Sunday, May 3, 2009

Review of Our Class

I have enjoyed this course very much. I did not enjoy the drive from Dallas, but once I got to class it was great. The different technologies that we learned and used were very useful to me and to where I am headed in the future. Some of the technologies that we studied, I have used in the past, but we seemed to find something different about each one that I did not know. Learning how to add a link to a power point presentation was one thing that I did not know how to do. I had used movie maker, but adding music to it is one thing that I had not done. Learning how to formulate cells in Excel is another thing that I had not done before this class. This course has been great for me and I just have to continue to use the skills that I have learned.

My biggest AHA has to be the blog that we set up. Blogging is one thing that I had never done. I enjoyed setting up my blog and playing with it. I fee that it is a way to communicate with others and it depends on how you want to use it depends on what it is worth. Some use it as a social communication, but as we have used it, it is educational. I can see this being used in a classroom to communicate between classes or even between other students in other states. I can see it being used in a library setting, to talk about books that are being read in the library. Would I keep using my blog, yes I will use a blog when I become a librarian for sure.

Thanks to all my classmates and Dr. Mac. it as been fun.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Integration and Engagement Using Technology

Being comfortable in what you are teaching is a plus, not that you have to know “EVERYTHING” but have a general knowledge of the technology being used. Today’s kids are way ahead of the adults in this area and are not afraid of making mistakes and they seem to be able to figure things out very easy. Their minds seem to be digitally wired. It is like the little kids on the ski slopes, they just know how to ski and have no fear.

The two things that I would like to expand on when I get into a classroom are movie maker and wiki’s. I would like to have kids bring in pictures of their family and of things that interest them, scan the pictures and have the kids make a movie using the pictures adding what every music they so desire. This could also be done as a school project. Take pictures throughout the year and put a movie together to show at the end of the year. Using the wiki, kids can give reviews of books that they have read, so that others can determine if they would like to read that book or not. This will bring awareness to the library and hopefully promote reading at the same time.

It is not where we start with technology, but just the fact that we start. With technology we are never finished, due to the fact that just when we learn how to use the software that is out a new and updated version comes out and we have to start all over.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Overcoming Technology fears

I would say that my worst fear is the not knowing. There is so much that I do not know about technology. Therefore it makes it hard to implement technology in to your lesson, if you yourself do not totally understand. Today’s kids seem to know how to do everything. They just get on the computer and go. Today’s kids have grown up in a technology world, where as I did not. With this class I feel that I have learned so much to help prepare me when I make that move into the classroom and the integration of technology. It is one thing being able to know how to do a power point, wikis, blogs, or using google sites, but being able to teach others how to do them. Knowing how and teaching are two different things.
I want to know more and learn more about technology. There is much more out there that would be fun to learn. The thing is I don’t know enough about technology to even ask to learn about them, so I just take any skill that I can get. I ask questions when I don’t know, even if it makes me look like a fool, but that is the only way that I am going to learn. The more classes that I take that requires the use of technology or is a technology class the better off I will be when I get in the classroom. The thing is I can’t quit learning because technology is not going to stop and the kids of our future are technology based.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Online Learning - The Student

Online Learning – The Student

I feel that I have been very successful so far at online learning. As I said in my other post, I feel that you get out of online learning what you put into it. I will say this about myself though, I do not manage myself very well. I tend to put off till I have to do the assignments. The only reason that this is getting done now and not Wednesday night is because Dr. Mac said we had to do them early. All students work different and at their own pace and that is what online learning can give them. Some have it done the day the assignment is assigned and others like me, will wait till the last night. But if I can pass and do quality work then it should not make a difference. Online courses can and are effective if the students put forth the effort to do the work!

I don’t agree but I can see how online or virtual classes might work in some situations for K-12. If we are talking about young kids taking classes that are all on line and have NO SOCIAL interaction with other kids then no way. Kids need social interaction. God I can’t believe I am saying that as much as I say every day to get your hands off of each other and to get quiet so I can give instructions and we can leave to go into the hall.  But they do need this. They also need to get away from MOM!!!! To me kids need to be hands on and to be able to ask questions and have answers NOW. They need that feeling that someone cares. If they were sent to school that had online learning as extra learning then that would be ok. I see kids with disabilities that might keep them from going to school using online learning. I see older kids taking online learning, and maybe working as well. I can see it working with older students. Boyd talks about students wanting freedom and with online classes this allows them that freedom. There are cases where I see online learning working in K-12 just not very many. I would not want my child to take all online classes and she would not do very well. She is a very social person.

I feel that the students can learn. Technology is changing and we have to change with it. I said above that I think it would work in some cases. I would like to see it in action with the K-2 students and see how it really does work and would it work with a school like mine. This is a hard one for me. I feel that in some cases that online learning would benefit kids K-12 and others it would be the worse thing for them. That is where face to face learning you get to know your students, where here you would not. I guess it would just depend on the student. But I do feel that having online learning or virtual learning for kids in a face to face would benefit them.

