: PLE Post

Let's see, my technological background... pretty much, I know nothing about technology. Recently I have started texting on my phone. I really don't like it, but I've kind of been forced into it by others. I have no idea how to work mac computers, but I can write essays and do very simple assignments on a normal PC. So... minimal. My knowledge of technology is very minimal. I know it is important; I see it as a necessary evil that I need to learn in order to function fully in the world, and hence, I am willing to learn.