Tagged with " math"
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/

Mar 24, 2013 - education, reflection, technology, Uncategorized    Comments Off on Week 10 Reflection Blog Post: Mini Projects II

Week 10 Reflection Blog Post: Mini Projects II

Similar to last week, this week we spent more time working with mini projects with a broader focus on research. In order to understand the tools necessary to create these projects, we first had to familiarize ourselves with their capabilities. This week I chose to do the Timeline using Capzles to show the history of the value pi, and how to discover the ratio itself. I really enjoyed using this tool because it offers a new perspective for students to analyze the material through. While I chose to incorporate some history into my timeline, I could have also used this tool to demonstrate a process. Since most applications of mathematics take several steps it would be very easy to present the information on Capzles. I also think it would be good to offer this as a project choice for students to demonstrate their knowledge of the material. For example, in calculus there is a debate as to who discovered the content, Newton or Leibniz. I could have students pick one mathematician to research, then create a timeline of when they were credited with discovering their respective materials to see who they think truly founded calculus.

The other project I chose to work on this week was using Google Earth to create real world applications for the students. I worked on this assignment with classmate Karissa Herrick. We chose the SOL G13 which states that students will use surface area and volume equations to solve real world problems. To see more about what we did, check out my portfolio for the full details. I really enjoyed working on this assignment because it is a great way for students to complete a hands-on activity that keeps them engaged and enjoying learning. This is a tool that could very easily be used in math courses because it makes the content real to the students, and gives them a better sense of understanding (Taylor, 2009). Once I became more familiar with the technology I found more and more uses for it in the classroom (Dunn, 2011). I think assigning the students a project where they used formulas to solve real world problems would be hugely beneficial to their knowledge. Overall I enjoyed this week more than last week’s mini projects because it was easier to apply the technology to math problems. I think these are great tools to use in any classroom.

 

Refrences:

Taylor, F. (2009, September 09). Real world math using google earth. Retrieved from http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2009/09/real_world_math_using_google_earth.html

Dunn, J. (2011, August 08). These 7 math lesson plans are huge timesavers. Retrieved from http://edudemic.com/2011/08/7-math-lesson-plans/

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/

Week 4 Reflection Blog Post: Information Literacy and Creativity

This week’s modules, while a little intimidating, gave me a lot of information over numerous resources. I was able to play with a lot of editing and visual resources this week through iPiccy for enhancing pictures, a google custom search engine designed for math, and scratch for creating games. While I have taken a couple of computer science courses involving programming, I have to say this week’s tasks were much harder. When I started playing around with scratch I figured I’d easily be able to figure it out considering I have experience programming games, and I could not have been more wrong. I didn’t look at any tutorials, and as a result had 5 “sprites” all that talked and moved at the same time. To say it was a headache is an understatement! After that failure I decided to go back and check out some of the examples and tutorials. All it took was one good tutorial and I was on track to finish my first game “equations“. It is not the best game I’ll admit, but after playing around with the program for a while I was happy it was just finally working! I am excited to spend some more time figuring out more tools in this program because I think it could be a great resource to use in the classroom. It is one of those activities that I know I could either make for them, or even have my students make themselves and share with the class.

Before I got a chance to play with these new tools, I was able to do a lot of research on blogs and Personal Learning Networks. Before this week I had never heard of PLN, but I now realize it is something that I will benefit greatly from. After setting up my delicious account I explored the other networks that were available to join. After finishing all the modules, as well as doing some blog searching, I ended this week with 8 new web accounts! I haven’t had an opportunity to explore all of them yet, but I did take some time to look at google reader, and Technorati. I was immediately hooked to google reader with how easy it was to find blogs to subscribe to. While browsing that search engine I actually found an article that gave me an option to post to my Delicious page. From there I moved on to Technorati and focused my searches on mathematics and education. I found a few blogs I enjoyed and actually joined one blog network called Huffington Post. There I read an article about a new style of teaching that related to topics I had discussed early in the week during class (Blackmon, 2013). Since it was free to join the network I was able to leave a comment on the blog, something I would have never done before this class! The ease of which I was able to find such interesting blogs took me by surprise, I found myself lost in math blogs about the “11 Most Beautiful Math Equations” (Moskowitz, 2013) – which I can assure you includes the Pythagorean theorem and the fundamental theorem of calculus. Overall I was happy with the blogging assignments for the week because as someone new to blogging and researching bloggers I was able to get a better feel for what it was all about.

Resources:

Moskowitz, C. (2013, February 2). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/the-11-most-beautiful-math-equations-2013-1

Blackmon, P. (2013, January 29). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/perea-blackmon/bringing-education-to-life_b_2577910.html

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