Week Eight

Week eight discussed the ethical and security issues and their importance. How the users are using the security tools online to communicate and interact with others socially? The importance of equitable access in the use of technology resources for all students relays on the use of the ethical and security rules. People that are not cultured and not educated sufficiently to use technology are the ones more than likely to misuse technology. Since the technology offers variety of tools and services, it’s easy for people to find countless ways to harm and insult others, as well to waste their time. Reading the Netiquette rules for online communication made me realize simple things that I would overlook otherwise. I never thought about opening emails from unknown senders, I would open it out of curiosity and delete it afterwards, but what was rally behind the actual email? I will never know now. Also, when writing the email to someone I never think about the tone I use, and maybe the fact that the tone is not present or my intentions are never to hurt or insult anybody. I mainly write emails to get things done and strictly business, I am not addicted to using technology, but it’s nice to know how to use it effectively and wisely, and that is my purpose of using technology.

Most people today misuse technology for a toy; I think that is the problem with today’s society. Educational institutions are worried about students’ development in their classes due to misuses of technology. For instance, learners are using cellphones, playing games, and surfing on some pornographic web sites and other non-suitable sites during class. At work the other day principle came to my colleague asking if she knew how to track the inappropriate website appeared on the screen when he tried using one of the laptops that our students use. Now that is scary, but chances are that it was triggered by one of the students at school. This is the proof that we have to be extra cautious and careful when it comes to using technology at home, school, or public especially in educational settings. Parents are very judgmental of teachers, and they hold them accountable for most of their children’s inappropriate use of technology.  Some students even start using cellphones at the age of ten. This isn’t a bad thing because many parents are both working including my husband and me, and we have to leave our children with a babysitter, so they need a way to communicate with their parents or vice-verse. Nowadays, children not only want to have cellphones, but also prefer to have the latest version of it. If children do not have it, they might feel ashamed with their friends and prefer to leave their old-fashioned cellphone at home; my daughter sure felt this way before we got her a phone. More importantly, how do we take control and monitor these malfunctions for the safety of the future users and our students? We can follow the rules that Netiquette has in place or monitor the use closely, we don’t want to cause the users to react negatively by creating sudden or too many rules, because sometime whoever the users might be, they might act uncontrollably under pressure. As stated in the Netiquette article we need to be aware at all times that on the other side of that screen is another human with feelings and emotions just like you.

Most people say and think that the technology is responsible and it is not good for society. However, people have to understand that this is happening because of technology misuse. As a tool, technology do not do anything to threaten the society, it is people’s misuse of technology that threatens society. The fault is user’s lack of education and knowledge of the technology use, not the technology itself.

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Week Seven, YAHOO

Seventh week of class, we are almost there, YAHOO. I feel like we’ve learned so much in such a short period of time, but at the same time I feel very relieved.  This week I’ve read and explored about the  “BRAIN”, how much do we really know about such little word that carries so many functions including heart rate and physical functions to emotions, learning and memory.  It shapes our thoughts, hopes, dreams, imagination, and overall brain is what makes us humans. I really enjoyed reading www.dana.org foundation and the articles have so much information that I wouldn’t read on occasional note, but I am glad I did. I will have to make it a habit to read one every year at least. As Dr. Goldberg mentioned if we do not read at least one article a year about the brain how can we grow as educators. I really think she hit the jackpot with this one, just touching with the reality of the research and staying on top of brain development will make us grow better as educators and humans.

I explored so many web 2.0 tools, it was though choice but I decided to go with Storyit.com. Storyit.com is very interesting, fun and exciting tool to teach Pre-K and first grade alphabet, rhyming, sight word, basic story writing, writing poems, writing on shapes, sight word search, number words memory match, bulletin boards ideas, word games, kid’s photo shoot, seasonal themes and so much more. This web site is worth visiting and every minute spent gives you knew bright ideas to use in your classroom. The reason why I choose to go with website is because I have small group of first graders that are struggling with alphabet and sounds. English language is very new to them even though they been around it for some time, we are talking about first grade students. I decided to make lesson plan using stroyit.com for support to introduce a different approach to teach alphabet and sounds. It bothers me some that my district is not equipped with technology and not using it as much. For the past two weeks, or as I am learning more from this class I have been implementing technology more in my classroom. I have used technology at least three times a day, couple times a week with different groups. My students are more enthusiastic, engaged, excited, becoming self-thinkers in little tiny new ways, but that is a start. They can’t wait for next time to use technology, they are more self-driven and fascinated with what they can do using technology. I believe that using technology even for short amount of time helps motivate and keep students on task, it’s something they get to look forward to, and most importantly they are learning by having fun.

