Tuesday, December 08th, 2009 | Author:

http://sites.google.com/site/ancientgreecevirtualexhibit/home

My WebQuest can be found at the link above.  I created my WebQuest with Google Sites.  I really like using Google Sites and felt that it fit my needs for this particular WebQuest.  I looked at some of the other WebQuest generator sites but felt they were limited with how I wanted to present my WebQuest.  I like being able to customize everything! :)

My WebQuest is intended for Third Graders who are studying ancient Greece.  Students are asked to research a particular area and become experts in their fields.  Then they will share the information with their group.  Groups will then work together and create a final project to place on a blog to create a virtual exhibit for the Greeks.

I had a lot of fun making this WebQuest and I hope that any student who uses it will enjoy it too! :)

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Sunday, December 06th, 2009 | Author:

How should schools incorporate these new technologies into teaching, student learning, and administrative processes?

I think schools should start incorporating technologies slowly and then add onto the base and expand from there.  Teachers might feel more comfortable incorporating technologies if there is support throughout the school.  They can turn to an administrator, coordinator, or fellow colleague when they have questions.  I think schools can start with a school-wide blog or some new system which gives immediate updates.  Then encourage teachers to start their own class blogs or websites.  But by taking time and building a strong foundation with a lot of support – it will allow teachers to feel more comfortable and incorporate technology into other facets of their teaching methods.

What does it mean that both technological and pedagogical changes will foster learning?

Chapter 9 opens: “our digital native students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach and today’s teachers have to learn to communicate in the language and style of their students.”  Students today have different interests than students in the past… most today feed off of the internet, computers, and video games which were not around years ago.  Teachers have to go away from the old methods and think of new, creative, and interactive ways to grab student’s attention.  Teacher’s shouldn’t fight technological changes and try to keep them out of the classroom, but instead embrace them.  Essential knowledge and the ability to think will remain the same, however, what needs to change is the way it is presented.

The real change begins with you. Therefore, how will you make a difference to your school, yourself, and your students?

I am not teaching yet… but I plan to incorporate technology when I can and make it an active part of my teaching method.  I hope that by me incorporating technology actively into my classroom it will be an example for other teachers and administrators within the school.  Technology makes is possible to have final work published on public platforms for all to see.  So, maybe if they can see the positive effects of incorporating technology into learning that will influence them to incorporate into their lessons as well.  Then if students really enjoy the lessons they will talk about it and word will soon begin to spread.  From there I would be open for questions and willing to work with other colleagues to help them incorporate technology into their lessons as well.  I would like to lead and create a difference by example.

Citations

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New tools, new schools. Washington D.C.: International Society for Technology in Education.

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Sunday, November 29th, 2009 | Author:

Before reading this chapter, I have thought about how to integrate technology for ESL and Special Education students.  I am taking a Linguistics and Special Education course this semester and we have briefly discussed how to integrate technology into each curriculum.  For instance, in the linguistic course we discussed this site:  http://www.rachelsenglish.com/ It is aimed more for adults; however, some of the activities would help potential English Language Learners.  There are several sites like this available for younger students.  For instance, there was another one I read about a blogging community that helps students who are learning English.  The students write short stories, poems, etc, and post it online for others to comment and the community is very supportive and avoids negative undue criticism.  It seems like a great way to build confidence in writing ability.

In the Special Education course we have briefly discussed different ways to sometimes incorporate technology.  One of our projects was to make a presentation that included some form of Audio/Visual Technology for special education students.  I came up with an Interactive PowerPoint on about plant parts for students with learning disabilities.  One of the greatest gifts you can give a student with a learning disability is the gift of time.  This PowerPoint allowed the student to navigate through at his own pace.  Once he was familiar with the concept he was able to choose to move to the next and which one he wanted.  Plus every slide had audio associated with it because usually students with learning disabilities can learn better by hearing the information as opposed to reading it.  My idea for the entire lesson would be for all students to go to the computer lab and work on a related PowerPoint.  Then the student with learning disabilities wouldn’t stick out, but would be receiving the help he needed.

