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The Benefits of Technology in the Classroom

Short Summary Wow, where do I even begin? The amount of technology content learned in #EDTS325 this semester was phenomenal! At the beginning of this semester I felt that I would know the majority of the topics to be covered, as I was fortunatly given great technological oppertunities at both Schuler School and Eagle Butte […]

Short Summary

Wow, where do I even begin? The amount of technology content learned in #EDTS325 this semester was phenomenal! At the beginning of this semester I felt that I would know the majority of the topics to be covered, as I was fortunatly given great technological oppertunities at both Schuler School and Eagle Butte High School. Screencasting, socrative and coding are all things I had never heard of, as well as many different aspects of google, movie making and qr codes. To understand how to use technology is one thing but to keep up with the new advancing apps and tools is another. Not only do I feel much more knowledgabke in the many tools learned in this class, I feel much more condifent in introducing these new engaging apps and tools in my future classroom.

Not only did I learn in depth all of these tools, I learned the advantages and disadvantages from both a student and teacher perspective. As a professional I learned not only new apps, but also new ways of learning concepts. I leared how to engage older students in a biology lesson on smart notebook or to teach coding through star wars, moana or frozen games. The knowledge I gained from this class sets me apart from education students from other areas because of how relatable each lesson we learned was connected to in class use.

The different topics we covered in this course were: smart notebook, creating a personal learning network (PLN), Google, IMovie, Web 2.0 (which included various apps), QR codes and coding, I-pads and Digital Citizenship. Along with each of these units came many other ideas, projects and aspects such as twitter chats, blogging and YouTube.

Technology pic.png

 I Can…

I am equipped and meet the requirements of “Discriptors of Knowledge, Skills and Attributes Related to Permanent Certification” (Alberta Ministerial Order #016/97). Not only am I able to produce material (audio, digital, video etc.) to deliever and enhance learning, I am also able to update my own personal portfolio to showcase my abilities as an educator. I am able to demonstrate and teach the many different elements of digital citizenship and show how to conduct advanced web searches to find desired information. I am able to assess which apps, websites and software is both appropriate for hand held versus desktop, learning environments, activities and levels. Use smart notebook software to build and create high quality interactive lessons for children K-12 as well as colleagues. Collaborate and communicate with students, parents and colleagues on various digital technologies. Able to display by growth through my PLN networks and social media sites in order to further myself as a professional.

Pros and Cons

-Technology can be very beneficial for students who need to be engaged in various ways, it can benefit all of the multiple intelligences. Not only can technology be hands on, it can benefit the auditory learners and switch up the source to display information for the visual learner (aka google docs vs. powerpoint). 

-I think that twitter chats will be very useful in finding out new tech tricks, tools and apps instead of searching for these new developments. 

-With technology becoming more complex and advanced, how do you possibly make sure your students are being good digital citizens in class when it is unrealistic to supervise and assure yourself of their actions in your presence. 

-Technology is always changing, therefore it would be difficult to be unattached to great apps and tools because they may quickly become outdated. 

My Steepest Learning Curve….AHA!

I am not the best at creating, editing and voicing over video material, however this class really helped me develop these skills! I learned how different camera shots show different meaning and possibly foreshadow, as well as how to combine different shots together to smoothly transition.

I created a group video, a movie trailer, interesting video and a screencast. Doing videos with different purposes as well as starting off with the group video really helped reintroduce me to an idea that I found to be difficult and frustrating! I never actually realized that with screencasts you use a source to make the video only of what is on your screen and can use your headphones with a microphone to speak. Although I still do not find screen casting to be the most earth-shattering, mind-blowing educational tool, however I find this to be really helpful when interacting with students and colleagues alike. Not only can you create a video to show your students how to use a tool, they can show you, or complete a project and voice it over so you can see their step by step moves. 

My AHA moment when realizing that you do not have to set up a camera to do a screencast, as well as how easily you can perform a screencast as well as how universal it is for education. A 1 minute screencast done in advance to show students on a tool they will use on a project can save 15 minutes of re-explaining how and what the tool does!

Another AHA moment was when I found out that many of the different apps we explored have diagnostics to show individual reports, past results and group results (especially Google!). 

