Sunday, May 6, 2012
For our last two projects in EDM310 we were supposed to collaborate with our group members using technology. We were not supposed to meet in person until it was time to actually complete the project. We had several choices of communication avenues. My group mostly used Google Docs. I really loved the use of Google Docs. Google Docs is a great way to communicate with a group for collaboration. The only issue is that the other members have to participate for Google Docs to be successful. It was much more efficient than sending out separate emails. Collaboration without a mandatory class meeting was not exactly successful for my group. I think some students need more boundaries and requirements than other students. Other than Google Docs, my group also used Email and the telephone for a small amount of collaboration.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
This Blog post, Methods for Shaping Society , by Ben Williamson, is about research influencing the actual research. This blog post explains several different types of research. It discusses the methods used to produce the results from the research, and some of the possible consequences of the research, as well as , the data it generates.
Hi, My name is Stephanie Hogue. I am a student at The University of South Alabama. I am taking a technology course called EDM310 with Dr. Strange. I enjoyed your post. It seems to be both informational and a warning. I had not considered that the results of research can be influenced by research itself. I did suspect the transactional research, but it is still a little disturbing. I actually try not to put information on the web that I am not willing to share. I don't know if many people actually realize that we are shaping our own future through our internet choices. Your post is great! Thanks for sharing.
This blog post, Reality, the Game Interview with Interactive Expert Jeff Watson. describes a method of introducing students to each other and to their instructor. It involves using cards and mystery to pique the interest of the students, and it gets the conversation started. The game goes very well in the article. It also appears to be very successful.
This is a really unique and creative way to get new students interacting with each other and their instructor. I personally like the game and I think it is great. It makes something fun that otherwise might not be fun.
My PLN has grown quite a bit during this semester. I am glad that we were introduced to a PLN in EDM310. My PLN will be useful to me as a teacher, and it will help me to become more effective. My students will benefit, as well. I have aalso been telling my family members about how to create and use a PLN. They are impressed with Symbaloo. Thank you Dr. Strange and EDM staff and classmates for sharing the resources that make up most of my PLN.
Engage in an E-Media fast
For this assignment, I wound up doing without 4 things on the list. Our TV, my cell phone, my radio, and our computer. Doing without our TV was not difficult for me personally because I don't watch much TV to begin with. However, my daughter found it difficult. Apparently, while she is watching TV, I am right there beside her quite often. She asked me, more than once, to come and watch it with her. she didn't understand why I could not watch it, even after I explained it to her. She said this homework assignment does not make sense because everyone watches TV.
While I did not use my cell phone all day, I noticed many things. This part was difficult because I talk to my husband while I am coming to school and while I am on the way home. I live an hour from the college. Because I could not talk or play the radio, it made for a long hour. My sister, whom I had not told about this assignment, tried to call me several times while I was at school. When I got home and called her on a land line, she was worried that something had happened to me. I also noticed that while I am going to the store or to run an errand, I use that time to call other members of my family or to check on our business. Not being able to talk on my phone during that time was fairly difficult and felt like a very inefficient use of time.
The last thing I did without was our computer. This was somewhat difficult as I use it to check the news, the weather, and facebook. Many of my family members use Facebook quite a bit, and I use it to help keep up with them and what they have going on in their lives each day. It was very difficult not checking the news on the internet and we do not get a newspaper. I felt like I was probably missing out on something big as the newspapers are a day behind on the news. I did not realize it but apparently I check the news pretty often on the internet. It was uncomfortable not checking it and feeling "in the dark". My husband also spends some time on the internet, checking the news and Craigslist. If he saw something of interest, he could not show it to me. That was strange for both of us. I also use the internet to check my school assignments and functions. It was difficult to not be able to do either of those also, especially since I am so close to taking final exams and finishing last minute assignments.
All in all, this was a very unique experience. I am not sure we realize how much we use electronic devices. It is a huge adjustment to do without them for just one day, I can't imagine having to "live" without them. It made me feel left out and uninformed during this day.
As for my students, they will be somewhat like me. Unless you do without any electronic devices for a day, you have no idea what it is like. Using them in this day and time is almost built into our very nature. We do it and think nothing about it. Literally nothing.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Our blog post assignment for this week is to create an assignment for a blog post that Dr. Strange should have created. The first part of the blog post assignment that I created includes a video that shows some practical uses for technology in schools. I am an Elementary Education major, and I really wanted to see how technology is being used in schools close to where I live. I know that technology is being used in schools, but I haven't had the opportunity to see it for myself. I love the use of class blogs, Personal Learning Networks, Podcasts, Skype and the many other technologies that can be used in schools. However, I wanted to see that students can relate these experiences to their real life applications.
The second part of my blog post assignment is just to get us thinking about how we will integrate and use technology in our own future classrooms. I believe we need to be thinking of and planning ways to use technology in our own classrooms. We will likely meet with some opposition from colleagues and management. If we begin thinking about how to integrate technology into our own classrooms and how we might handle possible problems and opposition we will be better prepared.
