Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tool #11

There were so many things I learned about while completing this course; it's difficult to pick a few! I really liked learning about the different things Google docs has to offer. Today's Meet would be something cool to use because it allows all the students to post at once and respond to each other. Poll Everywhere could also be an inventive way to do test/quiz review or review for TAKS and EOC. I also really LOVE the iPad apps for extra math practice and games.

One of the activities that I have envisioned for my classroom involves the iPad and the ability to video or record your voice. I want the students to be able to explain their work and share it with others. If they are able to teach the concept to others, I know they have learned it and will retain the information longer.

My thinking about the 21st Century Learner has completely changed. I knew that we needed to use technology in the classroom and allow the students to use it too, but implementing that can be difficult when you are not equipped yourself. Learning to be a good digital citizen myself will help me to know how to teach it to high school students. My vision for my classroom has changed to something that scares me a little. Trying new things is always scary. Knowing that it won't be perfect at first, but has the potential to grow into something empowering for our students pushes me to do what's best for them. I am already planning new setups for my classroom to make the implementation of technology easier.

I didn't really expect to learn a lot of new things through this course because I consider myself computer savvy, but it was humbling to learn about the educational apps on the iPad and uses for the netbooks. It is always a good reminder that you have things to learn in all aspects of life. I am so excited to see how this experience shapes the coming year and how the students will continue to grow in their digital understanding.

Tool #10

Being a part of this digital age, we must teach our students about being a good digital citizen. I want my students to be able to access a website and decide for themselves if it is a good source of information or not. They also need to understand that some websites have good information, but are not appropriate as a source for educational use. Students need to be aware that anything they post on the internet is available to the world forever. Even if they delete it, someone could have saved the picture, video, or post and the websites still have access to old posts. Our students need to be careful what and where they post things. Students also need to know that plagiarism applies to the internet just like it does on a paper. If you copy something that belongs to someone else or someone else created, it is plagiarism.

One of the websites that looked helpful and interesting was called Digizen. This website had videos and information separated into appropriate audiences (teacher, parent, student). These videos can be used to introduce/discuss different digital citizenship topics.
Whenever we do an activity with the internet, computers, and ipads, I will share with my students how I searched and found the website, answer, or video. We need to have the same understanding of search engines and evaluating websites. If we share with our students what we have learned and how we learned it, that would be more powerful than handing them the information and have them "find" the already given website.

Most of the parents of my students do not even have an email address which means they are probably not digitally aware. Sending a letter home (with a mandatory signature) explaining what is happening in the classroom with technology is the most effective way to share information with parents.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tool #9

1. Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective?

The use of technology must be tied to the objectives because it is easy to use technology without a purpose. As teachers we need to provide a purpose for technology that supports the learning objectives. If it doesn't tie to the objectives, we need to find a different way to use the technology.

2. Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers?

During stations, we can't be everywhere in the classroom and there isn't always a specific product for the students to create with technology. We must find some way to make sure they have been using the technology effectively. Providing a rubric or model of the desired product will also he students.

3. Visit 2 of the applicable links to interactive websites for your content/grade level. Which sites did you like. How could you use them as stations? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?

I tried the Mangahigh and Interactivate. I liked both websites and plan to use them in my classroom. Mangahigh had some fun games for algebra and geometry practice that could be used as a station. It could also be a way to reward students that have completed their homework all week, finish early, etc. Interactivate could be used as exploration and extension activities with my geometry classes for polygons and circles and the vocabulary. I will have my students draw pictures of the polygons and vocabulary they have discovered.

4. List two to three apps you found for the iPod Touch/iPad that you can use in your classroom. What do you see that station looking like? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?

Quick graph, Skype, iTalk are just a few of the apps I would like to use as a part of my lessons. Quick graph allows you to graph equations more accurately than on the calculator and more user friendly. I can save equations in the app to save time in stations if there is one particular equation we are examining. Skype can connect my classroom with another classroom meeting at the same time. iTalk could be a way for students to explain their work, save and email to me to listen and hold the students accountable.

5. What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station.

My students could also use the whiteboard app. It could be a fun way for students to work in a group and collaborate together. They could take a screen shot when finished and email it to me so I can see what they worked on during class.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tool #8

I didn't know anything about the netbooks, so the video really helped me understand that piece of technology. Now I know that they are smaller than a normal laptop, but still have all the connections that a laptop has. It is really good to know that I will have a cabinet to lock the devices in and charge/connect to the network at the same time. Having the iPad this summer has helped me understand it better. I know how to sync the device with my laptop, arrange apps, and download apps to my laptop or the iPad.

After watching the videos and reading about managing the devices in the classroom, I realize the importance of specific clear instructions when using the devices (or any devices).

I liked the ideas of having the students close the screens during instruction time. This also helps save the battery power so the devices last throughout the whole time the classes are using them. I will have one person from each group in charge of storing the devices at the end of each period. The devices will also be labeled.

Tool #7

Content Objective: Students will create tutorial videos for geometry topics. They will share these videos with other Geometry and Math Models classes.

I will implement this in the 4th and 5th six weeks to help review for TAKS/EOC.

I plan to use the flip camera, ipad, and netbooks to create the videos and Edmodo or Blogger to post the videos for all to see.