The Future

Not only do I see myself using technology on a daily basis in my future classroom, I feel that there must be a balance between technology and paper content and group discussions. I will try to use different types of technology, from smart notebook to powerpoint, to Kahoot!, to poll everywhere and more!

tech wordles.jpg

 

Digital Citizenship

digital footprint

Digital Citizenship

In class we used a cite called “Nearpod” which I really enjoyed! Our teacher set it so that each time she switched slides, all the student’s computer screens would also switch, which is great for students keeping on track and paying attention! This was very easy to log onto and enter in the class code, which is great because if a student is sick at home they can easily follow along with the class! One negative about this site is that it is quite expensive, therefore if the school/school division I was working for did not have this, I would likely use the site spiral instead (which is similar and has a free version).

This week in #edts325 we learned about digital citizenship, which includes nine sections: etiquette, literacy, access, security, health & wellness, commerce, communication, rights & responsibilities and law. Not only did I not realize this topic was so complex, I realized that with the technological sphere continually growing, so should the awareness of how to properly understand how to be digitally aware. Our class picked groups and then were racing against each other to find out answers for our “digital race”, not only should have we clearly read through each question carefully, we should have examined the websites much deeper. We did this race through the cite “Sprial”. For this race we determined that H20 was deadly to humans and had many serious health risks associated with it and that the city of Mankato has a false page in which the city is inaccurately represented and has very weird links at the bottom of the page. From spelling mistakes on web pages, early 2000’s looking web pages and contradicting with our common sense, our class of COLLEGE students was mostly fooled by these web pages to writing down this false information.  Not only were we all driven by winning the race, we failed to use our “digital citizenship” eyes while finding information. The internet is full of false information, which can easily fool us with the rapidly growing knowledge on how to manipulate images, websites etc.

This race raised many concerns and questions as a future teacher, such as…

How can students learn to trust the information they are finding? When in a time crunch, what are main details students should pay attention to in order to find accurate information?

I feel that this race is definitely something I will use in my future classes every year, even to show colleagues about it as well! It is very easy to find the wrong information, but students must be taught that it is also easy to find the right information! It does not take long to look at a website, thoroughly read and think about the information provided and check for creditability. The common phrase, “think before you speak” goes hand in hand with using the internet, “think before you use” and “think while you read”. If students are taught that the internet is full of great information and how to properly find this information, they will be less intimidated when it comes to research and more likely to present accurate information. Instead of teaching students a lesson or two about digital citizenship, I would do a brief over view of it at the beginning of the year, then I would incorporate on of the nine sections of digital citizenship into all of my classes in order for them to see the benefits and understand it with an open, engaged mind.

My Digital Footprint

I love using technology whether it is an I-pad, camera, phone, computer or smart board! I am on all sorts of social media such as: instagram, facebook, twitter, vsco, snapchat, pinterest, wordpress and weebly. At my age for becoming a teacher, students, teachers, super intendants and peers would find it weird if I was not on any social media. In this day in age, you can find anyone somehow, whether it is through the newspaper, social media or a picture their friend posted of them, you can find it! It is very important to create the proper impression of yourself, basically avoiding any racy and inappropriate pictures, forceful opinions and rude comments or opinions. All of these factors I have indeed avoided doing.

My social media accounts are mainly filled with pictures with friends and family, scenery pictures I have taken, cute/funny videos and memes and funny moments. I would be comfortable to show a future employer my social media pages because I simply have nothing bad to hide! My favorite app is instagram, mainly because I love sharing fun, special and beautiful moments with friends and family. I do have all my accounts set as private, however it is so easy to find out information through a friend’s mother’s sister’s daughter (for example) these days, therefore I will continue to post as I always have. The social media I am on shows that I keep up with the changing technology, I keep up with current news and trends and love to share special moments with those around me. I feel that this will help me interact and understand my students to a fuller extent! All my social media is under my first and middle name, except for my Facebook. At first I did this simply because I thought it was “cool” but now I continue to do so for future privacy as a teacher!

For creating a layer “on top” of my digital footprint, I will continue to use my educational twitter, pinterest, blog (and likely more sites) to appeal to future bosses and coworkers, as well as have a social media presence my future students and their parents can follow and interact with! This way I can keep my personal sites ‘private’ and have other areas students can see me active on.

I googled “Chloe Herman” and went through 5 pages of google and found no trace of me, then I went through images and found my personal twitter profile picture which is one of my grad pictures. I am comfortable with that picture being out there, but expected to find more of myself on google! I was thinking I would find my #edts325 avatar as well as some of my educational pinterest or twitter accounts pop up.