My Blog Post Assignment
Watch the video A commitment to high tech education and write two or more paragraphs following the outline of a quality blog post. Think about the ways that technology is used in this school, and how the students might find it relevant to their future.
Write an additional paragraph on how you plan to use technology in your own classroom when you become a teacher.
My Blog Post
I like the way the students are using technology in this school. They are able to see how they might use technology in practical situations. I also like that they are able to use the technology to promote activity. They are using it for sports, science experiments, and academics. These activities show that technology in schools is not just about sitting in front of a computer all day. They are nurturing curiosity and creativity. They have found ways to make technology relevant to just about every student.
I believe students need to be able to relate the concepts that they are learning in school to their real life situations. They need to be shown that their time and efforts being spent on school work are going to be valuable to them in more practical situations. As a college student, I also have wondered if some of the things that I have learned in my education courses will be practical. I have worked hard, and I would like to think that I will use most of the knowledge and skills that I have gained.
How I Plan To Use Technology In My Future Classroom
I am looking forward to using technology, as a teacher. I hope that I will find a job at a school that is interested in using technology. I will definitely make use of a class blog. For elementary students, I would like to use podcast, Skype, Timetoast, and other technology tools.One important tool that I will use is my PLN. I know that their will be many advances in technology, so I will have to keep on learning. I have been thinking about how I will use these tools in my future classroom, and what I will do if I face opposition. I feel like these answers will will become more clear to me after I spend more time in schools.
Friday, April 20, 2012
I have no special talents. I am only passionately
For our Special Blog Post, Dr. Strange asked us to honestly reflect on questions concerning creativity and curiosity. Do schools undermine curiosity and/or creativity in students? I believe that school, for the most part, does inhibit curiosity and creativity in students. There are more reasons than one that have caused me to believe that schools no longer value curiosity or creativity. One of those reasons is due to standardized testing. The education system is driven by standardized tests. There is no need for curiosity in order to score well on a standardized test. There is only one correct answer, and the teacher is sure to teach the students what that answer will be, before the test is given. The majority of teachers have found themselves in a position where they have to teach to the test in order to keep their jobs. Basically, the students are being told what to think and pretty much when they need to think. However, I do know that there are many good teachers who struggle daily in order to combine a more student centered approach into the standardized testing routine.
A curriculum that will increase the curiosity of students can be developed. I didn't say it would be easy, but I believe that it can be done. One way to stimulate curiosity, is to encourage students to ask questions. I have had college professors who encouraged us to ask questions, and I learned much more that semester than I had on previous semesters. I also learned from other students questions. I feel like group activities can encourage creativity and curiosity. Another way to foster curiosity, is to allow the students to come up with their own answers. We shouldn't be so quick to give the answers to them. I believe that it is good to allow them to use their own methods to produce the answers. I observed a third grade math teacher who put a math problem on the board, and allowed the students to keep trying until they came up with the correct answer. She did not give them the answer, nor did she limit how they could get the answer. It took the students a while to reach the correct answer. I was impressed that she did not give in and tell them.The first student to get the answer correct, did not get the answer by using the same method as the teacher. I thought this was a great way to foster curiosity.
Since curiosity and creativity are closely related, a curriculum that fosters curiosity can also stimulate creativity. Creativity has been crushed out of many of us while we were children. Have you had a teacher that required you to color a banana yellow or the grass green? I know I have. What this says to me, is that those teachers are teaching that there is only one way or one perspective. They are certainly not thinking outside of the box. My daughter had a teacher, in the First grade, that was so literal. Every picture had to be colored the appropriate colors and every answer had to be the expected answer. I would do what I could to counteract that when my daughter was at home. When she colored, I would tell her to use her imagination and make things any color that she wanted. As teachers, we can stimulate curiosity and creativity by allowing students to think for themselves. We can provide engaging activities. The students need to be allowed to be active participants in class. We can also allow them to teach us something new. We should encourage them to think and ask questions. "Why", is a powerful question. I know when my daughter asks me "why", she is thinking deeper than just about what is on the surface.
Becoming more creative and curious is something that I have been working on for a little while. It was my youngest daughter that made me realize that I lacked in curiosity and creativity. She always asks "why"! She really wants to know more about the world than what is just on the surface. I realized that I had not really asked why in a long time. Everything was just told to me, and I excepted it at face value. She is not afraid to be wrong, or afraid to make mistakes. Mostly, she is not afraid to try new things. For me, I am not depending on any person or place to help me stimulate my curiosity and creativity. I have begun asking more questions. I do want to know "why". I am still working on not being afraid to try new things. As adults, we have the ability to foster our own creativity and curiosity, if we realize that it is important. For me, it is a work in progress. I have learned more, in the student centered classrooms. The classes where you actually get to do the activity sticks with me longer. I guess that means that I learn more from project based classes. The projects give me the opportunity to be creative. At first, I would say that the projects forced me to be creative. Fostering creativity and curiosity in children is definitely the teachers and parents responsibility. For adults, it is a joint effort.