Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Peek for a Week or A Clear View of Bright Minds

I felt that A Peek for a Week in Room 9 was an awesome tool that could benefit students, teachers, and parents. Using these types of videos, blogs, and other medias lets students know that someone cares about what they are learning which encourages them to learn even more. Not only do things such as smart boards make learning more fun for children but it will present more opportunities for those children to be creative, learn, and express themselves. Technology in the classroom is extremely helpful to teachers because it allows them to break away from traditional activities so that their students will be more interested. The technologies that this particular teacher was using were simple in many ways (taking digital pictures) she transformed them into something that could also teach as well.. Parents benefit from these class videos and blogs because it lets them know what is going on in their child's class. This will encourage parents to be involved when they have a sense of how the classroom is ran.

Obviously things such as laptops and smartboards in classroom was unheard of when I was in school but I found that when I was able to use a technology of any kind it made learning feel more like exploring instead of just completing a task such as a worksheet. I think that the art project that the students were doing was very impressive! As teachers we should always be looking for something else to incorporate into learning that will spike a child's interest level. The children were doing anything technologically mind blowing but at the same time they were engaged and focused more than if they simply were painting a picture. I also liked the fact that the teacher actually used her smart board not only in a was to present information but also to allow students to interact with what was presented.

I think that it would be extremely helpful and informative if I were to have a class blog in my own class. I hope that I will be able to not only share whats going on with parents but also make the children feel proud of their accomplishments in my class. If I have to opportunity to work with a smart board, classroom laptops or any other kind of technology I will use it as much as possible. We are living in an age where most of the information that we read or convey to others is all through technology. I know for a fact that I type way more than I write. I feel that it is important for students to learn to use all technology available to them and its obvious that they have a ton of fun while they're at it.

Nafiza: The Technological Leader

Nafiza is ahead of her time in many ways. Not only is she a bright 18 year old girl who begins using a technology from the moment she wakes up until she goes to bed at night but she also shows leadership by setting an example and helping others to learn ways to use the thing she loves to teach about various topics. I thought it was incredible that this 18 year old girl realized that she could have fun with her technological tools and still share messages about things such as the lives of the citizens of Darfur. I know that Nafiza has more computer and software knowledge than myself or many of my friends but I feel her want to use that knowledge to help others and inform about serious topics is an awesome quality. All in all I felt that the Digital Youth Portrait: Nafiza was a very informational video.

The technology and programs that Nafiza and her fellow classmates were using were nothing like anything that I worked with in high school. This can make sure programs a combination of scary and intriguing. This is another reason that I think students like Nafiza can be such a big help. Most students have enough knowledge from simply playing video games and creeping on Facebook that if they could only be guided just a tiny bit they could do so much more than they realize. I think teachers, especially very intellegent teachers can often be intimidating and students find that it is easier to ask a question of a friend rather than their teacher. It's important that students know that they can help each other as well as the teacher and that learning involves reteaching sometimes.

As a teacher I hope to be able to use as many technological mediums as possible. They are beneficial to student who are enjoying what they learn, helping others learn, and getting a hands on experience with learning. These mediums are beneficial to the teacher as well because he or she is allowed to interact on a different level and the mediums help the teacher convey subjects of all kinds to students who might not have caught on the first time.

Week #2 Links! :)

K-12 Student Blog Comments:

I chose to follow the blog of a Mrs. Blakely's Kindergarten class in IL. Their blog is called Kindergarten Tales and they always have a lot of fun while learning and post some awesome videos and pictures.

I am also becoming "blogging buddies" with Mr. Kootman's class. This is a 4th grade class who's blog is written by a different student everyday.

T4T Student Blog Comments:

I also read some awesome T4T student blogs and commented on them as well. Our class has some great ideas and I'm excited to be learning with so many nice, smart and excited future teachers! I left comments on
Darlene's T4T Reflection, Sammy Speaks, and Adrian Rosado T4T Blog although I think all 3 comments are still pending.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and now....Cameron!

This video was very informational! I personally had no idea that elementary age students had technical knowledge anywhere near as advanced as Cameron's. It is exciting to think that there are so many different ways to present information to students and that they already know a great deal about new technologies. I think technology allows children to be better involved in what they are learning and keeps them engaged.

When I was in elementary school little to no technology was involved in the classroom. There were no computers in any of the classrooms but one lab that each class would visit once a week. I think that the lessons presented to me would be much more interesting and easier to understand if there was some sort of technology used. Technologies also allow teachers and students to interact with each other.

I hope to use some of the ideas in this video in my own classroom. It has always been important to me to present information in numerous ways so that children of different backgrounds and learning styles all have a chance to have a connection. I also feel that if students could help present information to their fellow classmates that they would better understand them selves since the best way to learn is to teach others.

1st graders & college studens learn from each other!

This video was very informative! I enjoyed the video very much and learned a lot about how blogs can serve as so much more than just a space for people so spill their thoughts. I thought that the idea of connecting elementary school children with college students in order for each to lean was wondeful. This aproach worked better than the student observations I have done before because the college students got to work with individual children one on one and it seems to me that this would also allow college students to work around their busy schedules.

I had a reading budy as a child that essentially worked the same way as blogging buddies. This was just a program where a first grade student was paired up with a fourth grade student. They would meet for about 45 minutes once a week. Half the time would be spent with the first grader reading to the forth grader and then the second half the forth grader would read to the first grader. I experienced the program from both points of view and found it very beneficial both ways so I'm not surprised that blogging buddies was so successful.

I hope to someday use this technique in my own 1st grade classroom if possible. I would love the opportunity to be a blogging buddy to an elementary school student but that probably won't be possible since I'm so close to finishing my degree and I haven't heard of this program at UCO. The program could also be used with high school technology students instead of college students as well though in case a college class won't work.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

About Me :)

My name is Kirsti Parsons. I'm 20 years old and a Junior at UCO but this is my first year here. I was born and raised in Stigler, OK and attended college at Carl Albert State College in Poteau, OK for 2 years. I have a huge family (4 sisters and 2 brothers) who I love to spend time with when I'm not at school or babysitting. I also love to cook, scrapbook, and do anything outdoors! I'm an Elementary Education major and hope to some day work with kindergarten students but I would love to teach elementary students at any age. Even though I've switched majors a million times, I have always known that I wanted to work with children in some way. My fourth grade teacher was the best teacher I've ever had and she's the reason that I want to teach!! She showed her students that she could be a teacher and friend while still having their respect.