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!

My Final Prezi

Although I’m still getting used to Prezi, this is my final project for the technology module of Intro to Writing Arts. It has to deal with web2.0 and the abilty it has for networking and expanding our connections. Also, it deals with the future of writing and some apps we used in the class. Play it on autoplay at 10 seconds. Make sure it’s not anything else, or else it’ll look ridiculous. You can check it out here or the link is also posted below. I hope you enjoy.

 

http://prezi.com/plkm64xxf4dd/narration-for-intro-to-writing-arts/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

 

Yes. It’s finally done.

 

Thanks for watching it!

Welcome Scrutiny

Recently, Amy McKeever, tweeted an article “How Opening Up Classroom Doors Can Push Education Forward” by Katrina Schwartz. She says that opening our classrooms to the public allows for the best possible education for our students. It’s impossible to be perfect and opening our classrooms brings in other perspectives and opinions on the best course of action. Parents, students, other teachers, and administration can all be of help in tweaking practices to meet the ever changing needs of students. Schwartz says “by welcoming a variety of voices into a discussion about what drives powerful learning experiences, and why certain teaching practices work and others don’t, the process becomes participatory. Everyone shares the responsibility for changing a system that matters to the future of the country.”

Check out this video on opening our classroom’s doors

Allowing the public to be part of our classrooms brings a sense of community from the classroom outwards. Instead of being a learning community solely within the doors of our classrooms we can extend the community to parents, other teachers, and even the administration. To produce the most effective classroom, using tips and advice from outside the classroom is a must.

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openclassroom

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Collaborative Learning in the 21st Century

As I have been saying in my previous blogs, learning is not the same. I cannot stress this enough. Many people think being a teacher is easy because we have all had the opportunity to observe teachers everyday for over 12 years. This is not the case. We can, however, use these experience to grow and adapt with our learners.

Collaborative learning has become all the craze within the last decade. Teachers are realizing the importance of group work and encourage collaborative activities. How can we use technology and  collaborative learning? The Multi-Touch table is a perfect way to use collaborative learning in the 21st century.

How can we use a Multi-Touch table in our classrooms?

In his article, Collaborative Learning on Touchtables: Engaging Students with Group Work, Daniel Tomasini shares the collaborative advantages a touchtable or multi-touch table has to offer. I found this article in a tweet shared by Amanda Yacovelli. A multi-touch table is not merely a larger tablet. A tablet is for individual use while a multi-touch table is designed to be used by a whole group. This allows for students to work together on a project or activity all being able to contribute while using the advantages technology has to offer and students maintain engaged in their learning.

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Apps for Teachers

The world is changing right before our eyes. Things that once were are no longer in existence. Gary Layton tweeted an article that Bianca Bosker wrote for the Huffington Post.  In her article she talks about this. In the last decade things like the VCR, phone booths, and many more have become obsolete.  If the world is constantly changing it only makes sense that the people are changing. More importantly this means that our students are changing. It is our responsibility to facilitate the learning in any way that reaches our students.

Check out this inspirational video about changing for our learners

 

IPads, and other tablets have become a huge trend in our country. Children can often work them before even reading. Tablets offer a variety of applications that can be used in many ways to facilitate learning with our students. Educational Technology & Mobile Learning’s article A Round-Up of 12 Educational Ipad Apps for Teachers provides a list applications and what they are do that are educational and useful for teachers use in the classroom.

1. Creative Kids

2. Audio Notebook 

3. Lets Be Social

4. The Love Book

5. Daisy the Dinosaur 

6. TheDesign Museum 

7. Color Uncovered

8. Touch Van Gogh 

9. Bubble Pop Multiplication

10. Puppet Workshop

11. Draw Your Stories

12.Disney American Presidents

Technology should be used as an advantage. Instead of banning these things from school we need to embrace them. Use them to our advantage. A game that educates and entertains is more effective.  As a future teacher I plan to always adapt my lessons to my learners and to use a variety of teaching methods including technologies and other ares of strengths of my students and I hope that all teachers do so as well. Our growing students will continue to grow far beyond we could have ever imagined. And after all, children are the future.

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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.

Classroom technology through the years

While doing research on education and technology I ran across this really cool video. It shows how technology has advanced and how it’s been used and continues to be used in the classrooms.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFwWWsz_X9s

I smiled and nodded the whole time watching it. I can relate to most of it from the seat of the student. The teachers who taught me used some of the technology to conduct lessons in class. Today’s technology far surpasses what was used in classrooms in the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. As a teacher, classrooms are now supplied with computers, laptops, ipads and smartphones. So I was totally surprised Spring 2013 semester when I took Child Development and the professor teaching the class used an overhead projector  for the students to take notes. He refused to use email or black board. In this day of modern day technology I must admit, we were all a bit stunned and slightly annoyed. Being from the era of constant note taking, the whole thing was very familiar to me. However, my classmates sighed loudly each time the professor used the overhead  to lecture and demanded the students take notes. Surprisingly, no one complained.

Is Technology Evolving Education

Technology undoubtedly, has offered great improvements to education. In fact, perhaps technology and education are similes. I’m sure Jason Silva would think so. Technology and Education are ever evolving, the tools we use define the way we think and experience the world. Education is a technology, an individualized recording of human experiences that rely on the technology of books and experience to presumably prepare for a future.

If children in a classroom engage with their teacher with an iPad , will their work truly become more organized as the teachers suggest or is it just as easily lost in the digital world as stuffed in-between books in their desk? What other affects of overexposure to screen time can occur, ADHD? Or even not as extreme as labeling it- ADHD, how about the skill of developing slow cognitive thought?

I don’t question the use of some technology and exposure to technology, like in Art class if you don’t ever take out the fancy oil paints you never understand that medium. Or in the culinary world if you never use an ingredient or it’s cousin how can you prepare it without a really clear recipe. But the immersion of students into total technology feels wrong to me. Digital Technology can teach us many things but the process of learning needs to be multi-modal. I don’t want to raise children who can program software but can’t count apples in the grocery. Technology needs to enhance our education, release our minds from mindless tasks to create greater higher level thinking ideas, but first we all must learn fundamental life skills.

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Have we gone too far perhaps in a few years we will provide educators with the tool to read student’s thoughts.