Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Delicious


During class today there was a presentation on a social bookmarking network called Delicious. We got the opportunity to make our own personal Delicious page and I really like it. My favorite part of Delicious is that the bookmarks you create are not stuck on one computer - they are accessible at any computer all the time. I can definitely see using this in my future classroom. I could have my students create their own personal Delicious page and I could tell them what websites to put on that page. Then during a computer center time I could just tell my students to go to their Delicious page and choose an educational website to play on. I could also see using it as a teacher to organize all of the educational websites you come upon either by subject (elementary) or by class section (middle school/high school). This could prevent loosing good websites and a great way to keep them all organized. I'm excited to start using Delicious in my personal and professional life! :o)


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Zotero




After using Zotero briefly in class today I really think it is a great source. I really like that it captures all of the bibliographic information because I know that I struggle finding all of that on a website especially. I think that implementing this in a classroom would be great and I think it would make researching and studying more fun for students. I like that its a hands-on resource for students to use that would really encourage using outside sources for projects, papers, etc. It is a little bit complicated at first but after watching a view tutorials and playing around with it, it becomes much easier to navigate.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Twitter - Straw Poll


A few of my classmates just did a presentation on Twitter. In all honesty, I didn't really get the point of Twitter at first, I didn't see much application for it in the classroom and it actually seemed a little egotistical for me. However after the presentation I am opening up to the idea...a little. I went out and searched for some applications that could be used in the classroom and to my surprise there were quite a few. I found one in particular that I like and it is call Straw Poll. This is where someone can create and answer polls on Twitter. I thought this would be a great way to start a unit about graphing and collecting data. Students could post a poll on Twitter about either a specified topic or one of their choosing and then analyze their data and present it to the class. Overall, I am not entirely sold on the concept of Twitter in the classroom but I do see some possible benefits and applications. But do the benefits outweigh the possible negatives? I'm not sure...

Monday, March 30, 2009

If I had another million dollars...

I thought I would add to my last post. Matt and I have been working hard to complete our ideal classroom scenario project and here are some points that we have looked at along the way...

1) Describe the topic of your Ideal Classroom Project.
The two units that Matt and I decided to work on were life science and earth science. The life science unit that we decided to focus on was about plants and the earth science unit was astronomy.

2) Why did you select that topic and what did you hope to create?
We decided on those two units because we thought we could create a really good classroom environment for both of them by implementing all types of technology. It's important to foster creativity and learning in the classroom and we pictured a lot of those things when focusing on two different science units.

3) Describe the thinking and creation process that you used to create your final project.
We really had to go outside of the box for this project. Our main focus was fostering student learning so all of our ideas came from that idea. We knew we would need to reach all types of learners so all of our ideas came from addressing the needs or those learners.

4) How did you use technology to collaborate with your team partners?
Matt and I used Google Docs to share our information. We had an Excel sheet that organized our information and we also collaborated ideas on a document page. This seemed to be very helpful especially when we were working on it over Spring Break and when I was in West Des Moines for my practicum week.

5) Explain at least one barrier that you confronted while completing the project.
One barrier was definitely listing and pricing all of the items in our classroom. I think we also struggled with why we had to price the items if we have an unlimited budget.

6) Explain what you learned from this project? This could include topic material, group work, etc.
I learned that in order to create an "ideal classroom" it would require a lot of money. It is important that in a realistic classroom situation a teacher should be creative and resourceful with what he/she has available. You can create a positive learning environment with or without an endless amount of funds...even though having an endless amount of funds is a lot more fun! :)

7) Any final words that you might have about the project or the process.
I thought that this was an interesting project. Although it is not really practical or applicable in real life it was a lot of fun to think about. Maybe teachers will have this luxury someday in the future.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

If I had a million dollars...

In my computer classroom applications class we are currently working on an assignment that allows us to create an "ideal classroom". We have unlimited funds and we even get to choose how large our classroom is! I am excited about this assignment - I would be even more excited if we could apply it in our future classrooms! :o) I think I would start with different stations in my classroom. I would definitely have a podcasting station where students can create and produce there own podcast and then post it on the web. In this station I would have a high quality microphone, laptop, several sets of headphones and places for them to have scripts and other needs. The next station that I would have would be a guided reading station. I would have a kidney shaped table with eight chairs so I can have a varying amount of students for guided reading. I would have a smaller Promethean interactive whiteboard that I would use to encourage conceptual learning within the small reading groups. In the front on the room I would have an Elmo, another larger Promethean and a book shelf with a large variety of different digital books.

More to come...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Building my Professional Portfolio

As I continue to build onto my professional portfolio the biggest obstacle I find is choosing which artifacts to add under each standard. Although all of the standards are incredibly important I have been really focusing on the third standard which is instructional planning. The standard is "the practitioner plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, curriculum goals, and state curriculum models. The three artifacts that I have decided to include in this particular standard are my Level II Teacher Work Sample, a student interview that I did for my Level I experience and an in-depth lesson plan that I also created for my Level I experience.

I believe that my teacher work sample shows my ability to base my instruction on the personal needs of the children. Within my TWS I have two case studies of two different students. I describe each student in detail and give instructional implications of each student. I believe that if any of my future employers were to read through my TWS they would know immediately that I am competent in planning my instruction around my students' needs.

The student interview is an interview that I did with four individual students. Within this interview I was able to recognize which developmental stage each student was at and why I believed him or her to be at that specific stage. This will show my future employers that I am able to classify students developmental stage and also my students' cognitive abilities.

My Level I lesson plan that I created briefly says what I will do during the lesson and the rest of the paper describes the physical layout of the classroom, teacher-centered instruction, student-centered instruction, different modes of learning, modifications for special need students and gifted students, and assessments. Future employers will be able to read through this lesson plan and realize my ability to create and break down lesson plans while addressing all curriculum needs as well as student needs.

My professional portfolio is only half done right now however I take a lot of pride in it! I am looking forward to having a complete paper portfolio and then creating an e-portfolio. I really like to look through it to see the progress that I have made as a pre-service teacher and hope to be able to add a lot to this portfolio as I continue throughout my teaching career!

More to come...