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.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Designing Lessons and Developing Curriculum with Technology

Focus Question: Describe the uses of technology in digital-age lesson design and development.

          Lesson design and development includes all that a teacher does to create, teach, and evaluate lessons. Three elements encompass what is needed for a lesson plan; academic content, teaching methods and procedures, and learning assessments. Lesson designing isn't the easiest thing to do, but it may be helped by technology and that's what this chapter is about. 
           Lesson development is connected to curriculum frameworks, but teachers have room to decide what exactly they use to explore and define certain topics. Technology plays an essential role in assisting teachers in answering the “what to teach” question. The internet makes so much more available to teachers and gives them any information they may need. There are many technology tools and sites that make lesson development easier and faster as well.
          Teachers can use the information they find to develop goals and projects and lesson to use with their classes. And technology makes saving, reusing, and fixing these lesson plans even easier. Examples are presentation software such as power point, or Web diagram making tools.

Tech Tool: Web Resources and Apps for Lesson Planning

          Online web resources and apps enable teachers to communicate with others about lesson ideas or to help with lesson development. One site on there is PBS teachers, it contains thousands of lesson plans, videos, blogs, and discussions about technology and learning. And app on this tech tool was My Lesson Plan, and app that has templates to help with lesson development that can be customized to curriculum.

           This chapter is all about incorporating technology into lesson development and design Lesson design encompasses anything that is done in the classroom and everything the students will learn. It includes academic content, methods, procedures and assessments and must follow certain curriculum guidelines.  I honestly can't wait to start creating my own lessons with one of these apps and with the aid of the textbooks information. Being a teacher is such an amazing thing to accomplish, and I'm very thankful that I will have the aid of technology.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Transforming Learning With Unique, Powerful Technology

Focus Question: Discuss how technology promotes critical thinking and problem solving.

            Chapter 3 as a whole discusses how technology makes unique, powerful, and transformative learning possible in K–12 schools. By using technology, teachers create opportunities for students to think critically and solve problems in many ways that weren't possible before. Technology introduces students to alternative ways of thinking and acting. For example people no long have to search through articles and books to find an answer and they instead turn to the internet and digital books and magazines. Writing is also different because portable devices create multiple ways to express ideas using voice, ļ¬ngers, and keyboards. 
            In addition, online learning environments, including educational games and interactive simulations, also help to develop a students talent as problem solver and critical thinker. In an online learning game environment, there are said to be three characteristics of problem solving.  First, students use computers to do what they cannot easily do on paper. Second, students encounter types of problems that occur in the real world or problems of personal interest to them. Third, students integrate knowledge of technology with academic content. Thus the use of technology helps students think like problem solvers. Feedback is also said to promote increased success for students and is shown more and easier with the use of technology.


Tech tool:  Web Resources and Apps  for Critical Thinking and Problem Solving 
          This chapters tech tool is a list of websites and apps that aid in critical thinking and problem solving. They include web based games, tutorials, simulations, quizzes, interviews, activities and more. The apps include math, physics and reading games that teach students while they play.  

           Teachers and schools organize teaching and learning around four learning theories including behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, and constructionism. Computers and the internet and other technologies  used creatively by teachers can change how teaching and learning are conducted in K–12 schools in a positive way. Online resources (games, simulations, tutorials, articles) and the use of technology promotes problem solving and critical thinking, creativity and understanding. And rapid feedback from computers and other technologies support students’ curiosity and desire to learn on their own without need for constant teacher direction. 
I have never been the most tech savy person but I can say that technology has definitely positively affected my education. The internet can quickly find an answer to any question and support to any topic. Games have helped my critical thinking and I can still recall online games I played in elementary school that interested me as well as taught me lasting skills. Any kind of technology I've came across has been beneficial in one way or another, and I can't wait to see what they come up with next. 

(Source: Textbook)