In the future I would love to show the Super Intendant my educational social media sites because of the time, thought and effort I put into them! On Pinterest I have made many board of ideas I hope to use when I become a teacher, regardless of the age group. On twitter I love to interact with my peers, share great ideas and quotes, and follow other people in the educational world and keep up to date with their improvements and solutions! On WordPress I will continue to share thoughts and ideas in the education realm. I embrace technology, therefore I am not afraid of the factors that come along with it, such as that everything I post can and likely will be found.

 

 

Learning “Skitch” in a Sitch

Skitch

Wow! Where do I even begin? Not only is this app very user friendly, it’s full of an array of features and uses that make it easily transferable to the classroom environment!

You are able to upload pictures or use a blank page to draw, add text and manipulate. A teacher could create a math question and share it with all of her students in order for them to answer the math and show their work. The students can then share it back and have the teacher mark it. This would be a great app to use for exit slips, sharing picture, fill in the blank diagrams etc.

A few things that were difficult were resizing text and making different words different colors (because it tried to make the text all the same color).

This was very easy and straightforward to understand which is why it would cause very few complications for students as well. I also see this as a great way to send students extra work when they are finding certain ideas difficult because of how easily you can send a question or expand a question. This app would be awesome to use while going through a slide (on the different part of the plant) and have students (if technology is available) label all the parts on the Skitch you shared with them) and then go over it as a class on the smartboard.

Below are a few examples of the work I did on this app and how it can be used for a variety of ages!

fishflowermath

The Blogisphere

me-readingEducation Blogs

One thing the majority of the education blogs had in common was that blogging is only that, time consuming and not worth your time if you don’t open your mind to it. Blogging is beneficial to everyone, parents, teacher, students and community members. Learning what teachers are doing, how students are reacting, and how schools are responding to new changes around the globe is as easy as looking at a blog. Blog can come in many formats and forms, however they all create some time of reflection upon blogging. Blogging is easy and has a negative stigma attached to, when it is a great way to share/ learn and reflect on information. Technology must be embraced in the educational world because it is a great, easy way to share information quickly. However many decide to avoid technology because they don’t know how to effectively use it, find it too time-consuming and even distracting. No one is an expert at using and manipulating technology, however having a positive mind and raying your best is all you can do. Technology, specifically blogs, apps and social media are a great way to incorporate students in discussion and understanding, as well as incorporating the multiple intelligences with in the classroom.

  1. http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.ca/ (her updated blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/) I really enjoyed this blog because it is a REAL teacher who decided to life-long learn, even when it seems that you have no extra time. She is realistic and sets reachable goals for herself in order to improve for her students. I love the innovate like a turtle idea, learning something new two to three times a week for merely fifteen minutes! She is an inspiration of change, learning and growing along with the world.
  2. http://www.lessonsfromthemiddle.com/ Not only am I an aspiring middle school teacher, but I love hearing teachers talk about the real life problems with in their class, not just the curricular. This teacher’s most recent post was about Anxiety and Depression in her students and how to teach that to her students indirectly through her science class. She posts pictures, wordless and talks like a teacher that wants to both share her ideas and thoughts, as well as gain insights to things she has little knowledge about. Her blog is very personal and  always has interesting topics such as about the summer slide, sharing great sights she has found and fun ideas to liven up her classroom!
  3. http://therookieteacher.ca/ This website is a great one because it is geared towards new teachers! Not only does the blog feel inspiring and that teaching is a wonderful career and manageable! The mental and physical health of the teacher themselves is talked about by sleep, breakfast and how to have great time-management. This site does not strictly talk about education, but it is about curriculum, technology, the life of a teacher, global awareness etc.! This is a very reflective blog and has a wide variety of topics that are of interest! Not only is this a realistic blog, it makes you feel welcome by being so relatable.

A Fresh Look at Technology in Schools

Learn about technology in regards to education!

wordleTechnology In the Classroom

Technology is surrounding us more and more everyday. Why not involve technology within the classroom? Students will most likely have careers which are heavily dependent on the growing technology world, from social media, emails, software and more. Not only should students learn to easily use technology and a tool, they should change along with it, so there really is no better place to incorporate the ongoing changes in a proper manner: the classroom!

