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)