Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thing #11.5: Evaluation

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I really enjoyed the lesson here on image generators. It was fun to play with Wordle and think of ways it could be useful in a classroom setting.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? I learned about things I didn't know where out there. I am not one to go exploring various sites on my own and this gives me a great reason to educate myself on new things that are out there.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? Second Life was a total surprise to me. I never knew such existed or that it was used in an educational way.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I don't know of any changes. The program is interesting and relevant. I'm thankful to be able to participate in the summers! Thank you!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing #11: Digital Citizenship

There is a whole new world out there that wasn't even there (like it is now at least) when I was in high school. Educators must stay on top of technology as it is ever changing but a daily party of every one's life. Part of the educators responsibility is to teach children about digital citizenship. I like one of the articles I read that said how we teach our students math and reading; digital citizenship should be no different. There are some things that students need to be taught. Teachers need to present this information at the beginning of the year but continue to remind students of these principles all year long.

First, students need to know the importance of online safety. I don't think this can be stressed enough to our young people. They need to be careful. We teach them not to talk to strangers in real life or go to dangerous places. We need to teach them about being safe online as well.

Second, students need to know how to use the information they find online legally. They need to know what they can use and for what purposes.

Third, students need to realize the value of being lifelong learners. This involves technology. The teacher needs to show how he is a lifelong learner and work with students to show them the value of this in their own lives. One way for the teacher and student to relate would be through technology.

Fourth, students need to learn how to find reliable, accurate information on the Internet. Teachers need to give students resources and model this before expecting them to do it on their own and just automatically know how to do it.

Finally, students need to be aware of teacher expectations regarding technology. What ways will technology be used in the coming school year? What things are not permitted in the classroom?

This was a valuable "thing" and good reminder for teachers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thing #10: Virtual Worlds

I created my avatar and walked around a bit in Second Life. I think my computer was too slow to get a full effect, but I got the idea. It was odd to see other people walking around I thought! I went back another time and talked to a girl and played around with changing my appearance. Today when I went I saw the feature to make me sit down.

It is interesting that there are educational happenings in this virtual world. As a parent and teacher it would concern me for students to just be open to explore this, even the teen edition because it couldn't really be controlled who they came into contact with. I can't imagine people really having lots of time to spend here though and make connections! That just puzzles me!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thing #9: Slideshare

I think Slideshare is a good option for students to learn. It would be beneficial for them to be familiar with this. They could use it for their presentations. It seems this would be a helpful learning tool in the classroom as well. Teachers could show students presentations that were good or not so good to help them improve their own presentations. Plus there are so many already made teachers could use these instead of creating a new one of her own if it fits the material she wants her students to learn.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thing #8: Screencasts

There are many options available if you want to create and use screencasts in your classroom. I can see this being a beneficial teaching tool for older students especially. The teacher can instruct them on a new skill. Then later once the students have mastered the concept they can create their own screencasts to teach others. This would also be a good way for the teacher to test student mastery as well.

I made a screencast using Screencast-o-matic. I showed how to leave comments on a blog. I could not get it saved though onto my computer. (The link did work for me though when I tested it the first time.) It was very easy to create and I liked that I didn't have to download anything to use it. I told my husband I thought this would be a beneficial tool for him to use in presentations for his work as well.

Thing #7: Video resources

There are so many video resources available on the Internet.

Here is one i found on TeacherTube. I thought this would be cute to show a class of students learning the letter sounds. Kids this age would enjoy seeing other children perform and then they could create a video of themselves after they learn it.

Another is called Why does the moon look like it changes? from neok12 site. This would be good to use with a science lesson on the phases of the moon. The class could then make up their own questions to "ask an astronomer." I really liked all the categories on this site and it was fun to look around here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thing #6: iTouch Apps

My husband surprised me with an iPod Touch this past Christmas. I had no idea there was such a thing until about Thanksgiving prior to that. I had no idea how much I would use or enjoy my iPod Touch. We both have actually. He originally got it for me to store recipes. I continue to find new uses.

I found some interesting apps while looking through these articles and videos. One was a mileage counter, something so practical yet something I'd never really think about "needing." The graphing calculator is one that will be helpful to students. Teachers or librarians can use the iTouch to share "words of the day" or "today in history" facts with students. Students can use it to access the Internet or watch videos besides the apps they'll want to add. The weather information and the maps are also convenient to have available with the touch of a screen.

Here is a video on how to add apps to your iPod Touch.