Reflection

April 20, 2009 at 1:33 am (Uncategorized)

My main goal was to become comfortable navigating through a blog, wiki, and social networks.  I think that I have definitely learned why each of them are important as well as how to use them.  I have become less stressed when it comes to writing in my blog and find using a wiki isnt too difficult.  Having a blog has helped me find many more resources for teaching.  I am constantly looking at others blogs and reading what others have to say.  I really have warmed to the idea of blogs but only to read for now.  Perhaps down the line I will become more comfortable and confident to write my own.  For now, I am happy just reading!  One thing that I need to continue to develop is how these tools can be used to support special education students.

I enjoyed making the podcast and think students would really like doing that as well, especially those who hate to write!  The screencast was easy and manageable and I think its great to show colleagues and students “how to” do things without having to repeat yourself hundreds of times.  I thought the Pechua Kucha was also a great idea and had fun creating the presentation (even though I hate speaking in front of colleagues).  I think using it in the classroom can be extremely beneficial for students by keeping them interested longer.  It worked for me!! 

Personally and professionally, I love the RSS feed.  Every morning when I come to work I check my netvibes page for updates on all the sites I am linked too.  Before, I used to spend so much time going to each site checking for new things! 

Final thought:
I thought I would never say this but I am slowly being convinced to start twittering/tweetering (??)!  Adam seems to really enjoy it and has found many great sites.  I continuously hear about it on TV and am slowly succumbing to the idea.  For now, I am going to stay strong and just say NO!  Lets see how long that lasts for….

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Ah ha!

March 30, 2009 at 1:54 am (Uncategorized) ()

I think I have figured out why I hate blogging so much….it a diary in disguise.  Blogging is essentially sharing your most inner thoughts and feelings and  letting the world see it!!  Ok so perhaps its not quite that personal but it is awfully similar.  Growing up I tried to keep a diary on two occasions.  The first time I went out and bought a cute pink diary with a shiny lock and couldn’t wait to get home to start writing.  When we arrived home I ran to my room to get started.  As soon as I opened the diary, my sister popped her head into my room and nastily said, ” Better not write anything to personal, you know I’m going to find it and share it with everyone!”  I had gotten so far as to write the date on the first entry and I quickly shut the diary and never opened it again.  My second experience was when I was in high school traveling to a dude ranch.  I was given a small journal to keep track of the events and exciting adventures durning my 2 week journey.  After writing in it for a few days I decided to go back and reread what I wrote.  Well, lets just say it was boring, uninspiring, and didn’t make any sense.  From that day on I swore off journals and diaries and stuck with basketball! 

This now brings me today where I have been asked to blog at least 6 times for my masters course.  It hasn’t been an easy process but I’m slowly trudging my way through.  I admire those that blog away and don’t have any issues with it.  I know this isn’t my cup of tea but that’s ok because I can say I learned something about myself….why I have such nasty feelings towards blogging!

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Tech Resources

March 26, 2009 at 6:51 am (Uncategorized)

There are thousands of free educational resources on the web and I know teachers are always looking for new, easier, more interactive, relevant sites that help facilitate learning. While seaching the web I found the following sites to be interesting and new (to me).

eyePlorer is a new way to interact with knowledge. The site can be used to research facts and information about a given topic. EyePlorer scans the web (mainly Wikipedia) and extracts information, “eyespots”, onto a circular graph. From there you can click on the heading or “eyespots” to open a text box that contains a sentence summary. You can then click and drag the sentence into the notepad located on the right side if you find that information is relevant to your search.

eyeplorer

I know that a lot of teachers are not fans of students using Wikipedia but it is a great tool to use to find some quick facts and to gain some quick background knowledge. Its definitely worth a look!