“Brown and Warschauer’s (2006) study found that while new teachers were knowledgeable of the many types of technology available, there were not sufficiently prepared to integrate this technology into curricular activities” (as cited by Solomon&Schrum, 2007, p.160). If I wasn’t taking this class or other technology classes, I don’t think I would be as prepared to integrate these technologies for these populations.  Like any new teaching method, new technologies are time consuming to learn, however, the end results of greater learning by students makes it worth the effort.

Citation:

Solomon, G., & Scrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New tools, new schools. Eugene, OR: ISTE.

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Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 | Author:

My first initial test for my Web Lesson was on my family.  I had them navigate through what I have completed.  I felt that for a first test, I would get better feedback from my family to work out some of the kinks before showing it to a younger person.  They liked my activities and enjoyed viewing the websites.  However, I needed to be present during the activity to explain what I exactly meant.  I need to explain my directions better and make them more clear.  I also need to rephrase my big idea question.  It is a little too broad and I received some good ideas about how to narrow it down.  Since I am planning a Web Quest I also need to work on the story better and smooth it out from day to day.  I did receive positive feedback about the log.  My family really liked that and liked having the opportunity to keep track of all their information.  I am planning on fixing these elements within the next few days, and then testing my lesson again.  Over the Thanksgiving Break I will be seeing some of my cousins who are around the age of my lesson.  They won’t have time to complete the entire lesson of course, but I want to see what they say about a portion of it.  From there I should be able to refine the rest of my lesson and it will be on its way to almost being complete.

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Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 | Author:

I am not teaching yet, so I do not have a reference point for this material.  I looked to try and find policies for the schools that I would like to teach, but I wasn’t able to find anything on their websites.  So then I checked the Spotsylvania County website to find policies in general for the county, but again I wasn’t able to find anything.  Thus, my approach for this chapter was to look at it from a perspective of what I will or and what experiences I have had from the past with online safety.

What strategies can you implement with your students to ensure that they practice ethical behavior while researching online?

At the beginning of the school year I will spend some time on Internet safety, uses, and finding good resources from the Internet.  I will also model good uses of the internet whenever the class has an activity on the internet.   It may also be helpful to have students work in partners or groups.  That way they can monitor each other’s behavior.  Thus, if there is a students who needs extra supervision I can pair him up with another student who is more reliable.  But it is most important to establish rules at the beginning of the school year and make sure students follow them.

How can you and your students avoid copyright infringement?

There are sites such as Creative Commons that allow educational uses of their materials.  It is important to be open and discuss plagiarism and copyrighted material at the beginning of the year with students.  It is important for them to also understand that it is okay to be confused about copyright laws.  But if a student is confused he has to know that he needs to ask questions to clear up the confusion.  It may also be helpful to allow student to do a project on copyright to allow them to understand the rules.  It takes a lot of practice to know and recognize copyright infringement.

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Sunday, November 15th, 2009 | Author:

Here is the link to my Diigo group.  It is for ESL and ELL Teachers about integrating technology into their curriculum.

http://groups.diigo.com/group/technology-for-esl-and-ell-students

In Chapter 4 on page 95, it discusses incorporating technology to teach language.  I decided to research on this topic and find additional tools to accomplish this task.

Overall, I liked using Diigo.  I think that this would be a good way to facilitate and share information with other teachers on the same grade level or within a school community.  People can comment and share great sites.  I see its possibilities in a classroom setting to help students organize notes and ideas off of webpages.  I might even use it to help me organize ideas next semester when I take EDCI 589.  I would want to get more familiar using it before I started using it in the classroom.

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Sunday, November 15th, 2009 | Author:

Chapter 6 brought up some good ideas to consider about school administrations leading the way for technology in their schools.  The administration should set the tone for the school, thus if they actively back integration of technology and lead the way in its uses many teachers may have a better experience incorporating it into their own classrooms.