Now, back to my lesson; my lesson plan using storyit.com will be a two parts 30 minutes lesson plan about letters and sounds recognition, and using phonics and sight words to make sentences.  Also, the game that I am going to use allows me to pick a vowel as well; in this case I will pick short vowel /a/ and long vowel /i/. I only have 30 minutes with each group, so I want my lesson plan to be short and sweet, which will leave my students enthusiastic and pumped for next day instead breaking the lesson in the middle of the teaching and leave my students confused.

For this lesson I will need four laptops, pencils, worksheet for the letter they are working on and crayons. First, I get laptops ready, meaning put in the web site address which is storyit.com. Then, I instructed students to the game called the Word Magnets game, in this game students used the phonics and sight words to make sentences. To see how many sentences they can make about each picture. Unfortunately, students only got through one picture because of the time issue, but we will continue on to finish the lesson, next class.  I emphasized the importance on the letters and sounds that they are struggling with the most, in this case they are: C, K, H, Y and short vowel /a/ and long vowel /i/.  There are more letters but for this lesson I will use only these six letters.

They have also played the Word Magnets with a friend. One player places a word in the yellow rectangle. The next player builds the sentence by adding another word. I encouraged and praised them to use the words that start with the letters or include the vowels they have learned.  Students took turns adding words until they have written a good sentence, and then they did each copy the sentence on their worksheets. After writing two to four sentences they drew and colored a picture to go with the letters and sentence that we have learned.

A Kid´s Photo is a kid safe stock photo website. Our photo collection is packed with flowers, animals, scenic and object photos. Not to mention the games and puzzles for some added fun for everyone! This website is awesome. I love pictures and I use pictures whenever appropriate and when lesson allows. You know what they say “Picture is worth thousands words”, isn’t that the truth. All of the photos and images are royalty free which makes this a great resource for students, teachers and a general educational image library for all your educational needs.

Personal projects, classroom projects, greeting cards or whatever the need – they have a photo for you. Take some time to stop and view the roses and the other hundreds of photos in this collection.

Children’s Literature is another great collection of some of the best in classical children’s literature including stories, folk tales, fables, poems, and rhymes. Some are posted to be read online, some are lightly illustrated, some have separate printable pages, some have pages to be printed in color and some have interactivity. But they’re all made available to enjoy. These are all great to be used in the classroom and the students will have awesome time exploring them.

I feel very good about this week. It’s been very productive and everything we explored and learned so far it’s coming all together. As much relieved I feel, I will miss this class and you guys. Thanks for being great audience and classmates. ENJOY

Week Six

New technologies and technology applications are introduced into classrooms on daily basis with the 21st technology world. Web Quests, however, are a technology application that have been used in classrooms around the world for years. This week learning about the webquest more deeply made me realize the importance using a webquests in the classroom, but on the contrary I am scared how effectively to use them to enhance students learning. As educators we have to make sure that we are applying the content that needs to be thought effectively and that webquest indeed enhance our student’s learning.
WebQuests are an Internet-based technology application in which groups of students follow a specific set of steps toward the completion of a final project on a specific subject according to Dodge, 1997.

This week has been very interesting one. I have learned about how to create a webquests. I do feel little bit better about using and utilizing the content more clearly for my students when creating webquest. I really did enjoy this week assignments.  Webquest is a great tool for collaboration, self-thinkers, motivation, to build problem solving and decision making skills.

I decided to create my webquest about traveling and learning about other countries. Countries that I have chosen are where my students come from. Little do these students know about their own country, most of then were born here, so I decided to create a webquest were I assigned partners and they travel to each other country. I provided list of questions that I wanted them to concentrate on and keep their notes neatly organized.  They are to create a poster for their final step, and present it on the International Night at our school for parents and staff. I thought that this would be great way for the students to learn about each other and learn what they had to leave and start all over in some strange country. Creating webquest is not hard once you learn how to do it, and that took me a while. I found my self more than once where I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, it really took some time to finally get it, and still I don’t think that I done great job. Here is the link for my web-quest:

http://questgarden.com/151/93/2/121124220304/, enjoy.

All of the technology tools so far are very time consuming, I have been trying to tell my self otherwise, but even with this week being very short, I found that it was difficult to complete all assignments on time. In general, I truly believe that schools are lacking proper training and tools on how to effectively use and integrate technology into the curriculum. As the schools move forward , every professional in the district must engage with other administrators and teachers in ongoing exploration of this 21st technology world for the better of our students and their learning.

