Sunday, April 20, 2014

Chapter 11

Chapter 11: Engaging Students in Performance Assessment and Reflective Learning

Focus Question: Describe the use of assessment in schools.

Assessment is very important to many aspects in schools. Assessments include tests, quizzes, group projects, writings, homework, individual presentations, teacher observations and more. All teachers must evaluate student learning but it is not about simply giving test or quizzes after a lesson. Assessment is multifaceted and includes three related elements.  
The first is a new teacher assessment or how supervisors will access your work. As up and coming teachers are getting ready to begin their careers  professors and supervisors are continually evaluating their academic and classroom performance. They must pass many tests and be observed by mentors or supervisors in a classroom. 
The second is a student assessment when a teacher must assess students learning as well as their effectiveness as a teacher. A teacher must provide many evaluations of students throughout a school year, these include report cards, exams and quizzes, and more. Teachers are also expected to provide written and oral feedback to students and families. A teacher must also be able to assess themselves as to whether their students are learning, and if they aren't, they must be able to change and fix the situation. 
The third is the student self-assessment and how students will participate in the assessment process. A teacher benefits greatly when students are active partners in the evaluation of their own learning. It helps them feel meaningful and appreciate the curriculum.  


Tech tool:  Digital Portfolio Building Resources 

Digital portfolio building choices range from premade to do it yourself design programs. Some may charge a fee, and some may be better than others. One often used is TaskStream. It is a software that provides users with a variety of designs and options and can be accessed by people of your choosing or everyone. 
iLife is another option and a software created by apple and allows you to include pictures, videos, sounds and more. 
There are also many apps for building portfolios including Webshots, Inssu, Mixbook and Plkiwiki. 


Summary of Chapter: 
Assessments are very important in schools and there is a variety of ways to assess students and teachers performances. Tests, quizzes, observations, and more are all valuable assessment tools.
A teachers digital portfolio is also very important, it is an individually prepared collection of work that communicates who a teacher is and what that teacher knows and is able to do in academic subjects and classroom teaching. It allows them to display information creatively and makes it easy for a range of people to access. 
Personal connection: Technology has never come easy to me but as a future teacher I understand that is something I must overcome and when I create my digital portfolio I will use a variety of references and sources to help me.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Promoting Success for All Students through Technology

Summary: Chapter 10 is about how computer technologies help teachers meet the needs of all students, including those with learning disabilities and who are learning English for the first time. Technology also makes it possible for teachers to create learning activities that respond to multiple styles and preferences. There are also a range of assistive digital tools that support successful learning, including handheld spellers, electronic calculators, speech-to-text software, text-to-speech software, and interactive storybooks.

Focus Question: Give examples of how assistive technologies support teachers in reaching all learners.

Assistive technologies are tools that make academic material more accessible to students by minimizing barriers while maximizing opportunities for learning. Speech recognition software, text reading software, and inter-active electronic storybooks are examples of technologies that can promote learning success for many different students.

Tech Tool: Interactive Whiteboards

An interactive whiteboard or touchscreen whiteboard can transform how teachers differentiate classroom learning for students. They are mounted on a wall and are connected to a computer and a projector. Interactive whiteboards allow teachers and students to access a computer’s desktop directly at the board using a finger, pen, or other touch device. This excites student and helps them better visualize and understand what they are learning.


Personal Connection: I remember when these interactive whiteboards first came out, they were exciting and I couldn't wait to be called on to try it out myself. I started out in kindergarten with chalk boards and then came dry erase boards and then projectors and finally the interactive boards when I was in 8th grade. They definitely made learning more fun and pushed me and other students to want to participate.

Text source: Textbook

Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Expressing Creativity with Multimedia Technologies

Summary: This chapter is about presenting and sharing information using multimedia and technology tools. Presentation software, cameras, videos, pod casts and more help students and teachers better express information and get the lesson across. 

Focus Question: Analyze the uses of PowerPoint presentation software for effective teaching and learning.

PowerPoint is one of the most widely used computer programs in the world. In the classroom it gives teachers the ability to present information to students in a way that is visually engaging. PowerPoint has been criticized for oversimplifying complex material and creating uninteresting presentations.But a skilled teacher knows how to make a PowerPoint interesting while still incorporating all relevant information needed for a topic. There are a variety of tools on PowerPoint to do this, including changing text, organizing text in certain ways, adding pictures or videos, adding animation, and much more. To use PowerPoint effectively a teacher must engage students in active participation rather than passive viewing, and recognize who the audience is and what they should leave knowing or remembering.


