Final Project, Prezi

Through a one of my current classes, we’ve explored the variety of technology within writing and how it has evolved. For the final, we were assigned to create a prezi that showcased our final product and pulled everything that we had learned together. Although, this is my first time using prezi, I’m pretty impressed with how it turned out. Watch the video with auto play at 20 seconds, so you’re able to following along with the pictures as it correlates with the narrative. To watch the prezi please click here. Thank you for watching!

Variety within Twitter

I have always had a twitter, but I don’t think I’ve ever used it to its full capacity until recently. I’ve always just used it as a way to communicate with friends and keep up with their lives as we all have started to separate onto different paths. Recently, I have learned to engage with the many professionals in my field around me. I have started to follow them, as well as having some of them follow me in return.
Through this I was able to read some of the incredible posting they put out on twitter. As an education major, I have followed many people within that field. They have put out ideas that not only are interesting to read, but I keeps me up to date with the advances in education.
For example, I started to follow MaryAnne, @mamasmiles. She is currently a stay at home mom, but has the background of a masters in education. Besides tweeting, she also has her own website, which is mamasmiles.com. Through her twitter, I have viewed countless ideas that she has posted. They’re educational and allow for the children to engage within the actives, as well as learn.
I tweeted her myself and expressed to her that I was extremely impressed with what she has posted and for my future classroom, I hope to be able to use some of those ideas. She was gracious enough to tweet me back and express that she was glad that I was enjoying them.
Through twitter I’ve learned that it is not only for socializing, but it is a tool that I can use for my future career.

Google Science Fair

google fair
Through viewing feedly I stumbled upon an article about the 2014 Google Science Fair. In this fair, students are asked to submit their experiments online. This alone is a great way for students to carry out their tests and feel that they have a way to share it with others. It probes them to come up with different or interesting ideas and find a solution to answer their questions.

Another great part about the Google Science Fair is that it also has a component called the idea springboard. In this they are able to plug in what they love to do or are interested in and the springboard gives them videos and websites to view. I can relate to every year as a younger student being assigned the project of having to complete an experiment for the science fair. Every year I had no idea what I wanted to do. I would search tons of sites and keep looking for different ideas with hopes that one would spark my interest.

idea_springboard

The springboard allows students to be given things that they are actually interested in. They have the option to put in a topic, place, or thing and have ideas that revolve around what they picked. I wish I knew of this in school because I could have picked topics that I really enjoyed instead of just using something I settled for.

This science fair also offers a section for teachers to view as well. So it’s a place that can be given to the students for help, but can also be used by the teacher, too. In this section teachers are given lesson plans that they are able to use. It guides the students through the process of experiments and ideas in science. This is helpful to first time teachers, who are new to teaching a class in science and need an extra help. It’s also good for the teachers who have been doing it for long periods of time and need extra inspiration and ideas to teach the class.

Negatives of Technology in Classrooms

Through viewing feedly and other social networks I originally thought that all technology in the classroom was a positive, but I realized I was wrong when I viewed this article. It’s not necessarily a negative, but there are some things that need to be watched out for so the technology stays strictly educational and nothing more.
For example, when students are given technology with internet access it needs to be monitored so that the students aren’t using it to go on social media. If they have internet access, it can appear as if they’re engaging in the lesson, but that they’re clearly doing anything but that. In addition to social media, the students could also be gaming. They could find alternate game sites and again not be paying attention.
It is handy that technology is portable and able to be used in a classroom. It’s important to make sure that every portable item is accounted for before and after class. Due to its portability, it could be removed by the students and no longer available for classroom education.
Not only can it be taken, but the technology could be inadvertently damaged. Sometimes accidents do occur, but the proper measures should be taken before this happens, such as having insurance. Students can be watched constantly as they’re using the devices, but it only takes a second for an accident to happen.
These are only a few of the possible negatives that could occur by using the tablets in classrooms. Although we want to expand how children learn and increase their knowledge, it’s important to know the risks of using the technology. Only if the teacher is completely aware of the pros and cons, then are they fully able to prepare for class accordingly.

