Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Are They Tears of Sadness or Excitement?

While many students are sad the semester has come to an end, I am honestly ecstatic. This has been an extremely long semester; make that an extremely long year. Not in a bad way, it has actually been a great year, but just extensive and demanding. This semester in particular seemed to go on and on, like a bad movie that would not end.  In EME 2040 I learned way more than I thought I was going to learn.  At the beginning of the class I thought for sure this was an easy A. Come on, a once a week class, no tests, a few trivial projects, basically all I had to do was show up. Oh boy was I wrong! In the syllabus where it says for every hour in class, spend two to three hours outside of class working. Wow, that could not be truer for this class.  The work we did in this class was valuable and important, but it was also extremely time-consuming and often maddening.  I found myself time after time re-doing work I had already done because I forgot to save, or I accidently deleted it.  In the end, the hard work was rewarding and now I have an arsenal of helpful teaching tools and new technologies.

This class has been fantastic as well as extremely frustrating.   The group projects like the collaborative lesson plan almost killed me.  Not because the work was difficult but because it was a group project.  I am all for teamwork, however if part of the team doesn’t work, it difficult to get the project done.  The WebQuest was an amazing project.  I had a ton of fun with it, even though it took me eight hours, I could see myself using it as a teacher.  The projects like the Pecha Kucha just made me laugh, the name, the idea, ultimately everything about it gave me the giggles.  That project brought an obscene about of stress.  The combination of presenting and using a new type of formatting was just over the top.  On the flip side of that, the PowerPoint was fun, and it was very interesting observe my fellow classmates presentations.  In the end I cannot see myself using it in a classroom, but it was still entertaining.  The blog and discussion posts were a new concept for me.  I enjoyed going back and reading the responses my classmates left on the discussions posts. Reflecting on my blog, I think it would have been beneficial to have classmates input on my blog.  Other projects like the instructional wiki or the in class assignment digital storytelling were not just a silly projects but are beneficial tools I am walking away with. 

At the beginning of the semester I was not sold on the idea about technology and classrooms together.  In fact, I was sort of against the whole idea.  I felt like if we brought technology into the classrooms it would ruin the magic of learning.  It would take away from the art projects or hands on learning.  But what I have learned over the course of the semester, is that it does not take away from the hands on learning, but in truth technology enhances learning.  Personally the magic of learning was the art projects but for the new generation, the magic is technology.  Students in today’s society have grown up with technology in their hands. The question was asked as teachers why do we want to take that away from them?  Professor Coleman has opened my eyes to reality, and made me use critical thinking about this matter. In the end, it did not make much sense to take away technology, because really that is what the students want.   This class was a lot more than I expected.  Hands down it was way more work than I thought nevertheless it was also a whole lot more learning.

In honor of the end of class and the semester I found this video extremely fitting.  I am glad I took this class.  Thank you very much Professor Coleman! 




Monday, April 8, 2013

Chapter 11- Engaging Teachers and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection

Chapter 11- Engaging Teachers and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection

Focus Question- How can teachers use student participation systems as effective assessment methods?

Student participation systems are remote control devise known as clickers.  The clickers allow the students to respond to questions created by the teacher.  The clickers are engaging for students, and show teachers what the students have learned.  The clickers are fun and interacting for students. Open-ended questions are key for using students participation system (clickers) for success.  As long as used properly, the clickers can really show how much the students have learned or what they haven’t learned.

Tech Tool- iLife

Apple created the software program iLife for Macintosh products.  Once you import the images to the computer, you can add them to iPhoto, and store your pictures as well as edit them.  You can add them to iMovie and iDVD and add text, sound effects, titles and keywords.  You can then add them to the iCloud, and store you photos in a “cloud” and access them anywhere. 