Tech tool: Streaming Video Resources for Teachers

Streaming video is an important instructional resource at every grade level. Students respond positively to visual learning and many educational videos are found free of charge to teachers. They are found on any computer and a variety of sites. PBS learning media is one example. PBS programs offer fascinating information in visually engaging formats. Many have accompanying websites that provide lesson plans, interactive timelines, additional resource materials, and other features to enhance video viewing in the classroom.


Personal connection: I am definitely more engaged in a classroom when there is something visual to look at. A teacher standing alone lecturing can bore anyone and make students lose interest quickly. But if they are clicking through an interesting PowerPoint as they speak students will be more engaged. Videos are also great attention grabbers that show the information and make it more real to students from my experience.

Text source: Textbook: Transforming Learning with New Technologies

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Communicating  and Collaborating with Social Media

          This Chapter is about the various ways that teachers and students can use computers and social media technologies to share ideas and information. Text messaging, blogging, educational websites, and emails can benefit both teacher and students in and out of the classroom in various ways. I have experienced many classes where teachers used these forms of technology and they were very beneficial. Communication is very important to any successful classroom and technology makes it so much easier. Even in this class of Intro to Tech for Educators the technology you use is very beneficial. I've never used a blog before but this one really helps me understand the chapters and better organize all of the information given.

Focus Question: Understand how teachers can enhance communication and learning using websites and blogs.
          Elementary and Secondary teachers are using new and inexpensive and homegrown websites and blogs to teach and reach out to students.They have become part of the classroom at all grade levels and subject areas. There are two kinds of online sites that teachers create.
           The first is a class website. A class website is primarily devoted to the educational activities of a teacher and a classroom. This site provides information on the teacher and her achievements and interests but it also focuses on students work. A class website also provides information about homework assignments, dates for exams, and schedules of school events.
            The second type is a teaching blog. A teaching blog serves as an online journal where teachers post information and ideas related to education and learning. Many of these allow interactions between teachers and students and also provides important information for the class. 

Tech Tool: Communicating with Skype
          Skype provides free phone calls over the internet. It also provides video chat between two people on any computers with a webcam. Skype makes it possible for classroom teachers to create connections with other teachers, schools, and organizations worldwide. Skyping lets students learn about other people and cultures, practice their language and communication skills, and gain information about academic topics from experts and professionals in many fields.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Exploring Problem Solving with Software, Apps, and Games

Focus Question: Discuss how technology generates problem solving and inquiry learning among students.

                This chapter is about how educational software, apps, and learning games promote problem solving and inquiry learning for students of all ages and capabilities. Children and adolescents are natural inquirers who ask questions about every subject and incorporating student's own interests makes problem solving exciting at every grade. Software and games in this category push students to investigate problems, and question the information and then find answers using a process of asking questions, assembling evidence, drawing conclusions, and evaluating the results.
                There are certain steps any student should follow to correctly solve problems. The student must first understand the problem, meaning they must identify the question, and what it is asking them to do. Next, the student must use problem solving strategies. For example, computing methods in math class, and choosing what strategy will lead them to a solution. Students must also check their solutions and determine whether they have solved them properly. If they find themselves to be incorrect, it is then important to find a better solution and check it as well.

Tech tool 7.2: Math learning games and apps

                Math learning is vitally important in elementary schools, where students need to acquire the necessary skills and understandings to go to algebra and geometry in the upper grades. This tech tool provides information about some great and useful math websites, games, and apps. Zoombinis was one of the sites mentioned and I remember playing it when I was in elementary school, I loved the game and looked forward to playing it. It was interesting and taught me a lot. It helped me as a student to think quicker and use process of elimination. (personal connection). Math Blaster is another popular site. It has sold several million copies and has programs for children ages 4 to 12. It features a variety of point earning games that practice number skills.

Logical Journey Of Zoombinis

                This chapter is all about problem solving through online educational games, software, and apps. Students are being engaged online and are excited to learn and play games without even realizing how much they are learning. The educational impacts of gaming remain intensely debated. Some educators and psychologists see little value in games, whereas other researchers believe game playing supports the development of key intellectual skills. All in all Strategies for effectively using games in the classroom include minimizing those that teach isolated skills, not choosing games that are solely based on winning or losing points, discussing game content with students, and actually playing games with students.

Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Fostering Online Learning with Educational Websites and Apps

Focus Question: Identify strategies for using educational websites interactively

                 Chapter six is all about information management, which is essential to all teachers and students. This chapter also explains URL book-marking, social bookmarking, and information alerts and e‐newsletters as ways to organize information that teachers need to prepare lessons. 
                 Online learning would be nothing without educational websites and apps. The best and most widely used of these apps are the ones that require students to participate in them interactively and where information is accessible and useful to students. And just like a great teacher, a sufficient educational website teaches and doesn't just display information. It should make students interact with the screen and not simply stare at it. 
                Educational websites and apps help students interact by having more than just articles and essays displayed. It could have simulations,  demonstrations, searches to conduct, questions to respond to, data to analyze, or responses to post. 
                Giving students a chance to explore is also necessary of any credible educational website.  Some websites allow computer users can chart their own course through the website, even following different paths each time they visit. 
                 Engagement with the information is yet another necessary factor to any educational website we should let students use. Through the use of a compelling storyline, interesting characters, a perplexing mystery, or a controversial issue or idea, websites can engage the student or reader to inquire further. 

Tech tool 6.3: Interactive Web and App Learning for Students 
                 Students need interaction to stay hooked to a website or app and gather it's information. This tech tool provides and describes particular websites that students can use and like to use because they require interaction. One very intriguing website is called the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük! which is an engaging website from the Science Museum of Minnesota. It  explores these fascinating archaeological and historical questions by recording the process and results of an actual archeological dig which excites students and keeps them interested. One of the interesting apps in this tech tool was  Instant Poetry HD which is a magnetic poetry style app that lets young poets create poems from words chosen by the program. Poets can then put their newly written poem on top of a photo of their choosing

Summary and personal connection: 
                 This chapter was all about online learning, mainly by the use of educational websites and apps that students can interact with. It also describes important technologies for managing digital content and information. This chapter examines online learning and the issues of virtual schools. And finally it compares educational sites and analyzes use of virtual journeys and their actual impact. 
                I loved using the computer in school way back when and there are eduational websites that I still remember using back in elementary school. I remember the interactive website about the Oregon Trail that I played back in 5th grade, where we learned about the times of the trail while having fun trying to gather supplies and make it alive. If we can find sites that kids like to use, such as the one I used, we can get them to interact more and learn more than they would from writing in a book. 
(All information from textbook)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Teaching Information Literacy and Digital Citizenship

Focus Question: Summarize strategies for teaching students about Internet research and information retrieval.

          This chapter is about the Internet in the classroom, and how it can be used for teaching, learning, and developing information literacy among students. I choose to focus on the strategies for teaching students about internet research and information retrieval online.
          In the 1990's search engines worked a bit differently than they do today. The search system scanned through text of webpages and the pages with the most matched keywords were the top results. But that proved to not be true, certain websites were fooling the search engine to get a better ranking and as a result students and people were not getting reliable sites. Google revolutionized how people conduct online searches, and in doing so, became the worlds dominant search engine. Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1998 by ranking sites not only by keywords but also by a site’s popularity and how often it is cross-listed with other sites. Google is now one of the most visited sites worldwide and is continually expanding into many areas.Google's tools are available free to anyone and you can customize browsers to your own preferences.

         There are 3 main types of internet searches. The first is the Free-text search. A free-text search  looks for the title, keyword, and description fields of each resource for the word or phrase you type into the search command. The second is a Keyword/exact match. A keyword/exact match search retrieves only resources that contain the exact word or phrase you type into the text box. The word or phrase must appear either in the title, keyword, or description fields of a resource for it to be included in the results. The final type of internet search is a boolean search. It utilizes the words "and" "or" and "not" to create more complex searches.

          Search engines are great resources for the classroom. Sites such as Google, Ask, Bing, and Yahoo. Teachers must review and select websites for learning and teach students how to use the Web them-selves. There are even search engines designed for students with age appropriate information. But students will use other sites and need to learn to choose the correct sites and decipher relevant and true information. To help students look more closely at their search results, teachers must teach students critical web evaluation skills to help them get the correct information. Teachers can preselect sites, block sites, and guide the students in the online world.

Tech tool: Customizing Your Web Browser with iGoogle

This tech tool is about how to customize you own Google using iGoogle. It replaces the standard Google search page with one that you personally design. Your page opens up to what you want it to and can lead you to sites you prefer. You can further customize your iGoogle browser by adding search engines and other data-managing software, called gadgets, that will keep track of a to-do list, send RSS feeds of local and international newspapers, mail professional journal publications, and send personalized reminders of upcoming events like school and community events, birthdays, and holidays.


This chapter is all about using the internet in the classroom and with students. Search engines are an amazing tool for finding useful information in a short amount of time. Students must be taught how to safely and efficiently navigate these sites and once they do they can advance to customizing searches.