Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nutricious Petchous Kutchous

I chose to create my petcha kutcha presentation over the topic of The 15 Healthiest Foods and other healthy helpful hints. I decided to use this topic because I feel that it is so important in our society for people to know what foods are healthy and what they can do to ensure that they live lives that are healthy and happy. I hope that my presentation opens some eyes about what they should eat to stay fit and other tips for living a fit life.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Google Map Screencast

I chose to create my screencast over how to make a google map, add placemarks, create links, and add pictures. I thought that this would be the most useful to future teachers, very simple to illustrate, and something that I felt not many people knew how to do. I created a map to illustrate the places that the characters from the Twilight book series visit.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baby VoiceThread

I chose to create my voice thread over the topic of birth. I collected pictures from FlickrStorm and used them to tell the story of a baby's birth and the excitment for parents. This topic is special to me just because I feel that it is one of God's greatest miracles and I was very happy to have found some awesome pics that for me brought out the happy emotions that anyone involved in or witnessing a new life experiences.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2nd chance for orientation in 2nd life

I thought that this video was especially helpful since I have no experience in second life. I felt that after just viewing the parts of orientation shown on the video I already have a better understanding of how second life works. I agree with the speakers that many users can feel overwhelmed with too much information and will give up easily if they don't immediately feel that they have a grasp on a program. Steps taken to make users feel like they have more control and that second life is workable will encourage them to explore all the possibilities. I thought this video was very informational and it definitely interested me in second life.

I connect with this video even though second life is foreign to me. I know that as computer and Internet user, the more I feel in charge of the technology I am using, the more apt I will be to try new things with that technology. I think that if users can master simple tasks like customizing their avatar, they will feel brave enough to use second life for multiple tasks and possibilities. The only problem I see with second life is that it seems to be a little boring at first glance, in my opinion. This could be the reason why so few of my classmates have experience with it.

I thought that the last speaker had the most effective ideas for orienting users with second life. I know that I can retain information better if I have a chance to experience it in a hands on way. I hope that in my own classroom I can present information and instructions to my students in a way that isn't too wordy and that will encourage them to try it for themselves. An interactive orientation offers information that doesn't bog down the user and also allows them to try new activities which will enable them to remember those tasks.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Survey Says....

I chose to do my survey about movies. The questions covered the types of movies people enjoy, which types of settings they enjoy them in, and whom their favorite actor/actress is. The survey asked only 3 questions and was very to the point. Creating this survey taught me that this particular Google tool could be very useful in helping children convey what they have learned and share that information with fellow classmates. Children and adults can create surveys for any purpose or topic imaginable and these surveys can be as little or as long as needed.

Only 4 people answered my questionnaire which is very disappointing considering the fact that I made sure to answer every survey posted by my classmates. The first question in the survey was, "What is your favorite type of movie?" which was answered with the following categories: comedy, thriller, romantic and The Notebook? Looks like we have a teacher who didn't read ALL the directions. lol. The second question asked how movie viewers would rather experience their movies. The options were in the theater, purchase a film to watch at home, or renting a movie to view and take back later. Three answers went for the theater; the other preferred renting. The last question asked whom was the surveyor's favorite actor or actress. The answers were Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, and Kate Hudson.

This exercise was very beneficial to me. I think that it showed that there are so many ways to use these questionnaires in classrooms. A teacher could give a test, ask students to create their own test or a sample test question, or encorage students to show their creativity buy making a survey after having read a book. I hope to use tools such as this in my classroom to keep things new and exciting for my students so that they aren't easily bored with traditional methods of learning.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

13 is sometimes smarter than 30

Sam is a 13 year old girl who's interest in technology is recognizable to everyone around her. It is especially interesting that her knowledge has mostly come from what she has taught herself. She uses technology to interact with friends, play games, do school work, help others, and many other tasks. If Sam has a problem, she solves it with technology! She is very advanced for her age but seems to understand that she can use her knowledge for things she finds interesting as well as for things that are often viewed as work. Sam's digital portrait reminded me most of myself even though my understanding of the digital world is no where near her's!

In my own life, mostly at work, I have found that because I have been younger than those around me, I have often had more experience with certain types of technology. I know that it is often hard for people to ask others for help, especially if that person is inferior to them in age, but as a society and especially as teachers we need to realize that people never stop learning. We also need to realize that everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach. I also have found that some types of technologies can be overwhelming at first but it is important to always try new things. I also connected with what the college boy that Sam was helping said about wishing he had her knowledge at 13 years old. The more children understand and have experience in, the more likely they are to succeed.

In my own classroom I plan to allow students to do assignments and work that encourage them to think outside of the box and use whatever technologies possible. I think that this will allow my students as well as myself to learn not only about the topics being covered but it will also give us all new ideas about educational mediums. I know that when I was in class, the projects that were well thought out and creative from my classmates were the ones that I not only remember but drew ideas from later in life. I want to help my students be passionate about what they are learning and express themselves at the same time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wise Up about Wiki

Paula White's video about how wiki spaces can be used in the classroom to promote learning was extremely informative! She talked about the numerous ways that students could post their thoughts and questions about subjects covered in class as well as subjects that interested them. Parallel Play or Collaboration showed several pages that Mrs. White and her students had created on a very wide range of topics. I learned from this video that these Wiki pages can be used for entertainment, education, questions, critiquing, and almost any topic under the sun! Mrs. White's knowledge of such resources is very impressive and these tools can benefit teachers and students alike.

Because the video was blurry I was very glad that access to Mrs. White's
supporting wiki, WikiThink, was available. Her site offered a ton of information about Wiki's, how they work, and the possibilities they offer. I can connect with this video because many times I have tried to use a new type of technology and felt kind of overwhelmed because I didn't know what all I could do. Mrs. White offered so many possibilities with Wiki that it would almost be hard to find topics to blog about or ideas. Often times one person can come up with a problem or solution that no other person could come up with and I think Wiki is a good site to truly collaborate the voices of several people into one page.

In my own classroom I hope to offer students access to the pages of others and opportunities to create their own pages to share what they've learned, what they are passionate about, and questions they have. I always feel hindered with technology since I will be working with such a young age group but I think that my students will become excited about what they are sharing and learning if they can use Wiki pages since this is often viewed as a grown up tool. It could also be fun for students to work with their parents to create pages or responses on Wiki so that students can not only build on their knowledge but so that parents can have a sense of involvement and a knowledge of what their child is learning. Wiki as well as many other parallel play and collaboration sites have so many possibilities and potential. I hope to share these aspects with others and learn from other teachers as well.