Monthly Archives: October 2013

Blog Post #8

Presentation software’s biggest advantages lie in its abilities to present information visually and efficiently, and to allow teachers to lecture/say what they want to say while giving students a way to take clear, precise notes. Slides, prezis, etc. are so quick and easy for teachers to use. The presentations can convey so much without consuming all of their creators’ free time, and they offer students so much more stimulation than lectures alone do. The fact students can use presentation software for their own projects quite easily also adds to the learning process. The biggest disadvantages lie in their repetitiveness (older students have seen thousands of slides) and in their distraction (younger students can find ways to daydream about the graphics, images, etc.) Presentation software will not work as a teaching tool for all students, especially those who don’t know how to take notes, are behind other classmates in reading skills, etc.
The digital divide is a valid issue in education, but I also believe that it will become less and less of a problem as time goes by. As someone who is on the digital side of technology, I see it overtaking more and more of our everyday lives, our classrooms, our social interactions, etc. I doubt poverty in America will ever be wiped out completely, so I doubt every student will have at-home access to the latest technology. Students living in poverty don’t have access to the same technology our majority has, but this problem only arises in certain schools and in certain classrooms where teachers are not conscious about the need. Virtually every school has a computer lab students can use for assignments, and teachers can always adjust their instructional techniques to fit the needs of their students.
•With all the experience we’ve had with different websites, smartboards, etc., I would love to see how these different technologies affect students’ learning when compared with other methods. Has research been done about this? What were the parameters? Which programs were used? What was the control group like? It’d be very interesting to see a study that compares different teaching methods rather than just teaching+extra time with technological programs.

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Blog Post #7

Almost every teacher I’ve had since middle school has used PowerPoint in class. It’s a wonderful way to present a lot of information to students in a quick, legible, and flexible way. I have no doubt that I, like my other English teachers, will use the software to show students vocab words, grammar rules and examples, background information on a book, play, or author, etc. PowerPoint’s also a tool students use to present what they’ve learned back to teachers and classmates. It’s so easy to use that it enables students to share more, organize their knowledge more, etc.

Adaptive technologies can be life-changing to so many people with disabilities. They allow people to learn and interact in learning in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. I’ve never personally experienced an adaptive technology in my class, but I can see how it might be very difficult to use in my own classroom. Assuming my class is not consistent solely of students with special needs or disabilities, those few students who do need extra help may slow down class progress and take up my time with other students. Although assistive technologies help prevent this, I don’t think they are comprehensive enough yet to weed out all challenges that arise from having disabled students in a class with the general student body.

This week’s assignment was fairly simple and straightforward, except for creating a calendar. I love the choices weebly gives you in your site format and layout. They had so many fantastic backgrounds that it was hard to pick! In the future, I’d like to play with the site even more. I’m sure it has hidden gems waiting for me to discover and use, and I definitely think it’s a site I would use as a teacher to create my own site.

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Blog Post #6

As a teacher, I hope to maintain a class website (assuming the vast majority of my students have access to the internet). Uploading calendars to a website can be very helpful for students who are sick, going out of town, etc. I could also use my site to direct curious students to other resources that can teach them more outside of class, give students away to print out any lost homework assignments, etc. I’ve appreciated teacher websites as a student so I definitely want to use them as a teacher. It’s worth the time and effort to make one, if not to update it CONSTANTLY.

Using technology day-to-day is a basic requirement for most teachers. While it’s obvious how I can use it to teach my students, show them more examples, etc., it can also help me develop in my role as educator. The internet allows me to keep up with what’s going on in the world and in the trends of my students. It gives me access to so many resources that can expand my knowledge base, the way I think, and the information I can give to my students. It allows teachers to come together and share thoughts, lessons, strategies, etc.

Our latest assignment was somewhat tricky at first (probably because I didn’t follow the tutorial), but I eventually figured it out through trial and error. Still, I have to say this tool is not the most user friendly–at least not to loser users like me. Next time, I would definitely want to play around with it more so I could fully understand all its quirks. I doubt I’ll use wikis that much in the future, but who knows? It probably depends on what teachers I come across teaching and how they choose to share advice/information with each other.

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Blog Post #5

Diigo is a 2.0 tool that helps you navigate the web while also annotating, organizing, saving, and sharing all the information you find while you search the internet. You can get the tool for free at diigo.com. Diigo would be a fantastic tool to use while preparing lessons and while presenting websites or online articles to the class because it allows you to add notes, highlight text, comment, compare/contrast, and save your screenshots to review later. An English teacher, for example, could show students how to annotate an essay, could point out mistakes in an article, label different rhetorical devices, etc. all on the same webpage. Diigo could also be used to add additional information to an already helpful site or presentation and just to help teachers keep track of all the webpages they might want to use in class.
Students can also use diigo in many of the same ways a teacher would. They can highlight words, make comments, collect different articles, and share or collaborate with other students for projects. Diigo allows you to share your screenshots with others in the cloud, helping students work together with specific sources and articles to expand on, etc.
Many web 2.0 tools can be used in education, but not all of them can be educational. Some might even be dangerous for certain kids to use because if anyone can post anything (especially video), including something inappropriate. Other sites can and do promote learning like prezi or even twitter (as mentioned in the podcast) if used correctly. If not all web 2.0 tools can be used by students, even more can be used by teachers as they prepare lesson plans by consulting different sites and using more advanced technology.
The Web Hunt actually did teach me new techniques to use while searching Google (such as using – before a certain word to exclude anything you don’t want), but many of the new techniques were redundant because similar, simpler searches brought up mostly the same results. As a result, I didn’t bother using as many of the helpful hints as I could’ve, which is something I could improve on next time. Even though not all of the shortcuts were, well, shortcuts, I will definitely be using some of the hints in future searches in the classroom and outside of it.

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