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!

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

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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.

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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.

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.

President Obama Commits to Education Technology

Going to school and getting a good education is way different now than when I was a child. In the classrooms we used pen, paper and text books. When we  were assigned a homework project or a research paper to do, we went to the library. We used newspapers, encyclopedias and other books to gather information to use to complete the assignment. 30 years later it’s way different. Computers, laptops, ipads and other technological devices are being used to teach children in the classrooms.

Realizing that students in the United States are behind students in other countries, President Obama announced on February 04, 2014 that nearly $3billion dollars will be used to close this technology gap in the schools between American children and those in other countries and nations. He’s hoping to use technology to help with education students in public schools from K-12.  He also wants to expand broadband access and wireless internet. Obama wants technology to help students to become doctors, lawyers, scientist, business leaders and engineers. Don’t worry the tax payers will not be footing the $3billion dollar price tag.

The Federal Communications Commission and several private technology companies are also interested in closing the gap between American children and children in other countries. Companies such as Microsoft, who has committed to $1billion dollars. Microsoft will provide devices for all public schools K-12 and offer 12 million copies of Microsoft office free to students at qualifying low income schools. Apple is pledging $100 million worth of ipads, math books and other educational tools that will help children in public schools learn via technology. A T & T will also spend $100 million to provide middle school students with free internet on the educational devices that they use for three years. Sprint will offer free wireless to high school students from low income families for four years. Apple, Microsoft & Verizon will give a combined $750 million to provide free and discounted digital education to schools across the country. As a teacher I can’t help but pray that the schools in Camden be fortunate enough to receive some of the technology and educational devices.

“In a country where we expect to get free wi-fi with our coffee we should definitely demand it in our schools.” Obama said.

The Presidents also understands that no technology can replace a good teacher, he wants to make sure that all teachers are trained in how to use the technology to educate students. I understand this to the fullest. As a teacher and future daycare owner, I am learning how to use technology to educate myself and I am looking forward to using it to teach the little ones that come into my facility. To assist with this over the next few years Verizon will be giving $100 million in cash to help the develop teachers learn how to make the best use of the technology so that they will be educating the children not the old fashion way with books, pens and paper but using technology.

Field Trips in a Tech Savy Classroom

Like, Education Technology and Mobile Learning’s,step by step Guide to Creating a Virtual Field Trip Using Google Earth, this video shows how to bring the world to our students when we can’t bring our students to the world. Whether the situation be too dangerous, money is too scarce, or a just a mere lack of time, Google maps allows classrooms to travel across the world in a matter of seconds. With the click of the mouse an entire classroom can be in exploring the pyramids of Egypt. No longer are students bounded by their location in what they can experience. Classrooms even have the ability to interact with one another. This could totally redefine our entire concept of the world field trip. The endless possibilities on Google maps allows teachers to facilitate field trips all over the world. The trips can last a class period or over the course of a few days and can span and entire subject..
These virtual field trips allow students to experience their learning rather than learning about it from text books. This virtual experience provides them with something a text book never could. That is interaction. Interaction plays a key role in learning. Students can learn about a location, explore its surroundings and even interact with experts in the fields of study.

Technology on a Budget

Literature and media on the topic of technology in education talks about tablets and personal computers and their endless possibilities, but not all schools have the funds for this kind of technology. Actually most schools don’t have that kind of money. It’s hard enough to get updated textbooks let alone a brand new iPad for all the students. How are teachers from those many districts without the money, supposed to incorporate technology in their classrooms? They could go out and buy some themselves, but that doesn’t seem quite possible on the restricted salary. Well good news is, it doesn’t mean they have to give up and stick to traditional ways of teaching.No. There are many ways to enhance teaching using technology without the need of all of those fancy devices. Jennie Mageria lists many ways to do so in her article 7 Ideas for Going Digital without Devices.

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A classroom can be fun an innovative without costing a fortune.Using programs like Youtube, TwitterKidBlog and many others, teachers can enhance their students learning without a need for a large budget. Students can use these programs at home, in the classroom, on shared computers in the school, and even at the local library. Students are able to engage the class in a variety of locations. Even if the students did not each have access to a computer, many classrooms are equipped with at least one computer and a projector of some sort to share the screen. This way the class can work together on a project or watch a video related to what they are learning about.

These programs engage the students leaving them with more meaningful experiences. When an experience is meaningful students are more likely to take away from their learning and apply it to real life.

Redefining Education

     When observing some of today’s classrooms I have been appalled to find that some of the classrooms haven yet to change from when I was a kid, or even from what I’ve seen in old movies. Let me paint a picture for you. A young woman stands in front of a large classroom writing on a chalkboard with kids at desks writing on paper with a 10 pound book by their side. Sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it? Why? 
     Student’s are not the same type of learners today they were 5 years ago let alone 10 to 15. They need and expect to use today’s technology in their quest for knowledge. Many teachers have adopted these new technologies to enhance their teaching. 
The use of technology in classrooms has converted teacher’s traditional role as the center of the classroom to a passive role, facilitating learning experiences in a student centered classroom. In this technology based classroom students are able to access the information, apply it, and then demonstrate their new skills. The world is changing and its the jobs of the educators to provide a worthy experience. Read A New Pedagogy is Emerging by Nancy Atterberry for more on our information driven society. 
   It is virtually impossible to go anywhere without some form of advanced technology being used. From the touch screens in Wawa and CVS photo to the self check out lines in Acme supermarkets, our world is encompassed with technology. Because of this its the job of our educators to provide our students with experiences in technology and with the opportunities to practice it.

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