Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Interactive Whiteboards

I feel that interactive whiteboard really do help enhance teaching and learning within the classroom.

For teachers it enhances teaching because everything is right on the board, meaning that the teacher doesn't need to go get worksheets, or copies, materials, etc. Everything is simply saved write onto the board, such as presentations, links, side notes, etc. It enhances learning for students because that are always engaged within the activity or lesson going on. They physically can solve a math equation literally at the tips of the finger instead of trying to go back to their seats and remember what to do. I know when I was elementary school I loved being able to go up to the chalk board and right; I would have been amazed if I was allowed to go up to the Smart board to write when I was younger.

The technology for interactive whiteboards was not difficult to use. However if I didn't have a class that put time aside to teach us how to use some of the tools with interactive whiteboards, I probally won't have been able to gain as much as I did. The only probally I see is that if I don't use the interactive whiteboards that much I might have to eventaully be retaught or have a refresher with this software.

However, interactive whiteboards do have their pros and cons when installed into a classroom.
     Pros- every tool is right at your finger tip, most teachers are more confident because students are able to explore as well, interactive which makes for more participation, can store notes, images, lessons, links, etc. Already provides numerous ideas, lessons, pictures, etc.
    Cons- Expensive, not using real objects (sure students can interactive with the whiteboards but I feel like some things they need to physically hold in order to understand the subject)

I wish I knew how to use the interactive whiteboard at the beginning of my education classes; I feel like I could have done so much more for my lessons with the use of the interactive whiteboard. I did a math unit on numbers are adding. I could have did different interactive medias such as dice, games, videos, practice writing the numbers, etc. Also this could have help with a lesson I did on time. Instead of using a still image of a clock I could have used an interactive clock in which students could have came up to the board and physically move the hands on the clock to display a certain time. For my science unit, I could have did different experiments with the interactive whiteboard. Such as changing the state of matter.

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Software

During the past couple of weeks I have learned about software that I never knew how to use, such as Publisher, Inspiration, Smart Board, etc. Along with learning on how to use all of these softwares, I also learned when to use them, what for, etc. I think it was very beneficial to actually take time to learn these new skills. I am excited to use my new skills learned with student teaching as well as in my very own classroom. It is beneficial that I learn these skills now, because once I start my career, all new technologies will be building on top of the skills I have learned!

Although I think that all of the software that I learned will be the most useful, I have to say that the Smart Board software is the most helpful one to me. In every classroom, for the most part there is a smart board. A smart board is the new way of presenteing information, activities, videos, etc. Most classrooms are during away with chalk boards and white boards and using the interactive smart board. This will be the most helpful to be because I will need to know how to use the smart board, what I can do with it etc. Also I will probally be to the one educating my coop- teacher while I am student teaching.

There are many ways that these softwares will help me as a teacher! Inspiration is a great tool that can be used by a teacher or students. It is a great way to help make graphs, concepts maps, outlines, etc. Publisher is a great tool to make flyers, newletters, banners, charts, cards, etc. It is easy enough for the students to use as well! A newletter is a creat way to let the parents know what is going on in the classroom. The smart board is my favorite tool that will help me as a teacher. I can create different slides (pages). These pages can be interactive, which will allow students to interactive with the board.  I can use the smart board, to practice anything from math, to writing, etc. Also the Smart board is a create tool to use as a pre asssessment or closure in a lesson. Students can take interactive quizzes which can be create right than and there.

I am sure that on the new softwares that I learned about there are so many other teacher tools, student tools that I have not yet discovered, and I can't until I have time to play around with and use these new technologies within my classroom!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Inspiration, Personal Learning Network, & Social Bookmarking

Since the last time I wrote a blog, I learned a few new things that I never knew about technology before. The first new thing I learned was how to use Inspiration. I never knew anything about this program before I learned about it and I am so glad that I did! Before knowing about Inspiration I though the only way to make chart, diagrams, etc was only on Word. Man was I wrong. I wish I knew about Inspiration before going into my education method courses because it would have saved me so much time and my material probally would have looked a lot nicer as well. Not Only due I plan on using Inspiration within my own life, I plan on using it within my classroom. Inspiration was so easy to use, that I believe a first or second grader could use!
10 ways Inspiration could be used within my classroom:
1. To make graphs
2. To make diagrams
3. To practice writing skills
4. To create an outline about a topic
5. To make pyramids- if learning about food diagram
6. Can be used instead or powerpoint or notes to help the visual learners understand concept
7. To create webs to summarize a book into sections (characters, plot, theme, etc.)
8. Students can make graphic organizers to help with math, tests, etc.
9. To create venn diagrams
10. To create newletters or journal entries about their day that they can post online

