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