Reflection

Throughout this whole entire term, my knowledge for technology in education and lesson planning has tripled. Before this term, I had no idea about the technologies elementary teachers are using in their classrooms. I am truly amazed with the endless possibilities and how it encourages a better way of learning. Anything from videos to hands on instructional apps that make learning more exciting and interactive; the possibilities are endless.

Before this class, I didn’t really know where I stood with incorporating technology in the classroom, but after this class, I am a huge supporter of it. A few technologies I can see myself using are Google Classroom, Kahoot, and Class Dojo. Google Classroom is basically an online classroom bulletin board. This app is more designed for students at middle and high school levels, however, I could see myself using it to communicate with the families and parents. Parents want to be involved in their student’s education and it is important that they do so. Kahoot is a great app that allows teachers to create quizzes for the students to answer. It is sorta of like a fun game that can be a little competitive. I am all for gamification and Kahoot allows that. Class Dojo is a classroom management app that helps teachers keep track of their students progress behaviorally during the day. Teachers can give students online badges for different things such as participation. This encourages students to work harder and strive to do better. All of these apps are great versions of technologies that I can see myself using in my future classroom.

I have never really thought about the process of lesson planning. It is very extensive with the amount of research, time, and effort put into it. When planning a lesson, the first step is to consider your students and their needs. Then to think about standards. The word ‘standards’ can be a bit intimidating to new teachers, such as myself, but they are there to guide teachers on what they are teaching and at what level. Next step is to plan your lesson. Do you want it to be about geography, science, or even reading? After considering all of this, it is time to create, prepare, and teach your lesson.

My lesson I planned is about endangered species. Endangered species are a big deal and it is important that students are aware of it at an earlier age. It includes students creating and designing a diorama of the environment their endangered species lives in. Making origami of that animal and learning about the animal. This lesson is engaging and informative. Students will be able to interpret facts, apply it to a creative project and express their ideas and information to their peers.

From this experience, I have learned that lesson planning is a lot of work but I found it entertaining to do. I enjoyed this activity and I am excited to say that I just created my first lesson plan! 🙂

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Multimedia Oh My!

We have talked about many different options of technologies to use within the classroom, but what about multimedia. What is multimedia? Why do teachers use it? The basic definition of multimedia is simple; multimedia is to combine multiple types of media according to Dictionary.com. For example, videos are an excellent form of multimedia. It incorporates both sound and visual aspects in order to express ideas. By using both sound and visual aspects, it allows the students to be engaged in the content and it encourages thinking.

There are several reasons why the education community is using multimedia. For starters, multimedia allows students to demonstrate prior knowledge and to express creativity. It is vital for students to be able to create their own design and express ideas, rather than obtaining it from outside sources. Some multimedia technologies that teachers may do to accomplish this goal is by incorporating movie making or making podcasts to a lesson. In addition, teachers can create videos and podcasts to also provide lessons.

Multimedia is an important part of technology. It has been incorporated in classrooms for decades and it will continue to help enhance student learning. It is a popular tool, among others, for teachers to use. Many teachers use multimedia in several different ways such as movies, podcasts, and music. After learning more about multimedia, I am positive that I will use it in my future classroom.

Web 2.0 Applications

The internet was a place where people can read and see data, this was known as web 1.0. However, in recent years the internet has become a place where people can interact with each other and communicate ideas back and forth. This is known as web 2.0. Web 2.0 is great for teachers because there are so many beneficial applications that promote learning.

One web 2.0 application is ePals. ePals is a program designed to connect classrooms around the world in order to teach diversity and to give a fun experience. Not only does this website allow teachers to connect their classrooms to various other classrooms around the world, it also provides lesson plans to go along with it. The world is full of so many different cultures and it is important for students to learn and experience these cultures. By teaching diversity, it also teaches students respect for other cultures and differences. In addition to diversity, this site also encourages students to practice communication skills by communicating with their ePals. This website is a great tool, but it is important to know your teaching goal before you begin online, because there are so many options. ePals also provides lesson plans that support what they are learning from other cultures. For example, there is a lesson on flags. This lesson explains how flags convey meaning by using symbols and colors. Then the students are tasked to create a flag that represents them. Not only do students get to learn from this program but teachers as well. Teachers are able to collaborate with other teachers around the world and share ideas. This program is designed for all ages and is a great way to teach diversity while having fun.

Another web 2.0 application is TikaTok, which is a tool that allows students to create story books. This program helps teach digital literacy and encourages creativity and imagination. One great plus about this program is that it allows students to create digital and hard copy story books that include writing, pictures and even drawings that can be shared with their parents.While this program is really helpful and great, it has one down fall. TikaTok is not free. However, it is not very expensive. For the basic subscription, it is $19 a year and it allows access to all the templates, helps with classroom management, and allows as many students to use. TikaTok also gives lesson plans to incorporate this into the classroom. One example, is to have students create a story book and then share it with their peers. They all review each others and leaves comments. This encourages communication and helps enhance peer relations. This program was designed for K-6th and it is a great way to teach literacy and creative thinking.