As a student I really enjoy using the clickers in the classroom.  I have had positive and negative experiences.  One of my teachers used the clickers, for a legit vocab grade, the whole class cheated every time.  There was no point in doing it, because the class worked together to find the right answer.  Another teacher uses the clickers as the book describes, the see how much the class has learned.  The teacher used the information the either re-teach or move on.  The clickers can be fantastic, as long as it is used properly. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chapter 10- Promoting Success for All Students through Technology

Chapter 10- Promoting Success for All Students through Technology

Focus Question- How is technology used in a writing process fit young writers to promote learning success for all students?

Technology offers various opportunities to create the writing process to the needs and interests of student writers.  Being able to mind-map or brainstorm the student’s ideas.  There is also drafting revising and publishing the work.  Adding the technology helps them interact and it is engaging them in their writing.  Teachers can use emailing, microphones and recording software to write, revise and brainstorm.  Using this technology gives students the skills to be able to write and use their creativity. 

Tech Tool- Extra-Large Calculators

Extra-Large calculators are engaging tools for students to practice math problems.  The extra-large aspect is the engaging part of the calculator.  Most of the big calculators are just four functions, but it engages the students because it is so large.


As a student that hates to write, I think that these technologies would work really well for me.  Especially the microphone or sound system that reads aloud seems to me helpful. I also think the idea of creating a movie to publish the writing; it would help reinforce the writing subject. I think it would have really helped my writing and me when I was younger.  As a teacher I can see myself using this type of technology in this classroom.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chapter 9-Creating and Sharing Information with Multimedia Technologies

Chapter 9-Creating and Sharing Information with Multimedia Technologies

Focus Question-What is multimedia technology and how can teachers use it to effectively create and share visual information dynamically in their teaching?

Multimedia technology is the use of text, data, voice, pictures, or videos. Multimedia learning is when teachers use text, data, voice, pictures, or videos to teach their lessons to the students. A multimedia classroom integrates multiple technologies for teaching and learning. 

Tech Tool- Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive Whiteboards are a whiteboard connected to a computer.  The whiteboard has special markers that allow you use to write on the board.  You can run PowerPoint or other presentations on the board.  As a teacher, I would use the interactive whiteboard as a teaching tool.  Check this out!

The video is a new product that Smart Technologies is marketing.  Very Cool!

I think this chapter was my favorite one.  I could really relate to this chapter and what they were saying. The use of multimedia technology does make a lot sense in classrooms because it engages students. Teaching digital story telling, interactive whiteboards, and photo and movie making by students.  It really allows the students to interact with the new technology as well as their learning.  Using technology will allow the students to participate in something they really enjoy.  With using the technology it engages the students and helping them learn better.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chapter 8- Communicating and Networking with Websites, Blogs, Wikis and More

Chapter 8- Communicating and Networking with Websites, Blogs, Wikis and More

Focus Question- How can teachers use email or instant messaging to foster information exchanges with and among students?
In todays society emailing and instant messaging is everything.  Not only for students but for parents as well.  It seems like parents are always emailing teachers to ask questions about grades, behavior, really anything.  Students use both of these technologies to communicate.  They also use texting, which the book didn’t mention.  To answer the question though, it seems like it would be pretty easy for teachers just to email the parents back instead of calling them, or having them come in to talk.  Teachers can also email the students to answer questions about homework.  Email seems like the more professional way of talking on the computer instead of IM.  Instant messaging uses an informal language.  

Tech Tool- Moodle

Moodle is an online course management system.  Moodle offers several different management functions such as keeping and posting grades, selective content releases and various filtering options.  You can have a free version, or subscribe to them. Moodle helps and embraces differently learning and teaching styles.


This was a very timely focus question for me.  I just got assigned to a new teacher in my online class.  Her whole motto is texting is best.  She would rather us text her our questions than call her.  I know the focus question didn’t ask about texting but personally I think that would be best.  It is so rare to meet a person that doesn’t text.  My mom gets emails all the time at crazy times from parents and students.  I think one down side to emailing is people don’t respect the time anymore.  They feel like it is okay to email or text others at 2 or 3 in the morning.  Other than that, the technology of emailing and IM has created a different more helpful relationship for students and teachers.