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Mar 27, 2013 - education, reflection, technology, Uncategorized    Comments Off on Week 11 Blog Reflection: New Technologies

Week 11 Blog Reflection: New Technologies

For this week’s assignments we were asked to explore some new technologies and see how others have implemented them in the classroom. I really enjoyed browsing all the things students can do with technology to enhance learning, but I especially benefited from the phone usage sites. I currently am a substitute teacher and the amount of times that I either catch students using their phones in class, or get asked if they can listen to music on their phones, is more than I could count. Whether or not they have permission, students will find a way to use their phones during school hours. While this is a problem because students today are not being raised with proper phone etiquette, it shouldn’t be an issue that is just ignored (Nefer, 2010).  I agree that instead of just creating the idea that all use of phones in school is bad, altering the teaching so that apps and other tools can be used in learning (Kolb, 2007).

For example, when I was tutoring some calculus students on trigonometric limits, one of the first things I recommended was that students download the unit circle app. This is an app for a smartphone that gives the unit circle, as well as other basic identities. I found that when the app was on their phones, the students were more likely to reference it and use it to solve the problems without getting immediately discouraged. There are countless math apps that are free to download on a smartphone or tablet device that would be great to use in the classroom. We just recently discovered how even apps like Google Earth can be used to teach real world applications of mathematics.

The technology introduced this week is just an added bonus, this entire semester has introduced me to new tools that I never imagined being able to use in the classroom. Regardless of which technology tool is used, I think it is important for educators to start implementing more into the curriculum. The students in the classroom now have been brought up in a technological world, and refusing them the right to use that to their strengths in the classroom shouldn’t happen. While there are some technologies I am a little skeptical about, such as the “6th sense” tool that allows you to interact with your environment, I still think the benefits of technology are well worth exploring in the classroom (Maes, 2009).

References:

Maes, P. (Photographer). (2009). Pattie maes and pranav mistry demo sixthsense. [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html

Kolb, L. (Photographer). (2007). K12 cell phones as learning tools. [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8oD8IlzZD8

Nefer, B. (2010, September 02). Cell phone etiquette for kids. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/213147-cell-phone-etiquette-for-kids/

Week 7 Reflection Blog Post: Shared Sticky Notes

Throughout this week’s assignments I kept a central theme of functions and their characteristics. I am glad I chose this SOL (AII. 7) for all assignments because it gave me a great idea for the types of presentation tools I would like to use in my classroom. The activities that I made included a concept map, a jeopardy game, and a pin board. All three were very easy to complete, and would be great tools to use in the classroom. As an avid user of concept maps, I would easily use this technology to create notes for students, or even have them put together one of their own to gauge their understanding (Brizee, 2011). This would be great for a end of the day/ticket out the door activity. The jeopardy game would be another great review tool before an assessment. The template was free and can be easily edited as needed.

The most unique activity of this week, however,  was the pin board. When I saw the assignment I was a little skeptical because I didn’t see how more sticky notes could be useful in the classroom. With evernote already one of our tools I didn’t see how another version would be any better or different. I was quickly proven wrong. I loved the concept of the pin board after learning more about it and instantly set out to creating one on functions. Since this is a site that can be edited by others I only pinned a few characteristics about functions in the hope that someone else will add to the knowledge. This is something that I would love to implement in my class as another means for studying. All students learn differently, so a tool like this could help all the students in the classroom grasp a concept. The great thing about wallwisher is that it allows the user to attach different types of media to a post, whether it is a video, website, or image (MacGrercy, 2010). So if for example, I had my class post one thing each on a topic then the variety of information would be much better than what I could contribute in a short class period. That way if a student was studying the content they could browse through the selections and find the medium that works best for them. Another way in which this could be used in the classroom is if I chose to do a flipped classroom. Since the site is compatible with videos I could post examples of how to solve problems on one note, and other resources for the content on other notes. There are several possibilities of how a tool like this could be used in the classroom, and I look forward to implementing this and the other resources from this week.

 

Resources:

MacGrercy. (Photographer). (2010). Wallwisher. [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBn1EVzh6wk&feature=related

Brizee, A. (2011, August 06). Introduction to prewriting (invention). Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/673/01/

Jan 20, 2013 - education, technology    2 Comments

Week 1 Reflection Blog Post: The Technology Integration Matrix

It seems like everywhere you turn there is a new technology system that is available to make our lives easier, including in the classrooms. While I haven’t been able to completely familiarize myself with it, the technology integration matrix provides excellent resources for teachers to utilize in the classroom. Upon browsing the different features of this website I noticed that the majority of the math examples were geared towards the elementary school age. I think all the activities were grade appropriate and beneficial to the students, but I also think they could be adapted for higher level learning. I am studying to be certified in secondary mathematics and would definitely consider using some of the techniques shown in the matrix.

One such technique that I really enjoyed was a goal directed learning activity on the transformation level, meaning the teacher used a high level of tools to monitor and plan the activity. In this activity the teacher split a unit into sub-topics, each of which a student signed up for to “teach” to the class. They were given time to record themselves explaining a concept, and solving a problem that they generated. The recordings were then compiled together as a presentation and given to all of the students. I really liked this idea because it covers so many methods of learning and allows the students to have a lot of hands on practice with the material. All students learn differently, and with the use of technology the teacher was able to put together a presentation that included, auditory, visual, and tactile components.

On the other hand, one technique that I did not really enjoy was another goal directed learning activity, this time the technology integration was adaptation. This method allows for students to have some choice in the type of technology, then using it to plan, monitor, and explore a topic. In this activity the teacher allowed the students to self-assess, then plan what they need to work on and in what frame of time. I think this is a great idea in theory, but it just seems like a lot of freedom for the students and may be taken advantage of. The teacher does mention having conferences with the students to help them find more resources, but to individually meet with each student in the class can be very time consuming and hard to do. I think this is a strategy that I could use if slightly altered, perhaps to include a class goal instead of individual, or even conduct in groups.

In practicum placements, the technology I have seen has not been very extensive, but when used I find that students are much more engaged and eager to learn. One example that I have seen is and active adaptation with the use of the CBR to record and match graphs on a graphing calculator.  In this activity students are shown a graph and are asked to model it by using the CBR and graphing calculator. This relates information students are learning to real world applications, and models how graphs can be manipulated. Many students got creative with their experiments and used all sorts of movements to see how it would affect the graph. Another way this technology can be used is to graph the distance traveled of a bouncing ball, another activity the students really seemed to enjoy.                    umw3

 

Overall there are countless ways to incorporate technology into the classroom, and the technology integration matrix is a guide that helps to show when to use what integration method. I hope to become more informed on strategies to use to benefit learning in the classroom.

References:

http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/matrix.php

 

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