I am excited to use technology within the classroom in order for both students and myself alike to learn easily accessed and innovative ways to display and understand information. With the world around us becoming “smaller” and more connected, it is a great way to teach students, learn alongside them and from them about how to use technology in ways never dreamed about. Students should learn to be comfortable in the rapidly changing world around them as well as the positives and negatives of it.

I cannot wait to create lessons using technology! I strongly believe each student learns vastly different, so what better way to react to their differences than using all that technology and the internet has to offer! I feel that over use of technology can be distracting, but by creating soft transitions and reinforcing ideas through the use of technology, students will have deepened their knowledge and applied it in creative ways. Technology sparks creativity, imagination and new ways to display understanding, producing engagement! Not only can you do so much with technology, I will be able to find many different ways to teach content to my students.

Although you can easily spend hours on the internet researching many ways to teach, learn or explore topics, you can also spend hours creating products such as power points, prezis and smart notebook slides, time management skills are key in what could be very time-consuming for no reason.

Technology is very cheap when you look for the free apps and software as well as those with trial programs to test out before buying. Technology is so rapidly expanding and changing that if you find some type of tool you like, but is expensive, there is likely a cheaper or even free one that is similar. Technology is very helpful because of the accessibility most have to it, as well as how easy it is to use.

Within the realm of technology exists blogs. I am beginning to enter the blogger world by a teacher perspective. Blogging is a great way of sharing thoughts, opinions, information and artifacts with others. I believe that by using a blog from now until graduation of all the various accomplishments and opinions I have achieved, future employers will see to as a beneficial, new age teacher. Blogs are also a great tool to use in your classroom in order to display to parents, students and schools the type of work your students have done, as well as their accomplishment’s.

What About Technology?

Often teachers are very skeptical of technology; from having interactive lessons, to sharing their accomplishments and failures within their class to allowing students to openly use personal devices during class time. Blogging seems to have gotten a wrongful reputation within society causing teachers to see it to be a hustle, ineffective, and not worthwhile. However as I mentioned before, blogging can be very beneficial to students, parents, yourself, your fellow staff members and educators all over. Blogging shows the real side of education. The defeats, accomplishments, learning environment and change that has occurred can all be captured and shared. Blogging is often thought as being “too personal” however as technology is advancing, so should school environments. Setting goals for being a teacher blogger will help to make this sometimes “daunting” task to be rather easy to maintain. Go to this link to read the four common reasons people do not blog and understand why everyone should “drop everything and reflect” look here.

The vast majority of students (in Alberta specifically) have access to technology at home often by having a cell phone, I-pod, computer or even all three. Teachers should use this to their advantage within the classroom because the students will be able to use the same device at home for research as they did in class. However teachers should be aware of the students that do not have this ability, and provide them with technology the school (hopefully) has to offer. Also the ability for students who do not have these devices, to be able to sign out I-pads (for example) should be as easy as taking a book out of the library. An overwhelming 78% of students age 12 to 17 own a cell phone (check out other statistics on the second page of BYOD), so doesn’t it just make sense to incorporate this daily device within the classroom? With the incorporation of personal technology use or BYOD (bring your own device), students should all be given a basic education on what right and wrong technology use is, both in personal and school lives. This needs to be a fully covered topic to teach students to avoid misuse. Some students may have been give free reign on the internet and never regulated by their parents, and the next student may only have been allowed to go on certain sites. Giving students a solid ground on what is expected of them is not only a practical approach, by is necessary.

I feel that the Ministerial Order #016/97 has very good points within it that relate to technology use, however I feel there should be a devoted section within it that goes into more depth about the information teachers should know and teach their students, as well as the positives that come from technology. There should be specific digital citizenship guidelines included within the order.  In 2O it talks about career long learning, which I think is very connected to the idea of blogging as a way of reflection on your teaching skills and lessons, as well as the abilities of your students. The internet is easy to stay connected and learning about the world, for example to see the trending tweets on twitter. Often these tweets have to do with government, environment, war etc. By becoming involved in technology, it is much easier to stay updated and informed about the world around you, as well as learning new things at almost a click of a button! Teachers should grow and develop throughout their career, by connecting with not only teachers around them, but also world wide to learn new perspectives and ways of teaching. I feel teacher engagement inside and outside of the classroom is vital in interesting their students in learning as well as immersing themselves in new cultures and outlooks. To grow is to change, the more you learn personally, the more you can benefit your students. To teach is to learn. Students are constantly learning, so why not teachers alike!