Week Five

Overall, this week has been interesting and productive. I have learned communication tools available for teachers to use in a classroom including visual literacy, techsmith.com, Glogster.com, Math Dictionary for Kids, Edmodo.com, Prezi.com, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and Spicynodes.org.  These are great tools to have in the classroom and to implement in the instruction to enhance student’s learning. Integrating technology tools into instruction can help to reduce curriculum barriers and improve learning for all students. Teachers are struggling every day to find new approaches to improve students learning, but I see less and less of the twenty first century technology tools being used in the classroom today. There are numerous types of tools that can effectively enhance students learning.

This week I have learned about Visual Literacy in a way that I have never been thought before. Very interesting and advanced way of teach the communication and critical skills. I simply love it.

http://www.youtube.com/education?b=400

This technology tool is more familiar to people as “You Tube” than anything else. My seven year old even refers to you tube when he wants to listen to the song from Justin Bibber or watch funny video. I never knew that there existed You Tube specifically for education. This alone shows how little I knew about technology, but thanks God I took this course. There is a video to support any lesson or subject thought. I found great videos about Thanksgiving that I used in my classroom to teach my students how it became national holiday, they loved it, that next day they were asking if we were going to watch some more. Videos inspire students and keep them interested. This is great way for student to stay focused on the task and fun way to learn. The title of the video is “History of Thanksgiving Day” check it out, it great. I didn’t know what to do with my students for two days before we left for thanksgiving break, and I thought of this web site. After they watched this video, I had them write in journals what are they thankful for, and we made turkeys for hands-on activity and illustrated a picture to go with their writing, thanks http://www.youtube.com/education?b=400   this is ideal for classroom purposes.

Videos offer a means to contextualize curriculum content and instruction across the curriculum. For example, video can be used to anchor mathematics instruction to an authentic context. That is, video can be used to present to students a real-world context within which mathematical problem-solving can then be found. Video based instruction can similarly be applied to contextualize instruction in other content areas. These approaches are valuable in helping to engage and motivate students, in providing students with alternatives to content, and in supporting differences in related knowledge. As I said before, videos are great tools to zest and spice up instruction in any subject area.

Check out the following web sites on interesting topics and ideas for education.

www.pbs.org/inthemix/educators/fant_real.html

This web site got my attention because, I believe there are so many issues about self-esteem, obesity, and self-images, which needs to be addressed and are driving, are teens to lose control as they strive to be something they are not. People really need to love themselves for who they are and what they are, because God created us all as one, EQUAL, to be treated with humanity and respect that we are expecting in return.

http://plpnetwork.com/2012/05/15/flipping-blooms-taxonomy/

Another one of my favorites this week is Bloom’s Taxonomy. In Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, verbs are used rather than nouns to express the concept. The revised taxonomy begins with the word remembering before moving to understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating. I think that Bloom’s Taxonomy is great guide for teachers to follow in their classroom; however I realize that “Flipped Bloom’s Taxonomy” would be more effective in the classroom. I say this because, the first level of taxonomy is remembering followed by understanding, and I think that these two would work much better if they are flipped, I can’t remember something unless I completely understand it. Therefore, I found a chart of flipped Bloom’s Taxonomy, and how effectively can be applied in the classroom. I believe that flipped taxonomy would be more effective because teacher would have more time to spend applying and understanding the content rather than reviewing and delivering it. Take a look at the chart and check out the web site above, and you can see what I mean.

Week Four

 It is obvious that in today’s classrooms’ a clear disconnect between the students that are accustomed to using technology in the classroom and the students who are not exposed to it. They predominantly use technology only within the classroom. Students could be spending abundant amounts of their free time socializing, shopping, and even studying on the Internet, if they had the accesses to the technology. Students would learn to manipulate with these tools more effectively and be engaged in their own leaning process. That’s why I think this week explorations and learning really exposed us to the world of sound, images and videos more willingly, that would make our classroom come to life, and create more exciting environment. I will definitely use every chance to implement technology and use within my instruction, so that my students don’t get behind in technology world.  

This week I have learned some amazing things about different technology tools including the TED videos, PowerPoint, and Technology Exoploroatins. TED videos are great tool to be used in the classroom. I never had a chance to look it these before I think that these are awesome.  

The presentation that I have created and presented to my third grade group was on the story “Tops and Bottoms”. My students get very excited about a new story for the week, and they get interactive and engaged in the presentation when we go through the vocabulary words. This is because they get to say each word as it appears on the screen and choose the right one to complete the fill in the blank sentence following the word. I am proud of the whole presentation because they respond positively and stay on the task throughout the presentation.

This week explorations were fun and exciting. My favorite is Xtranormal because it turns any writing into a movie or a video. I believe that my students would enjoy using this tool; they would act as movie producers, and then later share it with friends and family. I love to use technology in my instruction, but I am limited due to the space, tools needed, supplies and time. In my facility, I have formed a small classroom in the back of the library, but I do not have a computer at my desk. However I do have access to laptops for students and computer lab when not in use. Regardless of all the obstacles I try my best to use what I have and with the tools that I have. There is nothing that will stop me from finding new methods and strategies to effectively manage the instruction in my classroom that will enhance the students learning, because I am teacher at heart.