Popplet is a great web 2.0 application that helps map ideas. Mapping ideas helps students organize thoughts for potential research projects or essays. It can also be used to simply map out thoughts. It encourages use of cognitive thinking and development and literacy skills. Popplet does cost money and it asks teachers to contact for a quote. This program could be used for any age group, however, I would recommend using it for grades 3 through 8.

Copyright Basics

After reading the article, Copyright 101 by Carol Simpson, I now have a better understanding of the legality of copyright. As a future educator it is extremely important to understand copyright laws and how not to get in trouble for them. Often teachers ignore copyright laws in order to provide materials for their students, which has become a big issue for both the teachers and the school systems. However, many teachers feel forced to take shortcuts through these laws because they are not given the proper resources in order to give their students the best education. This problem has become very serious in the most recent decade, especially with the rapid growth in technology. It is making it easier to copy materials and use, without people even realizing that they are breaking the law. It is important to learn the copyright laws before becoming a teacher, so that you do not make a mistake when making lesson plans.

Copyright laws are not something to mess with. Copyright infringement can have fines up to $150,000, which is basically three years of a teachers salary. To prevent copyright infringement, one needs to learn what copyright even means. Copyright laws are laws that protect authors from having their published work stolen. This means anything that is published falls under the copyright laws, even materials on the internet. The term published, in this case, is anything that has been written on paper, recorded, painted and so on. An exception to copyright are facts. Facts cannot be copyrighted, however the words used to express that fact can. It is also important to remember that even if the copyright symbol is not shown, the material is still protected by copyright. If the author dies, this does not mean their work is up for grabs; copyright laws protect the authors work up to 70 years after their passing.

When people hear the term copyright, usually negative thoughts arise. However, copyright  laws are in existence in order to protect authors works and were designed to be seen as positive. Due to the fact that copyright can restrict teachers use and ability to teach, there has been some strict exemptions put in place, called fair use. Fair use allows teachers to use some materials for educational purpose only. Even though teachers are allowed this exemption, it still has really strict guidelines. Teachers can use the fair use analysis to distinguish whether or not they are within the fair use guidelines. The fair use analysis are a series of questions that help determine if the use of the material is strictly being used for educational purposes.

The first question is: Are the materials being used only in a non-profit educational institution and not for commercial use?

The second question is: What is the nature of the work being copied?

The third question is: How much of the material is being copied?

The fourth question is: Are you depriving the author of profit or harming the material in anyway?

Copyright laws are complicated and ugly, however it is extremely important that teachers understand the basics of copyright and the fair use analysis.

Super Digital Citizen

In my past blog posts I have written a lot about incorporating technology into the classroom. Not only is technology in students lives in the classroom but outside the classroom as well. Students are surrounded by technology and it is important for them to learn what it means to be good digital citizens. In a short video from the teaching channel, Mr. Pane, who is an elementary teacher, teaches a lesson on digital citizenship to his students. Mr. Pane begins by saying a quote from spider man “With great power, comes great responsibility,” in order to draw the attention of his students. This quote leads into the lesson plan about having the power to use the internet but to use it wisely. Mr. Pane uses a program that allows students to create superheroes. The students were then tasked with the activity to create their own superheroes and a comic demonstrating good digital citizenship.This lesson was very successful and I think it is a great way to incorporate fun into a serious matter. In this day in age, it is extremely important for students to learn how to be a good digital citizenship early on in their lives. Mr. Pane’s lesson was a great way to explain the topic in a way that the students will truly comprehend.

 

The Effective Presentation

In recent discussions of maximizing technology in the classroom, a controversial issue has been on what is the better method of giving a presentation, slides full of text, or slides with only one key idea. On the one hand some argue that it is important for students to get the most information they can from a presentation in order to take detailed notes. From this perspective, teachers strongly defend the traditional way of giving a presentation by using powerpoint and designing the slides to have as much information as possible. By using this method, teachers believe the students will be able to take detailed notes to study. On the other hand, however, others argue that it is more important for the student to retain the information from the teacher and not the slides. According to this view, students are not able to fully understand the topic if they are strictly copying the information word for word. Thus, this view believes that the best way to give a presentation is to create simple slides with one topic and less text. This allows the students to concentrate on the teacher in stead. In sum then, the issue at hand is whether the best way to give a presentation, in order for the student to fully comprehend the topic, is to create slides with bulleted text or with pictures and less text.

My own view is that it is better to give a presentation with less words and more pictures so that the student is able to hear and understand the full idea. Often when the student is copying the bulleted text, the student is to focused on the text to hear the teacher. Though I concede that the idea of text is important in order to take detailed notes to review, I still maintain that it is more productive for teachers to give simpler presentations. Some may argue that a simple presentation will not allow the student to remember the information, however, if the teacher were to give students sentences with missing words from the key ideas, then the student will need to attentively listen to the presentation in order to complete the activity. This issue is important because students are showing that they are bored from the traditional powerpoint presentation and are not able to retain the information. It is important for teachers to find a way to present information that the students will fully retain, and a simple powerpoint just maybe the answer.