Sqool Tube offers educational videos for elementary and some middle school students (K-8). Sqooltube put together a collection of Youtubes educational videos. The videos range from Math, Science, Spanish, Early Childhood, Holidays, Books, etc.

sqooltube

HippoCampus “offers multimedia lessons and course materials to help you with your instruction, homework and studies. You can browse multimedia lessons or complete courses, and find help with the topics covered in popular textbooks.” Hippocampus targets high school students and offers a range of subjects. This can be beneficial for all students when reviewing a concept or when reteaching is needed.

hippo_campus_logo

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Creative Commons

March 10, 2009 at 1:28 am (Uncategorized) ()

I found a slidecast by Rodd Lucier that introduces teachers and students to Creative Commons.  This slide show can be used in the classroom when teaching students to how to site pictures and songs from the Internet. You can play the entire slide show or you can remix it to fit your individual needs. It is a bit long but very detailed and simple to understand. He shares some interesting websites on where you can find content to use and alter and how they can be used in the classroom. Its definitely worth a listen!

Ideally, I would have liked to have the actual video embedded into my blog but WordPress does not allow users to do this so instead you will have to click on the link provided above!

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Unsuccessful blogger…

March 5, 2009 at 4:25 am (Uncategorized) ()

I just found a recent blog post from Dean Shareski called Student and Teaching Blog that Succeeds that comforted me greatly.  I have been pretty vocal that blogging isn’t for me.  The thought of putting something on the internet for all to see and critique really freaked me out.  Plus, with millions of blogs out there, does what I have to say really differ from what others post?  I know that blogging isnt about that so I have to keep reminding myself of it. 

Anyways, what I found helpful was that blogging was mostly about reading, not writing.  I feel that I am constantly trying to think of something to post for my blog but really most of my time should be spent reading and commenting on what others have to say.  He also talks about hyperlinking, making it personal and getting graphical. 

I think this is a great post for teachers who are about to implement blogs into their classroom.  I know that some students have many things to say and wont find blogging a problem, but for the students like me who stress at the thought of  writing something, this is for them!! 

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Web 2.0

February 18, 2009 at 5:28 am (Uncategorized) ()

To be fully honest with you, I had never heard of the term Web 2.0 before stepping into the Masters class.  I promise I have not been living under a rock for the past several years (although I’m sure it sounds like it) because I have heard of and created blogs and am part of social networking.  I just never realized that all of that was called Web 2.0.  Until recently, I never really thought of incorporating this type of technology into the classroom.  I do think the Web 2.0 has changed teaching and learning and that teachers need to be constantly adapting to the times.

I think that Web 2.0 has made it easier and more convenient to introduce technology in the classroom.  It has definitely reduced the number of paper/pencil tasks that learners have to do because we use the computer and internet for everything.  What’s the point of teaching cursive and handwriting when really we should probably just focus on typing skills? 

I think that teachers need to be aware of the type of homework assignments they give the students.  With the internet accessible and convenient to everyone, students may stop thinking for themselves and rely on answers found on the internet.  Plagiarism could increase drastically if we are not careful.

Web 2.0 can allow students to communicate easily with others around the world and if we don’t integrate this in the classroom students will be missing out on different experiences and  perspectives.

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Tech for Learning Goals

February 17, 2009 at 3:33 am (Uncategorized) ()

As a high school learning support teacher I think it is important to be up-to-date with the technological advances in education.  With computers being readily available to everyone it is imperative that teachers start to incorporate technology into their everyday lessons and assignments.  One of my goals for this class is to become comfortable and confident navigating around a blog, wiki, social networks, and any other tools I don’t know about in web 2.0.  Not only would I like to become proficient with web 2.o, I would also like to know how to incorporate it into my classroom so that students with learning difficulties can be more successful.  How would using any of these programs support and enhance the needs of the students I work with?  One idea that popped into my head while writing this post was to create a blog or wiki for the learning support students in high school at ISM.  This site would have information and resources about their core classes as well as links to sites with test taking strategies, organization skills, etc.  Would this be helpful to the students or would it just be another blog on the Internet?

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Go Wycombe!

February 13, 2009 at 8:37 am (Uncategorized)

I hope Wycombe wins otherwise Adam will be in a terrible mood!

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Blogging 101

February 9, 2009 at 9:09 am (Uncategorized)

Here’s to my first post on my first blog.

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