Administrators don’t have to be technology savvy to lead the way for incorporation in their schools.  I believe it may prove to be a better experience if the administration and teachers both work together and wade through the problems together and figure out how to make it possible for their school.  Schools should definitely use all of their resources when beginning to implement technology.  Communicating with the school’s IT teacher would be a great place to start the collaboration process.  Another place to check out are the schools that have already began actively integrating technology in as many facets as possible.  The two schools mentioned in this chapter I have linked below.  These are great examples to see how integrating blogging to inform the community can work.

http://lewiselementary.org/ (Is still utilized.)

http://buckmanelementary.org/ (Out of Date)

The whole idea of Open Source Software and Linux systems is an interesting concept.  But in order to make this work effectively it needs to be embraced by the administration and helped along.  It definitely appears to be more cost effective, but one must consider the time it takes.  However, it is an interesting prospect that needs to be considered carefully before fully implementing it into a school.

When I begin teaching, I will keep these ideas in mind.  I don’t plan on being apart of an administration, however, I could always bring it to their attention.  Maybe in my school I could start by having a class blog.  It may catch on slower, but if the reception is positive from the other teachers, parents, students and communities it may catch the administration’s attention.  I’m sure all schools want to be viewed in a good light and this could help grab those prospective students whose parents are looking for “the good school in the area.”

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New tools, new schools. Eugene, OR: ISTE.

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Thursday, November 05th, 2009 | Author:

This was an interesting experience.  It was a little harder than the last video we had to make because I was trying to put together a bunch of different files from all over the place.  But I worked it all out and it is uploaded to YouTube!  Enjoy :)

Overview:

This video was created to fulfill a requirement for my Master’s in Education at the University of Mary Washington’s Graduate Program.  It is about using Boolean Operators to create better internet searches.  It also guides the listener through examples.

For all teachers, it is important to familiarize oneself with the latest technologies.  This is my attempt at creating a video to introduce the idea of creating better internet searches.  Instead of the same activities everyday, introducing a video like this provides students with variety and excitement.  After creating this video, I have a better idea of what it takes to create a video to Upload to YouTube.  I feel comfortable introducing this idea to students and helping them troubleshoot any problems that may arise when they create their own videos.

Additional Links and Fun Facts:

http://websearch.about.com/library/cheatsheet/blgooglecheatsheet.htm – This is really cool – It’s a Google Cheat Sheet!

http://www.ivyjoy.com/rayne/kidssearch.html – Search Engine Resources for Kids

Specifically in this video I used the following programs:

Pinnacle Studio Plus – To compile and format the entire video and to add sound.

Microsoft Digital Image Pro 10 – To create many of the pictures and animations found throughout this video.

Screencast-O-Matic – For the live screen captures which can be found at the following site: http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/

Webspiration – For the Idea Mapping which can be found at the following site: http://mywebspiration.com/

Background Music:

“Requiem” and “Golden Arm” by Sasha from the album Airdrawndagger

Picture Citations:

George Boole: http://www.unc.edu/depts/jomc/academics/dri/loc/boole1.html

Database Image: http://fast.unistrasi.it/atutor/documentation/developer/guidelines.html

Database Image: http://wpbits.wordpress.com/2007/08/08/a-look-inside-the-wordpress-database/

References:

http://www.education-world.com/a_tsl/archives/01-1/lesson0012.shtml

http://adam.ac.uk/info/boolean.html#bool

http://websearch.about.com/od/internetresearch/a/boolean.htm

Category: Week 11  | 2 Comments
Wednesday, November 04th, 2009 | Author:

Chapter 6:

1. Why is continuous assessment important in an inquiry-oriented activity to enhance student learning?

Thinking is an active process and needs to be a continuous process.  It is not something someone can just turn on and off.  In inquiry oriented activities thinking processes do not end with the activity, but instead the ideas you nurture during the activity must continue on in the student.  Coffman suggests this as a “refreshing way to evaluate student progress” (p.112).  Also while continually assessing students both the teacher and student know where he or she stands and understands the material.  It also helps them to determine if the desired results of the lesson are being achieved.

2. Identify three different assessments that you could use to determine if students understand an important topic within an inquiry-oriented activity.