Virtual Field Trips

google earth
I found this article through Lauren Leonard when she tweeted this article. This article was more of how to actually use the technology in classrooms and less of the effects that technology can have on education. It discussed how teachers can use Google earth and make a virtual field trip for the students. Not only is it free, but it’s easily accessible, so any teacher can use it.
Through the field trip there are constant pop-ups with information. The students aren’t just seeing what is there, but they’re being given additional information as well. It’s almost like they are walking around with a tour guide. An example is shown below. It gives the students something to discuss as well as having them complete an activity with what they just learned and saw.

google earth trip
This is an extremely great example of teachers becoming creative and using the technology right around them. I can remember as a young student playing around in Google earth. It was more like a game of finding your house and seeing what it looks like. I never would have imagined that it could be turned into something that was educational. Everything can be used for more than one purpose.
I can also relate this to a current class that I’m enrolled at in Rowan University. It is a second part of a teaching course and within this course it’s all virtual experiences in classrooms. In the first part of the teaching course the students are physically in a classroom with children and the second part students are in their own classroom virtually watching children in their classrooms. It’s an example that these virtual experiences aren’t just being used for the lower grades, but also at college level.
This can also be a great tool for those schools that are not fortunate enough to be able to afford field trips, but have the access to a computer. They’re still able to give their students the sensation of going to a different location without actually being there.

Professional Image

Today, everyone is using social media online, but not everyone has the appropriate image. Nathan Chandler wrote an article called 10 Tips for Maintaining a Professional Image Online. I found this article through viewing fellow students in #tfws14 when they tweeted #tfebt. He gives tips on how to keep online materials, but keep them professional. It’s understandable that one’s life doesn’t revolve around work and professionals are allowed to have a personal life as well, but that doesn’t allow for any professional to have inappropriate social media.
I believe students should be more educated about social media while they are young and just beginning to experiment with multiple social networks. This is usually where mistakes can begin to form. Once something is posted, it is available for the world to see. It is public and anyone is able to look that up and connect it back to whoever posted it. When children first start using social media, they don’t realize the repercussions that can happen later on, so it would be more effective if they were given this knowledge earlier.
If they were educated on how to properly use the many media facets, then they would think twice before posting inappropriate things. Now I’m not saying that schools should push for their students to have social networks, but they should be educated on both the positive and negative effects on someone’s professional life. Usually the students focus on posting more of the negative and inappropriate things because they could consider it “cool”. The focus should be shifted to showing positive aspects of what social networks can do. That doesn’t necessarily mean that students will begin to connect with professionals and start interacting and begin their own connections, but it does give them the idea that the same site they’re posting unprofessional materials on will be the same site that future employers will use.
Keep the younger generations educated on how to maintain proper professional accounts and this could positively impact them in the future!

Do You Edit?

Erin Feldman, the founder of Write Right, wrote an article called 5 Things to Do before Approaching an Editor. I found this article through Maggie Goncerz on her twitter post. Personally, I have no interest in writing my own work and submitting it to an editor, at least no interest as of now, but when reading this article it listed a lot of valuable tips that everyone should take into consideration. She starts the article by saying there isn’t nothing like handing in a paper to one’s professor in college, which caught my attention immediately.
Why is it that handing in a college paper isn’t automatically considered something to take very seriously? Being in college now, I’ve spoken with fellow students and some of them have vocalized their own writing habits. Usually they are polar opposite and some will either have the paper done in advance or they’ll be up all night the night before it’s due. For the students that complete their homework the night before it’s due, the following questions come to mind: Did you receive good grades? Was the paper written to your best ability?
Yes, it is possible to receive decent grades while writing them last minute, but it isn’t always the case. The paper being completed the night before usually isn’t completed with the student’s best ability. By that time of night, you’re tired and just want the paper to be done. This is where I believe Feldman’s tips can help!
Although she is discussing a more professional piece of writing, I believe they can also help to improve a student’s writing as well. A couple suggestions are to use one’s best ability when revising, and be ready to have someone else read it. Revision is excellent because some mistakes can be made and without revisions the student will have points deducted due to those mistakes that could have been easily avoided. Also, when anyone is writing a paper they can usually tell by the time they’ve completely finished if it’s either something they’re really proud of or just handing in. Writing should be more than just something anyone has to do. Writing should be a time to construct a paper that one is extremely proud of and wants to share with the world.

