Friday, April 29, 2011

Podcast #12: iPads in the classroom

I have heard several podcasts about the use of iPads in the classroom. At first, before block A I thought that this was an outrageous idea and that students, young students especially did not have any place in having iPads in the classroom. I thought that this would be a distraction and not have a place in the classroom for young learners. Although I still feel that it is necessary for students to have hard backed books to read, write, and complete assignments in; my opinion on iPads in the classroom has completely changed since I first heard about the idea. Especially after learning about RTI (response to intervention) and AT (assisting technology) for young exceptional students in the regular classroom, I was sold on the idea of implementing this technology in the classroom. I have seen students who were unable to turn a page in their whole lives due to physical illnesses do so using an interactive book on an iPad. There are also several programs that are used to work with autistic children in the classroom. This allows students to communicate what they need and want without becoming frustrated and give up. Also, being an ESL concentrated future teacher, I have found that the use of technology with translation, research based cultural projects, or even simple day to day conversations, classroom environments are more and more accessible and efficient. These reasons alone made me very "pro iPad" for the classroom and I hope to have the chance to use this technology to help to teach my future students.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Podcast #11: The Chicks at the Chick (fil-a)

In this podcast, the tech chicks share several resources at their local chick-fil-a restaurant. They share that CIO's need to keep in mind that if they don't keep technology in their implementations, that their programs will not succeed. The tech chicks also share how this is very similar and parallels to technology and education in general. If you (teachers and leaders) do not implement these new changes and practice what is new, then the small steps will never be taken for improvement. The tech chicks also talk about how like technology, teaching can be frustrating and lessons do not always go the way that teachers anticipate. This is a very good comparison to make because it is very true. The tech chicks describe that just because you do not understand something right away, doesn't mean that you as a student or teacher need to give up. It was helpful and inspiring, with all of the end of the year craziness going on, to hear these words or wisdom and keep pushing through to learn more not only about technology, but about teaching in general. These women do a great job of sharing their insights about teaching and learning, and also finding ways to make it relevant for future teachers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Challenge Based Learning Reflection

I was so impressed after watching the video of young Australian students who just wanted to make a difference in the world. This was such a great, inspiring video to watch. I really think it is important for our generation to learn about how we can make small changes in our daily lives to improve the conditions of the world. Our group chose to do a prezi on hybrid cars. This was a very informative and fun project to take on. I learned several new facts about hybrid cars that I had no idea about before. Our prezi was created in our group and was very effective and efficient in getting our information on our presentation and setting up the route to share with the class.
I have found prezi to be such a beneficial resource to use in all of my Block A classes, and have since used it for two presentations. It is a very visually pleasing form of presentation that makes for a creative and fun way to share information with classmates. I had a great time in creating my groups Challenge Based Learning project!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Origional Google Map!

View My Favorite Places (Home Sweet Home) in a larger map

Practice Google Map

View Manhattan Kansas in a larger map

Podcast #10: Skyping in the Classroom

In this podcast, I learned about how Skype is being used in educational settings. Teachers are able to log in to an educational account and incorporate Skype with their students in the classroom. I think this is a wonderful tool to use in the classroom for many reasons. First of all, as an  ESL concentrated pre-service educator, I think that this would be such a neat tool fol CLD students to Skype with their family members, or even previous classroom in their native language. This would allow them to feel comfortable in the classroom and also give the other students a chance to get to know and appreciate their culture. Also, this could be a great tool for collaborative lessons with other schools in the district. For example, students could have a large discussion over a topic, or share files with other classes through Skype to complete assignments or projects. This is also a good way for different classes to do research based projects and share their findings through the use of Skype. I think that this is an extremely beneficial tool to use in the classroom.