Post 6 Online Learning

Online Learning – Facilitating Interaction Online

All students learn differently and as an educator we have to address this. People take online classes for different reasons as well. Whether it is face to face or online you have to have content to be learned. That is the most important. The class was chosen for a reason. Some times you choose a class for the instructor, but most of the time you have to take the class no matter who is teaching it. Distance learning does have its disadvantages due to the fact that you are not all sitting in a classroom meeting face to face. If you have a question you can not just ask or ask your class mate sitting next to you. You do not get to know your class mates so it does have its disadvantages. But it has its advantages as well. If you are a person that can learn on your own and do not need that interaction with others and like doing things on your time then distance learning is for you.

Yes I have taken all my class but one online and have enjoyed them all. I think that you get out of them what you put into them. I have made friends through taking classes on line and have met some outside of class and still stay in touch with them. I have not walked away from a class yet that I have not learned something that I will be able to use. I also believe that if you are the type to sit back and not ask then the instructor is going to think everything is going ok with you. But that would be the same even if you were meeting face to face. You have to ask if you don’t understand and they will help.

How does this align with my educational technology philosophy, well you have to have all three types of interactions to be a successful teacher. In a classroom you have to be there for your students, you have to provide a good learning content for them to buy into and you have to have learning going on from each other. We can all learn from each other if we just take the time to listen.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Two Technologies!

Two Technologies!

We have learned so many different types of technologies, which if used correctly and introduced to our students would help motivate them to learn and make learning fun. Every time I sit down and start to play with the new “toys” that I am learning I think how much fun the students could have with it as well.

I have 3 computers at my house and none of them have Microsoft Office Publisher on them, so I did not have the opportunity to play around with it. I did make a movie in movie maker and had a blast with that. Kids would love to use this in the classroom for a project. There are so many possibilities that this could be used for and the kids are engaged in learning as well as having fun. What a combination. I could see this working in the library and having students create a movie about a book they have read and put music to it or even narrate the story. If kids did research they could create a movie about what ever they are researching. I feel that kids would have more fun doing the research if they were to make a movie of it.

The other technology that I have enjoyed is the Wiki. I had fun putting that together and feel that kids would as well. It is like having a Face Book account and kids can communicate with each other. They have to invite who they want to be on their account. Students can come in an edit their Wiki. I could see this being used if kids were corresponding with kids from different classes or even from different states. Photo’s can be added as well. I did mine for fun, but I see value in the classrooms. We as educators just have to introduce these technologies to our kids. Our kids can handle it; it is the educators that have the problems!

Skype has been a big “Aha” for me. I like this technology very much. Having a new little one in the family Skype has been a big benefit since we do not live close. Will I continue to use my blog, when I get a job as a librarian yes I will. I will have a blog for my library to get information out to the teachers as well as the parents and kids. I want the kids to be able to post reviews on books that they have read for others to see.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Web 2.0 Technologies

How do I think Web 2.0 technologies will or should impact education? I don’t think they should impact education. I think that as educators we should introduce these technologies to our students and how they can benefit them when they are used and they will impact education.

Using RSS feeds may be more for high school and college students, but never the less they can be useful. I don’t think that students younger than high school would benefit from them. This is just my opinion. I think that it would be great for the teachers. I also see being used more in high school and college. This offers such a great service to be able to bookmark sites and then pull them up from anywhere. But just don’t see it being used by students in the lower grades. Teachers yes, great for them.

However I do see how Bloglines would be beneficial for students in lower grades. If the class has set up blogs for communication with other students in another state, then this would be helpful. Blogs could be used for communication, about books that have been read from the library. They could be used for up coming events in that particular grade level, or class.

Wiki’s would be good for both the kids and teachers. To me they are a lot like Blogging and communication can be sent and received. With the Wiki’s you can give other the power to edit your site or not. I feel that as educators we can use Blogs and Wikis in our class room for education. This would be something that I see the kids taking home with them and only learning more about technology.

My Wiki is just for fun. It is called Crazy Pets and includes photos of some of my pets doing crazy things. It was inspired by a dog I had named Casey. She was more like a human than a dog and boy she did some crazy things. She passed away way too young of a very rare disease that is found in South America. The vets in America do not even study it because it is NOT found here. She was every thing to me and we had some great times together. I felt and hoped that everyone at some point in their life had a pet that was like my Casey and would share with me and everyone.

About Me

My photo
I live in Rockwall, Tx. and have been teaching Physical Education for 15 years. I have taught in Mesquite for the last 9 years. I decided that I would get my Masters in Library Science so here I am going in a totaly different direction in my life. I have a daughter who is 12 going on 22, but who is the love of my life. She plays select soccer in Dallas and I spend all of my time carting her all over creation to games, practice and tournaments. My time is her "social life". Before soccer she showed horses and we were on the road to horse shows. She was very good at that as well, but had to make a choice between the two when she went select and so she chose soccer. Besides my daughter I have 5 dogs, 2 cats and 2 horses that I share my life with.