 

Show n Tell; Teacher Tools

Headsprout 

K-5

Learning A-Z

Literacy and comprehension using Gamification.

Interactive games to help teach kids to read and spell, can be expensive if the district does not provide it. Suggest to use it in a teacher group to have more control and less self reign.

Practice Anatomy 3.0

Middle and high Biology and Anatomy classes

Lab study of human anatomy that allows students to interact using technology. Uses pictures of Cadavers to study the human anatomy. Provides quizzes and explorative pictures to explore different cadavers and fetal pigs and cat dissection.

Search Engines; how to get the full potential

http://www.hackcollege.com infographic get more out of google

3rd through 12th Grades

How to use google in order to get the best results and to search for specific topics.

Google apps and sites for education

Google Classroom similar to moodle

Create a class on google to give out assignments and announcements and different topics and questions. Add youtube, google drive documents. As a teacher, able to manage multiple classrooms. Virtual Grade book. Useful to create a digital classroom. students can use the online classroom to give homework and turn in assignments. Parents can also see what you are doing. For elementary target it towards parents to incorporate parents and promote learning at home. Able to get parents involved. Based on gmail.

Class Dojo

an app available on IOS or android

behavioral and class room management

Communication to parents and is free. able to add feedback, similar to badges. For example, Kind Words or good team work. Able to give each badge a point value. In addition, badges to give for needs work. Parents are able to see how students are doing, and an easy way to manage classroom behavior. Able to see reports on each student and add notes.

Class story is similar to an instagram feed and only people who have access can view the class story.

Dojo allows teachers, and parents to track their students behavior and promote good behavior. Also dojo allows you to track attendance.

 Kahoot

Free for any grade

Able to create quizzes or discussion, or survey. Game quizzes are set up to be fun and interactive.

BigBrainz

Game to help learn math. It is adventure base game that works on speed and knowledge of math.

Free version or schools can buy it.

Designed for iPads, and teachers can look at the progress of each student.

Ed Tech Teacher

For newer teachers to help learn how to incorporate technology into the classroom. They give recommendations for apps you can use in your classroom. Ed Tech was designed by former teachers and created by them. They provide a newsletter and summer workshops to help teachers learn new ideas.

Schoology

Connects apps and programs together to get all of the notifications in one places. Students and teachers have access, but parents get a spectator view. It provides a calendar that shows all your assignments for all your class. Also has a gradebook.

Geography App Brainscape

Glorified flashcards. Iphones and ipads

Teachers are able to buy different levels, and add students to it.

Navigating The Digital World

In recent discussions of technology in the classroom, a controversial issue of “information literacy” has arisen. The concept of information literacy is the idea that people can read information and determine if it is accurate or false. The saying “don’t believe everything you see on the internet” is referring to being literate when using technologies, such as the internet. It is important as teachers and parents to teach students the skills necessary in order to become information literate. In most classrooms, technology is abundant and often the internet is a go to technological tool. Even at home, many students have access to the internet at all times. We have already established that students will be in contact with the internet; the issue is how do we teach students to be information literate? A website called Common Sense Education, provides lesson plans to teachers in order to promote healthy use of the internet. This website give lesson plans for all grade levels and it stresses the importance of information literacy. 

My view is that teachers and parents are able to teach students to be information literate by teaching them to be more critical thinkers. We can promote critical thinking by conducting activities to help students think about the information presented to them. The internet can be a dangerous technology and we can be fooled at times. Teaching children, who are constantly around the internet, to be literate and critical thinkers of the information or the things they see on the internet is important in order to receive accurate information. Another issue that arises with this topic is whether or not we as teachers can really prepare students to be effective users of the internet. In my opinion, I do not think we can teach students to be fully capable of digital and information literacy. We can prepare them the best we can, and with the help of parents we can be even more effective in teaching them to be critical thinkers.

Digital Natives; do they exist?

In recent discussions of technology in the classroom, a controversial issue has been whether students born in the 21st century are digital natives compared to people born outside the 21st century. On the one hand, some argue that students who were born in the 21st century are naturally capable of understanding technology compared to the previous generation. From this perspective, it is seen that children of the most recent generation are able to use technology and incorporate technology throughout their day to day life with ease. Whereas the older generations struggle to comprehend and use technology are known as digital immigrants. People who support this idea, argue that the reason why this generation is capable of using technology so effectively is because they are digital natives, meaning that it is encoded in their brain as if they were natural instincts. On the other hand, some argue that the reason people of this newest generation are capable of understanding and using technology is because they were raised along side it. According to this view, children are introduced to technology from the very beginning of their lives and this explains their extensive knowledge of technology. In the end, the issue at hand is how we explain the fact that students from the latest generation are able to understand technology to an extent that other past generations haven’t been able to.

My own view is that students of this current generation are not digital natives, but instead just grew up surrounded by technology. For example, most children have technology at home such as iPads, cellphones, and tvs. Even in the class room technology has been incorporated in multiple ways to use as tools. Children of this generation are in contact with technology sooner in their lives and have learned how to use them as if it were second nature.