When the students create the videos, I will have them post the videos to Blogger or Edmodo and I will require the students to view and comment on another classes videos.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tool #6

I used Poll Everywhere and think it could be a very fun and useful way to see how well my students understand the material. I could use this when reviewing for a test or when we do TAKS or STAAR test review. The students enjoy when they have an opportunity to text in class. It mixes things up and diversifies activities a little bit.

Here is a link to my poll:  http://www.polleverywhere.com/multiple_choice_polls/MjA0ODI2Nzg0MQ

I also created a TodaysMeet. I like this better than Twitter for a classroom discussion because the students do not need an account. It is also very user friendly. In a classroom setting, I would require that the students post something appropriate that adds to the discussion. This could be really great for students who are afraid to share in a large group setting, but have many thoughts to share.

Here is the link to my TodaysMeet: http://todaysmeet.com/MathModelsNHS

Tool #5

I decided to create a Wordle using Geometry terms. I think this could be a fun and different way to introduce vocabulary terms at the beginning of a unit. You can also print them out and post them around the classroom. I really enjoyed using Wordle once I got it to work. My Java plugin was not up to date, so the program would not work. After I updated Java, I was able to view the words, change the colors, change the design and remove words if necessary. It was very easy to use, but you don't have as much freedom as I wanted.

Here is my example:

Wordle: Geometry Terms

I also created a comic strip using http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/ . This was fairly time consuming and wouldn't be time effective for me to use for lesson making. However, it would be something fun for the students to create after a unit to demonstrate their understanding of the topic. The students would need to describe the topic, vocabulary, and how they understood the topic. They also are able to use some creativity when creating a comic strip.

Here is the link to my comic:

Pythagorean Theorem Comic

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tool #4

I created a Google doc and shared it with some coworkers and received feedback in real time. We were not sure if the document sent or if the changes were saved. Once we discovered that we had completed everything right, we had a fun learning experience collaborating with Google docs.

I also created a form in Google Docs and shared it via email with coworkers. My coworkers learned some things about my interests and summer plans and I was able to learn about them as well. In the form you can create different kinds of questions like multiple choice, check all that apply, and free response.

I can use the form and writing document to discuss problems, lessons, and homework with my teammates. I can also use the Google documents to have my students collaborating with each other using the iPads and netbooks. I would also like to use Blogger as a place my students can check homework assignments, quizzes, and tests. I would like to use the Google apps jointly with my teacher Facebook account because many of my students are already using Facebook as a social media. It is helpful when you can combine technologies that are new to students with things they already understand.

Tool #3

This is a video I found on YouTube.com. I used it to introduce the Quadratic Formula in my classroom last year. Most of the kids thought it was funny and the song ended up stuck in their heads. It helped some students memorize the formula and helped others remember the name of the formula and how to use it. It is somewhat goofy...enjoy

I found another video on TeacherTube.com that I could use to introduce the math at the beginning of the year. I get questions all the time in my Math Models class: "When will I use this?" and "Why is this important?" This video shows different places where math is used, and it's in a fun and entertaining way.

I had never really read and educated myself about Copyright laws and the Fair Use laws for my classroom use of media. I learned that many times teachers can get into trouble because they don't know how to site their usage of media in their classrooms. Under Fair Use laws, teachers can use small portions of a work and site where they found it. If they are using the majority of a work, they need permission to use it. If the work you are using is a well known fact, then you do not need permission to use it. If you are not making money off of someone else's work, you are probably okay. Teachers also have the ability to print copies for classroom use as long as they are destroyed when you are finished using them. As a student in band we were faced with this every year. We had many copies of different musical pieces and were required to turn in our copied music at the end of the year, so students could not violate Copyright laws.

Dropbox is a tool that could be used with my students when working on our budget projects. Many of my students forgot to print their projects, and if they saved them in Dropbox, I could have viewed them from my computer with little hassle. It is also a way for team members to share documents quickly and efficiently.

Tool #2

I was able to view some different blogs from the list provided, other teachers at Northbrook HS, and previous blogs I have found interesting. I added a few that I enjoyed to my blog under Blogs I love, so I could come back to them at a later date. That particular gadget shows you the title of the most recent post from each blog, so you can quickly see if you want to read that post.

I like the idea of having a PLN because you can learn so much from those that you work with on a daily basis and others around the country and world who are using innovative ideas in their classrooms. I love commenting on other people's blogs and sharing thoughts on their ideas. The list of commenting tips helped a lot when considering how you pose questions in each post and how you structure your blog. I enjoy sharing my thoughts with my network on my personal blog, and I think it will be useful and helpful as I improve my classroom practices and usage of technology in my classroom. One thing to remember when posting online versus talking to coworkers is that once it is posted anyone in the world has access to it. We must be very careful what we say on our blogs/comments.

One blog that I will visit again in the future is http://learningismessy.com/blog/ . I enjoyed reading their posts because they presented some information about education today. Much of what they said was and is controversial and it allows you to read different viewpoints on where education is going and how it needs to change.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tool 1: Creating a blog

Woohoo!! I created my blog for 11 tools. It was pretty easy because I have created a personal blogger in the past. The only difficulty I had was adding my voki to the blog. I was not sure which gadget to post the voki code into. (Now I know...it is the HTML gadget.) I look forward to learning about new technology and applying it to my specific classroom.