  • Formal Project Assessments – Presentations, tests, quizzes, projects, activities
  • Informal Teacher Observations – questioning techniques, small and large group work, think-pair-share
  • Self-Assessments – Portfolios and learning logs

3. Why are benchmarks important when planning for assessments within an inquiry-oriented activity?

Because the benchmarks are what you want your students to understand at specific points in the activity.  These need to be determined ahead of time so the teacher can organize and plan the lesson accordingly.  This is a good time to identify essential questions and learning activities that students should participate in and answer.  It is important for students to understand concept A before moving on to concept B.  Thus benchmarks are the rungs in the ladder so students can climb and achieve their goals.

4. How do rubrics improve student learning in an inquiry-oriented activity?

Coffman summarizes rubrics as, “a concise measurement tool to identify what is important for students to accomplish and ultimately to understand about the activity itself” (p.122).  By providing students with a rubric it allows them to see what is important in the activity and what needs to be concentrated on.  Students also know the order and amount of time they need to put to a certain part of the activity.  Plus the best part is that there are no surprises for the student or teacher.  Problems are eliminated over what a teacher wants to expects.  It’s all already spelled out.

Chapter 7:

1. Identify learning objectives that emphasize Bloom’s taxonomy.

Coffman’s book provides a great chart of how to incorporate Bloom’s Taxonomy and Technology Integration.  Table 7.1 on page 130 is a great reference.  Specifically, learning objectives that allow students to remember, understand, apply, and analyze provide the best incorporation of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Remember

Understand

Apply

Analyze

  • Recognize
  • List
  • Describe
  • Name
  • Locate
  • Interpret
  • Summarize
  • Infer
  • Paraphrase
  • Compare
  • Explain
  • Implement
  • Use information
  • Execute Tasks
  • Compare
  • Organize
  • Structure
  • Integrate

2. How does your inquiry activity emphasize 21st century skills?

I am trying to incorporate 21st century skills into my inquiry activity as seamlessly as possible.  I am thinking about having students write blogs as learning logs throughout the entire process.  Then the culminating activity will involve some form of technology I have not quite decided what I want the students to do.  It might be like an infomercial or public announcement.  But I think I will allow students to choose between 3 options.  My inquiry activity is in the form of a Web Quest, so students will be involved with looking at websites and becoming familiar with how to conduct research.

3. Determine how you can integrate technology into your inquiry-oriented lesson to highlight collaboration and communication skills.

Students will be working in groups so they will be able to collaborate.  I might also consider teaming up with another classroom and communicating through blogs to compare and contrast ideas.  Plus if I could find a classroom in modern day Greece or Rome it might be neat for students to see what it is like to live there now.  And what these students think about the history behind their cities.

Citations:

Coffman, T. (2009). Engaging Students Through Inquiry Oriented Learning and Technology. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

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Wednesday, November 04th, 2009 | Author:

I am not teaching yet and I am not exactly sure how professional development courses work within schools.  But from the chapter in Web 2.0, the authors suggest some innovative ideas.

I agree with the authors that Universities have increased their efforts to provide classes for teacher candidates.  While at CGPS I have taken quite a few technology courses and have become even more comfortable with certain technologies.  Blogging has become second nature for me, creating videos is a breeze and I have a plethora of Web 2.0 Tools available to myself when I begin lesson planning.  I think that a good program school districts can employ are Tech Buddies.  Maybe some of the teachers who are comfortable with technology can team up with ones that aren’t as comfortable using it.  Or grade level teams can collaborate on new ideas.  Or the school can provide a link on their site to really good lesson plans the incorporate technology or good tools to utilize.  When learning technology it is good to take small steps and incorporate a little at a time and build upon it.

One idea I especially like for the Professional Development courses are the Pod Casts.  I was at the gym when I began reading this chapter.  And the Pod Cast idea struck me as a great idea because I could have been listening to a Pod Cast while at the gym or driving or cleaning.  Teachers are busy enough the way it is so anytime we can multi-task it is great.  Plus as teachers get comfortable with using pod casts maybe it will transfer to creating a lesson plan around it.  It is definitely something school districts should consider.

Citations

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New tools, new schools. Washington D.C.: International Society for Technology in Education.

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