 

Week Three

This week I have learned about the DTP including Microsoft Word Processing, and I have found that Word Processing is number one program used all over the world.  It not unanticipated, I found it that it is multitasking program for almost any project or assignment.

I have learned great deal about Bloom’s Taxonomy that I will create a chart of Bloom’s taxonomy levels of thinking and put it on the wall in my classroom starting this Monday.  We all want to improve our student’s higher level of thinking; Bloom’s Taxonomy is the way to go.

Exploring the Technology Explorations I have learned about different kinds of tools that can be implemented in the instruction, that are fun and easy tools to enhance learning and teaching in the classroom.

DTP is new for me. I never used it before. It sounds fun tool to t. It would have made my life much easier, but it’s never too late. I will take advantage of it now and use it to make my instruction more significant, effective, creative, and fun.  I collaborate with third grade teacher, and she is awesome and very inspirational. Her weekly letter that I contributed little bit to it is creation of her class. The letter is composed of highlights of current and the following week, reminders, tip and ideas for parents to help children reinforce what they have learned, and what they will be learning.  The letter contains few pictures, and bold and big font letters for the title. If I was to change anything, I would make it look more appealing and stress more importance and significance of it. As a parent I get these all the time and to be honest I do not read every one of them. I read first one, and then if I see something appealing or different then I might read it. Knowing this, as a parent and teacher, I will create something different every week, to make it look more significant and more fun to read. Maybe different color paper, bigger font, or even put it in bold and putting some color overall. Teachers need to place more emphasis and significance on the weekly letters by encouraging parents to read them whenever they get the chance. This will keep parents more involved in student’s learning and what is going on in their school.

Weekly Letter for Week Three

Exploring the technologies I have learned about so many devices and tools that can be implemented into the instruction including Webquests, ReadTheWords, Zoho, and PowerTalk.

I have to say PowerTalk is my favorite. It can be used effectively by teachers and students. Students would be more engaged and aware of their learning. It reminds me of Class DOJO, the Behavior Management Software tool that helps keep the students alert and on the task.

All these tools that I have learned this week will help to keep my students engaged in intellectually challenging and real-world learning experiences.  As an educator I have consistently tried to raise my performance levels and meet the expectations of school administrators and my colleagues, and I hope to pass that on to my students.  I will strive even more to successes in order meet the needs of my students, because teachers have the power to open student’s minds to new experiences. With the help of the new and improved technology tools students are empowered to take responsibility of their own learning when used wisely.

Week Two

This week I have learned about Databases, Spreadsheets, Wikis, Photopachs, Animatos to enhance my daily instruction and planning. Databases and spreadsheets are essential for the school setting for planning and organization of important related data and information. Higher-level thinking skills require students to analyze and synthesize. Therefore, spreadsheets can be valuable tools for organizing data and creating graphical images to make the data easier to understand.

I am little embarrassed to say that I have realized this week how little I know about the world of technology, but I believe that I am on a journey to change that. I am all about learning new thing, but then again isn’t life just that.

The video “Harness Your Student’s’ Digital Smarts” shows what technology can do if used effectively, and how can be implemented in our classrooms. I love Mrs. Davis’ enthusiasm; it is extremely inspirational, self-driven and motivational. I love her philosophy that every child can learn; my philosophy is quite similar; I believe that every child is capable of learning, if provided the right tools. I hope to gain this kind of passion about the technology by the time I start to teach.

This week was very overwhelming for me. The more I got to learn about the technology and visit all these websites, the more I got confused. There is enormous load of information to be used and incorporated into the classroom, but there is no time. Time is very valuable in classroom, teachers have to be ready to shift the gear between the activates in snap and if not, teachers end up taking work home to complete. Teachers do not have a great deal of spare time at school to get certain things done so they may need to work at home more frequently. Students may need to take laptops home in order to get their assignments done if they do not have access to a computer at their own homes. Organization, right resources including technology and planning is the essential key to teaching.

The purpose of the technology is to incorporate technology tools into the classroom, to increase the learning and interests of students. Many of the teacher at the school where I work do not use technology; they can get by without it and teach their lesson, they do not know how to use it, and most of all the teachers backed down from it because it just too much. As a future educator I will use technology in my classroom, but it has to have its limitations.

My goal in this class is to make my myself knowledgeable and pass the knowledge to my students. We are living in the digital age, and it doesn’t matter how much we like or hate technology, we have to try and adapt to it, or our students will miss out on it.