My personal learning networks are found on the Web. I probally use personal learning networks more often than I think I do. I am on the internet everyday! But to get the best quality of information I use websites that come from .edu, .org, .gov. Even though I don't use these websites or resources that often they come in handy within many of classes. I use the .com websites more in my everyday life, usually for social networking, emailing, shopping, as well as finding general information fast!
Within my field of study I use personal learning networks to help find information for lesson plans. Sometimes I use popular media to include within my personal learning network within my field of study. Sometimes instead of finding everything out on the internet I  will use face to face resources. I usually go to peers who are in the same classes to piggy back ideas off of one anyother. I also turn to my family, etc.

In class I learned about social bookmarking. Before this clas I knew what social bookmarking was but I really didn't understand the concept behind it. I thought it was the same thing as adding something into your favorite list. However the thing I learned about social bookmarking, is that no matter where I am I can pull up my bookmarks, as long as I have the right installments for it. How social bookmarking differs from just adding a web site to your favorite list is quiet simple. When you add something to your favorite list it is only saved onto the computer you added it too. Wehn you bookmark something it is saved to that website, link, app, etc & can be obtained though any device. Within my education class we use Diigo as our social bookmarking place! After learning about social bookmarking I appreicate it more than I did before.
There are many ways that social bookmarking can help both myself and my students. As a teacher it can help because instead of trying to remember what website I want to show the class, or what article, picture, video , etc. I can just pull up my social bookmarking site and just click on my saved link & it will take me right to where I wanted to go. Another way is that social bookmarking is a create way to organize all of my information, topics, concepts, ideas, activies etc. STudents would be able to find resources that could help them with homework that they could access while at home. Students could also follow the teachers social bookmarking in order to see ideas, topics, books, videos, etc to help them with they classwork, homework, projects, etc.
I think that social bookmarking can help me now as a student. Like I said it is a create why to organize different information I have been obtaining within my classes that can help me in the future. It is also a get way to find new ideas, activies, lessons, etc by following different tags.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Blogs & Google Docs

Blogs are a great thing to incorporate in a classroom. Not only can blogs help teachers, but blog can also help students. For both the teacher and students, blogs are a way to help play with technology on a computer, such as sounds, pictures, video, etc.

With the use of blogs by students, students will be able to practice and publish their writing. This can be an advantage because students get a thrill at posting things that the whole world can see. With that in mind students will pay more attention to their grammar, spelling, etc. because their work will be viewed by more than just their classmates. However, a disadvantage of this might be that some students might feel self conscious about their words being published. Another advantage of blogs in a classroom for the students is that students will receive comments back about their post. Students will also be able to talk back and forth to experts. On these blog students will also be able to express themselves. Blogs can be used in all subject areas as well. However when assigning the use of blogs in a classroom the teacher should take into consideration some disadvantages of blogs. The first thing should be about the student’s home life. Some students may not have a computer a home; while others many not have the internet. Teachers should also do research about different blog sites, because it is the teachers responsibility to keep all of the students safe on the internet.

Along with students, teachers could also benefit with the use of blogs within a classroom. One way blogs could be used by teachers is to communicate with other teachers. In the blogs teachers could share lessons, ideas, projects, helpful hints, etc. Just like blogs can help students with their writing skills, blogs can also help improve teachers writing skills. With the use of blogs teachers are always learning the basic of technology, which is a must.

Before reading the online readings I didn't know anything about Google Docs. I was very surprised to learn that Google Docs was like a word processor. By using Google Docs, the user can create word documents, presentations, drawings, spreadsheets, etc.

What I really liked about Google Docs is that it is a way to collaborate with others. Everyone can add their part to Google Docs and it will be in the same version.

Some advantages are that Google Docs doesn't need to be installed onto your computer. Google Docs can be sent out to all of the users without attaching it into an email. Google Docs looks like most of the word processors on everyone’s computer. It also has auto save.

Some disadvantages about Google Docs are that it doesn't have as many features as the word processors do, like the ones on your computer. Also sometimes when you transfer your Google Doc document into word, it doesn't look the same as it did on Google Docs.

All in all I am very excited to start learning about the Google Docs program. I know this is something that I can take with me in the future.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012