Multipurpose Social Media

insta
When I was younger and in school, I can remember cellphones becoming the most exciting thing to own.  Everyone wanted one and was constantly begging their parents to purchase one for them.  Once everyone finally purchased one we all realized we weren’t allowed to have them in school.  They needed to be turned off and put away.

Recently I’ve visited one of my teachers and observed her classroom.  She had an open invitation to come and visit anytime, so one day I decided to take her up on it.  While she was lecturing in classes, I noticed almost half of the students trying to be sneaky and use their cellphone hidden  in their purse, or under their books, or in their pockets, and the list goes on and on.  This caused me to do some research with all of the social media that is out there now.

One of the most popular is instagram.  Maryalene LaPonsie posted an article called Picture This: 5 Ways Teachers Can Use Instagram in the Classroom.  This article found different ways to incorporate instagram into the classroom.  A couple of the ideas she listed were assigning photo-essays or having them use the pictures on instagram as a writing prompt.  These are simple tasks that are both enjoyable for the students and educational.  Not only can this allow the students to become more engaged, but it makes it easier on the teacher.  It’s easier to assign a photo assignment, then for instance, having the students all write papers.  Not only does the teacher have to grade all of them, which can be time consuming, but the students will most likely hate the work involved in it.

As long as the school approves of students using their cellphones during class, it is an excellent way to utilize the social media that the majority of students love to use!

Evolution of Technology

J. D. Bolter wrote both Introduction: Writing in the late ages and Writing as Technology.  Within those articles he discussed the evolution of technology and how print is becoming obsolete, while technology is growing constantly.  Bolter (2001) stated, “Electronic technology provides a range of new possibilities, whereas the possibilities of print seem to have been played out.”  Within referring to my earlier years of school it was apparent that the only form of gaining knowledge was through books.  If anyone wanted to know anything they would have to pick up a book and read about it.  As the years progress it’s now obvious that technology has become a prominent role in everyday life.  For example, if one wants to research something or learn about something further, they could simple search at the nearest computer or even their phone.  They no longer need to go to a library and search for books on the topic, because there is plenty of information on the internet.  This shows that the technology has become more of a convenience and print as more of hassle.

The possibilities for what technology could become even further are endless.  Possibilities of what the school system, for example, could be seen through their textbooks.  Now textbooks are being offered on iPads, tablets, kindles, and other electronic devices.  As technology continues to grow it could turn from every student having to purchase textbooks to every student needs to download this particular book on their device.  This would make no reason for there to be print, because everything that’s in print is now being offered at an easier convenience, which is digitally.

When reading Bolter’s articles he discusses that not only has printing evolved into technology, but it’s also turned into different types of media as well.  Bolter (2001) stated, “Throughout the 20th century, print has engaged in contests of remediation with photography, film, and television.”  This not only shows the growth of what it has become thus far, but instead it shows the continual development.  It is now expanding into different forms of media, that anyone is able to access.  This allows the knowledge to be spread universally.

The words that were expressed only through print, at one point in time, are now able to be spread through multiple ways.  This does not make print obsolete, but it has the capability to.  If children grow up to only learn to use electronics to access information then they will only go through technology to find information in the future.  This provides the future to probe questions about where print will be and what will happen to it.  As a college student, I was able to grow up with using textbooks, so that is still what I’m comfortable with, but I also became acclimated with technology so for searching information I tend to use the internet first.  It’s a balancing act between what technology was and where it’s going.